Author Topic: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"  (Read 91154 times)

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Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2005, 09:27:53 AM »
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He was not, however, responsible for the brutality & inhumanity perpetrated upon him & his family that night in 1918. The responsibilty for that lies with his murderers alone.


Couldn't have said that better myself!

Offline Ortino

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2005, 11:20:57 AM »
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Was there revolution before Nicholas II came to the Russian Throne? Yes, the 1825 Decemberist Revolution. The 1905 Revolution was of the Emperor's making, the failed and humiliating war with Japan, the lack of even the most basic democratisation, the disaster of the Coronation and the Balls that just could not be cancelled, turned loyal Russian people against the Emperor.

World War One was also in the hands of Nicholas II, he was the sole person to make a declaration of war, it was his trust in the French and their phony military intelligence that brought Russia into the war. Remember that Austria-Hungary and Germany did not declare war on Russia but rather it was Nicholas II standing on the balcony of the Winter Palace who declared war on them.

The presence of Rasputin, speaking to, visiting, writing to any member of the Imperial family could have been stopped with a signature on an Ukaze, the monster Rasputin could have found himself in an Chuchi igloo in Chuhotka for the remainder of his life.

Let us not forget that Nicholas II was God's Annointed Tsar-Autocrator. Without his permission no one could divorce, adopt or change their name. If only he had the power to change things, then only Nicholas II he can be held responsible when they go terribly wrong.

DAP


I completely agree with David_Pritchard. All the points he made are my thoughts exactly. Nicholas had a choice in all these matters, yet he managed to screw them all up. Yes, Nicholas can of course not be blamed for the actual carnage he and his family encountered in July 1918, but Nicholas can be blamed for the events that led to their deaths.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2005, 02:45:55 PM »
This weekend, I re-read the letters of Alexandra and Nicholas during WWI.  I was reminded how dominant Alexandra was, how patronizing in her letters to him.  The man did not seem to have a great deal of backbone during this period of his life.

Obviously, this is a complex subject and there is no one answer.  But I am struck by the fact that in a way, Alexandra was leading Nicholas during those years.....

A case of the blind leading the blind to the Room of Special Purpose?

Offline Ortino

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2005, 03:22:39 PM »
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This weekend, I re-read the letters of Alexandra and Nicholas during WWI.  I was reminded how dominant Alexandra was, how patronizing in her letters to him.  The man did not seem to have a great deal of backbone during this period of his life.


Yes, I myself have noticed this. I don't think that Nicholas ever had any real backbone but had a false sense of security and "confidence" in his position. When I see these letters, I feel sorry for Nicholas since Alexandra continuously pressured him about being strong and doing things for "Baby's sake". I don't think he was ever prepared for this kind of pressure. Perhaps though during the war that is what Nicholas needed most, strength from another.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2005, 10:19:27 PM »
When I see these letters, I feel sorry for Nicholas since Alexandra continuously pressured him about being strong and doing things for "Baby's sake". I don't think he was ever prepared for this kind of pressure. Perhaps though during the war that is what Nicholas needed most, strength from another.  

Well, he needed strength, but intelligent strength. Rational strength.

When I read the letters from a personal view, I think that if I wrote such letters to my husband, I woiuld be a single woman.  And if he were to write those types of letters to me, he'd be single.  It seems so disrespectful to me......but it was their relationship, not mine, thank God!

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2005, 11:26:39 PM »
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I do think Nikolai had a large role in "leading them to the basement himself". He was a weak ruler, and Rasputin didn't help any. Really, I can't blame him for Rasputin, though. How many of you would be able to turn away the only man who really helped your ill son?


Indeed, clockworkgirl21, your points are well taken.

Weak rule, Rasputin didn't help, but no parent wishes the death of their child.

Thank you.

A truly vitriolic combination.

Offline rosebud

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2005, 01:33:41 PM »
I have always wondered how the whole thing (revolution) was let to happen. It was not just the flow of events. There were so many social circles to which it would have had an effect on if happened. It wasnt just Nicholas, although he had made some bad decicions while choosing his counselors, his family life was determinating his choices and the world was changing too quickly to keep up with.
But the remembrance of 1789, Paris and the clear marks of it in the air...
Why didnt the high nobility whose position was at risk, do anything (or did they)? They could have influenced N if wanted. Intellectual, powerful men. Was it some how better, necessary or where they obliged to stay in hostile relations to the court?
Or am I looking at this from an anachronistic point of view?

I suppose nowadays it is fashionable in historiology to think and research what would have happened if  even one choice which led to known result was done differently. Contrahistory or something. It could be very interesting in this case.

contrahistory

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2005, 01:55:32 PM »
Rosebud - I have had the same curiosity.

Was it simply that people were short-sighted (and why not?  How many people look to the long-term in their daily interactions with others?) and reacted to Alexandra's influence and Nicholas' weakness with hostility, rather than attempting to be pro-active and gently, in a more friendly way, influence them?

The immediate hostility between the Imperial couple and the rest of the court was, in my opinion, a contribution to the downfall.  The inherent snobbery among the nobility did nothing to aid in the situation.  Granted, Alexandra kept everything private and did not show her more vulnerable side to anyone.  Yet why is it that people did not search deeper and attempt to get through?  

I often wonder, as I read about the impovrished emigres of the nobility after the Revolution, if they had any idea how silly they appeared, with their fixation on the way things were, without any concept of their own role in the situation.  Maria Pavlovna's memoirs are the only first-person accounts I have read that really delve into the nobility's utter disregard for reality during those days.

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2005, 08:31:25 PM »
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I have always wondered how the whole thing (revolution) was let to happen. It was not just the flow of events. There were so many social circles to which it would have had an effect on if happened. It wasnt just Nicholas, although he had made some bad decicions while choosing his counselors, his family life was determinating his choices and the world was changing too quickly to keep up with.
But the remembrance of 1789, Paris and the clear marks of it in the air...
Why didnt the high nobility whose position was at risk, do anything (or did they)? They could have influenced N if wanted. Intellectual, powerful men. Was it some how better, necessary or where they obliged to stay in hostile relations to the court?
Or am I looking at this from an anachronistic point of view?

I suppose nowadays it is fashionable in historiology to think and research what would have happened if  even one choice which led to known result was done differently. Contrahistory or something. It could be very interesting in this case.

contrahistory


Rosebud,

First of all, the High Nobility as you write, did indeed try to do something about the situation.  Many, many burned their bridges with the Emperor trying to persuade him to either put the Empress into a Convent, a mental institution, or simply divorce her.  All Petersburg society was of what the Empress, and frankly, her Germanic-sounding Camarilla, were doing to the Empire and the Monarchy.  What many do not realize, perhaps from now far off, is that if the Emperor and the Empress were so alone at the end, it was because they had literally put themselves into a corner from which there was no exit.

All are interested in their own proper survival -- as are you, and as are I.  The Nobility understood perfectly that the fall of the Empire meant the end of their gilded lives.  Many in the Nobility lived only off "la rente" from their vast land holdings and were unable to transfer funds overseas.  Those that could, did to a certain degree.  Additionally, the Church itself tried to intervene with the Emperor and there was quite a not-nice-scene between the Emperor and the truly-religious Metropolitan of Petersburg (who had replaced Alexandra's and Rasputin's disasterous choice, a complete "debauche").  But the truth would not be heard.

Had Nicholas taken the great step of sacrificing his wife for the Empire, the Empire would have undoubtedly been saved.  By late 1916, early 1917, the Empress had become the focal point for everything that the Russians believed to be evil, German, disgusting, or all.  There is no question about it.  Remember -- that they were such "damaged goods" that not even the British, where her sister the Queen Mother still lived, would allow them asylum.  The only alternative that seemed to be possibly was South Africa, but even the South Africans balked.  That is simply how much and how bad the stench of Alexandra had become around the world.

No one was prepared for the Revolution, except one certain group of newly emancipated, and no one was prepared for its consequences.

Offline rosebud

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2005, 10:31:29 PM »
Thank you Alex.
There is still something that seems unbelievable to me. If the role of the empress in the concrete game (or was she more symbolizing something to be hated) was really that enormous, how could it be that nobody really found a solution that could have worked in the situation (to make her silent or unpower her). They just didnt catch the basics of Ns psyche and the set of his values? How could he have sacrificed his wife in a "send her to mental institution" kind of manner? He was basicly a family man, quite simply, didnt they understand that? How many man could bring himself apart his inner and most emotionally loaded world and crush it all into pieces because it seems to be the right and honorable way to solve greater things and save something else.  He might have gone into his shell after this kind of world crashing suggestions (who wouldnt). And then it is all lost...

Oh dear now I have to rush so my beautiful idea stops short.
R

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2005, 12:28:52 AM »
Agreed, Rosebud.  The demands made on N regarding A were ones he could never have accepted.  And they were cruel to even be asked of him.

From a more sociological perspective, this entire situation was one where I think people COULD have focussed on finding an acceptable solution to a problem based on common goals, but instead chose to focus on the extreme differences, which inevitably leads to more hostility, not less.

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2005, 01:46:15 AM »
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Thank you Alex.
There is still something that seems unbelievable to me. If the role of the empress in the concrete game (or was she more symbolizing something to be hated) was really that enormous, how could it be that nobody really found a solution that could have worked in the situation (to make her silent or unpower her). They just didnt catch the basics of Ns psyche and the set of his values? How could he have sacrificed his wife in a "send her to mental institution" kind of manner? He was basicly a family man, quite simply, didnt they understand that? How many man could bring himself apart his inner and most emotionally loaded world and crush it all into pieces because it seems to be the right and honorable way to solve greater things and save something else.  He might have gone into his shell after this kind of world crashing suggestions (who wouldnt). And then it is all lost...

Oh dear now I have to rush so my beautiful idea stops short.
R


When one is Emperor or when one is President, one respond to a higher level of goals and higher level of needs than others.  An Emperor has a greater sense of duties and a much higher threshold of what is required.  He was given a choice between his wife and the Empire and he sacrified the Empire, and eventually this caused the death of 75 million souls of his former Empire.  As someone wrote of him at that him, "It took him six years to grant a Duma, and two minutes to renonce the throne".

And in the end, the madness of Alexandra, and there is no other word for it, caused a great conflagration.

Sometimes in life there are unfortunate choices one has to make.  The Emperor, as Emperor was confronted with one of those.  And prior to him there had examples in Russian history where a sovereign had sacrified a husband or wife for the overall good of the Empire.

Finelly

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2005, 01:56:46 AM »
When one is Emperor or when one is President, one respond to a higher level of goals and higher level of needs than others.  An Emperor has a greater sense of duties and a much higher threshold of what is required

True, and Nicholas himself acknowledged that he was neither educated nor prepared to assume those responsibilities at any particular level.  

Question:  Did the rest of the nobility, or even just the rest of the family, have any high responsibilities?  That is to say, what were their obligations in helping him to understand his role and the required threashold?  

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2005, 07:08:00 AM »
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The demands made on N regarding A were ones he could never have accepted.  And they were cruel to even be asked of him.


Nicholas' father considered renouncing his rights to the throne in order to pursue his passion for Maria Emilovna.  But he finally decided to sacrifice his own desires in favor of his duties to the dynasty.

I admit it would have been very hard for Nicholas to put Alexandra aside once she had become the mother of their five children and they had built a life together.  But Nicholas was determined to pursue his own passion over his duty to the dynasty in insisting on marrying Alexandra long before their lives were entwined.  While hemoephilia was not well understood at the time, it was known to run in families through the female line.  And Nicholas and his parents knew that Victoria's female progeny carried the disease.  I cannot imagine there were not intense private debates about the risk of introducing the disease into the Russian royal family.  (In fact, I've often wondered if the reason that Nicholas and Alexandra were so secretive and engaged in so much denial about Alexei's inability to rule might have been their mortification that the warnings of others had been justified.  And I've wondered if this is part of the reason that the rest of the family made so little public pretense of supporting the ruling couple that had heedlessly brought this disease into the dynasty.)

Yet Nicholas insisted on going ahead with the marriage.

The right to be tsar -- with all that implies -- does not come without a price.  Nicholas was not willing to pay it as tsarevitch, and he was not willing to pay it as tsar.  His self-indulgence ended up costing him and his country far more than just his wife.

AlexP

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Re: "Sam ikh privel v podval..." "he led them to the basement himself"
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2005, 07:20:07 AM »
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Nicholas' father considered renouncing his rights to the throne in order to pursue his passion for Maria Emilovna.  But he finally decided to sacrifice his own desires in favor of his duties to the dynasty.

I admit it would have been very hard for Nicholas to put Alexandra aside once she had become the mother of their five children and they had built a life together.  But Nicholas was determined to pursue his own passion over his duty to the dynasty in insisting on marrying Alexandra long before their lives were entwined.  While hemoephilia was not well understood at the time, it was known to run in families through the female line.  And Nicholas and his parents knew that Victoria's female progeny carried the disease.  I cannot imagine there were not intense private debates about the risk of introducing the disease into the Russian royal family.  (In fact, I've often wondered if the reason that Nicholas and Alexandra were so secretive and engaged in so much denial about Alexei's inability to rule might have been their mortification that the warnings of others had been justified.  And I've wondered if this is part of the reason that the rest of the family made so little public pretense of supporting the ruling couple that had heedlessly brought this disease into the dynasty.)

Yet Nicholas insisted on going ahead with the marriage.

The right to be tsar -- with all that implies -- does not come without a price.  Nicholas was not willing to pay it as tsarevitch, and he was not willing to pay it as tsar.  His self-indulgence ended up costing him and his country far more than just his wife.


Tsarfan, this is an excellent posting.  Thank you very much.