Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Russian History => Imperial Russian History => Topic started by: AGRBear on June 16, 2005, 06:25:36 PM

Title: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 16, 2005, 06:25:36 PM
A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY, THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION  1891-1924 by Orlando Figes p.  288:

"..it was a question of whether the revolution would start from below or above.  The idea of a 'palace coup' had been circulating for some time."

So where do we start?  Why not at the top?  So   who were these conspirators at the top?

Here is one:

p. 288 "Guhkov was at the center of one such conspiracy."  It aimed to seize the imperial train en route from Stavka to Tsarskoe Selo and to force the Tsar to abdicae in favor of his son, with the Grand Duke Mikhail, Nicholas's brother, serving as Regents."  

Reason given was:
"In this way the conspirtators hoped to forestall the social reovlution by apppointing a new government of confidence."

When:
It was to have  been set into motion in March of 1917.

Who was Alexander Ivanovic Guchkov (1862-1936)?  Leader of the moderate liberals in Russia between 1905-17.  Founder of the Octobrists (q.v.) party and president of the thrid state duma.  In WW I , Guchkov was chairman of the duma committee on military and naval affairs.... He was a critic of Nicolas II and was part of the Duma group who went to Pskov to secure the abdication of Niohcolas II.  After the Red October Revolution, Guchkov fled to Paris.

There is a section which deals with the Romanov Conpiracies:
http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=revolution;action=display;num=1102887162

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: David_Pritchard on June 16, 2005, 08:40:31 PM
Did anyone really betray the Emperor? Nicholas II was an Autocrat who failed Russia over many years as Sovereign by making repeated bad judgements in most every management area. These many bad choices on the Emperor's behalf include the Russo-Japanese War, the 1905 Revolution, backtracking on the Constitutional Monarchy, participation in WWI and the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917. If anyone was betrayed, it was the Russian people, millions of whom paid for the poor judgement of Nicholas II with their lives.

It is unfortunate that none of the competent Grand Dukes, Vladimir Aleksandrovich for one,  could convince him to abdicate or if all else failed, had the forethought to arrange a coup d'etat. It had happened before with problematic or inept Autocrats (Peter II, Peter III and Paul I).

DAP

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 17, 2005, 05:42:21 PM
David, you asked a very good question,  however,  there are other threads about Nicholas II and his inability to serve as a strong Tsar.  And, it really doesn't matter what you or I think about Nicholas II or other monarchs in this thread.   This thread is about "Who betrayed Nicholas II?"  while he was the Emperor.

Thank you in advance for respecting this thread as it was intented.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on June 17, 2005, 06:31:33 PM
Who betrayed him?
    Well, I think that he did it himself - as Tsar he refused again and again to listen to advice from his councilors, his ministers and from his own relatives regarding his inability to deal with the profound problems of his reign! Maybe he couldn't help himself - maybe only a Peter or a Catherine would have been able to manage such a difficult situation.

Or are you simply looking for a 'scapegoat'?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RomanovFan on June 17, 2005, 11:07:30 PM
I agree w/ Rskkiya. Nicholas betrayed himself. Most of if not all of his people were living in poverty, barely getting enough to eat while he and his family ate delicacies off China plates. And when the people asked for his help, he ignored them and they were killed (Bloody Sunday).
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on June 18, 2005, 08:52:17 AM
Romanov Fan, First of all your "analysis" is not true. Please read Professor Pipes on the Russian Peasant status before 1917:
"they [Russian Peasants] owned, either outright or communally, nine-tenths of the country's agricultural land and the same proportion of livestock. Poor by Western European or American standards, he was better off than his father, and freer than his grandfather, who more likely than not had been a serf. Cultivating allotments assigned to him by fellow peasants, he certainly enjoyed greater security than the tenant farmer of Ireland, Spain or Italy."

Further, the Russian peasant was not "starving" at all. In fact, they were as well fed as most in Europe, and the poorest classes in Russia pre-1917 were BETTER OFF than their counterparts in England, France, Italy or even New York City during the same period.

The same social class divisions were found in Western Eurpose and the US for that matter during the same period.  To say that "Nicholas betrayed himself" for eating well while the peasants starved it to ignore the truth and repeat Bolshevik propoganda, not to mention accuse Nicholas of the same behavior as the rulers of every other Western Nation and the millionaire robber barons of the US of the same time.

Nicholas WAS betrayed by his own family, the Grand Dukes, and the major aristocratic families.  When he needed their support, they were not there. There are MANY references from just after the Revolution from them all, basically saying, "If we had only realized what would happen we would have supported the Tsar"...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Arleen on June 18, 2005, 11:34:15 AM
I too have read those references Rob, the ones where the GD's after the revolution talk about what they could have done to support Nicholas, "if they had only known" what would happen....to their own estates and lives I am sure.

I have a picture in my mind of  GD Kirill leading his men, with red armbands on....  The very first GD to defect. The red flag on his house.  This is why I do not think GD Marie V. should be head of the Romanov's, her family does not deserve it. They failed N&A for sure.

..A
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 18, 2005, 04:49:26 PM
Figes continued on p. 288:

"...A second conspiracy was meanwhle being hatched by Prince Lvov with the help of the Chief of Staff, Geneal Alexeev.  They planned to arrest the Tsarina and compel Nicholas to hand over the authority to the Grand Duke Nikolai.  Lvov would be appointed as Premier of a new government of confidence. Several liberal politicians and general support the plan, including Brusilov, who told the Grand Duke:  'If I must choose between the Emperor and Russia, then I march for Russia.'  But this plot was also scotched -- by the Grand Duke's reluctance to become involved."

So, according to Figes, Grand Duke Nilolali was not to be a part of this conspiracy.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: David_Pritchard on June 18, 2005, 04:57:14 PM
What happened to the other grand dukes living in the Saint Petersburg area? All executed except for GD Kyril. What GD Kyril did with the Revolutionaries bought time for him and his family to escape. I actually wish that more grand dukes had the foresight to change with the situation, a larger number of surviving grand dukes would have been better for the cause of the restoration of the monarchy and the fight against the Bolsheviks.

DAP
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 20, 2005, 03:04:23 AM
Quote
Nicholas WAS betrayed by his own family, the Grand Dukes, and the major aristocratic families.  When he needed their support, they were not there.


The Russian people failed to understand the benevolence of their Emperor. It was they who betrayed their Emperor. It was the noble aristocracy, it was his family, the Army Generals, the intellectuals and the Duma; extending down to the ordinary citizen on the street whom the Duma purported to represent.

Words were many but action and foresight was lacking.

In the final moments it was the Russian people who were ultimately responsible.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 20, 2005, 03:30:10 AM
Quote
I actually wish that more grand dukes had the foresight to change with the situation, a larger number of surviving grand dukes would have been better for the cause of the restoration of the monarchy and the fight against the Bolsheviks.

DAP


I agree with you David_Pritchard.

Had the Grand Dukes demonstrated solidarity for the Crown and what it represented, they could have bought time to establish a Constitutional monarchy.

Kiril being the first to flee at the nearest opportunity across the border, failed to support his country and her citizens.

Nikolai Mikhailovich failed to support his Emperor, at the time when patriotism would have been essential to ensure victory for the war.

The uncrowned Mikhail Alexandrovich severed the Romanov dynasty, rather than ensure its continuation at all cost.

The ordinary citizen only wanted bread not a political upheaval.

Had any of them had any intuition - these dissenting Grand Dukes might have realized that they were destroying themselves as well.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 20, 2005, 06:32:39 AM
Quote
The Russian people failed to understand the benevolence of their Emperor. It was they who betrayed their Emperor. It was the noble aristocracy, it was his family, the Army Generals, the intellectuals and the Duma; extending down to the ordinary citizen on the street whom the Duma purported to represent.

Words were many but action and foresight was lacking.

In the final moments it was the Russian people who were ultimately responsible.


I feel as if I've gone through the looking glass in Alice in Wonderland.

After dragging his country unprepared into an unnecessary war in 1904 and losing both his land army and fleet to a second-class military power -- thereby proving to the world that Russia was a paper tiger -- Nicholas responded to demands for a constitutional monarchy by grudingly granting a Duma that he then immediately began to undermine by setting up a State Council.

He isolated himself with his family at Tsarskoye Selo, at one point going more than a year without a single public appearance.

He undermined Witte, the most progressive Russian minister of the era.  His wife hated Stolypin, the most competent Russian minister of the era, because Stolypin dared to challenge her beloved Rasputin in an attempt to preserve the public reputation of the imperial family . . . and Nicholas revoked Stolypin's order banishing Rasputin.

In 1915 he left for Stavka and had his ministers in St. Petersburg make their reports to his wife, knowing that almost everyone in responsible government circles had no confidence in her judgment or ability.

Then, as the military situation unwound and food and fuel shortages reached crisis proportions in the cities, the people betrayed their "benevolent tsar."

Just how much more were they supposed to endure his ill-conceived and ill-executed policies?  Why would the very classes who were most dependent on a strong monarchy for their own power and wealth almost universally throw the towel in on Nicholas?

Please.  He was lucky he wasn't hung from a lampost in the streets in March 1917.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on June 20, 2005, 12:44:24 PM
Well, I'm in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with both Belochka and Tsarfan. True, Nicholas made disastrous decisions and helped drive his country to the brink of disaster. On the other hand... the peasants chose to appropriate the land. The Soviets of workers and soldiers chose to contribute to this ever-widening spread of anarchy and chaos at the local levels of government. The idea that any one single man was responsible for the eventual horrors of the October Revolution is simply not credible. People all across Russia, ordinary people, made choices, no matter how circumscribed their lives. They contributed to the ultimate fate of their country. Otherwise, how are we supposed to view them? As the tsars did? As, in other words, irresponsible children, incapable of directing their own destinies?  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 20, 2005, 01:28:16 PM
Quote
The idea that any one single man was responsible for the eventual horrors of the October Revolution is simply not credible.


Actually, I referred to the March Revolution, which was more a political coup than a full-blown social revolution such as occurred in October.

There's a wonderful line in the movie La nuit de Varennes.  In response to someone's horror that King Louis' escape attempt had been foiled at Varennes, a cynical observer responds that, "a king who is arrested by a postmaster has already ceased to be a king".

I think the generals, Duma, and grand dukes were not betraying Nicholas.  They were simply dealing with the reality that he had already abandoned any serious attempts to hold Russia together . . . and they were trying to salvage the monarchy as best they could.  

On that train in March, Nicholas was arrested by his postmasters.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on June 20, 2005, 06:36:04 PM
Quote
True, Nicholas made disastrous decisions and helped drive his country to the brink of disaster. On the other hand... the peasants chose to appropriate the land. The Soviets of workers and soldiers chose to contribute to this ever-widening spread of anarchy and chaos at the local levels of government. The idea that any one single man was responsible for the eventual horrors of the October Revolution is simply not credible. People all across Russia, ordinary people, made choices, no matter how circumscribed their lives. They contributed to the ultimate fate of their country. Otherwise, how are we supposed to view them? As the tsars did? As, in other words, irresponsible children, incapable of directing their own destinies?  


Well chaos is rather a part of most revolutions. The peasants naturally felt that as they worked the land, they ought to own it so they took what they percieved as righly theirs - I don't think that economical theories troubled them too much... I also doubt that the soldiers conciously thought "Here I go spreading anarchy and chaos on the local levels of the government..."
They behaved as anyone might in such a situation - some were altruistic and some were selfish. All were human.

Thus alas I cannot agree with Bella Bellochka - charming as she often is ...  
rskkiya

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 20, 2005, 07:15:07 PM
Nicholas had his own view of who created the turmoil that brought him down:

"In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial."

Nicholas II, Abdication Proclamation, 2 March 1917
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on June 20, 2005, 08:35:46 PM
Quote

Actually, I referred to the March Revolution, which was more a political coup than a full-blown social revolution such as occurred in October.


Actually the March revolution was more of a true social revolution than the October revolution, which was really a coup d' etat.  The Bolsheviks triumph in October had nothing to do with popular support but rather to superior organization and sheer ruthlessness.

And Nicholas was betrayed, as he himself observed:

"All around me is treachery, cowardice and deceit!"

As Pipes wrote:

"The animosity towards the crown in late 1916 brought into being an unprecedented alliance of the left and the right (liberals, who hated the crown on principle, and conservative nationalists, dismayed over the alleged betrayal of Russia to the German enemy)."

Nicholas was no match for this coalition.  

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 20, 2005, 09:18:08 PM
My tongue was firmly in cheek in quoting Nicholas' abdication document.  

Nicholas was certainly no match for that coalition.  But he certainly had a causative role in the forming of such an unholy alliance.  Conservative nationalists abandoning their tsar to join with the left?  Such a prospect would have taxed anyone's imagination at the outset of his reign.

However, I disagree that the real social revolution occurred in March.  While there was an array of revolutionaries in and out of the Duma with varying aims from the moderate to the extreme, the blow actually delivered was initially aimed at deposing Nicholas and replacing him with a monarch more amenable to a constitutional structure.  It did not have as its immediate aim an overturning of the social class structure of Russia, a massive redistribution of property, or the destruction of capitalism as an economic organizing principle.

The October Revolution, while accomplished through a tightly-managed coup-d'etat, aimed at a far more comprehensive recasting of the entire social and economic structure of Russia.

Had the Provisional government managed to convene a successful constituent assembly, I think Russians would have seen significant reforms in fairly short order, some successful and some collossally misfiring.  But their country would have remained recognizably Russian.  I do not think they would have seen the uprooting of the Russian way of life ushered in by the Soviets.  That was the real revolution in my book.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 20, 2005, 09:31:24 PM
Quote

He isolated himself with his family at Tsarskoye Selo, at one point going more than a year without a single public appearance.


Hi Tsarfan,

I am puzzled with this comment. Which particular year are you suggesting?

Thanks
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 20, 2005, 09:50:57 PM
I'll try to track it down.  I cannot remember where I read it, but I think it was around 1910.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on June 20, 2005, 10:01:40 PM
Quote

Had the Provisional government managed to convene a successful constituent assembly, I think Russians would have seen significant reforms in fairly short order, some successful and some collossally misfiring.  But their country would have remained recognizably Russian.  I do not think they would have seen the uprooting of the Russian way of life ushered in by the Soviets.  That was the real revolution in my book.


Yes, but that was "revolution from above", as many scholars have pointed out, not a social revolution of and by the people.  Many believe the "revolution" you are referring to actually lasted until Stalin's death in 1953.

I do agree with you, however, that the legacy of that revolution was little more than millions of dead, and the partial destruction of the Russian nation.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 20, 2005, 10:42:30 PM
Quote
I'll try to track it down.  I cannot remember where I read it, but I think it was around 1910.


Thanks!
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 21, 2005, 06:19:38 AM
This may take a while, Belochka.  I didn't realize how many books on the Romanovs I had until I began flipping through them last night (and a good part of my library is at my house in Florida).  Unfortunately, this type of item does not get picked up by a book index.

I seem to remember, though, that I've encountered the point at least a couple of times . . . so maybe some other posters can help with the year(s)?

In the meantime, take it as a point put forward but not substantiated.  The argument I was making does not rest exclusively on it.

Thanks for your patience.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on June 21, 2005, 08:57:51 AM
I can tell you that Spiridovitch accounts for every year between 1906 and 1914, and there were many public appearances EVERY year in that period. So, it certainly was not "around 1910". I am less certain about 1914-17 for specifics, but am certain there were many public appearances for War relief efforts then as well.

I think Tsarfan is referring to the fact that there were no "official ceremonial" balls or events in St. Petersburg itself in 1912. The aristocracy used to gripe that the Emperor was "holed up in TS and never held any of the expected official balls but that should NOT be construed to say he "made no public appearances".
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 21, 2005, 09:09:04 AM
I'm really getting interested in tracking the reference down, since I cannot make any sense of it, either, now that I really think about it.

For instance, I'm not aware that the tsar ever missed the annual blessing of the waters on the Neva, so that alone would make a blanket claim questionable.

Although I don't remember the reference limiting the observation to just official balls, maybe there was some limiting definition of a "public appearance" that I no longer recall, or maybe I'm remembering "official appearance" as "public appearance".
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 21, 2005, 09:05:25 PM
Perhaps these two examples will help:

In 1910 the Imperial Family visited Darmstardt between the months of August to October.

[Ref: Nikolai II, Bokhanov, p 128]

There is a Bulla photograph of Nikolai II perched on his horse reviewing the Uhlan Regiment in Peterhof on May 11.

[see http://www.romanovrussia.com/NIImilPH.html]

Just by these two examples alone, it would be erroneous to suggest that the Emperor did not appear in public in 1910.  ;)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 22, 2005, 05:58:46 AM
Yep . . . obviously not 1910.  I was guessing when I said around 1910, because I was assuming it must have been after Alexei was diagnosed with hoemophilia and before WWI.

This is really gnawing at me.  I know I read it somewhere, but I've read so much on the Romanovs that I don't even know where to begin to find the reference again.  For some reason, I associate the point with a photo of the tsar walking outdoors with tennis gear and with the empress and some of the children following him from a little distance.  So I've been scanning the books I have with me to see if I can locate the reference via such a picture.  No luck so far.  (Haven't even found the picture.)

I still don't think this changes the general point that the imperial family lived in an unusual degree of isolation . . . but I really would like to find that reference, because a full year without an official appearance would clearly indicate an extreme withdrawal from the responsibilities of office.

Oh, well . . . I'll keep looking.  But until I find the reference (if I ever do), I think it's prudent to assume I made the point in error.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 22, 2005, 07:16:17 PM
According to my family historians,  the ONLY period of time Russians were ever free of monarchs and dictators was between March 1917 and Red Oct/ Nov., which was the counter revolution by the Bolsheviks and the RED TERROR.  

The subject of Nicholas II being absent from social activities may have been when he fell ill and almost died.  Typoid, I think it was...  What year was this, I've forgotten?  Otherwise,  I'm pretty sure Nicholas II never failed in his offical duties and appeared for military and religious events during his reign.  Of course, once WWI started, most events were affected.

I'm not sure when the offical balls were eliminated but I do recall this upset a lot of people, including the Dowager Empress Maria.  

While on the subject of the Dowager Empress Maria, did she ever reveal any signs that Nicholas II was a failure and thought GD Michael or one of the other Romanovs should replace Nicholas II?

AGRBear




 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 22, 2005, 08:53:43 PM
Quote
While on the subject of the Dowager Empress Maria, did she ever reveal any signs that Nicholas II was a failure and thought GD Michael or one of the other Romanovs should replace Nicholas II?


Interesting question!

I've read a lot of oblique references suggesting that Empress Marie was a participant in discussions about ways to halt the final plunge into the abyss.  However, my rusty recollections are that she was more focused on the need to get Alexandra out of the picture, perhaps by putting her in a convent.

I doubt if Marie would have seen Michael as a viable alternative to Nicholas.  According to Michael and Natasha, the recent biography of Michael by the Crawfords, Marie was furious at Michael's affair with a married woman and his morganatic marriage.  She took lineage seriously and viewed his succumbing to passion over dynastic duty as a fatal lapse in discipline.

And Michael's passion for Natasha, a strong woman who dominated him easily, had some disturbing parallels with the bond between Nicholas and Alexandra.  I doubt if Marie would have viewed Michael as a promising alternative to Nicholas.

With her other son dead and females barred from the succession, the only viable alternative to Nicholas was outside the progeny of Alexander III and Marie . . . and that would have been a huge pill for the likes of Marie to swallow.  The poor woman must have wanted to scream long and loud.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 22, 2005, 09:35:56 PM
Quote
The subject of Nicholas II being absent from social activities may have been when he fell ill and almost died.  Typoid, I think it was...  What year was this, I've forgotten?  
AGRBear


Nikolai had typhoid in 1900, between October and November, soon after he arrived to Livadia.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 23, 2005, 01:01:51 PM
It's funny but I always realized how much the Dowager Empress Maria disliked Alexandra but I never really thought about her betraying Nicholas II.   However, she must have thought about whom she would have had to be working with if something happen to Nicholas II...    Wasn't there  a long period of time that GD Michael wasn't given any status after his marriage to Natashia....  And, of course there was Alexei illness which might prevent him from ever ruling....  I guess GD Kyril was second to Alexei for a time... or, am I wrong in this assumption?  Although I know very little about GD Kyril,  he doesn't appear to be very popular.  And, it seems everyone's head always turns toward Kyril when the subject of betrayl pops up.  How close was DowEmp Maria with GD Kyril?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 23, 2005, 03:42:29 PM
I'm ashamed to say I'm not very well-informed on Empress Marie.  Most of what I know about her is through my readings on others who were connected to her.

I do know that her immediate family must have been a disappointment to her.  Nicholas married against her wishes and wound up with a wife whom Marie felt was a real contributor to the destruction of the dynasty.

Michael became infatuated with another man's wife (who had already divorced a first husband) and conducted a liaison with her under the cover of a friendship with her husband.  Even by the racy standards of St. Petersburg society, that thinly-disguised cuckolding of the husband was a bit much.

Grand Duchess Olga enabled Michael's pursuit of the affair with Natasha by accompanying them on many outings to provide a semblance of propriety . . . through which everyone saw.  Of course, Olga herself had been forced into a bad marriage and was conducting an affair with one of her husband's retainers, who had been put on her husband's staff with the knowledge of all participants for just that purpose.  (The husband was gay and apparently sympathetic to Olga's need for physical affection from some quarter.)  Olga later divorced her husband to marry her beloved Colonel.

George was a semi-invalid throughout his brief adult life who died of tuberculosis.

It was a sorry run of raw material for filling the greatest throne on earth at a critical junction in its history.  Indeed, Nicholas might have been the best of the lot.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on June 23, 2005, 04:24:02 PM
I've never been a big fan of Empress Marie.  She seems to have cared most about having a good time and living a life of unparalleled luxury. For someone who insisted on asserting her right to precedence over Alexandra to the point of provoking a public scandal (Marie was the first Empress to insist on this right) she spent an AWFUL lot of time away from Russia after the death of Alexander III.  For all her alleged talents in carrying out her public duties as Empress or later, Dowager Empress, she seems to have actually done precious little of anything during Nicholas' reign.

Her treatment of her daughter, Olga Alexandrovna, was disgusting.  When Nicholas heard about the arranged marriage to Peter of Oldenburg, he honestly thought it was a joke.  Yet the abuse Olga endured is blithely glossed over while Alexandra's supposed mistreatment of her own children is blown out of proportion, or just made up out of thin air.

Make no mistake, Marie did suffer incredible tragedy in her life.  Four of her children and five of her grandchildren pre-deceased her, seven of them by violence.  But she only seems to have cared for those who were of royal blood.  When she died in 1928, she left no provision in her will for Michael's impoverished son or widow.  That's mean.  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 23, 2005, 05:42:28 PM
Ok. Back to who bertayed Nicholas. Tsarfan's post  Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #11 on: 20. Jun 2005 at 06:32 » really sums it up well.
I think it was pretty obvious that the people could no longer endure the Romanov's. And with good reason.
That being said, it seems that to survive few were left with a choice but to betray him. He had done little to deserve the loyalty or respect of the people. imho
Just because he was the tsar, did not entitle him to respect and loyalty. I don't think he ever understood that.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 23, 2005, 05:47:47 PM
Can't say I like her any better than you do, RichC.

Russia was in sad hands with the last generations of Romanovs.  That's why I find it so hard to talk in terms of betraying that family.  They essentially presented monarchists with a choice between supporting Romanov family hubris or supporting effective government.

I find it hard to impeach the latter choice.

And, please, folks . . . don't take this to mean I think the Bolsheviks brought effective government.  But the ministers and generals who abandoned Nicholas in March 1917 were dealing with a tsar who had left the chaotic domestic affairs of their country in the hands of a mentally-unstable woman taking advice from an inscrutable holy man of indecipherable motives.  What real choice did they have if they cared for their country?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 23, 2005, 05:55:20 PM
Quote
Can't say I like her any better than you do, RichC.

Russia was in sad hands with the last generatrions of Romanovs.  That's why I find it so hard to talk in terms of betraying that family.  They essentially presented monarchists with a choice of supporting Romanov family hubris or supporting effective government.

I find it hard to impeach the latter choice.

And, please, folks . . . don't take this to mean I think the Bolsheviks brought effective government.  But the ministers and generals who abandoned Nicholas in March 1917 were dealing with a tsar who had left the chaotic domestic affairs of their country in the hands of a mentally-unstable woman taking advice from an inscrutable holy man of indecipherable motives.  What real choice did they have if they cared for their country?


In a word? None
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on June 23, 2005, 07:29:55 PM
Quote
Can't say I like her any better than you do, RichC.

Russia was in sad hands with the last generations of Romanovs.  That's why I find it so hard to talk in terms of betraying that family.  They essentially presented monarchists with a choice of supporting Romanov family hubris or supporting effective government.

I find it hard to impeach the latter choice.

And, please, folks . . . don't take this to mean I think the Bolsheviks brought effective government.  But the ministers and generals who abandoned Nicholas in March 1917 were dealing with a tsar who had left the chaotic domestic affairs of their country in the hands of a mentally-unstable woman taking advice from an inscrutable holy man of indecipherable motives.  What real choice did they have if they cared for their country?


Actually, I remember reading somewhere that some scholar was advancing the theory that the latter 19th/ early 20th century crop of European royals were, as a lot, far less intelligent than their forebears and this was one of the causes of the cataclysm which rocked Europe in the early 20th century.  Perhaps the gene pool just exhausted itself through lack of fresh blood....

But, on the other hand, perhaps it had something to do with the way royals were educated at the time with all the emphasis being on presentation and little time spent teaching critical thinking in an increasingly complex world.

I do agree with you, Tsarfan, that of Marie and Alexander's children, Nicholas was probably the best of the bunch.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 23, 2005, 09:36:43 PM
Quote
Actually, I remember reading somewhere that some scholar was advancing the theory that the latter 19th/ early 20th century crop of European royals were, as a lot, far less intelligent than their forebears and this was one of the causes of the cataclysm which rocked Europe in the early 20th century.  Perhaps the gene pool just exhausted itself through lack of fresh blood....


I've heard that theory, too.

Maurice Paelologue (the French Ambassador to Russia) reported a conversation he had at a party in March 1916 with an unnamed Russian princess.  She was explaining to him the Russian view of Fate and how it entrapped Nicholas:

"Take the Emperor, for example.  Isn't he patently predestined to ruin Russia?  Aren't you struck by his ill-luck?  Could any reign have been richer in miscalculations, failures and calamities?"

"As to the Empress, do you know of any figure more baleful and accursed even in classical tragedy?  And that other, the loathsome ruffian whose name I won't utter! . . . . How can you explain the fact that at such a crisis in history these three incongruous and dull-witted beings hold the destinies of the world's largest empire in their hands?"

Such was the view of Nicholas' intelligence and reign being openly discussed in the salons of St. Petersburg with officials of foreign governments.

Shortly before this conversation, Paleologue had been invited to the Alexander Palace for an informal evening of watching French war footage with the tsar and his family.  After being caught alone with the empress for twenty minutes while the tsar went to another room for a smoke, Paleologue found her a "neurotic woman" who gazed blankly into the distance when he tried to talk to her on matters of substance.  He came away horrified that such a person stood at the center of power in Russia during such a crisis.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 23, 2005, 10:10:45 PM
After reading the last two posts, I am just more convinced that Russia was ripe for revolution.
The post by Tsarfan, which recounts the conversation of the Russian princess, shows how strong the belief in predestinatio/fate was a part of the psyche. How often have we read things written by N or A that said "God has seen fit to..." It was as if the IF believed they had aboslutely no control of their fate/destiny because it was all preordained by god. Yet another reason for their ineffectiveness, imho.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on June 24, 2005, 09:00:28 AM
One other "problem" was really the fact that the Russian monarchy particularly was rigidly locked into rules, forms, customs and mind-set from the late 18th to early 19th century. It was the sociological progress of Western Europe into the 20 century that the monarchy could not comprehend nor bother to deal with.  "My father did it this way, as did his father, etc etc"
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 25, 2005, 02:57:18 AM
Yes indeed, Court protocol was rigid.

However the idea that father simply followed father, can be challenged.

Alexander III did not accept his father's constitutional reforms, and chose to destroy the critical document bearing Alexander II's signature; on the day he came to power.

Unlike Alexander III, Nikolai conceeded however reluctantly, that formation of a Duma was permissable, with proportional male representation.

Unlike Nikolai, his father was intolerant of contradiction and held his autocratic rule with a very tight fist.

Nikolai was the first Emperor who expressed genuine interest in Asia.

Perhaps the few similarities this last Imperial "father and son" relationship demonstrated was their personal fidelity and love for Russia?


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 25, 2005, 03:48:39 PM
If we are looking for specific names, what about Baroness Buxhoeveden?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on June 25, 2005, 08:32:34 PM
Quote
If we are looking for specific names, what about Baroness Buxhoeveden?


Sorry but what is your point here?  ???
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 27, 2005, 01:33:11 PM
THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS pps. 68-69 by King and Wilson.

They were talking about a sum of money 200,000 rubles collected by Count Paul von Benckendorff who gave it to Soloviev who claimed he gave the money to Buxhoevenden on 21 Feb 1918 who claimed she gave it to  Volkov who would give it to the IF who were at that time still in Tobolsk.

However, the Romanovs, it is said, never received this money.

Boris Soloviev was the  husband of Marie Rasputin.  It is thought he was organizing a rescue.  

Alexei Volkov, valet de chambre to Alexandra.  See diary: http://www.alexanderpalace.org/volkov/volkovmain.html

Count Paul von Benckendorff had been the Grand Marschal of the Imperial Court.  

Anyway, it seems Buxhoevenden never gave anyone her side of the story about what happened to the money from what I understand from some of the posts on other threads.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 27, 2005, 01:48:32 PM
Alexei Volkov wrote:

>>So, I had to continue my journey by horse drawn carraige. The administration immediately found me a carriage and promised to send me a driver with whom I could arrange for departure. Going back home, I found a visiter; one of the servants to the Court who, I don't know how now, had learned of my arrival and got my address. He told me that there were also other people in Tiumen who had been in service to the Court: Gilliard, Miss Tegleva, Miss Herzberg, Baroness Buxhoeveden, and they all lived together. I went to see them. They were quite surprised to see my since they believed that I was dead, shot.

They all lived very mediocrely. We sat down to eat. The dinner was very plain, poor. We talked about everything that had happened. Baroness Buxhoeveden was very interested in my journey, gave me good advice, and gave me a gift of a pair of fur boots and a winter coat, which was exactly the things I needed en route as the snows of winter had set in. I said goodbye to all my colleagues from the Court and left them only with great pain in my heart.

I got to Tobolsk in a simple postal carriage.<<

If everyone thought Buxhoeveden had betrayed the IF,  would she still have been part of this group who remained loyal to the IF to the end???

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 27, 2005, 04:59:59 PM
I read somewhere that she told the guards about the jewels the IF had sewn into their clothing. Her life was very good afterwards, at least that it what I read. I am at work right now and don't have my books.I will try to track that passage down later and post it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 27, 2005, 07:04:58 PM
Yes, there was something said about the jewels but I don't know where to find that information so I'll wait for lexi4's post.

Meanwhile,  because I ran across this,  I thought I'd better post it before I forget:

Quote
Not only did Cyril fly the red flag over his palace but betrayed the tsar and tsarina in other ways also for which he was disdained by other members of the family and monarchists after the war. As commander of the Garde Equipage, the marines guarding the Alexander Palace at the time of the revolution, he and they were the almost sole protectors of the tsarina and her children who were ill with the measles. Instead of being true to the family and his oath, Cyril ordered the marines to march away from the palace and march to Petrograd, leaving the palace and family virtually unguarded. In Petrograd Cyril offered the services of the marines to the new provisional government and himself took an oath of allegiance to the new government. Probably he was playing politics, hoping that the Constituent Assembly would restore the monarchy with him as emperor, since Nicholas had taken himself and Alexsei out of the running, and Michael had disassociated himself with it.
These actions together with his questionable marriage to Victoria Melita were the basis for supporters of the monarchy being cool to his claims to the throne after war. He, and his brothers, were also notorious rakes, drinkers and womanizers. Cyril's career in the navy had not been stellar either.


This quote is in a thread about GD Kyril and there are other comments about his betrayal/loyality to Nicholas II.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 28, 2005, 09:39:15 PM
Here it is Bear,

King & Wilson pp. 141-142

"Even as these horrors unfolded, another ominous and, in the end, brutally personal situation played itself out. Unkown to the terrified grand duchesses, a previously trusted member of their father's suite willingly betrayed their secrets. On learning she had apparently kept Soloviev's money, Baroness Buxhoeveden had come under the penetrating gaze of the Bolsheviks, who susupected her in some unkown plot.  Two searches of her apartment early on the morning of April 25 presumably failed to disclose the hidden funds, but the increased pressure left Buxhoeveden in fear for her own welfare.
As the grand duchesses' terrified screams filled the decks of the Rus, echoing across the placid waters to the darkness beyond, Buxhoeveden acted. Perhaps in an effort to spare herself from the same fate, ot to guarantee her later safety, she found Rodionov, telling him not only of the fortune in jewels concealed beneath the clothing of the three young women, but also whre the items could be found. 'The bottoms on her coat aren't buttons,' she revealed, 'they are diamonds'; 'the aigrette of that hat conceals a diamond from the shah of Persia'; and 'that belt there -- underneath is are a rope of pearls.'"
Buxhoeveden's revelations were accurate, indicating tha while she herself had been forbidden access to the Governor's house and only been reunited with the grand duchesses earlier that morning, someone within the intimate circle had talked."
....."Acting out of fear, Buxhoeveden nevertheless guaranteed her own safety on reaching the Urals. Alone of the former imperial suite, she was not arrested and imprisoned but allowed first to live in a railroad coach at the station in Ekaterinburg, then to leave the Urals unharmed with the members of the household."

There is more on this topic in FOTR, on the pages I cited. I would call that betrayal.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Suzanne on June 28, 2005, 10:47:36 PM
I Think that the passage from King and Wilson 141-142 jumps to certain conclusions that I believe to be insufficiently supported by the evidence at hand.  First of all, the Baroness was confined to the same cabins on the Rus as the Grand Duchesses - I doubt she would have been able to wander away from them speak to Rodionov without their knowledge - or at least suspicions- and if they were aware of her "betrayal", they would probably have told their mother, who would no doubt have been disgusted by Isa's behaviour and would not have anxiously asked Dr. Derevenko about her safety and the doctor recounts she did.

Most importantly, King and Wilson's account of the events does not match with the actions of the family's guards at the time. If Isa really did tell them exactly where the jewels were, it would have followed that they would have confiscated these jewels instead of waiting until the chaos of the murder on the night of the 17th, by which time the jewels might have been moved from their original hiding places.

Furthermore, if Isa had been so concerned with her own safety over that of the family - I doubt she would have joined them on the Rus in the first place.  She would have instead pocketed Soloviev's money (if that is indeed what she did - that is also inconclusive) and deserted the cause before the journey to Ekaterinburg

This is simply my interpretation based on what evidence I have read. I believe there is a great deal about the last months of the Imperial family's lives that cannot be determined from the availible evidence and the conditions of Isa's release is one of them. I do not believe that King and Wilson's presentation of speculative conlusions in the form of facts helps our understanding of the Romanovs'situation in 1918.  Speculation and theory should be clearly identified as such and not presented as the unquestionable truth.
Title: Buxhoeveden
Post by: AGRBear on June 29, 2005, 10:38:58 AM
I lean toward Suzanne's thougts about her.

If the Reds had known about the jewels sewn in the under clothing, why were they surprised when bullets bounce off their chests during execution?

Or, if she did reveal any secrets to their enemy then I assume it wasn't done willingly.  

Just the thought of being tortured by anyone makes me realize  I would have told everything and anything to those threatening me.  Pain and I don't get along at all.  

Putting that aside,  I seem to remember Penny or maybe it was  Greg commenting on why they thought Buxhoeveden betrayed the IF and I still couldn't go along with their reasoning on this one.

And if everyone thought she was guilty of betrayal, then why was she accepted by the others.  They were all living togather for a time before they left for other places.....

Maybe the money went towards the final rescue attempt.....  

Did Volkov ever say anything about the money?

Any of the Romanovs complain about the money?  Or reject her?  I know this was talked about somewhere..... ???

AGRBear

PS  There is a thread about her and more opinions on Buxhovenden:

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=friends;action=display;num=1082760739;start=
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 29, 2005, 10:58:12 AM
It was Greg giving us information:

Quote
We were provided with several copies of private letters from Xenia, and also information from her will.  I'm not going to go through the evidence piece by piece as it's in the book-but certainly the Bolsheviks knew about the jewels before the murder in Ekaterinburg-that's too apparent from the wealth of information and testimonies we included.  As far as Buxhoeveden's knowledge, she apparently learned it from Utkina and Nikolaieva, who also shared their information with the Bolsheviks about the jewels.  Yurovsky, Kudrin, Rodzinsky, Bykov, and several others make this clear that the Ural Regional Soviet knew.

Given Buxhoeveden's pattern of behavior in Siberia after the murders-running from Sokolov rather than face questioning-I have little doubt about her role.  I should add, to, that before we decided to include this information, we made quite certain that what we saw, read, and were told was correct to the extent that we could verify it.  I'm sure anyone round who knew Buxhoeveden might well be horrified and label it "revisionism," but such claims stand counter to the hard evidence we saw.

Greg King


Quote
In Bykov's statement, unpublished until it appeared in our book, he relates how Buxhoeveden, Romanova (I mis-stated that it was Utkina earlier) and Nikolaieva told them where and how these jewels were hidden.

Isai Rodzinsky (from a portion of his statement never previously published): "It was laughable-they had their own Diamond Fund in the Ipatiev House.  Do you understand how absurd this was?  They had incalulable wealth in their hands."  At a later point in his statement, he makes clear that the Ural Regional Soviet and Cheka knew of this before the murders-"we knew they had it from what their lady said."

Yurovsky (previously unpublished 1922 memoirs) wrote of "the valuables and jewels we knew they had concealed in their clothes when they arrived, which caused troubles to no end."  He later added that the question of how to get this hidden jewelry from them, while they were alive, "haunted us like a weight around the neck."

I can't speculate why they didn't actually physically search them, but they certainly knew beforehand that the jewels were concealed in clothing.  If nothing else, many passages in Yurovsky's 1922 memoir speak of this and the discussions that took place over it.

Greg King
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 29, 2005, 11:18:10 AM
Quote

I can only say that the private letters from Xenia that were provided to us made it clear that she believed Buxhoeveden had been involved in something that made her "suspicious"-hence her warning to Victoria Milford Haven about, as I recall, the Baroness's "trustworthiness" and loyalty.  It's possible, of course, she had the reaction you suggest above, but it seems more to have been grounded in genuine distrust.

Greg King


I think this is where I started to dig my heels and come to a halt so I could ponder over Buxhoeveden.

It appears GD Xenia attitude toward Buxhoeveden were based more on emotions than actual proof.

I think this was about the time the "royal Jewels" were shown on a program in PBS and I saw how valuable one tiara was worth and then I remembered having read about Alexandra's jewels sent in a cloth in a box from Ekaterinburg in which Buxhoevenden sent word to GD Xenia that these jewels were there.  Xenia found them but no one, accept these two women know what she found.  The item or items are not listed anywhere.  The value of the item or items are unknown.  And, it's about this time that GD Xenia attitide toward Buxhoevenden becomes stronger.  

I could have jumped to all kinds of conclusions.

But do I have any evidence?   No.  So, I can only speculate.  

I feel one has to be very very careful when making conclusions even when a person/persons think they have plenty of facts.

Since Buxhoeveden remained loyal to the IF family up until the end,  I would give her more credit than Greg and Penny did in their book.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 29, 2005, 04:46:51 PM
I've just been re-reading Nicholas' letters to Alexandra in 1917.  I think they contain the answer to who betrayed Nicholas.

Here are two quotes from letters written less than two weeks before the monarchy fell:

From Stavka on 24 February

"My brain is resting here -- no Ministers, no troublesome questions demanding thought."

(Let's see . . . the troops were suffering one reverse after another, the army was starting to mutiny, food was running critically short in the cities, supply lines to the front were breaking down.  But Nicholas could find no troublesome questions requiring his attention.)

From Stavka on 25 February

"It is now 2:30.  Before going for a walk I shall go to the monastery and pray to the Holy Virgin for you and the children . . . .  If the movement of trains is not restored at once, real famine will break out among the troops in 3-4 days.  It is terrible."

(His troops were on the verge of starvation.  Yes, it was terrible.  But not terrible enough for Nicholas to miss taking a walk and going to a monastery to pray . . . and to pray not for the salvation of his country, but for heavenly intervention to deal with the measles at home.)

Russia was in the hands of a lazy, sanctimonious, self-centered imbecile.  And we're debating who betrayed him?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 29, 2005, 07:20:13 PM
Even though you may be right that Nicholas II was his worst enemy and he betrayed Russia, his wife and family,  there is a thread about the negitive views of Nicholas II.

This thread is about those who betrayed Nicholas II.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 29, 2005, 08:42:04 PM
Quote
This thread is about those who betrayed Nicholas II.


I know that.  And the answer is . . . Nicholas.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 29, 2005, 08:58:37 PM
There is more about it in Greg and Penny's book, I just highlighted some of the text. I guess I should have just listed the pages so everyone can read it for themselves.
I don't know about the Baroness or whether she betrayed them or not. Just bringing it up for discussion. But I do recommend reading what King and Wilson say. I found it very interesting.

The reference Greg and Penny cite regarding Isa revealing that the girls had jewels sewn in the clothing is: Bykov October 17, 1927  in  TsDOOSO, f. 41, op, 1,d.149
George Gibbes to King May 1989.



I also suggest reading what Greg and Penny wrote about the Baroness revealing the jewels on P. 148.  There is a lot of information there.

Regardless of the Baroness, the question is who betrayed Nicholas II? He betrayed himself.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 29, 2005, 09:31:08 PM
I pulled this over from another post. It was posted by Greg King.

Re: Baroness Buxhoeveden
« Reply #8 on: 14. May 2004 at 00:51 »        Quote  Modify
In Bykov's statement, unpublished until it appeared in our book, he relates how Buxhoeveden, Romanova (I mis-stated that it was Utkina earlier) and Nikolaieva told them where and how these jewels were hidden.

Isai Rodzinsky (from a portion of his statement never previously published): "It was laughable-they had their own Diamond Fund in the Ipatiev House.  Do you understand how absurd this was?  They had incalulable wealth in their hands."  At a later point in his statement, he makes clear that the Ural Regional Soviet and Cheka knew of this before the murders-"we knew they had it from what their lady said."

Yurovsky (previously unpublished 1922 memoirs) wrote of "the valuables and jewels we knew they had concealed in their clothes when they arrived, which caused troubles to no end."  He later added that the question of how to get this hidden jewelry from them, while they were alive, "haunted us like a weight around the neck."

I can't speculate why they didn't actually physically search them, but they certainly knew beforehand that the jewels were concealed in clothing.  If nothing else, many passages in Yurovsky's 1922 memoir speak of this and the discussions that took place over it.

Greg King
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on June 29, 2005, 09:31:52 PM
And this.

We were provided with several copies of private letters from Xenia, and also information from her will.  I'm not going to go through the evidence piece by piece as it's in the book-but certainly the Bolsheviks knew about the jewels before the murder in Ekaterinburg-that's too apparent from the wealth of information and testimonies we included.  As far as Buxhoeveden's knowledge, she apparently learned it from Utkina and Nikolaieva, who also shared their information with the Bolsheviks about the jewels.  Yurovsky, Kudrin, Rodzinsky, Bykov, and several others make this clear that the Ural Regional Soviet knew.

Given Buxhoeveden's pattern of behavior in Siberia after the murders-running from Sokolov rather than face questioning-I have little doubt about her role.  I should add, to, that before we decided to include this information, we made quite certain that what we saw, read, and were told was correct to the extent that we could verify it.  I'm sure anyone round who knew Buxhoeveden might well be horrified and label it "revisionism," but such claims stand counter to the hard evidence we saw.

Greg King

There is a very interesting discussion about her
http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=friends;action=display;num=1082760739;start=
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 30, 2005, 08:40:53 AM
Quote
"My brain is resting here -- no Ministers, no troublesome questions demanding thought."


Nicholas' ministers are among those who are accused of betraying him.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a minister in his government from late 1915 onward -- at least if you were trying to do your job well?

-  Your boss leaves the Capital for an indefinite period of time, which turns into months.

-  He tells you to report to his wife while he is gone.

-  His wife lives in virtual seclusion, spending a lot of time praying or in hospitals.  She reportedly consults frequently with a religious mystic around whom are swirling rumors of sexual and fiscal impropriety.  Although you are responsible for a major segment of the government's policy and activity, you are clearly not among her highest priorities.

-  Your colleagues have been removed for daring to challenge her views.  Their replacements are known or suspected to be connected with the religious mystic she is consulting.

-  Whenever you try to warn her of critical problems, she waves telegrams in your face from "the people", which do not represent what you know to be the real situation in Russia but which she thinks prove that all your warnings about the dire situation are just alarmist rattle at best . . . or maybe even disloyal resistance to the royal will.

-  You have no idea what of your information or advice she is actually passing along to her husband.

-  When you do occasionally meet with or hear from your boss directly, he seems ill-informed or disengaged.  He gives you directives to take care of problems on your own . . . which you cannot do without his direct involvement to be sure all the relevant ministries are working from the same playbook.  But there is no playbook and no movement toward creating one.

-  In the absence of access to your boss and meaningful direction from him, you begin to turn more and more to members of the Duma.  They aren't your preferred means of operating and have their own set of dysfunctionalities, but at least they are in town and trying to figure out what to do next.  They seek the solution to Russia's problems in action, not in prayer.  As a minister actually trying to run a government, you share their bias.

Now, as Russia grinds to a halt -- troops walking away from the front in droves, trains not making food deliveries to the cities, factories shut down by general strikes -- with whom are you going to cast your lot?

Your old boss hiding out at Stavka, who finds your "troublesome questions" an annoying distraction from his quiet walks and religious reveries?  Or those people in the Duma who are at least in town and willing to engage on the issues?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 30, 2005, 11:28:37 AM
I repeat, please take your interesting and well thought out negitive attribues of Nicholas II to the thead which is about Nicholas II:

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=nicky;action=display;num=1115657784

This thead is about who betrayead Nicholas II, NOT whom Nichoals II betrayed.

Thank you.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 30, 2005, 11:31:46 AM
Thanks lexi4.

If I remember correctly, I think someone said Buxhoeveden wrote a book.  Does anyone have a copy?  Does it talk about her interrogation by the Reds or what happen to the money?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 30, 2005, 12:20:31 PM
Quote
I repeat, please take your interesting and well thought out negitive attribues of Nicholas II to the thead which is about Nicholas II.  This thead is about who betrayead Nicholas II, NOT whom Nichoals II betrayed.


What?

If you read my post carefully, you will note I started by noting that the ministers have been accused of betraying Nicholas.  The rest of the post was about why they might have felt compelled to do so.

In asking "Who Betrayed Nicholas II?", do you mean that one must agree he was betrayed -- and betrayed without justification -- in order to post here?  Why is the initial premise not open to challenge?

If I opened a thread entitled "Who Tricked Nicholas into Marrying Alexandra?", could you only post if you agreed Nicholas was tricked?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on June 30, 2005, 04:18:30 PM
Tsarfan,

I was not referring to your post on the ministers. I should have mention the person's post name.  But I didn't because my post followed that persons.....   The  poster, who, now, has since removed the post, had  placed another negitive post which just referred only to Nicholas II.

Your post is also interesting.  Do you care to mention the
ministers whom you think betrayed Nicholas II or are you saying all of them betrayed him?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on June 30, 2005, 06:17:56 PM
Quote
Do you care to mention the
ministers whom you think betrayed Nicholas II or are you saying all of them betrayed him?


Actually, I don't think they did betray Nicholas.  I think they were willing to sacrifice themselves to save the government, although they doubted it was still possible.  

But I think Nicholas thought they all betrayed him.  Shortly after his abdication, he commented that "everyone" had betrayed him and that he was "surrounded" by cowardice and deceit.

In fact, on March 9 with the collapse of the government imminent, the entire Cabinet tendered their resignations to Nicholas and asked him to appoint a Cabinet responsible to the Duma.  Nicholas refused, thereby leaving his officials in St. Petersburg with no remaining options for forestalling the final collapse of the civilian government.

I cannot imagine that Nicholas did not still have this episode in mind a few days later when he said "everyone" had abandoned him.

Figes also specifically mentioned Chief of Staff General Alexeev as someone who had abandoned Nicholas in the final hours.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 01, 2005, 10:18:18 AM
Quote
Figes tells us in A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY  Gen. Aleveev and  Kornilov are given the credit for being  "founders" of the Whites.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/AGRBear/Gen-Alexeev.jpg)

I wasn't sure if I should talk about him here or over on the new thread about "But was the revolution inevitable".

Gen. Alexeev was the last chief of staff in the imperial army.  Here are a few bites and pieces Figes wrote about him:

p. 169 "The Commander-in-Chief...Admiral Alexeev knew almost nothing about the art of war.  Afraid of horses, he had to suffer the indignity of inspecting his cavalary on foot.  Alexeev's promotion had been largely due to the patronage of the Grand Duke Alexis, whom he once rescued from the French police..."

p. 269  Figes talks about Nicholas II taking command of the front and he had taken with him his  .... "new Chief of Staff General M. V. Alexeev, who was a gifted strategist....."

A gifted strategist who knew all about the old wars where there was a front line, attack and  position.... However, the war against the Reds was something new and never really understood by the leaders of the Whites who held the reins of control.

AGRBear


If I remember correctly, Nicholas II did well in war strategy as a young man.  As he grew older, he loved the new machines, especially cars,  and when it came to war,  he seem to have grasped the need for new machines but his old general didn't seem to understand the new kind of war.

Like I mentioned on other threads,  Nicholas II couldn't  get his old generals to understand that they couldnt send their cavalary toward a machine guns....

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on July 01, 2005, 11:54:35 AM
This is risky, as I don't remember where I read it or who said it . . . .

But some years ago, I read of an interview with a general of the White Army.  When asked whether the aim of the Whites was to restore the monarchy, he said that "having seen the monarchy at close quarters, I have no desire to see its return."

The Whites were united in their desire not to see Russia become a socialist or communist society.  They were not all united in a desire to have the Romanovs back on a throne.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 01, 2005, 12:20:36 PM
Tsarfan is correct!
The Whites disapproved of Lenin's coup - but they had no particular singular focus for a new government - some were constitutional monarchists, some wanted a socialist state and some a republic.

rs  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 01, 2005, 03:25:27 PM
Quote
Thanks lexi4.

If I remember correctly, I think someone said Buxhoeveden wrote a book.  Does anyone have a copy?  Does it talk about her interrogation by the Reds or what happen to the money?

AGRBear



Yes. I do. I just have to find it.   ??? ???
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Daniel Briere on July 02, 2005, 08:48:22 AM
No need to get a copy guys: Thanks to Bob, Buxhoeveden books are online.

Try this one:
http://alexanderpalace.org/leftbehind/
;)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 03, 2005, 01:44:11 PM
I feel I must speak up in favor of AGR Bear and Bear's attempts to keep this particular thread on topic. Also. I see a wild disregard for context throughout many of the responses on this particular topic which should be addressed.

Regarding the topic itself, it is clear to me that the original question has nothing at all to do with what kind of tsar you think Nicholas II was. Rather, it was about the causes of the Revolution. The former topic is highly worthy and for anyone who doesn't think it has been exhausted to date, you are welcome to start a new thread or make a contribution to another existing thread.

What I think is disrespectful to Bear and to others participating in this particular discussion is to be deliberately obtuse about Bear's efforts to keep this discussion on topic. And comments such as "he betrayed himself" and "you don't like my answer" seem to me to follow in this vein.

Regarding context, I found Tsarfan's commentary on Nicholas' letters to Alix to be screaming for context. Let's start with the inference about N's being a bad ruler because he was relieved to be free of the more tedious aspects of his "job" as emperor. I don't know where you work, but I can tell you I have a very demanding job that I love and at which I excel. That does not mean that from time to time, I am not relieved to be free of some of its more tedious aspects - or that I would not express this to my spouse. This is precisely what Nicholas is doing in his private letter to his wife, yet you and others find this damning.

Similarly, I can tell you that whenever my spouse and I are apart, that we inevitably discuss with one another our daughters to the exclusion of larger worldly concerns. I would venture to guess that other long married couples do the same - as did Nicholas and his wife. In fact, I would have found it bizarre had Nicholas' response to his wife been anything but one of concern for her and their children. Just because he didn't say what he was doing about his concern for his country does not mean he wasn't concerned. It's all about context.

I just don't like seeing a private letter (which we were never intended to read) twisted around this way - into conclusions about Nicholas as a  ruler. You and others - we are are welcome to have opinions about this. Just, please don't twist the context into something to fit your opinions and prejudices.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: bluetoria on July 03, 2005, 02:07:35 PM
Quote
Russia was in the hands of a lazy, sanctimonious, self-centered imbecile.  And we're debating who betrayed him?


Tsarfan this is a very sweeping & inaccurate statement.

Nicholas was not lazy - as has been shown on other threads he worked until very late in the night on his papers & regretted not having more time to spend with his family.

Nicholas was not sanctimonious - he adhered to his faith but he remained a humble man who, as again is demonstrated on other threads, treated people with courtesy.

Nicholas was not self-centred - if he had been he would either have abdicated earlier (since he did not want to be Tsar) or he would have led the troops who remained loyal to him, into St. Petersburg in 1917. He did not do this because the country was at war & he was thinking of Russia's good.

Nicholas was certainly not an imbecile - he was fluent in many languages, had a vast knowledge of history & studied literature which no 'imbecile' could read.

I believe, as his sister Olga stated, that the whole family, and more, the aristocracy unintentionally betrayed him. From the beginning of his reign they failed to show him the respect they had shown his father. Because he was a gentler man, they did not always abide by his rules. Even Pavel & Misha betrayed their oath of allegiance by marrying without his consent.  The aristocracy refused to accept Alexandra's suggestions for working for the people; they mocked Ella's sincere efforts to work among the poor, and it was they, rather than Nicholas & his family, who were reluctant to lose their privileges and wealth to help the poor.

I agree with you, Lisa, that what was written in a private letter is no indication of his abilities as Tsar.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 04, 2005, 02:28:17 PM
    I suppose I still don't see the point of the question ..."Who betrayed Nicholas?"
   Well I don't think that he was 'hiding' and that a confidant called out to the revolutionaries and said "There -- He's under the bed!" Or "He's hiding in the kitchen!"
  Perhaps the tragedy of all this is that in the end  there was noone left to actually say there he is... To me it seems that the actions taken by the tsar again and again cut him off from his courtiers/ministers and contemporaries who might have helped or betrayed him...

LisaD has pointed out that this discussion is not the place for that sort of arguement. As I have expressed my doubts and my opinion - I will now happily retire.

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 04, 2005, 03:11:03 PM
Quote
   I suppose I still don't see the point of the question ..."Who betrayed Nicholas?"
    Well I don't think that he was 'hiding' and that a confidant called out to the revolutionaries and said "There -- He's under the bed!" Or "He's hiding in the kitchen!"
   Perhaps the tragedy of all this is that in the end  there was noone left to actually say there he is... To me it seems that the actions taken by the tsar again and again cut him off from his courtiers/ministers and contemporaries who might have helped or betrayed him...

LisaD has pointed out that this discussion is not the place for that sort of arguement. As I have expressed my doubts and my opinion - I will now happily retire.

rs


I'm sure you would have something to say if you understood the question as I do. Nearly everyone of any consequence in Imperial Russia had to swear an oath of loyalty to the Tsar. So, in a very real sense, those who participated in the February Revolution betrayed Nicholas II.

The question as I understand it is - who broke their faith with the monarchy? My feeling has always been that Nicholas would never have abdicated had his generals remained behind him.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 04, 2005, 04:17:41 PM
LisaD
Good point ... So everyone took "an oath" .....[hmmm]
   Oaths are tricky things...
   Nicholas [I thought] took an oath to protect and guide his people. He truly thought that he was fulfilling that oath, but I should guess that many here would agree that -try as he might- nevertheless he was NOT succeeding.  
   Well, one must then make a terrible choice -- to keep one's oath and follow a tsar who appears utterly lost and who's actions make no seeming logical or rational sense at a time of chaos and national crisis -  or to break that oath, and try to help one's 'native land'.
I agree with Brusilov.  

   Still, I think that I ought to retire from this debate as for me, it keeps rounding back to the actions of a rather well meaning but inept tsar.


rskkiya


I know next to nothing about the Baronesse B.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: bluetoria on July 05, 2005, 07:15:24 AM
Quote

The question as I understand it is - who broke their faith with the monarchy? My feeling has always been that Nicholas would never have abdicated had his generals remained behind him.


Lisa, this is a genuine, not a rhetorical, question.  :) Do you think that if the generals had remained with him, they would have marched on St. Petersburg and crushed the Revolution? Do you think Nicholas would have let that happen? Or do you think he would have been forced to grant more of a constitution anyway?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: hikaru on July 05, 2005, 02:39:19 PM
Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
- Slaves. Slaves. Slaves
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 05, 2005, 06:37:12 PM
Quote
...[in part]....
LisaD
Good point ... So everyone took "an oath" .....[hmmm]
    Oaths are tricky things...
  rskkiya

....


Here in this thread we're not discussing oaths, we are discussing the fact that people, who had  given their  oath of loyality to Nicholas II,  ended up  betraying  Nicholas II.  Of course, you can give the reasons behind these betrayals but the reasons do not change the fact that they did betray their Tsar.  And in this betrayal became traitors to their Tsar and Russia.

Our American revolutionaries [Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson...]  were traitors to King George III and to Great Britian....  We who live in the USA consider these people as heros.
So,  why is it so difficult to name the people who betrayed Nicholas II which caused his abdication?  To me it seems that the first rebels were the heros of the Russian Revolution who have been side stepped and forgotten by the counter-revolutionary historians.  And because of this oversight,  I'd like to learn more about those forgotten because it was they who almost  lead the Russians "forward" instead of backward  under the leadership of  Lenin and Stalin.....

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: LisaDavidson on July 05, 2005, 10:46:32 PM
Quote

Lisa, this is a genuine, not a rhetorical, question.  :) Do you think that if the generals had remained with him, they would have marched on St. Petersburg and crushed the Revolution? Do you think Nicholas would have let that happen? Or do you think he would have been forced to grant more of a constitution anyway?


Yes. I don't see as they would have had a choice. A good follow up question would be: if this happened, would their troops have remained loyal? This is by no means certain.

Yes, it was not so much a matter of him letting it happen. It was his job as Emperor to maintain order.

Yes, I think he would have had to make concessions as he did in 1905. They were not concessions he wanted to make, but he granted a Duma then, and it is likely that a more liberal government would have resulted in 1917 had order been possible to restore.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: bluetoria on July 06, 2005, 05:42:19 AM
Thank you, Lisa, for your reply. Your point about how much longer the regiments would have remained loyal is interesting. I doubt they would have been willing to fire on their fellow soldiers.... :-/

AGR Bear, what an interesting point! It seems that the 'idealists' were swept aside by those who were intent on serving their own ambition. It seems again and again, that whenever there is a chaos in a country, so often 'tyrants' rise up and seize their chance.... :(
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 06, 2005, 11:21:24 AM
Quote

Here in this thread we're not discussing oaths, we are discussing the fact that people, who had  given their  oath of loyality to Nicholas II,  ended up  betraying  Nicholas II.  Of course, you can give the reasons behind these betrayals but the reasons do not change the fact that they did betray their Tsar.  And in this betrayal became traitors to their Tsar and Russia.

So,  why is it so difficult to name the people who betrayed Nicholas II which caused his abdication?  To me it seems that the first rebels were the heros of the Russian Revolution who have been side stepped and forgotten by the counter-revolutionary historians.  And because of this oversight,  I'd like to learn more about those forgotten because it was they who almost  lead the Russians "forward" instead of backward  under the leadership of  Lenin and Stalin.....

AGRBear


"Counter revolutionary historians?" Agrbear  - are you refering to the memoires of various 'white' generals?

rskkiya
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 06, 2005, 02:18:06 PM
Quote


"Counter revolutionary historians?" Agrbear  - are you refering to the memoires of various 'white' generals?

rskkiya


Since I know you already know what I'm going to say,  I'll answer this question for others who might not know the answer.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 which was from March to Oct.,  there was the Prov. Govt. and new leaders, then in Red Oct/Nov.,  Lenin and his Bolsheviks [terrorists] held a "counter revolution"...

The White Army were fighting against the "counter-revolutionists" and this fight was given the name "Civil War 1918-1922ish by the Bolsheviks.

As often occurs, the victor, which in this case was the Bolsheviks,  are the ones who dominate the history, therefore, it is the victor who writes about their creation and the life which follows until there is a new revolution and new victors and the process starts all over again.

Because the Bolshevks who became known as communists, were so set against their people knowing about all their  history, the good and the bad,  their historians wrote what they were told which wasn't always the truth.

Once Lenin and then Stalin took control,  the truth was sacrificed for the sake of his quest for absolute power.

I can't think of a single govt. that hasn't covered up the truth about some things,  but, Stalin was covering up the fact that he was killing off millions of people... Among those millions were the "free thinkers" and the "intellects" .....  Among them were the sucessful....or whomever they were who had gotten in their way of power.    Even today, there is a fear among the intellects that Stalin's purges may have murdered too many of the "thinkers" who help forge a country's future in everything from teaching to inventions.

It wasn't the supporters of the Prov. Govt. who betrayed the Russian people it was Lenin and Stalin, who betrayed the Russians and it was they who broke every promise the Bolsheviks had promised in the "counter-revolution".

Gotta run.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 06, 2005, 05:27:31 PM
SOOoooo
You've already answered the question then? ?

Boy-- you sure give a lot of power to two people, don't you agrbear ? Lenin and Stalin seem to have been responsible for everything it appears....Hmm but could they betray someone that they did not follow?

Yes, one might well argue that Lenin's coup did betray aspects of the Febuary Revolution... But I thought we were talking about the betrayal of "Nicholas" not the Provisional Government?  

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Heloisa on July 06, 2005, 05:48:28 PM
Quote

Since I know you already know what I'm going to say,  I'll answer this question for others who might not know the answer.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 which was from March to Oct.,  their was the Prov. Govt. and new leaders, then in Red Oct/Nov.,  Lenin and his Bolsheviks [terrorists] held a "counter revolution"...

The White Army were fighting against the "counter-revolutionists" and this fight was given the name "Civil War 1918-1922ish by the Bolsheviks.

As often occurs, the victor, which in this case was the Bolsheviks,  are the ones who dominate the history, therefore, it is the victor who writes about their creation and the life which follows until there is a new revolution and new victors and the process starts all over again.

Because the Bolshevks who became known as communists, were so set against their people knowing about all their  history, the good and the bad,  their historians wrote what they were told which wasn't always the truth.

Once Lenin and then Stalin took control,  the truth was sacrificed for the sake of his quest for absolute power.

It is true, I can't think of a single govt. that hasn't covered up the truth about some things,  but, Stalin was covering up the fact that he was killing off millions of people... Among those millions were the "free thinkers" and the "intellects" .....  Among them were the sucessful....or whomever who had gotten in their way of power.    Even today, there is a fear among the intellects that Stalin's purges may have murdered too many of the "thinkers" who help forge a country's future in everything from teaching to inventions.

It wasn't the supporters of the Prov. Govt. who betrayed the Russian people it was Leninand Stalin, who betrayed the Russians and broke every promise the Bolsheviks had promised in the "counter-revolution".

Gotta run.

AGRBear



There is probably something to the theory of Stalin (oops almost spelled "satan"!) killing off and driving off many great intellects, however the very same thing happened in the wake of the "gorbachev revolution," indeed it is referred to by many as the problem of "brain drain" from Russia. You can not pin all these woes on the bolsheviks and be anywhere close to accurate, nor is it right to single them out and ignore other causes.

I agree that lenin and stalin did not "betray" Nicholas, since they were clearly in opposition (at least, in the case of Lenin, post adolescence).

Heloisa minus Abelard (unfortunately)  ;)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 06, 2005, 07:37:16 PM
I do believe, despite Lenin not being in Russia for a time, he was still a Russian citizen who was conspiring against Nicholas II.

Stalin was off somewhere, I forget exactly where in those early months of 1918,  rounding up more comrades for the coming revolution.

Both were conspiring against Nicholas II, their Tsar, therefore,   I believe,  this is a form of betrayal.   They were not one of the Tsar's ministers or cousins, but they were Russian citizens and if captured by the Tsar's police could have been labeled traitors.  

Quote
...in part....

AGR Bear, what an interesting point! It seems that the 'idealists' were swept aside by those who were intent on serving their own ambition. It seems again and again, that whenever there is a chaos in a country, so often 'tyrants' rise up and seize their chance.... :(


Some of  you have placed the blame upon Nicholas II because it was his watch, so, it is under those general terms I blame Lenin, then Stalin and other dictators, who followed,  guilty of  purges which took millions of lives while in the quest of absolute power.

And, you are right, this topic is about "Who betrayed Nicholas II" and I think I've remained on topic.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 06, 2005, 08:10:36 PM
Ok agr...
As I understand it.... the topic was about who betrayed Nicholas then we started discussing Baroness B. then the issue of oaths came up and then it was mentioned that this was all Stalin/Lenin's fault..LOL  ;) :D

I thought (silly me) that Nicholas was replaced [briefly] by the Provisional Government.... So are we to look there for the 'sinister traitors'?

Still not certain who or what you are looking for with this...

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Heloisa on July 06, 2005, 08:24:55 PM
The word "betray" has at least six different definitions.  Perhaps the starter of this thread can explain which one is intended, with a few examples.  Isn't it useful to be clear about this and understand that others may be interpreting it in ways that are subtly different from the original intention?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 06, 2005, 08:28:57 PM
Good point
Agrbear
define your terms please.

Betrayal?
Title: who betrayed nicholas
Post by: lexi4 on July 07, 2005, 11:53:40 AM
Bear,
If I understand the topic, and I am not sure that I do, we are supposed to be talking about individuals or groups who contributed to the fall of Nicholas by betraying him ( in USA slang sold him out.) Would you consider the Kaiser to be among those who betrayed Nicholas since he was was responsible for getting Lenin back into Russia?
Although I understand that Lenin' went back to Russia after the fall of Nicholas, so then it would have been the provisional government he betrayed??
I am confused.
I am the one who brought up the Baroness because of something I read in King and Wilson that can be found in my previous posts. I thought that if King and Wilson's research was accurate, what they reported the Baroness did, might be considered betrayal. I guess that is not the case and apologize for getting us off topic.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on July 07, 2005, 03:45:25 PM
Quote
Nicholas was not lazy - as has been shown on other threads he worked until very late in the night on his papers & regretted not having more time to spend with his family.

Nicholas was not sanctimonious - he adhered to his faith but he remained a humble man who, as again is demonstrated on other threads, treated people with courtesy.

Nicholas was not self-centred - if he had been he would either have abdicated earlier (since he did not want to be Tsar) or he would have led the troops who remained loyal to him, into St. Petersburg in 1917. He did not do this because the country was at war & he was thinking of Russia's good.

Nicholas was certainly not an imbecile - he was fluent in many languages, had a vast knowledge of history & studied literature which no 'imbecile' could read.


I'll confess to a bit of hyperbole in describing Nicholas, just to keep the topic hopping.

However, the core point -- by which I stand -- is that Nicholas basically did not do his job.

He does seem to have worked long hours on some days.  However, his calendar was heavily loaded with largely ceremonial events.  He worked without a personal secretary, so that there was no prior coordination among the ministers on topics that touched their various jurisdictions.  This is one of the reasons that Nicholas would agree to something with one minister, then change his mind when the next minister pointed out an issue or impediment Nicholas had overlooked.  If Russia was going to be run by one man, it needed a man who worked both hard and smart.

Kaiser Wilhelm (admittedly no sage source of deep observations) once remarked that it must be very difficult for Nicholas to rule an empire while playing so much lawn tennis.  Such a remark, while catty, probably resulted from reports to him about Nicholas' work habits.  And, indeed, Nicholas calendar was loaded with extended trips away from the capital, during which he was reported to have devoted only two or three hours a day to handling dispatches.

By insisting on keeping all the affairs of Russia's government under his personal authority, Nichlas might well have saddled himself with a load no man could bear.  But the choice was his.

Nicholas did not lead troops on St. Petersburg in 1917 because his generals had already told him the loyalty of the troops was no longer certain.

Regarding LisaDavidson's comment on context, I understand her point that one has to examine the context of the letter in which Nicholas confessed to Alexandra he had no serious problems to occupy him.  I grant that everyone gets tired and needs rest.  But there is other context, too -- the context that the situation in Russia was unravelling, with troops and factory workers nearing starvation, supply lines collapsing, and his ministers pleading with him to return to St. Petersburg to take command of the domestic situation.

Like LisaDavidson, I work for a large company and know the exhaustion and tedium that can set in from prolonged difficulties.  However, I also know that any executive who goes on hiatus when the business is in a life-and-death crisis, as Russia was in February 1917, would be shown the door in short order.  February 1917 was not the typical "tedium" of a difficult work schedule.  Imperial Russia was in its death throes.  Yes, context does matter.

Nicholas was aware that his troops were on the brink of starvation.  He was aware that supply lines were breaking down and that the problem was not at the front, but in problems that had to be dealt with from the capital.

No matter how many languages he mastered, staying at Stavka to take walks and visit monasteries is not what a bright man would have done at that juncture.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 08, 2005, 09:24:02 AM
Who Betrayed Nicholas II?

Simple question which results in many complex answers.

There is no time limit, therefore,  the finger can be pointed at everyone from his own father, who had not prepared Nicholas II for his task as Tsar to young loves to siblings to those who conspired to replace him to those who did not set up a sucessfull rescue.

My only request is that we do not discuss how Nicholas II betrayed  himself, his family or the people of Russia because this is being discussed on other threads.

Therefore, the subjects of Buxhoveden  to Lenin and Stalin are about betrayals and are  acceptable.

I had started with the time period just before Nicholas II's abdication just to get the thread started and was not meant to limit this discussion to that time period.

If some of you think this broad sweep is too much for one thread, we could limit the timeline but at the moment,  I don't think that is needed.

Thanks to all of you for your reponses to this thead.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 08, 2005, 03:32:55 PM
Thank you Bear,
So I was on the right track. Good, now I can do some studying and add more.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Heloisa on July 09, 2005, 06:50:19 PM
I'm sorry, I still do not understand. You refer to a time line but haven't specified a precise definition of how the word betrayal applies.  There are at least six definitions of this word, or the root word of "betray," and the subtle differences are significant to the topic at hand.

A clarification of definition would make it easier to participate.  Thank you.

Heloisa
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 09, 2005, 08:06:45 PM
be disloyal to (one's country, organization, or ideology) by acting in the interests of an enemy : he could betray his country for the sake of communism. • treacherously inform an enemy of the existence or location of (a person or organization) : this group was betrayed by an informer. • treacherously reveal (secrets or information) : many of those employed by diplomats betrayed secrets and sold classified documents. • figurative reveal the presence of; be evidence of : she drew a deep breath that betrayed her indignation. (From the oxford american dictionary)

I would think any of those would apply.
Bear,
Would you consider the Kaiser betrayed Nicholas since he assisted Lenin into getting back to Russia?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Heloisa on July 09, 2005, 11:41:55 PM
Two definitions were left out. These include:


* To cheat on someone
* to cause someone to believe an untruth

It is clear that both sycophants and enemies of Nicholas were very good at the second definition.  Nicholas himself was a master of both.

There have been complaints by the apparent starter of this thread that posters should not bring Nicholas into this discussion, as regards his guilt of betraying himself and the country.  Many would also add his family to that list.  However, the buck stopped with him, so how can you have a meaningful discussion without including the role he played in his own self-destruction?
This was the ultimate betrayal.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 10, 2005, 03:44:54 PM
lexi4 and heloisa thank you for the various definitions.

I see no reason to limit this discussion to just one definition.  

I continue to ask that Nicholas II's betrayal of himself, his family and Russia continue over on other threads.  We have enough on our plate here with the number of people who betrayed Nicholas II.

lexei4: >>Bear,
Would you consider the Kaiser betrayed Nicholas since he assisted Lenin into getting back to Russia? <<

Most definitely,  I'd consider Kaiser Wilhlem II among those who detrayed his cousin Nicholas II when he sent Lenin with a train load of gold to Russia.  This act was certainly meant to cause havoc in hopes that Nicholas II would sign a treaty so Germany could be free of the  eastern front and be able to deal with the western and other fronts.... Germany would have loved to have kept the territory it held in Russia up to Oct/Nov of 1917.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 10, 2005, 07:33:07 PM
I agree Bear. And it was really a nasty thing for the Kaiser to do.
Of course his military regiment also betrayed him. Faced with the betrayal of his generals he had no choice but to abdicate. I'll do some research and come up with some specific names we can discuss.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Finelly on July 10, 2005, 07:53:37 PM
Are we only talking about famous people who betrayed him?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 10, 2005, 07:55:47 PM
No, it can be anyone.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Heloisa on July 11, 2005, 09:00:25 AM
My apologies for not writing again sooner, I am not often online.  Thank you for the clarification on betrayal, however.

I am wondering, though, about whether revolutionaries can or should be considered betrayers of Nicholas.

Most of them were living in exile, some self-imposed and some to the contrary.  And while it is true that these people (Lenin and all the rest) turned against the system under which they had been born, raised, and in most cases prospered, the point is, they viewed the system as something bad that needed changing, much as the American revolutionaries did in the 18th century.

Now, it is purely political depending on one's viewpoint, but if one were to oppose a system because one believed it to be rotten to the core (and the imperial system was gravely faulted, if not rotten), then betrayal is not possible, any more than someone who witnesses a crime and reports it or tries to stop it is a "sneak," or "betrayer."  

Many Russians mistakenly regarded the Tsar as some sort of father figure.  If a child reports abuse by a parent (in Nicholas' case it was not direct but abusive nonetheless and he was the ultimate authority in the land) is that considered a betrayal?

This oath business. It's clear that a good number of people either never took any such oath or if they did, they did not regard it as a serious matter, since so many (including some close to Nicholas) had no qualms about breaking it.  I don't think it's very useful to consider "oaths" and the breaking of the same as an indicator of "betrayal" by any definition.

Heloisa
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 11, 2005, 02:08:13 PM
Heloisa

Well put. We must define our timeline and our terms.
I am against the 'oath issue' [it's a nonstarter] as people have  take oaths 'under duress' or without a clear understanding of their obligations.

questions

What is betrayal?
Can a rebel or an revolutionary "betray" the Government that they are fighting against?
Who would be in a direct position to actually betray the Tsar ? A Minister/General/Courtier?

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 11, 2005, 04:11:02 PM
Bear stated that this is not a discussion about oaths and I think she has made the criteria of the thread clear in her other posts.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 11, 2005, 05:41:35 PM
    Well I don't think that one can accuse a Revolutionary of 'betraying' the government that he is rebeling against.  Had Comrade X (member in good standing of the Bolshevic party) suddenly decided to support the Tsar - then I can understand that he would have betrayed Lenin. But if Lenin was not a supporter of the status quo, then I do not think that we can argue that he betrayed the Tsar.
   So are we now to limit our arguements to the Provisional Government? Or are we looking for someone at court?

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Finelly on July 11, 2005, 07:45:37 PM
To betray implies that one has an obligation of loyalty, does it not?  Doesn't have to be an oath, though.  Could just be the obligations of citizenship, though perhaps a higher level of obligation is in order for this discussion.

My great grandfather, a chemist, roamed the countryside in the Ukraine "teaching" the peasants about communism and inciting rebellion.  His wife, a dentist (yes!  They let Jewish women study dentistry!) made bombs in her spare time for the revolutionaries.  Because they were Jews and had no real citizenship rights, I think they would have said they didn't betray Nicholas.  However, I'm thinking, if they were in the US and were American citizens with full rights (because the US has the antidiscrimination laws), such actions WOULD constitute a betrayal.....


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 11, 2005, 08:22:50 PM
Very interesting family history, Finelly.
In the case of NII, his ship was sinking, rapidly.  What was more loyal, go down with it  or man the lifeboats to try and save as many as possible, including one's own families ?
Revolutions makes people takes sides.  It is not a nice debate in which one can play the middle and survive for long. His own family  knew it was a lost cause.
All this did not come about because of  personal betrayal  but because of his own actions, or lack of them. It was his responsibility, not anyone else's. If one has lost faith and loyalty, where is betrayal ? Betrayal of what ? Betrayal of a fiction ?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on July 11, 2005, 10:28:13 PM
Finelly and Robert,
I agree with you both.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: rskkiya on July 12, 2005, 11:58:20 AM
Quote
All this did not come about because of  personal betrayal  but because of his own actions, or lack of them. It was his responsibility, not anyone else's. If one has lost faith and loyalty, where is betrayal ? Betrayal of what ? Betrayal of a fiction ?


Yes, this was also my initial point  - but agrbear is unwilling to accept this arguement...
She has suggested that we cannot blame Nicholas for alienating his family and ministers with his fatalistic views and seeming indifference to the crisis facing Russia.

So I really don't understand what she is looking for with this...a 'scapegoat' I think.

rs
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 12, 2005, 01:17:04 PM
You can name someone and then explain why he/she/they betrayed Nicholas II.  

Simple.

Try it.

If you don't like my resrictions for this thread then please start one which will make you happy, otherwise, please,  repect this thread which is not about how Nicholas II betrayed his family, friends, Russians or his god.

Thank you.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: elfwine on July 12, 2005, 01:23:11 PM








do I hear the chirping of crickets?

hehe ;)

elfwine
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 12, 2005, 01:43:16 PM
Quote
To betray implies that one has an obligation of loyalty, does it not?  Doesn't have to be an oath, though.  Could just be the obligations of citizenship, though perhaps a higher level of obligation is in order for this discussion.

My great grandfather, a chemist, roamed the countryside in the Ukraine "teaching" the peasants about communism and inciting rebellion.  His wife, a dentist (yes!  They let Jewish women study dentistry!) made bombs in her spare time for the revolutionaries.  Because they were Jews and had no real citizenship rights, I think they would have said they didn't betray Nicholas.  However, I'm thinking, if they were in the US and were American citizens with full rights (because the US has the antidiscrimination laws), such actions WOULD constitute a betrayal.....




Finelly has mentioned his/her great grandfather who taught communism to the peasants.

If he had been here in the US, where we have freedoms of speech, he would not have betrayed his President but merely used this rights as a citizen.

Since I don't know Finelly's age, I can't estimate how old his/her great grandfather was while going around and teaching communism.  I suspect, however, if it was before March 1917 then he was probably teaching "socialism".  There is a huge difference in the two.   I do not know what the laws were in Tsarist Russia about teaching "socialism" but I don't think it was against the law.  If teaching communism then this was after Oct/Nov of 1917.....

However, his wife, on the other hand, who made bombs for the revolutionaries,  was a terrorists.  And, I assume was breaking the law, therefore, she did betray the Tsar/Tsars and the laws of Russia.  If her bombs killed just the people she felt betrayed her and the Jews,  it matters not to me, because I'd still convict her of murder.  No one should be condemed to death without a trial where guilt can be proven or disproven.

Obviously  she thought she had an obligation to herself and the Jews, if not a Jewish reason then whatever her cause was,  to make bombs which helped to overthrow the Tsarist govt. so please post it in brief here but the bulk of the Jewish history and Nicholas II's attitude to the Jews should be  taken to the Jewish thread where it is already being discussed.  

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 12, 2005, 01:51:44 PM
Quote
Very interesting family history, Finelly.
In the case of NII, his ship was sinking, rapidly.  What was more loyal, go down with it  or man the lifeboats to try and save as many as possible, including one's own families ?
Revolutions makes people takes sides.  It is not a nice debate in which one can play the middle and survive for long. His own family  knew it was a lost cause.
All this did not come about because of  personal betrayal  but because of his own actions, or lack of them. It was his responsibility, not anyone else's. If one has lost faith and loyalty, where is betrayal ? Betrayal of what ? Betrayal of a fiction ?


So who were these very real people who betrayed Captain Nicholas Alexanderovich  because they felt the need to dessert the sinking Russian ship and give us their individual reasons why they felt their captain was at fault for their situation.

Finelly's great grandfather.  Reason ____
Finelly's  great grandfather's wife. Reason ____
Madame Buxhoveden.  Reason.... (see earlier posts)
Kaiser Wilhelm II. Reason..... (see earlier posts)
Others???

Name ___.  Reason___.
Name____. Reason___.
Name____. Reason____.....

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Finelly on July 13, 2005, 12:01:21 AM
Yep, you're right.  This was probably between 1989 and 1905.  I know they escaped Russia in 1905 because he was about to be deported to Siberia.

Socialism, not communism, I guess.  They were followers and friends of Trotsky.

Reason?  Nothing to do with Judaism.  As ardent socialists, they believed that religion was the opiate of the masses and were completely secular.  (much to the dismay of their ultra orthodox parents....)

I would think that it's safe to say that their reasons for betrayal were political.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Finelly on July 13, 2005, 12:06:59 AM
My great grandmother would be SOOO proud to be considered a traitor!  I hope she's up there reading these boards!!!
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 13, 2005, 12:22:40 AM
If  someone would actually read what I said- the point was there was NO betrayal. It was REVOLUTION, one tooks sides.
And for some "vaunted" freedom of speech nonsense, I strongly suggest a serious re-reading of the McCarhty witch hunts as an example of "rights" abused or ignored. Cast any fake stones you wish, but there is no honour in such "patriotism".
As usual, I will leave this discussion with a slight smile, it is like listening to a much-too-often replayed record. One can hear the scratches even more loudly.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 13, 2005, 12:27:43 AM
Finelly, the thought about you great grandmother is truely charming, however were not most true revolutionaries athiests, Jew or gentile ? Would love to have known her.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on July 13, 2005, 11:41:37 AM
Quote
Yep, you're right.  This was probably between 1989 and 1905.  I know they escaped Russia in 1905 because he was about to be deported to Siberia.

Socialism, not communism, I guess.  They were followers and friends of Trotsky.

Reason?  Nothing to do with Judaism.  As ardent socialists, they believed that religion was the opiate of the masses and were completely secular.  (much to the dismay of their ultra orthodox parents....)

I would think that it's safe to say that their reasons for betrayal were political.


Trotsky.

What an interesting historical figure for your great grandfather and his wife to have known.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on August 18, 2005, 07:50:49 PM
Is there any evidence that G D Nicholas Nicholasovich showed any hatred or have any acts of  revenge after Nicholas II took away his position as Comander-in-Chief?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/AGRBear/NichIIGenNich.jpg)

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on August 20, 2005, 10:28:33 AM
I've never read of Nickolasha being disloyal to N II - either before or after he took over command of the armies in WWI.

I can't source it, but I believe I have read that Nickolasha was not upset about being relieved of command because he was exausted and had some recent stinging defeats.  I do know that he was an enemy of Rasputin and was deeply concerned, like the rest of the family, over Rasputin and Alix's control of the Government w/Nicholas at the front.

Did Nickolasha have an archive or diary?  Have they ever been published?

To the best of my knowledge he went to his grave loyal to N II and the Empress Marie.  BUT he couldn't have helped but wondered what might have been had Nicholas listened to his family.

Finally, I've heard that he did and did not actively participate in efforts to recognize himself as the pretender to the vacant Romanov throne in the early 20's.

best,
dca
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AlexP on August 21, 2005, 08:50:37 AM
Quote

The Russian people failed to understand the benevolence of their Emperor. It was they who betrayed their Emperor. It was the noble aristocracy, it was his family, the Army Generals, the intellectuals and the Duma; extending down to the ordinary citizen on the street whom the Duma purported to represent.

Words were many but action and foresight was lacking.

In the final moments it was the Russian people who were ultimately responsible.


Belochka,

As we say in Russian, "vot tochna" (quite right).  In the end, it was even worse : it wasn't who betrayed him...it was who remained with him...almost no one of any consequence..

All of the best.



A.A.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tania+ on August 21, 2005, 01:10:38 PM
Someone sent this to me, and told me to read more before jumping to conclusions. I'm not sure what is
meant but I offer it to those of you who can give me
feedback. My energy goes only so far. Thank you.

Tania

www.ihr.org
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on August 22, 2005, 04:46:08 AM
Quote
Someone sent this to me, and told me to read more before jumping to conclusions. I'm not sure what is
meant but I offer it to those of you who can give me
feedback. My energy goes only so far. Thank you.

Tania


Hi Tanya,

The link provided has nothing to do with the topic under discussion here. May I suggest that you ignore such references in future. Your DELETE option is the most appropriate conclusion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on August 25, 2005, 02:51:32 PM
Quote

Belochka,

As we say in Russian, "vot tochna" (quite right).  In the end, it was even worse : it wasn't who betrayed him...it was who remained with him...almost no one of any consequence..

All of the best.

A.A.


Who could remain with him due to the poltical atmosphere occuring after Nicholas II's abdication?

Russia was pushing into new leadership in the Prov. Govt. from March to Red Oct/Nov.  

Everyone was scrambling in all different directions.

Also, there was the Great War still raging against the enemy....

And, also, remember,  Nicholas  II was placed under arrest and under guards as soon as he returned to his family.

Even his visit with his brother Emp. Michael I [III] was limited,  if I remember correctly.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Caleb on September 22, 2005, 06:13:39 PM
I don't think anybody "betrayed" Nicholas II, except in a way, King George V. After the Revolution, the Russian government wished to send Nicholas, Alexandra & the children to England. it was obvious that the deposed Russian Tsar would ask for help from his (probably closest) cousin the King of England. When George refers to Nicholas as an "affectionate friend" I'm a little confused. I beleive that friends, and not least of all, family, should help each other no matter what. I'm not critisizing George V for his motives, fearing for his own position, his actions were understandable, but King George V could have done something, like send them to another part of the British Empire, like Austrailia, at least until World War I was over. It's also not like his cousin was the country's enemy like the kaiser. I'm 100% sure that both King George & Queen Mary felt remorse though after hearing about the death. I'm also trying not to portray George as the heartless bad guy, but I think he could have done more than he did.
Title: Re: Betrayal
Post by: AGRBear on October 16, 2005, 12:37:44 PM
Tere are threads which discuss if George V of England betrayed Nicholas II.   I'll be back with the URLs for these threads.

Hre's one:

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Windsor;action=display;num=1126749769;start=0#0

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Alixz on December 19, 2005, 04:52:18 PM
I believe that betrayal began with Nicholas's family.  True Kyril ran up a red flag and marched to swear allegiance to the Revolution, but the rest of the family just sat and waited to see which way the wind blew.

They didn't want to take a stand and support Nicholas because most of them wanted the throne either for themselves or an offspring or some other relative.

I think that they felt (erroneously) that they could betray Nicholas, but not lose their wealth or place in society and or government.  I don't think they ever knew how bad things could be for them if they betrayed Nicholas just by doing nothing.  Somehow this would be just a bump in the road and eveything would return to normal when it was passed.

Didn't most of these relatives hold positions of authority in the various regiments?  Why couldn't they muster their men and stand with the Tsar?  Because they were afraid.  And in their position, I probably would be too.

Nicholas was caught between a rock and a hard place.  Keep fighting on the Eastern Front, or make all those deaths seem a waste by signing  for peace so that he could deal with the problems in his capitol.

Lenin could sign for the peace beause he had not ordered the men to fight in the first place, so he could sign and say, "I am ending something that should never have begun in the first place.  Yes you have lost your sons, but that was the fault of someone else.  I will now stop the slaughter of many more."

For Nicholas to sign would be to admit incompetence and then he would have betrayed all of the many who went to their deaths believing in him.  (I know that many of you believe he was not only incompetent but stupid as well.)

And to the poster who said that the people cared very little about revolution, I agree.  For the most part, the people were just happy to get on with their lives.  Who was in power really didn't effect them as long as they had bread. (Please, I know about the problems in the cities, I was referring to the provinces. And as another poster said, life was not much better in the bigger cities of the UK or the US at that particular time in history.)

So who betrayed Nicholas?  His uncles and aunts and cousins.  The very people who did swear that oath that we are not considering.





Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on September 24, 2006, 05:00:14 PM
I think Nicholas II's family and his generals betrayed him when he needed them most.


Romanov Fan, First of all your "analysis" is not true. Please read Professor Pipes on the Russian Peasant status before 1917:
"they [Russian Peasants] owned, either outright or communally, nine-tenths of the country's agricultural land and the same proportion of livestock. Poor by Western European or American standards, he was better off than his father, and freer than his grandfather, who more likely than not had been a serf. Cultivating allotments assigned to him by fellow peasants, he certainly enjoyed greater security than the tenant farmer of Ireland, Spain or Italy."

Further, the Russian peasant was not "starving" at all. In fact, they were as well fed as most in Europe, and the poorest classes in Russia pre-1917 were BETTER OFF than their counterparts in England, France, Italy or even New York City during the same period.

The same social class divisions were found in Western Eurpose and the US for that matter during the same period.  To say that "Nicholas betrayed himself" for eating well while the peasants starved it to ignore the truth and repeat Bolshevik propoganda, not to mention accuse Nicholas of the same behavior as the rulers of every other Western Nation and the millionaire robber barons of the US of the same time.

Nicholas WAS betrayed by his own family, the Grand Dukes, and the major aristocratic families.  When he needed their support, they were not there. There are MANY references from just after the Revolution from them all, basically saying, "If we had only realized what would happen we would have supported the Tsar"...


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on October 05, 2006, 05:44:08 PM
If we accept the premise that Nicholas II was "betrayed" by: 1. his extended family, i.e. his uncles, his cousins, etc, 2. his ministers and government officials, 3. his generals, then, we must to some extent blame Nicholas II. Under the prevailing political system he, ultimately, was responsible for appointing and maintaining in office all these individuals who betrayed him. Unlike the other countries on both sides in World War I, Russia was the only one where the emperor could appoint and dismiss geneals and ministers on his own. Even in Germany, the Kaiser became powerless and was sidelined during the war. When one reads the individuals that Nicholas put into office during the war and the game of musical chairs he seemed to play with his ministers, it beggars the mind. As for his family, he kept them in positions of authority even after they proved themselves totally incompetent (like GD Paul in charge of a corps in the Imperial Guards which he got slaughtered). In Britain and France and Italy when the government and thes generals proved incompetent to wage the war they were swept away by the political system and replaced by men who could wage the war. In Russia the corrupt and incomptent found themselves shuffled around and even promoted. Nicholas must bear some blame for the fact that when the chips were down the men he had appointed proved to be weak reeds.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on November 04, 2006, 04:19:40 PM
You are telling me that it is Nicholas II's fault that he placed those who betrayed him into office.  Let's say for the sake of this discussion you are correct.

Who do you think  was the leader of this betrayal?  GD Michael?  GD Kyril?  If not them then who?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on December 23, 2006, 05:17:44 PM
Personally I don't think Nicholas II was "betrayed." I think that by 1917 most of his generals, the politicians of almost all parties in the Duma, the industrialists, the Church leaders, and so on, had simiply lost all faith in his ability to lead the country. He was never regarded as very significant from the first. His lack of firm leadership during the war reinforced this view that he was the wrong man for the job. Even the Romanovs had come to the point of wanting him replaced. When the crisis of February erupted and he failed to take decisive action to end it I think most of those in positions of power or influence just thought now is the time to set him aside and put someone in who could do a better job. I used the example of a house catching on fire in another post. When the man who wields the water hose refuses or is incapable of directing the water onto the fire then what are the other inhabitants of the house to do? Sit back and let it burn? No, they tried to replace the fireman with a better one. Unfortunately the fire was greater than the firefighters. This wasn't 'betrayal' but self preservation.
And yes, I blame Nicholas for the fools and incompetents he placed in the ministries during the war who failed him completely. There were plenty of competent and talented men who he could have put in charge of the direction of the war and the government, but he played musical chairs with the ministries always choosing the least competent. His prime minister was a syphillitic mental case, his war minister a tired old bueauracrat who knew nothing of modern war, his interior minister a creature of Rasputin, and so forth. Who would you blame for this roster of the halt, the lame and the stupid?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Lordtranwell on January 11, 2007, 09:56:15 AM
Hi,
Can I add this link for those seeking to understand the motivation for the Russian Revolution.  It is a little controversial so only look if you have an open mind.
http://www.alor.org/Library/Censoredhistory.htm
Have fun - great discussion as usual AGBear.

Lordtranwell
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on January 18, 2007, 02:25:02 PM
Just a little controversial  ;).

It's always good to read all sides and this is certainly one very one sided explanation.  Reminds me a little  of all the information the liberals spout about Pres. Bush  ::) .

Putting all joking aside,  oil was a BIG DEAL back  in those times  and it's not much different today, accept the oil known then was near Baku.

Let me make it perfectly clear:  I  wouldn't use the site mentioned  to find accurate facts,  since  I  don't view the site has  reliable  and unbiased material.

Do you think it possible that  the various countries  [or maybe it's more accurate to say  the richer companie within certain countries who were after the oil]  caused  certain events,  like a little revoltuion  [which became much more than they believed would occur]  just to stir things up so they could grab claims to the various oil fields like that of Baku?   If this is true, did they betray Nicholas II, also?

AGRBear 

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 18, 2007, 05:50:26 PM
Hi,
Can I add this link for those seeking to understand the motivation for the Russian Revolution.  It is a little controversial so only look if you have an open mind.
http://www.alor.org/Library/Censoredhistory.htm
Have fun - great discussion as usual AGBear.

Lordtranwell

The site link provided is anti-Jewish, the usual crap that seems to bubble to the surface of the boards like a dead body every once in awhile. You don't need an "open" mind to believe it, you need an impaired one.

There are some hilarious moments. Goleniewski is described as a CIA officer who fingered Henry Kissinger as a Soviet agent. This would be the same Goleniewski who fingered himself as Alexei Nicholaevitch, and then introduced a host of Polish women as his "sisters", the Grand Duchesses Olga, Maria and Tatiana. Anastasia had escaped to the West and was living as Eugenia Speller.

I do love the idea that he is introduced as a CIA agent. Rather like introducing Lucifer as a former assistant to God.

Simon (not Jewish, before you ask, milord)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 21, 2007, 04:16:54 PM
Reminds me a little  of all the information the liberals spout about Pres. Bush.

That's right, Bear.  An anti-semitic screed that says the world governments are run by a "hidden hand" is pretty much the equivalent of disagreeing with President Bush's policies.

As usual, your stunning ability to perceive the hidden realities leaves us all shaking our heads in wonder.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on January 21, 2007, 06:00:34 PM
Lighten up Tsarfan,   

Bear was  was making a joke.   

If you wish to get serious,  I did voted for Bush twice  and continue to think a well balaced govt.  for the people in Iraq  will  save a lot of lives,  just as a well balaced govt.  for the people would have prevented the lost of  millions and millions of lives  in Russia  which occured after Red October . 

Back to the topic.

So,  do you think the  greed and or need  of wanting oil caused others to betray Nicholas II?

AGRBear



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 21, 2007, 06:24:07 PM
My apologies, Bear. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on January 23, 2007, 01:35:54 PM
Really,  no apology was necessary  but since you voiced an apology,  it is accepted.

AGRBear

PS  balaced = balanced  (Seems my finger didn't like to strike the "n" in my last post.)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on January 27, 2007, 06:44:26 PM
I am not sure what has been posited here as the cause of Nicholas II's betrayal by the article cited. Was the revolution started by a bunch of filthy rich Jewish bankers who wanted to ensure that Zion was recreated? Did they bribe the generals who told Nicholas they wouldn't support him. Did they bribe all the Romanov relatives who were against him? Did they bribe all those cold, hungry and desperate women who went out into the street  to protest the governments failure to give them relief? I am at lost as to just what that article was getting at and what it had to do with the start of the revolution. It was so full of irrelevant information that I need an abbreviated summary of just what point it was trying to make. Sorry, I am dense.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 28, 2007, 10:04:55 AM
There has been another link to an anti-Semitic site on the Theological Underpinnings thread. I would like to underline the objections that I, and now James1941 on this thread, have made to this kind of site being allowed to be quoted. The world Zionist conspiracy theory  --- and for the record, Zionism is not Judaism --- is probably acceptable for papers delivered at the University of Teheran, but on a board that is designed to promote historical discussion, not so much. This is a serious issue, since the young people (and the uninformed in general) are likely to stumble upon these silly, nasty links and be unable to combat the flat-out lies with which they are filled.

I am still sizzling about the whole "approach it with an open mind" crack. Because that was the distinguishing hallmark of Nicholas II. His open mind.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on January 28, 2007, 11:05:07 AM
There has been another link to an anti-Semitic site on the Theological Underpinnings thread. I would like to underline the objections that I, and now James1941 on this thread, have made to this kind of site being allowed to be quoted. The world Zionist conspiracy theory  --- and for the record, Zionism is not Judaism --- is probably acceptable for papers delivered at the University of Teheran, but on a board that is designed to promote historical discussion, not so much. This is a serious issue, since the young people (and the uninformed in general) are likely to stumble upon these silly, nasty links and be unable to combat the flat-out lies with which they are filled.

This whole idea of some "world Zionist conspiracy" being the cause of the Russian Revolution - it's just another way of saying that the poor Russians weren't responsible for the way their history panned out (in other words, they were victims, not enablers or even collaborators, of the Bolsheviks). Actually I can't think of any other country that goes to such lengths to avoid accepting responsibility for its own fate. But then, since the days of the Civil War, many Russians, in ascribing to these anti-Semitic fantasies - or in persuading outsiders to ascribe to them - are really only following the example of their last tsar, Nicholas II, who obviously believed he had lost his throne because he had been "betrayed," and who was in fact reading these very same anti-Semitic tracts (dreamed up by his own secret police!) while in exile in Tobolsk and  Ekaterinburg.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Lordtranwell on January 29, 2007, 04:17:07 AM
The idea of Zionism contributing to the conditions surrounding the RR is a perfectly legitimate area to research and discuss. What we need to do is unpack the arguments and not resort to hysteria.   Much has been said about Jews bankrolling Lenin's return to Russia.  Nicholas II thought there was a conspiracy too.  What we need to do is to take a rational approach to deconstructing the argument and cut out the vulgar epithets.   If you cannot cope with rigorous inquiry then please keep contributions to polite and reasoned responses.
Now Zionism and the Jewish question is an important one and is not anti semitic if discussed with polite and proper consideration for the feelings and beliefs of those believers.  What I feel needs more discussion is the disproportionate influence usuary has on politics then and now.  Just why is a small jaffa and olive producing country so influential?  If we can answer that then perhaps we may understand why Nicholas II felt he was being undermined.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 29, 2007, 07:36:59 AM
Well, golly, milord, I guess you do have an agenda after all!

"The Jewish question" is certainly an interesting phrase to use, as is the notion that resistance to the kind of ingrained silliness of your conspiracy theory is a failure to think rigourously. Nicholas II thought there was a conspiracy because he was (1) anti-Jewish by class and preference (2) being fed the kind of anti-Jewish propaganda that his own secret police was creating and (3) not very bright.

You start out talking about Zionism, meander over to "the Jews bankrolling Lenin's return" --- I assume that the Rothschilds were behind this, in this sort of worldview they always are behind things --- and wind up with a wish to discuss "usury" and the influence of the state of Israel, which the last time I checked didn't exist at the time of the Russian Revolution. If you can work Holocaust denial into this half-witted mess, you will have made a clean sweep of the topics most often advanced by people who cannot deal with the sophistication of historical inquiry and instead must salve their limited abilities with pap theories that are easy to understand.

You may want to avert your eyes, I am about to sound all opinionated and "hysterical".

Your attitude is properly confined to the fringes, i.e. strange little websites that promote nuttiness. You might just as well be ascribing the Russian Revolution to the malign influence of space aliens, and it is appalling that your bring this kind of crap onto a board dedicated to the discussion of history.

Hope your delicate feelings haven't been hurt. Oh wait . . . no, I don't.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Lordtranwell on January 30, 2007, 01:31:04 PM
What a shame you allow yourself to descend into personal sniping without offering anything of substance in return.  I suppose eventually your sort always win out on these discussions because you reduce serious discussion to grappling in the gutter.  Why not take a look at your own contributions to the debate and you will soon see that thay amount to no more than desytroying those who are not afraid to put ideas forward to discuss.  I am not the least upset by serious thought and challenge but guys like you who try to pass off a few  hackneyed phrases as learning and then supplement it with  sarcasm lead me to suggest you ought to butt out.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 30, 2007, 02:14:23 PM
Well, while we're talking about Zionists instigating the Russian revolution, let's talk about a few other things worthy of "serious intellectual examination":


All these theories have had their proponents, including the Director of the FBI regarding King.  So you're in good company (although I do hope you wear a dress better). 

No need to feel lonely.  There are enough hate-filled crackpots to go around.  However, you're not going to find enough on this Forum to get much of a party going.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on January 30, 2007, 08:03:59 PM
Don't forget the Bilderbergers!
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 30, 2007, 09:34:01 PM
What a shame you allow yourself to descend into personal sniping without offering anything of substance in return.  I suppose eventually your sort always win out on these discussions because you reduce serious discussion to grappling in the gutter.  Why not take a look at your own contributions to the debate and you will soon see that thay amount to no more than desytroying those who are not afraid to put ideas forward to discuss.  I am not the least upset by serious thought and challenge but guys like you who try to pass off a few  hackneyed phrases as learning and then supplement it with  sarcasm lead me to suggest you ought to butt out.

On the contrary. "My sort" (I love that) win out in these kinds of debates because we have truth on our side, to say nothing of the weight of 20th century history.

If you could be upset by serious thought, Lord Tranwell, you would not be raising your asinine discussion points in the first place. Apparently serious thought does not trouble you at all.

You are correct about one thing, however (even a stopped clock is right twice a day). This is completely personal. However, that fact has nothing to do with whether I am right.

By the way, I'll be ignoring your suggestion.



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 30, 2007, 09:45:16 PM
Well, while we're talking about Zionists instigating the Russian revolution, let's talk about a few other things worthy of "serious intellectual examination":

  • Martin Luther King was an enemy agent seeking to overthrow the U.S. government.
  • Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. military orchestrated the Kennedy assassination.
  • Freemasons have infiltrated all major governments with their sinister liberal agenda.
  • U.S. Presidential elections are really controlled by a secret group of Jewish world bankers.

All these theories have had their proponents, including the Director of the FBI regarding King.  So you're in good company (although I do hope you wear a dress better). 

No need to feel lonely.  There are enough hate-filled crackpots to go around.  However, you're not going to find enough on this Forum to get much of a party going.


* Israel warned her citizens to evacuate the World Trade Center because she was really the responsible party for the attacks.

* No, she wasn't. President Bush staged them to gain ground in popularity polls, and to provide an excuse for the invasion of Iraq. Oops. Mutually contradictory conspiracy theories. Hmm. Give me a moment. Okay, how's this? The Jews paid President Bush to stage the attacks. Yeah, that's the ticket.

* The Jews of medieval Lincoln kidnaped Little St. Hugh and ritually sacrificed him as part of their secret blood rituals to celebrate Passover. POGROM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* The Elders of Zion got together and wrote the secret protocols to establish world Jewish domination.

It's an infantile game to play. No wonder people find it easier than doing history. That's harder.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 31, 2007, 02:20:03 AM
Don't forget the Bilderbergers!

My God!  You're right.

I checked, and both John Edwards and Melinda Gates attended the meeting in 2004. TOGETHER IN THE SAME ROOM.  That certainly explains a lot.

Now I see Lord Tranwell's point.  If you approach these questions with just the right "open" mindset, the veil lifts miraculously before one's eyes.  And here I had been thinking that a mind as open as his was more like a sieve than an organ for thinking.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on January 31, 2007, 12:41:06 PM
If you look at the list of those who have attended the meetings of the Bilderberg Conferences, you will notice quite a few Jewish names, GASP! They are still at it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 31, 2007, 12:55:08 PM
And apparently always will be . . . at least as long as they can find enough young Christian children upon whom to feed.  Thank God that Lord Tranwell and his ilk keep their lights cast upon the beasts.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on January 31, 2007, 02:25:23 PM
ahem....*polite coughing*

Topic please?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on January 31, 2007, 03:57:49 PM
The topic is based on an assumption around which there is no consensus -- that Nicholas was betrayed by anybody.

I think the more appropriate discussion is either was  Nicholas betrayed, or by what  was he betrayed.

If one insists on finding agents of betrayal behind Nicholas' downfall, I posit that he was betrayed by his own poor judgment of people and issues and by his lack of competence for the job of ruling Russia in a rapidly-modernizing world.

As Mossolov, the head of the Court Chancellery and one of the men in close proximity to Nicholas in the final weeks of the monarchy, wrote in his memoires:

"In discussing with the Tsar a measure that was to be adopted, I was unable to refrain from saying:  'That will do a great deal to assure the position of the dynasty!'  In spite of his reserve, the Tsar replied with heat, plainly disturbed at what I had said:  'What! You, Mossolov, are you too going to tell me of the peril that menaces the dynasty? People are continually harping on this supposed peril. Why, you have been with me and have seen how I was received by the troops and the people! Are you too, even you, panicking?'  'I have seen all that, Sire, but I also see them when they are not in Your Majesty's presence. Forgive my freedom of speech.'

The Tsar controlled himself, and went on, with a smile:  'I am not put out-far from it. Let us go in to dinner. The Empress will be waiting for us already.'  That, I repeat, was on February 14th 1917. Did the Tsar realize the danger, and was he merely trying to keep up the courage of those who were around him?

That is a possible explanation. But I think the truth is that the Tsar did not see the danger, or did not see that it was already at the Palace gates."


In an earlier passage, Mossolov described Alexandra's role in removing men who saw disaster approaching and wanted to protect the monarchy by opening up the political process:

"Prince Vladimir Orlov, a former officer of the Horse Guards, and an exceedingly rich man, soon became one of the intimates of the Imperial family. He was a highly cultivated man, sarcastic, with a dry humour, and enjoyed great social prestige. In 1915 he advocated the formation of a Ministry 'that could inspire public confidence', as the phrase went at the time. His whole policy was directed primarily to enabling Russia to escape from the disaster that he could see approaching; he was able to appreciate its premonitory symptoms at their true import. With no thought whatever for his personal career, he was devoted to the Tsar and to the cause of the Russian monarchy, devoted in the highest sense in which the word can be used. He was in regular correspondence with certain leading statesmen; he was the only one among the members of the suite who had any real political ability. Unfortunately he was no admirer of the Empress, and showed his feelings towards her in the presence alike of adherents and opponents of Rasputin, and even in audiences with the Empress herself.

I shall tell later, with all necessary detail, how this remarkable man's career was broken the very day the Empress decided to get rid of him. The Tsar had to take his wife's side (probably against his will, for he had a great regard for Prince Orlov); otherwise he would have been publicly sacrificing her prestige."


Who betrayed Nicholas?  If one must find a human agent, it was Nicholas himself and those closest to him.


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on January 31, 2007, 05:35:35 PM
....[in part].....


In an earlier passage, Mossolov described Alexandra's role in removing men who saw disaster approaching and wanted to protect the monarchy by opening up the political process:

"Prince Vladimir Orlov, a former officer of the Horse Guards, and an exceedingly rich man, soon became one of the intimates of the Imperial family. He was a highly cultivated man, sarcastic, with a dry humour, and enjoyed great social prestige. In 1915 he advocated the formation of a Ministry 'that could inspire public confidence', as the phrase went at the time. His whole policy was directed primarily to enabling Russia to escape from the disaster that he could see approaching; he was able to appreciate its premonitory symptoms at their true import. With no thought whatever for his personal career, he was devoted to the Tsar and to the cause of the Russian monarchy, devoted in the highest sense in which the word can be used. He was in regular correspondence with certain leading statesmen; he was the only one among the members of the suite who had any real political ability. Unfortunately he was no admirer of the Empress, and showed his feelings towards her in the presence alike of adherents and opponents of Rasputin, and even in audiences with the Empress herself.

I shall tell later, with all necessary detail, how this remarkable man's career was broken the very day the Empress decided to get rid of him. The Tsar had to take his wife's side (probably against his will, for he had a great regard for Prince Orlov); otherwise he would have been publicly sacrificing her prestige."


Who betrayed Nicholas?  If one must find a human agent, it was Nicholas himself and those closest to him.




I believed you have given us an example on how Alexandra berayed her husband by causing  him to be isolated from those who held different views than her.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on January 31, 2007, 06:15:22 PM
There has been another link to an anti-Semitic site on the Theological Underpinnings thread. I would like to underline the objections that I, and now James1941 on this thread, have made to this kind of site being allowed to be quoted. The world Zionist conspiracy theory  --- and for the record, Zionism is not Judaism --- is probably acceptable for papers delivered at the University of Teheran, but on a board that is designed to promote historical discussion, not so much. This is a serious issue, since the young people (and the uninformed in general) are likely to stumble upon these silly, nasty links and be unable to combat the flat-out lies with which they are filled.

This whole idea of some "world Zionist conspiracy" being the cause of the Russian Revolution - it's just another way of saying that the poor Russians weren't responsible for the way their history panned out (in other words, they were victims, not enablers or even collaborators, of the Bolsheviks). Actually I can't think of any other country that goes to such lengths to avoid accepting responsibility for its own fate. But then, since the days of the Civil War, many Russians, in ascribing to these anti-Semitic fantasies - or in persuading outsiders to ascribe to them - are really only following the example of their last tsar, Nicholas II, who obviously believed he had lost his throne because he had been "betrayed," and who was in fact reading these very same anti-Semitic tracts (dreamed up by his own secret police!) while in exile in Tobolsk and  Ekaterinburg.



Did the Tsar's Police  in fact, due to their lies, deciet and misinformation betray Nicholas II?


AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on January 31, 2007, 09:14:17 PM
Who betrayed Nicholas?  If one must find a human agent, it was Nicholas himself ....

This comment is neither erudite or correct ... In fact I find it extremely offensive.

Margarita  >:(
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on January 31, 2007, 09:35:27 PM
Tsarfan's quote from Mossolov's memoir about what Nicholas said about the troops and people conjure up a picture of Nicholas standing in front of the magic mirror and saying "Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, who is the best emperor of all?" and the mirror replying "Why you are Nicholas Alexandrovich!"
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 01, 2007, 05:45:30 AM
Who betrayed Nicholas?  If one must find a human agent, it was Nicholas himself ....

This comment is neither erudite or correct ... In fact I find it extremely offensive.

Margarita  >:(

I did not blaspheme the name of God Himself.  I expressed an opinion -- supported by evidence -- that Nicholas was an agent in bringing about his own downfall.  This is a discussion about history, not a worship service.  Get over it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 01, 2007, 10:24:32 AM
I think the more appropriate discussion is either was  Nicholas betrayed, or by what  was he betrayed.

For the most part, I agree. IMO (and keep in mind that this is a somewhat oversimplified view since I am no scholar of the Russian revolution): most events that occured, did so almost as a reaction to NII's own poor judgment. He did many things wrong as a ruler - albeit not deliberately (he felt all along that he was doing the right thing - hence he had "poor judgement"). Of course I realize that it must have been a lot more complicated than that, but in general this is the impression, based on many historical facts. Therefore I don't think we can view this as Nicholas being "betrayed", but as a consequence of certain actions and/or circumstances,  most of which N himself inadvertently created.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 10:33:45 AM

...[in part]....
.... Nicholas was an agent in bringing about his own downfall.  This is a discussion about history, not a worship service.  Get over it.

From the time Nicholas II was born,  who was around him to tell him that Jews and Christians were equasl?

Who was around the child,  GD Nicky,  who stood and watched his grandfather, Alelx. II, who was shattered and bleeding pools of blood  on the floor of the palace where the Royal Family lived, and told him the bombs were thrown by Jews?

How many times did Nicholas II hear  that the attempts upon his father's,  Alex. III's, life was by Jews?

How many priest of his church repeated the words, "Jews were THE Christ Killers"?

From the time Nicholas II was born,  he was surrounded by prejudices, events and later, Police Reports, some false and some true]  which only supported what Nicholas II already assumed was true about the Jews and their support of the revolutionaries.

The garbage*   repeated in the web site mentioned by LordT.,  was similar to the kind of garbage Nicholas II was told about the Jews from day one and to his death. 

He probably believed that his own executioner was Jewish.

I am not giving Nicholas II an excuse for believing what he did,  I am trying to understand how his prejudices create prejudices toward Nicholas II and why people believe he betrayed himself for not having broken free of these prejudices.

AGRBear

PS
*Note:  I'll repeat what Simon thoughts are on this site: 
...[in part]....

The site link provided is anti-Jewish, the usual crap that seems to bubble to the surface of the boards like a dead body every once in awhile.

.....
Simon (not Jewish, before you ask, milord)

 






Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 01, 2007, 10:41:59 AM
The issue goes far beyond the "Jewish question". By the end of his rule, Nicholas managed to piss off EVERYONE, on all sides. The Jews are usually singled out because A. they have always been easy scapegoats and B. they are obvious scapegoats. The fact that many Jews joined the revolution is not surprising in the least - in fact it is very understandable - since an oppressed group had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Of course many Jews remained loyal to the Tsar, which is sort of harder to understand, considering the circumstances...It all makes sense. I can't promise that had I lived in Russia during that time and was part of the oppressed group, that I wouldn't have joined the revolution.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 01, 2007, 10:48:53 AM
I am trying to understand how his prejudices create prejudices toward Nicholas II and why people believe he betrayed himself for not having broken free of these prejudices.

My post was not about Nicholas' being betrayed by his anti-semitic prejudices.  I quoted two passages from the memoires of a member of his suite that indicated two things:


These shortcomings were not born of prejudice.  They were born of lack of critical thinking.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 01, 2007, 10:52:48 AM


These shortcomings were not born of prejudice.  They were born of lack of critical thinking.

I.e. poor judgment as a ruler.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 01, 2007, 11:04:50 AM
Exactly.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 11:19:27 AM
One can only judge by the information taken in so if the information given was misinformation then it was those who misinformed him who betrayed him and all Russians.

Nicholas II  prejudices toward the  Jews is just one example.  So,  let us not skip to another topic just yet.

As far as Nicholas II was concern,  he was acting on facts presented to him by people who unfortunately were betrayed by prejudices just as Nicholas II was.

So,  who is to blame?  Nicholas II because he was at the top and should have known better?  The police because they should have known better?  Maybe we should blame their parents who probably enforced these prejuedices.  Where does the buck stop?  From where did this particular prejudice come forth?

I guess,  what I'm asking is:  Who or what started these betrayals which became like a giant  snow ball that rolled down and collected all the Russians which ended up by crashing into all those revolutionarieis at the bottom of the historic hill?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 11:22:33 AM
I have a couple of problems with the arguments that since he was raised in a prejudiced environment, he was freed from the responsibility to overcome it. In fact, his wife and his mother were raised in the liberal West, as was his sister-in-law. His uncle was the King of England, and notoriously open-minded. He spent time in England. Alexandra, Marie F. and Ella al went native once they hit Russia and adopted the usual social prejudices of the Russian society. Was he "betrayed" by those in his family who failed to convince him, or by those in his family who had "betrayed" their own upbringings?

The proper vehicle to combat these social and religious prejudices was the Christian church. There has been a reasonably constant failure to do so by most Christian denominations, including the Russian Orthodox. But there have always been those who, from within and without the Christian churches, have condemned anti-Semitism, advocated for the poor and spoken out against the wars that have littered western history. Was he "betrayed" by the Russian Orthodox Church?

He failed to correctly manage his own secret police, to the point where he himself was duped by people whom he paid to do it. The secret police produced false and doctored evidence, but if they did so, it was surely with the expectation that Nicholas was receptive to the "information" these documents/reports contained. Was he "betrayed" by his own secret police?

If someone could make a case for a poor genetic inheritance, i.e. that he was abnormally stupid, then I suppose one might say that he was "betrayed" by genetics. In fact, he does not come across as abnormally stupid. He comes across as close-minded to the idea that his view of the world could be anything but correct (Tsarfan's description of his treatment of Prince Orlov is very much en pointe). This hubristic worldview lead to hubristic behavior, and his downfall. Unlike a Greek tragic hero, who might obtain a modicum of wisdom through the process, Nicholas was still blaming others for the Revolution right up until the moment he lead his family into the cellar.

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that he "betrayed" himself by an inability to view the world and political events as they really were. Given that millions of people died as the result of his inability to do so, "poor judgement" will have to do, but it isn't nearly severe enough as a description of his hubris.

Bear, I'm not sure why you put the quote about the Tranwell website at the end of your post. If it was to suggest that Nicholas' poor information somehow lets him off the hook, I'm sorry. As you can tell from the above, I don't agree with that.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 01, 2007, 11:27:41 AM
One can only judge by the information taken in so if the information given was misinformation then it was those who misinformed him who betrayed him and all Russians.

Huh  ???
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 11:28:29 AM
...[in poart],,,,
I am not giving Nicholas II an excuse for believing what he did,  I am trying to understand how his prejudices create prejudices toward Nicholas II and why people believe he betrayed himself for not having broken free of these prejudices.


I think you missed this in one of my earlier posts.

AGRBear

 







[/quote]
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 01, 2007, 11:31:32 AM
IBut there have always been those who, from within and without the Christian churches, have condemned anti-Semitism, advocated for the poor and spoken out against the wars that have littered western history. Was he "betrayed" by the Russian Orthodox Church?

For example, although not officially part of the OC, Rasputin often took up for the Jewish causes...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 11:41:50 AM
...[in poart],,,,
I am not giving Nicholas II an excuse for believing what he did,  I am trying to understand how his prejudices create prejudices toward Nicholas II and why people believe he betrayed himself for not having broken free of these prejudices.


I think you missed this in one of my earlier posts.

AGRBear

 







[/quote]

There are too many unclear uses of "his", "he" and "himself" in your statement, Bear. I really don't know what it means. Sorry.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 01, 2007, 11:49:07 AM
Well, yet another topic descends into utter confusion.

Goodbye.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 11:53:10 AM
 Nicholas II could only work with the information he had.

So,  this bring us right back to my original question:  Who  betrayed Nicholas II?

AGRBear




Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 12:05:03 PM
Bear:  >>I am not giving Nicholas II an excuse for believing what he did,  I am trying to understand how his prejudices create prejudices toward Nicholas II and why people believe he betrayed himself for not having broken free of these prejudices.<<

Clearification:

I am not giving Nicholas II and excuse for believing what he did.

I am trying to understand how Nicholas II's prejudices  created the prejudices [in others] toward Nicholas II.

AND

Why do people believe Nicholas II betrayed  himself?

Was one of these reasons  because Nicholas II was unable to  break free of these prejudices toward the Jew? 

----

Sorry Simon.  Pronounes should be outlawed because they can cause confusion,  even wars.  8)

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 12:40:28 PM
Bear,

You are simply repeating a question that has already been answered. If you don't accept the answer, fine, but you have not addressed the answer given to let people know why you disagree?

You have not made your case that Nicholas II had no access to information that might have contradicted his decisions, for example, the obvious one to embrace anti-Semitism. Since it has been demonstrated that he did, in fact, have access to contradictory opinions (Prince Orlov, Stolypin, Ella --- at least in regard to Alexandra's infatuation with Rasputin and the harm it did the dynasty, Sandro, who criticized his conduct of the war and the behavior of the Empress to their faces, and a host of other examples), and he chose to ignore them because he lacked the imagination to consider other opinions than his own . . .

he "betrayed" himself.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 01:19:05 PM
.....[in part]...
 Was he "betrayed" by the Russian Orthodox Church?

....

I believe you've open pandora's box.

Since I don't know enough about the Russian Orthodox Church,  I'll be interested in what other posters think when replying to your question:  Was Nicholas II betrayed by his own church?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 01:22:55 PM
Bear,

You are simply repeating a question that has already been answered. If you don't accept the answer, fine, but you have not addressed the answer given to let people know why you disagree?

You have not made your case that Nicholas II had no access to information that might have contradicted his decisions, for example, the obvious one to embrace anti-Semitism. Since it has been demonstrated that he did, in fact, have access to contradictory opinions (Prince Orlov, Stolypin, Ella --- at least in regard to Alexandra's infatuation with Rasputin and the harm it did the dynasty, Sandro, who criticized his conduct of the war and the behavior of the Empress to their faces, and a host of other examples), and he chose to ignore them because he lacked the imagination to consider other opinions than his own . . .

he "betrayed" himself.

Simon


I am wondering if his religious faith lead him into thinking that God,  not mere mortal men and women,  would always show him the right way.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 01:43:06 PM
.....[in part]...
 Was he "betrayed" by the Russian Orthodox Church?

....

I believe you've open pandora's box.

Since I don't know enough about the Russian Orthodox Church,  I'll be interested in what other posters think when replying to your question:  Was Nicholas II betrayed by his own church?

AGRBear

The quote you are using was a rhetorical question, Bear, and later on in the post I say that Nicholas was "betrayed" by himself. On another thread Elisabeth has posted (correctly, I think) that one of the reasons we are constantly barraged with these silly conspiracy sites is that there is a refusal on the part of Russians to accept any personal responsibility for their actions. It must always be a cabal, or an extenuating circumstance that lets them off the hook. I pay Nicholas the respect of granting him personal control over his own actions. Either he was an automaton with no responsibility for his own behavior, or he wasn't. I don't think he was an automaton.

I wish you could understand the frustration you generate by your careless reading of posts.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 02:24:40 PM

I have to go do some work but will try to answer ALL  your questions which are good ones,  Simon.

Meanwhile,  maybe,  you could answer some of my questions.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 02:43:20 PM

I have to go do some work but will try to answer ALL  your questions which are good ones,  Simon.

Meanwhile,  maybe,  you could answer some of my questions.

AGRBear

Bear,

I HAVE answered your questions. I HAVE no questions. If you don't like my answers, feel free to continue your ramblings through the Hundred Acre Wood until you find answers that you accept. They obviously won't be coming from me. But I have NO questions. I understand Nicholas "betrayed" himself. What part of that sentence is unclear?

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 03:56:52 PM


Bear,

I HAVE answered your questions. I HAVE no questions. If you don't like my answers, feel free to continue your ramblings through the Hundred Acre Wood until you find answers that you accept. They obviously won't be coming from me. But I have NO questions. I understand Nicholas "betrayed" himself. What part of that sentence is unclear?

Simon





Since I started this thread,  which is what,  12 pages in length,  I think I've answered many questions as well as asked many questions.

Why is it that you cannot understand why I think  Nicholas II was betrayed from the time he was born and to his death by people around him.

This thread was created to show there were many who betrayed him.

It appears that you and others believe Nicholas betrayed himself.  Okay,  you can place Nicholas II at the top of your list. 

Who were the others who betrayed Nicholas II?

In these 12 pages  I and others have mentioned various people.  I've not made a list.   A few mentioned in the last few days have been his wife Alexandra,  the Tsar's Police.....  Then along came your post.

You wrote:  >>Did his church betray  him?<<  I didn't take this as a rhetorical question as you intended, Simon.  Sorry.  Since you didn't have any intentions of opening this pandora's box,  then let me.

Did the church of Russia  betray Nicholas II?

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 01, 2007, 04:17:45 PM
[...in part...]

 On another thread Elisabeth has posted (correctly, I think) that one of the reasons we are constantly barraged with these silly conspiracy sites is that there is a refusal on the part of Russians to accept any personal responsibility for their actions.

....

There were   people, who conspired,  around Nicholas II  and they did caused Nicholas II to abdicate. 

This thread is to discover who these people were and learn the reasons which caused them to betray Nicholas II.  This  does not mean I'm looking for "scapegoats".   This  search includes ALL the  Russians, who carried their own fate in their own hands, as well as foreigners who wanted to interfer with the future of Russia.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 01, 2007, 04:59:28 PM
Okay, you have explained why you started the thread. You start with the presupposition that there were people around Nicholas who conspired to cause him to abdicate.

I question that assumption as being the cause of his abdication. And in fact, when I went back to the first page of the thread, the assumption was questioned by some posters from the get-go, so I am not alone in my position.

I repeat, I am obviously not giving you the answer you seek.

Thank you for removing the part of your post where you referred to me as "snippy", by the way. Since you use the Winnie-the-Pooh imagery (not merely as your avatar, but in the course of posts --- references to the "Bear's woolly head" and "jar of honey", etc.) --- I am not sure why a response that includes the imagery (the Hundred Acre Wood) would have been regarded as snippy.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Phil_tomaselli on February 02, 2007, 08:08:11 AM
If you look at a couple of the British Consular reports I posted in the "British Foreign Office files & Rasputin" section you'll see that just about everyone was talking about removing Nicholas by one means or another.  When the first Revolution came just about everyone did.  So just about everyone betrayed him in the end.

On the question of "betrayal" does anyone know by what Oaths the army, Imperial family and people were bound to Nicholas?  Presumably Nicholas made some kind of Coronation Oath which in turn bound him to the State and people?  Presumably the soldiers at least made an Oath of allegiance?

My point is, I think, that any such oath is a two way thing, allegiance pledged in return for....what?  And depending upon the "what" depends on whether Nicholas broke the Oath first or the "people" did.  If Nicholas broke it first there was no betrayal, though I've no doubt we'll then end up whether the Oath had actually been broken.

Phil Tomaselli
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 02, 2007, 08:47:27 AM
So just about everyone betrayed him in the end.

I am not sure if you can call it "betrayed". They reacted to the circumstances (and they would be fools not to have done it). Blind loyalty - in any situation- is a dangerous thing (oath or no oath), but I suppose that may be the nature of an autocratic (monarchist?) state. So it really depends on what one's definition of "betray" is... I think depending on who you are and to which perspective you hold, this definition differs. Therefore we all will probably never come to a unanimous agreement on this one...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 02, 2007, 08:57:18 AM
I think Phil has hit the genuine crux of the discussion. Some people are getting bogged down in looking at the REASONS Nicholas abidcated, (his lack of vision, naivete, anti-semitism, whatever)  which is not the question.

Upon the death of Alexander III, EVERYONE in Russia swore an oath to Nicholas II.

Volkov, "Memoirs" Chapter 3: " That same evening we attended the funeral services for the repose of the soul of Alexander III. After that, we then swore our oath to the new Emperor, Nicholas II, and the following morning left Livadia."

So,the real question is, who where those who betrayed their oaths to Nicholas II by calling for, aiding or abetting his abdication?

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 09:16:38 AM
Picture in your mind  Nicholas II  in a train  as his pen was extended over an abdication which he was being forced to sign.   What emotions do you think he  felt at that moment?

1) Do you think Nicholas II  felt betrayed?
OR
1) Do you think Nicholas II was  understanding and maybe relieved of finally being shed of his duty of Tsar which he had never wanted and    happily signed the abdication and  then issued  hugs and his thanks to all concern?

For this discussion,  let's  make the assumption that Nicholas II felt betrayed.

Phil has brought up the men in the military who had sworn an oath to protect their Tsar and country.  Some broke this oath when they conspired to replace Nicholas II.  Who were these men who took it upon themselves to believe they knew what was best for Russia and that Russia no longer needed Nicholas II?

Here is one example which I gave way over on page 1:

Figes continued on p. 288:

"...A second conspiracy was meanwhle being hatched by Prince Lvov with the help of the Chief of Staff, Geneal Alexeev.  They planned to arrest the Tsarina and compel Nicholas to hand over the authority to the Grand Duke Nikolai.  Lvov would be appointed as Premier of a new government of confidence. Several liberal politicians and general support the plan, including Brusilov, who told the Grand Duke:  'If I must choose between the Emperor and Russia, then I march for Russia.'  But this plot was also scotched -- by the Grand Duke's reluctance to become involved."

So, according to Figes, Grand Duke Nikolai was not to be a part of this conspiracy.

AGRBear


 Prince Lvov and the Chief of Staff, Geneal Alexeev have been named as conspiring to replace Nicholas II with  GD Nikolli.   

Did they betray their Tsar Nicholas II?  Or did they not betray their Tsar Nicholas II?

AGRBear


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 02, 2007, 09:18:07 AM
...who where those who betrayed their oaths to Nicholas II by calling for, aiding or abetting his abdication?

Yes, but Phil also said that ... 
...any such oath is a two way thing, allegiance pledged in return for....what?  And depending upon the "what" depends on whether Nicholas broke the Oath first or the "people" did.  If Nicholas broke it first there was no betrayal, though I've no doubt we'll then end up whether the Oath had actually been broken.
  so again, depending on one's definition of "breaking the oath" and "betrayal", this question will have very different answers...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 02, 2007, 09:33:22 AM
Russian tsars (or sovereign emperors) did not take a Coronation Oath in the sense that a British sovereign takes at their coronation, that is, to swear to govern according to the ancient laws, etc. Nicholas II did take a sort of oath, but it was a prayer, which I relate here:

"O Lord God of our Fathers, and King of Kings, Who created all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdon has made man, that he should walk uprightly and rule righteously over Thy world: Thou has chosen me as Tsar and judge over Thy people. I acknowledge Thine unsearchable purpose towards me, and bow in thankfulness before Thy Majesty. Do Thou, my Lord and Governor, fit me for work to which Thou has sent me: teach me and guide me in this great service. May there be with me wisdom which belongs to Thy Throne, send it from Thy Holy Heaven, that I may know what is well pleasing in Thy sight and what is right according to Thy commandment. May my heart be in Thy hand, to accomplish all that is to the profit of the people committed to my charge, and to Thy glory, that so in the day of Thy Judgement I may give Thee account of my stewardship without blame; thorough the grace and mercy of Thy Son, who was once crucified for us, to Whom be all honour and glory with Thee and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, unto the ages of ages. Amen."

He knelt and recited this prayer after being anointed and crowned. It is a sort of oath but not in the sense we usually think of one. It pretty much means he is accountable only to God, not his people, for what he does as Tsar.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 02, 2007, 09:40:32 AM
It pretty much means he is accountable only to God, not his people, for what he does as Tsar.

Thanks, James. This was what made him an autocrat, I suppose. This is probably why N felt sure that he was always doing the right thing - by divine inspiration. So in a way, he was a victim of this system... Perhaps we can even say that the nature of the autocratic system had "betrayed" him?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 09:52:46 AM
Thank you so very much James.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 10:13:40 AM
Does anyone have the translation of the oath the military officers gave when they joined the Tsar services?

Did the simple solider or sailor  swear an oath to his Tsar?  If so,  was it the same as the one given by the officers or was it different?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 02, 2007, 11:07:19 AM
Russian tsars (or sovereign emperors) did not take a Coronation Oath in the sense that a British sovereign takes at their coronation, that is, to swear to govern according to the ancient laws, etc. Nicholas II did take a sort of oath, but it was a prayer, which I relate here:

"O Lord God of our Fathers, and King of Kings, Who created all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdon has made man, that he should walk uprightly and rule righteously over Thy world: Thou has chosen me as Tsar and judge over Thy people. I acknowledge Thine unsearchable purpose towards me, and bow in thankfulness before Thy Majesty. Do Thou, my Lord and Governor, fit me for work to which Thou has sent me: teach me and guide me in this great service. May there be with me wisdom which belongs to Thy Throne, send it from Thy Holy Heaven, that I may know what is well pleasing in Thy sight and what is right according to Thy commandment. May my heart be in Thy hand, to accomplish all that is to the profit of the people committed to my charge, and to Thy glory, that so in the day of Thy Judgement I may give Thee account of my stewardship without blame; thorough the grace and mercy of Thy Son, who was once crucified for us, to Whom be all honour and glory with Thee and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, unto the ages of ages. Amen."

He knelt and recited this prayer after being anointed and crowned. It is a sort of oath but not in the sense we usually think of one. It pretty much means he is accountable only to God, not his people, for what he does as Tsar.

But this prayer does leave room for the intriguing possibility that a tsar might sometimes be wrong in his attempts to fulfill God's will... Which is to say, this prayer is not by any stretch of the imagination a declaration of tsarist infallibility (i.e., it is not at all equivalent to Catholic invocations of papal infallibility). Rather, this oath is  a prayer (i.e., literally a plea) that the tsar might know what is "pleasing" and "right" and "to the profit of the people," depending on God's will and perhaps (here's the rub) on his own personal degree of worthiness in interpreting God's will (for it is God who is implicitly infallible in this prayer, and not the tsar). It seems to me that Nicholas II was at fault in interpreting this prayer as some sort of divine license to believe that all his decisions were directly heaven-sent. So, in other words, and, admittedly, in my opinion, Nicholas quite simply betrayed himself. He didn't have the intellectual ability or for that matter the intellectual flexibility and imagination to appreciate, much less interpret, the deeper meaning contained in his own coronation oath.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 02, 2007, 11:23:22 AM
But this prayer does leave room for the intriguing possibility that a tsar might sometimes be wrong in his attempts to fulfill God's will... Which is to say, this prayer is not by any stretch of the imagination a declaration of tsarist infallibility (i.e., it is not at all equivalent to Catholic invocations of papal infallibility). Rather, this oath is  a prayer (i.e., literally a plea) that the tsar might know what is "pleasing" and "right" and "to the profit of the people," depending on God's will and perhaps (here's the rub) on his own personal degree of worthiness in interpreting God's will (for it is God who is implicitly infallible in this prayer, and not the tsar). It seems to me that Nicholas II was at fault in interpreting this prayer as some sort of divine license to believe that all his decisions were directly heaven-sent. So, in other words, and, admittedly, in my opinion, Nicholas quite simply betrayed himself. He didn't have the intellectual ability or for that matter the intellectual flexibility and imagination to appreciate, much less interpret, the deeper meaning contained in his own coronation oath.


All true. N may have interpreted this as "if I am God's chosen, then my decisions must be the right ones, otherwise why would I be God's chosen." It does make a warped kind of sense, although doesn't say much for N's intellect... It goes sort of like this: you either have faith in God or you don't - all or nothing, with nothing in between. This is another example of how dangerous blind loyalty (blind faith?) can be.... Or perhaps N just didn't think much about the meaning of the words in this prayer and read them automatically, later on assuming that he as the tsar and autocrat is always right by default.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 12:29:39 PM
I think Phil has hit the genuine crux of the discussion. Some people are getting bogged down in looking at the REASONS Nicholas abidcated, (his lack of vision, naivete, anti-semitism, whatever)  which is not the question.

Upon the death of Alexander III, EVERYONE in Russia swore an oath to Nicholas II.

Volkov, "Memoirs" Chapter 3: " That same evening we attended the funeral services for the repose of the soul of Alexander III. After that, we then swore our oath to the new Emperor, Nicholas II, and the following morning left Livadia."

So,the real question is, who where those who betrayed their oaths to Nicholas II by calling for, aiding or abetting his abdication?



For those who wish to become bogged down on Nicholas II's intellect and lack of critical thinking:

It was the full intent of the Russian church elders to make sure that anyone who was in line for the crown of Russia be fully aware of how important it was to have his/her full faith in the church and their God.  One could argue that the church elders "brain washed" the heirs to the throne with constant vigor.

It is easy for us who live in our world and our times to be convinced  that Nicholas II should have thought for himself.  Maybe he did before he knelt and repeated the prayer as he became the crown Emp./Tsar of Russia.  Once he agreed to this duty,  he was obligated to God,  the Russian church and all their beliefs, and his people.   According to the church,  Nicholas II's position was right up there next to God.

From what I understand,  most Russian peasants believed that the Tsars and Tsarinas of Russia sat on the right had side of God.

If one is to be an autocract,  one has to think and rule as one.

In the mind of Nicholas II:  How could he have betrayed himself if he was a true autocract who believed his will was God's will?

AGRBear



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 12:34:26 PM
For those of us who are looking for those we believed betrayed Nicholas II,  here is the following about the oath to the Tsar in connection with the troops at Tsarskoe Selo:

Here on the AP forum is the section which has the memories of Count Paul Beckendorff who talks about the time period between 17 Match and 1 Aug 1917.  One paragraph tells us the following about the oath the soldiers had given to the Tsar:

>> During the next days, the troops of our garrison became more and more downhearted. They began to say that as the Emperor had abdicated, they were absolved from their oath, and that they would make their submission to the Provisional Government. The officers and commanders, after grave consideration, finished by acquiescing in their, wishes, and a deputation consisting of officers and men was formed. It started in the night for St. Petersburg, taking an address containing their act of submission, but also a declaration that they would do their duty to the end in order to protect the Emperor's family and the Alexander Palace. This deputation was received in the night by Rodzianko, who said a few words of approbation to them. When this was over, the moral of the troops was completely restored and routine went on as before. On the next day the police of the palace as well as the servants on duty took the same step with my consent.<<

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 12:35:40 PM
Memories of Count Paul Beckendorff can be following at:

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/lastdays/one.html

Here is what he wrote about GD Kyrill.    I've added a little what he wrote just above the lines about GD Kyrill  to show events occuring:

>>The night of the 1st - 2nd March was disturbed, because trains were running without ceasing between St. Petersburg and Srednyaya Rogatka, and the Cossack patrols were continually reporting that revolutionary troops were assembling to attack the Palace. Fortunately nothing of the kind happened. Towards morning we learnt that the company of the regiment of the railways which was in barracks in Srednyaya Rogatka, had assassinated its two officers and had started for St. Petersburg to join the rebels.

The battalion of the Guard left Tsarskoe, according to an order from St. Petersburg (given it was said by the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, first cousin of the Emperor), leaving at Tsarskoe its colours and all its officers. The latter remained faithful to their duty up to the Emperor's abdication. <<

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 02, 2007, 12:59:53 PM
It was the full intent of the Russian church elders to make sure that anyone who was in line for the crown of Russia be fully aware of how important it was to have his/her full faith in the church and their God.  One could argue that the church elders "brain washed" the heirs to the throne with constant vigor.

It is easy for us who live in our world and our times to be convinced  that Nicholas II should have thought for himself.  Maybe he did before he knelt and repeated the prayer as he became the crown Emp./Tsar of Russia.  Once he agreed to this duty,  he was obligated to God,  the Russian church and all their beliefs, and his people.   According to the church,  Nicholas II's position was right up there next to God.

From what I understand,  most Russian peasants believed that the Tsars and Tsarinas of Russia sat on the right had side of God.

If one is to be an autocract,  one has to think and rule as one.

In the mind of Nicholas II:  How could he have betrayed himself if he was a true autocract who believed his will was God's will?

AGRBear





Bear,

I have no problem with your pursuit of an answer that makes sense to you, although by the understanding you have of the word "betrayed" you might just as well start with the St. Petersburg phone book, 1917 ed. and begin with the "A"'s. But Nicholas was in no sense "obligated to God" to be incorrect in his beliefs. That would be heretical by any normal theological standards.  And his beliefs were demonstrably wrong --- in 1913, not just today. Moreover, the idea that the Tsar was unable to think for himself, or may have been brainwashed, says volumes about (1) what you think about Nicholas II and (2) why, if you are correct, he was unfit to be Tsar.

Furthermore, and just for the hell of it --- you might want to consider that one cannot be held responsible to an oath taken without full understanding (according to both Latin and Orthodox Christianity). I have trouble envisioning the "brainwashed" Nicholas you postulate as being bound by his coronation oath.

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 01:11:50 PM
Do I need to  remind you how the priest used Nicholas II's  birthday because he happen to have been born on  Job's Day? 

And, this is just one of many I've already suggested and have asked for the opinion of you and others. 

The connection of the prayer uttered by Nicholas II at his cornation was and is an example of Nicholas II's connection to his church and his God.  Unless, of course,  you believe Nicholas II was just saying it because it was part of the ritual which he felt was stupid and meant little or nothing in the skeme of things.

AGRBear


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 02, 2007, 01:36:23 PM
Do I need to  remind you how the priest used Nicholas II's  birthday because he happen to have been born on  Job's Day? 

And, this is just one of many I've already suggested and have asked for the opinion of you and others. 

The connection of the prayer uttered by Nicholas II at his cornation was and is an example of Nicholas II's connection to his church and his God.  Unless, of course,  you believe Nicholas II was just saying it because it was part of the ritual which he felt was stupid and meant little or nothing in the skeme of things.

AGRBear




Um . . . yes, you apparently do have to remind me, because I have no idea what you are talking about, which is of course not all that unusual, but still . . .

You missed the point of my post (also not unusual) in regard to the prayer Nicholas uttered. You speculated that he might have been "brainwashed" by his Church to the point where he was unable to think for himself. By definition, such a person cannot take an oath and have it be binding. I merely pointed that out.

Either he could think for himself or he couldn't. Personally? I see no evidence that he could not, since he maintained his relationship with Rasputin in the face of Church disapproval. Of course, that means that he could also have figured out that perhaps parts of his world view were skewed.

No one "forced" Nicholas II to abdicate. He did it of his own free will. If you would like to examine other examples of monarchs faced with revolutions who chose not to leave their thrones, take a glance at the lives of Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France. Had Nicholas II followed their examples --- and his reading list indicates that he was well aware of both --- he might have still been shot, but he would have been shot as Tsar.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 02, 2007, 01:54:00 PM
The matter of following an oath taken to an individual (as opposed to a constitution or a nation) has always been problematic to military officers. In 1918, in a  meeting with Hindenburg and Groener (who had replaced the mentally ill Ludendorf) Wilhelm II indicated he would march to Berlin with his army and put down the revolt that was breaking out. Groener gently told him that the army would march home behind its officers but not with His Majesty. Wilhelm increduously asked, But what of their oath. Hindenburg looked stricken but kept quiet, and Groener replied, that the oaths were now just so many words. Wilhelm fled to Holland the next day. In Russia in 1917, and Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1918 officers had to decide whether their allegiance lay with the soveriegn they had taken an oath to or with the nation they were pledged to defend.
Most simply switched that allegiance. Their emperors had lost the 'mandate of heaven', that interesting Chinese political philosophy. Was it betrayal or patriotism? When German officers in 1944 refused to join the anti-Hitler plots because of their oath to the Fuehrer they have beem roundly condemned by historians. What is the correct view? An conundrum indeed. That is why the military should take oaths to defend, not individuals, but the abstract of the nation.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 05:19:30 PM
Bear,

I have no problem with your pursuit of an answer that makes sense to you, although by the understanding you have of the word "betrayed" you might just as well start with the St. Petersburg phone book, 1917 ed. and begin with the "A"'s.

To me  the line above reads as being flipent and unnecessary in this discussion.

I must apologize since it appears I am not communicating well enough for you to understand my position.

Quote
But Nicholas was in no sense "obligated to God" to be incorrect in his beliefs.

If Nicholas II believed as the Tsar of Russia that  God would guide him in the direction God so chose for him.,   is this kind of thinking  on his part correct or incorrect ?   

I don't think we need to answer this with a "yes" or a "no". because,  (my perspective may be flawed but) I think Nicholas II believed  in  fate.  If I am right then I think it really doesn't matter what we think today or what others thought in the times of  Tsar Nicholas II.   It  only matters what Nicholas II felt.

Quote
That would be heretical by any normal theological standards.  And his beliefs were demonstrably wrong --- in 1913, not just today.

This is your opinion not Nicholas II's.

And,  I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that Christians born and raised in Russia in those times  would consider the belief in fate as  "heretical".   

Quote
Moreover, the idea that the Tsar was unable to think for himself, or may have been brainwashed, says volumes about (1) what you think about Nicholas II and (2) why, if you are correct, he was unfit to be Tsar.

First,  let me explain what I meant by being brain washed.  I am not saying that Nicholas II was placed in a room,  suffered sleep deprivation and harrased into thinking the way he did.  I am, however, suggesting that  from the time he was born until his death he was subjected to  "the application of a concentrated means of persuasion in order to develop a specific belief or modivation "  p. 174  THE AMERICAN HERITAGE COLLEGE DIC.TIONA.ARY.

There is a thread about  whether you think Nicholas II was fit or unfit to be Tsar. 

Quote
Furthermore, and just for the hell of it --- you might want to consider that one cannot be held responsible to an oath taken without full understanding (according to both Latin and Orthodox Christianity). I have trouble envisioning the "brainwashed" Nicholas you postulate as being bound by his coronation oath.

Simon

Lutherans think Catholic have been "brainwashed".

Catholics think the Lutherans have been "brainwashed".

Agnostics believe everyone who believes in God has been "brainwashed".

And,  everyone who does believe in God think the poor  godless agnostic has been "brainwashed"

It does depend upon a person's point of view, doesn't  it?

Please note,  I have  not implied that  those who worship in the churches of the Russian Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Agnostics or anyone else can not think for themselves .  However,  I do believe that all of us have been "brainwashed" to some degree by someone at some  time.   

I happen to love the coca -cola advertisements on tv especially the one with the baby polar bear with the penquins even through I know polar bears and penquins have met only in zoos.

Unfortunately for  Nicholas Alexandrovich,  " the brainwashing"  was highly concentrated in order for  him to hold the faith needed in case he ruled Russia.   

Everything he was taught  by the priests was leading him toward the prayer he uttered at this cornation.

Last but not least,  I ask:  How do we know that God did not guide Nicholas II  every moment of his life?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 02, 2007, 05:29:34 PM
The matter of following an oath taken to an individual (as opposed to a constitution or a nation) has always been problematic to military officers. In 1918, in a  meeting with Hindenburg and Groener (who had replaced the mentally ill Ludendorf) Wilhelm II indicated he would march to Berlin with his army and put down the revolt that was breaking out. Groener gently told him that the army would march home behind its officers but not with His Majesty. Wilhelm increduously asked, But what of their oath. Hindenburg looked stricken but kept quiet, and Groener replied, that the oaths were now just so many words. Wilhelm fled to Holland the next day. In Russia in 1917, and Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1918 officers had to decide whether their allegiance lay with the soveriegn they had taken an oath to or with the nation they were pledged to defend.
Most simply switched that allegiance. Their emperors had lost the 'mandate of heaven', that interesting Chinese political philosophy. Was it betrayal or patriotism? When German officers in 1944 refused to join the anti-Hitler plots because of their oath to the Fuehrer they have beem roundly condemned by historians. What is the correct view? An conundrum indeed. That is why the military should take oaths to defend, not individuals, but the abstract of the nation.

I agree, James.

I don't think anyone really knows what they would do unless they've been  in a situation. 

To go against a superior officer was and is heavy duty stuff.

AGRBear 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 02, 2007, 05:39:51 PM
Bear,

I have no problem with your pursuit of an answer that makes sense to you, although by the understanding you have of the word "betrayed" you might just as well start with the St. Petersburg phone book, 1917 ed. and begin with the "A"'s.

To me  the line above reads as being flipent and unnecessary in this discussion.

I must apologize since it appears I am not communicating well enough for you to understand my position.

Quote
But Nicholas was in no sense "obligated to God" to be incorrect in his beliefs.

If Nicholas II believed as the Tsar of Russia that  God would guide him in the direction God so chose for him.,   is this kind of thinking  on his part correct or incorrect ?   

I don't think we need to answer this with a "yes" or a "no". because,  (my perspective may be flawed but) I think Nicholas II believed  in  fate.  If I am right then  and it really doesn't matter what we think today or what others thought in the times of  Tsar Nicholas II.   It  only matters what Nicholas II felt.

Quote
That would be heretical by any normal theological standards.  And his beliefs were demonstrably wrong --- in 1913, not just today.

This is your opinion not Nicholas II's.

And,  I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that Christians born and raised in Russia in those times  would consider the belief in fate as  "heretical".   

Quote
Moreover, the idea that the Tsar was unable to think for himself, or may have been brainwashed, says volumes about (1) what you think about Nicholas II and (2) why, if you are correct, he was unfit to be Tsar.

First,  let me explain what I meant by being brain washed.  I am not saying that Nicholas II was placed in a room,  suffered sleep deprivation and harrased into thinking the way he did.  I am, however, suggesting that  from the time he was born until his death he was subjected to  "the application of a concentrated means of persuasion in order to develop a specific belief or modivation "  p. 174  THE AMERICAN HERITAGE COLLEGE DIC.TIONA.ARY.

There is a thread about  whether you think Nicholas II was fit or unfit to be Tsar. 

Quote
Furthermore, and just for the hell of it --- you might want to consider that one cannot be held responsible to an oath taken without full understanding (according to both Latin and Orthodox Christianity). I have trouble envisioning the "brainwashed" Nicholas you postulate as being bound by his coronation oath.

Simon

Lutherans think Catholic have been "brainwashed".

Caholics think the Lutherans have been "brainwashed".

Agnostics believe everyone who believes in God has been "brainwashed".

And,  everyone who does believe in God think the poor  godless agnostic has been "brainwashed"

It does depend upon a person's point of view, doesn't  it?

Please note,  I have  not implied that  those who worship in the churches of the Russian Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Agnostics or anyone else can not think for themselves .  However,  I do believe that all of us have been "brainwashed" to some degree by someone at some  time.   

I happen to love the coca -cola advertisements on tv especially the one with the baby polar bear with the penquins even through I know polar bears and penquins have met only in zoos.

Unfortunately for  Nicholas Alexandrovich,  " the brainwashing"  was highly concentrated in order for  him to hold the faith needed in case he ruled Russia.   

Everything he was taught  by the priests was leading him toward the prayer he uttered at this cornation.

Last but not least,  I ask:  How do we know that God did not guide Nicholas II  every moment of his life?

AGRBear

Okay, this is so silly that it demands a response. Dear Bear, you are in so far over your head that you couldn't see daylight if you were standing on a ladder. In no particular order:

(1) Catholic do not believe Lutherans are brainwashed.
(2) Lutherans do not believe that Catholics are brainwashed.

You may think those things, but there are governing organizations for both denominations that set out very clearly how they regard each other. Stop making statements about things you manifestly know nothing about.

I have no idea how agnostics feel about atheists or vice versa, and I am pretty sure you don't either. You may know how you "feel" about things, but that isn't the same argument.

As for his beliefs being demonstrably wrong, they were. Unless you are prepared to defend anti-Semitism, pogroms and his governments repression of human rights. Are you? Is that how far your silly, thoughtless espousal of solipsism (look it up) takes you in an argument?

Finally, the word is "flippant", and the remark in question was not flippant at all. You have no parameters for this discussion, you have no understanding of what you say, you have no ability to think in a systematic matter, and once again, dear Bear, you have over-demonstrated all of these qualities in public. How can one possibly be flippant when one tries to answer you?

Penguins and polar bears?  Hello?


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 03, 2007, 02:46:55 PM
If you look closely at the tremendous influence the teachings of Konstantin Pobedonostsev had on Nicholas' thinking you might say it was a kind of "brainwashing." Certainly Nicholas did not get a balanced view of Orthodoxy and the tsar's place in it. Pobedonostsev's view were quite one-sided and to the far right of the spectrum. And since Pobedonostsev was highly regarded by both Nicholas' father and mother his view had more impact than an ordinary teacher would have had.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 03, 2007, 07:34:31 PM
If you look closely at the tremendous influence the teachings of Konstantin Pobedonostsev had on Nicholas' thinking you might say it was a kind of "brainwashing." Certainly Nicholas did not get a balanced view of Orthodoxy and the tsar's place in it. Pobedonostsev's view were quite one-sided and to the far right of the spectrum. And since Pobedonostsev was highly regarded by both Nicholas' father and mother his view had more impact than an ordinary teacher would have had.

Why not see it as not so much as a far rightist view but just the "right view"? Why not consider that the teachings Nikolai received from Pobedonostsev under AIII's guidance and encouragement from Nikolai's position and ignore your personal assessment as to which side of the fence that instruction came from.

N. B. I do agree that Pobedonostsev was extremely conformist in many of the issues he espoused, and I wish to stress that my personal view is irrelevant.

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 03, 2007, 07:58:43 PM
James,

It was regarded as "far right" by many people at the time, and correctly so --- it left him with completely unworkable ideas with which to meet the modern age. If the term "far right" is problematic, I would suggest that it be replaced with ultraconservative. Surely Nicholas would have agreed with this term, since in his view it was necessary to "conserve" the powers of the throne for his son. If one calls it the "right" understanding, it implies that it was correct, which is a judgement.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 03, 2007, 08:10:08 PM
...  Surely Nicholas would have agreed with this term, since in his view it was necessary to "conserve" the powers of the throne for his son. If one calls it the "right" understanding, it implies that it was correct, which is a judgement.

Simon

But Simon that is exactly what AIII and Nikolai would have consciously believed - it was they who made that judgement.

We today can only be observers of that judgement and our personal bias must be set aside.

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 03, 2007, 08:14:31 PM
I do want to remind people that we should refrain from "monday morning quarterbacking" when it comes to what Nicholas "believed".  On this point, Belochka is quite right. Nicholas cannot be held responsible for modern thoughts. We must try to understand "where he was coming from" or what he was taught by his father and teachers to BE Emperor of Russia.  Modern ideology is irrelevant to this discussion. We have to try to understand what Nicholas thought and believed and what was expected at that time. 21st century notions are out of place to understand the motivation of a 19th century autocrat.

my 2 kopecks
FA
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 03, 2007, 09:27:08 PM
Rob,

I understand what you are saying, and had there been no dissent from this position at the time, I would be inclined to accept the line of reasoning. But there were dissenting voices, to which Nicholas was exposed --- through his family connections, through the reports of his secret police, and even through the example of his grandfather. It is one thing to be ragingly anti-Semitic in the Middle Ages, quite another during the first two decades of the 20th century. Moreover, had Nicholas really believed in his people's love, it wouldn't have been necessary to maintain something like the Okhrana, no? He had exposure to a less conservative interpretation of Imperial rule (the Duma counts), and he chose not to open himself to these ideas. It seems to be a far more limiting view of him to take the position that he was incapable of understanding the opposition. Since the entire Imperial edifice came crashing down largely because he was too inept to rule either as a strong Tsar - a la his father --- or a constitutional ruler (he had no use for a Duma) --- and since his choices were catastophic in their consequences, I am not sure why we cannot judge him a failure. Hence --- wait for it, I'm actually going to reference the thread title again! --- Nicholas II  "betrayed" himself. My quibble is with the word "betray", by the way, insofar as it has perjorative connotations. Subsititute the word "failed" and it makes more sense.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 03, 2007, 09:50:52 PM
... My quibble is with the word "betray", by the way, insofar as it has perjorative connotations. Subsititute the word "failed" and it makes more sense.

Simon

My quibble is that no matter what words you wish to substitute - it can not be ignored that the top echelons of the military and intelligensia failed to support their country especially in time of war. This is betrayal by the people. It was a colossal act of betrayal against Imperial Russia and her sovereign ruler.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 12:21:11 AM
. . . . it can not be ignored that the top echelons of the military and intelligensia failed to support their country especially in time of war. This is betrayal by the people. It was a colossal act of betrayal against Imperial Russia and her sovereign ruler.

Well, since apparently the entire people of Russia "betrayed" their tsar, why is there such hand wringing about what Lenin, Stalin, and their successors did to the Russian people?  Isn't that pretty much what traitors who overturn God's ordained order deserve?

The notion that the top echelons of the imperial military suddenly abandoned their tsar out of some kind of collective moral perversion instead of in desperation at an incompetent government stirkes me as utter nonsense.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 04, 2007, 12:28:54 AM
Nicholas asked his soldiers to put down 'the disturbances' by shooting their fellow citizens. In the past they had obeyed him and done so. This time they decided they didn't want to do it anymore. That might be construed as 'betrayal'. That might be construed as revolutionary. That also might be construed as just good sense.
Nicholas was warned, amply warned,by those loyal to the throne that a crisis was brewing and that he had to take action. He dismissed these warning as nonsense. that fat Rodzianko has sent me some more nonesense. I have set it aside and refuse even to read it.
What were patriotic Russians to do? Let the ship founder and let everyone be drowned because the captain was too obtuse to see his steering was driving them onto the rocks, just to remain 'loyal'. Sort of a Caine Mutiny scenario.
And Belochka writes: "...it cannot be ignored that the top echelons of the military and intelligensia failed to support their country especially in time of war. This is betrayal by the people. It was a colossal act of betrayal against Imperial Russia and her sovereign ruler." Yet it was the top echelons of the military who were fighting the war and trying to win it, such as Brusilov, against the stupidity and incompetence of generals who owed their rank and command to sucking up to the court. It was the ordinary Russian soldiers who gave their all for Imperial Russia only to be rewarded with corrupt officers who stole from them, who led them to death in ill conceived operations, who got letters home from wives and mothers telling them they were starving and cold, while the nobility ate drank and made merry in Petrograd and Rasputin exposed himself and bellowed how he could make the old girl do what he wanted. I am not sure what you mean by the intelligentsia. I do know that the Imperial bureaucrats bungled even the simplest jobs so that private citizens had to step in and try to do the things the imperial government seemed incapable of doing. Grand Duchess Elizabeth wrote to the empress of how she got to the front to set up the empress own field hospital, only to find that the supplies for it had been shipped to the wrong front due to the fact that an official had signed the wrong forms while in a state of drunkeness. The people stuck it out for three long years and in return for their sacrifice expected their tsar and their government to give them hope. Instead they got defeat, corruption,
death, and a tsar refused to take them into his confidence. I think in those circumstances most any person would come to the conclusion that this man wasn't worth their loyalty. If he had been elected he would have been thrown out of office long before that. It wasn't the people who betrayed Imperial Russia but Imperial Russia who betrayed the people.
Nicholas and the Romanov dynasty had lost the Mandate of Heaven.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 04, 2007, 03:37:58 AM
The notion that the top echelons of the imperial military suddenly abandoned their tsar out of some kind of collective moral perversion instead of in desperation at an incompetent government stirkes me as utter nonsense.

Just prior to Nikolai's abdication on 2 March, 1917 General Alexeyev with General Ruzsky's encouragement, sent a dispatch to all commanders-in-chief  located on all the fronts including commanders of the Baltic and Black fleets.

The communication dealt with the dynastic issue requesting their individual responses as to whether they each agreed to the Emperor's abdication in favor of Grand Duke Mikhail acting as regent to Alexei. The communication stressed urgency and in the interests of a victorious conclusion of the war,  no other alternative was to be entertained.

The responses in the main were in favor of immediate abdication. From memory I believe only one commander dissented and shot himself in the head.

General Ruzsky then confered with the Duma representatives Shulgin and Guchkov before they were permitted to have an audience with the Emperor.

The Pskov "factor" was very real and the actions of the Generals and Admirals was in contravention of their oath of allegience to their Emperor. It was indeed an act of betrayal by the military.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 04:22:20 AM
Just prior to Nikolai's abdication on 2 March, 1917 General Alexeyev with General Ruzsky's encouragement, sent a dispatch to all commanders-in-chief  located on all the fronts including commanders of the Baltic and Black fleets.

The communication dealt with the dynastic issue requesting their individual responses as to whether they each agreed to the Emperor's abdication in favor of Grand Duke Mikhail acting as regent to Alexei. The communication stressed urgency and in the interests of a victorious conclusion of the war,  no other alternative was to be entertained . . . .

It was indeed an act of betrayal by the military.

Call it what you will.

The real question -- and you know it -- is why  were Nicholas' generals, almost to a man, driven to this extremity.  And your own post indicates they were being asked to support a transition of rule to Grand Duke Michael as regent for Alexei.  So don't try to say they had been infected by revolutionary fervor or some such nonsense.  They were not revolutionaries conspiring to overthrow the imperial government.  They were intent on saving it and the dynasty.  As you say, "no other alternative was to be entertained."

Why did almost every single one of Nicholas' corps of generals and admirals agree to support the demand for his abdication, Belochka?

Why?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 04, 2007, 05:24:15 AM
Just prior to Nikolai's abdication on 2 March, 1917 General Alexeyev with General Ruzsky's encouragement, sent a dispatch to all commanders-in-chief  located on all the fronts including commanders of the Baltic and Black fleets.

The communication dealt with the dynastic issue requesting their individual responses as to whether they each agreed to the Emperor's abdication in favor of Grand Duke Mikhail acting as regent to Alexei. The communication stressed urgency and in the interests of a victorious conclusion of the war,  no other alternative was to be entertained . . . .

It was indeed an act of betrayal by the military.

Call it what you will.

The real question -- and you know it -- is why  were Nicholas' generals, almost to a man, driven to this extremity.  And your own post indicates they were being asked to support a transition of rule to Grand Duke Michael as regent for Alexei.  So don't try to say they had been infected by revolutionary fervor or some such nonsense.  They were not revolutionaries conspiring to overthrow the imperial government.  They were intent on saving it and the dynasty.  As you say, "no other alternative was to be entertained."

Why did almost every single one of Nicholas' corps of generals and admirals agree to support the demand for his abdication, Belochka?

Why?

Since the commanders were not offered any alternatives other than acceptance then their collective reasoning could only have come down to their belief that they at least could prevent anarchy AND still carry on with their military duties.

For them it was a matter of military necessity to achieve their common goal - a victory for Russia.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 06:34:29 AM
Since the commanders were not offered any alternatives other than acceptance then their collective reasoning could only have come down to their belief that they at least could prevent anarchy AND still carry on with their military duties.

For them it was a matter of military necessity to achieve their common goal - a victory for Russia.

So you think it was worse to "betray" a tsar than to struggle to prevent Russia from falling into anarchy and opening the door to military defeat?  Your posts imply a view that an oath is absolute in its power to bind people morally and spiritually.  So just where to you draw the line -- if at all -- on how far one must go in honoring an oath?  Let's test this line by this scenario: 

A tsar to whom the military has sworn an oath of obedience becomes insane and thinks the government and people of Kiev are conspiring to unseat him.  This tsar orders his army to attack Kiev and annihilate its entire population.  Would it be "betrayal" for the military commanders to renounce their oaths to such a tsar?  (And don't say such a scenario is inconceivable.  Ivan IV and Stalin both had at least temporary descents into depths of paranoia, as have non-Russian kings and dictators from time to time.)

Just how far does the imperative to honor an oath to a tsar reach?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 08:39:18 AM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 09:23:20 AM
This discussion  is NOT about how "Nicholas II betrayed himself".    This thread is NOT about how Nicholas II failed others it is about "who betrayed Tsar Nicholas II".   There are other threads where you can discuss how you feel that Nicholas II betrayed / failed as Tsar.

Of course,  with each individual or groups of people named as having betrayed Nicholas II,   a poster  can give the reasons why they (the betrayers)  felt   it necessary to "betray"  their Tsar Nicholas II.

In a book I just brought called SCENANRIOS OF POWER, MYTH AND CEREMONY IN RUSSIAN MONARCHY  by Richard S. Wortman  he states the following on page:

He tells us that Nicholas II: 

>>...felt not disillusioned but betrayed.  "All around there is treason, cowardice, and deceit," he wrote in his diary." 

[Wortman did not give the date this was written.   Does anyone know because I wouldn't want to be in error if this statement was not actually written in Nicholas II's diary.  And, if it was,  I'd like to know where I and others can find it and read the entire entry. Thanks.]

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 09:31:49 AM
In the first place, "Nicholas II" is an acceptable answer to the question posed by the thread, and it was given almost as soon as the thread started. You can disagree with it, but you cannot rule it out at this point. If you disagree with the answer, why not try and explain why?

In the second place, define "betrayal" in such a way that it can be answered within the parameters of your question. Do you mean who broke an oath to the Tsar? It then becomes proper to discuss what is an oath, and how much strain can it be subjected to before it loses potency.

If you wish to say that he was betrayed by everyone who thought he should abdicate, or by everyone who thought he was incompetent, or by . . . . well, I think it is obvious. Start another thread with a more precise understanding of what it is you are trying to determine. You may not arrive in the middle of a discussion and announce that you are making up the rules to suit yourself if they weren't clearly defined at the beginning.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 09:45:13 AM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.


 As far as I'm concern, there is NO reason to make this conversation so personal. 

I  believe,    that Margarita's grandfather and every Russian  did what  they  believed was best for their  country. 

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 04, 2007, 09:48:42 AM
I have to agree with Simon, as one can not discuss "who" betrayed Nicholas II, without also discussing the REASONS for their "betayal" of him. else, all we would have is a list of names, and no discussion. If that is what you are seeking Bear, then please start a new thread and make that point clear.

FA
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 04, 2007, 09:50:02 AM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.


 As far as I'm concern, there is NO reason to make this conversation so personal. 

I  believe,    that Margarita's grandfather and every Russian  did what  they  believed was best for their  country. 

AGRBear


Bear, THAT is exactly the crux of this discussion isn't it? Who were the people who believed that betraying Nicholas II WAS best for their country and WHY did they believe that??

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 09:59:29 AM
I want to underline that I mean no disrespect to Margarita or her grandfather; I do not think he "betrayed" his country. But she introduced him on the other thread, and it does seem apropos to this discussion to inquire how she regards his military career. Or Zhukov's, for that matter. Is anyone related to Zhukov?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 10:13:21 AM
In the first place, "Nicholas II" is an acceptable answer to the question posed by the thread, and it was given almost as soon as the thread started. You can disagree with it, but you cannot rule it out at this point. If you disagree with the answer, why not try and explain why?

Okay.  This  point was taken back on page one and is taken, again, over here on this page.

This topic is being discussed over on threads created just for your topic.

Now, ON THIS THREAD,  let's discuss people who betrayed their Tsar Nicholas II.


Quote
In the second place, define "betrayal" in such a way that it can be answered within the parameters of your question. Do you mean who broke an oath to the Tsar? It then becomes proper to discuss what is an oath, and how much strain can it be subjected to before it loses potency.

I believe some have discussed the oath to their Tsar.   So,  who gave this oath and broke their oath? 

I gave an example from the Memories of  Count Paul Beckendorff where the troops continued to protect the Tsar and his family even though they were no longer bound to their oath since  their Nicholas II was an ex-Tsar because he  had abdicated so  they had been released.

Quote
If you wish to say that he was betrayed by everyone who thought he should abdicate, or by everyone who thought he was incompetent, or by . . . . well, I think it is obvious. Start another thread with a more precise understanding of what it is you are trying to determine. You may not arrive in the middle of a discussion and announce that you are making up the rules to suit yourself if they weren't clearly defined at the beginning.



If you wish to go to the extreme of using the telephone book and naming everyone who betrayed Nicholas II,  that is your choice.  However, for the sake of this thread,  I would prefer that we remain within the boundaries of those people who were important in the Tsar's  life and it was their choices which made a huge and very serious impact upon the Nicholas II's future as Tsar.

As for making up the rules,  you can start your own thread about how this wooly headed bear can climb a ladder......  to fetch honey  ;)   or better, yet,  create the topic on  "How Did Nicholas II Betrayed Himself?"

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 10:23:55 AM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.



AGRBear






 As far as I'm concern, there is NO reason to make this conversation so personal. 

I  believe,    that Margarita's grandfather and every Russian  did what  they  believed was best for their  country. 

AGRBear


Bear, THAT is exactly the crux of this discussion isn't it? Who were the people who believed that betraying Nicholas II WAS best for their country and WHY did they believe that??



My error,  I didn't see that Margarita had posted about her grandfather.

FA is, of course,  correct.

I want to underline that I mean no disrespect to Margarita or her grandfather; I do not think he "betrayed" his country. But she introduced him on the other thread, and it does seem apropos to this discussion to inquire how she regards his military career. Or Zhukov's, for that matter. Is anyone related to Zhukov?

And, of course,  Simon is correct.  I apologize.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 10:36:58 AM
HOW people betrayed their Tsar Nicholas II?

Tovarich Plum in the conservatory with the candlestick. Kerensky in the Ballroom with the Duma.

If you want to take the position that the breaking of an oath constitutes betrayal . . .okay. But could you at least provide a definition of the word "betrayal" that works in other cases? Did a worker, unbound by military oath, who shouted "Horsefeathers on the Tsar" commit "betrayal"?

And apology accepted, of course. Careful on that ladder, though. Don't drop the honey.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 10:55:56 AM
Nicholas II and his church:

If you look closely at the tremendous influence the teachings of Konstantin Pobedonostsev had on Nicholas' thinking you might say it was a kind of "brainwashing." Certainly Nicholas did not get a balanced view of Orthodoxy and the tsar's place in it. Pobedonostsev's view were quite one-sided and to the far right of the spectrum. And since Pobedonostsev was highly regarded by both Nicholas' father and mother his view had more impact than an ordinary teacher would have had.

THE RELIGION OF LOVE  by Alexander Grand Duke of Russia writes on page 132: 
>>The clergy are greatly to blame... having conceived false ideas through incomprehension of the Scriptures."

The topic was "love of religion",  however, I think that GD Alexander believed the clergy were to be blamed for many of what he thought were  "false ideas"  which they taught him....

I remember reading Paul Grabbe's book, THE WINDOWS ON THE RIVER NEVA in which he talked about his youth and his prayers....  Let me see if I can find it.   Here it is on p. 61:

>>I was made to understand when I was still quite small that every night before going to sleep I had to recite my prayers--the Lor'd Prayer and special prayer for the Virgin May-- or else GOd would surely strike me down with thunder and lightning.  Intimindated by this prospect,  I said my prayers duitfully every night.<<

I assume as a child Nicholas II was, also, intimindated by a similar kind of prospect as Grabbe was about his [Nicolas's] own prayers.

I think this is an interesting question:  Did   Pobedonostsev and other clergy in Nicholas II's life  betrayed Nicholas II because their beliefs  lead Nicholas II into believing  the Tsar's will was God's will.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 11:01:02 AM
If you look closely at the tremendous influence the teachings of Konstantin Pobedonostsev had on Nicholas' thinking you might say it was a kind of "brainwashing." Certainly Nicholas did not get a balanced view of Orthodoxy and the tsar's place in it. Pobedonostsev's view were quite one-sided and to the far right of the spectrum. And since Pobedonostsev was highly regarded by both Nicholas' father and mother his view had more impact than an ordinary teacher would have had.

Why not see it as not so much as a far rightist view but just the "right view"? Why not consider that the teachings Nikolai received from Pobedonostsev under AIII's guidance and encouragement from Nikolai's position and ignore your personal assessment as to which side of the fence that instruction came from.

N. B. I do agree that Pobedonostsev was extremely conformist in many of the issues he espoused, and I wish to stress that my personal view is irrelevant.

Margarita  :)

I think Margarita views are closer to how Nicholas II felt about his religious teachings than I can express.

And, yes,  my personal assessment is exactly that,  my personal assessment.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 04, 2007, 11:21:45 AM
Does it really matter if the generals broke their oath. If every general, colonel and major in the Russian army had remained loyal it would have made no difference. The tsar and his monarchy would have been swept aside. The rank and file soldiers would have seen to that, allied to the people who had lost faith in the monarchy. They no longer wanted to fight or die for the tsar. I am willing to bet good money that most of them were patriotic Russians.

In Berlin there is a monument (several) to those officers of the German army (and civilians in the government) who broke their oath to their leader and tried to kill him in 1944 to prevent their country from being destroyed. They are honored as heroes. Yet the Russian generals who did the same in 1914 are being excoriated as traitors and disloyal and cowards.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 11:40:14 AM
Betray:
1) To give aid or information to an enemy of
2) To deliver into the hands of an enemy in volation of a trust or  alligiance
3) To divulge in a breach of confidence
4) To make known unintentionally
5) To reval against one's desire or will
6) To lead astray, deceive

Enemy:
1) One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes another; a foe
2a) A hostile power or force, such as a nation
2b) A member or unit of such a force
3) A group of foes or hostil forces
4)  Something destructive or injurious in its effect

I believe a conspirator falls under an enemy:

Conspirtator:
1) One that engages in a conspiracy

Conspiracy:
1) An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
2) A group of conspirators
3) Law.  An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal actions
4) A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design....

Strictly speaking: If a General of the Tsar's Army breaks his oath to his Tsar,  who has not abdicated which released the Geneal  from their oath, and conspires to have the Tsar  removed and replaced by another,  I believe the conspirator has  "betrayed" his Tsar,  even if the conspirator had legitmate reasons which would have been for the betterment of Russia.

Have I explained my point of view?

Do you agree or disagree?

AGRBear

 

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 11:52:57 AM
Does it really matter if the generals broke their oath. If every general, colonel and major in the Russian army had remained loyal it would have made no difference. The tsar and his monarchy would have been swept aside. The rank and file soldiers would have seen to that, allied to the people who had lost faith in the monarchy. They no longer wanted to fight or die for the tsar. I am willing to bet good money that most of them were patriotic Russians.

In Berlin there is a monument (several) to those officers of the German army (and civilians in the government) who broke their oath to their leader and tried to kill him in 1944 to prevent their country from being destroyed. They are honored as heroes. Yet the Russian generals who did the same in 1914 are being excoriated as traitors and disloyal and cowards.

It is not my intention to destroy the honor of those who conspired against Nicholas II.  I am not in favor of monarchy.   My intention is to discover who these men were and understand why they went against their Tsar when they did.


AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 12:17:22 PM

The notion that the top echelons of the imperial military suddenly abandoned their tsar out of some kind of collective moral perversion instead of in desperation at an incompetent government stirkes me as utter nonsense.

Just prior to Nikolai's abdication on 2 March, 1917 General Alexeyev with General Ruzsky's encouragement, sent a dispatch to all commanders-in-chief  located on all the fronts including commanders of the Baltic and Black fleets.

The communication dealt with the dynastic issue requesting their individual responses as to whether they each agreed to the Emperor's abdication in favor of Grand Duke Mikhail acting as regent to Alexei. The communication stressed urgency and in the interests of a victorious conclusion of the war,  no other alternative was to be entertained.

The responses in the main were in favor of immediate abdication. From memory I believe only one commander dissented and shot himself in the head.

General Ruzsky then confered with the Duma representatives Shulgin and Guchkov before they were permitted to have an audience with the Emperor.

The Pskov "factor" was very real and the actions of the Generals and Admirals was in contravention of their oath of allegience to their Emperor. It was indeed an act of betrayal by the military.

Margarita

Who were these commanders-in-chief?  And,  what do we know about them?  Did they leave any documents which explained their actions?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 12:27:29 PM
Since the commanders were not offered any alternatives other than acceptance then their collective reasoning could only have come down to their belief that they at least could prevent anarchy AND still carry on with their military duties.

For them it was a matter of military necessity to achieve their common goal - a victory for Russia.

So you think it was worse to "betray" a tsar than to struggle to prevent Russia from falling into anarchy and opening the door to military defeat?  Your posts imply a view that an oath is absolute in its power to bind people morally and spiritually.  So just where do you draw the line -- if at all -- on how far one must go in honoring an oath?  Let's test this line by this scenario: 

A tsar to whom the military has sworn an oath of obedience becomes insane and thinks the government and people of Kiev are conspiring to unseat him.  This tsar orders his army to attack Kiev and annihilate its entire population.  Would it be "betrayal" for the military commanders to renounce their oaths to such a tsar?  (And don't say such a scenario is inconceivable.  Ivan IV and Stalin both had at least temporary descents into depths of paranoia, as have non-Russian kings and dictators from time to time.)

Just how far does the imperative to honor an oath to a tsar reach?

I think we still need an answer to this question, since violating the oath to follow Nicholas has been cited several times on this thread as an example of the betrayal of Nicholas.  And you, Bear, did not  challenge those examples as being off topic when they were given.  Likewise, you cannot now challenge the attempt to understand the reach of such an oath as off topic . . . much as it might make you squirm.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 04, 2007, 12:47:09 PM
<<just how far does the imperative to honor an oath to a tsar reach?>>

An excellent question which should spur a new thread.  Please do.

On this thread, I would appreciate, after giving the name of a person you think betrayed his Tsar,  please, do give the  reason why you think he/she  betrayed Nicholas II.  The reasons may or may not  touch  the area that the betrayer felt his/ her  actions were justified.  If a betrayer is identified as a military leader, then, of course,  you or anyone else can bring up the fact that he had given an oath to his Tsar. And,  added to this you can explained why he felt breaking his oath was justified.  This is entirely up to the posters.


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 12:57:27 PM
I suggest you ignore this, Tsarfan. At this point it is willful disregard for the thread.

You intend to pursue your interests, Bear, and the rest of us will pursue ours. Okay?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 01:07:00 PM
Since the commanders were not offered any alternatives other than acceptance then their collective reasoning could only have come down to their belief that they at least could prevent anarchy AND still carry on with their military duties.

For them it was a matter of military necessity to achieve their common goal - a victory for Russia.

So you think it was worse to "betray" a tsar than to struggle to prevent Russia from falling into anarchy and opening the door to military defeat?  Your posts imply a view that an oath is absolute in its power to bind people morally and spiritually.  So just where do you draw the line -- if at all -- on how far one must go in honoring an oath?  Let's test this line by this scenario: 

A tsar to whom the military has sworn an oath of obedience becomes insane and thinks the government and people of Kiev are conspiring to unseat him.  This tsar orders his army to attack Kiev and annihilate its entire population.  Would it be "betrayal" for the military commanders to renounce their oaths to such a tsar?  (And don't say such a scenario is inconceivable.  Ivan IV and Stalin both had at least temporary descents into depths of paranoia, as have non-Russian kings and dictators from time to time.)

Just how far does the imperative to honor an oath to a tsar reach?

I think we still need an answer to this question, since violating the oath to follow Nicholas has been cited several times on this thread as an example of the betrayal of Nicholas.  And you, Bear, did not  challenge those examples as being off topic when they were given.  Likewise, you cannot now challenge the attempt to understand the reach of such an oath as off topic . . . much as it might make you squirm.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 04, 2007, 07:45:33 PM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.

My grandfather was not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty. In his case he was a monarchist and silently maintained that position all his life.  In so doing, in his heart and soul he never betrayed his imperial oath. Under a new regime, on a different battlefield one does not abandon one's integrity as an officer nor personal beliefs. That was the analogy I was attempting to paint. The high command did have a narrow choice to make. They could have ignored General Alexeyev's communication and sort a direct response from Nikolai II as their Commander-in-Chief. The military betrayal that Alexeyev and Ruzsky cunningly engineered would have failed and the tragedy of the impending abdication may have been averted.   

Margarita  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 04, 2007, 08:18:50 PM
Nicholas was at Stavka where his communications with his capital depended mainly on the telegraph. He was sent reports from his ministers, his wife, his military commander in Petrograd about the (disturbances, riots, strikes, "hooligans", you chose). Thus he had information, but unfortunately like all bureaucrats they dreaded telling the autocrat bad news so the seriousness of these disturbances was downplayed. His ministers reported that the police and the army were having no difficulty in maintaining control.
On 25 Feb, at 9:00 pm, Nicholas sent his order to General Khabalov that would set in motion the train of events that led to his "betrayal." I command you tomorrow to stop the disorders in the capital which are unacceptable in the difficult time of war with Germany and Austria." It gave no guidance as to what steps he would authorize or how he wanted the general to proceed. Next day Khabalov gave the order to his troop commanders that all necessary force was to be used to disperse the crowds, including firing into them. He issued a general proclamation that banned all demonstrations and warned the order would be enforced with arms. Strikers would be conscripted and sent to the front if they did not return to work by the 28 Feb.
If you then follow a daily timeline of events from that moment on you see that there were any number of points along the way in which Nicholas could have made a difference. On the 26th the strikes and demonstrations still continued in spite of the ban. The troops went out and obeyed their orders to shoot at the demonstrators to disperse them. They returned to their barracks and discussed what they had done.
On the morning of the 27th regiment after regiment mutined and joined the demonstrators. This began the disintegration of military authority, and with it civil authority. The revolution had begun.
Khabalov appealed to Nicholas for reliable military units from the front. Nicholas decided to return to Petrograd and sent an order to General Ivanov to transfer reliable troops to the city and to restore order.
For the next five days he was bombarded with any number of proposals that might have difussed the situation and led to different outcome. Nicholas rejected all of them, intent on reaching the capital and having Ivanov put down the troubles with force of arms. Who knows what might of happened if he had made it, probably a bloody confrontation with a dubious outcome. Would the "reliable troops" have remained reliable. We will never know. His train was diverted and he ended up in Pskov at the headquarters of General Russky. There he would abdicate on March 2.
In reading all the proposals and recommendations that were proposed to Nicholas I can only see a desperate desire to maintain the imperial system and at the same time deal with the spreading mutinies and revolts. Each time Nicholas rejected them outright, or when he did bend to accept, it was too late because the proposal was outdated and events had moved on. It is agonizing to see the many times he could have made a decision that would meant a difference. Even at the last, the abdication was an attempt to save the monarchy which even that Nicholas botched.
It this be 'betrayal' then so be, let it be betrayal.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 04, 2007, 08:47:16 PM
Quote
My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime.

Given the importance that you attach to oaths, Margarita, I am curious as to whether you consider your grandfather to have "betrayed" his oath to Nicholas II when he fought for the regime that ordered the ex-Tsar's execution? I don't, of course, but then I tend to agree with Tsarfan's estimation of the oath of loyalty as a means rather than an end.

My grandfather was not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty. In his case he was a monarchist and silently maintained that position all his life.  In so doing, in his heart and soul he never betrayed his imperial oath. Under a new regime, on a different battlefield one does not abandon one's integrity as an officer nor personal beliefs. That was the analogy I was attempting to paint. The high command did have a narrow choice to make. They could have ignored General Alexeyev's communication and sort a direct response from Nikolai II as their Commander-in-Chief. The military betrayal that Alexeyev and Ruzsky cunningly engineered would have failed and the tragedy of the impending abdication may have been averted.   

Margarita  


I don't understand the "not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty", still less the Jesuitical "in his heart and soul he never betrayed his imperial oath". This is not to say that I think he did, but if you allow for him to maintain his interior reservations in regard to his miitary oath of loyalty, why are the same reservations not permitted to the Russian General Staff? I am sure none of them was pleased to see the death knell of a system that they had matured under, but you don't seem to allow for the fact that Nicholas himself released them from obligation by his act of abdication --- and as I have pointed out several times, this act was freely undertaken. Louis XVI and Charles I each refused to abdicate, and by implication (and in one case explicitly) rejected the authority of those that tried them. Nicholas might have done this as well. There aren't that many examples he could have considered when faced with the possibility of abdication, but we know from his reading list that he was familiar with those two monarchs.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 04, 2007, 09:40:29 PM
My grandfather was not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty.

I do not understand this remark.  Everyone has the freedom to choose whether or not to pledge an oath.  The consequences of refusal might be dire (just ask Thomas More), but the choice remains.  If your grandfather had no choice but to pledge fealty to the soviet government without suffering ill consequences, what choice did people have in tsarist times?  Why is a different standard applied to your grandfather than to them?

Also, I would still like an answer to my earlier question using the Kiev scenario.  Would an oath given to a tsar who later became insane and issued cruel, irrational orders still be binding?  If not, what are your criteria for drawing the line beyond which one is absolved of the obligation?

I would also ask whether you instead view an oath as absolute.  But since you have already suggested your grandfather was absolved of responsibility for his oath because his coerced utterance did not match his true belief, I will take your answer as a "no".

(As with Simon, I am not censuring your grandfather.  I would have done the same.  But then, I do not believe that oaths imposed on people under the duress of an autocratic system create unconditional moral or spiritual obligations.)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 06:24:22 AM
I would also ask whether you instead view an oath as absolute.  But since you have already suggested your grandfather was absolved of responsibility for his oath because his coerced utterance did not match his true belief, I will take your answer as a "no".

(As with Simon, I am not censuring your grandfather.  I would have done the same.  But then, I do not believe that oaths imposed on people under the duress of an autocratic system create unconditional moral or spiritual obligations.)

Firstly, you are offering a judgemental remark by stating that an autocratic system carries with it the notion of oppression ("duress") and then you proceed to ask the question whether an Oath is unconditional under the parameters you have deemed to be valid.

Secondly, reading carefully the words you have used - you are presuming as a modern observer that those who gave the Oath of Allegience may have believed that they were oppressed by the autocratic nature of their government. Similarily by your presumption any utterance must therefore be mitigated because of the nature of that form of governance.

With respect you fail to appreciate that those who gave their Oath BELIEVED in the meaning of those words and believed in the notion of autocracy. The Oath of allegience was a principle that was uttered freely before god and was accepted by the consistency of the words avowed by that individual. It therefore become binding and demanded loyalty to the Emperor, to Russia and the church and to finally to oneself.

To answer your query: I believe that the Oath was enduring for the life of the Emperor to whom one served. It was an unconditional declaration and was viewed as sacred and powerful rite.

Margarita  



   
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 06:44:43 AM
I am sure none of them was pleased to see the death knell of a system that they had matured under, but you don't seem to allow for the fact that Nicholas himself released them from obligation by his act of abdication ---

Nikolai did not release the Commanders from their obligation. He was still Emperor when they received their communications from General Alexeyev.  It was a proposal demanding consensus. The majority of Commanders released themselves from their binding obligation to the Emperor without question. Consequent to that collective act, Nikolai rightly believed that he was betrayed and only then did he consider his "position" under duress.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 07:37:16 AM
My grandfather was not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty.

I do not understand this remark.  Everyone has the freedom to choose whether or not to pledge an oath.  The consequences of refusal might be dire (just ask Thomas More), but the choice remains.  If your grandfather had no choice but to pledge fealty to the soviet government without suffering ill consequences, what choice did people have in tsarist times?  Why is a different standard applied to your grandfather than to them?

An Oath of Allegience (Citizenship) in democratic countries when it is given by migrants is a voluntary act in order to affirm one's citizenship in their new country. There is no compulsion by the government on the resident to undergo such a process. 

By contrast declarations or oaths given by an individual who was called up to serve the nation in time of war are not of the same class. In the case I gave it was the red army that demanded compliance to a socialist state governed by a ruthless dictator: stalin.

The difference for him was that he held the Emperor in high esteem and believed in the dignity of the Imperial State but the same could not be assumed about the communist regime he was subjected to live under against his will. 

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 08:35:04 AM
My grandfather was not given the freedom of choice to whom he pledged his loyalty.

I do not understand this remark.  Everyone has the freedom to choose whether or not to pledge an oath.  The consequences of refusal might be dire (just ask Thomas More), but the choice remains.  If your grandfather had no choice but to pledge fealty to the soviet government without suffering ill consequences, what choice did people have in tsarist times?  Why is a different standard applied to your grandfather than to them?

An Oath of Allegience (Citizenship) in democratic countries when it is given by migrants is a voluntary act in order to affirm one's citizenship in their new country. There is no compulsion by the government on the resident to undergo such a process. 

By contrast declarations or oaths given by an individual who was called up to serve the nation in time of war are not of the same class. In the case I gave it was the red army that demanded compliance to a socialist state governed by a ruthless dictator: stalin.

The difference for him was that he held the Emperor in high esteem and believed in the dignity of the Imperial State but the same could not be assumed about the communist regime he was subjected to live under against his will. 

Margarita

Setting aside your grandfather's particular case:

(1) no one has said that an oath of loyalty in a democratic society is understood in the same manner as an oath in an autocracy --- well, the Nuremburg trial judges said it, but that was later than Nicholas II's reign.

(2) an oath consists of both form and substance, as indeed does any ritual. If one swears, one must use the proper words, and one must give interior, individual consent.

(3) an autocratic system intrinsically carries with it the notion of "oppression" by its nature, if one accepts the definition of "oppression" as the surrender of the individual rights of the individual to the power of the autocrat. The autocrat can be benevolent and/or believe himself to be the anointed of God, but he is "oppressive" by the nature of his position.

(4) declarations or oaths given in times of war are in exactly the same class, for heaven's sake. Soldiers and military personnel do not get a pass from obligations of conscience because they are living in extraordinary circumstances. If "obligations of conscience" smacks too much of western philosophy, substitute "obligations of religious belief" for Russians.

The soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany had to swear a personal oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler. Assuming that Tsarfan's example is not extreme, a Russian soldier could be bound by his oath to the Tsar to commit atrocities similar to those undertaken by the Waffen-SS? If you say that the difference between the autocracy of Hitler and the autocracy of Ivan the Terrible or Peter the Great was that the tsars were placed in their positions by God, how much more culpable are they for horrendous actions? How much more obligated is the subject to withdraw his consent to a ruler who blasphemes --- i.e. confuses his will for God's will. In Christian terms, to use language the Nicholas II would or should have understood, one can indeed gain redemption through the surrended of one's individual will to God. This makes it trebly important that one determine what God's will actually is. A Russian who maintained his allegiance to a misguided Tsar was not culpable per se as long as he lacked proper understanding, but neither is a Russian who considered his oath compromised by the actions of a misguided Tsar.

(5) Nicholas II had a momentary failure of duty when he signed his abdication. There were extenuating circumstances, but many of them were faced by Louis XVI and Charles I --- threat to the safety of the royal family, the monarch was surrounded by people he viewed as traitors, etc. --- but nevertheless, other monarchs in similar circumstances held firm. By your understanding of the Tsar, he could not abdicate. He did not have the right to break his coronation promise.

(6) I have the impression that this (the imperial system) is something in which you personally believe, i.e. you accept the tenets of how it worked, and how important it was to Russia on a spiritual as opposed to practical basis. Normally I wouldn't bring this up, since the personal beliefs of posters are private, but in this case (assuming my impression is correct), it does seem to color the responses.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 09:58:08 AM
Nicholas was at Stavka where his communications with his capital depended mainly on the telegraph. He was sent reports from his ministers, his wife, his military commander in Petrograd about the (disturbances, riots, strikes, "hooligans", you chose). Thus he had information, but unfortunately like all bureaucrats they dreaded telling the autocrat bad news so the seriousness of these disturbances was downplayed. His ministers reported that the police and the army were having no difficulty in maintaining control.
On 25 Feb, at 9:00 pm, Nicholas sent his order to General Khabalov that would set in motion the train of events that led to his "betrayal." I command you tomorrow to stop the disorders in the capital which are unacceptable in the difficult time of war with Germany and Austria." It gave no guidance as to what steps he would authorize or how he wanted the general to proceed. Next day Khabalov gave the order to his troop commanders that all necessary force was to be used to disperse the crowds, including firing into them. He issued a general proclamation that banned all demonstrations and warned the order would be enforced with arms. Strikers would be conscripted and sent to the front if they did not return to work by the 28 Feb.
If you then follow a daily timeline of events from that moment on you see that there were any number of points along the way in which Nicholas could have made a difference. On the 26th the strikes and demonstrations still continued in spite of the ban. The troops went out and obeyed their orders to shoot at the demonstrators to disperse them. They returned to their barracks and discussed what they had done.
On the morning of the 27th regiment after regiment mutined and joined the demonstrators. This began the disintegration of military authority, and with it civil authority. The revolution had begun.
Khabalov appealed to Nicholas for reliable military units from the front. Nicholas decided to return to Petrograd and sent an order to General Ivanov to transfer reliable troops to the city and to restore order.
For the next five days he was bombarded with any number of proposals that might have difussed the situation and led to different outcome. Nicholas rejected all of them, intent on reaching the capital and having Ivanov put down the troubles with force of arms. Who knows what might of happened if he had made it, probably a bloody confrontation with a dubious outcome. Would the "reliable troops" have remained reliable. We will never know. His train was diverted and he ended up in Pskov at the headquarters of General Russky. There he would abdicate on March 2.
In reading all the proposals and recommendations that were proposed to Nicholas I can only see a desperate desire to maintain the imperial system and at the same time deal with the spreading mutinies and revolts. Each time Nicholas rejected them outright, or when he did bend to accept, it was too late because the proposal was outdated and events had moved on. It is agonizing to see the many times he could have made a decision that would meant a difference. Even at the last, the abdication was an attempt to save the monarchy which even that Nicholas botched.
It this be 'betrayal' then so be, let it be betrayal.

As I have expressed earlier.  Tsar Nicholas II could only make decisions with the information that he had.

You wrote:

>>... he had information, but unfortunately like all bureaucrats they dreaded telling the autocrat bad news so the seriousness of these disturbances was downplayed<<

This is a  betrayal to the Tsar and to everyone involved.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 10:27:05 AM
I would also ask whether you instead view an oath as absolute.  But since you have already suggested your grandfather was absolved of responsibility for his oath because his coerced utterance did not match his true belief, I will take your answer as a "no".

(As with Simon, I am not censuring your grandfather.  I would have done the same.  But then, I do not believe that oaths imposed on people under the duress of an autocratic system create unconditional moral or spiritual obligations.)

Firstly, you are offering a judgemental remark by stating that an autocratic system carries with it the notion of oppression ("duress") and then you proceed to ask the question whether an Oath is unconditional under the parameters you have deemed to be valid.

Secondly, reading carefully the words you have used - you are presuming as a modern observer that those who gave the Oath of Allegience may have believed that they were oppressed by the autocratic nature of their government. Similarily by your presumption any utterance must therefore be mitigated because of the nature of that form of governance.

With respect you fail to appreciate that those who gave their Oath BELIEVED in the meaning of those words and believed in the notion of autocracy. The Oath of allegience was a principle that was uttered freely before god and was accepted by the consistency of the words avowed by that individual. It therefore become binding and demanded loyalty to the Emperor, to Russia and the church and to finally to oneself.

To answer your query: I believe that the Oath was enduring for the life of the Emperor to whom one served. It was an unconditional declaration and was viewed as sacred and powerful rite.

Margarita  

Margarita is explaining not only how her grandfather felt,  she is explaining how most of the officers felt and   that they willingly gave their oath of allegience to their Emp. and Tsar.

Here are words from the diary of the a man who was appointed the position as Commander of the "Konvoy"  (Tsar's elite Cossacks which  "served primarily as a military escort, fulling a ceremonial role of accompanying the Tsar" ) :

"I cannot express my joy at the unexpected appointment.  There is no end on the congradulations I recieved..."   His son, Paul Grabbe,  repeated these words for us in his book WINDOWS ON THE RIVER NEVA p. 76.

Grabbe's father does not sound opressed on 2 JaN 1914.
   
True, one does have to be aware that  events were different by March 1917.

I have only read half of Grabbe's book,  so,  I don't know what his father did or didn't do in March 1917.  My reason for mentioning Grabbe's father's emotions at this time is because this was probably the same  feeling nearly every General who served under the Tsar held as  they were appointed to their positions as they climbed to the level of being Generals.

The officers were not necessarily just men born with a silver spoon.  The Russian military gave opportuntities to the lower class to rise all the way to the top.  And,  they were proud to serve their Tsar.

I realize how difficult it is for those of us living today and now to think that men would willingly give their oath to a monarch,  whom to many of you is the symbol of opression,  but they did.  This was their world.  And they lived in it according to the events in  their world.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 10:43:07 AM
If any of you ever get a chance,  read DAILY LIFE IN RUSSIA UNDER THE LAST TSAR by Henri Troyat. There is a chapter devoted to the Tsar's Army.  It explains everything from the Generals on down to the regulars.

p. 112

Russel was talking to Vassili Fedorovitch Kapytov and had just asked why the man wanted to serve with the Alexandria Hussars.    The man's reply was:

>>Because of the unit's glorious past<<  Vassili Fedorovitch replied.

 I'm still looking for the oath of alligence....

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 05, 2007, 11:37:21 AM
With respect you fail to appreciate that those who gave their Oath BELIEVED in the meaning of those words and believed in the notion of autocracy. 

Fine.  Then tell me why all but one of Nicholas' generals and admirals suddenly stopped BELIEVING on March 2, 1917.  I would expect a few cowards in the lot . . . but pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 11:47:57 AM
Panic.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 11:52:00 AM
After I was pounced on about not having known that Margarita's grandfather was mentioned by her,  I went back and read and reread the previous pages looking for her post which I thought I had missed.

Couldn't find it.

Today,  while reading the section of Nicholas II and not this section or this thread I finally found Margarit's statement

"How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II" Reply #19:

So no,  I don't believe Nicholas was saintly in any sense of the word, at least, not while he was still tsar of all the Russias. There was not only the occasional bloodthirstiness where Russia's "internal enemies" (the Jews, the revolutionaries) were concerned, but there was also World War I. Which is not to say I believe he was bloodthirsty in the latter case - initially at least he seems to have felt supreme reluctance to sacrifice his subjects' lives, even in the name of a "good cause," the war against Germany and Austro-Hungary. Nevertheless, after the usual initial hesitancy (common to many rulers), he became resigned to the so-called political reality and let millions go to their deaths  as if there had never been any other alternative (and yet, no doubt there were other alternatives).

It should be recalled that Nikolai initiated the first Hague Convention having an interest in the limitation of armaments and setting down international standards for the rules of war.

I would rate Nikolai with a 5* rating for this incentive.

Nikolai was appauled by the heavy loss of Russian life. He understood the meaning of life and death - it was an issue which he confronted personally. With respect it is rather harsh to postulate that Nikolai "let millions go to their deaths." It must be borne in mind that this was a military engagement that requires soldiers in battle. In doing so each man on the battle field understood the possible ensuing consequences. As would be expected multitudes gladly volunteered to serve their country. My maternal grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he survived the battlefields of WWI to fight another world war as an officer under Zhukov's command serving under a very different regime. But like he, each soldier on the field was proud and believed that they were fighting for their Emperor and Imperial Russia. Many failed to return and it for those we weep and shall remember. Please do not take that dignity away from them.

My star rating for the fallen soldiers is a 5* rating and for their determination to win for their country and their supreme commander.

Margarita  

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 05, 2007, 11:54:24 AM
Panic.

Let's see . . . one shot himself and the rest panicked.

Well, if that's how the tsar and his senior military commanders responded to a crisis, no wonder the revolutionaries had such an easy time of it.  There's got to be a Monty Python skit lurking in there someplace.


Now . . .


before everyone gets their knickers in a knot over my disrepect to these august souls, let me make one thing clear.  I do not think Nicholas' commanders panicked.  I think they were at their wits' ends with a monarch remaining at Stavka while his exceedingly unpopular wife was taking reports from ministers in St. Petersburg, filtering what she passed on to her husband, and supporting a string of reactionary nincompoops who had the confidence of none of the informed strata of Russian society.

When the wheels finally fell of the cart as food and fuel supplies to the military fronts and the cities broke down, people stopped believing in their tsar and their oaths to him -- for very compelling reasons.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 12:05:08 PM
You're making "panic" sound like it was a bad emotion. 

Unfortunately their panic and sudden moves didn't permit them to make great plans or build a solid foundation for the future of Russia which they had hoped to have achieve.

Your emotion of being at "wits end" is  a milder form of emotion and if that is what you prefer,  that's fine with me.

Their sudden moves give me the suggestion that their actions were  closer to  the emotion of being  in a "panic".

Meanwhile, the Bolsheviks, who had been plotting and planning and building up to a revolution, had a better network and presses that were churning out their propaganda day and night for years and years.  So, it was not they who are given full credit for the  Revolution in March  but they ended up being victorious with their counter-revolution and in  the Civil War.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 05, 2007, 12:13:33 PM
You're making "panic" sound like it was a bad emotion.

It is  a bad emotion when it overwhelms the ability of the entire command structure of a nation's military in time of crisis.  What exactly are your criteria for a "bad" emotion?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 12:15:16 PM
You're making "panic" sound like it was a bad emotion. 

Unfortunately their panic and sudden moves didn't permit them to make great plans or build a solid foundation for the future of Russia which they had hoped to have achieve.


Meanwhile, the Bolsheviks, who had been plotting and planning and building up to a revolution, had a better network and presses that were churning out their propaganda day and night for years and years.  So, it was not they who are given full credit for the  Revolution in March  but they ended up being victorious with their counter-revolution and in  the Civil War.

AGRBear

Hilarious. Define "panic" as a "good" emotion.

Your Little Golden Book interpretations of history aren't going to do on this thread, Bear. Might I suggest that we ignore her interruptions and get on with it?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 12:19:51 PM
When a mother sees a child reaching toward  fire,  a mother panics,  rushes to that child and pulls the little hand away before the hand is burnt.

Good panic.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 12:22:28 PM
I want to underline that I mean no disrespect to Margarita or her grandfather; I do not think he "betrayed" his country. But she introduced him on the other thread, and it does seem apropos to this discussion to inquire how she regards his military career. Or Zhukov's, for that matter. Is anyone related to Zhukov?

The quote above is the extent to which you were "pounced" upon, lady. It also contains the information that Margarita's comment was taken from another thread on which most of the same people posting here have posted, and therefore might legitimately be aware existed. Sorry if you don't read carefully enough to follow. Sorry. But not surprised.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 12:23:44 PM
When a mother sees a child reaching toward  fire,  a mother panics,  rushes to that child and pulls the little hand away before the hand is burnt.

Good panic.

AGRBear

On the contrary, NOT panic, which would not be defined by purposeful action.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 12:28:01 PM
Panic:

1) A sudden overpowering terror, often affecting many people at once...  American Heritage College dic.tion.ary, 4th edition.


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 12:34:58 PM
Since the commanders were not offered any alternatives other than acceptance then their collective reasoning could only have come down to their belief that they at least could prevent anarchy AND still carry on with their military duties.

For them it was a matter of military necessity to achieve their common goal - a victory for Russia.

So you think it was worse to "betray" a tsar than to struggle to prevent Russia from falling into anarchy and opening the door to military defeat?  Your posts imply a view that an oath is absolute in its power to bind people morally and spiritually.  So just where do you draw the line -- if at all -- on how far one must go in honoring an oath?  Let's test this line by this scenario: 

A tsar to whom the military has sworn an oath of obedience becomes insane and thinks the government and people of Kiev are conspiring to unseat him.  This tsar orders his army to attack Kiev and annihilate its entire population.  Would it be "betrayal" for the military commanders to renounce their oaths to such a tsar?  (And don't say such a scenario is inconceivable.  Ivan IV and Stalin both had at least temporary descents into depths of paranoia, as have non-Russian kings and dictators from time to time.)

Just how far does the imperative to honor an oath to a tsar reach?

I think we still need an answer to this question, since violating the oath to follow Nicholas has been cited several times on this thread as an example of the betrayal of Nicholas.  And you, Bear, did not  challenge those examples as being off topic when they were given.  Likewise, you cannot now challenge the attempt to understand the reach of such an oath as off topic . . . much as it might make you squirm.

As fascinating as your trips to the dictionary are, Bear, they are meaningless if you don't actually understand what you are reading. Since you obviously don't, they're kind of pointless.

Meanwhile, I call the attention of the thread to Tsarfan's question, which has not been answered, and which is at the heart of this discussion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 12:38:53 PM
Betray:
1) To give aid or information to an enemy of
2) To deliver into the hands of an enemy in volation of a trust or  alligiance
3) To divulge in a breach of confidence
4) To make known unintentionally
5) To reval against one's desire or will
6) To lead astray, deceive

Enemy:
1) One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes another; a foe
2a) A hostile power or force, such as a nation
2b) A member or unit of such a force
3) A group of foes or hostil forces
4)  Something destructive or injurious in its effect

I believe a conspirator falls under an enemy:

Conspirtator:
1) One that engages in a conspiracy

Conspiracy:
1) An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
2) A group of conspirators
3) Law.  An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal actions
4) A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design....

Strictly speaking: If a General of the Tsar's Army breaks his oath to his Tsar,  who has not abdicated which released the Geneal  from their oath, and conspires to have the Tsar  removed and replaced by another,  I believe the conspirator has  "betrayed" his Tsar,  even if the conspirator had legitmate reasons which would have been for the
AGRBear


Let me highlight the section I've aleady mentioned:

Strictly speaking: If a General of the Tsar's Army breaks his oath to his Tsar,  who has not abdicated which released the Geneal  from their oath, and conspires to have the Tsar  removed and replaced by another, I believe the conspirator has  "betrayed" his Tsar,  even if the conspirator had legitmate reasons which would have been for the betterment of Russia.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 12:54:11 PM


I am not sure why Simon continue his personal attacks toward Bear.  Perhaps if you could PM me, let me know why I so offend you so you can  get it out of your system then you wouldn't find the need to do so publicly.

At NO time have I said that the actions of the Generals was not heroic.  They did what they thought they had to do.  However, in order for them to act and cause Nicholas II to abdicate,  they had to have betrayed Nicholas II and in this betrayal they broke their oath to him.

I think Simon and Tsarfan are the ones who are not understanding the reason I created this particular thread.  Again, let me suggest you start a thread which discusses  where and when  a person should draw the line in following the orders of a superior officer during war times. 

Meanwhile,  here,  some of us would like to talk about people whom Nicholas II would have viewed as those who betrayed him while he was Tsar and Emp. of All the Russias.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 12:55:05 PM
Then Rob was right? You are simply looking for a list of names that meet your criteria for "betrayal" (which, by the way, do not match up with the welter of definitions you posted above the highlighted section)?

This is going to be a loooooooong thread. How about we just say that anyone who refused to carry out Nicky's will "betrayed" him? Hmm. Alexandra must have been a traitor three, four times a day until she got her way. Ella was a traitor when she approved the assassination of Rasputin, which Nicholas clearly didn't want. A canonized saint and a traitor. There's something you don't see every day.

Since Bear has now taken herself out of the discussion and into the business of list-making, I suggest that we leave her to it, and the rest of us talk about the substance of what an oath means.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 01:00:09 PM
I can only speak for myself, but I couldn't care less about what you had in mind when you "created" the thread. You have derailed sufficient numbers of other threads that it is a little difficult to take your bleats about that seriously. In fact, I don't see where it is written that the person who creates the thread is allowed to dictate the contents. That is what moderators are for, and since moderators have read this thread since the subject of oaths was broached, well, there you have it.

My attacks are public, and therefore not personal. I have no idea what kind of a person you are, Winnie, and I would therefore not be capable of making a "personal" attack. I know what kind of pretend-truthseeker you are from the calibre of your posts, and trust me, my opinion of you as even an amateur historian is professional, not personal. I stayed out of the nonsense about your uncles, didn't I?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 01:16:50 PM
Earlier,  I mention the fact that Nicholas II had been born on Jobs Day.  Simon,  evidently,  is not aware of the importance of this and how it affected Nicholas II.

This was a fact that the clergy made young Nicholas well aware.

Here is what is written in the book of Job III, 1-5:

>>After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
And Job spake and said,
Let the day perish wherin I was born, and the right in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.  Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.  Let darknes and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it;  let the blackness of the day terrify it.<<

"cursed his day"

"darkness"

"death stain it"

"let the blackness of the day terrify it"

These were not words meant for a lulaby to sooth a young child into a land of sweet dreams.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 05, 2007, 01:25:45 PM

..[in part]...

.... How about we just say that anyone who refused to carry out Nicky's will "betrayed" him? Hmm. Alexandra must have been a traitor three, four times a day until she got her way. Ella was a traitor when she approved the assassination of Rasputin, which Nicholas clearly didn't want.

....

I think he's finally understanding the reason I started this thread!!!   :-*

So,  why do you think Ella betrayed Nicholas II when she approved the assassination of Rasputin?  I'm sure she felt she  was  helping her adopted country by getting rid of a man whom she felt was ruining the image of her sister's, Alexandra's.

AGRBear   
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 02:04:00 PM
As a matter of fact, I am teaching the Book of Job in my Great Books Seminar tonight, Bear. A happy coincidence. And I am aware of its' importance to Nicholas. Your quote is also not to the point. If Nicholas read the sad parts, then he was also probably exposed to "I know my Redeemer liveth." The fact that the sad, scary, used-out-of-context parts of the Bible frighten you says nothing about the effects they had on Nicholas. Try not to interpret history from the "If I had been Tsar, what would I have felt!?" platform. It's hard for others to relate.

My crack about Ella was sarcastic, and not meant for serious discussion, even at the low-rent level you routinely define as serious. Your so-called parameters of 'betrayal' render discussion with you pointless on the subject. So good luck with your nonsense, and enjoy yourself, by all means.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 02:36:09 PM
My attacks are public, and therefore not personal. 

Are you sure about that, Simon? Does this rule apply solely to you then? Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about Bear 100%, but perhaps you need to practice more of what you preach, or perhaps you need to make this "rule" apply to everyone, not just those you select in the "pecking order"... Just sayin'...  ;)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 03:18:15 PM
My attacks are public, and therefore not personal. 

Are you sure about that, Simon? Does this rule apply solely to you then? Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about Bear 100%, but perhaps you need to practice more of what you preach, or perhaps you need to make this "rule" apply to everyone, not just those you select in the "pecking order"... Just sayin'...  ;)

Dear Helen,

I do not flood people's emails with complaints about Bear, if that is what you mean. Is it? Just askin'  ;)

I have already said that Bear should continue to post to her heart's content, as though I have the power to stop her. I have offered corrections to her points --- not that she accepts them, but since you apparently do, why do you assume that I meant them as personal attacks rather than professional?

Quick, Helen, figure out a way to drag how much you hate FATE OF THE ROMANOVS and Penny Wilson into the discussion.

But thanks for worrying about it.

Best,

Simon


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 03:29:13 PM
Dear Helen,

I do not flood people's emails with complaints about Bear, if that is what you mean. Is it? Just askin'  ;)

Dear Simon,

It may be preferable if you did so, instead of public attacks on someone who by nature is neither aggressive nor vicious enough to defend herself, unlike some others whose names we won't mention... In other words, pick on those your "own size". Just sayin'  ;)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 03:31:53 PM
Quick, Helen, figure out a way to drag how much you hate FATE OF THE ROMANOVS and Penny Wilson into the discussion.

I don't need to do it, since you do it every time  ;D.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 03:42:36 PM
Quick, Helen, figure out a way to drag how much you hate FATE OF THE ROMANOVS and Penny Wilson into the discussion.

I don't need to do it, since you do it every time  ;D.

"I know you are, but what am I?"

In fact, Helen, you dragged Wilson in with the mysterious allusions to "unlike others whose names we won't mention". I modified my original post in response to it after you had posted to bring her name out. Do you think that people do not get exactly who you mean?

Indeed, since you have not posted to this thread about the oaths, I assume you made a special field trip over to rap my knuckles because you are still smarting from being called on your monumentally passive-aggressive behavior before. I appreciate the governess-y need to have the last word, but you've already made your point. It's not like I expected you to knock it off about Wilson --- but honestly, it is difficult to believe that your crocodile tears about how Bear may be suffering under my withering sarcasm have anything to do with the actual posts, and all to do with your very personal dislike of She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

If you have nothing to say about the topic of the thread, Helen, and you'd like to continue this particular discussion in PMs, I'm open to it.

Simon

Hmm. Someone (Helen?) seems to have deleted her post that contains "unlike others . . ."

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 04:00:53 PM
Indeed, since you have not posted to this thread about the oaths, I assume you made a special field trip over to rap my knuckles

Dear Simon, if you read this thread carefully, you will realize that you are very much mistaken. I indeed have been actively participating in this thread for some time and didn't just come over here on your behalf. I only stopped posting in the last couple of days when you started this idiotic malarkey with Bear... In any case, I don't intend to get into a similar one with you now.  

For the most part, I agree. IMO (and keep in mind that this is a somewhat oversimplified view since I am no scholar of the Russian revolution): most events that occured, did so almost as a reaction to NII's own poor judgment. He did many things wrong as a ruler - albeit not deliberately (he felt all along that he was doing the right thing - hence he had "poor judgement"). Of course I realize that it must have been a lot more complicated than that, but in general this is the impression, based on many historical facts. Therefore I don't think we can view this as Nicholas being "betrayed", but as a consequence of certain actions and/or circumstances,  most of which N himself inadvertently created.


The issue goes far beyond the "Jewish question". By the end of his rule, Nicholas managed to piss off EVERYONE, on all sides. The Jews are usually singled out because A. they have always been easy scapegoats and B. they are obvious scapegoats. The fact that many Jews joined the revolution is not surprising in the least - in fact it is very understandable - since an oppressed group had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Of course many Jews remained loyal to the Tsar, which is sort of harder to understand, considering the circumstances...It all makes sense. I can't promise that had I lived in Russia during that time and was part of the oppressed group, that I wouldn't have joined the revolution.

I.e. poor judgment as a ruler.

[For example, although not officially part of the OC, Rasputin often took up for the Jewish causes...

I am not sure if you can call it "betrayed". They reacted to the circumstances (and they would be fools not to have done it). Blind loyalty - in any situation- is a dangerous thing (oath or no oath), but I suppose that may be the nature of an autocratic (monarchist?) state. So it really depends on what one's definition of "betray" is... I think depending on who you are and to which perspective you hold, this definition differs. Therefore we all will probably never come to a unanimous agreement on this one...

Yes, but Phil also said that ...  
...any such oath is a two way thing, allegiance pledged in return for....what?  And depending upon the "what" depends on whether Nicholas broke the Oath first or the "people" did.  If Nicholas broke it first there was no betrayal, though I've no doubt we'll then end up whether the Oath had actually been broken.
 so again, depending on one's definition of "breaking the oath" and "betrayal", this question will have very different answers...

Thanks, James. This was what made him an autocrat, I suppose. This is probably why N felt sure that he was always doing the right thing - by divine inspiration. So in a way, he was a victim of this system... Perhaps we can even say that the nature of the autocratic system had "betrayed" him?

All true. N may have interpreted this as "if I am God's chosen, then my decisions must be the right ones, otherwise why would I be God's chosen." It does make a warped kind of sense, although doesn't say much for N's intellect... It goes sort of like this: you either have faith in God or you don't - all or nothing, with nothing in between. This is another example of how dangerous blind loyalty (blind faith?) can be.... Or perhaps N just didn't think much about the meaning of the words in this prayer and read them automatically, later on assuming that he as the tsar and autocrat is always right by default.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 04:05:13 PM
I'm sure Bear appreciates your defense of her, Helen, and I stand corrected about your level of participation.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 05, 2007, 04:21:39 PM
A response to AGRBEAR.
You state as a response to my comment that the emperor's minsters were minimizing the seriousness of the situation that Nicholas could only act on the information he received.
This is correct. And this is what damns him ever more.
If he had been receiving information ONLY   from his ministers then one could excuse his actions.
The evidence shows, however, that he was receiving information from any number of other sources which were reporting the situtation. He chooses to disregard this information, or reject it.
In the days between his order to General Khabalov and his abdication he received any number of suggestions, pleas, and situation reports, that, had he accepted, might well have changed the outcome.
To say that he only got bad information as an excuse for him is unsustainable.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 05, 2007, 04:45:24 PM
The implication has been made in this thread that the circular telegram General Alekseev sent to all the army commanders was one sided and gave them only one option. I don't see why this makes much difference.
When he began to receive responses to the telegram from the generals he did nothing. If Nicholas had had the sense God gave a goose, he would have sent his own circular telegram, outling his position and asking his generals for an opinion or alternatives. Why did he have to accept Alekseev or Ruzsky's view?
Instead, he listened to the arguments of General Ruzsky and other generals present at Pskov, then retired to his railway car and wrote two telegrams: 1. to Staff Headquarters in which he indicated he was prepared to abdicate in favor of his son, asking that all serve him truly and sincerely.: 2. to Rodzianko indicating that he was prepared to abdicate in favor of his son-"assuming that he will remain with me until his coming of age" and agreeing to a regency of the GD Mikhail Aleksandrovich.
He then sent a telegram to General Aleeksev asking for a manifesto of abdication be drafted.
He was under no physical threat, no gun to his head, he could have easily told Ruzsky to shove it, and returned to Stavka. He just seems to have folded. And at that point no one had "betrayed" him but simply told him the truth and how they felt.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 05, 2007, 05:22:30 PM
If he had been receiving information ONLY from his ministers then one could excuse his actions.
The evidence shows, however, that he was receiving information from any number of other sources which were reporting the situtation. He chooses to disregard this information, or rejects it.

This thread has gotten so long that I cannot remember whether it has been quoted already, but GD Alexander Mikhailovitch (Sandro) wrote a scathing letter of warning to Nicholas a month before the abdication, commenting on how widespread was the understanding among the upper echelons of Russian society that Russia was at the edge of the abyss.  Granted, Sandro had his own reactionary reasons for taking Nicholas to task (Sandro's even more extreme anti-semitism being among them), but I think his letter makes it clear just how widespread and desperate was the disillusion with Nicholas' reign in its final months.  (The boldfacing is mine.)

ALEXANDER MIKHAILOVICH TO THE TSAR

February 7, 1917

As you see, a month has passed and still I have not mailed my letter - I have been hoping all the while that you would follow the road pointed out to you by people who are loyal to you and who love Russia from the bottom of their hearts. Events show, however, that your counsellors are still leading Russia and you to sure perdition. To keep silent under the circumstances is a crime against God, against you, and against Russia.

Disaffection is spreading very fast and the gulf between you and your people is growing wider. (When I say "people" I mean those who understand the wants of the nation, and not those who represent a mere herd that will follow the man who knows how to sway a crowd.) People love you and believe firmly that complete victory and domestic reorganization are possible without any upheavals with a Government composed of men who are clean and enjoy the confidence of the country. Without this, there is no hope of saving the throne and, with it, our native land.

Look at what is happening among our Allies. They have summoned the most capable men, irrespective of their convictions, to help govern their countries. Every one realizes that, at a moment, when the fate of the world is at stake, and when their very existence as free states depends upon a victorious issue of the war, there can be no room for personal feelings or for considering the interests of this or that party. There is only one thing to do - to summon the more capable people to work for the salvation of their country, yes, the salvation of the country, for it is a question of the very existence of Russia as a great, powerful State.

Actually, in the whole history of the Russian State, there have never been more favorable political conditions. We have on our side our ancient enemy, England, our recent enemy, Japan, and all the other states which appreciate all our power and at the same time witness the wholly inexplicable spectacle of our complete domestic chaos, which grows worse every day. They see that it is not the best but the worst elements who are ruling Russia at a moment when mistakes committed today will affect our whole history, and they are compelled to begin to have some, doubts about us. They see that Russia does not understand her own interests and problems, ie., of course, not Russia, but those who rule her.

Such a situation cannot last. You have probably read the address presented to you by the Novgorod nobility.  One speaks in this fashion only when deeply conscious of the abyss on which we are standing, and I assure you that all persons really loyal to you feel exactly the same way.

One is in utter despair at seeing that you do not want to hear those who know Russia's situation and counsel, you to take the steps that would extricate us from the chaos we are in today.

You probably believe that the measures the Government has taken will lead Russia out to the bright path, the path to victory and complete regeneration, and you assume that all of us with the opposite view are wrong. But, to test it, just glance behind you, and compare the situation in Russia at the beginning of the war with that of today. Is it possible that such a comparison does not convince you as to which side is right?

In conclusion I want to say that, strange though it may be, the Government itself is the organ that is preparing the revolution. The nation does not want it, but the Government is doing everything to make as many malcontents as possible, and is succeeding perfectly. We are witnessing the unparalleled spectacle of revolution from above, and not from below.

February 17, 1917.

Your faithful SANDRO.

____________

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . Nicholas was betrayed by his own and his wife's stubborn blindness to reality.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 05:26:23 PM
He was under no physical threat, no gun to his head, he could have easily told Ruzsky to shove it, and returned to Stavka. He just seems to have folded. And at that point no one had "betrayed" him but simply told him the truth and how they felt.

I believe that Nikolai was under physical threat. I also believe that he was emotionally stressed. Surely you can see that isolated as he was he realized that without the confidence of all his commanders his continuing commitment to bring Russia to victory was futile. Why? Probably the idea of insubordination, mutiny and other acts of defiance came to mind. It was imperative for Nikolai that the war continue and thus under DURESS he acceeded to the people and gave them what they wanted.

Nikolai did not have the temperament to tell an officer "to shove it". He carried himself with far more dignity than the majority of his officers milling around him. Eyewitnesses and his entry in his diary state that he wept bitterly at the final outcome. As the Commander-in-Chief he was emotionally drained and deeply offended by the betrayal, deception and cowardice. 

Don't you understand that his train would not be going anywhere and that the only place Nikolai would have gone is down if he failed to abdicate.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 05, 2007, 05:36:47 PM
Surely you can see that isolated as he was . . . .

Nicholas was isolated, both literally and figuratively, by his own decision in 1915 to go against the almost unanimous advice of his counsellors to stay in St. Petersburg to keep the civilian government in hand and to avoid becoming personally tainted by the inevitable viccisitudes of the war.  Instead, he chose to have his ministers report to his hugely unpopular and widely discredited wife while he went off to play soldier.  Some may bridle at calling Alexandra widely discredited, but there was a reason that two Romanov relations thought it necessary to murder a man under her personal protection in December 1916 and that Alexandra's own sister saw fit to congratulate them for it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 06:01:58 PM
With respect you fail to appreciate that those who gave their Oath BELIEVED in the meaning of those words and believed in the notion of autocracy. 

Fine.  Then tell me why all but one of Nicholas' generals and admirals suddenly stopped BELIEVING on March 2, 1917.  I would expect a few cowards in the lot . . . but pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle?

The Commanders never stopped in believing in their military duty to end the war. That ideal was what they were trained for and in the absence of politicizing their role (which they did anyway by their political betrayal of their Commander-in-Chief) they prefered to maintain the status quo militarily speaking.

I failed to mention earlier that one General (Han-Nahichevanskii) did submit his dissent, but that response was conveniently set aside. In addition one Naval Stavka officer - Admiral Rusin immediately resigned from his command. He decided he would not serve the enemies of Russia.

Clearly it can be deduced from the above mentioned details that if only one had consented to the demand - Alexeyev and Ruszky would still have their majority.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 06:18:13 PM
Surely you can see that isolated as he was . . . .
Some may bridle at calling Alexandra widely discredited, but there was a reason that two Romanov relations thought it necessary to murder a man under her personal protection in December 1916 and that Alexandra's own sister saw fit to congratulate them for it.

There was reason - but hardly enough to kill an innocent man so brutally. Such a callous act can hardly be considered as one that exuded patriotism. It was a cold blooded assassination.

They failed in their misguided attempt to eliminate a man who was no real threat to Imperial Russia. These noble citizens were responsible for helping to hasten the tide of the bloody upheaval against themselves and their kin. Only in exile did Dmitri realize the error into which he had plunged.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2007, 06:55:31 PM
He [Dimitri I presume] did? Where is this recorded may I ask?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 07:22:46 PM
He [Dimitri I presume] did? Where is this recorded may I ask?

The only thing I am aware of is that he (Dmitri), unlike Felix Y., had kept pretty quiet about the murder for the rest of his life, and was not very happy with Felix's attempts at publicity/books, etc. Perhaps that could be construed as "regret"?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 05, 2007, 07:25:13 PM
Under DURESS??? Psychologically perhaps, but not physically. His train was able to move freely about. He went from Mogilev on a round about way in order to leave the direct line to Petrograd free for General Ivanov to move the St. George division quickly. The threat that supposedly were awaiting him at the various stations along the line, supposedly having been taken over by revolutionaryr railway workers, was greatly exaggerated by the Provisional Governemt in order to keep Nicholas away from the capital. He first went to Dno to await an arrival of Rodzianko. He waited there until it was apparent Rodzianko wasn't coming and then headed, of his own free will, to Pskov, because it was the headquarters of the northern army. He could have gone anywhere, especially back to Stavka. And, you must cite sources to back up your claim that he had a gun held to his head and was forced to abdicate. Until you can cite those then that statement is empty rhetoric. I don't believe one single officer at Pskov would have raised so much as a finger to harm Nicholas if he had said, no I won't abdicate, and I am going back to Mogilev, or somewhere else. And why didn't he try. Why didn't he send a premptory order to each of his generals to the effect that he was still tsar and still in command, then see what they would do. If they then said, no we won't obey, then it would have been mutiney and betrayal. He didn't.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 07:35:18 PM
He [Dimitri I presume] did? Where is this recorded may I ask?

The only thing I am aware of is that he (Dmitri), unlike Felix Y., had kept pretty quiet about the murder for the rest of his life, and was not very happy with Felix's attempts at publicity/books, etc. Perhaps that could be construed as "regret"?

See Radzinsky's "The Rasputin File" p 474

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 07:39:15 PM
And, you must cite sources to back up your claim that he had a gun held to his head and was forced to abdicate.

I never stated that "he had a gun held to his head". You are being far too creative here.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2007, 07:39:40 PM
Nicholas was a weak leader, so he didn't stand a chance in this situation. His father probably would not have abdicated under the same circumstances, I believe, but then again, his father probably wouldn't have ended up in that same situation in the first place... N probably felt he was doing the right thing at the time, something that was best for Russia, an unselfish thing. But that's the problem with being a weak ruler, he was never quite sure of himself, while at the same time he was able to constantly convince himself that he was right, must be right because he is God's annointed... Being unsure of one self is not such bad trait in a private person, in fact it can be kind of endearing even and very human, but it is a terrible trait in a ruler... especially when simulteneously this ruler feels that he can do no wrong because God makes sure he will do the right thing... That's scary...  :o
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2007, 07:46:12 PM
Dear Belotchka, that passage is not an admission of regret, but a definite statement to remain silent about the "affair". Also, perhaps his reason for estrangement from Felix for betraying the silence they vowed.  I have read of Rasputin  being called many things, even "holy" but never "innocent"  In any case there is another whole area of discussion about that man's murder, which I do not see having anything to do with any betrayal of NII.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 07:53:41 PM
Nicholas was a weak leader, so he didn't stand a chance in this situation. His father probably would not have abdicated under the same circumstances, I believe, but then again, his father probably wouldn't have ended up in that same situation in the first place... N probably felt he was doing the right thing at the time, something that was best for Russia, an unselfish thing. But that's the problem with being a weak ruler, he was never quite sure of himself, while at the same time he was able to constantly convince himself that he was right, must be right because he is God's annointed... Being unsure of one self is not such bad trait in a private person, in fact it can be kind of endearing even and very human, but it is a terrible trait in a ruler... especially when simulteneously this ruler feels that he can do no wrong because God makes sure he will do the right thing... That's scary...  :o

Scary yes, but that is how it was. Many of those who surrounded Nikolai (excluding his immediate family) overwhelmed Nikolai. Many identified that flaw and used it aggressively to their political advantage. That is the tragedy of it all.

AIII had strength of character and determination after the assassination of his father.  That horror never left his mind. But we must remember that Russia was not engaged in War and civil unreast was minimalist.

The act of abdication was unique and its consequence as was proven - was terminal for the Romanov dynasty. 

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 08:13:08 PM
Dear Belotchka, that passage is not an admission of regret, but a definite statement to remain silent about the "affair". Also, perhaps his reason for estrangement from Felix for betraying the silence they vowed.  I have read of Rasputin  being called many things, even "holy" but never "innocent"  In any case there is another whole area of discussion about that man's murder, which I do not see having anything to do with any betrayal of NII.

That particular discussion is pertinant to this thread. Tsarfan introduced the issue and I responded. Rasputin's assassination formed part of a continuum in that the Duma whose representatives were implicated in that murder had equally affected their betrayal against their Emperor.

The words Radzinsky used were: "The murder was carried out by us in a paroxysm of patriotic madness."

One can interpret this in two ways:

1. The nature of the act itself, or
2. The thought of the murder itself was an act of uncontrolled madness.

If you accept (2) then this could be seen as a form of regret.

Robert if you can read Russian try one of Bokhanov's recent books on Rasputin. It may enlighten you!  ;)

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2007, 08:34:53 PM
I see no regret in either intepretation.
 Thank you for the offer of enlightenment, however.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 09:18:15 PM
[So,  who gave this oath and broke their oath? 

AGRBear

To pacify Bear  ;) this is the list of the other recipients of General Alexeyev's communication that were not mentioned previously:

Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich (Caucasian front),
General Sakharov (Rumanian front),
General Brusilov (South-Western Front),
General Evert (Western Front),
Admiral Nepein, (Baltic Fleet),
Admiral Kolchak (Black See Fleet).

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 05, 2007, 09:19:25 PM
I will withdraw the "gun to his head" remark.
 But, you did say you that he was in physical danger. So, I challenge you to name the physical danger, and from whom was he in danger at the time of his abdication?
He had his Convoy Escort on the train, under Voiekov. He was at the army headquarters of General Ruzsky with its soldiers. Are you saying General Ruzsky would have harmed the tsar to make him abdicate?
To be specific, we are talking about the period Feb. 27 through March 3, 1918.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 05, 2007, 09:56:43 PM
I discount the idea that he believed himself in physical danger, since there is no proof. I don't believe that if he had been, Nicholas would have buckled to the pressure of potential harm. There is no evidence in his prior life of physical cowardice at all. It is one of his most impressive attributes. He rode at the head of the 1913 celebrations, a perfect target for assassins. My understanding is that this was at Nicholas' own insistence.

What Margarita and Helen are describing is a man who was unsuited to be Tsar by temperament or gifts, which is still not an answer to Tsarfan's question in regard to the proper way of dealing with such a figure, Margarita. Does one maintain loyalty to someone who cannot exercise his authority (a general who cannot tell a subordinate to "shove it" --- in more appropriate language, but with that intent --- has no business being a general; a Tsar who cannot rule had no business being a Tsar)?

If the imperial regime was viewed as an obstacle to military victory --- and since Kerensky kept Russia in the war, I think it's safe to assume that he, at least,  did regard it as such --- does the regime or Holy Russia come first?

And I hate to sound plaintive, but Nicholas II abdicated of his own free will, which is more than can be said for poor Alexei. There were other examples of kings in desperate circumstances who did not. Nicholas was familiar with those examples. I have always had the impression that he did so because he wanted to lay his burden down, and Alexandra wasn't available to pull his socks up.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 05, 2007, 11:31:20 PM
I will withdraw the "gun to his head" remark.
 But, you did say you that he was in physical danger. So, I challenge you to name the physical danger, and from whom was he in danger at the time of his abdication?
He had his Convoy Escort on the train, under Voiekov. He was at the army headquarters of General Ruzsky with its soldiers. Are you saying General Ruzsky would have harmed the tsar to make him abdicate?
To be specific, we are talking about the period Feb. 27 through March 3, 1918.

At a meeting in Rodzianko's office in March 1917, strategy was discussed with Generals Ruzski and Krimov. They resolved that when the Emperor left Stavka he was to be detained and "forced" to abdicate. General Krimov offered to assassinate the Emperor.

So James the danger for Nikolai was very real indeed and I have no doubt that the Emperor would have been aware of the danger he faced circled by treacherous men who needed a result.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 12:14:45 AM
I discount the idea that he believed himself in physical danger, since there is no proof. I don't believe that if he had been, Nicholas would have buckled to the pressure of potential harm.

You are erroneously assuming that the Emperor was so weak minded that he "would have buckled to the pressure of potential harm." You fail to recognize that his inner strength under extreme pressure was very much evident.

As dramatic as it may appear to you Nikolai had two choices to make that day: life or death. The sanctity of life was precious to him including his own. Thus it is not unreasonable to believe that by extending his own life he preserved his son from potential harm. 

And I hate to sound plaintive, but Nicholas II abdicated of his own free will, which is more than can be said for poor Alexei.


How can you still maintain such a position when the real facts contradict your presumption?

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 12:24:04 AM
Dear Margarita,

I think you misunderstood me. I do not believe that physical threats would have been enough to persuade Tsar Nicholas to do something that he thought was wrong. His personal bravery was unquestionable.

And pardon me, the real facts certainly do not contradict my presumption that Nicholas abdicated of his own free will. Nothing that you have described contradicts the fact that Nicholas chose to leave his throne. He might have been shot had he refused, but that is not sufficient in theological terms to make a king abandon his divine right, and theology is the only possible justification for Nicholas' understanding of his role. I repeat, look at the examples of Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France. Martyrdom has been a traditional Christian means of demonstrating the seriousness of one's beliefs.

It seems to me that you are the one describing him as buckling under pressure. Why abdicate otherwise? In fact, I think I give Nicholas far more credit than you do. His actions were his own responsibility.

I pass over the statement that "the sanctity of life was precious to him", which is an odd statement to make about a man who was responsible for sending millions of people to their deaths. Even if you take the position that he believed in his military cause as just, it then clearly overrides the sanctity of life, doesn't it? Was his divinely-appointed role as Tsar not worth dying for?

And you offer a lot of "it is reasonable to assume that this is the way he must have thought" contributions. Was he in fact aware of the Rodzianko office meeting you describe, or do you just assume that he sensed danger in the air? Is there in fact anything to concretely indicate that Nicholas believed he was extending Alexei's life by abdicating? Most historians with whose work I am familiar have assumed that he did it because of the boy's hemophilia, and fear of separation from him. Not because he thought that there was physical danger to the Heir. Did he just not care as much about his brother Michael? Do you have access to information about his thought processes that amplify this? Diaries, letters explaining why he abdicated?

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 07:27:09 AM
Dear Margarita,

I think you misunderstood me. I do not believe that physical threats would have been enough to persuade Tsar Nicholas to do something that he thought was wrong. His personal bravery was unquestionable.

Simon I believe we are misunderstanding each other. I do agree that the physical threat was not enough to persuade Nikolai to abdicate. While real it was a minor consideration. There were others factors that contribited to Nikolai's "decision". I believe the breaking point was the realization that almost all his commanders stood against him. The few who did dissent became insignificant in the equation.

And pardon me, the real facts certainly do not contradict my presumption that Nicholas abdicated of his own free will. Nothing that you have described contradicts the fact that Nicholas chose to leave his throne. He might have been shot had he refused, but that is not sufficient in theological terms to make a king abandon his divine right, and theology is the only possible justification for Nicholas' understanding of his role. I repeat, look at the examples of Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France. Martyrdom has been a traditional Christian means of demonstrating the seriousness of one's beliefs.

Ok, let me try this. Nikolai did "choose" to abdicate. What I am trying to stress is that decisions can be made willingly or they can be made under the force of coercion to obtain the desired response by the action of another. The result will be the same but the pathways to reach that point are different. To my way of thinking it is important to recognize those pathways and how they differentiate the quality of the final decision.

General Alexeyev employed tactics to compel Nikolai to make the decision that was expected. Yes I agree that Nikolai was ultimately responsible - but the scenario that Alexeyev engineered was deliberate and calculated to give the impression that Nikolai faced an unresolvable conflict. Nikolai was forced to believe that he had genuinely lost the confidence of his subordinates. He acted under constraint and therefore the responsibility was diminished because his decision was not self motivated.

The fact that the communications were deliberately worded to achieve the anticipated result - only accept abdication - diminishes the episode down to a dirty tricks campaign. Alexeyev did not permit disagreement on paper.

Most historians with whose work I am familiar have assumed that he did it because of the boy's hemophilia, and fear of separation from him. Not because he thought that there was physical danger to the Heir.

The historians were not wrong but you have jumped one step ahead here. Alexeyev's communication stressed that it Alexei who was to accept the Crown with Mikhail acting as regent. The issue about Alexei's hemophilia was raised later on and the abdication was restructured to exclude Alexei.

BTW I am pleased that you have chosen to address me personally. Hopefully we shall continue to discuss issues amicably and respect our differences and not be riduculed for them.

Margarita   :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 09:18:01 AM
Ok, let me try this. Nikolai did "choose" to abdicate. What I am trying to stress is that decisions can be made willingly or they can be made under the force of coercion to obtain the desired response by the action of another. The result will be the same but the pathways to reach that point are different. To my way of thinking it is important to recognize those pathways and how they differentiate the quality of the final decision.

I agree.  But it cuts both ways.  Under the imperial system, anyone who wanted to play any role in the public life of Russia -- be it in politics, administration, or the military -- could only do so by swearing a virtually unconditional oath to the tsar and his policies.

This presented an acute dilemma to people who might have wanted to work within the system to change the policies of the government -- or to someone who might have deeply disagreed with the tsar's domestic policies but nevertheless wanted to enlist to fight Germany after she declared war on Russia.

I think the reason so many people so quickly tossed their oaths out the window in 1917 is that so few of them truly believed in the notion that the oath signified anything more than the ticket required to get into the ballgame of public life in Russia.

And, frankly, I think Nicholas viewed his coronation oath in the same light.  Otherwise -- as Simon has pointed out several times -- Nicholas would have acted as did James I or Louis XVI and said his own oath prevented him from abdicating.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 06, 2007, 09:57:16 AM
James I ? Do you mean Charles I Tsarfan?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 09:59:21 AM
Yes, I did.

Thanks for the catch, Robert.  (As long as I've been at this, I still cannot shake the habit of getting my royals crossed when I'm writing in a hurry.)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 06, 2007, 10:10:19 AM
I think the reason so many people so quickly tossed their oaths out the window in 1917 is that so few of them truly believed in the notion that the oath signified anything more than the ticket required to get into the ballgame of public life in Russia.



and I think history repeated itself in 1994 in Russia when all the good little Communist Party members did the very same thing, no?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 10:30:35 AM
I think the reason so many people so quickly tossed their oaths out the window in 1917 is that so few of them truly believed in the notion that the oath signified anything more than the ticket required to get into the ballgame of public life in Russia.



and I think history repeated itself in 1994 in Russia when all the good little Communist Party members did the very same thing, no?


Yes.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 10:33:46 AM
26 Feb 1917

>>At ten o'clock I went to Mass.  The reports were on time.  Thre were many people at breakfast, including all the foreigners.  Wrote to Alix and went for a walk near the chapel by the Bobrisky road.  The weather was fine and frosty.  After tea I read and talked with Senator Tregubow until dinner.  Played dominoes in the evening.<<

Meanwhile,  Petrograd was a  bottomless policial tide pool which was whirling around and around as it pulled down everything good and bad.

The report from Khabalov, who was the chief of the Petrograd Military District, did not inform Nicholas II what was happening in Petrograd.

Why didn't he tell Nicholas II the truth?

[/b]27 Feb 1917[/b]

Figes tells us Rodzianko sent his warnings on p. 339:

"...a cable arrived from the President of the Duma iformating the Tsar of the real situation and pleading with him to 'take immediate steps'  because 'tomorrow it will be too late'.  Nicholas glanced at the message and turning to Count Fredericks, exclaimed:  'That fat fellow Rodzianko has again written to me with all kinds of nonsense, which I shan't even bother to answer.'

Since so many of you believe that the Nicholas II was so well informed about what was happening in Petrograd why did he not believe Rodzianko?  Was it because he had trusted Khabalov to have told him the truth and Khabalov report did NOTcompare with the urgency which Rodzianko claimed was occuring?   I think it was because the autocract Nicholas II had fought against the Duma, which was not not part of the autocractic system but a new  kind of  government, for so long and so hard that Nicholas II was at the  point he wasn't willing to pay any attention to  anyone from the Duma  by 27 Feb. 1917.

Kokovtsov, Paleologue and the French Ambassador best decribes Nicholas II's state of mind even before the 27th....

Figes p. 339:

>>Kokovtsov, who had not seen the Tsar for a year, found him 'unrecognizable" at the beginning of Februrary.  He was convinced that he was 'on the verge of a mental breakdown'.  Paleologue was equally shocked by the Tsar's 'grave, drawn featuers and furtive distant gaze, the impenetrability of his thoughts, and the thorougly vague and enigmatic quality of his personality'.  It  confirmed the French Ambassador in his long-held 'notion that Nicholas II feels himself overwhelmed and dominate by events that he has lost all faith in his mission or his work, and that he has so to seek abdicated inwardly and is not resigned to disaster'.  It was as if his mental crisis consisted of the realization that the autocractic path he had followed for the past twenty-two years had finally come to and end brining his dynasty to the brink of disaster, and that the advice which everyone now gave him, to save his throne by handing over executive power to the Duma, was something he simply could not do.  His whole life had been dedicated to the maintenance of autocracy, and now that he realized it could not longer be maintained, he gave up on life, altogather.  Here was the root of his notorious fatalism during the days leading up to his abdication.<<

Fatalism allowes the Russians to bow and accept the  changes be it in 1917,  1924 or 1994.

AGRBear

*Orlando Figes's  A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY, THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION  1891 - 1924.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 10:58:02 AM
I think the reason so many people so quickly tossed their oaths out the window in 1917 is that so few of them truly believed in the notion that the oath signified anything more than the ticket required to get into the ballgame of public life in Russia.
and I think history repeated itself in 1994 in Russia when all the good little Communist Party members did the very same thing, no?

Exactly.

Oaths are political inventions, used to put the force of conscience behind attempts to get people to tow the line.  I know of no religion (as distinct from relgiious orders) that demands an oath of someone in order to observe that religion or in order to be admitted to the grace it offers.  Certainly Christ demanded no oaths of his disciples.  All this folderol about oaths being the binding force, sanctioned by God Almighty, between the tsar and his subjects, is political theater, pure and simple.

And as events in 1789, 1861, 1917, 1994 -- and pretty much any other year in which an existing political order was disrupted -- demonstrate, the great majority of humankind has always understood this.

(There has been a recent controversy in the U.S. about the nexus between oaths and religion.  Minnesota recently elected the first Muslim to serve in the U.S. Congress, and he insisted on taking the oath of office on the Koran instead of the Bible.  A debate erupted in which many right-wingers insisted that the law required the use of the Bible to take an oath for federal office.  For taking his oath, the Muslim electee rather cleverly borrowed from the Library of Congress the copy of the Koran that had been owned and studied by Thomas Jefferson, who deeply respected its teachings and used them in some of his writings.  The point of this digression is that the strict adherence to the outward forms of oaths has much more to do with one's political beliefs than with one's religious beliefs.)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 12:00:57 PM
Tsarfan:  >>Oaths are political inventions, used to put the force of conscience behind attempts to get people to tow the line.<<

I believe it was Butler who voiced, "Oaths are but words, and words but wind."

It is obvious that you and Butler do and did not believe in oaths.

From what I understand,  the oath given by most of the officers to their Tsar was seriously given so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make other than a political statement against giving oaths.  Because, if an oath is given proudly and willingly,  there is no need to force people to follow the oath.

If one discovers that the oath should not have been given,  then, his or her  conscience needs to be his or her  guide which may  take them in the direction of breaking that oath.

If he or she  makes the choice to break the oath,  the act of breaking the oath,  allowes the person, to whom they have given their oath,  to call the oath breaker's actions as a "betryal".

The one betrayed does not need to give any  wiggle room to the betrayer just because the person who had broken the  oath had thought he or she had a good reason.

Historians can label the oath breaker a hero,  but it does not change the view of the one, in this case Nicholas II,  who believed he had been betrayed by those who had given  their oath to him, the autocract, Emp. and Tsar of All the Russias.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 12:10:07 PM
When Alexander I spoke to Talleyrand about his fidelity to Napoleon,  I believe Telleyrand's  responce was:

"That sire, is a question of dates."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 06, 2007, 01:31:58 PM
Posters who maintain that those who "broke" their oath to Nicholas II "betrayed" him remind me of the far right in Germany in the 1920's who hounded General Groener ( and to a lesser extent Field Marshal von Hindenburg) as a traitor because he had the unpleasant job of convincing the Kaiser that the army would not restore him to the throne. In the case of General Groener and the generals of Nicholas II they put their patriotism to their country above an oath that was no longer sustainable.
Nicholas II had genuinely lost the support of his subordinates. This was no trick but a manifestation of the fact. These men faced two choices: remain loyal to the sovereign, and in doing so risk a civil war, and possibly a German conquest, or change emperors. They chose the last. And this is what Nicholas chose. He was made to realize that his staying would risk disaster, so he too was patriotic in choosing the welfare of his country over his own personal desires. He should be applauded, along with his generals.
The tragedy is that their actions turned out to be in vain, and Russia was thrown into a bloody civil war, German conquest, and the advent of a truly hideous political system.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 05:28:54 PM
From what I understand,  the oath given by most of the officers to their Tsar was seriously given so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make other than a political statement against giving oaths.  Because, if an oath is given proudly and willingly,  there is no need to force people to follow the oath.

The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

If you argue that they took their oaths seriously, then you have to give a tenable explanation of why so many of these men over such a short time span spontaneously abandoned their oaths.  Was there some kind of virus going around that rendered Nicholas' generals and admirals suddenly morally bankrupt or amnesiac?

You say that if an oath "is given proudly and willingly, there is no need to force people to follow the oath".  Well, Bear, force was clearly needed on March 2, 1917 to get them to follow their oaths.  I really cannot understand how you can make sweeping pronouncements that demonstrably do not square with the actual events.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 05:42:25 PM
Nicholas II had genuinely lost the support of his subordinates. This was no trick but a manifestation of the fact. These men faced two choices: remain loyal to the sovereign, and in doing so risk a civil war, and possibly a German conquest, or change emperors. They chose the last. And this is what Nicholas chose. He was made to realize that his staying would risk disaster, so he too was patriotic in choosing the welfare of his country over his own personal desires. He should be applauded, along with his generals.
The tragedy is that their actions turned out to be in vain, and Russia was thrown into a bloody civil war, German conquest, and the advent of a truly hideous political system.

I agree with you James. Nikolai was patriotic for Russia and because of that understanding he abdicated not for himself, not to acquiese to the engineered demands of his commanders - but for Russia as a nation.

Burdened by the dilemma he faced he must be credited for his astute reasoning. He was able to separate his unconditional faith in the welfare of his country against his perceived insistance that his imperial position as an ordained right was supreme and unchallegable. In my book he went beyond the corners of his Oath and paid the ulimate price.

Margarita   
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 05:50:00 PM
Was there some kind of virus going around that rendered Nicholas' generals and admirals suddenly morally bankrupt or amnesiac?

The virulence of war that was lacking an antidote. It was a noxious and demanding burden.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 05:51:30 PM
Posters who maintain that those who "broke" their oath to Nicholas II "betrayed" him remind me of the far right in Germany in the 1920's who hounded General Groener ( and to a lesser extent Field Marshal von Hindenburg) as a traitor because he had the unpleasant job of convincing the Kaiser that the army would not restore him to the throne.

...[in part]...

Was General Groener breaking his oath when telling Kaiser Wilhlem II that the army would not restore him to the throne?  Just the telling wasn't a betrayal.  Groener was telling the Kaiser the truth.  [Forgive me,  I've forgotten the rest of Groener's part in history so I need to say:]  However, if Groener was part of the conspiracy which contributed to the Kaiser's downfall then, in the strict guide lines I've present, then, yes, from the Kaiser's point of view,  he would have seen Groener as one who had taken actions against him [the Kaiser] and had "betrayed"  him [the Kaiser].

Was Groener a traitor if he conspired against the Kaiser?  If Kasier Wilhlem II had continued to rule after WWI,  the Kaiser could have declared Groener was a traitor for having conspired against him in the time of war and I doubt the Germans would have asked fora pardon for Groener..

Same thing for Gen. Alekseev.  If Nicholas II had remained in power,  Nicholas II  could have had Alekseev shot as a traitor for having conspired against him during the time of war.

-----
Why is it that you and others are having such a hard time viewing the world through the eyes of Nicholas II?
 I didn't make up this topic as a "what if" Nicholas II had felt betrayed.  He told us how he felt in his diary:

>>All around there is treason, cowardice, and deceit.<<

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 05:52:32 PM
I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

IMO, it wasn't that they didn't take their oath seriosly, but most likely it was the effect of low morale as a consequence of various events. You have to remember that a good many years had passed since N's coronation and their oath, and therefore there was a lot of time to become disappointed by N's actions and rule. I don't believe that the majority of people who took their oath did not take it seriously, I believe that they became disillusioned as time went by, based on what went on. Sort like with marriage, most people take their marriage vows seriously, but 2 out of  4 marriages (or something like that) end in divorce. It doesn't mean that 50% of married people don't mean it when they take their vows, it just means things change as time goes by ;). And I must point out that in both cases, it doesn't happen overnight, but is a gradual process.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 05:56:16 PM
So have we moved to a position where nobody betrayed anybody? Nicholas didn't betray his coronation oath/promise/prayer because he was guided by his conscience to do what he thought was best for Russia. The General Staff and others who presented him with the desire for him to abdicate were guided by their consciences, and worn down by Nicholas' inept rule.

So everybody was conscientious, and nobody was betrayed? That works for me.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:01:44 PM
Once again, it all comes down to the definition of "betrayed"....
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 06:04:43 PM
From what I understand,  the oath given by most of the officers to their Tsar was seriously given so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make other than a political statement against giving oaths.  Because, if an oath is given proudly and willingly,  there is no need to force people to follow the oath.

The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

I am totally appauled by this comment. How DARE YOU diminish and presume that the Oath of allegience that was given with hand on the bible before witnesses was meaningless!

Both my grandfathers served Imperial Russia with integrity and loyalty as evidenced by their positions. You are mocking everything they believed in.

Back off on this one Tsarfan - because this time you have gone too far!

 >:(
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 06:06:52 PM
I have had problems with the word as it was understood by Bear, and also because it has religious implications (tied to Judas and Christ). Any suggestions for a replacement?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 06, 2007, 06:12:43 PM
I am with Simon, here.  There was no betrayal in giving the advice to abdicate.  Real betrayal would have been to lie and lead Nicholas believe that he could control an untenable situation.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 06:14:28 PM
From what I understand,  the oath given by most of the officers to their Tsar was seriously given so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make other than a political statement against giving oaths.  Because, if an oath is given proudly and willingly,  there is no need to force people to follow the oath.

The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

If you argue that they took their oaths seriously, then you have to give a tenable explanation of why so many of these men over such a short time span spontaneously abandoned their oaths.  Was there some kind of virus going around that rendered Nicholas' generals and admirals suddenly morally bankrupt or amnesiac?

You say that if an oath "is given proudly and willingly, there is no need to force people to follow the oath".  Well, Bear, force was clearly needed on March 2, 1917 to get them to follow their oaths.  I really cannot understand how you can make sweeping pronouncements that demonstrably do not square with the actual events.

 I also say the following in that same post:

>>If one discovers that the oath should not have been given,  then, his or her  conscience needs to be his or her  guide which may  take them in the direction of breaking that oath.<<

This is what Gen. Alekseev did.  He felt he needed to break his oath. 

In the eyes of Nicholas II,  did  Gen. Alekseev betray  Nicholas II?  Yes.

Did Gen. Alekseev feel he had betrayed his family and his country?  No

Do you feel Gen. Alekseev was wrong in breaking his oath?  No.

When Gen. Alekseev gave his oath to his Tsar when he became a soldier and and officer, did he do so proudly and willing OR did he do so with  the idea that his words meant nothing?  I do not know.  Perhaps someone has a quote of his about his  his feelings of becoming a soldier.

I know others did voice the oath to their Tsar and believed in every word.  I've already given examples of men who became officers of the Tsar's army.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:15:01 PM
Well, I have taken a solemn oath "not to kindle any fire or flame inside", etc. when I got my Bodleian library card and I really meant it, but that's about as far as I am going to go  ;). But seriously, I believe that there should always be a reasonable out of an oath, even if you swear to always abide by it. Otherwise you are a fanatic, and that's never a good thing...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 06:19:22 PM
It would be useful to have a better word to describe what is happening here. If you lit up inside the stacks, have you "betrayed" Oxford University? If everyone truly felt justified by his actions, was anyone "betrayed"?



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:22:14 PM
If you lit up inside the stacks, have you "betrayed" Oxford University? If everyone truly felt justified by his actions, was anyone "betrayed"?

if I was freezing to death for some reason inside the Bod, then no. If I just did it for fun, then yes! It all depends on the situation, not on the act...




Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 06:23:17 PM
So have we moved to a position where nobody betrayed anybody? Nicholas didn't betray his coronation oath/promise/prayer because he was guided by his conscience to do what he thought was best for Russia. The General Staff and others who presented him with the desire for him to abdicate were guided by their consciences.

So everybody was conscientious, and nobody was betrayed? That works for me.


It is better to believe that each had obligations - and that was to achieve what was best honorably as dictated by their conscience.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 06:26:05 PM
Does your reply mean that you eliminate "betrayal" from the conversation, assuming that all involved had honorable intentions? Just curious.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 06:28:58 PM
If you lit up inside the stacks, have you "betrayed" Oxford University? If everyone truly felt justified by his actions, was anyone "betrayed"?

if I was freezing to death for some reason inside the Bod, then no. If I just did it for fun, then yes! It all depends on the situation, not on the act...






But this is precisely the problem with the definition of the oath as having supremacy over conscience. No situation can justify breaking it. For the record, that is not my position --- my position is exactly yours. However, this also takes "betrayal" out of the mix if those involved thought they were doing the rational, right thing in suggesting abdication.

I have to go down to rehearsal, will pick this up later.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:29:45 PM
In any case, perhaps we do need a different term to describe what happened with Nicholas II and his abdication. I don't think "betray" is accurate.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 06, 2007, 06:33:36 PM
Does your reply mean that you eliminate "betrayal" from the conversation, assuming that all involved had honorable intentions? Just curious.

Simon

At the moment I am evaluating the meanings of the word betrayal and dishonor as a military concepts. When I calm down I will respond more generously.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:36:42 PM
But this is precisely the problem with the definition of the oath as having supremacy over conscience. No situation can justify breaking it. For the record, that is not my position --- my position is exactly yours. However, this also takes "betrayal" out of the mix if those involved thought they were doing the rational, right thing in suggesting abdication.

I don't know much about oaths, and obviously I wouldn't make a good imperialist (is this the correct term?). Something seems to be wrong with this line of thinking because it subtracts natural logic out of the formula. If doing the rational thing would mean "betrayal" then I am not sure what else can be said, because once you enter the realm of the irrational, all bets are off. I guess this is also why I have distaste for the military and following orders without questioning them....
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 06, 2007, 06:42:45 PM
Well, I have taken a solemn oath "not to kindle any fire or flame inside", etc. when I got my Bodleian library card and I really meant it, but that's about as far as I am going to go  ;). But seriously, I believe that there should always be a reasonable out of an oath, even if you swear to always abide by it. Otherwise you are a fanatic, and that's never a good thing...

I agree with that Helen. But then I have to ask, what is the point of taking an oath?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 06:43:36 PM
If you lit up inside the stacks, have you "betrayed" Oxford University? If everyone truly felt justified by his actions, was anyone "betrayed"?

if I was freezing to death for some reason inside the Bod, then no. If I just did it for fun, then yes! It all depends on the situation, not on the act...



But this is precisely the problem with the definition of the oath as having supremacy over conscience. No situation can justify breaking it. For the record, that is not my position --- my position is exactly yours. However, this also takes "betrayal" out of the mix if those involved thought they were doing the rational, right thing in suggesting abdication.

I have to go down to rehearsal, will pick this up later.

Simon

You are absolutely correct.  The oath these men gave to their Tsar did indeed rule out every soldier's conscience and gave them no wiggle room where they could have justification of breaking the oath.

My point exactly.

Thank you.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 06:52:08 PM
Well, I have taken a solemn oath "not to kindle any fire or flame inside", etc. when I got my Bodleian library card and I really meant it, but that's about as far as I am going to go  ;). But seriously, I believe that there should always be a reasonable out of an oath, even if you swear to always abide by it. Otherwise you are a fanatic, and that's never a good thing...

I agree with that Helen. But then I have to ask, what is the point of taking an oath?

That's a good question. To me, if you take an oath in good faith, it is good enough. In extreme circumstances you should be able to be absolved from it. What constitutes "extreme circumstances" is a judgment call of course, but you know what I mean. It really is a personal thing. People have become cannibals when they were starving to death. One never knows what one will do in extreme circumstances.
But going back to your question, I think that this is why more and more people are questioning taking marriage vows, which is a form of an oath. It is a personal thing and everyone has his or her own reasons for it. We cannot standardize it, as much as we try, because everyone is different, and sees the world in a different way.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 06:56:16 PM
The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

I am totally appauled by this comment. How DARE YOU diminish and presume that the Oath of allegience that was given with hand on the bible before witnesses was meaningless!

Both my grandfathers served Imperial Russia with integrity and loyalty as evidenced by their positions. You are mocking everything they believed in.

Back off on this one Tsarfan - because this time you have gone too far!

I am not the one who diminished their oaths.  They  did by violating them.  Or have you now decided they did not violate their oaths in abandoning the tsar, after all?

Let's see . . . so far you have told me I am not allowed to say that Nicholas betrayed himself.  Now I am not allowed to say that people who violate oaths apparently do not take them seriously?  Has some new law against pointing out oxymorons been passed?

I'm sorry if it upsets you that I do not share your deeply mystical and romanticized view of the holy bond between God's annointed and the people God consigned to his absolute control.  But I don't . . . and you're going to have to live with it.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 06, 2007, 07:02:31 PM
Well, I have taken a solemn oath "not to kindle any fire or flame inside", etc. when I got my Bodleian library card and I really meant it, but that's about as far as I am going to go  ;). But seriously, I believe that there should always be a reasonable out of an oath, even if you swear to always abide by it. Otherwise you are a fanatic, and that's never a good thing...

I agree with that Helen. But then I have to ask, what is the point of taking an oath?

That's a good question. To me, if you take an oath in good faith, it is good enough. In extreme circumstances you should be able to be absolved from it. What constitutes "extreme circumstances" is a judgment call of course, but you know what I mean. It really is a personal thing. People have become cannibals when they were starving to death. One never knows what one will do in extreme circumstances.
But going back to your question, I think that this is why more and more people are questioning taking marriage vows, which is a form of an oath. It is a personal thing and everyone has his or her own reasons for it. We cannot standardize it, as much as we try, because everyone is different, and sees the world in a different way.

Perhaps it would be easier to refrain from taking oaths.  :)
That to me is the problem with taking an oath. An oath implies forever, or, as in marriage until death us to part. I think it very difficult, if not impossible, to live up to an oath for exactly the reasons you site. Things change, circumstances change. And it is impossible to predict how we will react to a future event.
I am sure that the soldiers who took an oath to their Tsar, did so seriously and believing they would uphold that oath. They could not foresee the future that would make that oath impossible for some to uphold.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 06, 2007, 07:33:00 PM
The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

I am totally appauled by this comment. How DARE YOU diminish and presume that the Oath of allegience that was given with hand on the bible before witnesses was meaningless!

Both my grandfathers served Imperial Russia with integrity and loyalty as evidenced by their positions. You are mocking everything they believed in.

Back off on this one Tsarfan - because this time you have gone too far!

I am not the one who diminished their oaths.  They  did by violating them.  Or have you now decided they did not violate their oaths in abandoning the tsar, after all?


Bear:  You are mixing apples with organges.   When the oath was given,  these men were serious and believed in what they were doing.

 When some men broke their oath,  it was because the events had changed.  This did not mean they did not anquish over their decision.  This does not mean they didn't feel the heavy burden of the choice they took.  To think otherwise is your error.

Remember, not all broke their oaths to their Tsar even after they had been released by his abdication.



Quote

Let's see . . . so far you have told me I am not allowed to say that Nicholas betrayed himself.  Now I am not allowed to say that people who violate oaths apparently do not take them seriously?  Has some new law against pointing out oxymorons been passed?

Bear: If you'd like,  I'll start a topic about how Nicholas II betrayed himself.  I've even stated that you can place this at the top of your list if you'd like.   Then,  here on this thread,  let's talk about the others whom Nicholas II believed had betrayed him and those whom Nicholas II was not  aware but if he had would have also called them his betrayers.

If you'd like, and I think others will agree,  you can say that you don't think some people took thier oaths seriously.  And,  I think this is true.  Some did not.  But, please,  don't lump every one into your assumption.  because many of us are aware that  that many men did take their oath to the Tsar very serious.

Quote

I'm sorry if it upsets you that I do not share your deeply mystical and romanticized view of the holy bond between God's annointed and the people God consigned to his absolute control.  But I don't . . . and you're going to have to live with it.



My opinions are not deeply mystical nor romantic.  What was was.  And you can't change it just because you do not approve.

 Does your disaproval upset me.  No.  But it did upset Margarita who is proud of her grandfathers.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 06, 2007, 07:35:10 PM
Perhaps it would be easier to refrain from taking oaths.  :)

Yes, I guess I agree. There is no point. But that's only to me, or to you. To some others there may be a point, and maybe they would actually stick to it, no matter what... We are also looking at all this from our modern stand point. I am sure it was very different a century ago, in a different society, in a different world you may say. I am kind of glad I don't live in that world, I must admit, it's very hard to always remain that honorable ;).
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 06, 2007, 08:31:58 PM
Does your disaproval upset me.  No.  But it did upset Margarita who is proud of her grandfathers.

I am proud of my grandfathers on many counts.  But that pride gives me neither cause nor right to tell someone today on a history discussion board that he cannot advance views of their era different than they held.  For instance, my grandfathers held segregationist views -- as did almost all whites in their era.  Does that mean I have a right to be offended when people today talk about the injustice of segregation and the fraility of the biblical authority that was cited to support it in their time?

I have no desire to disparage Margarita's grandfathers, but I am not going to bow to the nonsense that because they took oaths I cannot question whether the frequency of abandoned oaths throughout history might signal that oaths are more form than substance for most people.  I may or may not be wrong, and anyone is free to challenge my opinions.  But the fact that Margarita is proud of her grandfathers does not grant her the right to muzzle me or this discussion.

Get real.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 06, 2007, 09:02:06 PM
Perhaps it would be easier to refrain from taking oaths.  :)

Yes, I guess I agree. There is no point. But that's only to me, or to you. To some others there may be a point, and maybe they would actually stick to it, no matter what... We are also looking at all this from our modern stand point. I am sure it was very different a century ago, in a different society, in a different world you may say. I am kind of glad I don't live in that world, I must admit, it's very hard to always remain that honorable ;).

Yes, I am looking at it from my own pov in the year 2006. Like you, I am glad to be part of this century.  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 06, 2007, 09:06:37 PM
Does your disaproval upset me.  No.  But it did upset Margarita who is proud of her grandfathers.

I am proud of my grandfathers on many counts.  But that pride gives me neither cause nor right to tell someone today on a history discussion board that he cannot advance views of their era different than they held.  For instance, my grandfathers held segregationist views -- as did almost all whites in their era.  Does that mean I have a right to be offended when people today talk about the injustice of segregation and the fraility of the biblical authority that was cited to support it in their time?

I have no desire to disparage Margarita's grandfathers, but I am not going to bow to the nonsense that because they took oaths I cannot question whether the frequency of abandoned oaths throughout history might signal that oaths are more form than substance for most people.  I may or may not be wrong, and anyone is free to challenge my opinions.  But the fact that Margarita is proud of her grandfathers does not grant her the right to muzzle me or this discussion.

Get real.

I sure hope no one has the right to muzzle anyone on this discussion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 09:52:26 PM
If you lit up inside the stacks, have you "betrayed" Oxford University? If everyone truly felt justified by his actions, was anyone "betrayed"?

if I was freezing to death for some reason inside the Bod, then no. If I just did it for fun, then yes! It all depends on the situation, not on the act...



But this is precisely the problem with the definition of the oath as having supremacy over conscience. No situation can justify breaking it. For the record, that is not my position --- my position is exactly yours. However, this also takes "betrayal" out of the mix if those involved thought they were doing the rational, right thing in suggesting abdication.

I have to go down to rehearsal, will pick this up later.

Simon

You are absolutely correct.  The oath these men gave to their Tsar did indeed rule out every soldier's conscience and gave them no wiggle room where they could have justification of breaking the oath.

My point exactly.

Thank you.

AGRBear

Bear,

If you read my post, you will see that I said I do not agree with the definition of an oath that you have advanced. So I do not concede that there is no "wiggle room", nor do I think that the men who swore loyalty to the Tsar conceded it. They had, after all, lived in Russia. That would be Russia, a land in which Tsars were overthrown with monotonous frequency for a sizable portion of its history. They didn't call it the Time of Troubles for nothing.

Your definition of how an oath works is romantic, and deeply, deeply flawed from a philosophical, theological and historical understanding of them.. I concede that you have the right to have deeply flawed ideas, and that's about all you're going to get out of me.

As with your estimation of my knowledge of Job, you're widely off the mark with your basic assumption, i.e. the idea that history can only be done if we assume the mentality of the past. If I thought that you were ever receptive to a point of view that differed from your own preconceived notions --- and Helen, if you're playing along with the home game, this isn't a personal attack, but a professional estimation of the arguments Bear advances upon threads --- then I would try and explain how useless this is as a means to discover truth, or come as close to it as we can in the historical process. Look at the sweeping statements that you have made about what Nicholas felt in his spiritual life, what the men of Russia who took military oaths felt, what --- well, you get the picture. Or you don't, I don't know. But, for me, anyway,  you just haven't established your credentials for these kinds of statements (and frankly, these are problematic statements from someone with the chops to try and back them up).

Simon


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 06, 2007, 10:03:00 PM
The point that I am trying to make is that I do not believe these officers took their oaths all that seriously.  If so, a somewhat higher percentage of them would have stood by those oaths when the going got rough in February and March of 1917.

I am totally appauled by this comment. How DARE YOU diminish and presume that the Oath of allegience that was given with hand on the bible before witnesses was meaningless!

Both my grandfathers served Imperial Russia with integrity and loyalty as evidenced by their positions. You are mocking everything they believed in.

Back off on this one Tsarfan - because this time you have gone too far!

I am not the one who diminished their oaths.  They  did by violating them.  Or have you now decided they did not violate their oaths in abandoning the tsar, after all?


Bear:  You are mixing apples with organges.   When the oath was given,  these men were serious and believed in what they were doing.

 When some men broke their oath,  it was because the events had changed.  This did not mean they did not anquish over their decision.  This does not mean they didn't feel the heavy burden of the choice they took.  To think otherwise is your error.

Remember, not all broke their oaths to their Tsar even after they had been released by his abdication.



Quote

Let's see . . . so far you have told me I am not allowed to say that Nicholas betrayed himself.  Now I am not allowed to say that people who violate oaths apparently do not take them seriously?  Has some new law against pointing out oxymorons been passed?

Bear: If you'd like,  I'll start a topic about how Nicholas II betrayed himself.  I've even stated that you can place this at the top of your list if you'd like.   Then,  here on this thread,  let's talk about the others whom Nicholas II believed had betrayed him and those whom Nicholas II was not  aware but if he had would have also called them his betrayers.

If you'd like, and I think others will agree,  you can say that you don't think some people took thier oaths seriously.  And,  I think this is true.  Some did not.  But, please,  don't lump every one into your assumption.  because many of us are aware that  that many men did take their oath to the Tsar very serious.

Quote

I'm sorry if it upsets you that I do not share your deeply mystical and romanticized view of the holy bond between God's annointed and the people God consigned to his absolute control.  But I don't . . . and you're going to have to live with it.



My opinions are not deeply mystical nor romantic.  What was was.  And you can't change it just because you do not approve.

 Does your disaproval upset me.  No.  But it did upset Margarita who is proud of her grandfathers.

AGRBear



Um . . .Bear? Tsarfan's post was aimed at Margarita, not you.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 07, 2007, 12:08:40 AM
Great Caesar's Ghost!!! :o :o :o
We are beginning to sound like Nicholas' generals and ministers here. Going at each other like this....whooo!
Maybe we should take an oath not to attack each other except with reasoned observation or citable evidence. Anyone who breaks that oath has betrayed us all and will be forced to abdicate the thread.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 04:59:50 AM
That could work James.  :)

I don't know what is wrong with saying Nicholas betrayed himself. I said that many pages ago, when this thread was first started, and no one jumped on me.
I guess I think that Nicholas was the author of his own problems and downfall. I am sure there were many who stayed loyal to him right to the end and did so gladly and of thier own volition and sense of loyalty. Perhaps those are the one Nicholas betrayed.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 07:18:45 AM
We are also looking at all this from our modern stand point. I am sure it was very different a century ago, in a different society, in a different world you may say.

It is true there is an element of looking at this from a modern standpoint.  Part of the reason for studying history is to examine it in the light of how far and in which direction we have travelled since.

But I would refer back to a point that was made earlier.  Looking only to Russia (which was by no means unique on this score), one finds a long history of oath-breaking when it comes to tsars.  Just looking at the post-Time-of-Troubles era, Sophia broke her oath when she tried to usurp Peter I's prerogatives.  Elizabeth broke her oath when she staged her palace coup.  Catherine II and her supporters broke their oaths when she usurped her husband's throne.  Certainly whoever murdered Peter III broke an oath.  The nobles who murdered Paul in his bedroom broke their oaths.  The cadets who rose up against Nicholas I in the Decembrist revolt broke their oaths.

Responding to what one perceives as bad government by renouncing one's oaths is a phenomenon with a long and noble pedigree.  I have never read a serious historian who analyzed coups and revolutions from the perspective of whether oaths were broken.  They almost always were, and it seems rather beside the point when discussing the causes of a revolution.  They are analyzed from the perspective of how and why a prevailing system or a government head was overthrown.  And saying as much does not require that one look at the issue only from a modern viewpoint.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 07, 2007, 09:02:03 AM
I don't think there are such "absolute" perspectives to this discussion, as some seem to advocate. I've been lurking mostly, but I think an "outside" view might bring the discussion some focus.

Of course history is looking back at the era with modern eyes, but, and this is a HUGE "but" (no puns intended), we will NEVER understand that era unless we understand the beliefs, mores, and motivations of those at the time.  Oath taking was a far more serious affair to the Victorian than the 21st century. Honor was an esteemed virtue, not a hoped for accident. That said, did every single person swearing an oath to Nicholas II in 1894 do so out of honor and virtue, of course not.

So, the genuine discussion here, IMO, is not the "meaning of oath taking", at least in today's standards, but rather, what that oath MEANT TO THOSE WHO ACTUALLY TOOK IT. Some took it because they had to, to get that position they wanted. Others, took it much to heart, and upheld that oath literally with their own lives, keeping that oath even as Yurovsky led them down to the cellar in Ekaterinburg. Read Volkov again for some indication of how SOME of those oath-takers felt.

So, who were those people who took the oath to Nicholas, perhaps originally out of the noble, virtuous vein, who later abandoned that oath, and WHY did they "betray" their oath? was it for personal gain? cowardice? or a genuine belief that such an act was the only way to save Russia? All are legitimate and open to discuss.

We know that Nicholas' weaknesses were contributing factors, but please leave that discussion to another more appropriate thread.  This thread is about those who, for whatever reason, abandoned the oath they swore to the Emperor, and why they did so.

This help??

FA
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 09:10:50 AM
We know that Nicholas' weaknesses were contributing factors, but please leave that discussion to another more appropriate thread.  This thread is about those who, for whatever reason, abandoned the oath they swore to the Emperor, and why they did so.

But what if Nicholas' weaknesses were the very reason that people abandoned their oaths?  How can we have a discussion about the reasons people broke their oaths while putting Nicholas' traits off limits?  I'm confused.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 07, 2007, 09:22:57 AM
I'm not saying that portion of the discussion is "off limits" per se, I just don't think it needs to be the focus of this discussion. I'm talking about those posts that started off with "Nicholas betrayed himself because...."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 10:16:49 AM
Okay. I don't accept the fact that people took the oath all that seriously at the time, if I judge by actions rather than words. The oath is a public recognition of the way that people were supposed to think, i.e. that the Tsar was at the top of the system. Once they ceased to believe that ---- the oath ceased to represent reality. This isn't 21st century cynicism speaking; Russian history (and everybody else's for that matter) is replete with broken oaths, oaths with mental reservations, oaths entered into without adequate understanding, oaths entered into with cynical intent to break them, oaths entered into on behalf of people who could not speak for themselves, and oaths that people wound up keeping. The oath is a public recognition of a state of being. When the state of being ceases to exist, well, so does the oath. This is not an invention of the 21st century, it is a simple recognition as to how they have functioned in history.

I truly object to the word "betrayal"; how about saying that the Generals, Nicholas, whomever, "broke" their oaths, and leave it at that? We can then spare ourselves the unpleasant religious/unpatriotic  overtones that "betrayal" conveys and get on with a discussion as to why those involved did what they did.

Which brings us back to Nicholas' failings as a ruler, imho, but that's just me.

Simon

And the "state of being" in this case, did not necessarily end with Nicholas' formal abdication --- imo it ended months, perhaps years before.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 10:22:21 AM
Oath taking was a far more serious affair to the Victorian than the 21st century.

I'm not so sure it is taken less serously today.  The Oath of Office:  A Historical Guide to Moral Leadership, published in the Air & Space Power Journal   (Winter 2002), discusses the great level of attention still directed to the forms and meaning of military oaths.   It illustrates the point by describing the dilemma faced by General Wesley Clark just a few years ago:

"Some people may think that the focus on the oath and our founding fathers is merely patriotic, feel-good rhetoric and may question the significance of the oath in today’s environment.  However, during Operation Allied Force, General Wesley Clark encountered a dilemma that very much involved the oath.  As combatant commander of US European Command, he had allegiance to the United States.  But he also served as supreme allied commander, Europe, with responsibility to the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  In his book Waging Modern War, General Clark alludes to his dilemma. Who should have priority -- the United States or NATO?  Upon initiating the air campaign, Clark first called Javier Solano, NATO’s secretary-general, before he called General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Explaining his predicament, he notes, 'I was the overall commander, but represented a nation that didn’t want to participate.'  Interestingly, rather than choosing a term such as worked for or served, he uses represented, which connotes a lesser degree of responsibility and a passive relationship instead of an active allegiance . . . .

Although General Clark did not renounce his allegiance to the US Constitution in favor of the NATO alliance, he struggled with the question of where his responsibilities and priorities lay.  Despite the differences of opinion between the United States and NATO regarding interests, goals, and methods, both parties had the same overarching objective -- stopping the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.  Consequently, Clark did not have to make an either-or choice.  However, this example shows how the complexity of modern war and the problems generated by working with alliances can cause even a great American like General Clark to struggle.  The act of reaffirming the oath of office should serve to guide all officers when they find themselves in difficult situations."

In the middle of the Victorian era, Robert E. Lee decided to abandon his military oath to support the United States and to lead the rebel forces of his home state of Virginia into war against the United States.  Where I grew up, Lee was and still is regarded as a devoutly-Christian hero and a noble soul for his decision to abandon his oath.  As I posted earlier, whether people take umbrage at the breaking of an oath has a lot more to do with their politics than with their faith.  I do not see that a whole lot has changed in the intervening century.

I do not think the questions surrounding Nicholas' abdication are really about whether oaths were taken more or less seriously in their era than before or since.  History is littered with fallen rulers who were afforded no protection by the oaths their underlings swore.  I think the questions surrounding Nicholas' abdication are really about why his underlings were driven to such extreme desperation that they would abandon their oaths.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 10:30:06 AM
I think this post makes a great deal of sense, but if I can put an addendum on it? I don't think that oath-taking is a less serious affair today, but neither is it a more serious affair. A serving soldier can be legitimately required to break his oath under certain conditions. As Helen point out, people do not enter into a vowed state with the idea of ending it, but there can be conditions that cause it to be broken. We recognize more of these conditions than did the Victorians/Edwardians, but even they understood this could happen. Ernie and Ducky, anyone? Olga Alexandrovna and Peter Oldenburg?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 07, 2007, 10:54:57 AM
May I add Michael and Natasha to the top of that list??
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 11:34:38 AM
Have any of you, who are US citizens,  ever been in a room where most of the people in the room are about to swear their alligence to the new and adopted country, the USA?

It is an experience all of us, who were born in the US and take our citizenship for granted, should experience.

After you have this experience,  then come back to this thread tell me:  some  people today  take oaths seriously today.

For those of you living else where,  I'm sure you have your examples where people have sworn an oath of some kind.   It doesn't have to be and oath to ones country... Police, firemen,  doctors, religious leaders, communists, members of NATO.... all swear some kind of oath which they fully intend to uphold.

So,  I'm not sure what some of you mean when you claim oaths for many of us  are not as serious today as they were in the times of Nicholas II's.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 11:41:24 AM
May I add Michael and Natasha to the top of that list??


Two excellent examples.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 11:43:13 AM
Bear,

No one is saying that you do not oaths seriously. I have been married for 26 years, so I take them seriously too. I also take my conscience seriously, and attempt to educate it so that it can make informed judgements about where my duty to the Good lies. I am sure you do the same. Can you not conceive of a circumstance that might cause you to break an oath? If ones takes oaths seriously, it is sometimes necessary to break them.

The fact that emotions run high on the day people take the oaths has nothing to do with the keeping of them, or the need to keep them should circumstances change. And if you are going to feel free to offer these patronizing corrections about the experiences of people you don't even know, then I am going to go after your level of scholarship. I have not only been present at such ceremonies, I have taught preparation classes for them.

This is starting to sound as though it is less about Nicholas II and more about you. Gosh, there's a surprise.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 11:47:12 AM
See, this is why we can't have nice things. ::sighs::
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 12:05:54 PM
. . . come back to this thread tell me: (1)  people today take oaths seriously or (2) they do not.

You have to define what you mean by "take oaths seriously".  You will get a very different answer depending on whether you define it to mean that someone will not break the oath under any circumstances or whether you define it to mean someone will pause and consider changes in circumstances before deciding to honor it.

A rough proxy for testing how many people adhere to oaths unconditionally compared to those who adhere only conditionally would be to examine how many people have been martyred for adhering to their oaths, compared to how many people have participated in revolutions or conveniently forgotten about their oaths once a new government is in place.

If one looks only at the numbers of people who sided with the Reds during the Russian Civil War and the numbers of people who, as Rob pointed out, turned their backs on their oaths to the soviet regime in 1994, I think those numbers alone overwhelm the numbers of "oath martyrs" throughout all of recorded history.

As you yourself pointed out with the Talleyrand quote, the smart money throughout history has always been on those who took circumstances into account.  And, of course, the epilogue to Talleyrand's remark to Alexander I was that Alexander remained perfectly willing to do business with Talleyrand, even knowing how casually he regarded his ever-shifting oaths of allegiance.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 07, 2007, 12:16:40 PM
There is a difference between a vow and an oath. A vow  [marriage, holy orders, etc] is made before god and not easily broken. Oaths are generally civil and when that authority is no longer valid, neither is the oath to which it was made. In either case, considering divorce rates and politician's records, both are of questionable worth, imo.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 12:19:30 PM
Let's go back into time before there was a revolution brewing in Feb. of 1917.

Did GD Michael "betray"  his Tsar when he married Natasha?

I think he did.

Why?


Before the marriage,  GD Michael was second in line to the throne and  knew  his actions of marriage  without the Tsar's permission  would  show his love for Natasha was stronger than his love for his Tsar.


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 07, 2007, 12:21:32 PM
I think that sometimes the people who took their oaths to the ruler the most seriously were the very same people who became horribly disillusioned and broke those oaths as a matter of higher conscience. Such a one, as I believe someone else has previously mentioned, was Claus von Stauffenberg (1907-1944), a high-ranking army officer and hereditary nobleman who was loyal to Hitler until his experiences on the eastern front in 1941-42 (specifically, witnessing the mass extermination of Jewish civilians, Communists, and Gypsies) convinced him that Hitler was the Anti-Christ. For Stauffenberg was also a convinced Catholic, and his belief in God came before his belief in Hitler or any other oath to worldly leaders. There is a higher calling, Bear, than oaths to the current ruler or "Caesar."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 12:30:01 PM
I think that sometimes the people who took their oaths to the ruler the most seriously were the very same people who became horribly disillusioned and broke those oaths as a matter of higher conscience. Such a one, as I believe someone else has previously mentioned, was Claus von Stauffenberg (1907-1944), a high-ranking army officer and hereditary nobleman who was loyal to Hitler until his experiences on the eastern front in 1941-42 (specifically, witnessing the mass extermination of Jewish civilians, Communists, and Gypsies) convinced him that Hitler was the Anti-Christ. For Stauffenberg was also a convinced Catholic, and his belief in God came before his belief in Hitler or any other oath to worldly leaders. There is a higher calling, Bear, than oaths to the current ruler or "Caesar."

Elisabeth,

I agree.   

And,  I believe this was true of Nicholas II, too.  He felt there was a higher calling. 

 "Caesar",  as Brutus' knife  was thrust into him in the Senate, must have believed he was betrayed by Brutus and others....

Brutus,  if we can believe what we read,  believed his actions were justified.

Gen. Alekeev,  if we can believe what we read,  believed his actions were justified. 

We know Tsar Nicholas II felt betrayed.


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 12:37:17 PM
Before the marriage, GD Michael was second in line to the throne and  knew his actions of marriage without the Tsar's permission would show his love for Natasha was stronger than his love for his Tsar.

This is written from the highly-romanticized and mystical view of reality that has colored this whole discussion about Nicholas' abdication.

What Michael was actually doing was having it off with a woman who was married to a man that Michael took into his entourage and pretended to befriend.  And the whole thing was facilitated by Michael's sister Olga, who had been forced into a sham marriage and was having it off herself with her husband's aide-de-camp, who had been put into the position for that very purpose.

These people were not the Gods of Olympus.  They were normal human beings who happened to have been born into the pinnacle of power and society.  And their physical urges and private viewpoints were no more noble than the rest of ours.

Get real.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 12:56:54 PM
Ahhhh yes,  the old double standard:  Do as I say and not as I do.

Nothing romantic about it. 

But,  that was the way it was.

AGRBear

PS 
Yes,  yes,  I know,  it is still that way today for many people  8)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 01:29:21 PM
There is a difference between a vow and an oath. A vow  [marriage, holy orders, etc] is made before god and not easily broken. Oaths are generally civil and when that authority is no longer valid, neither is the oath to which it was made. In either case, considering divorce rates and politician's records, both are of questionable worth, imo.

I agree, but the oaths that Russian soldiers swore to obey the Tsar were couched in religious language, and his position as Tsar depended upon a religious understanding of the nature of power. My point is that pragmatic considerations as well as rational have always been part of the oath process, no matter what they are based upon --- appeals to God or the authority of the state.

You're all very hard on Misha. Mme. Wulfert was very good-looking. And unlike David and Uriah, Misha at least didn't arrange for Mr. Wulfert to be killed in battle. But as long as we're throwing adulterous-marriage-oath-breaking members of the family into the mix, let's not leave out Xenia Alexandrovna.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 02:08:37 PM
Just a quick questison. I thought the topic was "Who betrayed Nicholas." Yet, someone mentioned having a problem with the word betrayed and after reading sevearl other comments, I'm not sure what the topic acutally is. Is it who betrayed Nicholas? Or is that off limits?
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 02:14:36 PM
Well, we have meandered a bit . . . but I'm not so sure we're too far off topic.

At some point in the discussion, the issue of betrayal began to be debated in terms of the violation of oaths.  That, in turn, led into a discussion of the nature and obligations imposed by oaths, which in turn led to examination of possible criteria for abrogating them.  From there, some of us began to look at oaths in a historical context, and now we're talking about whether there was a double standard in castigating people for betraying their oaths to Nicholas while letting the Romanovs themselves off the hook for fairly widespread oath-violating.

The hip bone's connected to the leg bone's connected to the shin bone . . .
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 02:20:09 PM
Thanks Tsarfan, Got it. We've been around the bend.
Does anyone know the wording of the oath the soldiers took? I would imagine it was steeped in religious imagery since the Tsar was believed to be annoited by God to rule Russia. I would also imagine that violating an oath to the tsar was tantamount to violating an oath to God.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 07, 2007, 04:04:20 PM
It would seem that humans from the beginning of our first groupings into social orders have had a gene that always (or in almost all cases) influences our decisions. That atavistic gene is loyalty to the family, the tribe, the clan, the state, the country, the nation. It is always our first loyalty, even above that to an individual. In almost every case when we are forced to make a choice we always go with our loyalty to that concept rather than to the leader, the king, the prince, the whatever. When loyalty to the individual leader can be combined with loyalty to the concept of nation then it is good and we are happy, but if forced to choose between the two almost everytime the loyalty to the nation will win out over loyalty to the individual. Even when we have swore a "sacred" oath on whatever totems exist, this psychological tendency will win out over the individual.
I think that this nebulous belief was what was working on the imperial family, the military officers, the ministers, the state bureaucrats, and the people when the crisis of February, 1917 occurred. They saw loyalty to Russia greater than loyalty to the tsar because they felt that the interests of the tsar were no longer compatible with the interests of Russia. And, in most cases, they tried to remain loyal to the concept of monarchy, just not the monarch, until it was no longer sustainable by events.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on February 07, 2007, 04:47:14 PM
There is a higher calling, Bear, than oaths to the current ruler or "Caesar."

Luke 20:25

"Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."

Sounds like a higher calling to me.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 07, 2007, 06:11:58 PM
Trying to trap him by asking him why he consorted with the despised tax collectors and publicans who helped facilitate the hated Roman occupation, Jesus saw the trap. He asked for a coin which was used to pay the Roman tax, and after studying it for a moment, asked whose picture was on it. Why Caesar's of course, they replied. And Jesus then said, well if his picture is on it then it must belong to him, so give it to him. And give to God what belongs to God.
The question then was, to whom did Russia belong---the people or the tsar?

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 06:54:11 PM
Ah! I see your point James. Very good question. Coming from the perspective of this century, living in the U.S., I woukld say that Russia belonged to the people.
But the questions really is, what did the people of Russia believe at that time? And what did the IF believe?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 07:06:32 PM
General Alexander Spiridovich wrote the following:

"Maybe these generals were good brave leaders, but they poorly understood internal political matters and internal governance of the State, (they) dared to render pressure on the monarch and, using (their) military position, forced him to abdicate from the throne."

also

"Our generals (who) often show off (with the) words "I am a soldier", (they) forgot the meaning of these wonderful simple words at that time, when (they) should have stated: we are able to give advice whether to attack or retreat, but regarding the abdication question it is better to approach the Senate, the State Soviet - we are not competent, we - are soldiers."

[Ref: Velikaya voina i fevral'skaya revolutsiya (The Great war and the february revolution] pp. 681-2 (My translation)

Margarita


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 07:34:22 PM
Coming from the perspective of this century, living in the U.S., I woukld say that Russia belonged to the people.
But the questions really is, what did the people of Russia believe at that time? And what did the IF believe?

Almost all of the older European monarchies were based on the premise that the king was absolute owner of the physical land of the kingdom.  Even in modern England, in a strictly legal sense the Queen literally owns the land, and people who have the right to occupy it -- and are commonly called the "owners" -- actually hold it "of the king", as the formula goes.  This was the legal underpinning of the monarch's right to seize the land of traitors, rebels, and people convicted of certain other infamous crimes, and it was the underpinning of Henry VIII's right to dispose of the property confiscated from the Catholic Church by Cromwell's machinations.

When Louis XVI was forcibly transformed into a constitutional monarch, his title "King of France" was revoked and replaced with the title "King of the French" to signify that he had lost physical sovereignty of the soil.  Likewise, when the German states were united by Bismarck, the King of Prussia was made "German Emperor" instead of "Emperor of Germany", again to signify that his sovereignty over the new nation was political only, not a legal ownership of the lands outside Prussia.

By his abdication, Nicholas quite literally forfeited personal ownership of one-sixth of the globe's land surface.  It was a really bad day for him.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 07:53:30 PM
General Alexander Spiridovich wrote the following:

"Maybe these generals were good brave leaders, but they poorly understood internal political matters and internal governance of the State . . . .

Hmmm.  I wonder what General Spiridovich thought of Alexandra's and Rasputin's competence in these matters.


"Our generals (who) often show off (with the) words "I am a soldier", (they) forgot the meaning of these wonderful simple words at that time, when (they) should have stated: we are able to give advice whether to attack or retreat, but regarding the abdication question it is better to approach the Senate, the State Soviet - we are not competent, we - are soldiers."

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I have always understood that the generals and admirals were not presented with a political question of whether the tsar should abdicate.  I thought they were polled to see if they felt they could maintain discipline among their troops if Nicholas refused the call of his ministers and the Duma to abdicate.  As their collective answer was a decided "no", the tsar knew he could not rely on military force in the attempt to sustain his rule -- not because his commanders wished that to be the case, but because it was  the case.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 08:10:21 PM
Simon,

... Thus it is not unreasonable to believe that by extending his own life he preserved his son from potential harm.

Most historians with whose work I am familiar have assumed that he did it because of the boy's hemophilia, and fear of separation from him. Not because he thought that there was physical danger to the Heir.

The historians were not wrong but you have jumped one step ahead here. Alexeyev's communication stressed that it Alexei who was to accept the Crown with Mikhail acting as regent. The issue about Alexei's hemophilia was raised later on and the abdication was restructured to exclude Alexei. 

Going back to this issue, historians in the main have for their own reasons focused on the two factors that you have offered. I am unaware if any of them recognized why Nikolai did not want to be separated from Alexei. He was informed (identified by General Spiridovich, an eyewitness to Nikolai's verbal reasoning) that IF Alexei became Emperor then he would have had to reside with Grand Duke Mikhail, which at first seemed acceptable. On further contemplation Nikolai stated "harshly" (Spiridovich's word) before his Suite that he "would never hand over his son into the hands of the wife of the grand duke." Furthermore he continued that he "FEARED to be deprived (the word "separated" was not used) of his son in the hands of a stranger."

I never used the words "physical danger" that you prefered to use. When one identifies the actual words used by the Emperor in Russian it is clear that there was more to the words than portrayed by the historians that you consulted.

To my mind there is room to believe that Nikolai "feared" that harm would have come to Alexei in Nataliya Brassova's care. The harm does not have to be physical - it could be as in this case be psychological.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 08:12:42 PM
Coming from the perspective of this century, living in the U.S., I woukld say that Russia belonged to the people.
But the questions really is, what did the people of Russia believe at that time? And what did the IF believe?

Almost all of the older European monarchies were based on the premise that the king was absolute owner of the physical land of the kingdom.  Even in modern England, in a strictly legal sense the Queen literally owns the land, and people who have the right to occupy it -- and are commonly called the "owners" -- actually hold it "of the king", as the formula goes.  This was the legal underpinning of the monarch's right to seize the land of traitors, rebels, and people convicted of certain other infamous crimes, and it was the underpinning of Henry VIII's right to dispose of the property confiscated from the Catholic Church by Cromwell's machinations.

When Louis XVI was forcibly transformed into a constitutional monarch, his title "King of France" was revoked and replaced with the title "King of the French" to signify that he had lost physical sovereignty of the soil.  Likewise, when the German states were united by Bismarck, the King of Prussia was made "German Emperor" instead of "Emperor of Germany", again to signify that his sovereignty over the new nation was political only, not a legal ownership of the lands outside Prussia.

By his abdication, Nicholas quite literally forfeited personal ownership of one-sixth of the globe's land surface.  It was a really bad day for him.



Yes, I would call that a bad day.  So then Russia belonged to the Tsar. And did the people?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 08:34:27 PM
Simon,

... Thus it is not unreasonable to believe that by extending his own life he preserved his son from potential harm.

Most historians with whose work I am familiar have assumed that he did it because of the boy's hemophilia, and fear of separation from him. Not because he thought that there was physical danger to the Heir.

The historians were not wrong but you have jumped one step ahead here. Alexeyev's communication stressed that it Alexei who was to accept the Crown with Mikhail acting as regent. The issue about Alexei's hemophilia was raised later on and the abdication was restructured to exclude Alexei. 

Going back to this issue, historians in the main have for their own reasons focused on the two factors that you have offered. I am unaware if any of them recognized why Nikolai did not want to be separated from Alexei. He was informed (identified by General Spiridovich, an eyewitness to Nikolai's verbal reasoning) that IF Alexei became Emperor then he would have had to reside with Grand Duke Mikhail, which at first seemed acceptable. On further contemplation Nikolai stated "harshly" (Spiridovich's word) before his Suite that he "would never hand over his son into the hands of the wife of the grand duke." Furthermore he continued that he "FEARED to be deprived (the word "separated" was not used) of his son in the hands of a stranger."

Margarita

I do remember reading that. And I can understand not wanting to hand a child over to someone else. IMO, Alexei would have been in danger and I think history bears that out. If not from "the wife of the grand duke" from the Bolsheviks. So in other words, Nicholas chose his son over his empire?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 08:36:50 PM
General Alexander Spiridovich wrote the following:

"Maybe these generals were good brave leaders, but they poorly understood internal political matters and internal governance of the State . . . .

Hmmm.  I wonder what General Spiridovich thought of Alexandra's and Rasputin's competence in these matters.

He had opinions about Rasputin and Alexandra that may surprise you but your question has no bearing to this discussion does it?

"Our generals (who) often show off (with the) words "I am a soldier", (they) forgot the meaning of these wonderful simple words at that time, when (they) should have stated: we are able to give advice whether to attack or retreat, but regarding the abdication question it is better to approach the Senate, the State Soviet - we are not competent, we - are soldiers."

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I have always understood that the generals and admirals were not presented with a political question of whether the tsar should abdicate. 

I always understood that Abdication was a political process. The question posed by Alexeyev was political and had nothing to do with military logistics.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 08:48:58 PM
I do remember reading that.

Can you please direct me to your source?

And I can understand not wanting to hand a child over to someone else. IMO, Alexei would have been in danger and I think history bears that out. If not from "the wife of the grand duke" from the Bolsheviks. So in other words, Nicholas chose his son over his empire?

Nilkolai adored his younger brother but he never accepted his wife who was never permitted audience.

The dilemma was a fine balance between the welfare of the State vs. the welfare of a son who was challeged by health considerations.

Effectively Nikolai chose his son believing that Mikhail would be capable enough to effect peace for Russia. Based on this premise it would hardly be reasonable to postulate that Nikolai betrayed himself.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 07, 2007, 08:56:02 PM
Margarita,
I don't think I was very clear in that post.
What I remember reading was about Nicholas not wanting to be apart from Alexei...not wanting him to be away from his family.
The information you provided, was not what I was talking about. I do not recall reading the quote you provided about the Grand Duke's wife, etc. anywhere else. Does that clear it up?
I apologize if I was not clear.
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 09:14:29 PM
Spiridovich offered another verbal thought expressed by Nikolai:

"Old-believers are not asking me, that I change my Oath on the day of (the) holy coronation."

Spiridovich noted that the Emperor was prepared to descend from the throne for the sake of Russia, but Nikolai feared that the people would fail to understand why.

Without being ridiculed, I believe that many today have failed to understand Nikolai.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 09:16:03 PM
Margarita,
I don't think I was very clear in that post.
What I remember reading was about Nicholas not wanting to be apart from Alexei...not wanting him to be away from his family.
The information you provided, was not what I was talking about. I do not recall reading the quote you provided about the Grand Duke's wife, etc. anywhere else. Does that clear it up?
I apologize if I was not clear.
Lexi

Thank you it does!

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 07, 2007, 09:24:54 PM
I will withdraw the "gun to his head" remark.
 But, you did say you that he was in physical danger. So, I challenge you to name the physical danger, and from whom was he in danger at the time of his abdication?
He had his Convoy Escort on the train, under Voiekov. He was at the army headquarters of General Ruzsky with its soldiers. Are you saying General Ruzsky would have harmed the tsar to make him abdicate?
To be specific, we are talking about the period Feb. 27 through March 3, 1918.

At a meeting in Rodzianko's office in March 1917, strategy was discussed with Generals Ruzski and Krimov. They resolved that when the Emperor left Stavka he was to be detained and "forced" to abdicate. General Krimov offered to assassinate the Emperor.

So James the danger for Nikolai was very real indeed and I have no doubt that the Emperor would have been aware of the danger he faced circled by treacherous men who needed a result.

Margarita

Margarita,

The inference I drew from this post is that you did think Nicholas was in physical danger; you did not contradict James' use of the phrase, or if you did I can't find the reference. I also asked if Nicholas was aware of the Rodzianko meeting you brought into the discussion.

In any event, I certainly do not believe that he abdicated because of physical danger. I don't believe he would have if it had been present, and to be honest, I don't believe it was present.

We're splitting hairs about the Heir. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) While I am sure that Nicholas (and certainly Alexandra) weren't about to turn the boy over to his aunt and uncle in the event that Michael was Regent for a minor Tsar because the aunt was regarded as a wicked Jezebel, it stretches the imagination to assume that Nicholas took Alexei out of the succession for that reason alone. The boy's disease made him unfit to reign, or in any event unlikely to reign successfully. Bereft of his mother's care especially, I can't see Alexei flourishing, even with whatever care he might have received separated from them. This had to have been on Nicholas' mind when he abdicated for the boy --- Tsar Alexei would have faced a fairly long minority, most likely removed from the care of his family. Even people who think he was a dreadul Tsar, as I do, grant that he was a loving father.  I can't see him signing away the care of his son. And if he couldn't, how on earth would he have imagined his wife would have dealt with that particular aspect of the Abdication?

You have also used words in your posts to describe Nicholas that I have never seen applied to him before --- "astute" comes to mind. Do you really find him to be so when you examine his life and reign?

The Spiridovich testimony is interesting as a representative idea of what the side that opposed Nicholas' decision to abdicate would have written. I suppose the supporters of the abdication would have viewed themselves as good enough soldiers. I think it is an interesting quote, but a partisan one, and as such of limited value.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 09:29:05 PM
He had opinions about Rasputin and Alexandra that may surprise you but your question has no bearing to this discussion does it?

Well, since he was quoted as an authority on who understood what about politics and internal affairs . . . .

And, actually, Spirodovich's opinions do have a bearing.  As the head of the tsar's Personal Security Police, he had intimate access to Nicholas and Alexandra.  And as Nicholas had his ministers report to Alexandra while he was at Stavka during the period when the regime's reputation went into a nosedive during the final year before the abdication, I think a credible observer's opinion of her performance in this role does bear on the question of why Nicholas was eventually driven to abdicate.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 09:34:45 PM
Without being ridiculed, I believe that many today have failed to understand Nikolai.

I think the issue is less that people today fail to understand Nicholas and more that, in coming to understand Nicholas and his thought processes, many begin to perceive why the dynasty ended on his watch.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 09:43:06 PM
When Nicholas II heard that his brother,  Michael, whom he had created as this sucessor had sent the Duma the words that he would accept the supreme power only if that be the desire of our great people....",  the ex-Tsar wrote in his diary:  Bog znaet, kto nadoumil ego podpisat' takuiu gadost!"   "God knows who got him to sign such filt!h*"

*Translated p.  409 in SCENARIOS OF POWER  by Richard S. Wortman.

Those are angry words.  They have the sound of a man who felt betrayed.  To whom was he referring, "God knows who got him to sign"?

AGRBear

PS  Please excuse this for not going with the flow but when  I had written it in part earlier,  I was taken way for  a few hours and didn't  get to finish or post it .  This goes back a page or two  when we were talking about the uncrown Tsar Michael. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 07, 2007, 09:48:50 PM
Government by consent of the people?  What incredible filth!  I hope no children are reading this.

But Bear . . . I think Nicholas' comment about "God knows who got him to sign" was only rhetorical.  I don't think we need to go looking for a specific culprit.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 07, 2007, 09:55:32 PM
I don't know.  Was it? 

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 07, 2007, 10:44:00 PM
Simon,

The inference I drew from this post is that you did think Nicholas was in physical danger; you did not contradict James' use of the phrase, or if you did I can't find the reference. I also asked if Nicholas was aware of the Rodzianko meeting you brought into the discussion.

I still stand by my opinion.  James challenged me and I produced the evidence that Nikolai was in danger at all times whilst he was sequestered in the train in Pskov. To the best of my knowledge Nikolai had no knowledge of Rodzianko's private meeting. Under the circumstances however that does not diminish his awareness of that possibility given the circumstances.

In any event, I certainly do not believe that he abdicated because of physical danger. I don't believe he would have if it had been present, and to be honest, I don't believe it was present.[/color]

I stated that the danger although indeed real it would have been a minor consideration. The pre-meditatation played no actual part during the course of the events at Pskov. If you choose not to believe the possible eventualiity of this factor - that is fine.  

We're splitting hairs about the Heir. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) While I am sure that Nicholas (and certainly Alexandra) weren't about to turn the boy over to his aunt and uncle in the event that Michael was Regent for a minor Tsar because the aunt was regarded as a wicked Jezebel, it stretches the imagination to assume that Nicholas took Alexei out of the succession for that reason alone. The boy's disease made him unfit to reign, or in any event unlikely to reign for very long. Bereft of his mother's care especially, I can't see Alexei flourishing for very long, even with whatever care he might have received separated from them. This had to have been on Nicholas' mind when he abdicated for the boy --- Tsar Alexei would have faced a fairly long minority, most likely removed from the care of his family. Even people who think he was a dreadul Tsar, as I do, think that he was a loving father, and I can't see him signing away the care pf his son. And if he couldn't, how on earth would he have imagined his wife would have dealt with that particular aspect of the Abdication?

Alexei was by-passed for a combination of reasons. Following Nilokai's reasoning during the few days he was detained in the train, his first concern was about Brassova accepting the care of Alexei. I believe that it was a combination of factors: his unacceptance of that woman and that she would be unfit to extend the specialized emotional support that Alexei would require. After Nikolai expressed this displeasure, only then did he consult Professor Fedorov concerning Alexei's long-term prognosis. The resultant conversation would have convinced Nikolai that Brassova was completely unsuitable to manage his long-term medical care. (The element of potential harm drifts in here as well).

In the knowledge that Alexei had a limitation on his survivability, weighing in all the factors, he chose his son. In doing so he hoped to ensure that Alexei's emotional and medical care would be ideally granted for the duration of Alexei's life.

You have used words in your post to describe Nicholas that I have never seen applied to him before --- "astute" comes to mind. Do you really find him to be so when you examine his life and reign?

Well now you have - and yes I do for many reasons. The luxury of reading Russian academic sources have convinced me that in many aspects he was. I will consent that there flawed judgements as well. 

Consider this one minor point. Had General Krimov carried out his promise, then Alexei would have been under the care of Brassova.

The Spiridovich testimony is interesting as a representative idea of what the side that opposed Nicholas' decision to abdicate would have written. I suppose the supporters of the abdication would have viewed themselves as good enough soldiers. I think it is an interesting quote, but a partisan one, and as such of limited value.

Simon

If you consider that Spiridovich has limited value then you are equally displaying your partisanship. ;)

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 08, 2007, 01:09:01 AM
A favor, if you would, please, Belochka.
1. You replied about the physical danger by relating the meeting of General Russky, General Krimov and Chairman Rodzianko in his office, in March, 1917. Thus a few questions for clarification. What was the exact date of the meeting (Old Style, New Style), where, and the complete gist of the conversation? And, please, if you would, cite the source or sources as I have been unable to find any reference to it, admitting I have not done a great search.
2. You have referred to General Alexseev's circular telegram to the front generals and navy admirals. I cannot find the exact text of this telegram. Do you have it? Could you post it?

And, a minor point. I have never seen any evidence that Nicholas was sequestered at Pskov. That word brings up a picture of  actual physical constraint. Are you sure that is the word you meant, or want to use? And, he went to Pskov from Dno (when Rodzianko failed to show up) of his own volition because that was the headquarters with the nearest telegraph. He had the choice to go to any other place, particularly Stavka which would have rendered any conspiracy by Russky and Krimov at Pskov moot. Or, is it claimed Alexseev and the Headquarters staff were in on the plot? And you didn't address his Convoy Escort he had on the train that could have protected him. Just some random thoughts.
Thanks for any clarification you can give on the first two matters. It is all very interesting and I learn a lot each day.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 01:11:30 AM
He had opinions about Rasputin and Alexandra that may surprise you but your question has no bearing to this discussion does it?

Well, since he was quoted as an authority on who understood what about politics and internal affairs . . . .

And, actually, Spirodovich's opinions do have a bearing ... on the question of why Nicholas was eventually driven to abdicate.

By coincidence these events occurred almost 90 years ago.

Since you willingly accept Spiridovich as credible then let us continue as to why Nikolai was "driven to abdicate" to use your terminology.

A number of other factors aside the Alexeyev communications played a key role just prior to the dawn of March 2.  Cumulatively they set the stage for the ultimate act:

1. Petrograd was divided into regions under under newly appointed regional commissars. (p 671)

2. Nikolai's beloved personal Konvoi under Grabbe had sworn allegience to the Duma (Ref: Kobilin, V. Anatomiya Izmeni).   

3. Rodzianko had arrested the majority of key Imperial government ministers, Gendarme and Police Chiefs and others and incarcerated them inside the Trubetskoi Bastion. (p 671)    [One of those imprisoned was my paternal grandfather - who BTW never broke his Oath of Allegience].

4. The majority of Ministerial portfolios were redistributed to the Provisional Committee members. Kerensky taking the jurisdicial one despite the fact that Maklakov was the imperial encumbant. "Generously" the military and naval ministers were spared (p 650) from dismissal.

5. The appearance of Prikaz # 1 on March 1 (p 610) on the city walls - which  was a proclamation drawn up against military officers. The removal of all titled officers (clause # 7) provided for the revolutionary elements to arrest their officers (p 615), while other took a step further and prefered to take shots or assassinate any officer where he stood.

6. The soldiers (en masse) "recognized" Ispolkom which facilitated their revolutionary path (p 617).

7. Power was in the hands of the Duma (p 615). A fact that Grand Duke Kiril had so overtly recognized.

8. The establishment of the Provisional Committee with Prince Lvov as its leader, which Rodzianko considered was the legitimate government authority. (p 683).

All these events and others not described here had occurred BEFORE Nikolai was coerced into signing his Abdication. He was fully appraised of these actions that were instigated by Rodzianko and his co-conspirators that included Generals Alexeyev and Ruzsky as the military links.

Quoting Spiridovich @ p 678, it is any wonder that Nikolai responding to General Voyeikov's enquiry as to how it all transpired:

"What was left for me to do, when they changed everything for me."

Spiridovich stated @ p 643 that the "Emperor  ... because of his Oath before God could not assign leadership to strange casual persons, who today may harm Russia, as a government, but tomorrow step aside from power, as if it was nothing."

It is worthy to recognize that members of Nikolai's Suite remained loyal and in time some of these paid the ultimate price.

The Emperor was continously pounded by a series of communications, audiences whilst detained on a train - all of which were delberately orchestrated to demoralize him. Nikolai understood that this trap was one which he could not walk away from. (Kobilin, p 308]

Nikolai wrote in his diary on the evening of March 2:

Кругом измена, и трусость и обман ["Everywhere (there is) treason, and cowardice and deception."]

So tell me who committed treason and thus betrayed their confidence against the Sovereign and Imperial Russia?

Margarita  

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 01:56:35 AM
A favor, if you would, please, Belochka.
1. You replied about the physical danger by relating the meeting of General Russky, General Krimov and Chairman Rodzianko in his office, in March, 1917. Thus a few questions for clarification. What was the exact date of the meeting (Old Style, New Style), where, and the complete gist of the conversation? And, please, if you would, cite the source or sources as I have been unable to find any reference to it, admitting I have not done a great search.

Hi James,

The reference is in Russian. The information can be found in:

Gospod' da blagoslavit reshenie moe (May God bless my decision) by Peter Mul'tatuli, published by Status, St. Petersburg in 2002.

The meeting occured in February, 1917 in  (N. S.). in Rodzianko's office. The brief extract was extracted from another Russian publication (2001) which I will have to pull out before I can give you more details. I will also check Rodzianko's own memoir and see whether he chose to mention this meeting.

2. You have referred to General Alexseev's circular telegram to the front generals and navy admirals. I cannot find the exact text of this telegram. Do you have it? Could you post it?

The telegram is very extensive and I only have it in Russian. I could try and give you something, but to post it in its entirety is impractical.

All the replies from the commanders however are shorter and might merit posting.

And, a minor point. I have never seen any evidence that Nicholas was sequestered at Pskov. That word brings up a picture of  actual physical constraint. Are you sure that is the word you meant, or want to use?

Yes I am sure that I meant to use "sequestration". I attempted to emphasize Nikolai's seclusion and his emotional alienation.

The remainder of your queries I will tackle a bit later if you don't mind.

Margarita   :)


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 05:29:24 AM
Since you willingly accept Spiridovich as credible then let us continue as to why Nikolai was "driven to abdicate" to use your terminology.

Margarita, I was referring to your having cited Spiridovich as an authority on who understood what about politics.  I do think Spiridovich's view are worth examining, since he had such close and sustained access to Nicholas and Alexandra.  But the objectivity (or credibility) of his views can best be assessed by weighing what he says on events that are also known from other sources.

As for the rest of your post, that was a litany of facts and events about which most of us already know.  The fact that the abandonment of the tsar occurred over several days or even weeks instead of minutes or hours does not alter the fundamental question:  why did the people who were part of the military and administration acquiesce in or even join the Duma's demands?

My question had been what was Spiridovich's opinion of Alexandra and Rasputin -- a topic on which you said he had an interesting opinion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 05:48:00 AM
When Nicholas II heard that his brother Michael . . . had sent the Duma the words that he would accept the supreme power only if that be the desire of our great people....",  the ex-Tsar wrote in his diary . . .  "God knows who got him to sign such filt!h"

Those are angry words.  They have the sound of a man who felt betrayed.  To whom was he referring, "God knows who got him to sign"?

Michael received a telegram from Nicholas, informing him that he had named Michael his successor and apologizing for having given him no warning.  Upon receiving the news, Michael asked Kerensky whether he could guarantee his safety.  Kerensky said he could not.  According to those present, Michael then asked for time to consider.  He retired from the room for a few minutes, after which he returned to the meeting and said he would take the crown only at the invitation of the people.

I really do not think any pressure was put upon Michael by any individual to refuse the throne.  The pressure, if any, rose from the totality of the circumstances.

If, however, you take your usual position that this cannot possibly be the whole truth and that there must be unseen players with mysterious motives lurking beyond the shadows of everyone else's notice, then have at it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 08, 2007, 07:53:52 AM
Margarita,

The decision to prevent the boy from falling into the hands of his aunt was "astute"? I should think it could equally be called the last vindictive act in the relationship between Nicholas, Alexandra and their sister-in-law. In any event, it would surely have been a minor consideration in the face of the boy's medical future. I also wouldn't expect that the discussion with Fedorov was the first Nicholas had with medical people concerning Alexei's long-term prospects. I should think that Fedorov underlined something that Nicholas already knew. To say that a man is "astute" would mean that his actions habitually are possessed of this quality. His own wife and mother each complained about Nicholas' abilities --- with love, surely, but they were critical. Others, including most historians, who are not bound by ties of affection, have been more critical.

Spiridovich was a partisan witness; mentioning that does not demostrate my partisanship. I would be equally open to the idea that Alexeeyev was one as well, and I said that in my post. As such, their testimonies have value, but it is important to examine them for prejudices as well. Spiridovich's crack about the failure of the generals to remember that they were soldiers is an opinion that can be challenged, not an historical fact.

I asked several pages back if you were personally involved in this. It is obvious that the subject of your family engages your emotions --- perfectly understandable. But you seem to still be fighting out relationships among people who have been dust for a long, long time, and you also seem to have embraced the idea of the Tsar as divinely-appointed autocrat. Perhaps I am misreading your posts? I am not criticizing your positions, merely trying to understand the basis from which you write.

Simon



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 08:34:43 AM
The luxury of reading Russian academic sources have convinced me that in many aspects he [Nicholas] was [astute].

I did my graduate work in German history and speak and read German.  However, I have found that the conclusions about Hitler reached by those who can read only English-language sources still capture the man quite well.  But then, of course, German history is fairly straightforward and not imbued with the deep religious mysteries of Russian history.

Since you have access to Russian sources that show the true  history of Nicholas' downfall, perhaps you can enlighten us.

For instance, how do they show that Nicholas was astute in ignoring his ministers' advice to remain in St. Petersburg in 1915 instead of removing himself to the front?  How do they show he was astute in leaving his ministers to report to a German wife whose political acumen, emotional stability, and even loyalty were widely doubted?  How do they show he was astute in appointing Protopopov to the Interior Ministry?  How do they show he was astute in ignoring the pleas of his family to deal with the reputational damage Rasputin was inflicting on the monarchy?  How do they show Nicholas was astute in taking care to arrange his hair with a comb blessed by Rasputin before meeting with his counsellors?

I really cannot find too much in the English-language sources that indicate much astuteness here.  So, if Nicholas really was astute, the proof of it certainly must reside only in Russian-language sources.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 08, 2007, 08:53:39 AM
I would also raise the following in re: Russian historians.

(1) we must just now be getting the work of historians who were not principally trained during the Soviet period. Prior to this, in order to be published and widely read, an historian would have been expected to toe the party line if he/she wished promotion or academic success.

(2) one doubts that Soviet-era historians were given access to archives without careful screening and then guidance in what could/could not be used. This generation of historians is very much a tabula rasa when it comes to the material. Is Putin's regime so much more open than, say, Yeltsin's? Or Gorbachev's? How much unfettered access is there, and how free is the publishing industry? I think there are pragmatic considerations regarding the work of Russian historians, which is not to discount them.

Russian history, as a discipline, is very much in its early stages. Both the totalitarian Soviet state and the current regime have had the need to carefully craft opinions in regard to the Tsarist past --- look at the way the bodies were handled, for example.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 08:58:05 AM
Good points. The way the bodies were handled is a good example. That was atrocious. And I have never understood why more care wasn't taken with the bodies.
In Russian history, there is always the question of "screening." One never knows what documents are tucked away and unavailable for review.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 08, 2007, 09:09:48 AM
This is all off topic.  From what I understand this thread is ONLY for the listing of those specific individuals whom you believe betrayed Nicholas.  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 08, 2007, 09:17:24 AM
He had opinions about Rasputin and Alexandra that may surprise you but your question has no bearing to this discussion does it?

Well, since he was quoted as an authority on who understood what about politics and internal affairs . . . .

And, actually, Spirodovich's opinions do have a bearing.  As the head of the tsar's Personal Security Police, he had intimate access to Nicholas and Alexandra.  And as Nicholas had his ministers report to Alexandra while he was at Stavka during the period when the regime's reputation went into a nosedive during the final year before the abdication, I think a credible observer's opinion of her performance in this role does bear on the question of why Nicholas was eventually driven to abdicate.



umm, not to belabor a fine point, but Spiridovitch, while one of the best "inside" observers of Nicholas and Alexandra and indeed a prime source for his observations, was not present at the time in question. During the period Nicholas was at Stavka, Sprid. was no longer Chief of His Majesty's Secret Personal Police, he was the Commander of Yalta...he went to Yalta in 1915, and did not returm to Petrograd until literally the moment of the abdication.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 09:23:59 AM
Thanks for that clarification.  As he had been cited on this thread, I assumed he must have still been involved in events under discussion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 09:25:30 AM
As did I, Tsarfan.
FA, Thank you for the clarification. It makes a difference.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 09:30:26 AM
This is all off topic.  From what I understand this thread is ONLY for the listing of those specific individuals whom you believe betrayed Nicholas.  

Well, that question was pretty much answered in the first few pages of this thread.  However, as the thread nears 30 pages of rapid-fire posting and a high readership count, I would say that whatever discussion we're now having is of considerable interest to Forum members and guests.

Is it really such a problem that the topic has broadened so considerably?  And, in any case, we're still circling the events that led up to the abdication.

If one insists on interpreting the topic narrowly, then only people who believe Nicholas was  betrayed would even be allowed to post.  That seems a rather odd position for a history discussion to take.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 09:47:04 AM
On the night of his abdication, Nicholas wrote in his diary: "For the sake of Russia, and to keep the armies in the field, I have decided to take this step...Left Pskov at one in the morning. All around me I see treason, cowardice and deceit."

It seems the news that Nicholas had also adbicated on behalf of his son, was alarming to many of the monarchist. Sazonov said: "I needn't tell you of my love for the Emperor and with what devotion I have served him.  But as long as I live, I shall never forgive him for abdicating for his son. He had no shadow of a right to do so."

Yes, we have veered from the topic as so often happens. But I agree with Tsarfan, there is obviously great interest in what we are dicussing.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 09:58:58 AM
To broaden the topic to this extent makes it more and more difficult to follow for those who haven't been reading this thread since page one.

And, surly you don't expect Margarita to make a reply to all recent questions which have broaden the subject even more than it was two days ago.

From where I'm sitting I can see nearly a dozen new questions which could all make up new and very exciting threads,  this thread, however,  is suppose to be rallying the wagons around those whom Nicholas II felt betrayed him.

It appears we've narrowed these betrayals to those who actually conspired to cause Nicholas II to abdicate in the month of Feb and up to the time of the actual abdication.

I think it is quite evident that Margarita and I have some personal knowledge of events due to the positions of our relatives involvements.  Maragarita's has mentioned her grandfathers.  Some of my great uncles, whom,  I've been told, were guards at Tsarskoe Selo and  paid the ultimate for their  loyality by giving their lives to their Tsar and country. 

In case you  have NOT noticed I've never voiced certain subject not be discussed, however, I've repeatedly ask that some of the exciting questions which have resulted during this thread do recieve our attention and be discussed on other or their threads.

I am glad to see such interest. 

I really haven't had time to read what's been posted since yesterday morning.  Just a quick look tells me I have some interesting reading ahead of me this morning.

Thanks everyone!

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 08, 2007, 10:02:07 AM
It seems odd to me too, Tsarfan, but having my post pulled for stating my opinion on who betrayed Nicholas, (no one but himself) it would appear that the topic is limited only to those specific individuals whom you believe might have betrayed him.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 10:11:19 AM
This is all off topic.  From what I understand this thread is ONLY for the listing of those specific individuals whom you believe betrayed Nicholas. 

Well, that question was pretty much answered in the first few pages of this thread.  However, as the thread nears 30 pages of rapid-fire posting and a high readership count, I would say that whatever discussion we're now having is of considerable interest to Forum members and guests.

Is it really such a problem that the topic has broadened so considerably?  And, in any case, we're still circling the events that led up to the abdication.

If one insists on interpreting the topic narrowly, then only people who believe Nicholas was  betrayed would even be allowed to post.  That seems a rather odd position for a history discussion to take.

Yes,  we are trying to circle the events as well as discover who the people were whom Nicholas II felt betrayed him.

As I've said in my above post,  I hardly think this topic is narrow because in knowing who betrayed Nicholas II and in discovering the reason,  it incorporates dates, events and voices from the past who explained why they did what they did.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 08, 2007, 10:16:13 AM


So, who were those people who took the oath to Nicholas, perhaps originally out of the noble, virtuous vein, who later abandoned that oath, and WHY did they "betray" their oath? was it for personal gain? cowardice? or a genuine belief that such an act was the only way to save Russia? All are legitimate and open to discuss.

We know that Nicholas' weaknesses were contributing factors, but please leave that discussion to another more appropriate thread.  This thread is about those who, for whatever reason, abandoned the oath they swore to the Emperor, and why they did so.

This help??

FA

Bev,
THIS is why your post was pulled. Frankly, am sick and TIRED of hearing you harp over and over that it was ALL Nicholas' fault.  He had faults, no question, BUT, what "if" those who had taken those oaths had supported him, and worked harder to work WITH him and persuade him to better courses of action, instead of saying "he's a worthless bugger. get rid of him." What would Russia have been.
The people around him had choices to make, and made them. They could have made other choices, but didn't. THAT is the crux of the discussion. It was NOT such a clear cut thing as being "all about Nicholas"...There were other really bad Emperors, but Russia didn't fall.

Save your Nicholas bashing for another thread, please....
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 10:25:09 AM
Thanks, FA.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 10:28:58 AM
Tsarfan,
It looks like we might need to start another thread.
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 10:40:15 AM
BUT, what "if" those who had taken those oaths had supported him, and worked harder to work WITH him and persuade him to better courses of action, instead of saying "he's a worthless bugger. get rid of him." What would Russia have been.  The people around him had choices to make, and made them.

It's a fair question, but I think the answer lies, at least in part, in the nature of absolute power.  If one refers back to Mossolov's comments quoted earlier, it was clear that he desperately wanted to engage the tsar in a discussion about how near the abyss they were all standing.  However, once the topic was broached to and then deflected by the tsar, there was no way to push further.  If one then contrasts that to the vehemency with which Sandro, as a member of the imperial family, was able to state his case in the February 17 letter, one still finds a total lack of constructive response by Nicholas.  And when Ella travelled to Tsarskoye Selo to make her final appeal about the damage Alexandra's involvement was doing to the dynasty, she was unceremoniously told to leave the premises.

And this was part of a pattern that extended throughout Nicholas' reign.  Witte was brought down by his attempt to persuade the tsar to a more conciliatory course in dealing with new constitutional instiutions.  Stolypin was on the fast track out at the time he was shot, largely because he dared to cross Alexandra.

There is very little evidence that Nicholas was persuadable on matters that touched the core certainties of his world view -- that his power was absolute, that it derived from God, that God informed his views, and that no one had the right to address him beyond the point he allowed.

I have spent enough time in front of CEO's to know how delicately one must tread with them on points of high contention.  I can hardly imagine what it would require to stand one's ground in front of a tsar who was determined on another course and who could snuff out your political existence on a whim.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 08, 2007, 10:41:07 AM
Bear,

I haven't mentioned this before because I didn't want to make it a factor in the discussion, or how people take my posts,  but my maternal great-grandmother was Lili Dehn.

I am not sure what the problem with this thread is, FA. It isn't bashing Nicholas as far as I can see --- it has evolved into a complex and very interesting discussion of the meaning of "betrayal", the meaning of oaths, the events of the abdication, and it is getting a lot of hits. If it veered from Bear's original (and completely hidden) intentions, well, it has veered from her intentions. Or perhaps it hasn't --- name after name has been thrown up onto the thread, with ensuing discussion of their roles in the events, and attempts to understand why they behaved as they did. Clearly Nicholas is a major player, so his motives and actions are open to scrutiny.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 08, 2007, 10:43:35 AM
BUT, what "if" those who had taken those oaths had supported him, and worked harder to work WITH him and persuade him to better courses of action, instead of saying "he's a worthless bugger. get rid of him." What would Russia have been.  The people around him had choices to make, and made them.

It's a fair question, but I think the answer lies, at least in part, in the nature of absolute power.  If one refers back to Mossolov's comments quoted earlier, it was clear that he desperately wanted to engage the tsar in a discussion about how near the abyss they were all standing.  However, once the topic was broached to and then deflected by the tsar, there was no way to push further.  If one then contrasts that to the vehemency with which Sandro, as a member of the imperial family, was able to state his case in the February 17 letter, one still finds a total lack of constructive response by Nicholas.  And when Ella travelled to Tsarskoye Selo to make her final appeal about the damage Alexandra's involvement was doing to the dynasty, she was unceremoniously told to leave the premises.

And this was part of a pattern that extended throughout Nicholas' reign.  Witte was brought down by his attempt to persuade the tsar to a more conciliatory course in dealing with new constitutional instiutions.  Stolypin was on the fast track out at the time he was shot, largely because he dared to cross Alexandra.

There is very little evidence that Nicholas was persuadable on matters that touched the core certainties of his world view -- that his power was absolute, that it derived from God, that God informed his views, and that no one had the right to address him beyond the point he allowed.

I have spent enough time in front of CEO's to know how delicately one must tread with them on points of high contention.  I can hardly imagine what it would require to stand one's ground in front of a tsar who was determined on another course and who could snuff out your political existence on a whim.

Sandro did more than write a letter; like Ella, he made a trip out to see Nicholas and Alexandra to make his points in person. Like Ella, he had no success.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 10:45:11 AM
One must, also, remember that the betrayals we've been mentioning on these last few pages occured during the time of war.  Because it was a time of war these betrals have to be viewed differently than in time of peace.


I suppose Nicholas II could have shot and /or sent to  Siberia  all of the men he knew who had betrayed him during the time of war and maybe then some of you might believe he was a strong Tsar,  more like Nicholas I,  his great grandfather.

 I'm not sure how you'd have judged his good sense or his intelligence if he had used his autocractic power which was absolute, but,  I can guess.

Stop and look at the Tsar  and view the world through his eyes and you might finally realize why he felt he was betrayed.

I believe it's so very true,  you can't understand this Tsar, this  man, unless you've traveled in his  shoes.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 10:47:05 AM
Simon,
Thank you for sharing about your grandmother. I'm sure that gives you a lot of insight that someone like me doesn't have. I hope you will share more.

FA, I don't understand the problem with the tread either. I have read every post. The topic has veered and yet remained interesting and is attracting a lot of discussion. I appreciate the discussion because I learn more than I presently know. I think that is a good thing. The problem I see with starting another thread or threads is that we lose continuity. Nonetheless, it is your decision. I just wanted to add my two cents.
Thank you,
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 10:54:02 AM
Bear,

I haven't mentioned this before because I didn't want to make it a factor in the discussion, or how people take my posts,  but my maternal great-grandmother was Lili Dehn

....[in part]...
Simon



Like I said,  some of us had relatives lurking around Russia when all this history was happening  ;D

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 08, 2007, 10:57:41 AM
Let me try to be more clear. Obviously I have not been. I am NOT saying there is no room to discuss Nicholas' faults or weaknesses. They are without doubt germane to the discussion..and I don't mind them discussed.

What I AM trying to make clear is that I do NOT want this discussion to be "Its all Nicholas' fault, he betrayed himself, so everyone else was right..." That is NOT the focus of the thread.

The focus of this thread is the people AROUND Nicholas, who made the CHOICE not to support him, as they swore to do, and why THEY acted as they did.

Bev's thread was yanked, frankly because it started yet again with "Nicholas betrayed himself.." well, that is NOT this discussion. Nicholas didn't betray himself. Nicholas was who he was, for good or bad. The people AROUND him were the ones who supported him or not AS HE WAS. This discussion is about those other people and their choices. I don't mind you bringing up the REASONS why they chose as they did, so long as the focus is not on the reasons as much as on the people themselves.

I hope that makes this clear.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 11:01:39 AM
Yes, it does FA. Thank you.
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 08, 2007, 11:36:53 AM
It's your board, Rob.  I don't think I was "harping" or "bashing Nicholas" by pointing out in one post that he was to blame for any lack of loyalty and why I thought so - quite frankly, I didn't read all 25 pages of posts and did not know the rule when I posted.  I apologize for offering an opinion on the subject.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 12:03:09 PM
There is a dichotomy that runs through Nicholas' reign between how he was viewed as a person and how he was viewed as a ruler.  And that dichotomy is roughly reflected in whether people abandoned or supported him in abdication.

Those people, such as personal retainers, whose relationship with Nicholas revolved around his personal affairs saw a kind, generous man worthy of being supported in his misfortune.  And most remained with him as long as they were allowed, with four even going to their deaths in his company.

Those people, however, whose contact with Nicholas' revolved around his political life saw a man of limited vision, sporadic irresolution, and wilful blindness to an eroding political climate.  And most of them, when finally confronted with what they saw as a choice between Nicholas and an attempt to establish effective wartime government, abandoned him to his fate.

There is a nostrum in the business world that goes, "I stand where I stand because I sit where I sit".  It refers to the fact that most people's attitudes are a function of the roles they play in life.  The CEO of a company tends to view things differently from the receptionist.

Those people charged with making the tsar's personal life secure and comfortable were not confronted with the same choice as those people charged with holding a German conquest at bay or with maintaining civil order.  Consequently, the choice presented to the personal retainers of whether or not to remain with the tsar was largely a question of personal safety.  And most showed courage.

However, the choice presented to the military commanders and senior administrators of whether or not to stand by the tsar was one of whether Nicholas the person or Russia the country was more important.  And most of them opted for their country over their tsar.

It might be technical "betrayal", in the sense that one has technically committed "murder" when one kills the assailant of a small child.  But the law is wise in asking in such as case, "was the murder justified".  I think the same question can legitimately be asked concerning the "betrayal" by these men.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 08, 2007, 12:41:50 PM
It might be technical "betrayal", in the sense that one has technically committed "murder" when one kills the assailant of a small child.  But the law is wise in asking in such as case, "was the murder justified".  I think the same question can legitimately be asked concerning the "betrayal" by these men.

Yes, sort of like my own simpleminded example of justifiably breaking an oath. I was only half kidding when I said I would feel justified in kindling a flame at the Bodleian if I was freezing to death  ;).

I guess what we have come down to are two schools of thought: those who feel that an oath can be broken under certain justifiable circumstances, and those who feel that once taken, an oath cannot be broken for any reason, under any circumstances... So there you have it.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 12:56:35 PM
And the distinction described by Helen makes a difference in whether one sees the actions of those who broke the oath as betrayal or not.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 01:10:02 PM
I guess what we have come down to are two schools of thought: those who feel that an oath can be broken under certain justifiable circumstances, and those who feel that once taken, an oath cannot be broken for any reason, under any circumstances... So there you have it.

We are definitely pretty cleanly divided into those two camps.  And there is little prospect of moving anyone into the opposing camp.

However, all the intellectual interest of this debate rests with those who feel an oath can be broken under "justifiable" circumstances . . . because the question of justifiability opens up the infinitely variable issues of balancing competing demands on one's loyalty.  The question of where the tip-over point is requires the examination of Nicholas' competence to rule, the question of how dire must be the straits before an oath can be abandoned in good conscience, the question about what were the oath-takers' true private reasons for having taken their oaths in the first place, the question of whether betrayal should be judged from a religious or political or legalistic standpoint . . . ad infinitum (or ad nauseum, if you prefer).

I think that's the reason this discussion is nearing 30 pages with over 5,000 hits.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 01:21:51 PM
I would imagine that some who took oaths did so with every intention of following through. I am sure that there were those who really had to do some soul searching before abandoning their oaths. I can only imagine the hopelessness those sorts felt to have made the decision they did.
I do realize this was not the case for everyone.
Consider the hoplessness Rodzianko must of felt when he said: "His Majesty and yourself apparently are unable to realize what is happening in the capital. A terrible revolution has broken out. Hatre of the Empress had reached a fever pitch. To prevent bloodshed, I have been forced to arrest all the ministers...Don't send any more troops. I am hanging by a thread myself. Power is slipping from my hand. The measures you propose are too late. The time for them is gone. There is no return."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 02:14:11 PM
Since Simon has mention his great grandmother Lili Dehn, I suggest that those who haven't read  her story should.   Her story, THE REAL TSARISTSA,   has been generlously been  copied on this forum where all of us can read and enjoy,  was a person who was with Empress Alexandra just shortly before Nicholas II abdicated.

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/realtsaritsa/

When Simon mentioned her,  I recalled having read something in her book which had  always bothered me and that something just falls into what we're talking about here and now.

Let me repeat what she wrote, The Real Tsaristsa, Chapter IV:

>> Such is the bare narrative of the abdication, related as nearly as possible in the Emperor's own words. Baron Stackelberg, a cousin of my husband's, who was travelling with the Emperor, afterwards told me that he and M. Voeikoff, the Commandant du Palais, met Rousky on the platform of the station where he joined the train. The two gentlemen were about to send some telegrams from the Emperor to Rodziansko, in which the Emperor replied to the former's request to give Russia a constitutional government. In the opinion of the Emperor, the moment had not arrived.

"Whose telegrams are these? " said Rousky.

"His Majesty's," answered Baron Stackelberg coldly.

Rousky snatched the telegrams from Baron Stackelberg, and put them in his pocket, remarking as he did so, "Useless!" So Rodziansko never received the Emperor's telegrams, and Baron Stackelberg, who is now in Finland, can confirm the truth of the story. M. Voeikoff and the Baron looked at each other, neither spoke, but each read in the other's eyes the unspoken thought - to kill Rousky then and there, and so avenge the insult to the Emperor. But Rousky had disappeared the moment for righteous murder had passed!<<

Yes, please reread the last lines again.  Lili Dhen tells us that she believed that Rousky '//snatched the telegrams from Baron Stackelberg and put them in his pocket"

And what were those words?

>>... the Emperor replied to the former's request to give Russia a constitutional government. In the opinion of the Emperor, the moment had not arrived.<<

According to this,  the Emperor did not think that it was time yet for Russia to have a constitutional govt.

I'm sure that subject will send off sparks but let me say first what I'm thinking as it pertains to my topic, "Who betrayed Nicholas II?". Did this action of Rousky, when he prevented the Tsar's telegram from reach it's destination,  give us just another example of now Nicholas II's was betrayed? AND, probably more importantly:  Was this the first time  Rousky or some other person didn't allow communication to occur between the Emperor and Rodziansko, or, to anyone else???

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 03:11:54 PM
An interesting read, but hardly an eyewitness account.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 03:19:58 PM
I guess what we have come down to are two schools of thought: those who feel that an oath can be broken under certain justifiable circumstances, and those who feel that once taken, an oath cannot be broken for any reason, under any circumstances... So there you have it.

We are definitely pretty cleanly divided into those two camps.  And there is little prospect of moving anyone into the opposing camp.

However, all the intellectual interest of this debate rests with those who feel an oath can be broken under "justifiable" circumstances . . . because the question of justifiability opens up the infinitely variable issues of balancing competing demands on one's loyalty.  The question of where the tip-over point is requires the examination of Nicholas' competence to rule, the question of how dire must be the straits before an oath can be abandoned in good conscience, the question about what were the oath-takers' true private reasons for having taken their oaths in the first place, the question of whether betrayal should be judged from a religious or political or legalistic standpoint . . . ad infinitum (or ad nauseum, if you prefer).

I think that's the reason this discussion is nearing 30 pages with over 5,000 hits.

The oath was given to their Tsar Nicholas II.    I assume it was some kind oath of alligence to the Tsar and Emp. whom  the Russian church had placed next to God, which makes it religious; the Tsar was  the Commander-in-Chief during time of war...., which makes it military during time of war; and  the Tsar and Emp. was the head of an imperial govt., which makes it poltical.

If one abandones that oath,  even if they believe they had a good reason,  in the eyes of the Tsar Nicholas II they betrayed the Tsar.

As for the  >>"...intellectual interest of this debate rests with those who feel an oath can be broken under "justifiable" circumstances . . . because the question of justifiability opens up the infinitely variable issues of balancing competing demands on one's loyalty."<<

Is this what you think Gen. Alekseev felt?  If this is true,  what had occured which he felt justified his actions to betray Nicholas II?  And, please,  be specific.  Was it the men Nicholas II had chosen to be in charge of the various fonts?  No.  Couldn't have been.  These are the men whom General Alekseev asked to follow him against Nicholas II. Let us not forget,  Nicholas II had chosen Alekseev, also.  Was it because Nicholas II had asked the old generals, who hadn't understood the new kind of war,  not to send cavarly against machines guns...???

Yes,  of course, I know Nicholas II wasn't perfect.  Go back and read FA's post.  I agree with him.

So,  what I'd like to read is why Gen. Alekseev felt justified in Feb. 1917 in a time of war to betray Nicholas II.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 03:43:22 PM
This was the particular quote of FA's I was referring:

Let me try to be more clear. Obviously I have not been. I am NOT saying there is no room to discuss Nicholas' faults or weaknesses. They are without doubt germane to the discussion..and I don't mind them discussed.

What I AM trying to make clear is that I do NOT want this discussion to be "Its all Nicholas' fault, he betrayed himself, so everyone else was right..." That is NOT the focus of the thread.

The focus of this thread is the people AROUND Nicholas, who made the CHOICE not to support him, as they swore to do, and why THEY acted as they did.

Bev's thread was yanked, frankly because it started yet again with "Nicholas betrayed himself.." well, that is NOT this discussion. Nicholas didn't betray himself. Nicholas was who he was, for good or bad. The people AROUND him were the ones who supported him or not AS HE WAS. This discussion is about those other people and their choices. I don't mind you bringing up the REASONS why they chose as they did, so long as the focus is not on the reasons as much as on the people themselves.

I hope that makes this clear.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 04:02:58 PM
According to this,  the Emperor did not think that it was time yet for Russia to have a constitutional govt.

Huh?  Had Nicholas forgotten that the October Manifesto of 1905 and the Fundamental Laws of 1906 had created a constitutional government, albeit a weak one?  With one revolution already under his belt and another knocking at the door, just when did Nicholas think the time would be ripe?

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 04:11:02 PM
There is a dichotomy that runs through Nicholas' reign between how he was viewed as a person and how he was viewed as a ruler.  And that dichotomy is roughly reflected in whether people abandoned or supported him in abdication.

Those people, such as personal retainers, whose relationship with Nicholas revolved around his personal affairs saw a kind, generous man worthy of being supported in his misfortune.  And most remained with him as long as they were allowed, with four even going to their deaths in his company.

Those people, however, whose contact with Nicholas' revolved around his political life saw a man of limited vision, sporadic irresolution, and wilful blindness to an eroding political climate.  And most of them, when finally confronted with what they saw as a choice between Nicholas and an attempt to establish effective wartime government, abandoned him to his fate.

There is a nostrum in the business world that goes, "I stand where I stand because I sit where I sit".  It refers to the fact that most people's attitudes are a function of the roles they play in life.  The CEO of a company tends to view things differently from the receptionist.

Those people charged with making the tsar's personal life secure and comfortable were not confronted with the same choice as those people charged with holding a German conquest at bay or with maintaining civil order.  Consequently, the choice presented to the personal retainers of whether or not to remain with the tsar was largely a question of personal safety.  And most showed courage.

However, the choice presented to the military commanders and senior administrators of whether or not to stand by the tsar was one of whether Nicholas the person or Russia the country was more important.  And most of them opted for their country over their tsar.

It might be technical "betrayal", in the sense that one has technically committed "murder" when one kills the assailant of a small child.  But the law is wise in asking in such as case, "was the murder justified".  I think the same question can legitimately be asked concerning the "betrayal" by these men.

Go back and read FA's post.  I agree with him.

You go back and read my post, above . . . and actually make an attempt to absorb its meaning.  As the FA suggested, I was discussing the different reactions of the people around Nicholas  to his varying traits, which is the gravamen of why some people honored their oaths and some didn't.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 08, 2007, 04:12:37 PM
I think at this point in the debate it's time for a reality check: a power vacuum had opened up in Russia in early March 1917. Petrograd was in a state of chaos with demonstrations, riots, and mass desertions from the army. No one knew what was going to happen to Russia as a whole - but anarchy, civil war, and invasion by Germany were certainly options if the tsar could no longer command the loyalty of soldiers and even junior officers in his own capital city.

So on one level, the generals (and members of the Duma) who broke their oaths to Nicholas II were being patriotic in doing so - they were putting their country's welfare first. They acknowledged the Russian people's frustration with, even hatred of, Nicholas II and Alexandra, and they were willing to do something to correct the situation in order to save Russia. Yet on another level, these same people were certainly aware that their own political survival was going to depend in large part on how quickly and resolutely they acted in setting up a new regime under their own control. This is just politics 101. These were, after all, men used to being in positions of power and authority. They would have been fools, and untrue to their own ambitions, if they had simply decided to sit by and let the newly formed Soviets take over everything. For that matter, the Soviets certainly did not want to preserve the monarchy - while there's every sign that in the early days of the March Revolution, the generals and leaders of the Duma were still committed to the idea of a constitutional monarchy and only gave up on it when it was no longer politically sustainable.

All that said, as far as I can see there's little sign in the historical record of a major army-Duma conspiracy against Nicholas II in the weeks or even days leading up to the March Revolution. If there was such a prior conspiracy, then it was very poorly planned and organized, because when the revolution did finally break out, and the crowds demanded the Duma to take action, the bulk of the Duma representatives were caught completely off guard. In their dithering about, wondering what to do, they let a tremendous amount of power pass into the hands of the Soviets. If the army generals and leaders of the Duma had been actively plotting against Nicholas in any truly informed and cohesive way, then it's hard to understand how they would have allowed such a political disaster (from their own perspective) to happen.  

  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 04:25:37 PM
Nicholas II knew he was stuck between a "rock" [The Great War] and a "hard place" [Duma which this time would mean he had lost his long battle of being an autocract]. 

"Show your fist," urged Alexandra.  You are the Autocract and they dare not forget it."

Once again, Alexandra failed her Tsar.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 04:53:24 PM
I wrote this some time ago.  This afternoon when I read it I noticed several things that struck me differently this time.  I highlighted these points in bold print:

Figes tells us in A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY  Gen. Aleveev and  Kornilov are given the credit for being  "founders" of the Whites.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/AGRBear/Gen-Alexeev.jpg)

I wasn't sure if I should talk about him here or over on the new thread about "But was the revolution inevitable".

Gen. Alexeev was the last chief of staff in the imperial army.  Here are a few bites and pieces Figes wrote about him:

p. 169 "The Commander-in-Chief...Admiral Alexeev knew almost nothing about the art of war.  Afraid of horses, he had to suffer the indignity of inspecting his cavalary on foot.  Alexeev's promotion had been largely due to the patronage of the Grand Duke Alexis, whom he once rescued from the French police..."

p. 269  Figes talks about Nicholas II taking command of the front and he had taken with him his  .... "new Chief of Staff General M. V. Alexeev, who was a gifted strategist....."

....[in part]...

AGRBear

Was Nicholas II wrong in chosing Alexeev as his Chief of Staff?   

If I understand the position of the Tsar as Commander-in-Chief,  Nicholas II  wasn't really in charge,  all the important decisions were made by the new Chief of Staff Alexeev?  [I read that somehwere.... p. 269  A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY by Figes].

How then could Alexeev turn around and say the war was going badly because of Nicholas II whom Alexeev  believed should abdicate because of Alexeev's bad decisions?  Or was he, like Margarita stated,  a military man with good intentions who wandered  into a poltical arena which he really didn't know anything but thought he did? 

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 08, 2007, 04:59:28 PM
According to my mother, with whom I spoke this afternoon, when this issue was discussed in the family when she was a little girl, Alexeyev was generally viewed as an honorable man who tried to do his duty in an impossible situation.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 05:05:31 PM
I think at this point in the debate it's time for a reality check: a power vacuum had opened up in Russia in early March 1917. Petrograd was in a state of chaos with demonstrations, riots, and mass desertions from the army. No one knew what was going to happen to Russia as a whole - but anarchy, civil war, and invasion by Germany were certainly options if the tsar could no longer command the loyalty of soldiers and even junior officers in his own capital city.

Yep.

Quote
So on one level, the generals (and members of the Duma) who broke their oaths to Nicholas II were being patriotic in doing so - they were putting their country's welfare first. They acknowledged the Russian people's frustration with, even hatred of, Nicholas II and Alexandra, and they were willing to do something to correct the situation in order to save Russia. Yet on another level, these same people were certainly aware that their own political survival was going to depend in large part on how quickly and resolutely they acted in setting up a new regime under their own control. This is just politics 101. These were, after all, men used to being in positions of power and authority. They would have been fools, and untrue to their own ambitions, if they had simply decided to sit by and let the newly formed Soviets take over everything. For that matter, the Soviets certainly did not want to preserve the monarchy - while there's every sign that in the early days of the March Revolution, the generals and leaders of the Duma were still committed to the idea of a constitutional monarchy and only gave up on it when it was no longer politically sustainable.

Yep.   

Quote
All that said, as far as I can see there's little sign in the historical record of a major army-Duma conspiracy against Nicholas II in the weeks or even days leading up to the March Revolution. If there was such a prior conspiracy, then it was very poorly planned and organized, because when the revolution did finally break out, and the crowds demanded the Duma to take action, the bulk of the Duma representatives were caught completely off guard. In their dithering about, wondering what to do, they let a tremendous amount of power pass into the hands of the Soviets. If the army generals and leaders of the Duma had been actively plotting against Nicholas in any truly informed and cohesive way, then it's hard to understand how they would have allowed such a political disaster (from their own perspective) to happen.

Yep.

And,  looking from Nicholas II perspective,  he felt betrayed  when he saw those who had been loyal, or had thought they had been loyal.  turn their back on him.

AGRBear

 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 08, 2007, 05:24:42 PM
I think I should have worded this part of my last post a little better:

>>How then could Alexeev turn around and say the war was going badly because of Nicholas II whom Alexeev  believed should abdicate because of Alexeev's bad decisions?  Or was he, like Margarita stated,  a military man with good intentions who wandered  into a poltical arena which he really didn't know anything but thought he did?  <<

Correction:  How then could Alexeev turn around and say the war was going badly because of Nicholas II military decisions?  Was Nicholas II interferring in Alexeev's commands?  Is this what made   Alexeev  believed  Nicholas II should abdicate?  Or was he, like Margarita stated,  a military man with good intentions who wandered  into a poltical arena which he really didn't know anything but thought he did? 


According to my mother, with whom I spoke this afternoon, when this issue was discussed in the family when she was a little girl, Alexeyev was generally viewed as an honorable man who tried to do his duty in an impossible situation.

I mean no disrespect to this man.  I believe he became known as one of the founding father's of the Whites and I had a lot of relatives fighting for the Whites.    I assume many of them thought him honorable, also.

But,  the truth is,  Nicholas II saw things differently at that moment in time,  and he felt betrayal.

AGRBear



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 08, 2007, 05:35:31 PM
Of course he felt betrayed. So did Caligula when he was being stabbed to death by his own guards in the tunnel. So did Maximillian of Mexico when they shot him on that hill. So did Pu Yi when he lost his throne.
So did the Shah of Iran when he was driven out. So did Hitler when they tried to kill him. So did Superman when Lex Luthor brought in the Kryptonite. So what? That Nicholas II would have the chutzpah to think that just because he was lucky enough to win the genetic lottery he could decide the fate of nearly 200 million others is almost mind boogling. Here's your kool-aid, now drink it like a nice person. That he thought he and he alone could interpret what God wanted for Russia is almost blasphemy. We are clearly told in the Bible that none of us knows what God is thinking or intends. He couldn't turn over the government to casual persons who might harm Russia. Who was he to make the decision of what might harm Russia? This belief that the tsar is God's regent on earth is shamanistic, a belief that even the reactionary elite of China had abandoned by 1908. The Russian people were also sweeping away a system based on myth and totem worship which most of the world had long since discarded as nonsense. And, Nicholas believed that it was all in hands of God, well then God wanted him to be betrayed or he wouldn't have let it happen. Therefore the betryals were justified by Divine Sanction. So who cares what Nicholas felt? You can't have it both ways.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 05:43:01 PM
Wow James! Now that is a horse of a different color  :)
When you look at what was happening, I think the Russian people were tired of the autocrat. Perhaps not the nobility or those who fared well under the Tsar's rule, but the millions of other people who lived, worked and played in Russia.
Kingdoms were falling everywhere. Autocracy was dead, why should it have been any different in Russia? How did Nicholas feel? Who knows how he felt. Perhaps he felt relieved, I don't think he really wanted to rule anyway. Who knows? The tide was changing and Nicholas could not or would not see it. I don't see a big conspiracy of betrayal here. It all fell apart and had been for years.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 05:54:27 PM
All that said, as far as I can see there's little sign in the historical record of a major army-Duma conspiracy against Nicholas II in the weeks or even days leading up to the March Revolution. If there was such a prior conspiracy, then it was very poorly planned and organized ...

Recently a number of Russian academics have gained access to archival documents, telegrams, letters and private memoirs which have been in a few cases have been translated into English. As can be appreciated the amount of information is overwhelming and complex.

The broad presumption is that the conspiracy to depose Nikolai was a recent idea. It was not. There was a major ongoing conspiracy which for some like Guchkov started after the January Uprising in 1905.

It appears according to Mulltatuli, Platonov and others, that the trigger for the uprising began in earnest in 1915 when the Emperor became the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Consequent to that Imperial decision, a number of members of the Council of ministers were aggravated by the change. The President of the Duma was among those aggrieved.

Katkov correctly summized that there were two wars going on in Russia: the first against the Germans and the second one was internal, with Nikolai as the enemy.

Margarita
 

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 06:06:45 PM
Interesting Belochka.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 06:33:26 PM
A favor, if you would, please, Belochka.
1. You replied about the physical danger by relating the meeting of General Russky, General Krimov and Chairman Rodzianko in his office, in March, 1917. Thus a few questions for clarification. What was the exact date of the meeting (Old Style, New Style), where, and the complete gist of the conversation? And, please, if you would, cite the source or sources as I have been unable to find any reference to it, admitting I have not done a great search.

Hi James,

The reference is in Russian. The information can be found in:

Gospod' da blagoslavit reshenie moe (May God bless my decision) by Peter Mul'tatuli, published by Status, St. Petersburg in 2002.

The meeting occured in February, 1917 in  (N. S.). in Rodzianko's office. The brief extract was extracted from another Russian publication (2001) which I will have to pull out before I can give you more details. I will also check Rodzianko's own memoir and see whether he chose to mention this meeting.

The reference was taken from General Anton Denikin's notes which I do not have at the moment.

Spiridovich @ p 476 noted that during the early days of February 1917, Guchkov became amiable towards the idea of regicide and began seeking an officer to perform the task. Spiridovich believed that he failed in his quest, but that could mean he was unaware of the nature of that secret meeting.

There is no exact date which I can find at the moment as to when that particular meeting in Rodzianko's office had occurred. Rodzianko was silent on this matter.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 08, 2007, 06:43:21 PM
Thank you, Belochka. I appreciate your answering my requests, which I am sure took some time, and which you did not have to do. Your posts offer up some interesting and useful information, which helps in forming opinions.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 07:00:23 PM
My question had been what was Spiridovich's opinion of Alexandra and Rasputin -- a topic on which you said he had an interesting opinion.

Spiridovich @ p 500 wrote the following:

... Imperatritsa Alexandra Fedorovna, who so passionately loved Russia, was a psychiatrically ill woman, completely failing to understand that Russia, receiving a constitution in 1905, although curtailed, but nevertheless a constitution, which the Imperatritsa did not wish to recognize.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 07:04:54 PM
Thank you, Belochka. I appreciate your answering my requests, which I am sure took some time, and which you did not have to do. Your posts offer up some interesting and useful information, which helps in forming opinions.

You are most welcome James. Although I went beyond burning the midnight oil I enjoyed the literary journey.

Margarita   :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 07:05:27 PM
Belochka,
Thank you for posting the information you have. It's interesting and makes me realize that I don't have the full picture.  :)
It is kind of you to share.
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2007, 07:18:14 PM
Belochka,
Thank you for posting the information you have. It's interesting and makes me realize that I don't have the full picture.  :)
It is kind of you to share.
Lexi

Thanks Lexi.

Later today, acceding to James's earlier request I will translate Alexeyev's telegram to the field commanders so that you can all judge its contents.

Would it be reasonable at a later time to also post all the responses from the commanders? The one from Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich is probably the most interesting.

Margarita :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 07:29:48 PM
Belochka,
I would appreciate that. It would be my only opportunity to read those telegrams as I do no speak Russian and don't have access. So yes, please do. And thank you in advance.
Lexi
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 08, 2007, 07:44:58 PM
Of course he felt betrayed. So did Caligula when he was being stabbed to death by his own guards in the tunnel. So did Maximillian of Mexico when they shot him on that hill. So did Pu Yi when he lost his throne.
So did the Shah of Iran when he was driven out. So did Hitler when they tried to kill him. So did Superman when Lex Luthor brought in the Kryptonite. So what? That Nicholas II would have the chutzpah to think that just because he was lucky enough to win the genetic lottery he could decide the fate of nearly 200 million others is almost mind boogling. Here's your kool-aid, now drink it like a nice person. That he thought he and he alone could interpret what God wanted for Russia is almost blasphemy. We are clearly told in the Bible that none of us knows what God is thinking or intends. He couldn't turn over the government to casual persons who might harm Russia. Who was he to make the decision of what might harm Russia? This belief that the tsar is God's regent on earth is shamanistic, a belief that even the reactionary elite of China had abandoned by 1908. The Russian people were also sweeping away a system based on myth and totem worship which most of the world had long since discarded as nonsense. And, Nicholas believed that it was all in hands of God, well then God wanted him to be betrayed or he wouldn't have let it happen. Therefore the betryals were justified by Divine Sanction. So who cares what Nicholas felt? You can't have it both ways.

" . . . well then God wanted him to be betrayed or he wouldn't have let it happen."

That has always seemed to me to be the inevitable conclusion to which one is driven if one takes seriously the notions that Nicholas was God's annointed, and that Nicholas' actions reflected the will of God.

Either God wanted the revolution, or God was not good at picking his agents, or God's hand was in none of this at all.  As for myself, I choose door number 3.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 08, 2007, 08:48:06 PM
I'll take Door No. 3 too Tsarfan. Can't quite wrap my mind around 1 and 2.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 08, 2007, 10:57:23 PM
I go for the third door also. If God was paying any attention to this at all he must have been doubled over with laughter. As Puck said "Lord, what fools these mortals be."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 01:10:32 AM
As the third person I vote for door 3 as well.

One can not blame God for actions humans direct against each other.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 05:03:16 AM
I thought that some of you may be interested in a few extracts drawn from the most recent article that relates to the betrayal of Nikolai II which was written by an esteemed Russian historian.

In the latest edition of Русский Вестник [Russkii Vestnik] February, 2007, Sergei Fomin offers this comment:

"Everyone betrayed: the nobility and peasants, the army and the guards. And the Russian Orthodox Church in the person of her bishops, priests and parishioners ... "

Fomin later introduces Kerensky's speech given before the Duma in 15 February, 1917 (O. S.) in which he declared (in part):

" ... If you recall the history of the authority during the three years, you shall recall, how many here have spoken of "dark forces"; and these conversations about the dark forces had created the youthful alliance of visionaries with political adventurism. And now these "dark forces" have disappeared.  Rasputin has disappeared! Alas have we, entered into a new epoch of Russian life? Has the system changed? No, it has not changed, it has totally remained as before ... "

Fomin contends that Kerensky's speech had exposed the true purpose of the participants in the persecution against Rasputin - it was not him that was needed, but what was needed was the imperial head.

(more later)

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 06:33:35 AM
So the entire structure of imperial Russia -- nobility, peasants, military, church -- betrayed their tsar?  It's a shame Nicholas was not acquainted with the solution suggested by Bertolt Brecht a generation later when the East German government was confronted with a rebellion:

The Solution
    
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


It seems Russia did not need a better government.  Nicholas needed better subjects. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 07:05:42 AM
So the entire structure of imperial Russia -- nobility, peasants, military, church -- betrayed their tsar?  It's a shame Nicholas was not acquainted with the solution suggested by Bertolt Brecht a generation later when the East German government was confronted with a rebellion:

It seems Russia did not need a better government.  Nicholas needed better subjects. 


Perhaps it could be said that the Emperor can not be blamed for the moral weakness of his subjects?

I shall post my translation of Alexeyev's communication within the day.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 09, 2007, 07:47:29 AM
Margarita,

The decision to prevent the boy from falling into the hands of his aunt was "astute"? I should think it could equally be called the last vindictive act in the relationship between Nicholas, Alexandra and their sister-in-law. In any event, it would surely have been a minor consideration in the face of the boy's medical future. I also wouldn't expect that the discussion with Fedorov was the first Nicholas had with medical people concerning Alexei's long-term prospects. I should think that Fedorov underlined something that Nicholas already knew. To say that a man is "astute" would mean that his actions habitually are possessed of this quality. His own wife and mother each complained about Nicholas' abilities --- with love, surely, but they were critical. Others, including most historians, who are not bound by ties of affection, have been more critical.

Spiridovich was a partisan witness; mentioning that does not demostrate my partisanship. I would be equally open to the idea that Alexeeyev was one as well, and I said that in my post. As such, their testimonies have value, but it is important to examine them for prejudices as well. Spiridovich's crack about the failure of the generals to remember that they were soldiers is an opinion that can be challenged, not an historical fact.

I asked several pages back if you were personally involved in this. It is obvious that the subject of your family engages your emotions --- perfectly understandable. But you seem to still be fighting out relationships among people who have been dust for a long, long time, and you also seem to have embraced the idea of the Tsar as divinely-appointed autocrat. Perhaps I am misreading your posts? I am not criticizing your positions, merely trying to understand the basis from which you write.

Simon





Quote
Perhaps it could be said that the Emperor can not be blamed for the moral weakness of his subjects?


Margarita,

Thank you for answering my question about your personal involvement with this matter. A day or so ago there was a photograph of a demonstration in Moscow against further involvement with NATO and the West by Putin's government. A woman was standing among the protestors holding a poster-sized  portrait of Nicholas and Alexandra. I have seen several photographs of people holding these sorts of pictures (to be fair, there are sometimes pictures of people holding hammer-and-sickle flags, and other detritus from the Soviet period). I have always been curious as to how the people still loyal to the Tsar felt, and in what manner they would express themselves. I doubt that you are typical, with your exceptional breadth of reading, and the personal ties your family had to the situation, but it has been fascinating to listen to someone who still espouses imperial views and can express them so articulately. I can't say that I think a return to formal Tsarist autocracy would be to Russia's benefit, but surely no one expects that to happen.

So if I might shift the discussion for a moment, Margarita, what do you think should be the proper response if Russia ever accepted the idea that she had "betrayed" the Tsar? Should there be a national expression of sorrow for the moral weakness of Nicholas' subjects by the descendants of those subjects? Should the Russian Orthodox Church impose a penance upon itself and its' flock? I am thinking of John Paul II's public apology for the anti-Semitism of the Roman Catholic Church, and his call for repentance for the actions undertaken by the RCC against the Jews, or his public apology to the Islamic world for the Crusades? The inference that I draw from your posts is that Russia is in a state of sin because of the overthrow of the monarchy. Will there have to be process of repentance?

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 08:25:58 AM
Quote
So the entire structure of imperial Russia -- nobility, peasants, military, church -- betrayed their tsar?  It's a shame Nicholas was not acquainted with the solution suggested by Bertolt Brecht a generation later when the East German government was confronted with a rebellion:

Is that what we are saying? Seriously?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 08:46:46 AM
Perhaps it could be said that the Emperor can not be blamed for the moral weakness of his subjects?

The more I see of this nonsense that the mess in which Russia found herself in early 1917 was everyone's fault but Nicholas', the more I become convinced that Russia deserved what befell her in the 20th century.

My favorite image of tsarist government in its death throes comes from the reports that, in his audiences with the empress, Interior Minister Protopov would freeze in feigned rapture as he breathlessly beheld the spectre of Rasputin hovering behind the empress.

A nation that would have tolerated the view even until 1917 that absolutely nothing mattered in the political landscape but the opinions of one narrowed-minded man whose crazy wife was receiving senior ministers who were seeing ghosts really had it coming.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 09:03:23 AM
Perhaps Tsarfan, the nation did not hold that view because Revolution was in the winds before 1917. Perhaps that was the view of only the most elite in Russia. Lenin's brother certainly did not hold that view. And there were others. I think the Russian people were unhappy with thier government long before 1917.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 09, 2007, 10:12:18 AM
Perhaps it could be said that the Emperor can not be blamed for the moral weakness of his subjects?

The more I see of this nonsense that the mess in which Russia found herself in early 1917 was everyone's fault but Nicholas', the more I become convinced that Russia deserved what befell her in the 20th century.

My favorite image of tsarist government in its death throes comes from the reports that, in his audiences with the empress, Interior Minister Protopov would freeze in feigned rapture as he breathlessly beheld the spectre of Rasputin hovering behind the empress.

A nation that would have tolerated the view even until 1917 that absolutely nothing mattered in the political landscape but the opinions of one narrowed-minded man whose crazy wife was receiving senior ministers who were seeing ghosts really had it coming.

As usual,  you are jumping from one anit-autocractic stone to another and another....

Have you forgotten your own family's history?

I don't mean to say that I know anything about you personally because I  have no  knowledge of you and your last 10,000 generations,  however, since you are human,  I have a pretty good idea where you're coming from  because of  your thoughts you presents us in your posts. 

Each country. like your own, and I'm not sure which one it is,  in history has struggled through their autocracts.  Some still are.

You, I and others, at this time,    realize that Russia in 1917  was in turmoil and struggeling with it's autocract.  Russia was being ruled by Nicholas II.  Russia was in the middle of the Great War.... etc. etc. etc..

At no time have I suggested that Nicholas II did not have his faults.  He did.  We all do.  I don't believe many humans can live a full and active life without faults.  What I'm trying to discover here on this particular post, at this particular time,  is what Nicholas II thought and felt.  And he felt betrayed.  And,  I'd like to know who the people were whom he felt betrayed him.   And,  I'd like to know about these people and their reasons they felt it necessary to betray their Tsar.  This is a very simple request.  However, it is not a task that will be finsihed after 30 more pages.   Why?  Because it is a very complex road of history which has not been traveled on this forum under this topic. And,  we can do this,  here,  today, next year..... But as time passes voices like Margarita's,  mine,  Simon's  and others will fade and then we will be gone.   Already,  we've lost most of those who were our relatives, our friends,  people we've known who lived in those times and experienced those times.  Some like Simon and Margarita have books, diaries, letters to work from.....  My family wasn't as lucky..... We were left only with tears and al the   terrible memories of how it must have been to have heard those knocks in the night, to have loved ones left in unmarked graves,  if they were forunate to have been buried at all....

Everyone has a story and we should understand everyone's [the Romanovs, the Reds, the Whites, the Greens, the Brown] story because ALL were victims fo their times.

AGRBear




Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 10:38:09 AM
This is a very simple request.  However, it is not a task that will be finsihed after 30 more pages.   Why?  Because it is a very complex road of history which has not been traveled on this forum under this topic.

So this is a "very simple request" that will not be finished after 60 pages because it is "very complex"?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 09, 2007, 10:44:12 AM
Perhaps it could be said that the Emperor can not be blamed for the moral weakness of his subjects?

The more I see of this nonsense that the mess in which Russia found herself in early 1917 was everyone's fault but Nicholas', the more I become convinced that Russia deserved what befell her in the 20th century.

My favorite image of tsarist government in its death throes comes from the reports that, in his audiences with the empress, Interior Minister Protopov would freeze in feigned rapture as he breathlessly beheld the spectre of Rasputin hovering behind the empress.

A nation that would have tolerated the view even until 1917 that absolutely nothing mattered in the political landscape but the opinions of one narrowed-minded man whose crazy wife was receiving senior ministers who were seeing ghosts really had it coming.

As usual,  you are jumping from one anit-autocractic stone to another and another....

Have you forgotten your own family's history?

I don't mean to say that I know anything about you personally because I  have no  knowledge of you and your last 10,000 generations,  however, since you are human,  I have a pretty good idea where you're coming from  because of  your thoughts you presents us in your posts. 

Each country. like your own, and I'm not sure which one it is,  in history has struggled through their autocracts.  Some still are.

You, I and others, at this time,    realize that Russia in 1917  was in turmoil and struggeling with it's autocract.  Russia was being ruled by Nicholas II.  Russia was in the middle of the Great War.... etc. etc. etc..

At no time have I suggested that Nicholas II did not have his faults.  He did.  We all do.  I don't believe many humans can live a full and active life without faults.  What I'm trying to discover here on this particular post, at this particular time,  is what Nicholas II thought and felt.  And he felt betrayed.  And,  I'd like to know who the people were whom he felt betrayed him.   And,  I'd like to know about these people and their reasons they felt it necessary to betray their Tsar.  This is a very simple request.  However, it is not a task that will be finsihed after 30 more pages.   Why?  Because it is a very complex road of history which has not been traveled on this forum under this topic. And,  we can do this,  here,  today, next year..... But as time passes voices like Margarita's,  mine,  Simon's  and others will fade and then we will be gone.   Already,  we've lost most of those who were our relatives, our friends,  people we've known who lived in those times and experienced those times.  Some like Simon and Margarita have books, diaries, letters to work from.....  My family wasn't as lucky..... We were left only with tears and al the   terrible memories of how it must have been to have heard those knocks in the night, to have loved ones left in unmarked graves,  if they were forunate to have been buried at all....

Everyone has a story and we should understand everyone's [the Romanovs, the Reds, the Whites, the Greens, the Brown] story because ALL were victims fo their times.

AGRBear







"Autocrat".
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 09, 2007, 10:47:07 AM
This is a very simple request.  However, it is not a task that will be finsihed after 30 more pages.   Why?  Because it is a very complex road of history which has not been traveled on this forum under this topic.

So this is a "very simple request" that will not be finished after 60 pages because it is "very complex"?


To put it oxymoronically, yes.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 10:49:44 AM
. . . . since you are human,  I have a pretty good idea where you're coming from because of your thoughts you presents us in your posts.

Is my being human a condition of understanding my posts?

Since I have no idea where you're coming from, perhaps you're not  human?  Origins from an alien planet would, indeed, explain a lot.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 09, 2007, 11:46:55 AM
I thought that some of you may be interested in a few extracts drawn from the most recent article that relates to the betrayal of Nikolai II which was written by an esteemed Russian historian.

In the latest edition of ??????? ??????? [Russkii Vestnik] February, 2007, Sergei Fomin offers this comment:

"Everyone betrayed: the nobility and peasants, the army and the guards. And the Russian Orthodox Church in the person of her bishops, priests and parishioners ... "

Fomin later introduces Kerensky's speech given before the Duma in 15 February, 1917 (O. S.) in which he declared (in part):

" ... If you recall the history of the authority during the three years, you shall recall, how many here have spoken of "dark forces"; and these conversations about the dark forces had created the youthful alliance of visionaries with political adventurism. And now these "dark forces" have disappeared.  Rasputin has disappeared! Alas have we, entered into a new epoch of Russian life? Has the system changed? No, it has not changed, it has totally remained as before ... "

Fomin contends that Kerensky's speech had exposed the true purpose of the participants in the persecution against Rasputin - it was not him that was needed, but what was needed was the imperial head.

Margarita, the Sergei Fomin you mention here wouldn't in fact be the same person as Father Sergius Fomin, Metropolitan of Solnechnogorsk? Of him a web church news report says: "Metropolitan Sergius is known as an experienced church figure who is able to deal with both his brethren and representatives of the government. Throughout the time of Russia's democratic existence he has not sullied himself by participating in one of the numerous scandals. But from the point of view of many church figures, he has a serious shortcoming: he is a serious and consistent opponent of church 'gays' whose influence today in the Russian church is stronger than ever" (See the link http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/0212f.html (http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/0212f.html)).

He also comes up on a web page dedicated to the martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family, see http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/nicholas-ii-tsar-martyr-and-his-family-05-of-05.html (http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/nicholas-ii-tsar-martyr-and-his-family-05-of-05.html). The reference is to "Sergius Fomin, 'Rossiya pered vtorym prishestviyem,' Holy Trinity Monastery, Sergiev Posad, 1993, pp. 129, 132, 143, 155, 157, 158, 160, 169;" i.e., Sergius Fomin, Russia Before the Second Coming, Holy Trinity Monastery, Sergiev Posad, 1993, etc., etc.

I guess I'm suggesting that perhaps Sergei Fomin is not a historian first and foremost, and that furthermore he might have his own religious and monarchist biases (just as other historians might have anti-monarchist biases)? But of course if you are writing about a different Sergei Fomin then all this is by the by (I've spent a good time googling this name and it turns out there's yet another Sergei Fomin who was evidently a very renowned mathematician).
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 09, 2007, 12:00:32 PM
So the entire structure of imperial Russia -- nobility, peasants, military, church -- betrayed their tsar?  It's a shame Nicholas was not acquainted with the solution suggested by Bertolt Brecht a generation later when the East German government was confronted with a rebellion:

The Solution
    
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


It seems Russia did not need a better government.  Nicholas needed better subjects. 

This reminds me of the passage in Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra which recounts the English ambassador, George Buchanan's, last visit to Nicholas II in January 1917, when he warned the tsar of the impending revolution. Perhaps someone else has quoted this already, but it seems very à propos nonetheless and in any event deserves to be repeated:

Buchanan came straight to the point, telling the Tsar that Russia needed a government in which the nation could have confidence. "Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Drawing himself up and giving Buchanan a hard look, Nicholas asked, "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"


(Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, p. 373.)

To me this exchange says it all.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 12:00:49 PM
Ok Bear,
It seems what you are after is basically a list of names of those who might have betrayed Nicholas. I think that list could be catagorized in two ways: Those who overtly betrayed Nicholas and those who did so coverty, without realizing it. (Covertly is probably not the best word there. What I am tyring to say is did so unintentionally.) Ok so intentional and unintentional. So on the unintentional list, I would include Alexandra. She was ill-advised. She influenced many of her husband's decision and was even telling him who to appoint or fire as advisors and militiary leaders. Her actions, and her personality, would have contributed to his downfall. Do you think that Nicholas could have felt betrayed by his wife?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 09, 2007, 02:35:04 PM
 Nicholas II may have realized his wife had failed him but  his love prevented him from taking it to the next step, that of betrayal since he may have felt she may have doing the best that she could considering the circumstances.

Alexandra did not conspire to removed her husband from the throne, therefore she had not broken her oath.

Did she give him some bad advise?  Yes.  Did this bad advice betray Nicholas II?  I've already stated that I believed it was a betrayal since she had taken up a more important duty than that of a wife and mother of his children,  she was the Empress, and  had become her Tsar's right hand so it was her duty to let her Tsar know everything that was imporant which was  happening while her Tsar was on the front as Comander-and-Chief.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 03:38:35 PM
Buchanan came straight to the point, telling the Tsar that Russia needed a government in which the nation could have confidence. "Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Drawing himself up and giving Buchanan a hard look, Nicholas asked, "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"


So, to the list of warnings given by Court Minister Mossolov, GD Sandro, the Novgorod Nobility, GD Ella, and GD Dmitry, we can add Buchanan's.  Other than Protopov (an Interior Minister the rest of the cabinet regarded as a quack) and Alexandra (who was devouring the forged telegrams Protopov was sending her from adoring peasants), was anyone telling Nicholas that things were playing out nicely?


Nicholas II may have realized his wife had failed him . . . .

Uh . . . given Nicholas's failure to realize much of anything else at this juncture, I think this one's a long shot, Bear.

After insisting repeatedly that we discuss only  people whom Nicholas felt "betrayed" him, why are you now introducing Alexandra as having "failed" Nicholas?  Do you mean to say that Nicholas  would have put Alexandra's name on a list of people who betrayed  him?

Honestly, you just seem to be all over the place with your posts while insisting that everyone else stay within very narrow boundaries.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 04:04:55 PM
Tsarfan,
Bear was responding to an earlier post of mine. I asked her would she put Alexandra's name on the list of betrayers...suggesting that Alexandra unintentionally betrayed Nicholas.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 04:40:48 PM
Fair enough.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: vladm on February 09, 2007, 04:41:26 PM
I think you all forgetting chain of events, we know about 1905 "Bloody Sunday", Nicholas did not intent to repeat same bloody repressions, to Russians who went against him, but if he would, Russia would have today, similar to England type of autocracy. Post 1905, he established State Duma, eventually he allowed to join Duma, folks with antimonarchy point of view (honestly he should send them to Siberia, like his father and grandfather did). He really believed level of education and common sense of the folks participating in revolution. I hate to say, but in some way, he provoked revolution himself. Also he truly loved his country, and didn’t much care about his crown.
Average wealth level, and education level was rising dramatically, and freedom of the speech was present during his time!
So, now about who betrayed him: human nature is to probe the boundaries, and we start probing our boundaries when we little, this is again about common sense. After 1905 he dropped streak boundaries and prepared country for democratic reforms, but Russia was not really ready for it!
I remember events of August 1991, I believe it was similar to February 1917: anyone could take power in his hands, it was few thousand folks, who cared about country, the rest of the fellow citizens was sitting at home and didn't care about what was going on.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 04:53:16 PM
Post 1905, he established State Duma, eventually he allowed to join Duma, folks with antimonarchy point of view (honestly he should send them to Siberia, like his father and grandfather did).

With all due respect, Vladm, this is a highly doctored version of what happened.  There was nothing voluntary in Nicholas' granting a State Duma.  He did it under pressure of a revolution spreading across the cities and the countryside of Russia.  And, as soon as order was restored, Nicholas set about to diminish as many of the new freedoms as he could, including creating an upper house to counteract the establishment of the Duma and twice rewriting the election laws to limit the voting franchise.  In fact, Sergius Witte, one of the ablest chief ministers in Russian history, eventually lost his position through constant wrangling with Nicholas to abide by the spirit of the reforms.

I think the fact that you feel that anyone who wanted to broaden representative government should have been sent to Siberia rather clearly indicates why you would have an agenda so grossly to recast the actual events of Nicholas' reign.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 05:22:32 PM
Wow! Talk about revisionist history!
Despite signing the Manifesto in 1905, which created the first elected Duma, Nicholas refused to accept the change to a constitutional government. He believed he was appointed by God to rule Russia and so he remained an autocrat, responsible to no one except God. He suspended the Duma, not once but twice. In 1907, because he feared yet another Duma, Nicholas illegally changed the voting laws to keep those whom he feared, out of power.
Neither Nicholas or Alexandra supported the Duma. They were autocrats.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 09, 2007, 06:49:00 PM
So, to the list of warnings given by Court Minister Mossolov, GD Sandro, the Novgorod Nobility, GD Ella, and GD Dmitry, we can add Buchanan's.  Other than Protopov (an Interior Minister the rest of the cabinet regarded as a quack) and Alexandra (who was devouring the forged telegrams Protopov was sending her from adoring peasants), was anyone telling Nicholas that things were playing out nicely?

Nicholas seemed to have a sort of a "revelation" on the day he signed his abdication act. This was when Shulgin (?) came in with the abdication papers, they had a short conversation about the events, and N asked him something like "do you mean that I may have been following the wrong course all along?". I don't remember the exact words, but it was something like that. This was according to Shulgin's account in a Russian language documentary I once watched.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 09, 2007, 06:51:27 PM
Neither Nicholas or Alexandra supported the Duma. They were autocrats.

To be fair, they felt this way because they felt they had an obligation to pass the monarchy intact to their son - just as N's father passed it on to him, and his father to him- this was their perspective.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 09, 2007, 08:19:33 PM
To be fair, yes that is what they believed. But, for one family to treat a whole nation of nearly 200 milliion as if it were an entailed piece of property they could dispose of as inheritance any way they liked and whose resources they could spend as they pleased is more than a sense of fairness can tolerate. Someone on this forum said the Romanovs treated Russia like it was their private plantation. I think that is fairly astute.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: vladm on February 09, 2007, 08:53:57 PM
Actually lets review "Bloody Sunday" events, Nicholas new about movement leading by Gopon only day before the events, and he new Gopon was socialist lead by revolutionists. He (N) was not in St. Petersburg but at Tsarskoye Selo (as you all know it was his residence). But despite commies propaganda about ignorance of the Nicholas, during post events he donates 50,000 rubles (quite significant amount of money, average monthly salary was about 10-15 rubles to factory workers injured and families of killed) considering it was killed 120 and wounded only 300 people.
Take a look in some research from this page /in Russian/:
http://www.russdom.ru/2005/200501i/200501012.html (http://www.russdom.ru/2005/200501i/200501012.html)
Also, please take a look in to his diaries from January 8th, 9th
January 19th he meets with factory representatives from St. Petersburg (what an Authocrat!), /in Russian/
http://www.rus-sky.org/history/library/diaris/1894.htm (http://www.rus-sky.org/history/library/diaris/1894.htm)
please pay no attention to comments and remarks, because it was done by editors.

But surprise-surprise, Duma project was started far before the events of 1905, actually first record about new institution dated 1903.
In his diaries he casually writes about announce 1905 August 6th – Duma 1st edition, and we could see complete change of his style during October events from October 12 to 17th, when he had to release manifest with correction of Duma law as you referring to, it was basically forced on him, and here I would completely agree, but he did not create any mass repressions, (if he would do something like that, we would know, because soviet propaganda would use it against him during USSR time).

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 09, 2007, 09:27:43 PM
"Commies propaganda"?  "Only" 120 people killed and 300 wounded for daring to approach their tsar with a petition to redress their grievances?  And all made all right because Nicholas "donated" 50,000 rubles to the families of people his soldiers killed or wounded?

If you think it was only "commies propaganda" that blackened Nicholas' name after Bloody Sunday, you should read the international press coverage of the event in papers from New York to Berlin at the time.  I have.  The incident created international outrage and had a lot to do with the debate in Britain a dozen years later about whether to offer the family asylum.

It seems an inevitability on this forum that, sooner or later, after a certain amount of discussion by serious students of history -- who often bring different facts to bear or who interpret the same facts very differently -- some crank shows up on the board whose views are grounded in sheer fabrication.  And it always seem to involve some anti-semite and/or ultra-monarchist.  Curious, huh?

No wonder the soviets had such an easy time imposing a regime of untruths on the Russian people.  They seem to have a peculiar taste for it.

It doesn't matter when the "Duma project" started.  Nicholas remained adamantly opposed to representative government in virtually any form right up until the day he abdicated and referred to the concept of Michael's securing a popular mandate as "filth".
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 10:02:11 PM
Alexeyev's communication to the Field Commanders in full translated by Margarita Nelipa

His Majesty is to be found in Pskov, where he has expressed his agreement to announce the Manifesto to meet with the people’s desire to establish responsibility before the ministerial chambers, by granting the president of the State Duma to establish a cabinet.

By informing of this decision the High commander of the northern front to the president of the State Duma, the last, in conversation by apparatus, in three and one half hours on March the second, replied, that the appearance of this Manifest is to be timed for 27 February; in reality this act appears belated, in that now a horrendous revolution has approached; the restraining national passion is difficult; the military is demoralized. The president of the State Duma although they have confidence in, but he fears, that to restrain national fears will be impossible. Now the dynastic question can be placed point-blank and the war can be continued to a victorious end only if the presented demand concerning the abdication from the Throne in favor of the son under the regency of Mikhail Alexandrovich. The situation, apparently, does not permit an alternate decision, and every minute of further hesitation will only heighten the claim, based on the existence of the army and the functioning of the railways are in the hands of the Petrograd  Provisional Government. It is imperative to save the army in the field from disintegration; continue the battle to the end with the external enemy; save Russia’s independence and the fate of the dynasty. This must be placed on highest priority, even at the cost of considerable concessions. If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.

I repeat, that the loss of every minute may be fatal for the existence of Russia and among the highest leaders of the army in the field it is imperative to establish a unity of thought and purpose and save the army from hesitancy and possible events to alter one’s duty. The army must with all its strength fight with the external enemy, and the decision concerning internal affairs should spare it from the temptation to accept a role in the upheaval, which shall be painless if effected by a decision from above. 

Alexeyev

2 March 1917, 10hr 15 minutes, 1872
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 09, 2007, 10:32:16 PM
Alexandra wrote to her husband: "Be more autocratic, my very own sweetheart....Be master and lord. You are the autocrat."

Upon hearing that the Duma was to be called in 1915 she wrote: "Deary, I heard that horrid Rodzianko and others...beg the Duma to be called at once together. Oh please don't it's not their business, they want to discuss things not concerning them and bring more discontent...they must be kept away."

Nicholas dissolved the Duma twice because it didn't please him.

His visit to the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday was nothing but a token appearance, probably more of a reaction to the reaction of the rest of the world than anything else. The workers who gathered that day did so to petition their Tsar. They had put their faith in the Tsar and saw him as a man of god. Instead, they were met with bullets while Nicholas sat in his palace. Nicholas responded to Bloody Sunday and the crisis that followed with his usual incompetence. Witte called it a "mixture of cowardice, bindness and stupidity."

In my country, we have a word for the type of comments I see in your posts vladm, we call it revisionist history. The problem with that is, that unless we face our past squarely, we cannot move forward. And if we can't move forward, history will most likely repeat itself.


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 10:39:52 PM
Margarita, the Sergei Fomin you mention here wouldn't in fact be the same person as Father Sergius Fomin, Metropolitan of Solnechnogorsk? Of him a web church news report says: "Metropolitan Sergius is known as an experienced church figure who is able to deal with both his brethren and representatives of the government. Throughout the time of Russia's democratic existence he has not sullied himself by participating in one of the numerous scandals. But from the point of view of many church figures, he has a serious shortcoming: he is a serious and consistent opponent of church 'gays' whose influence today in the Russian church is stronger than ever" (See the link http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/0212f.html (http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/0212f.html)).

He also comes up on a web page dedicated to the martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family, see http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/nicholas-ii-tsar-martyr-and-his-family-05-of-05.html (http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/nicholas-ii-tsar-martyr-and-his-family-05-of-05.html). The reference is to "Sergius Fomin, 'Rossiya pered vtorym prishestviyem,' Holy Trinity Monastery, Sergiev Posad, 1993, pp. 129, 132, 143, 155, 157, 158, 160, 169;" i.e., Sergius Fomin, Russia Before the Second Coming, Holy Trinity Monastery, Sergiev Posad, 1993, etc., etc.

I guess I'm suggesting that perhaps Sergei Fomin is not a historian first and foremost, and that furthermore he might have his own religious and monarchist biases (just as other historians might have anti-monarchist biases)? But of course if you are writing about a different Sergei Fomin then all this is by the by (I've spent a good time googling this name and it turns out there's yet another Sergei Fomin who was evidently a very renowned mathematician).

Hello Elizabeth,

I must confess that I rather miffed by your pronouncements.

Firstly, I am not aware that this Segei Fomin is the same as the one of whom you speak. I shall have to check with my Russian sources and confirm. My understanding is that we may be speaking about two different individuals here.

Now permit me to address the concerns which you have raised.

My reasoning for introducing Sergei Fomin was that he typifies the view as it was held in 1917. The fact that the Orthodox Church does not view gay people favorably has no bearing on this topic or upon the reliability of the author to offer his view on Russian history.  I have a number of his books and an extensive collection of his articles from journals that concern NII and Rasputin. He writes as Sergei Fomin and not as an ordained member of the Russian Orthodox Church by declaring any specific title. That consideration is telling. Inside Russia he is highly respected for his research in the field of late Russian Imperial history.   

His insight to my mind is appropriate to this discussion because NII was after all the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Since we are attempting to understand as to whether Nikolai was betrayed and by whom, then I tender that the Oath of Allegiance that was given with hand placed on the bible with God as their witness; is at the core to understanding why that sacred Oath was compromised.
 
If this person is indeed one in the same that you have identified and if Fomin's primary vocation is that of a Russian Orthodox priest embitters you - then so be it, but do not condemn his writing because of an intrinsic precept that the Russian Orthodox Church has always held.

One consideration that perhaps may have by-passed you is that Fomin with unaffectedness condemned the past failings of his own Church.

We are after all discussing Imperial Russia with all its inherent prejudices. To judge those prejudices with contemporary eyes will only intensify the mystery as to why Nikolai believed he was so wronged. 

Again I stress that my personal position is irrelevant.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 09, 2007, 10:55:06 PM
M,

One of the links provided by Elisabeth seems to indicate that he regards Rasputin as worthy of canonization. Are you aware if this is true?

S
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 11:07:54 PM
This reminds me of the passage in Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra which recounts the English ambassador, George Buchanan's, last visit to Nicholas II in January 1917, when he warned the tsar of the impending revolution. Perhaps someone else has quoted this already, but it seems very à propos nonetheless and in any event deserves to be repeated:

Buchanan came straight to the point, telling the Tsar that Russia needed a government in which the nation could have confidence. "Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Drawing himself up and giving Buchanan a hard look, Nicholas asked, "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"


(Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, p. 373.)

To me this exchange says it all.

Actually this quote tells me much more. The impudence of a foreign diplomat interferring with Russian internal politics come to mind.

How can you be so confident in believing that the texture of Nikolai's utterance had not implied something entirely different?  ???

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: vladm on February 09, 2007, 11:48:46 PM
... to approach their tsar with a petition to redress their grievances? ....

???? Have you managed to read the petition?
Please do so, but from independent point of view:
http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm (http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm)

And all made all right because Nicholas "donated" 50,000 rubles to the families of people his soldiers killed or wounded?

50,000 rubles to people who was killed and injured, not even by his order is quite substantial donation - US government gives less to solders widows killed in Iraq and none to people of New Orleans, regardless vast majority of the US paying taxes about 25-35% to feds. 

If you think it was only "commies propaganda" that blackened Nicholas' name after Bloody Sunday, you should read the international press coverage of the event in papers from New York to Berlin at the time.  I have.  The incident created international outrage and had a lot to do with the debate in Britain a dozen years later about whether to offer the family asylum.
I am talking not from Englishman and US citizen’s point of view, who had no idea about Russian life, and I believe have no idea today. But I am talking from Nicholas perspective, remember his grandfather Alexander II, btw who made enormous amount of reforms, was killed by revolutionaries inventing back then - terrorism (yes terrorism was originated in Russia, I hope world happy now days). So, to meet with the crowd January 1905 it was equal death penalty, on one hand, on another hand to let them go to Winter Palace was equal riots next to the Imperial residence (and we know what would happen, if they would made it all the way), Gendarmes, back than, did not had rubber bullets, how you could stop demonstration of 120 000?


some crank shows up on the board whose views are grounded in sheer fabrication. 
crank probably older and wise than you, with some knowledge you would never will be able to acquire because of the narrow vision
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 09, 2007, 11:56:56 PM
... to approach their tsar with a petition to redress their grievances? ....

???? Have you managed to read the petition?
Please do so, but from independent point of view:
http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm (http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm)

And all made all right because Nicholas "donated" 50,000 rubles to the families of people his soldiers killed or wounded?

50,000 rubles to people who was killed and injured, not even by his order is quite substantial donation - US government gives less to solders widows killed in Iraq and none to people of New Orleans, regardless vast majority of the US paying taxes about 25-35% to feds. 

If you think it was only "commies propaganda" that blackened Nicholas' name after Bloody Sunday, you should read the international press coverage of the event in papers from New York to Berlin at the time.  I have.  The incident created international outrage and had a lot to do with the debate in Britain a dozen years later about whether to offer the family asylum.
I am talking not from Englishman and US citizen’s point of view, who had no idea about Russian life, and I believe have no idea today. But I am talking from Nicholas perspective, remember his grandfather Alexander II, btw who made enormous amount of reforms, was killed by revolutionaries inventing back then - terrorism (yes terrorism was originated in Russia, I hope world happy now days). So, to meet with the crowd January 1905 it was equal death penalty, on one hand, on another hand to let them go to Winter Palace was equal riots next to the Imperial residence (and we know what would happen, if they would made it all the way), Gendarmes, back than, did not had rubber bullets, how you could stop demonstration of 120 000?


some crank shows up on the board whose views are grounded in sheer fabrication. 
crank probably older and wise than you, with some knowledge you would never will be able to acquire because of the narrow vision

1) I appreciate that you are not American, but you know nothing about the payments made to the families of servicemen killed in Iraq or the government monies being expended upon the citizens of Louisiana as the result of Katrina --- which, by the way, was a natural disaster, and not soldiers shooting into women and children. Your statements are patently untrue.

2) Nicholas could have staved off violence by meeting with a delegation from the demonstration. That's Monday-morning quarterbacking in Americanspeak, but it is at least an alternative to shooting unarmed men, women and children.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 09, 2007, 11:59:29 PM
I asked her would she put Alexandra's name on the list of betrayers...suggesting that Alexandra unintentionally betrayed Nicholas.

To presume an act of betrayal has been committed it must be proven that the act was intentional and effected with knowledge. In the absence of intent there can be no betrayal.

Alexandra offered advice in good faith to the best of her limited capability. She did not violate His Majesty's trust or confidence, and given these few legal considerations it is unreasonable to contend that she had betrayed Nikolai.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 12:02:43 AM
... to approach their tsar with a petition to redress their grievances? ....

???? Have you managed to read the petition?
Please do so, but from independent point of view:
http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm (http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm)

And all made all right because Nicholas "donated" 50,000 rubles to the families of people his soldiers killed or wounded?

50,000 rubles to people who was killed and injured, not even by his order is quite substantial donation - US government gives less to solders widows killed in Iraq and none to people of New Orleans, regardless vast majority of the US paying taxes about 25-35% to feds. 

If you think it was only "commies propaganda" that blackened Nicholas' name after Bloody Sunday, you should read the international press coverage of the event in papers from New York to Berlin at the time.  I have.  The incident created international outrage and had a lot to do with the debate in Britain a dozen years later about whether to offer the family asylum.
I am talking not from Englishman and US citizen’s point of view, who had no idea about Russian life, and I believe have no idea today. But I am talking from Nicholas perspective, remember his grandfather Alexander II, btw who made enormous amount of reforms, was killed by revolutionaries inventing back then - terrorism (yes terrorism was originated in Russia, I hope world happy now days). So, to meet with the crowd January 1905 it was equal death penalty, on one hand, on another hand to let them go to Winter Palace was equal riots next to the Imperial residence (and we know what would happen, if they would made it all the way), Gendarmes, back than, did not had rubber bullets, how you could stop demonstration of 120 000?


some crank shows up on the board whose views are grounded in sheer fabrication. 
crank probably older and wise than you, with some knowledge you would never will be able to acquire because of the narrow vision

1) I appreciate that you are not American, but you know nothing about the payments made to the families of servicemen killed in Iraq or the government monies being expended upon the citizens of Louisiana as the result of Katrina --- which, by the way, was a natural disaster, and not soldiers shooting into women and children. Your statements are patently untrue.

2) Nicholas could have staved off violence by meeting with a delegation from the demonstration. That's Monday-morning quarterbacking in Americanspeak, but it is at least an alternative to shooting unarmed men, women and children.

This is a fascinating topic - but may I suggest that Bloody Sunday and its ramifications be placed onto a new thread?

Thanks in advance,

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 12:31:47 AM
Margarita,

Thank you for answering my question about your personal involvement with this matter....I have always been curious as to how the people still loyal to the Tsar felt, and in what manner they would express themselves. I doubt that you are typical, with your exceptional breadth of reading, and the personal ties your family had to the situation, but it has been fascinating to listen to someone who still espouses imperial views and can express them so articulately. I can't say that I think a return to formal Tsarist autocracy would be to Russia's benefit, but surely no one expects that to happen.

Simon

Dear Simon,

Thank you for the generosity of your thoughts.  :)

To set the record straight, I do not believe that Russia should return to a monarchic form of government. Imperial Russia was Russia's past and she must now confidently create her own future with full agreement from her citizens.

My family was directly aggrieved by Nikolai's decision to abdicate. My paternal grandfather was imprisoned with others whose names may be familiar to many. He appeared before the Kerensky Extraordinary Commission for several arduous sessions. His proven innocence and excellent health failed to liberate him. He remained a prisoner for just over eight years and finally declared stateless unable to have the luxury of fleeing across the border with his wife and my young father. My grandmother was a Smolyanka with her own daily trials facing her loss in status surviving the intervening years in an alien environment. They survived and today it is they, their personal trials and their losses that I am attempting to comprehend - they are my losses as well.

Margarita   
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 10, 2007, 12:42:06 AM
It would appear from reading the circular telegram sent to the commanders that the general did in fact leave little wiggle room. He more or less put the situtation as being critical and that the only way to diffuse it was for the tsar to abdicate (in favor of his son and with Michael as regent). He then pretty makes it plain that the generals must speak with one voice to convince the tsar that he should do this for the good of Russia.
The last paragraph is interesting as it indicates he hopes that by doing this the new government--a regency, with active participation of the Duma--will lead to stability, and thus leave the army to fight the war against Germany without having to get involved in interanl politics.
I always have to try and remember in discussing this issue that those on the scene did not have the advantage we do as we sit and type our response of the the bird's eye view and the gift of hindsight. We can see the big picture, but they were limited. Thus it is hard to make judgements of whether they acted rightly or wrongly when they did act.
However, I still believe that the generals, the tsar, and the leaders of the Duma did act rightly in this case.
The whole tragedy then lies in the fact that those who demanded power from Nicholas and received it were unable to make it work and give Russia a chance for a true participatory government. They seemed to have simply been fated to excange one autocrat for another, both believing they knew what was best for Russia.
I can only hope that history, in this case, does not repeat itself.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 12:50:00 AM
Hi James,

I read your posting with immense interest. With time on my side I need to digest what you have stated.

Meanwhile, to complete the picture I will translate the Commanders replies and post them here when they are ready.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Margarita   :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 05:08:58 AM
Have you managed to read the petition?
Please do so, but from independent point of view:
http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm (http://www.hist.msu.ru/ER/Etext/jan1905.htm)

Hmmm . . . is this "independent point of view" one requires in order to buy your nonsense similar to the "open mind" LordTranwell asked of us when he set about explaining that the revolution was brought about by an international Zionist conspiracy?

As Belochka suggested, the discussion you're trying to begin doesn't belong on this thread.

I would go further and add that it doesn't belong on a website that attempts to understand history instead of distort it.  I'm sure you can find a website where people will be willing to engage your views.  The web is full of them.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 05:44:20 AM
It is imperative to save the army in the field from disintegration; continue the battle to the end with the external enemy; save Russia’s independence and the fate of the dynasty.  This must be placed on highest priority, even at the cost of considerable concessions.

Thanks for the translation, Margarita.  Could you clarify something, though, from the Russian?  When Alexyeev wrote, "this must be placed on the highest priority," was he referring to the last clause of the preceding sentence (the fate of the dynasty) or to the entire preceeding sentence?

In either case, however, I find this passage interesting, as it adds another layer to the debate about betrayal.  If someone abrogates an oath to the tsar but does so in an attempt to save the dynasty, does that cast the question of betrayal in a different light?  Perhaps this rests on the wording of the oath itself.  Does it include a commitment to support the dynasty as well as the tsar?  (I have searched but cannot find the text of the actual oath.)

I wonder whether the other Romanovs -- many of whom were themselves despairing of Nicholas' rule -- would have viewed abandoning the tsar to save the dynasty as a "betrayal"?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 07:51:47 AM
I guess I'm suggesting that perhaps Sergei Fomin is not a historian first and foremost, and that furthermore he might have his own religious and monarchist biases (just as other historians might have anti-monarchist biases)? But of course if you are writing about a different Sergei Fomin then all this is by the by

Elizabeth,

One of my European contacts has assured me that Sergei Vladimirovich Fomin is not a man of the cloth.

According to the Institute of Russian Civilization this Sergei Fomin was born in November, 1951. He acts as an Orthodox publicist. His writings are extensive and his 25 year old professional portfolio include numerous books, almanacs, co-authorships of books and journal articles. From the early 1990's he was at liberty to pursue his career writing about various historic themes emphasizing the church. Later his interests progressed towards Imperial Russia, specializing in Rasputin and Nikolai II. He has acted as editor to a number of Russian journals including "Russkii Vestnik".

Fomin is considered to be one of Russia's most authoritative contemporary historians specializing in Russian history, the history of the R. O. church and the monarchy. You are right about one thing, this Fomin is biased towards the monarchy.
 
Clearly this Sergei Fomin is not the controversial Metropolitan whom you managed to find on an English language search engine.

In 2005 he was involved in the publication of an excellent book titled: "Emperor Nikolai II and the Revolution" and has just published in 2006: "On the Emperor's Watch."

I trust that this information satifies you.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 10, 2007, 07:54:33 AM
To be fair, yes that is what they believed. But, for one family to treat a whole nation of nearly 200 milliion as if it were an entailed piece of property they could dispose of as inheritance any way they liked and whose resources they could spend as they pleased is more than a sense of fairness can tolerate. Someone on this forum said the Romanovs treated Russia like it was their private plantation. I think that is fairly astute.

Hey, I didn't say I agreed with this, I was just trying to explain their justification behind it... But yes, this is exactly how it was seen by them, just as the plantation owners saw it as their right, but on a larger scale. When a census was taken in Russia, Nicholas signed the occupation field  as "Hozya'in Zemli Russkoi" - The Owner of the Russian Land. Need I say more? 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 10, 2007, 08:56:03 AM

2) Nicholas could have staved off violence by meeting with a delegation from the demonstration. That's Monday-morning quarterbacking in Americanspeak, but it is at least an alternative to shooting unarmed men, women and children.



Simon,

Having spent my time as the Judge in the "Nicholas" mock trial, and reviewing the historical evidence presented by both sides, to be fair, Nicholas had NO IDEA at all about the demonstration until after the unfortunate fact.  So the statement that "Nicholas could have staved off violence by meeting with a delegation" is theoretically true, but nobody ASKED to meet him. They just showed up in Petersburg, while Nicholas was in TS and wholly unaware of the crowd even being there. We can't blame Nicholas on this one. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 10, 2007, 09:51:30 AM
Dear Rob,

I agree about his direct blame, of course. That's why I called it Monday Morning Quarterbacking. I think the original question was "What COULD he have done?" And I think a Russian Tsar with firmer control upon his regime and how that regime expressed itself would have known about the demonstration. That wasn't Nicholas, but ----

I spent about two hours yesterday with the chair of my college's philosophy department discussing the nature of the imperial oath. His father was a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and he himself escaped with the rest of his family as Tito took over what became territories in Yugoslavia after World War II. He has a doctorate in philosophy, of course, but also additional degrees in theology. The gist of the discussion:

There are two uses of the word "betray" in play on this thread:

(1) anyone whom Nicholas "felt" had "betrayed" him, using the definition of "betrayal" as not fulfilling his imperial will. This is useful for a discussion of his own emotional state, but not much else. If this was the goal of the thread, it would have made more sense to call it "Who did Nicholas II feel had betrayed him?" The title of the thread as is calls for a more objective attempt to answer the question, so this use of "betrayal" is of questionable value. After all, if a man is paranoid, then he feels that everyone has betrayed him. It is suggestive that the translation of his statement is "All around me are cowardice, treachery and deceit." Not to belabor the point, but in Hitler's last days, he regarded the German people as a whole to have "betrayed" him, and was perfectly content to see them destroyed, since they had proved unworthy. Nicholas was no Hitler, of course, but if you accept his world view as realistic, the only conceivable answer to the question "Who Betrayed Nicholas II?" is everyone who failed to fight to the death for him. This is why the question is usually not answered from the point of view of the one who feels "betrayed".

(2) I am going to disregard the bulk of the Russian population in 1917, and focus upon the military people involved in the abdication, who had sworn a formal oath of loyalty using explicitly religious language --- but the following argument does work with the rest of the people as well. One swears a binding oath to God (again, Hitler's military people swore an oath to Hitler, which automatically makes it invalid as an oath in a theological sense --- i.e. binding in the sense that it trumped any other considerations. If God is not in the oath, then there are no higher moral considerations, and they become expedient tools. This is what allowed Stauffenberg and the 1944 conspirators to try and remove Hitler --- even to kill him --- without moral culpability).

God is the highest Good by definition. In other words, the Tsar is a lesser Good than God --- something with which Nicholas would have agreed --- and is the instrument of His will. If it is determined that as an instrument of His will, the Tsar is not fulfilling his vocation, then those bound to God by oath are fulfilling their oaths by removing him. One follows the highest good in determining what has compulsive force.

Now, I recognize that this opens up the usual can of worms, i.e. how does one determine the highest Good (wherein lies the compulsive Will of God)? That's not my point. My point is that there can be a higher good which demands that one seem to break an oath in order fulfill its meaning.

Thanks, Thomas Aquinas!

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 10, 2007, 10:36:29 AM
I guess I'm suggesting that perhaps Sergei Fomin is not a historian first and foremost, and that furthermore he might have his own religious and monarchist biases (just as other historians might have anti-monarchist biases)? But of course if you are writing about a different Sergei Fomin then all this is by the by

Elizabeth,

One of my European contacts has assured me that Sergei Vladimirovich Fomin is not a man of the cloth.

According to the Institute of Russian Civilization this Sergei Fomin was born in November, 1951. He acts as an Orthodox publicist. His writings are extensive and his 25 year old professional portfolio include numerous books, almanacs, co-authorships of books and journal articles. From the early 1990's he was at liberty to pursue his career writing about various historic themes emphasizing the church. Later his interests progressed towards Imperial Russia, specializing in Rasputin and Nikolai II. He has acted as editor to a number of Russian journals including "Russkii Vestnik".

Fomin is considered to be one of Russia's most authoritative contemporary historians specializing in Russian history, the history of the R. O. church and the monarchy. You are right about one thing, this Fomin is biased towards the monarchy.
 
Clearly this Sergei Fomin is not the controversial Metropolitan whom you managed to find on an English language search engine.

In 2005 he was involved in the publication of an excellent book titled: "Emperor Nikolai II and the Revolution" and has just published in 2006: "On the Emperor's Watch."

I trust that this information satifies you.

Margarita

Hi, Margarita. My only concern is to establish whether or not this Sergei Fomin is a reputable historian by universal academic standards. And having done an extensive Russian Google search on him, I can guarantee that he is not. He is a crank, a kook, and an amateur. Which label is more damning?

It's true,  I don't know if Fomin the pseudo-historian is the same person as the controversial Metropolitan Sergius Fomin of the Russian Orthodox Church I cited earlier - I grant you, it might be unlikely, but it's no longer an important point, in light of the discoveries I've made on Russian Google. 

You say the historian Sergei Fomin publishes regularly in "Russkii vestnik" (The Russian Herald), so I'll just quote a few choice statements he's made in that journal, not long ago but in fact this very same week, in the February 5, 2007 issue (readily available on the Russian internet).

In this article Sergei Fomin pronounces the Russian people a "deicidal [i.e., God-killing] people," who in 1917 had "given themselves up for adoption to Satan, the brew of global cataclysms, as well as his eternal helpers - the Masons, usorious bankers, free thinkers, godless atheists, liberals, communists, and socialists of every kind." Moreover, Fomin argues that Nicholas II was betrayed by everyone - "the nobility, peasants, army, the Guard, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the form of its hierarchs, priests and parishioners." But I believe this is the very same article as the one you referred to earlier?

I can't find even a semblance of historical objectivity in these statements; indeed, I can honestly say that this man sounds like an outright kook to me.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 10, 2007, 10:40:39 AM
So the entire structure of imperial Russia -- nobility, peasants, military, church -- betrayed their tsar?  It's a shame Nicholas was not acquainted with the solution suggested by Bertolt Brecht a generation later when the East German government was confronted with a rebellion:

The Solution
    
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


It seems Russia did not need a better government.  Nicholas needed better subjects. 

This reminds me of the passage in Robert K. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra which recounts the English ambassador, George Buchanan's, last visit to Nicholas II in January 1917, when he warned the tsar of the impending revolution. Perhaps someone else has quoted this already, but it seems very à propos nonetheless and in any event deserves to be repeated:

Buchanan came straight to the point, telling the Tsar that Russia needed a government in which the nation could have confidence. "Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Drawing himself up and giving Buchanan a hard look, Nicholas asked, "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"


(Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, p. 373.)

To me this exchange says it all.

I am not sure what this image means to you.  That is the problem with discussing topics when all of us do not know each other and we cannot see each other's faces so we can see your expressions  (glint in the eye or a  frown or a "ah ha"....)

What I see in these words are different than perhaps you and even Buchanan.  I see a man who believes he is the "Little Father" of Russia,  the autocrat.


Actually this quote tells me much more. The impudence of a foreign diplomat interferring with Russian internal politics come to mind.

How can you be so confident in believing that the texture of Nikolai's utterance had not implied something entirely different?  ???

Margarita

Nicholas  had heard that a march, which had been done without proper authority [in fact flyers had been posted stating that the march should not take place on that day].  These marchers  had taken it upon themselves to march anyway, even  though they knew it was not acceptable for that day. And, yes,  it had all the ear marks of being a peacefully demonstration,  however, Nicholas II   had reports from the police who  had proof that this march had been encourages by  revolutionaries who had hoped to make a bloody event for their movement against the Tsar and to use in their propoganda later.

Let me make an example of something that might occur today.  I think it  would be similar to a report today that Bush might recieve while sitting in the White House in Washington DC.  after an unlawful  demonstration, while he was on his ranch, which had been  directed at the White House and had become a terrible scene of death.   Only the revolutionaries in this scenario had been  terroists.  And among the  peaceful demonstrators had been a 100 terrorists with backpacks filled with plastic explosives.

So,  there Nicholas II was.   He was aware of the injured and dead.   He felt the blow of this event which was not just directed at him personally but at the Romanov  autocracy.

And,  here was a man,  Buchanan,  and Englishman, asking him:  ""Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Like most of us,  we don't alway hear all the words being said,  however,  I'm sure he heard the parts  "people"  and  "regain their confidence".

What do you think he may have thought?  I don't know.  My guess is that  Nicholas II  probably thought:  Why in the world would he,  Nicholas II, the Tsar,  be the one needing the people to regain confidence of him, the Tsar?  He had not been the one who had been marching  who had caused the bloody event.

So,  Nicholas II, the autocrat and "Little Father" of his disobedient children,  sat up straight and gave this Englishman, who had just challenged his authority,  a hard look before responding,  " "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"

His responce is exactly what was expected  from an autocrat who was Tsar and Emperor,  the "Little Father"  who viewed his people as his "children".


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 11:24:15 AM
Actually this quote [from British Ambassador Buchanan] tells me much more. The impudence of a foreign diplomat interferring with Russian internal politics come to mind.

Buchanan was not just a diplomatic hack in some provincial consulate.  He was the personal envoy to Nicholas of King George and, as such, the representative of one of Russia's chief allies in a major war.  He had every right to address Nicholas on questions relating to the continuing viability of the Russian government and its ability to prosecute the war.  That was his job, and Nicholas would have expected his own ambassador in London to do the same if he had reason to think the British government was on the verge of imploding and leaving her ally stranded.

Surely Nicholas would have been aware that one of Russia's greatest monarchs, Catherine II, was given welcome counsel and assistance at various points in her journey toward the throne by another meddling "foreign" ambassador of Great Britain, Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams.  Catherine seems not to have viewed it as impudence.

If Nicholas viewed it as impudence, that is just one more indicator of Nicholas' arrogant refusal to confront any reality or viewpoint that he found inconvenient.

But more to the point, Nicholas did not tell Buchanan his remark was out of place.  He instead addressed the merits of the remark, expressing the opinion that it was the people who were failing their tsar, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: RichC on February 10, 2007, 11:29:46 AM

In this article Sergei Fomin pronounces the Russian people a "deicidal [i.e., God-killing] people," who in 1917 had "given themselves up for adoption to Satan, the brew of global cataclysms, as well as his eternal helpers - the Masons, usorious bankers, free thinkers, godless atheists, liberals, communists, and socialists of every kind." Moreover, Fomin argues that Nicholas II was betrayed by everyone - "the nobility, peasants, army, the Guard, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the form of its hierarchs, priests and parishioners." But I believe this is the very same article as the one you referred to earlier?


Well, if this is a sample of what's coming out of the mouth of "one of Russia's most authoritative contemporary historians", there is really very little hope for this poor country.  This whole thread is really beginning to make me angry because nothing ever seems to change or get any better in Russia.  It's always more of the same crap.  These same quotes could have been written by Alexandra to Anna Vyrubova almost 100 years ago. 

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 11:54:49 AM
His responce is exactly what was expected  from an autocrat who was Tsar and Emperor,  the "Little Father"  who viewed his people as his "children".

This viewpoint -- that all responsibility flows from the people to their government and none from the government to the people -- is a complete perversion of the theory of government, even in monarchical systems.

Of course, what else would I expect?  The only possible way to justify Nicholas' performance at the critical junctions of his reign, such as in 1905/06 and 1916/17, is to embrace such perversion of purpose.

This is also why you cannot comprehend the concept of betrayal except in terms of others abandoning their duty to Nicholas -- never in terms of Nicholas abandoning his duty to them  to provide effective leadership.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 11:57:09 AM

In this article Sergei Fomin pronounces the Russian people a "deicidal [i.e., God-killing] people," who in 1917 had "given themselves up for adoption to Satan, the brew of global cataclysms, as well as his eternal helpers - the Masons, usorious bankers, free thinkers, godless atheists, liberals, communists, and socialists of every kind." Moreover, Fomin argues that Nicholas II was betrayed by everyone - "the nobility, peasants, army, the Guard, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the form of its hierarchs, priests and parishioners." But I believe this is the very same article as the one you referred to earlier?


Well, if this is a sample of what's coming out of the mouth of "one of Russia's most authoritative contemporary historians", there is really very little hope for this poor country.  This whole thread is really beginning to make me angry because nothing ever seems to change or get any better in Russia.  It's always more of the same crap.  These same quotes could have been written by Alexandra to Anna Vyrubova almost 100 years ago.

This post is just too good to have buried.  It hits so many nails on their heads.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 10, 2007, 03:41:22 PM
Quote
So,  there Nicholas II was.   He was aware of the injured and dead.   He felt the blow of this event which was not just directed at him personally but at the Romanov  autocracy.

And,  here was a man,  Buchanan,  and Englishman, asking him:  ""Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Like most of us,  we don't alway hear all the words being said,  however,  I'm sure he heard the parts  "people"  and  "regain their confidence".

What do you think he may have thought?  I don't know.  My guess is that  Nicholas II  probably thought:  Why in the world would he,  Nicholas II, the Tsar,  be the one needing the people to regain confidence of him, the Tsar?  He had not been the one who had been marching  who had caused the bloody event.

So,  Nicholas II, the autocrat and "Little Father" of his disobedient children,  sat up straight and gave this Englishman, who had just challenged his authority,  a hard look before responding,  " "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"

Bear,

While you were channeling Nicholas, did he happen to mention the color of the wallpaper in the room or what he had for lunch that day?

Please, please stop arguing this way. The fact that you don't hear complete sentences has nothing to do with whether Nicholas II did. The description of this scene that you wrote tells us what Tsar Bear would have meant by the statement, and nothing at all about what Tsar Nicholas did.

Although I am sure you would have been a wonderful Tsar. Tsaritsa. Whev.  ;D

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 10, 2007, 03:56:36 PM
His responce is exactly what was expected  from an autocrat who was Tsar and Emperor,  the "Little Father"  who viewed his people as his "children".

This viewpoint -- that all responsibility flows from the people to their government and none from the government to the people -- is a complete perversion of the theory of government, even in monarchical systems.

Of course, what else would I expect?  The only possible way to justify Nicholas' performance at the critical junctions of his reign, such as in 1905/06 and 1916/17, is to embrace such perversion of purpose.

This is also why you cannot comprehend the concept of betrayal except in terms of others abandoning their duty to Nicholas -- never in terms of Nicholas abandoning his duty to them  to provide effective leadership.

I am not  "justifying"  Nicholas II's actions.  I am trying to understand his actions.

First you want him to be strong and act like a Tsar but when he does it's, "OH MY GOODNESS,  the Tsar is so out of touch!"

Nicholas II was an autocrat.  He acted like an autocrat.  And,  as a leader of his country he made mistakes.
Because of those mistakes the people around him began to betray  Nicholas II, their Tsar.

The people who betrayed Nicholas II may have felt they were betrayed  by Nicholas II.

Each individual has his or her own story.

We've mentioned Gen. Alekeev.

Margarita has given us why Gen. Alexeev [Alexeyev] believed what he did and when he did.

Alexeyev's communication to the Field Commanders in full translated by Margarita Nelipa

His Majesty is to be found in Pskov, where he has expressed his agreement to announce the Manifesto to meet with the people’s desire to establish responsibility before the ministerial chambers, by granting the president of the State Duma to establish a cabinet.

By informing of this decision the High commander of the northern front to the president of the State Duma, the last, in conversation by apparatus, in three and one half hours on March the second, replied, that the appearance of this Manifest is to be timed for 27 February; in reality this act appears belated, in that now a horrendous revolution has approached; the restraining national passion is difficult; the military is demoralized. The president of the State Duma although they have confidence in, but he fears, that to restrain national fears will be impossible. Now the dynastic question can be placed point-blank and the war can be continued to a victorious end only if the presented demand concerning the abdication from the Throne in favor of the son under the regency of Mikhail Alexandrovich. The situation, apparently, does not permit an alternate decision, and every minute of further hesitation will only heighten the claim, based on the existence of the army and the functioning of the railways are in the hands of the Petrograd  Provisional Government. It is imperative to save the army in the field from disintegration; continue the battle to the end with the external enemy; save Russia’s independence and the fate of the dynasty. This must be placed on highest priority, even at the cost of considerable concessions. If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.

I repeat, that the loss of every minute may be fatal for the existence of Russia and among the highest leaders of the army in the field it is imperative to establish a unity of thought and purpose and save the army from hesitancy and possible events to alter one’s duty. The army must with all its strength fight with the external enemy, and the decision concerning internal affairs should spare it from the temptation to accept a role in the upheaval, which shall be painless if effected by a decision from above. 

Alexeyev

2 March 1917, 10hr 15 minutes, 1872

Let me repeat the general's demand:

>>If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.<<

It appears to me that Alexeev [Alexeyev]  did not want to hear anything but a "Yea" from the other generals and had, therefore,  closed his mind to any suggestions,  and was set in just one direction which was the abdication of  Nicholas II in favor of his son with GD Michael as his Regent.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 10, 2007, 04:02:06 PM
Quote
et me repeat the general's demand:

>>If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.<<

It appears to me that Alexeev [Alexeyev]  did not want to hear anything but a "Yea" from the other generals and had, therefore,  closed his mind to any suggestions,  and was set in just one direction which was the abdication of  Nicholas II in favor of his son with GD Michael as his Regent.

AGRBear

I am impressed that you could make any sense of that sentence from Alexeyev at all, given the chaotic nature of its' syntax.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 10, 2007, 04:02:37 PM
Quote
So,  there Nicholas II was.   He was aware of the injured and dead.   He felt the blow of this event which was not just directed at him personally but at the Romanov  autocracy.

And,  here was a man,  Buchanan,  and Englishman, asking him:  ""Your Majesty, if I might be permitted to say so, has but one safe course open to you - namely, to break down the barrier that separates you from your people and to regain their confidence."

Like most of us,  we don't alway hear all the words being said,  however,  I'm sure he heard the parts  "people"  and  "regain their confidence".

What do you think he may have thought?  I don't know.  My guess is that  Nicholas II  probably thought:  Why in the world would he,  Nicholas II, the Tsar,  be the one needing the people to regain confidence of him, the Tsar?  He had not been the one who had been marching  who had caused the bloody event.

So,  Nicholas II, the autocrat and "Little Father" of his disobedient children,  sat up straight and gave this Englishman, who had just challenged his authority,  a hard look before responding,  " "Do you mean that I am to regain the confidence of my people or that they are to regain my confidence?"

Bear,

While you were channeling Nicholas, did he happen to mention the color of the wallpaper in the room or what he had for lunch that day?

Please, please stop arguing this way. The fact that you don't hear complete sentences has nothing to do with whether Nicholas II did. The description of this scene that you wrote tells us what Tsar Bear would have meant by the statement, and nothing at all about what Tsar Nicholas did.

Although I am sure you would have been a wonderful Tsar. Tsaritsa. Whev.  ;D

Simon

Always be careful for what you wish,  Dear Simon ;)

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 10, 2007, 04:16:20 PM
Quote
et me repeat the general's demand:

>>If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.<<

It appears to me that Alexeev [Alexeyev]  did not want to hear anything but a "Yea" from the other generals and had, therefore,  closed his mind to any suggestions,  and was set in just one direction which was the abdication of  Nicholas II in favor of his son with GD Michael as his Regent.

AGRBear

I am impressed that you could make any sense of that sentence from Alexeyev at all, given the chaotic nature of its' syntax.

Due to my dexterous abilities  [or maybe it's called my own terrible American-English grammer , which is a direct  results of having  grown up in a community filled with  German-Russains who's first language was German, which was sprinkled with Russian and French,  and then was switched from German to English],   the "sense" of  Alekeev's  sentence came shinning through.

AGRBear 8)

PS:  Did anyone noticed these words about Nicholas II?
>>His Majesty is to be found in Pskov, where he has expressed his agreement to announce the Manifesto to meet with the people’s desire to establish responsibility before the ministerial chambers, by granting the president of the State Duma to establish a cabinet.<<
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 10, 2007, 04:36:24 PM
Yes, Nicholas always seemed to see the light when he was staring down the barrel of a gun.  Unfortunately, he could have done more to keep Russia out of the throes of revolution if he had been equally amenable to the advice of the best of his advisers, such as Witte and Stolypin, and even some of his relatives.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 10, 2007, 05:18:16 PM
I have a question: would those of you who consider that Nicholas was betrayed, also consider that American revolutionaries betrayed George III in a similar manner? Why or why not? Thank you.


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 10, 2007, 06:33:54 PM
I believe the British called the American Revolution the "American Rebellion"

If you're talking about the men in the military who had sworn and oath to George III and joined the rebels,   then yes,  they betrayed their King.

Please note:  I assume the wording was different  from what was said to the English King than  to Emp. and Tsar Nicholas II.  So,  I'm not sure about the differences of the oaths themselves  to make comparisions.

I had  hoped by, now,  that someone would have found the actual words of the oath given to Nicholas II.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 08:21:59 PM
Yes, Nicholas always seemed to see the light when he was staring down the barrel of a gun.  Unfortunately, he could have done more to keep Russia out of the throes of revolution if he had been equally amenable to the advice of the best of his advisers, such as Witte and Stolypin, and even some of his relatives.

I would agree with this wholeheartedly.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 09:35:06 PM

In this article Sergei Fomin pronounces the Russian people a "deicidal [i.e., God-killing] people," who in 1917 had "given themselves up for adoption to Satan, the brew of global cataclysms, as well as his eternal helpers - the Masons, usorious bankers, free thinkers, godless atheists, liberals, communists, and socialists of every kind." Moreover, Fomin argues that Nicholas II was betrayed by everyone - "the nobility, peasants, army, the Guard, and the Russian Orthodox Church in the form of its hierarchs, priests and parishioners." But I believe this is the very same article as the one you referred to earlier?

Well, if this is a sample of what's coming out of the mouth of "one of Russia's most authoritative contemporary historians", there is really very little hope for this poor country.  This whole thread is really beginning to make me angry because nothing ever seems to change or get any better in Russia.  It's always more of the same crap.  These same quotes could have been written by Alexandra to Anna Vyrubova almost 100 years ago.

This post is just too good to have buried.  It hits so many nails on their heads.

My primary objective in introducing Sergei Fomin is provided in my prevoius quotes re-posted below:    

We are after all discussing Imperial Russia with all its inherent prejudices. To judge those prejudices with contemporary eyes will only intensify the mystery as to why Nikolai believed he was so wronged.

My reasoning for introducing Sergei Fomin was that he typifies the view as it was held in 1917.

None of us here may agree with his writings or his fundamentalist beliefs and style, but as I have stated earlier his views concerning the monarchy strongly align with those that were held in Imperial Russia. In our progressive thinking democratic societies we see Fomin's views as being extremist or as has been identified by Elizabeth as "kooky" and that he is a "crank", and thus few of us would be able to identify with Fomin. Thankfully RichC has confirmed that Vyrubova and Alexandra thought in the same way as Fomin writes today.

I trust that now you shall understand what I was attempting to do here.

My only concern is to establish whether or not this Sergei Fomin is a reputable historian by universal academic standards.

Agreeably Fomin has hardly been heard of in the West, but it is noteworthy to appreciate that his audience inside Russia is large and they are the ones who listen, not us. The church has gained considerable status and though it - it has created a frightening resurgence to return to many of the old fashion values.

When I posted Fomin's statement concerning betrayal, it pretty much had identified the many levels of Russian Imperial society that were presumed to have betrayed Nikolai II. Nikolai believed that was the case, and guided by his diary entry I fail to comprehend why Fomin's extract is inappropriate. Nothing further was implied by me. Reading that single statement in the absence of any surrounding contentious issues that he has raised are irrelevant to this discussion.

Elizabeth I do hope that you can understand my honest intentions.

I shall again stress that my personal position concerning the merits or flaws of Fomin's writing are not germane to this topic.

Margarita  :)
 


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 10, 2007, 10:41:56 PM
Quote
et me repeat the general's demand:

>>If you are divided by this view, then do not favor to telegraph without your highly loyal demand to His Majesty via Glavkosev, to inform me.<<

It appears to me that Alexeev [Alexeyev]  did not want to hear anything but a "Yea" from the other generals and had, therefore,  closed his mind to any suggestions,  and was set in just one direction which was the abdication of  Nicholas II in favor of his son with GD Michael as his Regent.

AGRBear

I am impressed that you could make any sense of that sentence from Alexeyev at all, given the chaotic nature of its' syntax.

Simon,

Perhaps there may have been a methodical disarragmement in that original sentence, paricularily after it translates into English, but it was my intention to maintain the structure as close as possible to the style in which it was written 90 years ago.

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 11, 2007, 12:09:34 AM
Agreeably Fomin has hardly been heard of in the West, but it is noteworthy to appreciate that his audience inside Russia is large . . . .

From Elisabeth:

"Sergei Fomin pronounces the Russian people a 'deicidal [i.e., God-killing] people,' who in 1917 had 'given themselves up for adoption to Satan, the brew of global cataclysms, as well as his eternal helpers - the Masons, usorious bankers, free thinkers, godless atheists, liberals, communists, and socialists of every kind.'

If this is what "one of Russia's foremost contemporary historians" is convincing Russians about their history, then they might as well gird themselves now for a continuing cycle of repression and violence.  If today's Russians truly buy into the notion that freedom of thought is a manifestation of Satan and that a few Jews (those "usurious bankers" who keep cropping up in these crackpots' quasi-religious rants) are the cause of all their problems, then they will have other Stalins in their future . . . and will deserve no better.

Really, Margarita.  One can divine enough about Nicholas' viewpoint from reading his diaries, his private correspondence, his public pronouncements, and the memoires and diaries of those who lived and worked in proximity to him.  It seems hardly necessary to keep the likes of Fomin on one's bookshelf to illimuninate the matter.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 11, 2007, 12:16:08 AM
Bear,

While you were channeling Nicholas, did he happen to mention the color of the wallpaper in the room or what he had for lunch that day?

At dinner tonight I was discussing the number of posters who seem personally invested in Nicholas and his family to the point that they lose the dividing line between themselves and these historical figures -- figures who would not have given any of these posters the time of day had they lived in their world.

One of the diners was a psychologist who, after listening to the discussion, piped up with two words:  "merger fantasy".  Look it up, Bear.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 11, 2007, 04:37:47 AM
It is imperative to save the army in the field from disintegration; continue the battle to the end with the external enemy; save Russia’s independence and the fate of the dynasty.  This must be placed on highest priority, even at the cost of considerable concessions.

Thanks for the translation, Margarita.  Could you clarify something, though, from the Russian?  When Alexyeev wrote, "this must be placed on the highest priority," was he referring to the last clause of the preceding sentence (the fate of the dynasty) or to the entire preceeding sentence?

Tsarfan,

The way I read "this must be placed on the highest priority" refers to the entire preceding sentence.

The preceding sentence to my mind is partly rhetoric made to inspire its reader.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 11, 2007, 09:10:11 AM
Bear,

While you were channeling Nicholas, did he happen to mention the color of the wallpaper in the room or what he had for lunch that day?

At dinner tonight I was discussing the number of posters who seem personally invested in Nicholas and his family to the point that they lose the dividing line between themselves and these historical figures -- figures who would not have given any of these posters the time of day had they lived in their world.

One of the diners was a psychologist who, after listening to the discussion, piped up with two words:  "merger fantasy".  Look it up, Bear.

Thanks for the good morning laugh, Tsarfan.   :D

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 11, 2007, 09:19:21 AM
These are NOT my words:

>>All around there is treason, cowardice and deceit,"  Nicholas II wrote in his diary.

Nicholas II's words.  Not Bears.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 11, 2007, 09:23:41 AM
It's not all that funny, Bear. Your posts recently have been replete with statements about what Nicholas was feeling, and they seem to emanate from what you would feel in the same circumstances. As a technique for historical research/discussion, identification with one's subject is not usually the best way to approach him/her. I don't mind the kids over on the Havin Fun threads speculating about which one of them Alexei would have taken to the sock-hop, but it's a little icky here at the adult table.

And while we're on that subject, the Fomin information is presented to demonstrate how Nicholas viewed himself? If one accepts this argument, it seems to me that the Tsar is judged as irrational at best, insane at worst, and manifestly unable to continue in his duties as ruler. So no one "betrayed" him, did they? They merely acted to preserve the monarchical principle in a time of crisis.

I wasn't questioning the provenance of the words, Bear, just your dead certainty that you know what the Tsar was thinking when he spoke to Buchanan. To say nothing of the theatrical presentation you employed in describing the scene. Professionally, I appreciated it. As a theatre person. As an historian? Not so much.

Simon



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 11, 2007, 10:24:37 AM
AGRBear:>>
What do you think he may have thought? I don't know.  My guess is that  Nicholas II  probably thought:  Why in the world would he,  Nicholas II, the Tsar,  be the one needing the people to regain confidence of him, the Tsar?  He had not been the one who had been marching  who had caused the bloody event.<<

If Buchanan can interrupt the scene,  why can't I  guess since I have the 20/20 hindsight including Nicholas II's dairies, letters, etc. etc.?

Do you think differently?  If so,  I believe you are free to post your opinions.

>>These are NOT my words:

"All around there is treason, cowardice and deceit,"  Nicholas II wrote in his diary.

Nicholas II's words.  Not Bears.<<

What words did you not understand of Nicholas II"s: 

"treason"

"cowardice"

or

"deceit"

???


AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 11, 2007, 10:41:26 AM
I understand Nicholas II. I do not understand you. It's not the same thing, a fact that I keep having to point out.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 11, 2007, 11:17:38 AM
Okay.

So,  let's get back to the topic,  Nicholas II.

I find the entry in of King Gerog V's diary on 28 Feb - Buckingham Palace interesting:

>>Bad news from Russia, practically a revolution has broken out in Petrograd and some of the Guard regiments have mutinied and killed their Officers.  This rising is against the Govt., not against the war.  Nicky as at Headquarters.

The King's main concern was not about Nicky but about the war against Germany.

It appears that the King was thinking as a King and not as a cousin.

This only helps to prove my point.  These men were raised to rule their countries from the time they were born.   They did not have the prviledge of thinking like most of the posters,  who are private citizens  and who have [understandingly]  a difficult time understanding this King and Emperor kind of mind set.

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 11, 2007, 12:10:39 PM
How fortunate that we have you to explain how the imperial mindset works. Has George V taken to dropping by your mental landscape as well?

I am astounded that you could deduce that the King's main concern was about the war, and not about his cousin, from the matter-of-fact sentence that you quote. What was George wearing when he told you this? Which part of the sentence is inaccurate or biased? Weren't there demonstrations? Wasn't Nicholas at Stavka when it happened?

Does it occur to you that the diary of a king is by its nature intended to be read by other people (offical biographers, historians, archivists, etc.) and therefore, also by its nature, self-censored?

"This only helps to prove my point"?  Exactly what point is that? It seems to be that you are allowed to interpret history without any reference to actual historical facts save ones that you twist to suit your purpose.

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 11, 2007, 12:41:56 PM
ummm, I read "Nicky (w)as at headquarters" totally opposite to Bear.  It looks to me as if George was making the distinction that "Nicky" was not in Petrograd where bad things were happening and so was safe...sounds to me as if he was concerned for "Nicky's" safety, in my reading, a far more family oriented thought than a military leader.

just my 2 kopecks.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 11, 2007, 01:05:59 PM
This only helps to prove my point.  These men were raised to rule their countries from the time they were born.   They did not have the prviledge of thinking like most of the posters,  who are private citizens  and who have [understandingly] a difficult time understanding this King and Emperor kind of mind set.

What utter nonsense.  There must be a short circuit in your channeling device.

One of Nicholas' great failings is that he did not put the demands of being a ruler ahead of his personal life.  That's why he could not bring himself to keep Rasputin away from St. Petersburg, despite the pleas of Stolypin and others that it was critically damaging the monarchy.  That's why he could not clearly see that pursuing a dynastic policy bent on delivering the throne to Alexei, his hemophiliac son, was a stillborn strategy.  That's why he could not resist Alexandra's importunities that he take over the military command and leave her in St. Petersburg to receive his ministers' reports.  That's why ignored all counsel not to appoint Protopov and others of Rasputin's coterie.  If Nicholas had spent half the mental energy in keeping Russia on an even political keel that he spent in keeping Alexandra on an even emotional keel, Russian history might have been somewhat different in the 20th century.

Except perhaps for Peter III, I cannot think of a post-petrine tsar who so utterly ignored sound counsel and adjured sound policy for the purpose of pursuing his personal objectives.

I think some of the posters on this board have a much better grasp of what is required of a successful monarch than Nicholas ever did.

You really ought to take stock of known events, Bear, and spend few minutes thinking before coming up with psychological interpretations of Nicholas' mindset that are demonstrably at odds with those events.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 11, 2007, 01:09:36 PM
Quote
One of Nicholas' great failings is that he did not put the demands of being a ruler ahead of his personal life.  That's why he could not bring himself to keep Rasputin away from St. Petersburg, despite the pleas of Stolypin and others that it was critically damaging the monarchy.  That's why he could not clearly see that pursuing a dynastic policy bent on delivering the throne to Alexei, his hemophiliac son, was a stillborn strategy.  That's why he could not resist Alexandra's importunities that he take over the military command and leave her in St. Petersburg to receive his ministers' reports.  That's why ignored all counsel not to appoint Protopov and others of Rasputin's coterie.  If Nicholas had spent half the mental energy in keeping Russia on an even political keel that he spent in keeping Alexandra on an even emotional keel, Russian history might have been somewhat different in the 20th century.

Exactly so, and indeed went to some lengths to promote his personal life as the way in which he wished to be viewed. There is a reason that so many pictures of the children exist to be photoshopped over on the "Having Fun" threads.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 11, 2007, 04:48:21 PM
Okay.

So,  let's get back to the topic,  Nicholas II.

I find the entry in of King Gerog V's diary on 28 Feb - Buckingham Palace interesting:

>>Bad news from Russia, practically a revolution has broken out in Petrograd and some of the Guard regiments have mutinied and killed their Officers.  This rising is against the Govt., not against the war.  Nicky as at Headquarters.

The King's main concern was not about Nicky but about the war against Germany.

It appears that the King was thinking as a King and not as a cousin.

This only helps to prove my point.  These men were raised to rule their countries from the time they were born.   They did not have the prviledge of thinking like most of the posters,  who are private citizens  and who have [understandingly]  a difficult time understanding this King and Emperor kind of mind set.

AGRBear



Bear, Am I missing something here?
From this entry: Bad news from Russia, practically a revolution has broken out in Petrograd and some of the Guard regiments have mutinied and killed their Officers.  This rising is against the Govt., not against the war.  Nicky as at Headquarters.
How do you get that the King's many concern was about the war and not about his cousin? I agree with the FA on this, I think it does show that George was concerned about his cousin.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 11, 2007, 05:02:11 PM
Should read:

>>NIcky is at headquarters<<

GeorgeV's concern seem to be about the war and that those revolting were not talking about ending the war, and, not about Nicky, his cousin,  although,  he does mention that Nicky was at his headquarters.  However, this was not followed by  he hoped his cousin was safe or  thoughts about helping him in his time of need...

Did George V's concern for Nicky show up in some later entry in his diary?   

What I was trying to point out,  the King's first  concern was about how a revolt in Russia would affect England.

Sorry.   I failed to channel my thoughts to everyone.   8)   And,  I  obviously didn't  communicate  it in my post.

If I've failed, again,  on another point,  it'll have to wait until tomorrow to respond.  I have a party to prepare.

Da Da Dat's All Folks  [for today. ;D]

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 11, 2007, 05:15:55 PM
Perhaps the next time you speak with George V you can tell him how disappointed you were by his failure to formally express his concern for Nicky.

Hope the party is fun!  ;D
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 11, 2007, 05:20:08 PM
Geez Bear,
It is one brief diary entry and I find it difficult to determine from the one brief entry what the King was thinking or feeling at all.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 10:38:22 AM

..[in part]
What utter nonsense.  There must be a short circuit in your channeling device.

One of Nicholas' great failings is that he did not put the demands of being a ruler ahead of his personal life.

Did Nicholas II actually write somewhere that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?

--
As for George V,  despite what most historians believe,  I think he made  secret efforts to arrange various plots to rescue Nicholas II and his family.

I agree,  it is true,  one or two  lines in a diary of a King or Emp. does NOT tell the whole story.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 12, 2007, 11:12:04 AM
Did Nicholas II actually write somewhere that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?

Did Catherine II actualy write somewhere that she was planning a coup against her husband?  But the coup happened, didn't it?

I don't why the notion that actual events can convey motive and meaning is so difficult for you to grasp, Bear.  Why do other posters have to spend so much time helping you gas up for the next lap of the race?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 11:22:55 AM
Back on the 23 of Feb. 1917

Nicholas II wrote in his diary words that continue the theme of how he ruled as an autocrat.

He is writing to his wife:

>>What you write about being firm-- the master -- is perfectly true.  I do not forget it - be sure of that, but I need not bellow at the people right and left every moment.  A quiet sharp remark or answer is enough very often to put the one or the other into the [stet; their?] place.<<

24 Feb 1917

>>The last snowstorms,  which ended yesterday, along all our southwestern railway lines,  have placed the armies into a critical situation, if the trains cannot begin moving at once -- in 3 or 4 days real famine will break out among the troops.  Quite horribly angusihing<<

And then I found this!

26 Feb 1917:

This morning during service I felt an excrusiating pain in the middle of my chest which lasted for a quarter of an hour.

I could hardly stand and my forehead was covered with beads of sweat.

I cannot understand what it was.... 


I don't recall anyone,  historians or posters here on this thread,  talking about Nicholas II's health.  Was  it was possible that Nicholas II had a heart attack.... ???  ???  ???

Was this the first time he felt these pains?

If Nicholas II felt that he did have  a heart attack,  this places a completely different slant on why he might have abdicated  when he did.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 11:45:31 AM
Did Nicholas II actually write somewhere that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?

Did Catherine II actualy write somewhere that she was planning a coup against her husband?  But the coup happened, didn't it?

I don't why the notion that actual events can convey motive and meaning is so difficult for you to grasp, Bear.  Why do other posters have to spend so much time helping you gas up for the next lap of the race?

Is this a "yes"  or a "no"  about you having something which the  Tsar wrote which you can post which tells us that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?  Or is it  a feeling  [educated deduction; assumption; whatever....] you have after reading all the books, letters, ect. etc.  about Nicholas II which drew you toward this conclusion? 

I  assume you weren't channeling.  ;)

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 12, 2007, 12:10:28 PM
To take but one example, it is known through documentation that Stolypin, Sandro, Ella, and others warned Nicholas that Rasputin was critically damaging the reputation of the monarchy.  Instead of dealing with that damage as his first priority, Nicholas let the damage accumulate in order to keep his wife off his back.  In fact, Nicholas was reported to have told Stolypin in one of their discussions that he would rather deal with 10 Rasputins than with one hysterical wife.

I don't need to channel Nicholas to understand that one's decisions stand as evidence of one's priorities. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 12, 2007, 12:35:03 PM
 :-X
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 12:53:16 PM
To take but one example, it is known through documentation that Stolypin, Sandro, Ella, and others warned Nicholas that Rasputin was critically damaging the reputation of the monarchy.  Instead of dealing with that damage as his first priority, Nicholas let the damage accumulate in order to keep his wife off his back.  In fact, Nicholas was reported to have told Stolypin in one of their discussions that he would rather deal with 10 Rasputins than with one hysterical wife.

I don't need to channel Nicholas to understand that one's decisions stand as evidence of one's priorities. 

An excellent example on how Alexandra failed Nicholas II. 

And,  what of Rasputin?  Did he betray Nicholas II?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 12, 2007, 03:43:59 PM
Yes, Bear, yes he did. Alexandra betrayed Nicholas, and Rasputin betrayed Nicholas, and Ella betrayed Nicholas, and Sandro betrayed Nicholas, and Kerensky betrayed Nicholas, and Alexeyev betrayed Nicholas, and I can't even begin to tell you who else --- oh, wait, yes I can. You betray Nicholas with your use of him as something to work out personal issues. I have no idea who "betrayed" you in your past, but dear God, I wish we could find the person and make him/her apologize so you could move on.

Bear, this is an historical posting board, not Therapy Iz Us.

Was the party fun?

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 12, 2007, 05:02:58 PM
Simon, the short answer is that everybody betrayed Nicholas II and so he deserved to be betrayed.

A hundred points to me.

Sincerely yours,

Elisabeth
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 05:13:41 PM
Why, why, why are you reading posts in threads that drive you up the wall?

The title of this thread is very plain,  "Who Betrayed Nicholas II".

You may not be interested in why all these people betrayed Nicholas II, it's OKAY  with me.  But can we stop with the personal issues because like you just said,  this is a historical thread.  It's about people who felt it was important  to do more than talk about going against their Tsar,  they actually did.   That took great courage.   I'd like to know about these people and why they felt it was necessary at that particular time in hsitory of Russia.

I've learned about Gen Alekeev and Gapon,   how people feel about giving oaths,  and that you feel everyone betrayed  Nicholas II.

Tomorrow,  I might learn about the other generals.    Margarita gave us some of those names many pages ago. 

When people get tired of this topic,  we'll jump over to the next thread  and the next.... 

What is knowledge for anyway?

Knowlege is the antidote to everything  we should fear.

AGRBear


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 12, 2007, 05:47:46 PM
Why, why, why are you reading posts in threads that drive you up the wall?

The title of this thread is very plain,  "Who Betrayed Nicholas II".

You may not be interested in why all these people betrayed Nicholas II, it's OKAY  with me.  But can we stop with the personal issues because like you just said,  this is a historical thread.

Bear, forgive me for being so blunt, but the question of Nicholas's intelligence and competence are very much historical questions. Nicholas II was a historical figure. And if, as you and Belochka and vladm have been arguing, everyone in Russia betrayed him - from the generals to the nobility to the Church to the peasantry and so on and so forth - then all I am saying is, perhaps it's because he deserved[/b] to be betrayed? Because he was a bad ruler - worse yet, a bad autocrat, at a pivotal time in his nation's history, when bad leadership inevitably resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 06:18:13 PM


Why, why, why are you reading posts in threads that drive you up the wall?

The title of this thread is very plain,  "Who Betrayed Nicholas II".

You may not be interested in why all these people betrayed Nicholas II, it's OKAY  with me.  But can we stop with the personal issues because like you just said,  this is a historical thread.

Bear, forgive me for being so blunt, but the question of Nicholas's intelligence and competence are very much historical questions. Nicholas II was a historical figure. And if, as you and Belochka and vladm have been arguing, everyone in Russia betrayed him - from the generals to the nobility to the Church to the peasantry and so on and so forth - then all I am saying is, perhaps it's because he deserved[/b] to be betrayed? Because he was a bad ruler - worse yet, a bad autocrat, at a pivotal time in his nation's history, when bad leadership inevitably resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives?

No agument from me.

If you had been reading my posts,  you would have known I agree.  Nicholas II was a weak leader.  And, yes, people betrayed him.  Who were they and what were their reasons?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 06:40:03 PM
[So,  who gave this oath and broke their oath? 

AGRBear

To pacify Bear  ;) this is the list of the other recipients of General Alexeyev's communication that were not mentioned previously:

Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich (Caucasian front),
General Sakharov (Rumanian front),
General Brusilov (South-Western Front),
General Evert (Western Front),
Admiral Nepein, (Baltic Fleet),
Admiral Kolchak (Black See Fleet).

Margarita

Did all these men agree with Alekseev that Nicholas II should abdicate immediately?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 12, 2007, 06:59:02 PM
Sir Peter Bark, Minister of Finance was an eyewitness at Stavka.

He stated:

"Thus the army abandoned its chief. The Emperor had no choice but to sign the abdication act which had been imposed upon him."

Acording to Bark, Alexeyev's communications to the commanders did not permit any other solution.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 12, 2007, 07:22:12 PM
... And if, as you and Belochka and vladm have been arguing, everyone in Russia betrayed him - from the generals to the nobility to the Church to the peasantry and so on and so forth - then all I am saying is, perhaps it's because he deserved[/b] to be betrayed? Because he was a bad ruler - worse yet, a bad autocrat, at a pivotal time in his nation's history, when bad leadership inevitably resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives?

Then there is nothing left to discuss ....

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 12, 2007, 07:32:54 PM
...[in part]...

26 Feb 1917:

This morning during service I felt an excrusiating pain in the middle of my chest which lasted for a quarter of an hour.

I could hardly stand and my forehead was covered with beads of sweat.

I cannot understand what it was.... 


I don't recall anyone,  historians or posters here on this thread,  talking about Nicholas II's health.  Was  it was possible that Nicholas II had a heart attack.... ???  ???  ???

Was this the first time he felt these pains?

If Nicholas II felt that he did have  a heart attack,  this places a completely different slant on why he might have abdicated  when he did.

AGRBear

Even his heart seem to have betrayed him.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 12, 2007, 08:48:57 PM
Bear ... And if, as you and Belochka and vladm have been arguing, everyone in Russia betrayed him - from the generals to the nobility to the Church to the peasantry and so on and so forth - then all I am saying is, perhaps it's because he deserved[/b] to be betrayed ...

Simon, the short answer is that everybody betrayed Nicholas II and so he deserved to be betrayed.

A hundred points to me.

No Elizabeth,

The loyalty points are really mine, and I prefer to share them around.

History tells us that there were no prizes for betrayal.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 12, 2007, 10:21:20 PM
... And if, as you and Belochka and vladm have been arguing, everyone in Russia betrayed him - from the generals to the nobility to the Church to the peasantry and so on and so forth - then all I am saying is, perhaps it's because he deserved[/b] to be betrayed? Because he was a bad ruler - worse yet, a bad autocrat, at a pivotal time in his nation's history, when bad leadership inevitably resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives?

Then there is nothing left to discuss ....

Margarita

Margarita,

Perhaps not for you and Bear. The rest of us are doing nicely with the topic, thanks. I am sure that Nicholas appreciates the loyalty (especially since it seems to be fueled by emotions and reasons he would understand). The two of you have nothing further to demonstrate concerning either your scholarship levels or allegiance to the throne. Now may the rest of us please get on with the discussion, ignoring the attempts to dodge all over the map (Bear, you did so call him a terrorist) and shoddy scholarly support for your arguments (deicidal culture, my foot) in favor of rational historical discourse?

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: grandduchessella on February 12, 2007, 10:49:40 PM
Back on the 23 of Feb. 1917

And then I found this!

26 Feb 1917:

This morning during service I felt an excrusiating pain in the middle of my chest which lasted for a quarter of an hour.

I could hardly stand and my forehead was covered with beads of sweat.

I cannot understand what it was.... 


I don't recall anyone,  historians or posters here on this thread,  talking about Nicholas II's health.  Was  it was possible that Nicholas II had a heart attack.... ???  ???  ???

Was this the first time he felt these pains?

If Nicholas II felt that he did have  a heart attack,  this places a completely different slant on why he might have abdicated  when he did.

AGRBear

They are all symptoms of, amongst other things, severe anxiety or an anxiety attack. Not unusual given the circumstances.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 13, 2007, 12:31:50 AM
With the monarchy swept aside under the fervor of nationalism, the notion of new found civil liberties were curiously defined indeed:

. the right to preach armed insurrection,
. mutiny,
. and desertion.

In addition to freedom of speech and assembly the Provisional Government guaranteed the people the right:

. to sedition,
. to loot,
. to confiscate private property,
. to lynch.

and the right to paranoia.

Now who was it that betrayed Imperial Russia and her sovereign?

One can perhaps fully understand Lenin's dictum that the "Provisional Government had transformed Russia from a decrepit despotic state into the freest country in the world."

No wonder he arrived on the scene to restrain this interpretation of democracy.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 13, 2007, 06:10:07 AM

In addition to freedom of speech and assembly the Provisional Government guaranteed the people the right:

. to sedition,
. to loot,
. to confiscate private property,
. to lynch.

and the right to paranoia.

Could you cite the specific legislative acts that conferred these new rights on the populace?  I'd be particularly interested to see the wording of a statute that established the right to paranoia.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 13, 2007, 11:07:20 AM

... Bear, you did so call him a terroris...

Simon

I called who a terrorist?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 13, 2007, 11:16:12 AM
Back on the 23 of Feb. 1917

And then I found this!

26 Feb 1917:

This morning during service I felt an excrusiating pain in the middle of my chest which lasted for a quarter of an hour.

I could hardly stand and my forehead was covered with beads of sweat.

I cannot understand what it was.... 


I don't recall anyone,  historians or posters here on this thread,  talking about Nicholas II's health.  Was  it was possible that Nicholas II had a heart attack.... ???  ???  ???

Was this the first time he felt these pains?

If Nicholas II felt that he did have  a heart attack,  this places a completely different slant on why he might have abdicated  when he did.

AGRBear

They are all symptoms of, amongst other things, severe anxiety or an anxiety attack. Not unusual given the circumstances.

Is this your opinion or was this opinion of the doctors who were with Nicholas II.

Did anyone even know what "anxiety" attacks were in 1917?

Without all the modern medical stuff we have these days,  how would Nicholas II or the doctors know if this attack wasn't a real heart attack?

If  Nicholas II thought  he had a heart attack,  this places a different slant on why he might have abdicated when he did.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 13, 2007, 11:21:23 AM
Did Nicholas II actually write somewhere that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?

Did Catherine II actualy write somewhere that she was planning a coup against her husband?  But the coup happened, didn't it?

I don't why the notion that actual events can convey motive and meaning is so difficult for you to grasp, Bear.  Why do other posters have to spend so much time helping you gas up for the next lap of the race?

Is this a "yes"  or a "no"  about you having something which the  Tsar wrote which you can post which tells us that he placed his personal life before his duty as Tsar?  Or is it  a feeling  [educated deduction; assumption; whatever....] you have after reading all the books, letters, ect. etc.  about Nicholas II which drew you toward this conclusion? 

I  assume you weren't channeling.  ;)

AGRBear

I guess it's  a "no"  .

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 13, 2007, 11:30:48 AM
Is this your opinion or was this opinion of the doctors who were with Nicholas II.

Did anyone even know what "anxiety" attacks were in 1917?

Without all the modern medical stuff we have these days,  how would Nicholas II or the doctors know if this attack wasn't a real heart attack?

If  Nicholas II thought  he had a heart attack,  this places a different slant on why he might have abdicated when he did.

The man had access to the best medical care at the time of this attack.  He chopped wood and shovelled snow -- both very strenuous activities -- for exercise during his captivity.

Now you're suddenly speculating that he might have abdicated because of a heart attack . . . something never mentioned in his diaries or correspondence, or surmised by anyone else at the time?

For God's sake, Bear . . . how many wild chases can one goose run off on?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 13, 2007, 11:40:30 AM
LITTLE MOTHER OF RUSSIA  by Coryne Hall p.  273:

>>In the wake of Nickholas ' visit Dagmar was distressed.  Once again she had failed to make him see that the influence of Alicky and Rasputin was endangering the dynasty.  According to Pince Youssoupov,  she wrote to her son "begging him to send Rasputin away and to forbid the 'Tsarina to interfer in affairs of state'. Nicholas told his wife and she broke off relations with the family.  The Tsar and Tsarina sent no Christmas presents to the Grand Dukes or their families that year.<<

This was in 1916.

Rasputin's murers were placed on trial.

Dagmar wrote, again, to her son,  Nicholas II  p.277:

>> Dagmar followed his with a tactful letter, expressing her worry and distress that she had been unable to help during the last trying months.  Then she came to the subject upper most in her mind, "One should reach in oneself and forgive....  I am sure you are aware yourself how deeply you have offended all the family by your brusque reply, throwing at their heads a dreadful and entirely unjustified accusation.  I hope also... that you will alleviate the fate of Dimitri Pavlovich by not leaving him in Persia whre the climate is so dreaful... [he hd tuberculouis].  It is not like you with your kind heart to behave in this way;  it upsets me very much."<<

>>...Nicholas does seem to have suffered a nervous collapse.  Ministers and Ambassadaors were shocked by the change of his appearance.  Rumors circulated that the Empress was giving im drugs...<<

p. 278

>>,,,Dagmar was worried about the curret state of affairs.  On 19th January 1917 she noted her concern in her diary, again adding her wish that Nicholas  would stop followng his wife's disastrous counsel.  She now received few letters from Nicholas.   Sandro and Felix hoped that once the Tsar was back to the front,  they and the Dowager Empess could descend upon Petrograd.  There they would have Protopopov and Alicky and her confiddante Ann Vyrubova be sent to the Crimea.  Only by this course of action, Felix felt, could disaster be avoided.<<

The plot thickens.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 13, 2007, 11:43:23 AM
Well, something's thickening.

Anyway. . .
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 13, 2007, 11:51:57 AM
Is this your opinion or was this opinion of the doctors who were with Nicholas II.

Did anyone even know what "anxiety" attacks were in 1917?

Without all the modern medical stuff we have these days,  how would Nicholas II or the doctors know if this attack wasn't a real heart attack?

If  Nicholas II thought  he had a heart attack,  this places a different slant on why he might have abdicated when he did.

The man had access to the best medical care at the time of this attack.  He chopped wood and shovelled snow -- both very strenuous activities -- for exercise during his captivity.

Now you're suddenly speculating that he might have abdicated because of a heart attack . . . something never mentioned in his diaries or correspondence, or surmised by anyone else at the time?

For God's sake, Bear . . . how many wild chases can one goose run off on?

Just because you or I haven't been aware of it until, now,  doesn't mean this is a wild goose chase.   

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

Being the age I am,  and hearing stories from my friends who, just, now,  are admitting that maybe they had early signs of heart attacks,   it is common knowledge that  people go into denial about their hearts.

Just last week,   I was at a funeral of  one of my son's friends,  he was only 45.    A wake up call for my son's group.  I told them,  hey,  your friend was in good shape,  he had collasped on the golf course...  The heart can fail anyone at any time.   Or in Nicholas II's case,  it was giving him a huge warning when he was highly stressed.

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 13, 2007, 12:00:45 PM
Just because you or I haven't been aware of it until, now, doesn't mean this is a wild goose chase.

Bear, I read the diary entry years ago, and it has been known to historians of the period for years.

It has not become a topic of serious examination by anyone because nothing  in succeeding events or correspondence suggests it had the least bearing on Nicholas' decision to abdicate.

That is, of course, until you belatedly came across it and managed to elevate it to a significance that has eluded everyone else.  Of course, everyone else is deprived of your talent of coherent analysis.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 13, 2007, 12:19:47 PM
Dagmar was worried about the curret state of affairs.  On 19th January 1917 she noted her concern in her diary, again adding her wish that Nicholas  would stop followng his wife's disastrous counsel.  She now received few letters from Nicholas.   Sandro and Felix hoped that once the Tsar was back to the front,  they and the Dowager Empess could descend upon Petrograd.  There they would have Protopopov and Alicky and her confiddante Ann Vyrubova be sent to the Crimea.

So, the Little Mother was up to a little treason.

Actually there has been some discussion over the years of whether Marie might not have gone further and considered marshalling the family to stage a coup against Nicholas himself.  The problem, of course, was that the morganatic marriage of Michael presented the dilemma to Marie of thereby moving the line of succession to a lateral branch of the family.  (But then, she was probably more realistic than Nicholas and Alexandra in having already confronted the reality that Alexei was unlikely to live to rule or to propagate the line.)

Such were the desperate straits to which Nicholas had driven his own family.  For them, as for his military commanders and the few remaining competent ministers, the choice had become one of standing by God's Annointed or of tacitly furthering the destruction of the dynasty and Russia.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 13, 2007, 12:21:28 PM

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear

Bear, you're probably thinking of Nicholas's diary entry for March 11, 1917, quoted in Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra:

"A vivid warning signal on the state of his health flashed on Sunday morning, March 11. As he stood in church, Nicholas suffered 'an excruciating pain in the chest' which lasted for fifteen minutes. 'I could hardly stand the service out,' he wrote, 'and my forehead was covered with drops of perspiration. I cannot understand what it could have been because I had no palpitation of the heart.... If this occurs again, I shall tell Fedorov [the doctor].' The symptoms are those of a coronary occlusion" (Massie, p. 390).

I don't know on what basis Massie concludes that Nicholas II had had a coronary occlusion (I assume he consulted with a doctor or two). But certainly, from the description Nicholas gives, it doesn't sound like any panic or anxiety attack I've ever heard of (I thought these were characterized by a pounding or racing heartbeat, whereas Nicholas states quite specifically that he felt no "palpitation of the heart").

Whatever this was, a coronary occlusion or something else, it occurred four days before Nicholas's abdication, and, it would seem, only hours before he learned that the rioting in Petrograd had reached alarming proportions (according to Massie, he was informed of the seriousness of the situation only on the evening of March 11).

It's also obvious from at least one of his ministers' remembrances that Nicholas had been approaching a state of nervous collapse for some time before the March Revolution. Kokovstov recorded his impressions of the tsar during an interview on February 1: "During the year that I had not seen him, he had become almost unrecognizable. His face had become very thin and hollow and covered with small wrinkles. His eyes...had become quite faded and wandered aimlessly from object to object.... The face of the Tsar bore an expression of helplessness.... the Tsar listened to me with the same sickly smile, glancing nervously about him....[asked] a question which to me seemed perfectly simple...the Tsar became reduced to a perfectly incomprehensible state of helplessness. The strange, almost vacant smile remained fixed on his face; he looked at me as if to seek support and to ask me to remind him of a matter that had absolutely slipped his memory.... For a long time, he looked at me in silence as if trying to collect his thoughts or to recall what had escaped his memory" (Kokovstov, quoted in Massie, pp. 365-366).

Massie notes of this interview that Kokovstov left it "in tears. Outside, he found Dr. Botkin and Count Paul Benckendorff... 'Do you not see the state of the tsar?' he asked. 'He is on the verge of some mental disturbance if not already in its power.' Botkin and Benckendorff both said that Nicholas was not ill, merely tired. Nevertheless, Kokovstov returned to Petrograd with the strong impression 'that the Tsar was seriously ill and that his illness was of a nervous character'" (Massie, p. 366).

To me it seems quite clear that once the initial horror of deciding to abdicate was over, and all the burdens of office and a disastrous war had been lifted off his shoulders once and for all, Nicholas experienced his abdication as a relief. If we are to believe the memoirs of Gibbes, this sense of relief appears to have lasted until news of the Bolshevik takeover reached the former emperor in exile in Tobolsk less than a year later.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 13, 2007, 02:53:56 PM
Eliz., that might explain why he failed to ask for a settlement and safe transport at least for his children. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: grandduchessella on February 13, 2007, 05:08:47 PM
Is this your opinion or was this opinion of the doctors who were with Nicholas II.

Did anyone even know what "anxiety" attacks were in 1917?

Without all the modern medical stuff we have these days,  how would Nicholas II or the doctors know if this attack wasn't a real heart attack?

If  Nicholas II thought  he had a heart attack,  this places a different slant on why he might have abdicated when he did.


It wasn't my opinion or not. I was just stating that these are symptoms of severe anxiety or an anxiety attack--not necessarily indicative of a heart attack--but something that could conceivably be suffered by Nicholas II at such a time.

I'm not a medical expert--though I am unfortunately rather familiar with anxiety attacks--but I believe there was some knowledge of the condition, or at least about 'nerves', at the time.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: grandduchessella on February 13, 2007, 05:17:04 PM

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear

Bear, you're probably thinking of Nicholas's diary entry for March 11, 1917, quoted in Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra:

"A vivid warning signal on the state of his health flashed on Sunday morning, March 11. As he stood in church, Nicholas suffered 'an excruciating pain in the chest' which lasted for fifteen minutes. 'I could hardly stand the service out,' he wrote, 'and my forehead was covered with drops of perspiration. I cannot understand what it could have been because I had no palpitation of the heart.... If this occurs again, I shall tell Fedorov [the doctor].' The symptoms are those of a coronary occlusion" (Massie, p. 390).

I don't know on what basis Massie concludes that Nicholas II had had a coronary occlusion (I assume he consulted with a doctor or two). But certainly, from the description Nicholas gives, it doesn't sound like any panic or anxiety attack I've ever heard of (I thought these were characterized by a pounding or racing heartbeat, whereas Nicholas states quite specifically that he felt no "palpitation of the heart").


In referencing an anxiety attack, I was going by Bear's description which mentioned heart pain but nothing about the racing (or not) of the heart. Also, suffering from severe anxiety--but not an anxiety attack--can lead to heart pain and the other symptoms listed.

Anyway, it seems rather off-topic as to the subject of Betrayal. Isn't there another thread already dealing with the circumstances of the Abdication?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: ChristineM on February 14, 2007, 05:28:04 AM
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   There is more than one report of Nicholas II suffering chest pain.   If I recall correctly another, again, comes from his own diary when he stated suffering a severe, crushing pain in the chest while he was out for a Sunday afternoon walk ' on the ??? road'.   Perhaps someone else will recall this entry with greater accuracy.   I am not aware of any diagnostic tool which aided the diagnosis of myocardial infarction in 1917.    The diagnosis was symptom-led by which time the patient was usually dead.   They certainly did not have access to electrocardiogram machines and etc.

I don't think Bear is necessarily chasing geese - wild or domestic - here.   Historically, perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the physical and mental state of the Tsar by March 1917.   This is understandable in view of the cataclysmic events exploding all around.   I think there is every chance Nicholas II did suffer at least two heart attacks in the lead up to the abdication.    He was within the 'perfect' age range.   The description of 'crushing' type pain is typical.   The kind of stress to which he exposed himself would have been sufficient to induce an arrest in the heart of an elephant.   In 1917, no medic would have advised against physical activity of the kind - digging and shovelling snow.   In fact, given Nicholas' history, he would have found these activities positively therapeutic.   

There is also evidence - some of which is cited here - of some form of mental collapse.   It would have been all the more extraordinary had the Tsar not manifested mental/emothional symptoms.   Of course his doctor and advisers would insist their 'boss' was just a bit tired - what else would you expect?   'The emperor is in the midst of a serious physical and mental collapse'?

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: grandduchessella on February 14, 2007, 07:38:48 AM
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       



It's just that the discussion of whether he had a heart attack or not didn't seem pertinent to the discussion of who betrayed him--unless it's considered that his own body did as well as those around him. It seemed more relevant to one of the threads discussing the circumstances of his abdication--such as the 'Did Nicholas Have to Abdicate' thread. I would suggest that since this page is nearing 40 pages already, such a side-topic going on more than a few posts takes the thread off-topic.

That other thread is located here:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,8181.0.html

and is only 8 pages long so there's plenty of room for discussion.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: ChristineM on February 14, 2007, 08:47:26 AM
Within these semantic boundaries, can you allow for the possibility that the knowledge of being betrayed impacted on the Tsar's health in general, and heart in particular?

tsaria
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 14, 2007, 08:52:35 AM
I think the discussion of Nicholas' health issues relating from stress, as aggravated by what Nicholas himself believed was betrayal by those close to him is ok, so long as the discussion does not overshadow the main point of the betrayal and not focus on the health issues too much.

FA
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 14, 2007, 08:56:00 AM
Tsaria,

The word "betray" has such narrow meaning as to make it difficult to use. To knowingly betray someone is to do it with full awareness of the one's action as wrong. If you look at the action from the point of view of the one betrayed --- well, I posted a few pages back that in that case Nicholas was "betrayed" by everyone who failed to carry out his will, and some people seem to have agreed. If you look at it from the viewpoint of the one setting aside his/her oath, then it sometimes becomes a subsidiary action to fulfilling the oath --- to God --- in a higher sense. The problem with the word "betray" is that it has undeniable perjorative connotations. I would be much happier to say "Who set aside his oath to Nicholas?". It allows for a variety of reasons as to why, including simple expediency.

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: ChristineM on February 14, 2007, 11:21:05 AM
Of course it is perfectly possible to betray someone knowing the action is wrong, while at the same time justifying the action in the belief that the betrayal is for the greater good - the end justifying the means.

Could this have been what Bear was reaching for when she initiated this thread?   Somehow I don't think so.

Perhaps what you are suggesting Simon - 'Who set aside his oath to Nicholas' - leaves open to interpretation, flexibility and discussion, whether an individual's action was one of omission or commission.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 14, 2007, 11:35:36 AM
I think what tripped discussion up on this thread was the imprecision of the original meaning. No disrespect to the creator of the thread, but "betrayed" is a charged word that allows for too wide a variety of interpretations. Which we have certainly seen, obviously.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 09:33:09 AM
I've explained my intentions many times.  Here are two:

This discussion  is NOT about how "Nicholas II betrayed himself".    This thread is NOT about how Nicholas II failed others it is about "who betrayed Tsar Nicholas II".   There are other threads where you can discuss how you feel that Nicholas II betrayed / failed as Tsar.

Of course,  with each individual or groups of people named as having betrayed Nicholas II,   a poster  can give the reasons why they (the betrayers)  felt   it necessary to "betray"  their Tsar Nicholas II.

In a book I just brought called SCENANRIOS OF POWER, MYTH AND CEREMONY IN RUSSIAN MONARCHY  by Richard S. Wortman  he states the following on page:

He tells us that Nicholas II: 

>>...felt not disillusioned but betrayed.  "All around there is treason, cowardice, and deceit," he wrote in his diary." 
.....[in part]...

AGRBear




Betray:
1) To give aid or information to an enemy of
2) To deliver into the hands of an enemy in volation of a trust or  alligiance
3) To divulge in a breach of confidence
4) To make known unintentionally
5) To reval against one's desire or will
6) To lead astray, deceive

Enemy:
1) One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes another; a foe
2a) A hostile power or force, such as a nation
2b) A member or unit of such a force
3) A group of foes or hostil forces
4)  Something destructive or injurious in its effect

I believe a conspirator falls under an enemy:

Conspirtator:
1) One that engages in a conspiracy

Conspiracy:
1) An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
2) A group of conspirators
3) Law.  An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal actions
4) A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design....

Strictly speaking: If a General of the Tsar's Army breaks his oath to his Tsar,  who has not abdicated which released the General  from their oath, and conspires to have the Tsar  removed and replaced by another,  I believe the conspirator has  "betrayed" his Tsar,  even if the conspirator had legitmate reasons which would have been for the betterment of Russia.

.... [in part]

AGRBear


Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 10:32:34 AM
>>On March 21st the Tsar signed his last order to the troops in which, among other things, he asked the troops to obey the provisional government.  This order was not given to the troops by General Alekseyev in accordance with instructions from Guchkov...
...The [military] representatives of the Allied Powers who were at the general headquarters wanted to accompany the Tsar's train [to Tsarkoye Selo] to insure his safety, but General Alekseyev declared to General Williams that there was no necessity to do so since the train would reach its destination safely...
...The news that some represetatives of the new government had come to fetch the Tsar was concealed.  That is,  it was not known that from that moment on, the Tsar found himself under arrest and lost his liberty.  All instructions now came from the deputies who had arrived...
...Only after the Tsar's departure from Mogilev did it become known that the provisional government had arrested him.  Such a base decision of the provisional government could be carried out only because of the secretivness surrounding the govenment's plans.  But if knowledge of this [intent] had come earlier in Mogilev--neither those in charge [of the mioligary establishment], nor the garrison, nor the inhjabitatnts of the town would have so easily let the Tsar go.  One can assume that General Alekseyev, the Chief of Staff, knowing about the orders of the provisional goverment, was already beginning to have second thoughts about his false orientation.

The oath of allegiance to the provisional government was staken only the day after the Tsar left [Mogilev], but if the directive of the provisional government regarding the arrest had become known not at the moment of the Train's departure, but even an hour earlier, then, despite the Tsar's words of farewell in which he asked [the troops] to "serve the provisional government," etc. one can be entirely certain the the Tsar's order asking the troops to give loyalty to the provisional government would not have been carried out and they would have acted differently....<<

pp. 125 to 126
WINDOWS ON THE RIVER NEVA by Paul Grabbe, who father had been Commander of the Tsar's "Konvoy" [Cossacks;  the Tsar's military escort].


These few lines tells us  Gen. Alekseyev was part of a conspiracy which resulted in their Tsar to abdicate. Therefore, Gen. Alekseyev betrayed Nicholas II.

AGRBear



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 10:41:00 AM
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   There is more than one report of Nicholas II suffering chest pain.   If I recall correctly another, again, comes from his own diary when he stated suffering a severe, crushing pain in the chest while he was out for a Sunday afternoon walk ' on the ??? road'.   Perhaps someone else will recall this entry with greater accuracy.   I am not aware of any diagnostic tool which aided the diagnosis of myocardial infarction in 1917.    The diagnosis was symptom-led by which time the patient was usually dead.   They certainly did not have access to electrocardiogram machines and etc.

I don't think Bear is necessarily chasing geese - wild or domestic - here.   Historically, perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the physical and mental state of the Tsar by March 1917.   This is understandable in view of the cataclysmic events exploding all around.   I think there is every chance Nicholas II did suffer at least two heart attacks in the lead up to the abdication.    He was within the 'perfect' age range.   The description of 'crushing' type pain is typical.   The kind of stress to which he exposed himself would have been sufficient to induce an arrest in the heart of an elephant.   In 1917, no medic would have advised against physical activity of the kind - digging and shovelling snow.   In fact, given Nicholas' history, he would have found these activities positively therapeutic.   

There is also evidence - some of which is cited here - of some form of mental collapse.   It would have been all the more extraordinary had the Tsar not manifested mental/emothional symptoms.   Of course his doctor and advisers would insist their 'boss' was just a bit tired - what else would you expect?   'The emperor is in the midst of a serious physical and mental collapse'?

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       



Thank you Tsaria.

If the Tsar believed he  had not just one but several heart attacks,  I think this fact is VERY important to this topic which surrounds Nicholas II's abdication.

I think the discussion of Nicholas' health issues relating from stress, as aggravated by what Nicholas himself believed was betrayal by those close to him is ok, so long as the discussion does not overshadow the main point of the betrayal and not focus on the health issues too much.

FA


As to the definition,  the act of treason, which falls under the definition of "betral",  is exactly what Gen. Alekseyev achieved the moment he started to conspire with others to remove his Tsar and replace him with someone else.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 10:58:35 AM

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear

Bear, you're probably thinking of Nicholas's diary entry for March 11, 1917, quoted in Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra:

"A vivid warning signal on the state of his health flashed on Sunday morning, March 11. As he stood in church, Nicholas suffered 'an excruciating pain in the chest' which lasted for fifteen minutes. 'I could hardly stand the service out,' he wrote, 'and my forehead was covered with drops of perspiration. I cannot understand what it could have been because I had no palpitation of the heart.... If this occurs again, I shall tell Fedorov [the doctor].' The symptoms are those of a coronary occlusion" (Massie, p. 390).

I don't know on what basis Massie concludes that Nicholas II had had a coronary occlusion (I assume he consulted with a doctor or two). But certainly, from the description Nicholas gives, it doesn't sound like any panic or anxiety attack I've ever heard of (I thought these were characterized by a pounding or racing heartbeat, whereas Nicholas states quite specifically that he felt no "palpitation of the heart").

Whatever this was, a coronary occlusion or something else, it occurred four days before Nicholas's abdication, and, it would seem, only hours before he learned that the rioting in Petrograd had reached alarming proportions (according to Massie, he was informed of the seriousness of the situation only on the evening of March 11).

It's also obvious from at least one of his ministers' remembrances that Nicholas had been approaching a state of nervous collapse for some time before the March Revolution. Kokovstov recorded his impressions of the tsar during an interview on February 1: "During the year that I had not seen him, he had become almost unrecognizable. His face had become very thin and hollow and covered with small wrinkles. His eyes...had become quite faded and wandered aimlessly from object to object.... The face of the Tsar bore an expression of helplessness.... the Tsar listened to me with the same sickly smile, glancing nervously about him....[asked] a question which to me seemed perfectly simple...the Tsar became reduced to a perfectly incomprehensible state of helplessness. The strange, almost vacant smile remained fixed on his face; he looked at me as if to seek support and to ask me to remind him of a matter that had absolutely slipped his memory.... For a long time, he looked at me in silence as if trying to collect his thoughts or to recall what had escaped his memory" (Kokovstov, quoted in Massie, pp. 365-366).

Massie notes of this interview that Kokovstov left it "in tears. Outside, he found Dr. Botkin and Count Paul Benckendorff... 'Do you not see the state of the tsar?' he asked. 'He is on the verge of some mental disturbance if not already in its power.' Botkin and Benckendorff both said that Nicholas was not ill, merely tired. Nevertheless, Kokovstov returned to Petrograd with the strong impression 'that the Tsar was seriously ill and that his illness was of a nervous character'" (Massie, p. 366).

To me it seems quite clear that once the initial horror of deciding to abdicate was over, and all the burdens of office and a disastrous war had been lifted off his shoulders once and for all, Nicholas experienced his abdication as a relief. If we are to believe the memoirs of Gibbes, this sense of relief appears to have lasted until news of the Bolshevik takeover reached the former emperor in exile in Tobolsk less than a year later.

Thank you Elisabeth.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 15, 2007, 11:27:45 AM
Bear,

Once more into the breach. The word I used was "imprecise", and it is used in regard to the word "betray". If you set up your own definition of the word, then of course General Alexeyev meets it. I am no longer trying to convince you that do not understand what (1) an oath means or (2) what betrayal means. I accept the fact that you are satisfied with the definitions of both that you have advanced. I am not, and neither are several others posting to this thread. If you don't understand that, I am at a loss.

If I set up a thread called "Who Did Nicholas II Murder?" and defined murder as simply the taking of a human life, and assigned him responsibility for the actions of his subordinates, then I could call Nicholas II a murderer on the basis of the pogroms that were allowed. I could also call him a murderer because he sent millions to their deaths in World War I. I could say that he violated his oath to God to defend his subjects since he, in fact, murdered them.

Of course, my definition of murder in the above paragraph is incorrect because it is incomplete. It does not deal with the complexities of the situation in which Nicholas and his subordinates found themselves. It does not take into consideration generally accepted defintions of the exercise of authority, the use of military power, etc.

Now substitute the word "betray" for "murder". The word you chose is equally limited in meaning, i.e. you seem to understand what you mean by it ---- but many of us do not, or do not accept your definition because it is too broad, too narrow, too idiosyncratric.

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 11:59:22 AM
Simon,

I am not going to make it easier for you by narrowing the definition of what is meant for people to have "betrayed"  Nicholas II before his abdication.

People are in error when they think that  small unimportant betrayals do NOT affect many people, because betrayls  touch everyone to some degree.  In this case small and large betrayals to the Tsar caused two things which are very important to understand.  Nicholas II was raised to think as an autocract.  Those who betrayed Nicholas II took not only his crown they tried to change the entire system of govt. without preparation and in a middle of a war which left the avenue open for  men like Lenin and Stalin to rise into power over the Russians.

Sometimes I think it's true,  the roads to heaven and hell are paved with good intentions.

AGRBear






 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 15, 2007, 12:18:52 PM
Thank you Elisabeth.

Bear, I understand your desperation at this point, but please do not quote me in support of your bizarre ideas. If I can see Nicholas II as a suffering human being, who was in the throes of some kind of nervous collapse in March 1917, that doesn't mean I support your thesis that he had this nervous collapse because he felt betrayed by everybody in his immediate proximity (wife, ministers, Duma deputies, generals, - I'm surprised you haven't included his children as well!). On the contrary, I think his nervous collapse was a direct response to the recent defeats of the Russian army and the atrocious casualty figures pouring in from the front... how many dead and wounded? Look it up. Nicholas II was on the brink of a breakdown precisely because he was not a pathological monster, like Hitler or Stalin, but because he knew and felt that he was directly responsible for the thousands upon thousands of deaths that were occurring daily in his name, not only as Tsar, but also as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army.

Look at Bush, look how much he's aged in the last six months alone. You know, I despise Bush and all his works, but you can see the man is suffering to some extent. He honestly does not understand where he went wrong. Thousands of Americans have gone to their deaths in the last several years, Iraq is still not secure, and yet he still doesn't "get it." Leaders, even bad and incompetent leaders (I'm not talking about truly evil leaders like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Saddam), have some sense of their responsibility to the dead and their families, some sense that they are acting like gods in dispensing death for the sake of a higher cause. This is an awesome responsibility for anyone, but especially for men as limited in their abilities as Nicholas II and for that matter Bush - thoroughly ordinary men, who in any other situation would no doubt be regarded as upright, conscientious pillars of the community. Instead they're saddled with these moral burdens of truly biblical proportions - and as ordinary men, of course, they cannot meet the challenge. They fail. They have nervous breakdowns. Or they give incoherent press conferences. Etc. None of this means they're "betrayed" if their country starts looking around for better, more competent, and saner leadership... it just means they took on a job they couldn't handle and they now deserve to be replaced. In the United States, we have a constitutional, legal means of achieving this; whereas in the Russia of Nicholas II they did not, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 15, 2007, 01:40:25 PM
If Nicholas had abdicated because of poor health, would that not indicate that he did not take his oath to be binding unto death?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 15, 2007, 01:49:39 PM
Sure would. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 02:05:00 PM
Thank you Elisabeth.

Bear, I understand your desperation at this point, but please do not quote me in support of your bizarre ideas. If I can see Nicholas II as a suffering human being, who was in the throes of some kind of nervous collapse in March 1917, that doesn't mean I support your thesis that he had this nervous collapse because he felt betrayed by everybody in his immediate proximity (wife, ministers, Duma deputies, generals, - I'm surprised you haven't included his children as well!). On the contrary, I think his nervous collapse was a direct response to the recent defeats of the Russian army and the atrocious casualty figures pouring in from the front... how many dead and wounded? Look it up. Nicholas II was on the brink of a breakdown precisely because he was not a pathological monster, like Hitler or Stalin, but because he knew and felt that he was directly responsible for the thousands upon thousands of deaths that were occurring daily in his name, not only as Tsar, but also as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army.

There is no need for me to be desperate when discussing historical events.

If you cannot understand why Nicholas II felt betrayed then you cannot understand. 

And,  here is where we really part the ways.  Sometimes a leader, be the person a Emp. or a Pres.  see the broader picture of what is occuring around them and in the world, and,  having made commitments are forced into war.  Nicholas II had commitments and declared war.  All of Petrograd cheered and thought the war was going to be quick.  For some reason the masses always seem to think a war is going to be quick. Sometimes I wonder if it's a self deception to fool themselves because they should know  wars are rarely short and rarely without spilling the blood of good men, women and children.

Unlike some who think that Nicholas II was not prepared,  there are stats which show that in materials such as guns, weapons, boots ect.  that Russia was on, almost, equal footing as Germany.  The big difference was that Russia didn't have their Krupp Co. who was well aware that the war wasn't going to be short and churned out weapons like "Big Berthas".   

In Russia,  war became tangled with revolutionaries.  The Germans were happy to help the revolutionaries and sent Lenin back to Russia with a train load of gold to help pay for guns which were secretly purchased by Radek from Krupp's  man.

There are so many twists and turns of history that it's difficult to follow all the trails of betrayals between the different groups.

When Nicholas II asked his general not to send mounted troops toward the German lines that held machine guns,  they told Nicholas II that he knew nothing about war and they, the generals,  should be left with the business of war.

How many of you know why Nicholas II took over the command when he did? And,  why he sent his cousin Nikolai to another area?

Quote
Look at Bush, look how much he's aged in the last six months alone. You know, I despise Bush and all his works, but you can see the man is suffering to some extent. He honestly does not understand where he went wrong. Thousands of Americans have gone to their deaths in the last several years, Iraq is still not secure, and yet he still doesn't "get it." Leaders, even bad and incompetent leaders (I'm not talking about truly evil leaders like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or Saddam), have some sense of their responsibility to the dead and their families, some sense that they are acting like gods in dispensing death for the sake of a higher cause. This is an awesome responsibility for anyone, but especially for men as limited in their abilities as Nicholas II and for that matter Bush - thoroughly ordinary men, who in any other situation would no doubt be regarded as upright, conscientious pillars of the community. Instead they're saddled with these moral burdens of truly biblical proportions - and as ordinary men, of course, they cannot meet the challenge. They fail. They have nervous breakdowns. Or they give incoherent press conferences. Etc. None of this means they're "betrayed" if their country starts looking around for better, more competent, and saner leadership... it just means they took on a job they couldn't handle and they now deserve to be replaced. In the United States, we have a constitutional, legal means of achieving this; whereas in the Russia of Nicholas II they did not, unfortunately.

I am not going to discuss Bush's politics in general,  nor am I going to voice  my opinion on the war in Iraq on this thread.

 I support the rights of the individuals whom I believe were and are created equal, untill their actions prove they are unworthy of that status.

Sometimes,  people have to make a stand somewhere, sometime and some place to stop terrorists or to change a govt. and it's leaders.  And, yes,  they will have to betray these leaders, and, yes, if they had given an oath of alligence,  they will have to break from the oath. If they do NOT then men like Hitler, Stalin and other dictators can terrorize country's without the slighest worry of having to face any kind of reprisal for their actions.  However, this is not the topic of this thread.  This about how Nicholas II felt betrayed.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 15, 2007, 02:32:26 PM
From the Accession Manifesto, October 20, 1894:

"We take the sacred vow before the all high to have as our constant goal the peaceful success, might and glory of dear Russia, and the organization of the happiness of all our loyal subjects."
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 15, 2007, 02:57:25 PM
Bear,

You are behaving like an obstreperous child. No one is saying that you cannot cling to your understanding of the word "betrayal", even though the rest of us don't share it (which is not to say that we don't understand it. I think I do, but it would be needlessly hurtful if I published what I think is really going on when you post, and not really useful.) 

That being said, please stop informing us that we do not share your deep knowledge of and empathy with Nicholas II. We're doing fine, thanks.

Simon

And while I recognize that different levels of knowledge are to be expected on a forum like this, my patience with the Little Golden Book School of History is running out. And I know I speak for others when I request that you (1) either get a dictionary or (2) exercise some minimal attention to detail before you post. Typos are one thing, the incoherence of these particular posts far more.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 15, 2007, 03:21:28 PM
It's interesting to me what the actual Orthodox religious tradition was, concerning the nature of autocracy and autocratic rule. According to this article I recently discovered, by a scholar of the Orthodox Eastern Church, the power of the autocrat was never unlimited, and even his hold over his subjects was subject to certain built-in restrictions:

"The [Byzantine] empire, despite all its rhetoric of the divine election of the supreme autocrat, never substantially endorsed anything like a rule of imperial succession. The emperor was emperor by virtue of being able to fulfill the proper function. If he transgressed too far on the many real limits to his theoretical autocracy, he was not long for this world...The limits to imperial power were manifold and strong even in late antiquity."

See John A. McGuckin, "The Legacy of the 13th Apostle: Origins of the East Christian Conceptions of Church and State Relations," in St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, vol. 47, nos. 3-4,  pp. 286-287.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 04:45:27 PM
It's interesting to me what the actual Orthodox religious tradition was, concerning the nature of autocracy and autocratic rule. According to this article I recently discovered, by a scholar of the Orthodox Eastern Church, the power of the autocrat was never unlimited, and even his hold over his subjects was subject to certain built-in restrictions:

"The [Byzantine] empire, despite all its rhetoric of the divine election of the supreme autocrat, never substantially endorsed anything like a rule of imperial succession. The emperor was emperor by virtue of being able to fulfill the proper function. If he transgressed too far on the many real limits to his theoretical autocracy, he was not long for this world...The limits to imperial power were manifold and strong even in late antiquity."

See John A. McGuckin, "The Legacy of the 13th Apostle: Origins of the East Christian Conceptions of Church and State Relations," in St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, vol. 47, nos. 3-4,  pp. 286-287.


Let me see if I have this right?  You are saying that "despite all its rhetoric of the divine  election of the supreme autocract",  they never  'endorsed anything like a rule of imperial sucession".

According to this so-called rhetoric, which was repeated to Nicholas II,  his father, his father's father and other rulers before them,  the Emp. and Tsar of Russia sat at the right hand of God.

 I find it interesting that you use the term "rhetoric".

I will agree, religious leaders often do have a marvelous grasp of the language in order to be persuasive on the subject of God, Jesus, Jews, Mohammed, etc. etc. etc..

I think they were very persuasaive about these various subjects with Nicholas II as a child, a boy, young man and into his years as Tsar. and Emp..

Since this thread is about people who betrayed Nicholas II, are you asking me if these religious leaders betrayed Nicholas II?

Or are you telling me,  that the church elders made sure there was a loop- hole in their teachings which allowed them to claim that it was just rhetoric and therefore if an autocract believes in this rhetoric that it's not really their fault that he believed the rhetoric since it was Not actually part of the church's paperwork???

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 15, 2007, 04:54:15 PM
Bear, as usual you've got everything precisely backwards.

The "rhetoric" the theological scholar is speaking of is that which would support the idea of an all-powerful autocrat divinely appointed by the Lord. The reality is that even in the Byzantine empire (and please note, the Muscovite tsars took the Byzantines as their example) the emperor was always beholden in a larger sense to his subjects, including the Church. And if he crossed that line, whereby they no longer regarded him as a good autocrat, then it was... well, goodbye, emperor, forever.

So actually Nicholas II got off rather easily. The generals and Duma deputies didn't feel the need to assassinate him, in fact he survived another sixteen or seventeen months after his abdication. From what I can gather, that's pretty good, by Byzantine standards.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 15, 2007, 05:31:57 PM
By Byzantine standards, it's a record.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 06:55:45 PM
Bear, as usual you've got everything precisely backwards.

The "rhetoric" the theological scholar is speaking of is that which would support the idea of an all-powerful autocrat divinely appointed by the Lord. The reality is that even in the Byzantine empire (and please note, the Muscovite tsars took the Byzantines as their example) the emperor was always beholden in a larger sense to his subjects, including the Church. And if he crossed that line, whereby they no longer regarded him as a good autocrat, then it was... well, goodbye, emperor, forever.

So actually Nicholas II got off rather easily. The generals and Duma deputies didn't feel the need to assassinate him, in fact he survived another sixteen or seventeen months after his abdication. From what I can gather, that's pretty good, by Byzantine standards.

As long as Nicholas II was  "good boy" and didn't go against the church,  then he was a "good autocrat".

I don't know the answer because I know absolutely nothing about the church of Russia:   Did the presents of Rasputin shaken the church elders and if this occured,  did  they lose faith in their autocrat and  was it time to say "goodbye"?  Or,  did the church elders  continue to support Nicholas II up to the point of his abdication?  [I'm sure there were many priests who never stop being loyal to the Tsar and others like Gapon felt changes were needed.]

It's late.

Gotta go do some work and run the dogs.....

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 07:07:17 PM
... The generals and Duma deputies didn't feel the need to assassinate him, in fact he survived another sixteen or seventeen months after his abdication. From what I can gather, that's pretty good, by Byzantine standards.

It could only be that the generals did not want to soil their military uniforms with imperial blood.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 15, 2007, 07:54:45 PM
Hmmm . . . is imperial blood harder to wash out?

Well, in any case, I guess Nicholas was lucky none of them had a change of clothes handy on Abdication Day.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 08:32:52 PM
Hmmm . . . is imperial blood harder to wash out?

Well, in any case, I guess Nicholas was lucky none of them had a change of clothes handy on Abdication Day.

The traces would have remained no matter how hard one tries to hide the evidence.  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 08:37:15 PM
Hmmm . . . is imperial blood harder to wash out?

Well, in any case, I guess Nicholas was lucky none of them had a change of clothes handy on Abdication Day.


I believe the Bolsheviks will  never  be free from  the blood of the ex-Tsar, his family and the others. 

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 15, 2007, 08:40:56 PM
Well, as is the ex-tsar and his family, they're all dead, anyway.  So big deal.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 09:14:55 PM
Well, as is the ex-tsar and his family, they're all dead, anyway.  So big deal.

I am not surprised by your pathetic and disrespectful attitude that is aimed to provoke a response.

The tragedy of the brutal death of the Emperor and his family is not yours to contemplate.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 15, 2007, 09:23:21 PM
The tragedy of the brutal death of the Emperor and his family is not yours to contemplate.

Nor is it yours to turn into a bizarre religious cult that you can impose on others.

I don't drink Kool-Aid that I don't mix myself.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 09:28:45 PM
The tragedy of the brutal death of the Emperor and his family is not yours to contemplate.

Nor is it yours to turn into a bizarre religious cult that you can impose on others.

I impose nothing on anyone. You have no idea what I really believe, so please do not presume that you do.

Margarita
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 09:43:27 PM
I don't drink Kool-Aid that I don't mix myself.

Are you sure that it really was Kool-Aid and not a derivative?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 15, 2007, 09:52:24 PM
Oh, well-played, Margarita. Now stick out your tongue at Tsarfan and promise not to sit with him in the cafeteria at lunchbreak.

If you cannot debate issues without coming across as the love child of Lenin and Margaret Dumont, you probably shouldn't try.

You do not read posts with an eye toward what they actually say (and Bear, the same goes for you). This ridiculous attitude that when people discuss Nicholas II in less that adulatory tones it somehow infringes upon your copywright is annoying at best. Why don't you try actually engaging in discussion, and stop giving the impression that you are on (very) temporary leave from Mt. Olympus, where you give the gods lectures on how to keep their divine standards up?

Sheesh. You and Bear have turned this thread into a joke. Oh, and by the way? This is me being direct.

Simon

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 15, 2007, 10:03:05 PM
Margarita, I really don't think that anyone has a particular lease on contemplating the end  of Tsar Nicholas II.  What I find "quaint" is this notion, that because of the luck and happenstance of his birth, he's exempt from showing empathy and compassion for other human beings.  No one is superior to anyone else by virtue of his birth.  No human being has the right to demand tribute from others by virtue of his birth.  Can you truly believe that Nicholas was above the law, that he was fore ordained by God to rule a people without thought to their dignity, their needs and their right to justice and fairness?  

I'm not being sarcastic, I really wonder how anyone can think that Gapon who worked tirelessly for the rights and dignity of the workers is evil, while the Tsar who did nothing for them is good - just because he was lucky in birth.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 10:17:57 PM
Oh, well-played, Margarita. Now stick out your tongue at Tsarfan and promise not to sit with him in the cafeteria at lunchbreak.

If you cannot debate issues without coming across as the love child of Lenin and Margaret Dumont, you probably shouldn't try.

You do not read posts with an eye toward what they actually say (and Bear, the same goes for you). This ridiculous attitude that when people discuss Nicholas II in less that adulatory tones it somehow infringes upon your copywright is annoying at best. Why don't you try actually engaging in discussion, and stop giving the impression that you are on (very) temporary leave from Mt. Olympus, where you give the gods lectures on how to keep their divine standards up?

Sheesh. You and Bear have turned this thread into a joke. Oh, and by the way? This is me being direct.

Simon

Is that what this is all about - to hound me off the stage by a bunch of rambunctious comedians?  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 15, 2007, 10:24:08 PM
No. Insofar as it is about you at all --- it is about trying to get you to address people with simple respect, and stop wrapping yourself in the flag of a defunct empire everytime a discussion begins. You are not the Keeper of the Holy Flame, and you are not talking to the village idiots here, Ms. Nelipa. Try staying on topic, and stop being so damned patronizing, and you might find that people actually have something to say to you --- and want to hear what you have to say to them.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 10:36:13 PM
No. Insofar as it is about you at all --- it is about trying to get you to address people with simple respect, and stop wrapping yourself in the flag of a defunct empire everytime a discussion begins. You are not the Keeper of the Holy Flame, and you are not talking to the village idiots here, Ms. Nelipa. Try staying on topic, and stop being so damned patronizing, and you might find that people actually have something to say to you --- and want to hear what you have to say to them.

Simon

I believe that you have said it all and leave me with no alternative but to leave.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: grandduchessella on February 15, 2007, 10:42:46 PM
It's been obvious for awhile now that this thread arouses some strong feelings on both sides. I think everyone needs to step back and try to take their personal feelings about other posters out of the posts they write. I don't think that it benefits the thread nor the tone of the Forum. There are really valid points being made--and some very insightful and thought-provoking ones--but they're in danger of being lost in the name-calling, patronizing and snideness.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 15, 2007, 11:24:48 PM
Back to topic.

Nicholas II felt betrayed.

He told us he did in his diary.

So whom do you think Nicholas II felt  had betrayed him?



AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 06:05:34 AM
Back to topic.

Nicholas II felt betrayed.

He told us he did in his diary.

So whom do you think Nicholas II felt  had betrayed him?


He wrote that he saw cowardice and deceit "everywhere."  So, obviously, he thought everyone betrayed him.

The very narrow question you have posed over and over and over has been answered.  When one thinks literally, one should be satisfied with literal answers.  Can we end this charade now?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Kurt Steiner on February 16, 2007, 06:56:21 AM
So, as far as I have read -I have to reread it all again- it seems that we are divided between those who think that Nicholas' final downfall was caused by himself and those who think that he was betrayed -by the people, by his family, etc, there are many possibilities on this issue. Dunno why, but I think I simplyfing the situation a bit too much... Well, I think it's time for me to read a bit and try to do my bit here. If there is anything to add, of course.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 16, 2007, 08:58:36 AM
I think Kurt hit the nail on the head. I tried saying, some ten or more pages back, that it was a complex combination of the personality of Nicholas II AND those around him that lead to the abdication.

Bev's point that the Tsar was "just a human" and lucky in the genetic lottery is a solidly mid to late 20th century notion. Actually, the Emperor's power came exactly from the notion that they were chosen by God, look at Alexander III for example. The whole mess of the Revolution, at least to me, was the turning point in Russian society where the notion of "humanism" was beginning to take root and running smack up against the three hundred year old traditions of the Emperor.

Nicholas was not an evil man, no matter how much you might want to paint him with that brush. Actually, his civility, to me, was part of his fault.  It lead to indecisiveness when strong decision making was required. It sent mixed signals to those around and subordinate to him, when clear leadership was demanded.

Nicholas didn't REFUSE to meet with Gapon. He did not even consider to meet or NOT as an option. THATS the point...It was not because Nicholas wished ill to the workers, or refused to "care" for the poor. Those ideas were not even on his radar screen. Not due to any omission or comission of Nicholas, rather, due to the very nature of the instituion of the autocracy.  I don't think Nicholas "betrayed himself" , while he was a flawed person, rather, I think the nature of the institution of the autocracy itself was unable to be compatible with the societal changes which were taking place. Having read Nicholas' own words, and those who were closest to him for a first hand view, I am convinced that Nicholas believed in his heart that he was doing the best possible job he could for the people of Russia as a whole. It was the institution itself that was "at fault" and Nicholas was just trying to play the role he had been born, bred and trained for at the end of a 300 year old institution that was unable to adapt to the societal changes of the new 20th century.

just my 2 kopeks.
Rob (and not necessarily those of the APTM itself)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 09:22:42 AM
Kurt,

As the creator of the thread,  I asked everyone to discuss  not how they felt but  how Nicholas II felt.  In his diary he wrote he felt  he had been betrayed.

So, the  topic on this thread  is:  Who do you think betrayed Nicholas II?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 09:32:57 AM
It was not because Nicholas wished ill to the workers, or refused to "care" for the poor. Those ideas were not even on his radar screen.

Rob, I have to disagree.

In 1886, a law was passed to create a cadre of factory inspectors in Russia's large urban centers.  These inspectors were put under the supervision of the local zemstvoes, and they were charged with enforcing new, more stringent regulations relating to improving working conditions, and they were also charged with dispensing care and aid to workers in dire need.  This was done on much the same theory that Bismarck had introduced workers compensation and other similar legislation in Germany -- to reduce the appeal of left-leaning movements to the workers.

Early in Nicholas' reign, however, he reversed this policy of liberalization.  The central government took over the supervision of the factory inspectors, there numbers were reduced, they were instructed to loosen their enforcement of pro-worker regulation, and agents of the secret police began to be introduced into the inspector ranks.  This was done, in part, in furtherance of Nicholas' policy to attract foreign capital to Russia by offering investors high levels of factory output at minimal costs.

Worker issues were on Nicholas' radar screen when the factory owners and finance ministry officials wanted them to be. 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 16, 2007, 09:40:27 AM
It was not because Nicholas wished ill to the workers, or refused to "care" for the poor. Those ideas were not even on his radar screen.


Worker issues were on Nicholas' radar screen when the factory owners and finance ministry officials wanted them to be. 

Tsarfan, that is exactly my point. Sorry not to have been clear, that statement was directly in reference to Bloody Sunday, and not a blanket statement of Nicholas' reign.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 09:49:47 AM
If you, Tsarfan,  are once again going into the  topic that Nicholas II betrayed his people,   this is not the thread to do it.  There are plenty of threads  where this is  being discussed.   Like Simon has said,   we've already enough on our plate just talking about those  whom Nicholas II believed had betrayed him.

Sometimes,  like, now,  there are "carry overs" from other threads,  like Bloody Sunday,  but,  it's best to returned to  the Bloody Sunday thread to discuss your differences.

AGRBear

PS  It is not  my intent  to white wash Nicholas II's failures as a Tsar.   It is my intent to discover the people who felt so strongly about what was happening to Russia,  that they broke their oath to Nicholas II and conspired to take away his crown and replace him.   Who were these people?  And,  in this  turn over of power,   the man in charge,  the Tsar,  felt betrayed.  Whom do you think Nicholas II saw as his betrayers?



Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 09:57:26 AM
Tsarfan, that is exactly my point. Sorry not to have been clear, that statement was directly in reference to Bloody Sunday, and not a blanket statement of Nicholas' reign.

Fair enough, Rob.  But I was also taking a bit of issue with the point that Nicholas did not wish ill to the workers or refused to care for the poor.  I won't go so far as to say he wished them ill.  But, when confronted with the choice of whether to favor their interests or that of the factory owners, he opted for the latter.  And his government actually reduced the number of inspectors at the same time that the urban factory population was growing -- inspectors who had the care of indigent workers among their duties.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 10:06:34 AM
Tsarfan,

Why don't you start up a thread about the WORKERS  and their grievanes.   I for one would find the topic interesting and  we'd all probably learn a lot  due to your understanding of the problems  in Russia at that time.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 16, 2007, 10:07:14 AM
I agree Tsarfan. However, what was the US government's position when faced with the same choice of Factory owners vs. Worker? What was the British choice? Remember, the thought was, at the time, that economic development and industrial growth was paramount to the national interest.

I, personally, can not fault Nicholas for making the same choices that the British governement made, or even the choices made by the US government at the same time. Remember the Homestead massacre of 1892? The US government sent the National Guard in to suppress the workers, ten were killed.

The Pullman strike in Chicago of 1894? Pres. Cleveland stepped in on the side of big business.

There was NO US Federal regulation of worker's rights until Franklin Roosevelt in the early 30s.

How can we judge Nicholas by any different standard than our own history of the period?

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 10:11:30 AM
Speaking of inspectors,   have you ever counted how many meat inspectors there are here in the USA. ???  ???

You'll find many of these problems still exsist  in most countries  today.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 16, 2007, 10:23:44 AM
Rob, there were federal laws concerning labour - the child labour act is just one.  There was also a vast body of state laws protecting labour. 

The Homestead Strike was stopped when the governor sent in the state miilitia, the U.S. government had no legal standing in the strike.

I'd like to point out that Gapon's march was not a "strike", it's express purpose was to present a petition to the Tsar.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 16, 2007, 10:24:04 AM
I don't think that people are judging Nicholas by different standards, to tell you the truth. I don't find anyone defending the very real attacks on labor mounted by American society at the end of the nineteenth century. But there were also those who advocated for the workers, and ultimately people like Teddy Roosevelt --- not FDR --- who did a great deal to lay groundwork for the gains they made during the first fifty or so years of the 20th century. And much of the opposition to labor originated with the corporations as opposed to the government --- not a problem for Nicholas. After all, it was necessary get certain trusts and monopolies dismantled in the USA in order to pave the way for workers' gains.

Don't you think that the autocratic system, if you want to call it that, can be held culpable for making it impossible for the autocrat to see outside the box? And even as I typed that, I realized that the Tsars and Tsarinas of Russia were a diverse group, many of whom did have the ability to do that. Even when forced by events like Bloody Sunday/the foundation of the Duma to consider endorsing changes to the autocratic system, Nicholas was unable to do so. You then have a situation in which the supposed authority for the constitutional changes doesn't actually want them.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 10:31:25 AM
I think Kurt hit the nail on the head. I tried saying, some ten or more pages back, that it was a complex combination of the personality of Nicholas II AND those around him that lead to the abdication.


....[in part]....
just my 2 kopeks.
Rob (and not necessarily those of the APTM itself)

I think that once the rumors started to fly around the Romanov  palaces that generals were talking about removing  Nicholas II from the throne,   there were a number of  Romanovs,   who would have loved to have taken up the crown.

Some of these "betrayers"  [conspirators]  went to  Nicholas II's cousin,  the popular GD Nicolai,  whom Nicholas II had removed as Commander-in-Chief.   Who were they?  And what did he say to them?

Many historians believe this was  the "straw that broke the camel's back"  for the military leaders when  Nicholas II  removed GD Nikolai and took command, so,  I think, now, is as good time  as any to talk about the Romanovs   and the parts they played.

AGRBear

  
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 16, 2007, 10:44:08 AM
Rob, there were federal laws concerning labour - the child labour act is just one.  There was also a vast body of state laws protecting labour. 

17 April 1905 The Supreme Court held that a maximum hours law for New York bakery workers was unconstitutional under the due process clause of the 14th ammendment.

The first US federal law concerning Child labor was not until 1916. It was held unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. I would not call six states with child labor laws a "vast body", especially since most went unenforced.

Organized labor in the US was not granted Federal protection until the Clayton Act of 1916.

The "Eight Hour" Act not approved until 1917.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was not passed until 1935.

The Comprehensive Fair Labor Standards Act was not passed in the US until 1938.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 16, 2007, 10:47:44 AM
I get your point about not judging Nicholas II by standards that did not exist during his lifetime (indeed, the whole "judging" thing is problematic for me --- what are we "judging" him for? Heaven? Not our job.) I do think that we can fairly estimate him as an unsuccessful Tsar.

But he didn't live in 1550, either, or even 1750. The notions of individual liberty, inalienable rights, things like that were not only in existence in 1900, they were being pretty hotly discussed. There is simply no way to prove that most people, even most Russians, bought into the "divine right of kings" at the beginning of the 20th century --- in fact, if you look at the way the institution of monarchy evaporated in Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, there is evidence that people had simply ceased to believe in it some time before.

Divine right was an argued position from the get-go, in dialogue with a whole lot of people --- if you want to leave Plato and Aristotle out, try John of Salisbury, Marsilius of Padua, Macchiavelli and a raft of other medievals and early moderns. It was always something which was under scrutiny. Sometimes, as in England in 1649 and 1688, it was found seriously wanting. Occasionally there was a ruler who could pull off l'etat c'est moi, but then it seems to me you are dealing with an aberration, not a product of a workable system.

If you want to deal with the mindset of Nicholas in 1900, you have to deal with all of the other mindsets with whom he dealt. The same Petersburg that contained Nicholas also contained Gapon. So it does seem fair to me to judge Nicholas as "wanting"

I brought this from the 1905 thread, as it addresses an issue also being raised here.

The federal laws you quote are correct, Rob, but there were state and urban regulations dealing with some of these issues before this --- many of these acts merely legislate them as universals. Again, the infrastructure of the American workers' movement is very different during this period than that of Russia's.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 10:52:59 AM
I agree Tsarfan. However, what was the US government's position when faced with the same choice of Factory owners vs. Worker?

All governments from that era left something to be desired in their handling of the social stresses around industrialization.  However, I think the clearest way to compare and contrast them is to look at directional trends.

Let's take the case of the U.S., with which I am more familiar.  There one finds developments running on two tracks.  The U.S. judiciary was unrelentingly hostile to labor issues, beginning with the Philadelphia Cordwainers case of 1806, which set the precedent for a string of cases ruling against workers' rights to organize, peaking in a notorious decision by which the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1910 was bizarrely applied against labor unions before it was applied against business monopolies, and culminating in the final showdown when Franklin Roosevelt threatened to pack the Supreme Court in 1938 due, in part, to judicial hostility to pro-labor legislation.

However, on the legislative track, things were evolving toward more sympathy for the plight of industrial workers.  The culmination of this trend was the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.  And, even though the courts distorted its purpose, the 1910 Sherman Act was clearly intended by the legislative and executive branches to rein in the power of big business.  By the early 'teens -- two decades before the Social Security Act -- the largest corporations were beginning to think about defined-benefit pension systems of their own accord, in an attempt to forestall government legislation that they saw coming in this area if business did not accept responsibility for the retirement security of workers who were not paid enough to save on their own.  (In effect, unlike Russia, the U.S. was addressing the fact that the migration of labor from farm to city had disrupted the social support systems that multi-generational family homesteads had provided in rural America.)

Now, this is a gross simplification of a century of complex and volative government/labor relations, but there was a clear trend toward more solicitude for workers' interests as we turned into the 20th century.

Though Russia might not have looked much worse on a given date on one labor issue or another, directionally  Russia by1900 was pursuing a deliberate policy away  from an earlier liberalization on labor issues.  Factory owners were acquiring more power, factory inspection was becoming a spy arm for the secret police, and the workers' working and living conditions were eroding.  And the fingerprints of Nicholas' government were all over this trend.

Several nations confronted labor unrest that could, in the right mix of circumstances, have mushroomed into something truly nasty.  But only in Russia did it produce a revolution in 1905 and again in 1917, ending in the complete radicalization of the worker movement into the horrible ideological excesses of Leninism.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 16, 2007, 11:02:10 AM
Tsarfan,

Is your point that by choosing this direction, the imperial system put itself upon a collision course with revolution? Again, I come back to the nature of autocracy. It is adapatable purely in proportion to the autocrat's ability to conceptualize change. Moreover, the American system of checks and balances prevents any one President from having undue influence. The great presidents --- I would suggest that both Roosevelts and Reagan fit that bill in the 20th century lead as much through moral urging as through precise foundational change to the system. By rigidly refusing to examine the modern world's emerging understanding of labor, civil rights, etc., Nicholas may have made it impossible to do other than remove him.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 16, 2007, 11:23:51 AM
Reality Check:

It was in the late 1940s,  I think  I had been following a jack rabbit trail which took me into the neighbor's vineyard next to my grandfather's  place....   First,  it was th oder that caused me to stop and take in where I was.  It was a camp of  "wet backs"  [a term  some of the farmers used for Mexicans who had come into the USA illegally and worked for the farmers].     I couldn't believe what I saw.   There was  shacks....   Actually using the term shacks  is being generous.  Sitting quietly were small children [babies being held by toddlers]  who's huge brown eyes were watching me.  I looked for their parents.  There were NO adults.   There was evidence that adults had been there and had just left.  The fires were still smoking but would soon be out.  Next to the fires were empty  unwashed pots ,  tin plates and cups...  The smell of human  feces and urine was so overwhelming that it  turned my stomach [there were no port-a-poties]  and I had to find fresh air....    I backed away....  My spine crawled with  sudden anxiety because  I realized,  this wasn't a place I was suppose to see.

What I had seen was a labor camp which commonly dotted the farming communities  in the USA.

The adults and the children,  who were old enough,  were working the vineyards and fields.

Cesar Chavez  started to have small meetings  in the late 1950s  in our neighbors home.  First there were several cars,  then a few more and then a few more...    The National Farm Workers Ass. wasn't  founded until 1962.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 16, 2007, 02:07:22 PM
Reagan?  Geezus, Simon...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 16, 2007, 02:18:18 PM
Reagan?  Geezus, Simon...

Yep. He was a "great" President in the same sense that FDR was a "Great" President --- both had a profound impact upon their times. Not in the sense that I approved of what he did, but as an appreciation of the fact that his moral rhetoric was persuasive. If FDR is remembered by the aphorism "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" (um, no, Mr. President, there are economic travails, and the Nazis, and the Japanese and . . . well, he wasn't speaking to the particulars, was he?), then Reagan gets to be remembered as great for moments like "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" His avowed goal was to dismantle the legacy of another "great" President, FDR, and his perceived leadership galvanized a conservative revolution that has yet to really run its course. One may not be happy about his administration, but it was a "great" (i.e. historically significant) one.

Simon

Completely off-topic, but it certainly says something about the current American administration that the recent passing of Gerald Ford caused tributes that made it seem as though he had presided over the Age of Pericles. That is not the way I remembered it at the time.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 02:20:06 PM
Is your point that by choosing this direction, the imperial system put itself upon a collision course with revolution?

I never really thought about it in this light.  But, yes . . . by actually reversing an earlier policy of liberalization at the same time that the urban workforce was exploding and getting packed more densely into the cities, Nicholas was standing with his can of gas much closer to the fire than government leaders further westward.

As Rob has pointed out, neither the U.S. nor Britain were exactly workers' paradises at the outset of the 20th century.  But, where they were not pushing for more progressive labor policies, they were basically trying to hold the fort on established ground.  Russia was, by contrast, deliberately steering a course backward and trying to make Russia a more attractive harbor for manufacturing capital seeking high returns than western countries, where working conditions were none too great.

I think there was another difference, too.  Elisabeth pointed out earlier in comparing Gapon to Martin Luther King that Gapon was operating without the safety net of a Constitution and its Bill of Rights when he tried to square off with the imperial government.  Aggrieved western workers, while some might have preferred revolultion, at least had the option of political activism aimed at putting different views into high office through the election process.  Russian workers had, as Elisabeth suggested, only the mercy of their tsar upon which to rely.


Again, I come back to the nature of autocracy. It is adapatable purely in proportion to the autocrat's ability to conceptualize change.

Amen.

Peter I, wanting to turn Russia into a maritime power, found himself lacking a navy.  So he donned carpenter's garb, assumed an incognito, moved into a hut in Holland, and learned how to build a ship.  He then went back to Russia, built a Navy, and put Europe on notice that there was a new kid on the block with the reddest wagon of them all.

A poster earlier said that there was an "administrative procedure" in place for filing petitions with the tsar.  So Nicholas, when presented with the prospect of tens of thousands of his subjects seeking to present him with a petition to address their grievances as a class, would have nothing to do with them.  They apparently had filled out the wrong form.

That's not being a tsar.  That's being a bureaucrat.  Peter might have mowed the whole lot of them to the ground.  But he would  have been there and been calling the shots . . . so to speak.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 16, 2007, 02:26:34 PM
Quote
I think there was another difference, too.  Elisabeth pointed out earlier in comparing Gapon to Martin Luther King that Gapon was operating without the safety net of a Constitution and its Bill of Rights when he tried to square off with the imperial government.  Aggrieved western workers, while some might have preferred revolultion, at least had the option of political activism aimed at putting different views into high office through the election process.  Russian workers had, as Elisabeth suggested, only the mercy of their tsar upon which to rely.

I was struck by her point as well. At one point, King and his followers were surrounded in a church by an angry Southern mob, and Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General had to commit himself to using federal troops to protect them if the governor of the state was unable to do it with the hometown cops. King was also able to use the media pressure that television brought to bear on the anti-civil rights folks. Nothing did more consistent damage to their cause than the broadcast images of firehoses, billy clubs and dogs being set upon peaceful protestors.

Gapon had none of these alternatives. I am ploughing through the Kenworthy article with great interest.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Bev on February 16, 2007, 02:51:46 PM
You know, the social gospel movement was part and parcel of reform in the U.S.  I don't know this for a fact, but wasn't that movement started in the U.S. in the 1880s? 
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 03:43:27 PM
It was, but it spread quickly eastward into Europe and, as the Kenworthy article demonstrates, even into Russia.  This is another of the indicators that there was much more discussion of and hunger for reform in that period than we today hear about through history studies that focus more on political history than social history.

I think part of the problem is that the monumental political cataclysms and collapses of old dynasties unleashed by World War I cause us all to focus much more on the history of diplomacy and dynastic politics in the 70-year run up to World War I than on the social issues of that period.  And the problem is compounded in Russia, where the underlying data -- for reasons relating to language, spotty records, censorship, and soviet-era dogma -- has been more difficult for historians to access.

If one looks at the study of French history, for instance, one finds proportionately far more scholarship focused on the social and economic issues of the late ancien regime  than one does of the late imperial period in Russia.  On the other hand, even though the foreign entangelments of French royal governments, especially under Louis XIV, were very complex, how many of us have read much French diplomatic history compared to Russian diplomatic history?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 16, 2007, 04:17:40 PM
All this finger pointing and saying that well it was like that in every country remind me of a teenager who answers his parents' question on why he was drinking at the party with: "Well, everyone else was doing it."
Only three monarchies collapsed after World War I--the Romanov, the Hohenzollern and the Hapsburg. In Serbia, Romania, even Bulgaria, Belgium, the UK, Italy, and Turkey (until 1922) the monarchies survived. In Germany and Austria the reason the monarchy fell is because the Allies were making loud noises about not negoiating with the 'war criminal' who had started the war. Only in Russia was there a revolution by the people to sweep away their monarchy because it failed them.
In France, in 1917, there was a similiar siituation. There was war weariness, labor unrest, food shortages, the war was going badly, and the soldiers were deserting. Then, the army muntined. Did the government fall? No, only the ministry. There was no revolution, no anarchy, no Commune. The ministry fell and was replaced by another headed by a popular leader who promised to make war. Reforms were insituted and the commander of the army was replaced by a general respected by the soldiers. He looked at what was the cause of the mutiny and made changes. The ringleaders were arrested and after lenient courts martial a small few where executed. The soldiers remained loyal.
If Nicholas II had had the sense God gave a goose, he would have insulated himself behind layers of responsible governments. It would have been the ministers who would have been blamed, new ministers would have been appointed and another change in command of the army, and Nicholas would have escaped with his throne. Instead, by insisting that all the threads of both the government and the army lead directly into his hands he made himself the target. If he was responsible for the mess then he must be removed.

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 16, 2007, 05:21:34 PM
All this finger pointing and saying that well it was like that in every country remind me of a teenager who answers his parents' question on why he was drinking at the party with: "Well, everyone else was doing it."

Not quite sure to whose posts this was directed, but I think most of us have been arguing that the situation in Russia was  different:

Russia was, by contrast, deliberately steering a course backward and trying to make Russia a more attractive harbor for manufacturing capital seeking high returns than western countries, where working conditions were none too great.

I think there was another difference, too.  Elisabeth pointed out earlier in comparing Gapon to Martin Luther King that Gapon was operating without the safety net of a Constitution and its Bill of Rights when he tried to square off with the imperial government.  Aggrieved western workers, while some might have preferred revolultion, at least had the option of political activism aimed at putting different views into high office through the election process.  Russian workers had, as Elisabeth suggested, only the mercy of their tsar upon which to rely.the shots . . . so to speak.



If Nicholas II had had the sense God gave a goose, he would have insulated himself behind layers of responsible governments. It would have been the ministers who would have been blamed, new ministers would have been appointed and another change in command of the army, and Nicholas would have escaped with his throne. Instead, by insisting that all the threads of both the government and the army lead directly into his hands he made himself the target. If he was responsible for the mess then he must be removed.

Ja, wohl.  The notion shared by Nicholas and Alexandra that they were both more competent -- she at civil administration and he at military command -- than any of the array of talent the nation had to offer is one of the most extraordinary things about their manifold delusions.  Only the truly dull are usually so convinced of their own infallibility.  But, then, I guess the conviction that God speaks through you (and your special Friend) is a pretty bracing confidence-builder.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 16, 2007, 06:17:01 PM
Wasn't finger pointing. Just making a reference to some posts on this thread and on the Bloody Sunday thread that point out that there was labor unrest and use of force against strikers in other countries, such as the U.S. to seemingly say that Russia was not a special case. I meant to imply that just because this country or that country did this or that doesn't make ishooting down unarmed, peaceful sujects right or politically astute, even if the government had posted an order that the march was illegal.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Kurt Steiner on February 17, 2007, 05:04:55 AM
Kurt,

As the creator of the thread,  I asked everyone to discuss  not how they felt but  how Nicholas II felt.  In his diary he wrote he felt  he had been betrayed.

So, the  topic on this thread  is:  Who do you think betrayed Nicholas II?


Hi Bear,

A Short Answer: all of them -the people, the army, the nobility, the imperial family.

A longer one: If we are considering who betrayed the Tsar and thus who are to blame for his fall from power (Am I right on this point?), I think that, as Rob as pointed out, it was a complex situation.

Indeed, Guhkov seemed to make a plan of his own as, it has been said, “to forestall the social revolution by apppointing a new government of confidence." Indeed, too, Lvov and Alexeev, along with other several liberal politicians and generals, planned to compel Nicholas to hand over the authority to the Grand Duke Nikolai.  But the Grand Duke Nikolai didn’t want to become involved.

If you ask me, this looks as an attempt to save the ship when it is already sinking. The disaster was coming, even if they had not acted.

It has been also said that the Grand Dukes could have bought time to establish a Constitutional monarchy. They didn’t so they betrayed also the Tsar. I only see a way to do that, that is, the Constituional monarchy, and it is by removing Nicholas (and by addition Alexandra) from power, as they don’t were quite willing to admit this kind of changes. So, if the GDs wanted to establish such a model, they would had had, in the end, to get rid of the Tsar, too, IMHO.

And this takes us to the beginning. Which is the reason that makes Guhkov, Lvov and Aleexev to take such a bold step? I would say that the strikes, in the beginning of February, from workers in Petrograd helped by the soldiers who deserted their officers and joined the revolt instead, permitting it to become more conventionally armed. The wheel was already in motion, and Lvo and the rest only reacted to the situation. They saw that the system was beginning to crack, and tried to save the situation by the only way the thought it could work: getting rid of Nicholas.

Indeed, this solution can be considered as a plain and full betrayal but you are only a traitor when you are defeated. If not, you’re a patriot –see 1776-. So, I guess that the question for us to ask is: “who allowed this situation to get to this point?” But I suspect that this has been asked on another thread.

Nicholas wasn’t the man to sabe the Czarist Russia, but he tried, according to what he had learnt. I don’t think he betrayed himself, in the direct sense, as he did what he thought it was the good thing to do. He was wrong, but that doesn’t make him a traitor, but a human being. And we all make mistakes.

So, which is my point? First I don't think it was a betrayal -in the sense I understand it, but several groups of people trying to save the situation as they thought. In the end, it is a betrayal -I'm being paradoxically contradictory here, I know- because an oath of allegiance is an oath because you can break it. However, what do we do with an oath that doesn't help to save the situation but only makes everything worse? Then we break it and we become traitors -the workers, Lvov an the rest.

But, still, I don't think they were traitors. They were just desperate people. And, alàs, the Tsar found himself alone in the worst moment, when they need them -all of them- most.

My two cents.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 10:08:23 AM
Kurt,

Yes,  they were desperate people who felt it necessary to betray Nicholas II.

Thank you for naming :

1) Kurt: >>Guhkov seemed to make a plan of his own as, it has been said, “to forestall the social revolution by apppointing a new government of confidence." Indeed, too, Lvov and Alexeev, along with other several liberal politicians and generals, planned to compel Nicholas to hand over the authority to the Grand Duke Nikolai.  But the Grand Duke Nikolai didn’t want to become involved.<<

2) Kurt: >> Grand Dukes could have bought time to establish a Constitutional monarchy. They didn’t so they betrayed also the Tsar. I only see a way to do that, that is, the Constituional monarchy, and it is by removing Nicholas (and by addition Alexandra) from power, as they don’t were quite willing to admit this kind of changes. So, if the GDs wanted to establish such a model, they would had had, in the end, to get rid of the Tsar, too, IMHO.<<

AGRBear:

Which grand dukes can be named as having conspired against Nicholas II?

Many of the Romanovs and Generals paid visits to GD Nikolai,  whom many hoped to take the reins.  Does anyone have any quotes from GD Nikolai why he didn't take up the position of leader of the conspiracy?

As I've said many times,  I'm looking for the people whom Nicholas II believed betrayed Nicholas II,  the Tsar.  And,  I'd like to discover what the  reasons each of these  people,  whom Nicholas II believed had betrayed their Tsar, were.  Why?  Because history doesn't usually give individual stories and because there are so many posters who have so much knowledge of the Romanovs,  I'd like to know these stories and where we can find these stories.   Many of theses stories we,  who are of the English speaking world,  haven't read because we don't read Russian or don't have access to this kind of literature.  A great deal of these stories are in books no longer in circulation, unpublished manuscripts,  diaries and letters.

Some posters would like to make a joke out of my inquiry  but I really don't find this part of Russian history a joke.   A lot of good decisions were made.  This took them to the Prov. Govt.  stage.....  And,  a lot of bad,  which resulted in the Counter-Revolution,  the sucess of the Bolsheviks....  Lenin.... Stalin.... etc. etc. etc.

Thanks for your contribution Kurt.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Kurt Steiner on February 17, 2007, 10:34:24 AM
Glad to help!

I forgot to add GD Kyril Vladimirovich who, during the February Revolution, upon the abdication of the tsar,  didn't hesitate to join with his regiment of the Marine of the Guard, the most loyal and elite troops of the Alexander Palace, IIRC, to swear allegiance to the provisional government, wearing a red revolutionary band on his uniform. Perhaps it could be argued that, by then, Nicholas has already abdicated, so Kyril was not betraying him directly, but... It is also true that his regiment was pested with many desertions, so it was a question of choosing sides as fast as possible, methinks. Again teh same problem for me. Is this a betrayal or just a way to try to survive?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 10:38:17 AM
Is their any information which tells us that GD Kyril  and been part of the conspiracy before Nicholas II signed his abdication?

Here is Count Paul Beckendorff's  view of what GD Kyril did:

>> The battalion of the Guard left Tsarskoe, according to an order from St. Petersburg (given it was said by the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, first cousin of the Emperor), leaving at Tsarskoe its colours and all its officers. The latter remained faithful to their duty up to the Emperor's abdication. The moral of the troops was lowering noticeably. At the end of March the commanding officers arranged a kind of armistice with the garrison of Tsarskoe. It was arranged on both sides that troops wearing a white armlet should not act one against the other, that the Alexander Palace should not be attacked, and that the garrison of the Palace should take no part in the events which were happening in the town.<<

Book:  THE LAST DAYS AT TSARSKOE SELO  found here on this forum: http://www.alexanderpalace.org/2006lastdays/
Part One

>>The latter remained faithful to their duty up to the Emperor's abdication. <<

 Does this mean that GD Kyril [Cyril] did not wait until Nicholas II's abdication,  but,  his officers did?

I went back and reread Beckendorff's and it appears he may be talking about the early morning hours of  2 March.....  Am I reading this right?



AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 17, 2007, 10:49:40 AM
Kurt, interesting that you brought up the GD Kyril. IMO- he did EXACTLY what was asked of everyone, from NiII himself and his named successor- the GD Michael. That is, to support the provisional government and try to establish stability in the "realm" pending a decision on which course the country was to follow. Even GD Mcxhael supported this decision by decling the throne and referring  rule to the Provisional.  Does this then make GD Michael a "betrayer" as well ?
 Also desertions and outright mutnity were rampant all over including fragging, not just Kyril's regiment were they not?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 11:08:40 AM
Remember,  we're looking through Nicholas II's eyes,  not our own?

We're these men free from their oath to the Tsar when they took action?

Most importantly,  did those who took action before they were free of their oath,  kill the men [officers to privates],  who when free of the oath,  would have joined the Revolution and given their new oath of alligence to the Prov. Govt.?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 11:16:39 AM
Kurt, interesting that you brought up the GD Kyril. IMO- he did EXACTLY what was asked of everyone, from NiII himself and his named successor- the GD Michael. That is, to support the provisional government and try to establish stability in the "realm" pending a decision on which course the country was to follow. Even GD Mcxhael supported this decision by decling the throne and referring  rule to the Provisional.  Does this then make GD Michael a "betrayer" as well ?

 Also desertions and outright mutnity were rampant all over including fragging, not just Kyril's regiment were they not?


GD Kyril was in a different position than all the other Romanovs.   He knew that Tsarvich Alexei would probably never live to be Tsar,  or,  if he did,  would probably never had children.   He knew that GD Michael would be Alexei's Regent and that his children,  if he had any,  were not in line for the throne.  He was the Tsarvich before the ink on Nicholas II's abdication dried.   AND,  he knew he had to deal with the Prov. Govt. and these new leaders as quickly as possible so not to loose his position. [I think I have this right but may be off alittle on the exact details, so,  please correct my errors.]

Did he believe that the govt. would be similar to that of the English Govt. which still had it's King as part of the system?  I assume this is what he was thinking,  however,  I'd like to read sources which tell us what he was thinking during this time period.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 11:32:38 AM
Here is what Lilli Dehn wrote:

>>The Revolution - CHAPTER II

Early on the morning of March 2nd the Empress came into the Grand Duchesses' bedroom. She was deathly pale - she seemed hardly alive. As I ran towards her I heard her agitated whisper: "Lili - the troops have deserted!"

I found no words with which to answer. I was stupefied. At last I managed to stammer:

"Why, Madame? In the name of God, why?"

"Their Commander-in-Chief, the Grand Duke Cyril, has sent for them." Then, unable to contain herself, the Empress said brokenly, "My sailors - my own sailors - I can't believe it."

But it was too true. The Garde Equipage had left the Palace at 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. - the "faithful friends," the "devoted subjects," were with us no longer. The officers of the Garde were received by the Empress in the mauve boudoir during the morning: I was present, and I heard from one of my husband's friends that the duty of taking the Garde to Petrograd had been carried out by a " temporary gentleman," Lieutenant Kouzmine. The officers were furious, especially their commandant, Miasocdoff-Ivanof, a big, burly sailor, whose kind eyes were full of tears... One and all begged to be allowed to remain with the Empress, who, almost overcome by emotion, thanked them, saying: "Yes - yes - I beg you to remain: this has been a terrible blow, what will the Emperor say when he hears about it! She then sent for General Resin, the Commander of the Mixed Guard, and instructed him to make room for the loyal officers in his regiment.

General Resin told me long afterwards that he was relieved when he knew that the cowardly Garde had actually left the Palace, as orders had been given for a detachment to go on one of the church towers which commanded a view of the courtyard, and if, by a certain time, the troops had not joined the Duma, to train two enormous field-guns on to the Palace! <<

Madame Lily Dehn
THE REAL TSARITSA
Part Two- Revolution
Chapter II
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/realtsaritsa/
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 12:03:33 PM
Anna Vyrubova wrote:

>> One night came the noise of rioting and the sharp staccato of machine guns apparently approaching nearer and nearer the palace. It was about eleven o'clock and the Empress was sitting for a few minutes' rest on the edge of my bed. Gating up hastily and wrapping herself in a white shawl, she beckoned Marie, the last of the children on her feet, and went out of the palace into the icy air to face whatever threatened. The Naval Guard and the Konvoi Cossacks still remained on duty, although even then they were preparing to desert. It is altogether possible that they would have gone over to the rioters that night had it not been for the unexpected appearance of the Empress and her daughter. From one guard to another they passed, the stately woman and the courageous young girl, undaunted both in the face of deadly danger, speaking words of encouragement, and most of all of simple faith and confidence. This alone held the men at their posts during that dreadful night and prevented the rioters from attacking the palace. The next day the guards disappeared. The Naval Guards, led by Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, marched with red flags to the Duma and presented themselves to Rodzianko as joyful revolutionists. The very men who in the previous midnight had hailed the Empress with the traditional greeting, "Uravie Jelaim Vashie Imperatorskoe Velichesmo!" Health and long life to your Majesty ! So loud had been their greeting that the Empress, not wishing me to know that she had left the palace, sent a servant to tell me that the Guards were waiting to meet the Emperor.<<

Anna Vyrubova
MEMORIES OF THE RUSSIAN COURT
Chapter XIV - Revolution and Abdication
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt2006/
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Kurt Steiner on February 17, 2007, 12:30:17 PM
Kurt, interesting that you brought up the GD Kyril. IMO- he did EXACTLY what was asked of everyone, from NiII himself and his named successor- the GD Michael. That is, to support the provisional government and try to establish stability in the "realm" pending a decision on which course the country was to follow. Even GD Mcxhael supported this decision by decling the throne and referring  rule to the Provisional.  Does this then make GD Michael a "betrayer" as well ?
 Also desertions and outright mutnity were rampant all over including fragging, not just Kyril's regiment were they not?

He did what he was asked, indeed, but bearing the red banner perhaps wasn't what the former Tsar would like to see. About the loyalty of the troops following the Provisional Government, it's open to debate whether they followed the Provisional Government or the framework settled by it,
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 17, 2007, 12:42:33 PM
Setting aside the obvious problems with everyone "betraying" Nicholas, I am curious as to what tribunal would have been able to bring an anointed ex-Emperor to justice for actions undertaken while he ruled? The Allied nations seem to have regarded Dutch sovereignty to be more important that bringing the Kaiser to account after World War I, but had they been able to lay hands upon him, they would presumably have thought that international law outweighed oaths, as they later did with the Nazis in the Nuremburg Trials. I don't know of any effort to try Karl I of Austria-Hungary.

Had the Bolsheviks brought the Tsar to Moscow in 1918, would Nicholas have recognized their authority? He did seem to accept that of the Provisional Government, and as Robert pointed out, so did Grand Duke Michael, the man he named as his successor. I am inclined to think that he would not have accepted a tribunal created by the Provisional Government, let alone the Bolsheviks, since he would have felt that as long as he hadn't broken his oath --- as he arguably did through the instrument of abdication --- he could not be judged by former subjects for his activities while he considered himself accountable to God alone.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 01:00:21 PM
By the way,  there is a thread about GD Kyril and GD Victoria.  On the first page is a comment by James Hogland  who felt  Kryil's "betrayed" the Tsar:


Not only did Cyril fly the red flag over his palace but betrayed the tsar and tsarina in other ways also for which he was disdained by other members of the family and monarchists after the war. As commander of the Garde Equipage, the marines guarding the Alexander Palace at the time of the revolution, he and they were the almost sole protectors of the tsarina and her children who were ill with the measles. Instead of being true to the family and his oath, Cyril ordered the marines to march away from the palace and march to Petrograd, leaving the palace and family virtually unguarded. In Petrograd Cyril offered the services of the marines to the new provisional government and himself took an oath of allegiance to the new government. Probably he was playing politics, hoping that the Constituent Assembly would restore the monarchy with him as emperor, since Nicholas had taken himself and Alexsei out of the running, and Michael had disassociated himself with it.
These actions together with his questionable marriage to Victoria Melita were the basis for supporters of the monarchy being cool to his claims to the throne after war. He, and his brothers, were also notorious rakes, drinkers and womanizers. Cyril's career in the navy had not been stellar either.
[/size]
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Kurt Steiner on February 17, 2007, 01:09:39 PM
IIRC, when Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich claimed to be -or was technically- the heir according to primogeniture, some people did accuse him of treason against the last Tsar.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 01:12:57 PM

We have just found confirmation of the Tchcheglovitov report in the Diaries of V. M. Purishkevitch , Right wing Duma member and part of the murder of Rasputin:

26 November 1916: (snip) I feel that the Valdimiroviches, and their mother, while remaining inherently foreign and germanophobic, do not only harm to our army at the front, but constantly intrigue against the Sovereign ( which they try to disguise with high flown talk about the good of Russia) .
They have never given up their hope that the throne of Russia would one day revert to their line. I can't help but remember the story told by Ivan Grigorievich Tchchelgovitov, of how, when he was Minister of Justice, Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich came up to him one day to have him elucidate the question: did they, the Vladimiroviches, have the right according to the laws of the Russian Empire, to succed to the throne, and if not, why not?
Tchcheglovitov, who after this talk with the Grand Duke Boris, became the subject of their cruel hatred, received from them the nickname of Vanka Cain (an anti-Semitic slur), explained to the Grand Duke that they had no right to the succession because the Grand Duchess Marya Pavlovna, their mother, had remained a Lutheran after her marriage.  Boris went off disappointed, but some time later he put at Tchcheglovitov's disposal a document which made it clear that Marya Pavlovna had ceased being a Lutheran and had become a member of the Orthodox Church...

V.M. Purishkevich, The Murder of Rasputin, Edited by Michael E. Shaw, 1985 Ardis Publishers. ISBN 0-88233-931-1. pg 87-88.

I highlighted the "intrigue..."

What other sources do we have that this is true?

AGRBear
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 17, 2007, 01:21:57 PM
This is QueenEna1887's opinion. 

From what a close friend of mine John Kendrick has told me, that Cyril was a hypocrite. He broke his oath to the Czar during the Russian Revolution when he gave him the title of Head of the Palace Guards to watch over the Czar's wife and children. He abandoned his post and marched with the other troops during the revolution. What he committed was treason which could have caused him death for defying a Czar. Anyways his mother Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the elder did not like the Czar or his wife and tried to plan a nasty plot on the Czar in 1916 to get Cyril on the throne. Anyways after a London Court in 1924 proved that the Czar's brother Michael was dead he had the nerve to call himself " Czar of Russia-in-exile" What a loser!!

Did his mother have such a plot in 1916???
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 17, 2007, 02:18:29 PM
Quote
Tsarfan made a comment that I thought was very profound - he never understood the symbolic meaning of his position.   One characteristic of great leaders is that they not only have a vision, but they are able to articulate that vision and interpret it in a way that others can draw meaning and hope from it.  Nicholas simply did not have the ability to understand the symbolic meaning of his position and then translate that to his people in a way that could be easily understood and give them hope for the future of Russia.  His entire reign was dedicated to preserving the past, instead of building a future.  Grandella pointed out that TR understood that the future was going to happen, and change was inevitable.  No leader is able to stop it, but it is possible to exercise some control in its direction. 

Elizabeth's post made me consider something I hadn't really given much thought to before - the reliance of the Romanovs on the "peasant masses".    Unfortunately, it was a reliance on what they were, not on what they were becoming or what they could be.  Most parents are happy when their children demonstrate progess, maturation and independence.  They want their children to have a better future, to grow, but for some reason, as "the little father" the Tsar was unable to see a better future for "his children" and was fearful to let them go.   Of course this is idle speculation, but in his own family life, people were struck at how childish his daughters were as teenagers and adult women.  Could this fear of the future have been such that it transcended his own family to Russia as a whole? 

Bev made this post over on the 1905 thread, and I thought it was so insightful that I hope no one minds if I repost it here (especially you, Bev!).

Antonia Fraser remarked in an interview that we have trouble conceiving how cut off from reality the 18th century monarch was, due to limited first-hand knowledge of their own countries. She was speaking of Marie Antoinette, but it takes very little imagination to apply the same insight to Nicholas and Alexandra. Once they retreated into Tsarskoe Selo, how much contact with the larger Russian world did they have? They disliked Petersburg, and their trips each year were generally to the same destinations --- cruising the northern waters around Finland, Livadia. And of course Alexandra (and Nicholas) clung to a view of the peasants that had little to do with the reality of the emerging urban worker class. How much willfull self-censorship to reality does it take before one can no longer make accurate judgements?

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 03:32:48 PM
Antonia Fraser remarked in an interview that we have trouble conceiving how cut off from reality the 18th century monarch was, due to limited first-hand knowledge of their own countries. She was speaking of Marie Antoinette, but it takes very little imagination to apply the same insight to Nicholas and Alexandra. Once they retreated into Tsarskoe Selo, how much contact with the larger Russian world did they have? They disliked Petersburg, and their trips each year were generally to the same destinations --- cruising the northern waters around Finland, Livadia. And of course Alexandra (and Nicholas) clung to a view of the peasants that had little to do with the reality of the emerging urban worker class. How much willfull self-censorship to reality does it take before one can no longer make accurate judgements?

Simon

Your post reminds me of something that's been bothering me for some time. Nicholas II's reign saw an explosion of intellectual and artistic talent in Russia, a veritable renaissance of philosophers, theologians, writers, poets, artists, composers, musicians, dancers and choreographers (and I'm even sure I'm leaving someone out). To what extent did Nicholas and Alexandra have any contact with these people, the best and the brightest of their own country? I remember reading somewhere in this forum a post by the FA to the effect that (as I recall) the emperor and empress once asked the great Alexander Blok to recite poems for them. But when I started a thread about the Silver Age in the "Their World and Culture" thread,  there was a rather deafening silence from everybody on the subject of who N&A's intellectual and artistic contacts were. This either means that the subject has never been researched adequately or that Nicholas and Alexandra genuinely did not take much interest in the world of talent surrounding them.

I can only contrast Nicholas's example to Alexander I, who hired the poet Zhukovsky to be his eldest son's (the future Alexander II's) tutor, or even Alexander III, who despite his minister Konstantin Pobedonostsev's perpetual rantings against Leo Tolstoy, nevertheless read at least two of the author's most controversial later works and even, according to Tolstoy's biographer Henri Troyat, found them to be great works of art. For that matter, Pobedonostsev himself wrote about "The Kreutzer Sonata," "A powerful work. If I ask myself whether I must condemn it for immorality, I cannot bring myself to say I should." The work was banned nonetheless, but I think the point is taken: even Pobedonostsev, however reactionary he was, had a brilliant mind that could recognize genius, albeit dangerous genius. Alexander III acknowledged as much in appointing him tutor to his heir, the future Nicholas II. But who did Nicholas II appoint as tutors to his own heir, Alexei Nikolaevich? The aging nonentity, Petrov, who spent half his lessons nodding off to sleep, and the equally unknown Gilliard and Gibbes.

Was Nicholas II just so intellectually insecure that he did not find the presence of truly gifted people stimulating? Was he really so limited and fearful in his outlook?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Louis_Charles on February 17, 2007, 03:39:20 PM
This is a question that interests me because of my profession, Elisabeth, so I am going to try and get some answers. But, and it's a weak but, intellectual ability is hardly the hallmark of most European monarchs throughout history. Nicholas did read Tolstoy and Doestoevksy, Gogol and Pushkin. He was more broadly read than Alexandra, who seemed to confine herself to Marie Corelli and religious writers for the most part.

But as for their general interest in contemporary culture --- I have never heard that they were, and they certainly weren't big attenders of the theatre, opera, etc. --- Alix in particular found it difficult to appear in public.

Simon
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 03:45:39 PM
Was Nicholas II just so intellectually insecure that he did not find the presence of truly gifted people stimulating? Was he really so limited and fearful in his outlook?

I don't know that I'll ever track it down, but some time back I read in one of the political memoirs of the period that Nicholas avoided the company of highly-intellectual people, preferring instead innocuous conversation on mundane topics.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: lexi4 on February 17, 2007, 03:46:02 PM
You know, I've never read much about that either Elisabeth. I have always assumed, maybe incorrectly, that the Tsar and Tsarista were so consumed with Alexei's illness, that this part of life just kind of got pushed in the back burner.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 03:47:01 PM
But as for their general interest in contemporary culture --- I have never heard that they were, and they certainly weren't big attenders of the theatre, opera, etc. --- Alix in particular found it difficult to appear in public.

Simon

Actually, from what I've read so far, Nicholas and his daughters were big attenders of the opera and ballet, at least. Alexandra and Alexei were not, for obvious health (and in Alexandra's case, psychological) reasons. What I'm wondering is, was that the total extent of Nicholas II's involvement in the cultural renaissance of his day?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 03:57:42 PM
Antonia Fraser remarked in an interview that we have trouble conceiving how cut off from reality the 18th century monarch was, due to limited first-hand knowledge of their own countries. She was speaking of Marie Antoinette, but it takes very little imagination to apply the same insight to Nicholas and Alexandra. Once they retreated into Tsarskoe Selo, how much contact with the larger Russian world did they have? They disliked Petersburg, and their trips each year were generally to the same destinations --- cruising the northern waters around Finland, Livadia. And of course Alexandra (and Nicholas) clung to a view of the peasants that had little to do with the reality of the emerging urban worker class. How much willfull self-censorship to reality does it take before one can no longer make accurate judgements?

I think this merits consideration, Simon.  However, I think that Nicholas -- and Alexandra, in particular -- had another impediment to their judgments than just unawareness.  It was the belief in the supernatural, to the point almost of absurdity.

Remember that Alexandra fell under the sway of Father Phillipe, completely buying into his prediction of a male child . . . until she bore yet another girl.  She attributed the birth of Alexei to having bathed in waters blessed by Saint Serafim.  She sent the tsar a comb blessed by Rasputin so that he could comb his hair with it before important meetings.  And, as the attacks on Protopov mounted by the few sentient people remaining among Nicholas' ministers, Protopov succeeded in retaining Alexandra's support by, in part, claiming to behold the dead Rasputin's specter during his audiences with her.

When a Minister of the Interior can hold onto his job by pretending to see ghosts, one really has to wonder whether the impediments to seeing reality didn't have to do with a whole  lot more than the royal travel itinerary.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 04:20:58 PM
I think this merits consideration, Simon.  However, I think that Nicholas -- and Alexandra, in particular -- had another impediment to their judgments than just unawareness.  It was the belief in the supernatural, to the point almost of absurdity.

Remember that Alexandra fell under the sway of Father Phillipe, completely buying into his prediction of a male child . . . until she bore yet another girl.  She attributed the birth of Alexei to having bathed in waters blessed by Saint Serafim.  She sent the tsar a comb blessed by Rasputin so that he could comb his hair with it before important meetings.  And, as the attacks on Protopov mounted by the few sentient people remaining among Nicholas' ministers, Protopov succeeded in retaining Alexandra's support by, in part, claiming to behold the dead Rasputin's specter during his audiences with her.

When a Minister of the Interior can hold onto his job by pretending to see ghosts, one really has to wonder whether the impediments to seeing reality didn't have to do with a whole  lot more than the royal travel itinerary.

Yes, I'm trying to think of other rulers who believed in the supernatural... I mean, leaving aside the ancient, medieval and early modern rulers who of course necessarily (as far as we know, given their deeply superstitious culture) did so. Didn't Napoleon claim to have some kind of great epiphany whilst visiting the Great Pyramid of Egypt? He went inside and supposedly had some kind of vision; he emerged greatly changed, according to eyewitnesses. But knowing Napoleon, this was all a big, self-conscious act of theater and a definite power-play. He wanted to intimidate his friends and enemies alike and he wanted to win over the Muslim populations of the East with a new, "god-like" persona.

And Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers about the safety and well-being of her husband after the attempt to assassinate him almost succeeded. But obviously this was not quite the same thing as Reagan himself bowing to his wife's decisions out of a sincere belief in her superstitions. It seems to me that RR felt obliged to "go with the program" because of his feelings of compassion and consideration for a loving and devoted spouse. To do otherwise would be to upset her unnecessarily.

But come to think of it, are we so sure that Nicholas himself didn't pay obeisance to his wife's superstitions out of spousely consideration, or more likely, in order to avoid those hysterical scenes of Alexandra that you have referred to in other posts?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 04:32:38 PM
Yes, I'm trying to think of other rulers who believed in the supernatural . . .

Alexander I courted mysticism in the latter part of his reign.  But, then, there were some indications that he might have already lost a few bricks from his load by then.  (As decidedly non-conspiratorial as I am, I actually think the suspicion that he staged his own death to escape the throne might be one of those very rare instances of such tales being true.)


But come to think of it, are we so sure that Nicholas himself didn't pay obeisance to his wife's superstitions out of spousely consideration, or more likely, in order to avoid those hysterical scenes of Alexandra that you have referred to in other posts?

I suppose there would have been no harm in using a magic comb to keep a loopy wife calm.  But accepting the reputational damage Rasputin did to the dynasty, leaving the likes of a Protopov in office as a monarchical crisis loomed (remember that a grand duke and a prince had just been acclaimed national heroes for murdering someone under the tsar's protection), and asking his sane ministers to report to his wife while he was at Stavka go very, very far beyond humoring a spectrally-bent wife.  They are, at the very least, highly reckless actions.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 04:57:57 PM
Alexander I courted mysticism in the latter part of his reign.  But, then, there were some indications that he might have already lost a few bricks from his load by then.  (As decidedly non-conspiratorial as I am, I actually think the suspicion that he staged his own death to escape the throne might be one of those very rare instances of such tales being true.)

Strictly entre nous, I think it's true, too. But I'm not convinced it was because he'd "lost a few bricks from his load," as you so poetically put it; I think he felt genuine remorse for the murder of his father and knew that as a true Orthodox Christian he had to expiate his sin. In other words, I think he was sincere, even fervent, in his religious beliefs and in his desire to die a good man. BTW, that's why religion will always trump psychoanalysis - because it offers redemption even after death.

I suppose there would have been no harm in using a magic comb to keep a loopy wife calm.  But accepting the reputational damage Rasputin did to the dynasty, leaving the likes of a Protopov in office as a monarchical crisis loomed (remember that a grand duke and a prince had just been acclaimed national heroes for murdering someone under the tsar's protection), and asking his sane ministers to report to his wife while he was at Stavka go very, very far beyond humoring a spectrally-bent wife.  They are, at the very least, highly reckless actions.

But are you so sure he wouldn't have kept Protopopov in office anyway, even if he'd been married to someone else entirely different from Alix of Hesse? I myself am not convinced. I agree with Nicholas's biographer Dominic Lieven, that the emperor's choices in terms of ministerial appointments were strictly (disastrously) limited by his conservative (oh, let's be frank, reactionary) beliefs and his automatic suspiciousness of anyone not subscribing to those same beliefs. Which were very obstinately held, might I add, and would probably have been adhered to even in the absence of the dreaded Alix of Hesse.

Frankly speaking, however, I think Nicholas and Alexandra were a perfect match. As perfect as it gets, in terms of personality, likes, dislikes, even in terms of genetics. (In fact Harmony.com would kill for such a match.) After all, they might have had a hemophiliac son, but according to at least one of Nicholas's ministers, writing about the last days of Nicholas's reign, that same sickly son had incredible charisma, in fact all the autocratic charisma that his own father lacked. And the daughters were also very attractive and (judging from all the threads in this forum about them) also charismatic. No, Nicholas and Alexandra were ideally suited for each other. They had gorgeous children; they wore gorgeous clothes; they lived in gorgeous palaces; they saw eye to eye on just about everything that mattered to them and that included politics. What more could anyone want?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 05:21:36 PM
What more could anyone want?

The ability to keep their jobs, perhaps?
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 05:31:53 PM
What more could anyone want?

The ability to keep their jobs, perhaps?

Thanks for giving me the first good laugh of the day, Tsarfan. I need it right now, snowed in as we are at the moment. Don't cry for me, Siberia...
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 05:34:42 PM
But are you so sure he wouldn't have kept Protopopov in office anyway . . . ?

Well, no matter how much I liked his politics, I would have dumped him the minute he started telling people he was seeing ghosts.  But that's just me, with my quaint notion that senior government officials ought at least to appear sane and take a stab at using strength of argument instead of spectral assistance to present their cases to their masters.

(I just bought our first "snow pusher" today.  We've slipped beyond the reach of snow shovels.  Ugh.)

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Elisabeth on February 17, 2007, 05:53:24 PM
Well, no matter how much I liked his politics, I would have dumped him the minute he started telling people he was seeing ghosts.  But that's just me, with my quaint notion that senior government officials ought at least to appear sane and take a stab at using strength of argument instead of spectral assistance to present their cases to their masters.

But don't you think he was only claiming to see ghosts in order to stay in the good graces of Alexandra Feodorovna? Those in the imperial administration who wanted to stay in favor, catered to the supernatural whims of the empress, and those who had integrity, or better yet, who saw which way the wind was blowing, did not.

(I just bought our first "snow pusher" today.  We've slipped beyond the reach of snow shovels.  Ugh.)

When so much pain, exertion, expense and new gadgets are required, who can really be bothered? Better just to stick it out at home. Although, truth be told, the new gadgets don't go over too badly with the poor old husband.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 17, 2007, 08:42:06 PM
But don't you think he was only claiming to see ghosts in order to stay in the good graces of Alexandra Feodorovna?

I do.  But that makes him despicable instead of merely absurd.  Anyone who has to feign spiritual sightings to hold onto high office must know that he is serving masters who cannot possibly serve the nation well . . . especially a nation at war for its life.

In my view, anyone who had the talent to hold high office at this juncture of Russian history had the obligation to use that talent to create good government, not to support such masters.  (That's why I have no moral qualms in according Catherine the Husband Killer the title of Catherine the Great.)
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Tsarfan on February 18, 2007, 07:33:40 AM
But I'm not convinced it was because he'd "lost a few bricks from his load," as you so poetically put it; I think he felt genuine remorse for the murder of his father and knew that as a true Orthodox Christian he had to expiate his sin. In other words, I think he was sincere, even fervent, in his religious beliefs and in his desire to die a good man. BTW, that's why religion will always trump psychoanalysis - because it offers redemption even after death.

Actually, I agree with your analysis of what was going on in Alexander's mind shortly before his disappearance from the scene.  But I did a lot of posting yesterday, and there is an upper limit to how long I can write about Romanovs before my tongue slips into my cheek.  It's an illness, I know.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 18, 2007, 12:32:20 PM
Kurt, yes some did accuse Kyril. But treason? Against whom or what? The Emperor no longer exsisted, it was not manifest in Nicholas, Alexei nor Michael.  Treason or "betrayal" at that point would be against the legitimate government, would it not? If there even was a throne, it was certainly vacant, imo. I think that most "betrayals" by members of the IF were more from frustration and perhaps jealousies than any real political or even pragmatic reasons.
Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: AGRBear on February 18, 2007, 06:49:41 PM
 Kyril  jump the gun, so to speak,  on heading off the the Duma. 

He had left Alexandra and the children with his men [which excluded his officers who reamined] in the early hours of  2  / 15 March  1917.

Nicholas II was still Tsar.

It wasn't until half-past two in the afternoon that Nicholas II would announce that he had decided to abdicate the throne in favor of Alexei.....  He  then went into "cabin" and drew up his own abdication....

Pipes tells us p. 90 A CONCISE ISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

>>An hour later he reappeared  with the text of an abdication manifesto written by hand on telegraph blanks<<

As we know,  this document was changed  "sometime" after nine p.m., when   Nicholas II wrote a new one in favor of  his brother Michael which in part held new text  prepared in Petrograd earlier....

So where was Kyril?  He was already with the Duma.

And what about  Kyril's loyality to his cousin the new uncrown Emp.  Michael?

Did someone say  "treason"?    

[Now, remember,  we're looking at the events through Tsar Nicholas II's eyes and then through the ex-Tsar's Nicholas II's eyes and  NOT our eyes with 20./20 hindsight.}

Did Nicholas II ever write anyone or say anything in his diary about Kyril's actions so we could know what he really thought?

AGRBear

Title: Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
Post by: James1941 on February 18, 2007, 08:31:22 PM
Here is what Michael John Sullivan writes from Kirill's perspective in his work A Fatal Passion:
"One day an officer of the Naval Guards came to Ducky and Kirill's palace and reported that the ...sailor"s had locked up their officers. With no hesitation Kirill hurried off to speak to his men. He found them in an "ugly temper," but he managed to restore order because they were still