Author Topic: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated  (Read 238555 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Janet Whitcomb

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2004, 04:40:03 PM »
Yes, I agree . . . next time someone says "If . . . " I'm going to quote from FA!   ::)

Offline nerdycool

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2004, 05:18:04 PM »
Quote
If it was not for her facination with the pathetic Rasputin then the Russian people would not have had a hatred for the Imperial family.


My overall impression was that the Russian people didn't like her from day #1...... Nothing was going to change that, and especially when Russia got involved in the war (which by the way, was pretty much impossible for Russia to avoid given the web of alliances strung across Europe at that time), it added more fuel to the fire.

Offline Louise

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2004, 07:51:58 PM »
This could be a whole new post. Alix's popularity in Russia. Why was she so unpopular?

Did it stem from the visit St. Petersburg and society began gossiping then. Did the Dowager Empress have anything to do with the snipping? It is known that Minnie was not enamored with Germans, and was not enamored with Alix. Would or could have Minnie have liked any woman that married her darling Nicky? Was Alix set up for failure right at the very beginning. I'm not absolving her of her faults, but trying to understand how hard it was for Alix to succeed.

Louise
The sign of a sick mind is studying for a final exam and thinking it's the

Offline Namarolf

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2004, 08:41:23 PM »
Contrary to some previous opinions, I think Alexander III, despite being harsh and despotic, was a competent ruler, who granted Russia peace. I think his premature death was one of the causes of Nicholas II and Alexandra's problems.  Getting to the "ifs... "" region, may be if he would have lived  20 years more, Nicholas would have had the time to get much more experience in life and ruling, just the same way Edward VII was in 1901 a much more competent ruler  than what he would have been in 1867. Also, Alexandra would had time to be much more "Russian" familiar with Russia and the Russians -and may be Alexander III would have been her defender, the same way many kings in other European courts protected her foreign daughters-in-law against their not very welcoming relatives.
Compared to some of the previous Russian rulers and their consorts, I think both Nicholas and Alexandra were far from being a nightmare. And if  Alexandra was "Russia's worst  nightmare", I wonder what should we call the regime who built the gulag system... a fairy tale dream, may be? Too bad we can't make a poll among the millions and millions of people who suffered and died thanks to such a dream.

Offline BobAtchison

  • Moderator
  • Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
    • View Profile
    • The Alexander Palace
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2004, 08:51:13 PM »
In my opinion Alexander III's decision to realign Russia with France and England was a the fateful step that led to the all the problems that followed.  Had Russia continued it's alliance with Germany and Austria there would have been no WWI and no resulting fall of the dynasty.  His marriage to a Danish princess produced personal hostility in the Imperial family towards Germany after the war between Prussia and Denmark.  Had Alexander III married a German princess things would have turned out completely differently.

Bob

Offline Greg_King

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
    • Atlantis Magazine
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2004, 09:35:16 PM »
Quote
In my opinion Alexander III's decision to realign Russia with France and England was a the fateful step that led to the all the problems that followed. †Had Russia continued it's alliance with Germany and Austria there would have been no WWI and no resulting fall of the dynasty. †His marriage to a Danish princess produced personal hostility in the Imperial family towards Germany after the war between Prussia and Denmark. †Had Alexander III married a German princess things would have turned out completely differently.

Amen!  I despair of the anti-Kaiser/anti-German feelings that run through the Imperial Family from the 1880s on.  Wilhelm may have been a pain, but he was honorable and he deeply loved both N and A-one of the most touching things I've read is an interview with him in the 1930s in which, when he was told what N and A had said about him, he broke down and cried, saying he didn't understand it and still prayed for them every night.  Wilhelm, for all of his peculiarities, just wanted to be loved and accepted by his royal relatives who, led by Marie Feodorovna and Queen Alexandra, conspired against him.  Had Nicholas not been so infused with this feeling by his mother, things might have turned out differently.

Greg King
Bob


Offline Greg_King

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
    • Atlantis Magazine
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2004, 09:36:30 PM »
Woops!  That somehow came out looking like a whole quote from Bob!

GK

Offline jackie3

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • "...such pig and filth!" - GD Anastasia N.
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2004, 11:33:23 PM »
It is ironic though that in a consitutional monarchy opposed by N&A (but that would have saved the throne for "Baby") many of Alexandra's "faults" would have looked like virtures. Had the Russian people had the Duma to blame everything on and the Imperial family staying above the fray then Alexandra's family values, strong religious beliefs, devotion to her husband and children, etc. would have made her a role model. Certainly the reason many find common cause with her today is because she seems so "normal" in comparison with the extravagance and spoiled lifestyles of other royals. Her middle-class values would have fit in an era where those that practice it like the just departed Queen/Princess Juliana of the Netherlands are hailed by their people.

Oh and Greg I am astonished that Wilhelm felt as such about N&A considering it was Germany who sent Lenin into Russia and thus with the rise of the Bolshies led to the family's death. In school and textbooks I've always read it was the Kaiser and his govt.'s Prussian Militarism which were the major cause of the war and thus led to the downfall of the German, Austrian, Russian empires, the rise of Communism and so forth. But I realize thats better discussed on the Hohenzollern board.

Offline Todd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Rasputin - Ethics in the Media
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2004, 01:17:36 AM »
Jacob,

I feel it would be edifying for you to read some first-hand accounts of people who were extremely close to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

Grand-Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Tsar Nicholas IIís sister, writes:

"She [Empress Alexandra] is the most maligned Romanov of us all. She has gone down in history so calumnied that I cannot bear reading any more of the lies and insinuations people have written about her. Nobody even in our own family tried to understand her except myself and my sister Xenia and Great Aunt Olga*. Even as a girl in my teens, I remember things which set my teeth on edge. She could do nothing right so far as my mother's court was concerned. Once I knew she had a dreadful headache; she looked pale when she appeared at dinner, and I heard them say that she was in a bad humor because my mother happened to talk to Nicky about some ministerial appointments. Even in that first year - I remember so well - if Alicky smiled, they called it mockery. If she looked grave, they said she was angry..."

Vorres, Ian, The Last Grand Duchess, New York: Scribnerís, 1965, p. 62

Vladimir Nikolaevich Voyeikov, the last commandant of the Imperial Palace, provides us with the following description of the Empress:

"...Her image is before me, as if she were still alive...her majestic Royal countenance, her large blue-grey eyes which always reflected some sort of profound sadness. At large social gatherings, the Empress's natural shyness gave her a rather painful and cold air, as if she were foreign to everything taking place around her. This was one of the reasons why those who really didn't know the Empress at all thought her to be proud and inaccessible. They just could not understand that she felt at home only in those situations where she could bring consolation and ease the suffering of others. Worldly, vain and frivolous conversations were a heavy burden to her."

Voyeikov, V.I., S Tsaryem i bez Tsarya, Moscow, 1994, p. 208

I believe it would be very helpful for you to do some real research on this remarkable woman. In fact, I know a woman who had many ideas similar to your own concerning Empress Alexandra. She went to Moscow for the purpose of finding documentation to support her ideas, but was so moved by the information she found that she ended up writing a wonderful book on the life of Empress Alexandra called: A Gathered Radiance: The Life of Alexandra Romanov, Russia's Last Empress, Valaam Society of America, 1992.

Todd

Offline Todd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Rasputin - Ethics in the Media
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2004, 01:45:46 AM »
Jacob,

Your judgment on Rasputin is rather harsh. Would it be possible for you to share what sources you used to arrive at such a judgment?

In 1960, Tsar Nicholas IIís sister, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, stated:

ďRasputin has become the central figure of a story the world has long since accepted as true. Anything I might have to say about him would either fall on deaf ears, or else be dismissed as a fable. Anything written about the man is so colored and twisted that it is virtually impossible for the public to sift fact from fiction.Ē

Vorres, Ian, The Last Grand Duchess, New York, 1965, p.129

Many of the stories about Rasputin are as unreliable as they are scandalous. Even credible and impartial writers have fallen prey to sensationalism and unknowingly used one rumor to refute another. The reason for this is two-fold: reliable documentation was not readily available either in Russia or the West during the
Soviet years, and, to be blunt, scandal sells. Today, however, historical records on Rasputin are accessible to the general public. Hopefully, they will impel those who care for historical truth to take a new and unbiased look at the man.

Your judgment on Empress Alexandra Feodorovna is extremely harsh as well. Yet what are your sources for this information? I feel it would be edifying for you to read some first-hand accounts of people who were extremely close to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.  

Grand-Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Tsar Nicholas IIís sister, writes:  

"She [Empress Alexandra] is the most maligned Romanov of us all. She has gone down in history so calumnied that I cannot bear reading any more of the lies and insinuations people have written about her. Nobody even in our own family tried to understand her except myself and my sister Xenia and Great Aunt Olga*. Even as a girl in my teens, I remember things which set my teeth on edge. She could do nothing right so far as my mother's court was concerned. Once I knew she had a dreadful headache; she looked pale when she appeared at dinner, and I heard them say that she was in a bad humor because my mother happened to talk to Nicky about some ministerial appointments. Even in that first year - I remember so well - if Alicky smiled, they called it mockery. If she looked grave, they said she was angry..."

Vorres, Ian, The Last Grand Duchess, New York: Scribnerís, 1965, p. 62

Vladimir Nikolaevich Voyeikov, the last commandant of the Imperial Palace, provides us with the following description of the Empress:

"...Her image is before me, as if she were still alive...her majestic Royal countenance, her large blue-grey eyes which always reflected some sort of profound sadness. At large social gatherings, the Empress's natural shyness gave her a rather painful and cold air, as if she were foreign to everything taking place around her. This was one of the reasons why those who really didn't know the Empress at all thought her to be proud and inaccessible. They just could not understand that she felt at home only in those situations where she could bring consolation and ease the suffering of others. Worldly, vain and frivolous conversations were a heavy burden to her."

Voyeikov, V.I., S Tsaryem i bez Tsarya, Moscow, 1994, p. 208

I believe it would be very helpful for you to do some real research on this remarkable woman. In fact, I know a woman who had many ideas similar to your own concerning Empress Alexandra. She went to Moscow for the purpose of finding documentation to support her ideas, but was so moved by the information she found that she ended up writing a wonderful book on the life of Empress Alexandra called: A Gathered Radiance: The Life of Alexandra Romanov, Russia's Last Empress, Valaam Society of America, 1992.

Todd

Offline Silja

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 600
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2004, 02:33:38 PM »
It's the typical view of the allies in 1919 that WWI was caused by Kaiser Wilhelm, single-handedly, probably  ;D, while in reality all those nations were equally to blame. The entire system of alliances ultimately forced them to give assistance to their respective ally.
But perhaps this indeed belongs in the Hohenzollern thread.

PS: I don't believe a constitutional monarchy would have worked in Russia.

Offline Silja

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 600
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2004, 02:37:34 PM »
PPS: Or perhaps that's a bit extreme. Let's say I am not at all sure that a constitutional monarchy as in Britain would have been a solution to the Russian empire.

Offline David_Newell

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • We shall meet again in far, far better place
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2004, 04:24:36 PM »
I thought this might amuse you all, my niece who is 10 said to her parents a while ago when they were dicussing my interst with AF, " ah, but Uncle David is devoted to her memory" I could have wept when I was told this. Out of the mouths of babes eh!! I just thought it was alovely thing to say and boy I wished that I had said it.

David Newell, London

Offline Janet_Ashton

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2004, 05:10:26 PM »
Quote
In my opinion Alexander III's decision to realign Russia with France and England was a the fateful step that led to the all the problems that followed. †Had Russia continued it's alliance with Germany and Austria there would have been no WWI and no resulting fall of the dynasty. †His marriage to a Danish princess produced personal hostility in the Imperial family towards Germany after the war between Prussia and Denmark. †Had Alexander III married a German princess things would have turned out completely differently.

Bob



I don't know....I agree that the Triple Entente versus Triple Alliance was the problem in 1914, but I don't think A III DID actively align Russia with Britain, and I don't really agree that Minnie was an influence (notwithstanding Sandro's accounts of dinner table conversations!).
I think the decisive factor in the disintegration of the Dreikaiserbund was Austrian-Russian tension in the Balkans, which led to Russian refusal to join the other two Emperors in full Alliance (two years before Alexander III came to the throne) and eventually to the collapse of the whole bund. I think it was respective nationalisms that were the real problem, rather than personal relations in royal houses. How would Alexander having a German wife have changed his attitude to the Balkans, given the cast of his own views?
To me, it was French nationalist revanchisme against Germany which made it so keen to see an alliance with Russia - or anyone! - after all, and pan-Slav myths about the Balkans which fuelled the Austrian-Russian situation. Perhaps if Germany and Austria had been less unted....

I don't think that either Alexander or Nicholas were especially Francophile by nature; both were pretty anti-British, and yet Nicholas ended of necessity in a triple entente with both those nations - something his father certainly couldn't have predicted when he went into the French alliance in 1893? (given the state of Anglo-French relations as well as Anglo-Russian at that time). When Boulanger and others were brokering the Russo-French alliance, Britain rather than anyone else was seen as the great rival, so I don't think Alexander III can fairly be blamed for lining up with Britain against Germany.

Nicholas at least at one point in his reign made definite overtures towards Germany (I'm thinking of course of Bjorko) and the whole thing fell apart because he omitted to involve his government and had failed to examine the conditions of the French alliance. But I don't think personal hostility was in it. How could he have junked the French alliance at that point?

Perhaps my thinking on this is because even where autocracies are concerned, I am fairly sceptical about the "great men" theory of history. But I'm open to persuasion!

Janet
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Janet_Ashton »

Offline griffh

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2004, 12:34:51 AM »
In Radinsky's book on Rasputin, he speaks of four "love and kisses"  telegrams, two in 1914 and two in 1916, addressed to Rasputin from "Darling" and post dated from Tsarskoe Selo.  In the 1914 telegrams "Darling" tells Rasputin that she has faith her strength will increase through his prayers and signs it love and kisses.  In the other 1914 telegram she says that she has sacrificed her husband and her heart to Rasputin and signs it love and kisses.  

Radzinsky denies that the Czarina was the author of the two telegrams in 1914, but he does credit Alexandra as the author of the two telegrams in 1916.  He then says that Vyrubova's testimony that Alexandra never wrote a letter to Rasputin after the Ilidor debacle to therefore be another one of her clever lies.  

Radzinsky also states the the four telegrams were stitched together in preparation apparently for publication by the Extraordinary Commission, but that they never were.  

In the two telegrams in 1916, sent from Tsarskoe Selo to Pokrovskoe, there is one dated April 9 in which she asks Rasputin to pray for herself and Nicholas on that bright day and ends the telegram with love and kisses.  In the other telegram on Dec. 2 she says that he has not written her and she misses him terribly and to come soon and pray for Nicholas and ends with kisses.    

I decided to look up the entry for Dec. 2, 1916 in "Life Long Passion," and I found an entry from Nicholas' diary for Dec. 2, 1916 Tsarskoe Selo.

"In the morning before my walk I recieved Voeikov.  From 11 to one received Trepov, Bark, Polovstov, and Shakhovsky.  Walked next to Alix's chair-a-banc.  Read.  We spent the evening at Ania's talking to Grigory."

Other than Radzinsky's slip up here, which is totally understandable given the rapid fire series of events in 1916, Alexandra seems to be the victim of so much malice and disinformation.  

Then there is the discussion about Lilie Dehn and Kerensky that I quote from.  

"I found this in her book here online. To me, it is very interesting and tells a lot, because it proves that Kerensky knew that the rumors about Alexandra were not true but he used them to his advantage.  

KERENSKY (with sinister emphasis): "Listen, Madame Dehn, you know too much. You have been constantly with the Empress since the beginning of the Revolution. You can, if you choose, throw quite another light on certain happenings which we have represented in a different aspect. You're DANGEROUS."'  

I don't know, maybe I am way off here, but something is out of balance.