Zhdanko Yerminia Alexandrovna 

General M.E. Zhdanko's niece, member of the expedition G.L. Brusilov on the schooner "St. Anna”, who planned to pass the Northeast Passage. Zhdanko - the first Russian woman who participated in the high-latitude drift. 
She was born in the family of Lieutenant-General A.E. Zhdanko (1857–1917), known for his progressive views. Yerminia Alexandrovna grew up a resolute and courageous man. Even when she was not 14 years old, she almost drove off to her father to defend Port Arthur. 
On “St. Anna” she came quite accidentally as a passenger during the transition from St. Petersburg to Arkhangelsk, but during the voyage around Scandinavia, seeing the problems of the expedition, in particular the absence of a doctor, who refused to participate just before the departure, she decided to stay. This decision of hers was further supported by the fact that shortly before this she had finished the courses of nurses. In his last letter from Aleksandrovsk-on-Murman, Yerminia writes a letter to parents explaining the reasons for his action. The main motives were patriotism and a sense of duty: “.... when almost all of Russia knows about the expedition, you can’t let anything happen. It is enough that the expedition of Sedov, by all probability, will end sadly", as well as a purely human, feminine compassion for the expedition commander: "Yuri L'vovich is such a good person that I rarely met, but it is let down in the most dishonest way ..."The letter ends with the words: “Forgive my dear, dear ones. It’s not my fault that I was born with such boyish inclinations and restless character, right”? The father replied with the following telegram: “I don’t sympathize with the journey to Vladivostok. Decide yourself. Dad". 
Yerminia, and nobody else, of course, did not present all the difficulties of the upcoming voyage, but from navigator V.I. Albanov is aware that during the drift she showed enviable restraint, courage and fortitude, selflessly cared for the sick and shared the tragic fate of the expedition to the end. Handed over by strong men, and she suffered.One of the two surviving members of the expedition A.E. Konrad spoke about her like this: “We all loved and idolized our doctor, but she did not give preference to anyone. It was a strong woman, the idol of the entire crew. She was a true friend, rare kindness, intelligence and tact ... ". 
Cape in the south of the island of Bruce archipelago Franz-Josef Land. Named in 1953–1955 by
Soviet cartographers.


Return to the main page