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Yourieff (Alexandra Andreevna Voronine) papers
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Alexandra Andreevna Voronine Yourieff papers
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1999
    Collection Number: 2003C45
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and Russian
    Physical Description: 79 manuscript boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 1 framed painting, 1 oversize photograph, 1 motion picture film (33.4 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Memoirs, other writings, diaries, correspondence, financial records, printed matter, and photographs, relating to Russian émigré affairs. Includes papers of W. George Yourieff, husband of Alexandra Yourieff. Also includes material relating to the earlier brief marriage of Alexandra Yourieff in the 1920s to the Norwegian relief worker (subsequently Nazi collaborator) Vidkun Quisling.
    Creator: Yourieff, Alexandra Andreevna Voronine
    Creator: Yourieff, W. George
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2003

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alexandra Andreevna Voronine Yourieff papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Biographical Note

    1905 August 20 Born, Sebastopol
    1922 Spring Met Vidkun Quisling
    1922 September 10 Married Vidkun Quisling
    1923 Abandoned by Quisling in Paris
    1924 Brought to Norway, and subsequently sent to Nice, France, by Quisling
    1929 Quisling halted correspondence and support; she subsequently traveled to China
    1933 Russian Orthodox Archbishop of China annulled her marriage, enabling her to marry Dr. J. P. Ryabin
    circa 1936 Second husband J. P. Ryabin died
    1936 Married W. George Yourieff, architect and honorary French consul in Tsingtao; Yourieff adopts the son from her second marriage
    1947 Yourieff family immigrated to the United States
    1993 October 1 Died, Palo Alto, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Alexandra Yourieff was the first wife of Vidkun Quisling, who collaborated in the German conquest of Norway in 1940 and was found guilty of treason and executed after Norway was liberated in 1945. She was 16 when she met and married him in 1922. During their marriage, Quisling was also involved with Maria Paseshnikova, later Maria Quisling. After years of separation, he ceased contact with Alexandra in 1929. She subsequently traveled to China, where she met and married Russian physician J. P. Ryabin. After Ryabin died in an accident, leaving her with their son, she married architect W. George Yourieff. They immigrated to the United States in 1947.
    Among the most significant material in the papers is Alexandra's manuscript describing her life with Quisling, which remains unpublished. The manuscript describes her childhood and the history of her family, but concentrates on the period of her relationship with Quisling, 1922–1929. Quisling was a Norwegian military attaché in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) in 1918–1919, and a close coworker of Fridtjof Nansen while Nansen was performing international relief work in Russia from 1922 to 1926. Quisling was attached to the Norwegian legation in Moscow from 1927 to 1929, the year the manuscript ends. The container list identifies notes, research materials, manuscript drafts, and other items relating to this work as "Writings--Quisling book."
    The manuscript tells the story of Alexandra's first meeting and romance with Quisling, which took place in Russia against the backdrop, broadly painted but fully substantiated, of a country devastated by wars, epidemics, and famine. Quisling's relief work, his actions, opinions, and general views, are described by a close and trusted witness. It continues with their life in Oslo from fall 1922 to spring 1923, describing Quisling's efforts to mold his young wife to his own pattern. Considerable space is devoted to covering their close circle of friends and the largely unknown Quisling clan in Norway. After describing their years of separation, the manuscript ends in 1929.
    The manuscript also provides information about Quisling's childhood, habits, and idiosyncrasies, as well as vivid close-ups of his brothers and mother, who is shown to be quite different from the portraits depicted by other Quisling biographers. In addition, the text paints fascinating pictures of spontaneous and concerted measures by both individuals and governments to cover up their tracks in the wake of dealings with Quisling. Beyond the Quisling story, it offers firsthand information about prominent figures, including Soviet poet Vladimir Maiakovskii, Max Reinhardt, Isadora Duncan, Arthur Rubinstein, Pablo Picasso, and other celebrities of Paris and Nice from the period 1923–1929.
    The collection also includes many papers of W. George Yourieff, and records of his business as architect and builder. Alexandra always regarded herself as an artist, and insisted that dancing had been her true vocation. She developed into a very able painter, so documentation of her artistic activities is also included.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russians -- United States
    Russians -- China
    Quisling, Vidkun, 1887-1945