Shleifer, Nikolay


Shleifer Nikolay Georgievich (Yurevich). Russian diplomat, Chamberlain of the Imperial court, State Counsellor, and a professional sculptor.

According to the memoirs of his contemporaries, Nicolai Shleifer was versatile educated, knew several foreign languages, was passionate about history and literature and was an artistically talented person. Не was fond of painting and sculpting from his youth, but following the parents' will, chose the diplomatic service.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, he served as a Vice Consul in Frankfurt and managed to leave his mark in history: he created the monument to Chekhov in the city, where the last died - in Badenweiler. It was the first monument to Chekhov in the West, and nowadays, when the place of Chekhov's death is known as a place of pilgrimage, the name of Shleifer sounds louder and louder. Shortly before the War Shleifer was promoted and got a higher post in Italy. He was the last Russian Consul in Catania (Sicily) having the Chamberlain of the Imperial court title. Later he headed the Russian Consulate in Naples in the First World War period and the time of the Bolsheviks‘ Russia formation.

He was taken aback by the war. The records from the Naples secret police testify that Nicolai Shleifer was morally spitted. While working in Germany, he developed tremendous respect to the German civilization. With the beginning of the War, he was forced to convict Germany but he often failed to do it. There existed the notorious document, written by the owner of the hotel in Florence. It was a report to the appropriate authorities about the statements of the Russian Consul during the lunch in the hotel in which he distinguished himself as a tedescofilo (Germanophile). It happened in 1918. The owner of the hotel was so affronted that he kicked the diplomat off from the hotel.

Nicholas Shleifer remained on diplomatic service until 1924. After the recognition of the Soviet Union by the Italian government, Shleifer had to retire.

Shleifer did not return to Russia and remained with his family in Italy. He continued his artistic activities, participated in a few exhibitions, painted and performed private orders. According to contemporary records of his friends, Shleifer supported many Russian painters-immigrants in Italy, despite of his own financial situation.

Died in Rome in 1940.