Author Topic: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...  (Read 88585 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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...which would be nice to finally have answers/explanations to.

Since every attempt so far ended up in fights and/or personal attacks resulting in lock downs/deletion of the topic, I thought that it may be a good idea to just compile a list of questions/issues here, and let them stand until we (hopefully) get answers, at which point we can post these answers or explanations here.

The only two conditions are:

1. for the posters to use specific examples with quotes and page numbers, so that it can't be argued that you are misinterpreting/making it up/ etc.  No discussion or arguments here, please, unless it is to clarify the question.

and

2. no one should attempt to post answers unless they have emailed the authors and got the answers directly from them (in other words: don't speak for them). If no answers will be forthcoming directly from the authors , we can just let them stand.

I am going to post my first question/comment/observation (with specific examples), for which I would really like to hear an explanation:

P 445: "To obtain a complete sequence, or mtDNA fingerprint, Gill and Ivanov were forced to look for overlapping, repetitive strands, which were then spliced together to form the missing links in the genetic chain. Although standard practice, this scientific necessity did not provide an unaltered genetic code for the remains, but rather one achieved through manipulation of the available data based on estimation. (*35)" ( * reference 35 is Bryan Sykes' book "The Seven daughters of Eve" p 66-68).

These words the authors use: "forced to look for overlapping", “missing links”, "did not provide an unaltered genetic code", "achieved through manipulation", "based on estimation" – all sound very ominous. If the reader doesn't know basic science, this may give him/her the impression that the scientists did something manipulative, speculative, and that the end result didn't produce a clear-cut answer, but instead they ended up with an uncertain and questionable conclusion.
 
In fact, this is absolutely not true. The entire point of mitochondrial DNA sequencing is that it produces an exact sequence - 100% correct sequence over say 600 letters. This is a very important point. If you get one single "altered genetic code" out of 600 letters, this means you got only 99.9% right, and 0.1% wrong answer, which will then ruin the whole theory/conclusion. The 0.1% difference would confirm that these remains were NOT the Romanov family. But this did not happen at all and the result was a 100% match.
 
Greg King and Penny Wilson state that they based these facts on the Bryan Sykes' book. However, if you read pp 66-68 of the said book, Sykes never said such a thing, in fact he said the complete opposite. 
Sykes: "…eventually the sequences of the presumed Tsarina and her three children were typed. They all had exactly the same sequence as 111, 357. They were all an exact match with the Duke of Edinburgh."

Sykes used the word "exact" twice. Not a single reference to the "altered genetic code" or "manipulation" or "estimation".

So, paraphrasing, why do the authors use terms to imply that there were some sort of dodgy dealings going on, and why do they quote a page from a book that says the exact opposite of what they state?   


If anyone else wants to post any more questions in a similar format (with quotes/examples from the book - as well as page numbers - in a non-confrontational manner), maybe we can finally get a civil exchange going.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 01:54:56 PM by Helen_A »

Offline Annie

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 02:43:41 PM »
Since I don't own a copy of the book and my local library doesn't carry it, I guess I won't be able to participate under these rules. I do have some questions, if I post them, can someone be so kind as to find the page number?

They are:

Sophie's alleged "betrayal"
The presumed Rape on the Rus and the misquote of Volkov's 'left in peace' statement
Maria's alleged estrangement due to an alleged relationship with a guard
the part at the end where the book seems to leave the door open for Anastasia to have still been alive after the killings
Alexei's behavior in the Crimea
Yurovsky's religion

« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 03:06:46 PM by Annie »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 02:49:10 PM »
Annie, what you can actually do is use "search inside the book" feature on Amazon and get the quotes and page numbers that way. You can use key words to find the right pages...

Here is where it is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0471727970/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 03:17:31 PM »
The presumed Rape on the Rus and the misquote of Volkov's 'left in peace' statement;

This one has been discussed to death.

An analysis of the text of FOTR pg140-141 using the known evidence. (my additions in bold)
"'The women, as Buxhoeveden recalled, had been ordered "to leave our cabin doors open all night. No one undressed." [Through the open doors, the soldiers leered at the grand duchesses]this phrase added by the authors, there is NO factual evidence to support the statement, and it is asserted as FACT and not identified as speculation [refusing, as Volkov later learned, to "leave them in peace"]Completely false. Volkov stated the GDs WERE LEFT IN PEACE. The abuse reached a cresendo as the night wore on. exactly what abuse? again, abuse is stated as fact when there is no support in the evidence.   Gibbes, locked away in his cabin, listened helplessly, as he later told his son George, as the drunken guards harassesd the grand duchesses, "It was dreadful, what they did,"  the former tutor recalled.  The "terrifed screams" of the girls, Gibbes said, haunted him, "to the end of his life."When Gibbes was deposed by Sokolov within months of the event, HE SAID NOTHING about abuse or screams or anything else. This statement was made literally decades after the fact, and saliently in House of Special Purpose George Gibbes made NO MENTION of this event on the Rus. "Rodionov, who was in charge of the evil-looking detachment, insisted on padlocking Alexis and Nagorny into their cabin, even though it was made clear that the child might need a doctor. The girls, on the other hand, were forbidden to lock their cabin door." (HOSP, pp. 102-103) 
 
"Almost certainly, the Grand Duchesses were subjected to taunts, and perhaps lewd advances at the hands of the drunken Latvian guards, how this progressed as the evening wore on is impossible to determine." Saliently, there is no cited evidence to support this supposition at all, much less "almost certainly'. To the contrary, Buxhoeveden writes specifically that only the assigned guards came near them, the others stayed on their assigned part of the boat, see "Left Behind" - "The rest of the soldiers did not come near us and spent the day on their part of the deck, singing and playing the accordion.  Some had fine voices, and it carried us back to happier days,..."
 
"no matter what took place, it is difficult not to believe that the experience had a profound traumatic effect on the young women, particularily grand Duchess Olga. Once she arrived in Ekaterinburg, Olga was withdrawn, silent, and did not mix with her sisters, perhaps indicating that she suffered some significant trauma. "  Buxhoeveden says Olga N. was showing these syptoms in April, weeks BEFORE the voyage on the Rus: cf. Life & Tragedy..."Olga Nicholaevna was in a state of great anxiety. She longed to join her parents, for whose fate she trembled, and, on the other hand, she feared the move for her brother, both on account of his health and also for fear of what the move might lead to" at Ch. 31; or perhaps for myriad of other reasons including imprisonment itself under increasingly difficult circumstances. - cf: Gilliard Ch. 22 "The conditions of the imprisonment were much more severe than at Tobolsk. Avdiev was an inveterate drunkard, who gave rein to his coarse instincts, and, with the assistance of his subordinates, showed great ingenuity in daily inflicting fresh humiliations upon those in his charge. There was no alternative but to accept the privations, submit to the vexations, yield to the exactions and caprices of these low, vulgar scoundrels."
 
"The near veil of silence surrounding the events of that night, however, is not difficult to understand, given the exalted position of the Grand Duchesses; ... to present them as paragons of all moral virtue  or perhaps the "silence" is because NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED so no one had anything to say. ie: the entire diary entry of Gilliard:
"Monday May 20th - At half-past eleven we left the house and went on board the Russ.  She is the boat which brought us with the Czar and Czarina eight months ago.  Baroness Buxhoeveden has been granted permission to rejoin us.  We left Tobolsk at five o'clock.  Commisar Rodionov has shut Alexei Nicholaievich in his cabin with Nagorny.  We protested: the child is ill and the doctor ought to have access to him at any time.
"Wednesday May 22nd - We reached Tiumen this morning."
or here is the ENTIRE discussion on the subject in the Sokolov investigation's report made AFTER interrogating all surviving passengers of the Rus(pg 146)
    "Here is how the journey of the imperial children went under the command of Rodionov:
     "From Gilliard's deposition: "Rodionov behaved very badly. He closed off from outside the cabin in which were found Alexei with Nagorny.  All of the other cabins, in particular those of the Grand Duchesses were not to be locked from inside, under his order."
     "The morning of May 22, the imperial children arrived in Tiumen."

 
"Those on board the ship were unable (being locked up) or unwilling (through fear of reprisal ...) again, suppostion without evidence, yet stated as fact...This may be the key to the events of that night: shame and humiliation at not being able to come to the defense of the helpless Grand Duchesses might well account for Gibbes' "worst memory.


I spoke to Penny personally on the phone about the Rus/Volkov question. She was adamant that she knew the original Volkov quote, and that it was an editorial error that was missed in a push to publishing deadline when an additional phrase or sentence was eliminated in betweent the two remaining phrases.

Offline Annie

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 04:14:39 PM »
Thanks FA for the info. It's very helpful.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 04:41:36 PM by Forum Admin »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2008, 02:19:43 AM »
The presumed Rape on the Rus and the misquote of Volkov's 'left in peace' statement;

... I spoke to Penny personally on the phone about the Rus/Volkov question. She was adamant that she knew the original Volkov quote, and that it was an editorial error that was missed in a push to publishing deadline when an additional phrase or sentence was eliminated in betweent the two remaining phrases.

How could such an "editorial error" have possibly occurred when the only Volkov reference that was listed in the FOTR Bibliography was the flawed and fanciful French translation?

The original Russian language statement that Volkov wrote down was rather banal by comparison.

_________________________________________________________________________________

The FOTR authors expanded the Rus trip using almost two pages of text (see FOTR pp 140-141), including their impression that (my emphasis):

"The harasssment, as Volkov wrote, continued throughout the night, while Buxhoeveden's comment that the women remained dressed suggests the attention was sexual in nature."

It appears that it was the FOTR authors cited Buxhoeveden's simple words to offer far more for their modern reader to consider than the original author had intended.

However the FOTR authors continued @ p 141 in the same para:

"Gilliard made no mention of any such incident, yet according to Volkov and Gibbes, the soldiers were persistant in their actions. The near veil of silence surrounding the events of that night, however is not difficult to understand, given the exalted position of the grand duchesses ... to present them as paragons of all moral virtue ..."

and (with my emphasis):

"Those aboard the ship were unable (being locked up) or unwilling (through fear of reprisal at the hands of the Bolsheviks), to intercede, as Buxhoeveden herself remarked: "We were prisoners and had to be passive." This may well be the key to the events of that night: shame and humiliation at not being able to come to defense of the helpless grand duchesses might well account for Gibbes' "worst memory"."

The above mentioned sentences extracted from FOTR cannot be simply explained as just as an "editorial error".

Indeed is this entire segment in the book an exercise in adhering to the "stylistic demand" of their publisher?

Margarita
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 02:23:50 AM by Belochka »


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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 08:49:18 AM »
How could the entire meaning of the passage, including the authors' comments - which went on for 2 pages - stem from an editorial error in a quote?  It makes no sense, especially since the authors commented on the quotes and referred to them, and their comments were completely consistent with the quotes.

Were the elaborations and comments by the authors related to the quote "editorial errors" too? Did the editors change the entire passages of what the authors originally wrote? It would be one thing if something was misquoted but the rest of the passages were not consistent with the wrong quote which would make it obvious that it was an editorial errors, but this is not the case here. Perhpaps there is a reasonable explanation, but frankly I am having a hard time believing that the entire 2 pages of quotes and discussion were "an editorial error". This is why I would like to hear an explanation from the authors about this particular issue.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 09:48:48 AM »
Sophie's alleged "betrayal"

Annie, we did discuss this particular issue in some detail in the past (not sure if that thread has also been deleted or not). During the discussion we came to the conclusion that there was absolutely no evidence that Sophie Buxhoeveden ever betrayed the IF. But I am not sure if anyone has actually posted the exact quotes from the book, where the authors accused Bux of doing so. I did a quick search on the Amazon search feature and found those pages in FOTR for you...

In fact, this one sort of ties into the Rus incident. The authors start with the stament (p. 141) "... just as these horrors [aboard the Rus] unfolded, another, ominous, and in the end brutally personal situation played itself out. Unknown to the terrified grand duchesses, a previously trusted member of their father's suit willingly betrayed their secret..."

This continues on pp. 142 - 143

« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 10:38:34 AM by Forum Admin »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2008, 10:17:50 AM »
Maria's alleged estrangement due to an alleged relationship with a guard

That would be starting on page 244. 
 In this one, Yurovsky's "unpublished memoirs" are mentioned yet again...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 10:39:16 AM by Forum Admin »

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2008, 10:45:41 AM »
I think these scans violate copyright laws, unless they are posted with permission of the publisher or authors. I am just guessing that you probably don't have that, Helen. It might be better if you confined yourself to specific quotes or page citations, and send Annie her own copy of the book so she can follow along at home.

Simon
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2008, 10:47:28 AM »
Annie, copy these for your use and they can be deleted. Just making sure that no one accuses me of making things up... ;-)

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2008, 10:49:49 AM »
No, just of not understanding basic copyright law. I do love the solution. Quck, copy them and they can be deleted? You really were out of the room for some key courses in librarianship, I guess.  ;)
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2008, 10:53:53 AM »
Actually, dear, I posted for FA's benefit. You could get his forum into trouble with this kind of unethical behavior. I am merely surprised that someone who claims to be a professional librarian is unaware of basic standards.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2008, 11:02:15 AM »
Actually, dear, I posted for FA's benefit. You could get his forum into trouble with this kind of unethical behavior. I am merely surprised that someone who claims to be a professional librarian is unaware of basic standards.

You're a peach, to be sure.

Why don't we let FA be the judge of this. If he wants this deleted, he will delete it. As it stands, let those who need to see it, see it (we have had way too many accusations of "misquoting" the "poor" authors), and it can be deleted in due time. That's the decision of the owners of this forum, who cannot be held responsible for what one ignorant librarian did while they weren't looking ;-).

And I am, dear, pretty sure that you will be the first one to run and point this out to whoever is ready to sue FA over this. Just as I am pretty sure that you are instigating this in order to get this thread deleted or locked again. Yes, I am sure you're doing it for FA's benefit ;-).

FA, please delete these OT posts, as well as anything else you deem inappropriate.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 11:05:11 AM by Helen_A »

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Questions/comments for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS...
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2008, 11:11:36 AM »
I don't actually report back to Penny, Helen. These posts are public, she can presumably see them as easily as the rest of us. And I am certainly not trying to stop you from asking questions. But should we take your history seriously? You apparently can't function in the field in which you trained, let alone history.

And don't think of this post as addressed to you, if it helps. The title of the thread is "Questions/COMMENTS for the authors of THE FATE OF THE ROMANOVS". Consider this my comment to Greg King and Penny Wilson, mmm-kay?
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