Author Topic: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917  (Read 88450 times)

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Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 02:32:29 PM »
I too am wondering what was Anna Vyrubova's 'outrageous behaviour' in the Crimea. It must have been pretty bad if Olga took her to task about it!

Ann

Ann, it was not until I read Spiridovich's account of Anna's behavior and Gleb Botkin's that I realized why Olga N. took her to task which only resulted in slanderous stories Anna spread about both Alix and Nicholas.


Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2014, 12:02:05 PM »
I felt it was only right to post this correction.

One of my best friends, and an expert historian whose judgement I rely on, pointed out my characterization of Anna's status as persona non grata was only temporary; pointing to evidence in the OTMA diaries which I had missed. I had the OTMA diaries in three different files but had not incorporated into my chronology of events as I had the Tsar, Dow Emp. diaries and Alix's letters; a mistake I have worked all this weekend to correct.

According to Spiridovich, as a result of Anna's outrageous behavior, Olga and Tatiana had urged their mother to distance herself from Anna and exclude her from their annual Summer cruise.  However by the time of the July cruise Anna had managed to make amends for her actions in some way or other and Alix included her on the cruise. Anna tells us, "We sailed on July 6 (Russian Calendar)" the actual cruise occurred on Tuesday, July 1/14 - Sunday, 6/19, 1914.   

It is often hard to recall the actual timing of traumatic events such as those leading up to the outbreak of war, however it is odd that Anna remains silent about the injury Alexis sustained the first day of the cruise or that it was the same day the Tsar and Empress received word that Rasputin had been stabbed by Khoioniya Guseva, an follower of Iliodor. Anna says that news of Rasputin stabbing came after the cruise. (See Memoirs of the Russian Court, p. 102-103.)   

However Gillard remembers that Alexis' serious condition from his accident which Alix and Dr. Botkin attended during the entire cruise, as occurring on July 1, the first day of the cruise; the same day that word reached the Tsar and Empress about Rasputin's stabbing (See, Thirteen Years at the Russian Court, pp. 97-98.)

This is reliable testimony as that same day, July 1, Miliukov's Kadet newspaper, Rech published two articles on the stabbing, one on the front page saying he was injured, and one on the third page saying that a evening telegram just received stated that he was dead. (See Margarita Nelipa, The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin, pp. 43-44.) 

After also reviewing negative excerpts from the Empress's letters from Sept 1914 - March 1915 and beyond, I would say that while Anna could not be described as being persona non grata, the Empress was maintaining a false peace with Anna whom she continuously found to be cold, rude and self-centered. At the same time, as Helen Rappaport says, it is clear from the OTMA diaries that Anna took the place of the girl's Aunt Olga who had provided entertainments for the girls every Sunday.  It is clear from the diaries that Anna offered similar kinds of fun for the girls at her home. But again, nothing really softens Alix's view of Anna until she comes under attack in 1916. And I owe Anna the recognition of her loyalty, as flawed as she was, she was really devoted to the Empress and I am sure that Alix felt that her friendship with Anna had brought her such misfortune and persecution.

   


   

Offline wakas

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 04:09:42 PM »
Quote
I am sorry too wakas! But you can order the March 2014 Royalty Digest Quarterly which has my first article from the a bookstore in the Hague.   http://www.hoogstraten.nl/theshop/index.php  
Thank you for the link, I will certainly buy it.

Quote
Just to say, Gerard Gorokhoff and Andrei Korliakov's Les Corps Expenditionnarie Russe: 1916-1918 mention, for the first time included information about Alix's ambulance corps in France, which might be of interest to you if you do not already know    
No, I didn't know.That's new to me. Did she had a similar corps in Germany (for the war prisoners)? I know some Russian nurses went to Germany, and if I'm correct, Alix received German nurses (or at least had to but didn't want to).

I'm surprised Alix accepted to make peace with Anna after what happened, even if it was a false peace. About OTMA, they seem to have completely forgiven her, because as you said, they went regularly to Anna's and had a lot of fun there. So I wonder what Anna did to make amends of her actions.

Thanks Griffh for all your explanations. I'm looking forward to read more about Alix's war relief.
After death, there is not death, but life.

Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2014, 12:14:19 PM »
Did she had a similar corps in Germany (for the war prisoners)? I know some Russian nurses went to Germany, and if I'm correct, Alix received German nurses (or at least had to but didn't want to).

wakas, just to say Alix's French ambulance squads served both the French and Russian Army in France in the same way her ambulance and motor squads functioned in Russia; supplying Red Cross evacuation centers with medical supplies as well as deploying their wounded to hospitals and hospital trains behind the lines.

Alix work in Germany focused on improving the conditions for Russian officers, enlisted men and civilian detainees were kept in German and Austrian POW camps during the war.  

The German and Austrian Red Cross nurses Alix received in September 1915 (and later in 1916) were delegates sent to Russia to inspect and improve the conditions of German and Austrian POWs in Russia;s camps.  Russian Red Cross delegates were sent at the same time to Austria and Germany to inspect and improve the conditions of the Russian POW's in their camps.  This was due to the reciprocity agreement between Allied, Neutral and Central Powers. Knowing how delicate such negotiations were and how long it had taken Allied and Central Powers to come to this agreement, Alix was determined to show the Red Cross representatives from Austria and Germany all the respect and help she could offer them, knowing that this attitude would help the way Germany and Austria treated the Russian delegates.  

I can't give away too much more but just to say that I cover Alix's work for the POW's Germany and Russia in detail in my final article.

It is a fascinating and unique story that involved hidden diplomatic channels, new views of Russian statesmen involved in the work but who have received little or no acknowledgment, and other surprising details as well.

But most of all it is a heroic story about a group of determined humanitarians, including Alix, to help face and meet the POW crisis on the Eastern Front, a topic the majority of historians (who have only focused their research on the Western Front) have ignored.    

I'm surprised Alix accepted to make peace with Anna after what happened, even if it was a false peace. About OTMA, they seem to have completely forgiven her, because as you said, they went regularly to Anna's and had a lot of fun there. So I wonder what Anna did to make amends of her actions.

Thanks Griffh for all your explanations. I'm looking forward to read more about Alix's war relief.

You are welcome wakas.  I imagine Anna's return into the heart of the family, was due to a combination of her of contrition, possibly coupled with pleas from her mother and father, and Alix continual efforts to live up to a Christan standard of forgiveness.
 
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 12:19:10 PM by griffh »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2014, 03:36:27 AM »
'They included Anna undressing at the window of her Livadia suite, which looked out to officers on duty at one of the sentry posts.'

Hm, as a point of military usage, you do not have officers 'on duty at sentry posts'. Sentries are usually Privates, as being a sentry is an 'unskilled' role and anyone more senior will be given different duties. I don't know about the Russian Army in 1914, but in the British forces one of the duties of the Orderly Officer (a fairly junior officer given a particular set of responsibilities for 24 hours at a time - roughly the officer's equivalent of being a sentry!) is going round the sentry posts (along with things like visiting the armoury to check that all weapons are there, and going to the cookhouse at mealtimes). So Anna Vyrubova might have been spotted undressing by Lieutenant X as he was going round the sentry posts, but what would be much more scandalous was t  hat she would be in view of Private Y while at his post (and no doubt the subject of much ribald comment among the soldiers!).

Ann

Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2014, 08:43:13 AM »
'They included Anna undressing at the window of her Livadia suite, which looked out to officers on duty at one of the sentry posts.'

Hm, as a point of military usage, you do not have officers 'on duty at sentry posts'. Sentries are usually Privates, as being a sentry is an 'unskilled' role and anyone more senior will be given different duties. I don't know about the Russian Army in 1914, but in the British forces one of the duties of the Orderly Officer (a fairly junior officer given a particular set of responsibilities for 24 hours at a time - roughly the officer's equivalent of being a sentry!) is going round the sentry posts (along with things like visiting the armoury to check that all weapons are there, and going to the cookhouse at mealtimes). So Anna Vyrubova might have been spotted undressing by Lieutenant X as he was going round the sentry posts, but what would be much more scandalous was t  hat she would be in view of Private Y while at his post (and no doubt the subject of much ribald comment among the soldiers!).

Ann

Ann, thanks so much.     

Here is the exact quote from Gleb Botkin:  "In the Crimea she had a room opposite a sentry post, and the soldiers complained officially to their officers of the anguish she caused them by constantly appearing at her window in a state of nudity!" (The Real Romanovs, p. 51.)




Offline Превед

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2014, 10:09:38 AM »
Lol, the masochistic flasher Anna Alexandrovna would have been a perfect match for brutal King Willem III of the Netherlands, who once flashed a whole lake cruiser from his hotel window in Genenva, didn't he. Interestingly his mother was Russian.......
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2014, 11:57:38 AM »
Poor Ann must have been very ugly if the sentries really were anguished!

I remember a tale told by one of my military friends. The unit was on exercised, and he and various others were sleeping in an orchard. At a certain time every night apples used to fall on his head. Finally, he got out of his  shelter and discovered two soldiers up the nearest tree with image intensifiers, watching a young lady undressing across the road through her curtains.

Ann

Offline wakas

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2014, 04:11:09 PM »
Griffh, thanks to your link, I've just bought the March 2014 Royalty Digest Quarterly. Can't wait to read your article!
After death, there is not death, but life.

Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2014, 07:34:23 AM »
Lol, the masochistic flasher Anna Alexandrovna would have been a perfect match for brutal King Willem III of the Netherlands, who once flashed a whole lake cruiser from his hotel window in Genenva, didn't he. Interestingly his mother was Russian.......

Gleb does seem to think that Anna "suffered from an exhibitionist complex," but said that, unlike the brutal Wilhelm III, that nothing "can really be held against her moral character" as she was unconscious of the complex. 

Botkin adds that Anna's friends, knowing her innocence, "laughed themselves to tears when she received her doctor in their presence and insisted on taking off every scrap of clothing for the purpose of having her throat examined! (The Real Romanovs, p. 51.)

Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2014, 07:37:48 AM »
Griffh, thanks to your link, I've just bought the March 2014 Royalty Digest Quarterly. Can't wait to read your article!

Hey that is great news wakas.  The first article is a bit shorter than the ones to come and just "sets the stage" by reviewing the weeks before the war and up to the first official Declaration of War in the Winter Palace on July 20/Aug 2, 1914.  Thanks so much!!!!

Offline griffh

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2014, 07:39:45 AM »
Poor Ann must have been very ugly if the sentries really were anguished!

I remember a tale told by one of my military friends. The unit was on exercised, and he and various others were sleeping in an orchard. At a certain time every night apples used to fall on his head. Finally, he got out of his  shelter and discovered two soldiers up the nearest tree with image intensifiers, watching a young lady undressing across the road through her curtains.

Ann

Ann you have a wonderful sense of humor...thanks for you light touch...

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2014, 09:30:28 AM »
Thank you.

I've spent a lot of time among soldiers.

i have a lovely vision of the men at the sentry post happily taking turns to gawp at Anna V as she undresses, with lots of comments about her underwear and the size of her....... Along comes the Orderly Officer, who sees what is happening. The officers decide that something must be done to stop this, and cook up the unlikely tale of the anguish caused to the sentries. Senior officer goes to the palace, trying hard to keep a straight face....

In fact, we could write a nice scene for the new film, designed to show Anna as a source of embarrassment and Alexandra failing to take the hint.

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2014, 12:56:27 PM »
Thank you.

I've spent a lot of time among soldiers.

i have a lovely vision of the men at the sentry post happily taking turns to gawp at Anna V as she undresses, with lots of comments about her underwear and the size of her....... Along comes the Orderly Officer, who sees what is happening. The officers decide that something must be done to stop this, and cook up the unlikely tale of the anguish caused to the sentries. Senior officer goes to the palace, trying hard to keep a straight face....

In fact, we could write a nice scene for the new film, designed to show Anna as a source of embarrassment and Alexandra failing to take the hint.

Ann

Write it Ann! I think it's a terrific idea and I want to include it in my script :-)
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2014, 02:37:14 AM »
To follow!

Ann