Photo of Vonsiatsky

 
 
Vonsiatsky Espionage	(continued)	

 

Though a White Russian, Anastase Andreievitch Vonsiatsky was born in Warsaw, then Russia, on June 12, 1898, the son of Andre Nicholas Vonsiatsky and Inna Anastase Plyshevsky Vonsiatsky. Vonsiatsky's father was a Colonel in the Russian Gendarmerie and was a nobleman of the Province of Vitebsk, in White Russia. Vonsiatsky's ancestors on his paternal side were very close to the Czarists by reason of their military services and consequently one of the great-great-grandparents was granted a titled estate by one of the Czars. The paternal name of Vonsiatsky's family was Vonsiatskey-Vonsiatsky but for purpose of brevity, the name was shortened to its present form. Colonel Andre Vonsiatsky was assassinated on June 16, 1910, at the Gendarmerie Headquarters at Radom, Russia, by one of his own informants in the Polish Terrorist group. At the time of his death, Vonsiatsky's father was preparing to go to St. Petersburg to accept an appointment as head of the Gendarmerie in Kiev, Russia. Vonsiatsky's father was a graduate of an officers' course and after receiving a commission, spent the remainder of his life serving the Czarist regime.

Vonsiatsky's mother died of a heart attack in Moscow in October, 1916. An older brother died in the same city of unknown causes in 1922, while a sister reportedly died in Russia as a suicide in 1916, because of disappointment in a love affair. Another sister escaped from Russia to Shanghai and arrived in the United States in 1922. Still another sister reportedly remained in Russia and her whereabouts has been unknown since 1936.

Anastase Andreievitch Vonsiatsky followed in the footsteps of his father and attended military preparatory schools in Warsaw, St. Petersburg, and Moscow from 1908 and 1916, entering the Emperor Nicholas Academy in St. Petersburg in the latter year. This Academy has been reported to be comparable with West Point in the United States. During the Second Revolution in November, 1917, Vonsiatsky and others left the military school and went to Rostov where they joined in the battle against the Reds. Vonsiatsky himself obtained the rank of Lieutenant and fought with the White Russians until March, 1920. During his period of service he received a bullet wound in the left arm and back and also another wound in the stomach. In addition, he was at one time severely ill from typhoid fever and suffered with frozen feet. Leaving the Crimea in March, 1920, Vonsiatsky proceeded to Constantinople where he received treatment in a British hospital. He remained in Constantinople until April, 1920, and then went to Paris and in May, arrived in London where he remained for three months as the guest of the wealthy Prince Yuossopoff. In September, 1920, the young Vonsiatsky returned to Paris and during the following month journeyed to Constantinople where he came in contact with many White Russians.

It might be noted that Vonsiatsky's revolutionary activities have been the subject of numerous magazine and newspaper stories. It has been stated that he undoubtedly participated in numerous tortures and killings during the Russian Civil War and it had been alleged that failure to disclose his activities in this regard constituted sufficient ground to cancel Vonsiatsky's American citizenship which he received in 1927. Such action, however, was never taken. Some newspaper articles have been published in which Vonsiatsky allegedly admitted the killings but stated "the murders referred to were justified; a civil war was raging and we were defending our country." During 1939, one newspaper carried a story in which he allegedly stated that he would commit the killings again if he had the opportunity.

Upon Vonsiatsky's arrival in Constantinople in October, 1920, as previously mentioned, he noted that the White Russians were in complete rout and were fleeing for their very lives from Russia. According to Vonsiatsky, he thereupon decided to quit the White Russian fight and thereafter went to Marseilles, France. Within a short time he went to Paris, France, remaining there until June, 1921, when he came to the United States.

Many stories have been told of Vonsiatsky's activities in Paris and how he happened to meet a wealthy American divorcee, twenty years his senior, in that city. One story reflects that Vonsiatsky fainted one day in Paris in the midst of a boulevard throng and was discovered by his future wife when taken to a hospital. According to various reports, Vonsiatsky married a young Russian in 1920, at Yalta, Russia, before coming to Paris. A new angle concerning his sentimental career began in Paris when he allegedly was befriended by a famous French actress. Vonsiatsky is said to have had a handful of Russian rubles when he first met her and to have asked the actress to buy them. The actress is said to have given young Vonsiatsky a hearty meal and to have obtained for him a job as a scene shifter in a theater where he worked for ten francs a day. Vonsiatsky supposedly furnished the actress very little information about his past and she provided him with funds to bring his family to Paris, not knowing that he was actually married to the young Russian girl. His wife came to Paris with her parents and shortly thereafter the romance of the young White Russian and the actress came to an abrupt halt when she received the following letter from him:

"Charming Benefactress:

"My trouble is that I am unable to express the feeling of gratitude and respect for you which my heart contains in your own language. You, not only by your generosity and goodness, but by certain personal qualifications, have attracted to you quite a strange man. Your sisterly kindness has touched the best sentiments of my heart.

"But I am an utter stranger to you. You have never known me before and you have only seen me in this horrible miserable plight in which I have been. How much do I feel humiliated in your eyes, this, too, when you have received me in your home and have warmed my heart with your caresses. You are good; you are a saint. In you I realize that there are still good people on this earth and that charity and friendship still exist.

"You will remain as the cherished souvenir of my life.

"I kiss your hand. Your devoted,

"Anastase Vonsiatsky."

According to some to the numerous stories which have been told about Vonsiatsky, his passage to the United States in the summer of 1921 was provided by the rich American woman who was later to become his wife. Vonsiatsky himself, however, has claimed that he was able to save enough money working in Paris to pay for his trip to the United States. Immediately upon his arrival in New York City on board the French liner SS Ile de France, Vonsiatsky contacted a banker whom he had previously met in Paris and this individual assisted him in obtaining a position in a locomotive concern where he was employed from 1921 to 1924. Vonsiatsky has stated that he contemplated returning to Russia to sell locomotives there. During the first six months of his employment, he worked in the chemical laboratory and later was employed in the foundry, cylinder shop and the assembly sections, where he was working when he terminated his employment. It has been reported that Vonsiatsky usually went to work in a big limousine and that his fellow employees referred to him as "Count Annie."

 

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