All Members are invited to publish news about themselves or other RNA interested activities in this new column. Please forward potential materials for insertion in the “Members News” column for the attention of Dr. Cyril E. Geacintov ( or

“A Countess in Limbo”

book poster

Countess Olga “Lala” Hendrikoff was born into the Russian aristocracy, serving as a lady -in- waiting to the Empresses and enjoying a life of great privilege. But on the eve of her wedding in 1914 came the first rumours ofan impending war – a war that would change her life forever and force her to flee her country as a stateless person, with no country to call home.

Spanning two of the most turbulent times in modern history- World War I in Russia and World War II in Paris- Countess Hendrikoff’s journals demonstrate the uncertainty, horror and hope of daily life in the midst of turmoil. Her razor-sharp insight, wit and sense of humour create a fascinating eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution and the Occupation and Liberation of Paris.

In “A Countess In Limbo”, Countess Hendrikoff tells her remarkable true story that includes the loss of her brother in the Russian Gulag, her sister-in-law, Anastasia Hendrikoff, murdered with the Russian Imperial family and herself being robbed at gunpoint and accused of being a spy by the Nazis. She also speaks of the daily life that continues during wartime – ration cards and food restrictions, the black market, and the struggle to just get by for another day. Her gripping story and thoughtful analysis provide an invaluable look at life and humanity in the face of war.

The book can be bought in the U.S. from, Barnes & Noble, in France from and in Canada Indigo/Chapters and

For wholesale buyers: Ingram , Gardners, Bertrams ,and Blackwell carry the book.

Please do have a look at my website,  for further reviews, CTV National News interview as well as photos not found in the book.

New Obolensky Family Memoirs Available!

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About the Book:

Set in the vast sweep of Russian history, From Zoé To Zika is a story about six generations of women in the author’s family named Zoé. The narrative focuses on the life of former Princess Zoé Alexeevna Obolensky, the author’s mother. Drawing on family memoirs, letters, oral history, and extensive photographs, the author brings to life her mother’s remarkable experiences during the gilded age in Imperial Russia, World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War.

The narrative also includes stories of many of the author’s fascinating ancestors, including Princess Zoé Ghika, a favorite of Catherine the Great of Russia, and Countess Zoé Sergueevna Soumarokoff who married Prince Alexis Obolensky, a war hero and later Governor General of Moscow, 1861-1865. Leo Tolstoy almost certainly wove elements of Zoé Sergueevna’s life into his novel Anna Karenina. The saga ends with stories, some poignant and others humorous, about the author’s life in the United States, which has been shaped by her Russian background.

About the Author:

Zoé (Zika) Petersen was born in 1922 in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria to Russian émigré parents who fled from Russia after the collapse of the White Russian Army in 1920. Zoé grew up in Weston, MA and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1944. She lived most of her adult life in Chicago, IL with her husband, Dr. Edward S. Petersen. Zoé still speaks Russian, her first language. She has made several trips to Russia to visit where members of her family lived. She currently lives in Middleburg, VA.

To order your copy AND secure a donation to the RNA, visit: and place the code “RNA2014” in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO SELLER box on PayPal!

Prof. Nicholas E. Geacintov Science Award

The Award, given each year to a Scientist at New York University, was presented to Prof. Geacintov by Prof. Richard Foley, Dean of Arts and Science, and Prof. Daniel L. Stein, Dean for Science, Arts and Science, at New York University. Prof. Geacintov presented a lecture on “Unraveling the Secrets of DNA Repair” at a Public Lecture at the Irving H. Jurow Lecture Hall at the Washington Square Campus of NYU, followed by a Reception.


Prof. Nicholas Geacintov has been a member of the RNA for many years. He is well known worldwide for his fundamental research into the mysteries of DNA structure, the effects of carcinogens on DNA, and the possible mechanisms of DNA rupture, alterations, and repair as presented in his lecture at NYU.

Prof. Geacintov was born in Albi, the Languedoc region of France. As the son of the first wave of Russian immigrants after the 1917 Revolution in Russia, Geacintov grew up speaking Russian at home and attended the Lycee in Albi before being deported to Germany at the end of WWII, ending up in Linz, Austria where he learned German at the local Realgymnasium. After the War, the Geacintov family emigrated to the USA where Nicholas attended Syracuse University as a student at the State University of New York. He earned a BSc, MSc, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and carried out post-doctoral studies at Brooklyn Polytech, NYU, and collaborated on research work with Universities in Paris, Sweden, and other countries.


He is the author or co-author of over 300 scientific publications. As Professor and Chairman of the New York University Chemistry Department, he combines fundamental research projects with lectures for pre-med students at NYU, NIH project planning and reviews, and frequently lectures at Scientific Meetings and Universities here and abroad.

All of us at the RNA are very pleased to congratulate Prof. Geacintov for his achievement and recognition and for his scientific work and publications in the field of DNA Research.

Yours truly,
Cyril E. Geacintov, Ph.D.
The Russian Nobility Association in America, Inc.

Annual Spring Ball -- 2018


2018 Mar 01