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1
In the same vein, from an old thread:

I've just finished reading an unusually excellent and engrossing novel, The Exception by the Danish author Christian Jungerson. The book concerns four women who work at the Danish Center for Information on Genocide (DCIG), which in reality is the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The plot of this truly exceptional novel revolves around anonymous emails threatening death to two of the employees, who, instead of fixing their suspicions on the most likely candidate for making such death threats, an escaped Serbian war criminal, concentrate their fear and hatred on an older coworker and, in the not-so-subtle campaign of psychological persecution they conduct against her on a daily basis, nearly drive her to madness.

Interspersed with the fictional events at the Center are up-to-date accounts of actual, recent research into genocide studies. One of the alarming studies done by the real-life Danish researcher Torben Jorgensen found as follows:

"10-20 percent of perpetrators try to obtain transfer to other duties;
50-80 percent do as they are told;
10-30 percent develop into eager killers and run riot, intoxicated by torture, rape, and murder"

(Jorgensen's statistics, cited in Christian Jungersen, The Exception, New York: Doubleday, 2004, translation by Anna Paterson.)

Apparently the number of would-be perpetrators who actually have the nerve to stand up and say "no, this is evil, stop it now," to their immediate superiors, is so infinitesimal that it cannot even be scientifically measured.

2
Apparantly, in one of his famous YouTube videos, psychology professor and modern alt-right guru Jordan B. Peterson urges people to try to understand the revolutions, genocides, world wars and totalitarian regimes of the 20th century not by trying to put themselves in the place of the victims, as is most often done in education, literature, movies, museums etc., but in the place of the perpetrators, like a gulag or concentration camp guard. Only when you reflect upon your own possible voluntary or involuntary involvement on the "bad side" will you begin to grasp the horror of it - that it actually happened!

Does anyone know in which particular video he talks about this?

3
Perhaps people expect more from women, because the few women who have managed to wield massive political power have been extremely shrewd and clever: Queen Margrethe I of the Kalmar Union, Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel etc. Plus, there is always the "mom factor": Mom knows best, so when a senior female politician fails it's seen as catastrophic, because "mom" is supposed to always be right, know best and have her children's best interest at heart. (Whereas a dad's fall from power just is another patricide and possibility for a son / new alpha to climb to the top.)

It's interesting to see how Angela "Mutti" Merkel now is facing more and more criticism and problems. She seems to have a tendency to lock herself in her own idealistic and ideological bubble in the same way as her compatriot Alexandra. Merkel is well-meaning in a manner similar to Alexandra compared to for example Theresa May, who with the recent imprisonment of regime critic Tommy Robinson has shown a macchiavellian and totalitarian side worthy of the Soviets, in addition to her very obvious fear of upsetting extremist Muslims.



4
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:54:31 PM »
It should not be forgotten that Le Gaulois is a nationalist French newspaper. He is ironic because the Germans give a price to "the ally of France".
The French were still very worried at that time, as soon as the Germans were "nice" with the Tsar.

It's interesting that the French public in the middle of the Dreyfus panic would suspect the same thing as the Chinese did when the Norwegian Nobel Committee (NOT the Norwegian government) awarded the human rights activist Liu Xiaobo the prize in 2010 and the Chinese government got really mad at Norway. Even though you can't rule out that it also might have been used or infiltrated for political purposes (peace activism as a cover for armament and preparations for war), the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft must have been rather unpopular and suspect in the very militaristic leading circles of Wilhelminian Germany.

5
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:46:56 PM »
For the sum, it did not surprise me. I think that speaking of Alfred Nobel the sum in crowns seemed logical to the journalist.
How many Frenchmen knew the value of Swedish crowns in 1898 - or today, even if Le Gaulois was read by the upper classes of French society, according to Wikipedia? (In fact 10 million Swedish crowns seem to be worth 13.885.036 francs in 1898.)

Quote
In fact, if I have confidence in the information it is because Le Gaulois is a journal very friend of Nicolas II. Even after the revolution of 1917. So the "ironic" or "annoyed" tone of the article is surprising. If the information had been wrong, I think the tone would have been more neutral.
So the newspaper is perhaps trying to make fun of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft and peace activists in general?

6
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:53:34 AM »
Maybe he refused the sum.

I do not speak German very well, but perhaps there are also more specific German sources.

After all, Le Gaulois reports information from Berlin.

It should not be forgotten that Le Gaulois is a nationalist French newspaper. He is ironic because the Germans give a price to "the ally of France".

The French were still very worried at that time, as soon as the Germans were "nice" with the Tsar.

Yes, context is important for the interpretation. To me it sounds like a lot of dubious newspaper reports that go like "according to trusted sources", "one hears from Berlin that....", "it is reported that...." etc. Notice also that they do not specify whether the 10 million are Swedish crowns, French francs, German Reichsmark or what. Sounds fishy.

You can search Le Gaulois or other newspapers for further mentions of the actual ceremony or reception. (Obviously not NII travelling to Germany to receive the prize, but a delegation from Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft travelling to St. Petersburg to award it.) If it isn't mentioned again later in 1898 or in 1899 it was evidently just a false rumour.

7
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:31:57 AM »
The association gave its prize to Nicolas II in 1898. The prize was paid with the donation of Nobel.
Deutschen Fridengesellschaft still exists. I sent an email to find out.

Good idea. It will be interesting to read the answer. But I doubt it's true. As Le Gaulois notes, it would be absurd and controversial to give a huge money price to one of the richest men in the world. If NII did receive it, he would have donated it to the Permanent Court of Arbitration or some other good cause if he had half a brain and I've never read anything about him doing so.

8
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:25:04 AM »
Bjornson was a member since 1897.

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_over_Den_norske_Nobelkomites_medlemmer#Den_Norske_Nobelkomite/_Det_Norske_Stortings_Nobelkomite_1897%E2%80%931909

List of members:

Den Norske Nobelkomite 1897

Bernhard Getz (47 år), riksadvokat. Høyre.
Johannes Steen (70 år), Stortingspresident. Venstre.
Jørgen Løvland (49 år), Odelstingets president. Venstre.
John Theodor Lund (55 år), President Lagtingets. Venstre.
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (65 år), forfatter. Venstre.

Nobel may have given before his death. I do not have the details.

Thank you, I didn't know they set up a committee already in 1897, even though it had to wait untill 1901 to actually award a prize. But then it makes even more sense that the great speaker and writer Bjørnson already started talking about candidates years before the formalities were in place.

9
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:17:20 AM »
Alfred Nobel died in December 1896. He had no direct heirs, but other relatives contested his testament in court cases that lasted three years, because it gave them very little of his enormous fortune. There were also several testaments that had to be examined to find the last and correct one. So the Nobel Foundation, which manages this capital and funds the prizes, could not be founded untill 1900, and the prizes could then be awarded for the first time in 1901. A further delaying factor, which involved Nikolay II, was that Nobel's investments in Russia, most notably in the oil industry in Baku and Azerbaijan had to be liquidated and allowed to "exit Russia", in order to set up the foundation.

So when Le Gaulois prints a rumour in September 1898 about Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft awarding a donation from the Nobel legacy to NII as a peace prize it is just a rumour, because at that time it is not certain that Nobel's money will actually be used to fund various prizes instead of being claimed by his heirs.

10
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 06:57:32 AM »
I am not talking about the real Nobel Peace Prize. It did not exist in 1898. But at his death, Alfred Nobel made a donation (only one) to the German Peace League (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft founded in 1892).
Here is Alfred Nobel's testament in Swedish original and English translation: https://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/will-full.html Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft is not mentioned as a beneficiary, only private individuals (family, friends, servants etc.) and the fund for the Nobel Prizes.

Quote
I'm not saying that Nicholas II was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, he was awarded the prize of the German Peace League paid through a donation from Alfred Nobel.
I understand what you mean. But I couldn't find any mention of this when I googled it in German.

Quote
Nicholas II never received the real Nobel Peace Prize. But your book talks about the real Nobel Prize (of which Bjornson was a member).
The Nobel Peace Prize is, according to Alfred Nobel's testament, awarded by a committee of five members chosen by the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget). You are right about Bjørnson being a member of this committee from 1901 to 1906. But when he suggested NII in 1898, this committee had not yet been formed.

11
Nicholas II / Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 17, 2018, 06:01:34 AM »
After his death, Alfred Nobel had bequeathed 10 million crowns to the League for Peace of Ludwig Quidde, the famous German pacifist. This sum was endowed with a prize awarded to "the one who has done the most for the cause of peace". Nicolas II was rewarded in 1898. He was thus the first unofficial "Nobel Peace Prize", before Henri Dunant and Frédéric Passy in 1901.

A French link to a source:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5303859/f1.item.r=%22nicolas%20II%22nobelgen%C3%A8veligue%20nobel%20gen%C3%A8ve%20ligue.zoom

Interesting info, but as you can see from the notice in Le Gaulois it was merely a rumour (which the newspaper treated as a bad joke). Here, in a German version of a biography of the Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie I found the same rumour referred to. It was evidently the Norwegian author and peace and minorities activist Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson who had suggested that NII should receive a Nobel peace prize. But apparantly no peace prize was actually awarded that year. But one could say that NII was nominated as a candidate.

The biography further notes that Bjørnson and the rest of the European peace activist intelligentsia were relieved that it hadn't been awarded to him when NII issued the February Manifesto in February 1899, severely limiting Finland's autonomy and aiming at Russification. Four years later, when Bjørnson himself was made Nobel Laureate in Literature, he wrote a poem called Ved modtagelsen av sidste post fra Finland (At the Reception of the Latest Post from Finland) about NII and his role in the Russification process in Finland, containing this verse:

Men han som et folk henretter,
(det lykkes dog ingensinde!)
er født af en nordisk kvinde,
og leged' på danske sletter.
Å Danmark, hvis bøddelen kommer,
da vær ham en folke-sund dommer:
Forbyd ham at træde på jorden;
thi den er de fries i Norden!


=

But he who is executing a people,
(though it will never succeed!)
was born to a Nordic woman,
and once played on Danish plains.
Oh Denmark, if the executioner comes,
then be a national-sound judge of him:
Deny him to step on the earth;
because in the North it belongs to the free!

=

Mais celui qui exécute un peuple,
(bien que cela ne réussira jamais!)
est né d'une femme nordique,
et jouît dans des plaines danoises.
Ô Danemark, si le bourreau vient,
sois un juge sain-national de lui:
Dénie-lui de mettre les pieds sur la terre;
parce que dans le Nord elle appartient aux libres!

If the rumour about NII declaring that Bjørnson was his favourite author when Bjørnson wanted to award him a peace prize (not likely to be true and sounds like something Donald Trump would say!), it certainly wasn't after this indictment!

12
Palaces in Moscow / Re: Grand Kremlin Palace
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:02:49 PM »
Quarterings on a coat of arms represent marriages, so the quarterings referred to here would represent the arms of the individual families whose women married into the Romanov royal line, not countries within the Russian Empire.

Sorry, that's very Anglocentric and more or less wrong with regard to the Imperial House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov (not "the Romanov royal line"). In British heraldry quarterings mostly represent unions with heraldic heiresses (not just any "women" who married into the line). The German tradition which dominates Russian heraldry and the practice concerning arms of dominion like the imperial arms are not concerned with cognatic family lines (unless the woman is a semi-Salic heiress) or arms of alliance, but only with territories and titles which the dynasty can claim, because of actual possession, conquest, cession (after a treaty) (shared agnatic) inheritance etc.. Hence the presence of the arms of Holstein (Dukes of Holstein), Norway (Heir to Norway), Siberia (Tsar of Siberia) etc.

I was not asking why the different charges are found in the imperial arms, but about their presence in these halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace. I should perhaps not have spoken of quarterings, as they seldom are represented as quarterings on one, great shield (but here is an early 19th century example), but usually as separate smaller shields (some with their own quarterings, though) orbiting around the main imperial arms.

13
Palaces in Moscow / Re: Grand Kremlin Palace
« on: June 09, 2018, 12:37:19 PM »
As far as I can see, the walls of the Alexandrovsky Hall is decorated with the various quarterings or arms that make up the great arms of the Russian Empire, thus including the arms of such (nowadays) independent countries like Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Georgia etc. and foreign regions like Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg, Kiev, Vitebsk etc.

The Andreyevskiy Hall (the throne hall) is decorated with the arms of all? guberniyas? of the Russian Empire, in addition to the middle imperial arms on the canopy wall behind the dais with the thrones.. On the wall close to the throne I've spotted the arms of the Volynskaya Guberniya (a silver cross on red), which today is in Ukraina, so I guess it's the former imperial guberniyas, not the current Russian oblasts. But does it include the guberniyas in Poland, Finland etc.?

Can anybody confirm this or even better: Have a list or plan of which arms are displayed where?


14
The Windsors / Re: Prince Henry/Prince Harry of Wales
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:57:32 PM »
Meghan Markle's maternal African-American ancestry has so far received most of the genealogical attention, but there are some interesting things on her paternal side too:

- Her 3x great grandmother, Irish-born Mary Bird née McCaugue, might have worked as a maid at Windsor Castle in 1856. See this article.

- The Markle name is Pennsylvania Dutch, i.e. actually Deutsch rather than Dutch. Most likely it hails from the small Alsatian village of Lampertsloch, today in France, (according to this article) whence a certain Hans Martin Merckel (1699 - 1777) emigrated to Pennsylvania. At that time Lampertsloch, part of the Lordship of Lichtenberg, was already under French suzerainty, but in 1736  the lordship passed from the last Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg through his late heiress Charlotte to her widowed husband Landgrave Ludwig VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt. Her maternal aunt was BTW British George II's Queen Caroline of Ansbach. After the extinction of the House of Hanau a minor war almost broke out between Hesse-Darmstadt and Hesse-Cassel because of the partition of the Hanau inheritance (Hanau-Münzenberg, including Rumpenheim, going to Hesse-Cassel and Hanau-Lichtenberg going to Hesse-Darmstadt.)

When the French Revolution ended the feudal Hessian lordship in this part of Alsace, Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg's grandson was soon to be Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and her granddaughter Wilhelmine had already lived and died as Grand Duchess Natalya Alexeyevna (first wife of Emperor Paul).

The name Markle is thus an Anglification of the rather widespread German surname Merkel, a diminutive of male first names like Markwart or Markhard. The future member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is probably no relation to Chancellor Angela Merkel née Kasner's first husband Ulrich Merkel, who hails from the S-C-G-ish ancestral woods in Thuringia, specifically from Cossengrün just outside the city of Greiz. Those Merkels seem to have lived there ever since it was part of the Principality of Reuss, Senior Line.

15
Anastasia Nicholaievna / Re: Anastasia May Have had a Crush?
« on: May 10, 2018, 03:41:30 PM »
Another great ressource for people starting out with NAOTMAA fan fiction are probably the plays "Вишнёвый сад, / The Cherry Orchard" and "Три сестры / The Three Sisters" by Anton Chekhov, available in English translation here and here. (Click to go to act I in the upper right corner.) They premiered in 1901 and 1904 and give a very good contemporary picture of how the Russian upper class, to which also NAOTMAA belonged, spoke and adressed each other (lots of patronymics!). Of course, the more vishnyovosadskiy lethargic of us will feel that with "The Cherry Orchard" and "The Three Sisters" the atmosphere of NAOTMAA's existence is immortalized in a way that makes any fan fiction superfluous :-)

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