Author Topic: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?  (Read 4341 times)

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Offline Lady Macduff

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When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:58:40 PM »
This just occurred to me today. When did the servants stop getting paid? I assume it was when the family was put under arrest, but I'm not sure.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 09:43:25 PM »
It was in Tobolsk. According to Gilliard, the Bolsheviks limited the IF's expenses to 600 rubles per person and put them on soldiers' rations in the early spring of 1918. The financial restrictions forced them to dismiss almost a dozen of their servants at that point.
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Offline blessOTMA

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 03:35:09 AM »
Yes sadly it would not be  just a matter of being unable to pay them,
at that point, they would no longer be able to feed them.  So even if folk
wanted to stay unpaid...many would have to go

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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 12:21:27 PM »
. . . the Bolsheviks limited the IF's expenses to 600 rubles per person . . . .

That translates into about $6800 for the entire family in 2013 dollars (although such conversions are damnably speculative).  

For what time period was this the allowance?  Per week, per month, per annum . . . ?

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 01:46:27 PM »
Volkov Ch. 17: In Spring 1918 the Imperial Family and entire suite were put on a diet of soldiers' rations. So, we found ourselves going from day to day in a set of conditions that we were not used to. We then found ourselves required to buy all the necessary provisions ourselves from the outside and have them sent to the house. Col. Kobylinski had access to private credit after the advance of credit from the government stopped with the fall of the Provisional government. Little by little, though, it became increasingly difficult to find credit with private people after early 1918.

So it was that Prince Dologoruki, Gen. Tatischev, Gilliard and I all met together to look at the new circumstances which had arisen. We decided we had to reduce the number of servants. We dismissed some of the servants, paid them two months wages and their train fare. Then we met with the remaining staff and suggested to them that we all reduce our wages by a certain amount. Everyone agreed without exception. Some gave up their entire salary, others gave up half. Two days later those who we had dismissed left Tobolsk, the others stayed on for some time.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 03:41:05 PM »
For what time period was this the allowance?  Per week, per month, per annum . . . ?

Per month.

More specifics from Gilliard:
Monday, February 25th - Colonel Kobylinsky has received a telegram informing him that, from March 1st, "Nicholas Romanov and his family must be put on soldiers' rations and that each member of the family will receive 600 roubles per month drawn from the interest of their personal estate." Hitherto their expenses have been paid by the state. As the family consists of seven persons, the whole household will have to be run on 4,200 roubles a month (At that time the value of the rouble was about one-fifth of the normal).
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Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 05:53:49 PM »
I'm a little lost on some of this.

We have the situation that , after March 1, the Romanovs would be put on soldiers rations and each would receive 600 roubles per month from their personal estate. Did the Bolshevik state consider them soldiers, rather than prisoners? We know the answer to that one, I think.


Also, since the Bolsheviks claimed to be representing the workers' interests, why would they not have been paying the servants all along, and after the Romanovs were given this new "soldier' status? It seems the Bolshevik government was either throwing the servants into unemployment, or pressuring them to work at reduced pay, or for free. After all,allowing the Romanovs access to  more of the interest from their personal estate would have also allowed them to pay the servants. The Bolshevik state would not have been bearing any burden, moral or financial , for the servants' continued service (employment).

 Did the new Soviet state provide  unemployment insurance, and if it did, would the servants have qualified?
Rodney G.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 09:28:47 PM »
. . . why would they not have been paying the servants all along . . . ?

There was long precedent for European governments allowing "elite" prisoners to have servants in captivity.  It was done in the Tower of London, the Bastille, and elsewhere.  However, the servants were almost invariably paid out of the prisoner's assets, not the state's.  It seems odd to expect more of the Bolsheviks on this score than the Tudors, Stuarts, Bourbons, and even the Romanovs did for their state prisoners.

The more interesting question to me is what were the personal assets the Romanovs still owned to generate interest income?  


Did the new Soviet state provide unemployment insurance, and if it did, would the servants have qualified?

In spring of 1918 the new Soviet state was barely established and doing very little beyond trying to hang onto power by its fingernails.  The economy was in such a state of disarray that unemployment rates were soaring in a nation that had very little in the way of state financial resources.  I seriously doubt if unemployment insurance was on anyone's screen at that point.

In any case, unemployment insurance is generally funded by a tax on employers, not by the state.  This was the model adopted in Germany where Bismarck was the first to experiment with such programs, and it was the model that most governments that eventually followed his lead -- including the U.S. -- adopted.  In 1918 the question of who exactly was the employer in a soviet system was years away from being settled, with there still being significant voices within Bolshevism that favored heavily-regulated private ownership over state ownership of means of production.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 09:31:30 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 07:05:58 AM »
'We have the situation that , after March 1, the Romanovs would be put on soldiers rations and each would receive 600 roubles per month from their personal estate. Did the Bolshevik state consider them soldiers, rather than prisoners? We know the answer to that one, I think.'

I would think that the reasons were purely practical. Soldiers' rations would offer an adequate no-frills diet, and the Bolsheviks would shield themselves from criticism of, on the one hand, starving the prisoners, and, on the other, of treating these parasites and their lackeys too generously.

Ann



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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 08:59:08 AM »
The more interesting question to me is what were the personal assets the Romanovs still owned to generate interest income?

If you are speaking of Nicholas and Alexandra, the answer is "none".  All personal assets were seized.  The funds they got were at first loans on credit with hopes of overthrowing the Bolsheviks, then personal gifts or loans from loyal supporters.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 09:10:35 AM »
That's what I thought.  However, Sarushka quoted a passage from Gilliard in which he referred to "600 roubles per month drawn from the interest of their personal estate".

Was Gilliard misinformed?

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: When Did the Servants Stop Getting Paid?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 02:12:03 PM »
That's what I thought.  However, Sarushka quoted a passage from Gilliard in which he referred to "600 roubles per month drawn from the interest of their personal estate".

Was Gilliard misinformed?


I guess that would depend on when exactly Romanov personal assets were seized. And whether personal assets means relatively liquid forms like cash, bank accounts, jewels, etc., as opposed to  landed estates , mines, business enterprises and such.  Also I don't think this soviet seizure occurred all at once, or was carried out uniformly,  as the Dowager Empresss and at least two Grand Dukes were living on their Crimean estates as late as late 1918.
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