BIOCHEMIST, HISTORICAL RESEARCHER AND AUTHOR
MESA POTAMOS MONASTERY RESEARCH COLLEAGUE
Helen Azar grew up in a Russian speaking household and as a child used to compile paragraphs from children’s books and magazines for fun. After a relatively short career in research science Helen decided to switch gears and return to grad school to fulfill a dream of becoming a librarian. For ten years she worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia, during which time she also became a published author.
While researching for her first book, “The Diary of Olga Romanov”, Helen visited Russia several times, and as part of the library school academic curriculum worked in the “Rare Book Fund” at the Museum at Tsarskoe Selo, which holds the imperial book collection, including that of Catherine the Great and the last Tsar Nicholas II.
Helen’s professional scientific training and a passion for Russian history led to co-authoring several articles on the identification of the remains of the last Tsar and his family.
Currently Helen lives in Australia and works at home, translating, researching and writing books on Romanov family history. She is leading her first the centennial “In Their Steps” Living History Tour in July of 2018, to commemorate 100 years since the murders of the Romanov family members.
Helen is known worldwide for her translations and publications of the diaries and letters of the Romanov Family. She is the first scholar ever to work on offering to English-speaking readers this invaluable primary material, in which the history of the last Russian Imperial Family is individually told by Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei.
On the 100-year-anniversary of the family’s murder Helen has published a book offering an accurate glimpse into the final two years of the last Imperial Family of Russia: exclusively through their own diary entries and personal correspondence, supplemented by contemporary eyewitness accounts, many of which are published here in English for the first time. The reader will get to know on a deeper level the Grand Duchesses and the Empress, as they work at Tsarskoe Selo infirmaries; experience their arrest after the outbreak of revolution and follow them into captivity in Siberia – and ultimately the Red Ural – where they meet their tragic end in the cellar of “The House of Special Purpose”.
Helen has contributed to “The Romanov Royal Martyrs Project” by translating many primary documents and texts from Russian into English and by offering advice and sharing information.