Author Topic: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty  (Read 770 times)

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Offline Dark Powers

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Hi all -

I am doing a research project regarding the Dark Powers political situation in 1916 and am looking for more sources and material to dig through.  I've been reading about this subject (and read most published material) for the past sixteen years so I'm pretty well-versed but there's always new material I haven't heard of before.

The first topic I'm looking for information on is the Grand Duke of Hesse's trip to Russia in 1916.  I've dug through the threads on here and read the various back and forth about did he or didn't - and have read the testimony both ways. 

What I have noticed is major facts that don't seem to show-up in any of the posted discussions and I was hoping someone on here might have additional information or source material that I could start reading.

1) The origin of the Grand Duke's trip to Russia in 1916 is usually attributed to Anna Anderson as part of her lawsuit for legal recognition.  In fact this story pre-dates Anna Anderson by about ten years.  It was a popular rumor in Petrograd during World War I sometime in 1916.

The first recorded version of this story that I have found was in the memoirs of Empress Alexandra's lady-in-waiting Baroness Buxheodven

"During 1916 the political atmosphere in the capital and in all the big towns became more and more threatening. . . Tales of her pro-German sympathies were invented and assiduously spread. Stories were circulated of her desire for a separate peace, rumours which could gain credence only in the public's total ignorance of the Empress's character. This gossip would never have been listened to for a moment, had not the whole country's nerves been strained to such a pitch that nothing seemed too wild to be thought possible. I myself was asked in all seriousness whether the Grand Duke of Hesse was not hidden in the cellars of the Palace! And after the Revolution the whole Palace was searched for mythical wireless stations which were supposed to have been used for secret communications with the enemy. Needless to say, all these wild allegations were without the slightest foundation, and I mention them only to show the state of "war nerves" that had been reached at the time."

- Baroness Buxhoedven, Chapter XXIII Before the Storm, The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodrovona

2) The other compelling claim I have come across is in "To Kill Rasputin: The life and Death of Grigori Rasputin" - Andrew Cook

At the end of Chapter 6 - he includes a paragraph of testimony from a Baron von Hochen Esten - who claims he was sent to Russia in 1916 along with several other agents to work towards a separate peace with Germany.  Hochen-Esten claimed that relations between the two courts were never broken off and continued to be illegally maintained - that he was in contact with several members of the Imperial Government who worked with Tsarina Alexandra on developing a German Peace treaty and force Nicholas II to abdicate in favor of Alexie with Alexandra as regent.

This corresponds with claims in the published memoirs of Maurice Paleologue (Ambassador of France) and Felix Youssopov.

I was further surprised to recently learn that there is a book of correspondence recently published with the letters between Ernest of Hesse and Empress Alexandra during World War I - that used Sweden as an intermediate go between for communications.  As I had not previously read any mention of them - I'm assuming that the Alexander Palace copies of these letters were probably destroyed when Alexandra burned her personal letters after the abdication.

Also I notice that I've read Greg King and Penny Wilson have obtained correspondence as well as are planning on publishing testimony from a Princess Vera who claimed to have personal knowledge the trip happened.  Is there any status update on when that information will be published?  Their website seems to have been shut-down.

Anyway - I was wondering if anyone else has any source material or additional public available information (newspaper articles for example) about this.

Any FACTUAL information provided would be appreciated.

Offline Dark Powers

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 03:45:02 PM »
Hello again everyone -

I've had this post up for a few weeks and was a little surprised nobody answered.

The two big questions I have is does anyone have any additional sources regarding -

The peace negotiation trip between Ernest of Hesse and Empress Alexandra (has Greg King and Penny Wilson published their research of any additional sources from this Vera Konstantinova)?

Does anyone have additional information about the alleged links between the German and Russian Courts during WWI?

Offline TimM

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 07:01:54 AM »
This alleged visit was covered in this thread:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=91.0

Offline Dark Powers

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 01:14:17 PM »
Yes and I combed through that thread.

But I noticed that the thread didn't include a number of other sources and treats it as a story that started with Anna Anderson.

It also doesn't mention when or if King and Wilson have published or will publish their additional research.

Their website is shutdown so there's no information available un-fortunately.

Offline JGP

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 11:26:13 AM »
Yes and I combed through that thread.

But I noticed that the thread didn't include a number of other sources and treats it as a story that started with Anna Anderson.

It also doesn't mention when or if King and Wilson have published or will publish their additional research.

Their website is shutdown so there's no information available un-fortunately.

I don't know if you noticed on the thread you perused but the article that WAS published on the King and Wilson site that is now defunct was printed in its entirety starting on Reply #274

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=91.270


Offline TimM

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 08:22:57 AM »
I think the idea about this trip to Russia has more or less been debunked.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Alexandra - Ernest of Hesse Secret Trip 1916 and Separate Peace Treaty
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 06:49:47 PM »
I spoke to Greg King today and he is working on his Mayerling book. While I am not privy to his plans, my best guess is that he is not going to do anything on Russian history anytime soon.

Because of the nature of this trip, being secret, you will not likely find official documents which mention this trip, if it did happen. The documents that are available are mentioned on this thread and in many cases in GARF.

I'm sorry we couldn't be more helpful to you with your paper.