Schleifer, Nikolay


Schleifer Nikolay Georgievich (Yurevich). Russian diplomat, the Imperial court Kamerger, State Counsellor, and a professional sculptor.

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

In the early 20th century, he served as Vice Consul in Frankfurt and managed to put himself on record: he created the monument to Chekhov in the town where the writer 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 Schleifer becomes increasingly renowned. Shortly before the War Schleifer was promoted and got high governmental position in Italy. He was the last Russian Consul in Catania (Sicily) having the title of the Imperial court Kamerger. Later, during the First World War and the period of the Bolsheviks‘ Russia formation, he headed the Russian Consulate in Naples.

He was taken aback by the war. The records from the Naples secret police testify that Nicolai Schleifer was morally spitted. While serving 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. The owner of the hotel in Florence where the diplomat stayed, send containing malicious gossip about him to the authorities. It was the report about Germanophile statements of the Russian Consul that he pronounced during the lunch in that hotel. It happened in 1918. The owner of the hotel was so affronted that he kicked the diplomat off from the hotel. Nicholas Schleifer 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 was engaged in sculpturing, participated in several exhibitions, painted and worked on private orders. According to contemporary records of his friends, Schleifer supported many Russian painters that immigrated to Italy, despite of his own financial hardships.
Nikolay Schleifer died in Rome in 1940.