Author Topic: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?  (Read 272745 times)

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Offline Bev

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #555 on: February 13, 2007, 02:53:56 PM »
Eliz., that might explain why he failed to ask for a settlement and safe transport at least for his children. 

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #556 on: February 13, 2007, 05:08:47 PM »
Is this your opinion or was this opinion of the doctors who were with Nicholas II.

Did anyone even know what "anxiety" attacks were in 1917?

Without all the modern medical stuff we have these days,  how would Nicholas II or the doctors know if this attack wasn't a real heart attack?

If  Nicholas II thought  he had a heart attack,  this places a different slant on why he might have abdicated when he did.


It wasn't my opinion or not. I was just stating that these are symptoms of severe anxiety or an anxiety attack--not necessarily indicative of a heart attack--but something that could conceivably be suffered by Nicholas II at such a time.

I'm not a medical expert--though I am unfortunately rather familiar with anxiety attacks--but I believe there was some knowledge of the condition, or at least about 'nerves', at the time.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #557 on: February 13, 2007, 05:17:04 PM »

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear

Bear, you're probably thinking of Nicholas's diary entry for March 11, 1917, quoted in Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra:

"A vivid warning signal on the state of his health flashed on Sunday morning, March 11. As he stood in church, Nicholas suffered 'an excruciating pain in the chest' which lasted for fifteen minutes. 'I could hardly stand the service out,' he wrote, 'and my forehead was covered with drops of perspiration. I cannot understand what it could have been because I had no palpitation of the heart.... If this occurs again, I shall tell Fedorov [the doctor].' The symptoms are those of a coronary occlusion" (Massie, p. 390).

I don't know on what basis Massie concludes that Nicholas II had had a coronary occlusion (I assume he consulted with a doctor or two). But certainly, from the description Nicholas gives, it doesn't sound like any panic or anxiety attack I've ever heard of (I thought these were characterized by a pounding or racing heartbeat, whereas Nicholas states quite specifically that he felt no "palpitation of the heart").


In referencing an anxiety attack, I was going by Bear's description which mentioned heart pain but nothing about the racing (or not) of the heart. Also, suffering from severe anxiety--but not an anxiety attack--can lead to heart pain and the other symptoms listed.

Anyway, it seems rather off-topic as to the subject of Betrayal. Isn't there another thread already dealing with the circumstances of the Abdication?
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Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #558 on: February 14, 2007, 05:28:04 AM »
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   There is more than one report of Nicholas II suffering chest pain.   If I recall correctly another, again, comes from his own diary when he stated suffering a severe, crushing pain in the chest while he was out for a Sunday afternoon walk ' on the ??? road'.   Perhaps someone else will recall this entry with greater accuracy.   I am not aware of any diagnostic tool which aided the diagnosis of myocardial infarction in 1917.    The diagnosis was symptom-led by which time the patient was usually dead.   They certainly did not have access to electrocardiogram machines and etc.

I don't think Bear is necessarily chasing geese - wild or domestic - here.   Historically, perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the physical and mental state of the Tsar by March 1917.   This is understandable in view of the cataclysmic events exploding all around.   I think there is every chance Nicholas II did suffer at least two heart attacks in the lead up to the abdication.    He was within the 'perfect' age range.   The description of 'crushing' type pain is typical.   The kind of stress to which he exposed himself would have been sufficient to induce an arrest in the heart of an elephant.   In 1917, no medic would have advised against physical activity of the kind - digging and shovelling snow.   In fact, given Nicholas' history, he would have found these activities positively therapeutic.   

There is also evidence - some of which is cited here - of some form of mental collapse.   It would have been all the more extraordinary had the Tsar not manifested mental/emothional symptoms.   Of course his doctor and advisers would insist their 'boss' was just a bit tired - what else would you expect?   'The emperor is in the midst of a serious physical and mental collapse'?

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       


Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #559 on: February 14, 2007, 07:38:48 AM »
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       



It's just that the discussion of whether he had a heart attack or not didn't seem pertinent to the discussion of who betrayed him--unless it's considered that his own body did as well as those around him. It seemed more relevant to one of the threads discussing the circumstances of his abdication--such as the 'Did Nicholas Have to Abdicate' thread. I would suggest that since this page is nearing 40 pages already, such a side-topic going on more than a few posts takes the thread off-topic.

That other thread is located here:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,8181.0.html

and is only 8 pages long so there's plenty of room for discussion.
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Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #560 on: February 14, 2007, 08:47:26 AM »
Within these semantic boundaries, can you allow for the possibility that the knowledge of being betrayed impacted on the Tsar's health in general, and heart in particular?

tsaria

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #561 on: February 14, 2007, 08:52:35 AM »
I think the discussion of Nicholas' health issues relating from stress, as aggravated by what Nicholas himself believed was betrayal by those close to him is ok, so long as the discussion does not overshadow the main point of the betrayal and not focus on the health issues too much.

FA

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #562 on: February 14, 2007, 08:56:00 AM »
Tsaria,

The word "betray" has such narrow meaning as to make it difficult to use. To knowingly betray someone is to do it with full awareness of the one's action as wrong. If you look at the action from the point of view of the one betrayed --- well, I posted a few pages back that in that case Nicholas was "betrayed" by everyone who failed to carry out his will, and some people seem to have agreed. If you look at it from the viewpoint of the one setting aside his/her oath, then it sometimes becomes a subsidiary action to fulfilling the oath --- to God --- in a higher sense. The problem with the word "betray" is that it has undeniable perjorative connotations. I would be much happier to say "Who set aside his oath to Nicholas?". It allows for a variety of reasons as to why, including simple expediency.

Simon

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Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #563 on: February 14, 2007, 11:21:05 AM »
Of course it is perfectly possible to betray someone knowing the action is wrong, while at the same time justifying the action in the belief that the betrayal is for the greater good - the end justifying the means.

Could this have been what Bear was reaching for when she initiated this thread?   Somehow I don't think so.

Perhaps what you are suggesting Simon - 'Who set aside his oath to Nicholas' - leaves open to interpretation, flexibility and discussion, whether an individual's action was one of omission or commission.

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #564 on: February 14, 2007, 11:35:36 AM »
I think what tripped discussion up on this thread was the imprecision of the original meaning. No disrespect to the creator of the thread, but "betrayed" is a charged word that allows for too wide a variety of interpretations. Which we have certainly seen, obviously.

Simon
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #565 on: February 15, 2007, 09:33:09 AM »
I've explained my intentions many times.  Here are two:

This discussion  is NOT about how "Nicholas II betrayed himself".    This thread is NOT about how Nicholas II failed others it is about "who betrayed Tsar Nicholas II".   There are other threads where you can discuss how you feel that Nicholas II betrayed / failed as Tsar.

Of course,  with each individual or groups of people named as having betrayed Nicholas II,   a poster  can give the reasons why they (the betrayers)  felt   it necessary to "betray"  their Tsar Nicholas II.

In a book I just brought called SCENANRIOS OF POWER, MYTH AND CEREMONY IN RUSSIAN MONARCHY  by Richard S. Wortman  he states the following on page:

He tells us that Nicholas II: 

>>...felt not disillusioned but betrayed.  "All around there is treason, cowardice, and deceit," he wrote in his diary." 
.....[in part]...

AGRBear




Betray:
1) To give aid or information to an enemy of
2) To deliver into the hands of an enemy in volation of a trust or  alligiance
3) To divulge in a breach of confidence
4) To make known unintentionally
5) To reval against one's desire or will
6) To lead astray, deceive

Enemy:
1) One who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes another; a foe
2a) A hostile power or force, such as a nation
2b) A member or unit of such a force
3) A group of foes or hostil forces
4)  Something destructive or injurious in its effect

I believe a conspirator falls under an enemy:

Conspirtator:
1) One that engages in a conspiracy

Conspiracy:
1) An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
2) A group of conspirators
3) Law.  An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal actions
4) A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design....

Strictly speaking: If a General of the Tsar's Army breaks his oath to his Tsar,  who has not abdicated which released the General  from their oath, and conspires to have the Tsar  removed and replaced by another,  I believe the conspirator has  "betrayed" his Tsar,  even if the conspirator had legitmate reasons which would have been for the betterment of Russia.

.... [in part]

AGRBear


"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #566 on: February 15, 2007, 10:32:34 AM »
>>On March 21st the Tsar signed his last order to the troops in which, among other things, he asked the troops to obey the provisional government.  This order was not given to the troops by General Alekseyev in accordance with instructions from Guchkov...
...The [military] representatives of the Allied Powers who were at the general headquarters wanted to accompany the Tsar's train [to Tsarkoye Selo] to insure his safety, but General Alekseyev declared to General Williams that there was no necessity to do so since the train would reach its destination safely...
...The news that some represetatives of the new government had come to fetch the Tsar was concealed.  That is,  it was not known that from that moment on, the Tsar found himself under arrest and lost his liberty.  All instructions now came from the deputies who had arrived...
...Only after the Tsar's departure from Mogilev did it become known that the provisional government had arrested him.  Such a base decision of the provisional government could be carried out only because of the secretivness surrounding the govenment's plans.  But if knowledge of this [intent] had come earlier in Mogilev--neither those in charge [of the mioligary establishment], nor the garrison, nor the inhjabitatnts of the town would have so easily let the Tsar go.  One can assume that General Alekseyev, the Chief of Staff, knowing about the orders of the provisional goverment, was already beginning to have second thoughts about his false orientation.

The oath of allegiance to the provisional government was staken only the day after the Tsar left [Mogilev], but if the directive of the provisional government regarding the arrest had become known not at the moment of the Train's departure, but even an hour earlier, then, despite the Tsar's words of farewell in which he asked [the troops] to "serve the provisional government," etc. one can be entirely certain the the Tsar's order asking the troops to give loyalty to the provisional government would not have been carried out and they would have acted differently....<<

pp. 125 to 126
WINDOWS ON THE RIVER NEVA by Paul Grabbe, who father had been Commander of the Tsar's "Konvoy" [Cossacks;  the Tsar's military escort].


These few lines tells us  Gen. Alekseyev was part of a conspiracy which resulted in their Tsar to abdicate. Therefore, Gen. Alekseyev betrayed Nicholas II.

AGRBear



« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 10:37:35 AM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #567 on: February 15, 2007, 10:41:00 AM »
It is not altogether off-topic Ella.   There is more than one report of Nicholas II suffering chest pain.   If I recall correctly another, again, comes from his own diary when he stated suffering a severe, crushing pain in the chest while he was out for a Sunday afternoon walk ' on the ??? road'.   Perhaps someone else will recall this entry with greater accuracy.   I am not aware of any diagnostic tool which aided the diagnosis of myocardial infarction in 1917.    The diagnosis was symptom-led by which time the patient was usually dead.   They certainly did not have access to electrocardiogram machines and etc.

I don't think Bear is necessarily chasing geese - wild or domestic - here.   Historically, perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the physical and mental state of the Tsar by March 1917.   This is understandable in view of the cataclysmic events exploding all around.   I think there is every chance Nicholas II did suffer at least two heart attacks in the lead up to the abdication.    He was within the 'perfect' age range.   The description of 'crushing' type pain is typical.   The kind of stress to which he exposed himself would have been sufficient to induce an arrest in the heart of an elephant.   In 1917, no medic would have advised against physical activity of the kind - digging and shovelling snow.   In fact, given Nicholas' history, he would have found these activities positively therapeutic.   

There is also evidence - some of which is cited here - of some form of mental collapse.   It would have been all the more extraordinary had the Tsar not manifested mental/emothional symptoms.   Of course his doctor and advisers would insist their 'boss' was just a bit tired - what else would you expect?   'The emperor is in the midst of a serious physical and mental collapse'?

In response to the subject of the thread 'Who Betrayed Nicholas II' - a number of characters have been enumerated, but perhaps sufficient attention has not been paid to the meaning of the word 'betray(ed)'.   To betray is a deliberate, knowing act of deception.   I would be tempted to say that, in his position as Emperor,  Nicholas unwittingly betrayed Russia, but it is impossible to 'unwittingly betray'.   To betray is an act of commission.

It might be easier, for the purposes of this thread, to look at who, (according to the dictionary definition) committed an act of treason against the Emperor:  who was false or disloyal towards the Emperor:  who revealed, against their will or desire, their opposition to the Emperor:  who deliberately deceived their Emperor?

tsaria       



Thank you Tsaria.

If the Tsar believed he  had not just one but several heart attacks,  I think this fact is VERY important to this topic which surrounds Nicholas II's abdication.

I think the discussion of Nicholas' health issues relating from stress, as aggravated by what Nicholas himself believed was betrayal by those close to him is ok, so long as the discussion does not overshadow the main point of the betrayal and not focus on the health issues too much.

FA


As to the definition,  the act of treason, which falls under the definition of "betral",  is exactly what Gen. Alekseyev achieved the moment he started to conspire with others to remove his Tsar and replace him with someone else.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 10:50:56 AM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #568 on: February 15, 2007, 10:58:35 AM »

Are you sure that just because you've not read it in anyone's diaries or books that Nicholas II didn't have a heart attack?

And,  it seems just lately I recall reading that a swarm of doctors were around Nicholas II just about that time period.    I've gotta run.  Be gone for a few days.  Maybe,  by the time I get back,  I'll have remembered where I read  it.

AGRBear

Bear, you're probably thinking of Nicholas's diary entry for March 11, 1917, quoted in Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra:

"A vivid warning signal on the state of his health flashed on Sunday morning, March 11. As he stood in church, Nicholas suffered 'an excruciating pain in the chest' which lasted for fifteen minutes. 'I could hardly stand the service out,' he wrote, 'and my forehead was covered with drops of perspiration. I cannot understand what it could have been because I had no palpitation of the heart.... If this occurs again, I shall tell Fedorov [the doctor].' The symptoms are those of a coronary occlusion" (Massie, p. 390).

I don't know on what basis Massie concludes that Nicholas II had had a coronary occlusion (I assume he consulted with a doctor or two). But certainly, from the description Nicholas gives, it doesn't sound like any panic or anxiety attack I've ever heard of (I thought these were characterized by a pounding or racing heartbeat, whereas Nicholas states quite specifically that he felt no "palpitation of the heart").

Whatever this was, a coronary occlusion or something else, it occurred four days before Nicholas's abdication, and, it would seem, only hours before he learned that the rioting in Petrograd had reached alarming proportions (according to Massie, he was informed of the seriousness of the situation only on the evening of March 11).

It's also obvious from at least one of his ministers' remembrances that Nicholas had been approaching a state of nervous collapse for some time before the March Revolution. Kokovstov recorded his impressions of the tsar during an interview on February 1: "During the year that I had not seen him, he had become almost unrecognizable. His face had become very thin and hollow and covered with small wrinkles. His eyes...had become quite faded and wandered aimlessly from object to object.... The face of the Tsar bore an expression of helplessness.... the Tsar listened to me with the same sickly smile, glancing nervously about him....[asked] a question which to me seemed perfectly simple...the Tsar became reduced to a perfectly incomprehensible state of helplessness. The strange, almost vacant smile remained fixed on his face; he looked at me as if to seek support and to ask me to remind him of a matter that had absolutely slipped his memory.... For a long time, he looked at me in silence as if trying to collect his thoughts or to recall what had escaped his memory" (Kokovstov, quoted in Massie, pp. 365-366).

Massie notes of this interview that Kokovstov left it "in tears. Outside, he found Dr. Botkin and Count Paul Benckendorff... 'Do you not see the state of the tsar?' he asked. 'He is on the verge of some mental disturbance if not already in its power.' Botkin and Benckendorff both said that Nicholas was not ill, merely tired. Nevertheless, Kokovstov returned to Petrograd with the strong impression 'that the Tsar was seriously ill and that his illness was of a nervous character'" (Massie, p. 366).

To me it seems quite clear that once the initial horror of deciding to abdicate was over, and all the burdens of office and a disastrous war had been lifted off his shoulders once and for all, Nicholas experienced his abdication as a relief. If we are to believe the memoirs of Gibbes, this sense of relief appears to have lasted until news of the Bolshevik takeover reached the former emperor in exile in Tobolsk less than a year later.

Thank you Elisabeth.
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #569 on: February 15, 2007, 11:27:45 AM »
Bear,

Once more into the breach. The word I used was "imprecise", and it is used in regard to the word "betray". If you set up your own definition of the word, then of course General Alexeyev meets it. I am no longer trying to convince you that do not understand what (1) an oath means or (2) what betrayal means. I accept the fact that you are satisfied with the definitions of both that you have advanced. I am not, and neither are several others posting to this thread. If you don't understand that, I am at a loss.

If I set up a thread called "Who Did Nicholas II Murder?" and defined murder as simply the taking of a human life, and assigned him responsibility for the actions of his subordinates, then I could call Nicholas II a murderer on the basis of the pogroms that were allowed. I could also call him a murderer because he sent millions to their deaths in World War I. I could say that he violated his oath to God to defend his subjects since he, in fact, murdered them.

Of course, my definition of murder in the above paragraph is incorrect because it is incomplete. It does not deal with the complexities of the situation in which Nicholas and his subordinates found themselves. It does not take into consideration generally accepted defintions of the exercise of authority, the use of military power, etc.

Now substitute the word "betray" for "murder". The word you chose is equally limited in meaning, i.e. you seem to understand what you mean by it ---- but many of us do not, or do not accept your definition because it is too broad, too narrow, too idiosyncratric.

Simon

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