Polonskaia, N. D.

The daughter of a Russian general, Natalia Dmitrevna lived through two world wars and exercised considerable influence as an historian of Ukraine. She graduated from the Fundukleevskaia-Mariinskaia Gymnasium, the empire’s first women’s gymnasium (I. A. Linnichenko’s father the first director), before moving to Higher Courses for Women at St. Vladimir’s University, where she worked under Mitrofan Dovnar-Zapol’skii. In 1916, she became a lecturer at the university and director of its archeological museum. In 1923 she married Nikolai Vasilenko, Minister of Education and Foreign Affairs in Ukrainian Republic; she served as professor at the Kiev Institutes of Geography, Archeology, and Art, and a Research Associate at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Vasilenko was arrested during the Purges, but she had him rehabilitated. During the Nazi occupation, she collaborated by working on the committee to change street names. She fled with the Germans, and ended up in Munich where she taught at the Ukrainian Free University. In the 1960s, she helped to establish the American-based Ukrainian Historical Association.