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Messages - starik

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1
The Imperial Family / Re: Confusion on calendars.
« on: September 21, 2020, 08:58:09 PM »
Before the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1918 Russia used the Julian Calendar. At the time Olga, Tatiana and Maria were born, that calendar was 12 days behind the Gregorian Calendar, but in 1900 the Old Style Julian Calendar had a leap year where February 28 was followed by the 29th. But in the Gregorian Calendar used by other countries there was no leap year in 1900, so it was March 1st. That put the Old Style Julian Calendar 13 days behind.

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Imperial Russian History / Re: Safer to be an Empress?
« on: April 04, 2016, 08:25:59 PM »
The word "revolution" or "revolutionary" has different meanings and contexts. Here, I used it only for Russia. My meaning and context was a complete, total and absolute destruction of not just the regime or government, but all institutions as well. Everything, from top to bottom. Government, laws, church, organizations, calendar, forms of address - everything. Replacing a regime with a similar regime (maintains institutions, etc.) - just different people, falls a little short of "revolution" and seems more like a "change/adjustment." For me, a change in masters is not, in itself, a "revolution." The modern revolutionary wanted (and wants) to change the poor existing nature of society/humanity often (or always) through forced "enlightenment." The loftiest of goals. There are, for me, very few true "Revolutions." The French and Russian being the greatest and truest.

Revolutionaries would kill an Empress with little hesitation.

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Imperial Russian History / Re: Safer to be an Empress?
« on: April 04, 2016, 10:08:01 AM »
I'm not sure about the security surrounding the Tsars prior to the assassination of Alexander II. Sort of like the security surrounding Abraham Lincoln. But I also think Empresses were more likely to be simply deposed than assassinated. Also, all rulers face the threat of the madman or lone assassin, but a dedicated revolutionary movement was a more modern development with an extreme threat level.

But I think that had Catherine the Great had a daughter instead of a son, she would have died in bed as an Empress.

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Imperial Russian History / Safer to be an Empress?
« on: April 03, 2016, 10:04:07 AM »
Interesting to note that the Empresses died of natural causes. Anyone ever figure out the odds of male rulers of Russia dying from violence compared to women? Seems like as soon as a man came back to the throne (Peter III or Paul I), they couldn't kill him fast enough. Just for their protection, Catherine the Great should have decreed only women could inherit the throne! It was even safer to be Peter the Great's throne-stealing sister than his son!

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Imperial Russian History / Re: Was the Tsar loved after 1905?
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:16:45 AM »
My impression of peasants loving the Tsar depends on the rural/urban divide. It also seems as though opinion often split families - didn't Yurovsky recall how infuriated he was with his father's blind allegiance (if not actually love) to the Tsar? As far as avoiding the revolution by making concessions, it seems the dedicated revolutionary movement, now almost a century old, viewed it as weakness. A Tsar could have gave Russians a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and it would only have infuriated the revolutionaries, making them desperate less the Tsar succeed. They wanted ALL power - not a benevolent Tsar. The worse for Russia the better for them. The only way for Nicholas to avoid his fate was to go into exile or rule like Stalin. Thoroughly brutal against any and all possible threats, forcing people to not only refrain from subversion, but to go out of their way to demonstrate their loyalty - by informing on others. There was a reason the Red Tsar died in old age, while Romanovs rarely did. There was no middle ground for the last Romanov.

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Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Shtandart or Standart?
« on: February 25, 2016, 05:47:51 PM »
The British have it right. The "Sh" is the letter in Russian. The Americans like to Americanize foreign words (every country does it).

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The Final Chapter / Re: FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE
« on: February 25, 2016, 05:30:22 PM »
I believe Helen Rappaport in "The Last Days of the Romanovs" reports that Maria tried to get through the locked storeroom door. And that Tatiana tried to get away from Yurovsky as he approached her for the final shot, and then Olga also tried to get to her feet to get away from him.

8
I think it shows how complicated a person can be. I always understood Tatiana was reserved and a bit mysterious as to what she was thinking or feeling, while it was said Olga wore her heart on her sleeve and was far more open. Makes sense, I guess, that Tatiana would be more inclined to open up a bit to her diary what she hesitated to reveal openly around others (outsiders). But that's only us on the outside looking in. My guess is that her sisters always knew what she was thinking and feeling about everything.

9
Having Fun! / Re: Rare Pictures XIII
« on: December 17, 2015, 10:40:05 AM »
Wonderful! So few pictures of Maria in Tobolsk.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« on: December 11, 2015, 11:34:30 AM »
I get the impression that most Russians today have answered the question, "Was it worth it?" by saying, "Yes."

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« on: December 08, 2015, 11:36:10 PM »
I should quickly correct and say I shouldn't have said European railroads could reach "all" of the country, but effectively enough that other transport getting to one wasn't a great obstacle. And that Eisenhower was not inspired by the railroads, rather the Autobahn. But in the age of Bismark the railroads necessarily linked the same geographical objectives as war and commerce.

But on topic, I wonder if any of the later Tsars ever envisaged a New Economic Plan or Five Year Plan to prioritize national economic development, or felt the need to. Did the Tsars secretly favor on some level a backward Russia? Nothing an ancien regime loves more than yesterday. 

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« on: December 08, 2015, 10:24:23 PM »
"Trains run on time" was partly metaphoric for overall control of all aspects of the country, economic and social. Perhaps "efficiency" was too narrow and specific a word. "Sufficient" or "adequate" may have been better. Civilian use is simply rehearsal for military use. The First World War is what I meant by "stress." It didn't work then because it was never sufficient as defined by strength and resiliency. It's weakness and fatal flaw was revealed by war - not caused by it. Imperial war production could not match Stalin's war production, even after three years. Because of defect, whether that be, in part, inefficiency or additional causes. It takes the same infrastructure whether it's guns or butter. War or peace. Germany had much less problem delivering and maintaining a well equipped army to the east, because of infrastructure. And their efficiency.

As railroads go, European states had need of far less track to reach effectively all their land. You weren't as far from a railhead anywhere in Europe as in Russia. And if you can't service the whole country, you're inefficient - and/or insufficient. Doesn't really matter if they run on time - just that they do run. Incidentally, Germany, the leader of European railways, designed their railroads specifically for military use to move men and equipment quickly where needed, much like Eisenhower, so inspired, planned the American interstate highway system. The economic benefits followed, like they did on Roman roads.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« on: December 08, 2015, 05:43:35 PM »
Perhaps a factor in the increase in the Soviet living standard can partially be explained by the ability of totalitarian governments to "make the trains run on time." Under Nicholas, the infrastructure was so riddled with inefficiency and corruption it was inadequate to meet the needs of the economy and under stress completely collapsed. The basic production and delivery of food and fuel is a case in point. The Soviets made strong compulsory efforts, but they too would fall prey to inevitable corruption and the decay that results from the lack of free incentive.

In wartime Nazi Germany, Albert Speer managed to actually increase production in spite of Allied bombing, but that was largely due to slave labor. Forcing people to work can accomplish wonders.

14
Having Fun! / Re: Rare Pictures XIII
« on: December 06, 2015, 03:33:50 PM »
Believe it is Sablin on the left, with a Grand Duchess' white sleeve cuff, and another Grand Duchess on the right with her walking stick. Cross reference with photo in Reply #392.

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The Final Chapter / Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« on: December 03, 2015, 11:26:21 AM »
Often overlooked is the fact that the Whites were not fighting to restore the monarchy - only to defeat the Bolsheviks. The Romanovs were finished no matter who won. Also, Siberians had a history of helping people on the run - from the Tsar.

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