Author Topic: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?  (Read 297020 times)

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #765 on: March 19, 2007, 08:37:34 AM »
Dominic Lieven presents the idea that:

"... by withdrawing from the life of St. Petersburg high society the Emperor and Empress did make a direct, if unwitting, contribution to the weakening of the crown's hold on the lives and loyalties of the Russian elites."

Combined with the second Court that was ruled by the Dowager and her entourage, the competing forces which extended from her and the disgruntled aristocratic circles that had lined up close behind her, each had selfishly contributed towards the betrayal of their sovereign in their own way.

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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #766 on: March 19, 2007, 09:33:40 AM »
I think the consensus being reached here is very much near the mark.  Please find my letter from Alexandra to Princess Louis over on the Bloody Sunday thread, to get some real sense of the isolation Nicholas felt, even as early as 1905:

"My poor Nicky's cross is a heavy one to bear, all the more as he has nobody on whom he can thoroughly rely and who can be a real help to him.  He has had so many bitter disappointments, but through it all he remains brave and full of faith in God's mercy.  He tries so hard, works with such perserverance, but the lack of what I call "real" men is great.  ... The bad are always close at hand. ... Two very clever men we have, and both are more than dangerous and unloyal. ...  How I wish I were clever and could be of real use! I love my new country.  It's so young, powerful and has so much good in it, only utterly unbalanced and childlike.  Poor Nicky, he has a bitter hard life to lead.  ... nobody to turn to. The Uncles no good, Mischa, a darling child, but still..."


Now, I just want to draw a small distinction about Nicholas' ability to make friends. He DID have close friends on a personal level, mostly officers from the Praeobrazhinskaya and from the Standart, Sabline in particular comes to mind.  The problem was that he could not make friends in the political arena. It is most telling, at least IMO, that he even refused a secretary, insisting on reviewing and drafting his own correspondence himself.  I agree that it was his insecurity which precluded him from "letting go" of the things he needed to in order to focus on the "bigger picture", and he was just far too polite and considerate to be an autocrat. He was far better suited to be the  Lord of the Manor in some bucolic English Shire than Autocrat of the largest nation in Europe.

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #767 on: March 19, 2007, 09:35:38 AM »
Nicholas' inability to either trust advisers or laterally, (such criticisms cannot be made of either Witte or Stolypin) his inability - or unwillingness - to choose advisers as opposed to sympathisers, seem to be legacies of his upbringing.    To this has to be added the flawed, frequently frantic, advice of his, by now, pathetically mentally unbalanced, wife... his only confidante.   Nicholas experienced no real warmth or emotion until he found himself suffocating in the arms of an equally emotionally needy wife.   Therefore, rejected and ridiculed as a young, developing human being by those closest to him, despite now being 'ominpotent and infallible', he desperately wanted to be liked.    Instinctively he protected himself, 'knowing' he would not find either respect or admiration from those he perceived as 'any smarter' than himself.

The anachronistic, reactionary Pobedonostsev, can only partly be held responsible for Nicholas' bullheadedness.   The die was cast in Nicholas' relationship with his own parents, who, to be frank, I think, quite actively disliked him.   If they did love him, they made a very good job at making it appear otherwise.   There is little evidence that they gave one whit for him.  Add to this the dreadful experience - for anyone, particularly for a pubescent heir to the heir - when he was present during the agonised death throes, hysterical scenes and death of his grandfather.   Inevitably this left a deep mental scar which would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to heal.   There were no psychotherapists in those days.   

'Betrayal' - in the circumstances we are discussing here, it is an impossible word to define.   

We are all products of our genes and our upbringing - nature and nurture.   Nicholas II was no different..... despite being 'God's anointed'.

tsaria

PS:   None of the above is intended. nor does it excuse, the disaster that befell Russia.   It is only an endeavour to apply some lateral thought to a tragic situation.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 09:37:54 AM by tsaria »

Offline RichC

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #768 on: March 19, 2007, 11:11:39 AM »
Nicholas experienced no real warmth or emotion until he found himself suffocating in the arms of an equally emotionally needy wife.   Therefore, rejected and ridiculed as a young, developing human being by those closest to him, despite now being 'ominpotent and infallible', he desperately wanted to be liked.    Instinctively he protected himself, 'knowing' he would not find either respect or admiration from those he perceived as 'any smarter' than himself.

The die was cast in Nicholas' relationship with his own parents, who, to be frank, I think, quite actively disliked him.   If they did love him, they made a very good job at making it appear otherwise.   There is little evidence that they gave one whit for him.  Add to this the dreadful experience - for anyone, particularly for a pubescent heir to the heir - when he was present during the agonised death throes, hysterical scenes and death of his grandfather.   Inevitably this left a deep mental scar which would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to heal.   There were no psychotherapists in those days.   

'Betrayal' - in the circumstances we are discussing here, it is an impossible word to define.   

We are all products of our genes and our upbringing - nature and nurture.   Nicholas II was no different..... despite being 'God's anointed'.

tsaria

PS:   None of the above is intended. nor does it excuse, the disaster that befell Russia.   It is only an endeavour to apply some lateral thought to a tragic situation.

I'm afraid I don't ever recall reading anything that Nicholas' mother didn't care about him or give one whit about him.  On the contrary, I thought she smothered him with affection, just like his wife.  I do recall reading that Empress Maria was a somewhat selfish woman who was unable and unwilling to allow her children to grow up.  She apparently was not too interested in fostering an adult sense of independence in them.  (He seems to have raised his children much the same way -- kept infantilizing them long after they were grown).

I guess there are, unfortunately, cases where Nicholas' father put him down and ridiculed him in front of other people.  How unforgivable.  Saddest of all, Nicholas seems to have still thought of this horrible man as a "saint".  But, I guess when you are a "Tsar" you can do anything.  One hopes that mankind has seen the last of this type of governance.

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #769 on: March 19, 2007, 01:25:35 PM »
Marie Feodorovna loved George and adored Misha - where is one able to find a record of her feelings for Nicholas?   Of course she loved him - in her own way and on her own terms.   RichC is correct - Marie Feodorovna did her utmost to stunt her children's development - a huge mistake repeated by her son - and his wife - but he didn't know anything different.   (What she did with her youngest - Olga - forcing her into a loveless marriage with no thought for the young woman or for poor Peter of Oldenburg, was nothing more than a totally selfish plot to keep this daughter under her thumb.   She had tried the same with Xenia, who was of more determined and independent spirit than her younger sister.   Do not forget the launch into married life she gave her oldest son... by then HER emperor).   

The very essence of a mother's duty - to prepare her child/children, to smooth the path to face the world, encourage them to stand on their own two feet, to support and bolster self-confidence all with a view to nurturing every talent and ability to achieve success in life - was totally lost on the selfish, self-indulgent Marie Feodorovna.   The more I think of it, the more I believe in Marie Feodorovna's culpability.  Again, she was, of course, a product of her own upbringing - and not intelligent enough to realise it.

I once had a discussion about Marie Feodorovna with historians at Tsarskoe Selo Museums - and, from those Russia historians' point of view - disappointment was expressed at the apparent lack of interest Marie Feodorvna displayed in her grandchildren - the children of Nicholas, that is.   I was quite taken aback to learn of their views.

For me the root of the betrayal of Nicholas II lies with his mother.

tsaria

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #770 on: March 19, 2007, 03:52:45 PM »
Daniel's information is greatly appreciated and I'm going to have to go back and read it, again.  What a wealth of information.  Thanks.

We do have to make these full circles from time to time to begin the next discussion on whom you think betrayed Nicholas II.

I, talso, think Nicholas II was betrayed by his parents.  I have already posted that I think this is true.

A couple of weeks ago,  I quoted the Dowager's words which prove she was conspiring with others against Nicholas II and Alexandra, whom she hoped to carry off to some  corner of Russia, in the months that lead up to Nicholas II's abdication.   

AGRBear








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Offline Binky

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #771 on: March 19, 2007, 04:02:55 PM »
I bet it really upset his mother to know that Nicholas had made such a mess of runnign Russia even though god had made him the tsar.  She made him the tsar too when she gave birth to him sort of.  So I bet she felt guilty and then he married a woman she did not like.  I bet she wished she had done a lot of things different.

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #772 on: March 19, 2007, 04:34:16 PM »
I can't agree with you Binky.   This was a woman who was at least as concerned with the security of her box of jewels as she was with the safety of her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.   Remember, she believed they survived.   She was 'informed' of this by secret telegraph while on board HMS Marlborough and, so far as I am aware, continued to believe this for the next ten years - until her death.

Where she thought they were staying - goodness knows.   

'GUILT' - you surely don't think that Empresses or Empress Dowagers suffer base emotions like guilt.   That's left for mortals like you and me.   

tsaria

Offline Binky

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #773 on: March 19, 2007, 04:51:19 PM »
I know.  One time I heard they were on a secret ship for a long time.  But I think it would have rusted or run out of gas and food after a while.  I don't think that story was true.  The empress must have just needed to believe they were alive because it hurts to lose a lot of your family for an old lady.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #774 on: March 20, 2007, 12:51:06 PM »
As Amelia Earhart once asked . . . "Where is everybody?"

Offline RichC

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #775 on: March 20, 2007, 01:06:14 PM »

A couple of weeks ago,  I quoted the Dowager's words which prove she was conspiring with others against Nicholas II and Alexandra, whom she hoped to carry off to some  corner of Russia, in the months that lead up to Nicholas II's abdication.   

AGRBear


Well, three cheers for the Dowager Empress!  I would have been right there conspiring with her in the noble goal to remove incompetent leadership.


Offline AGRBear

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #776 on: March 20, 2007, 06:30:56 PM »
How was the plot to kidnap Alexandra a good plan to you?

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

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Binky

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #777 on: March 20, 2007, 07:57:36 PM »
He didnt' say it was a good plan because it didn't work.  I don't think Alexandra ever got kidnapped until they shot her because putting her in prison was a kidnap.  I bet she thought so anyway.  But maybe if it was her mother in law who did it they would all been alive longer.  Because maybe Nicholas could have stayed tsar.

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #778 on: March 21, 2007, 05:47:31 AM »
What an enormous reassurance that would have been for MF - to know that you would have been right in there plotting with her RichC.   What a pity she didn't live long enough to learn of your fealty.

tsaria

Offline RichC

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Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« Reply #779 on: March 21, 2007, 07:54:39 AM »
What an enormous reassurance that would have been for MF - to know that you would have been right in there plotting with her RichC.   What a pity she didn't live long enough to learn of your fealty.

tsaria

Actually I would have just been after that box of jewels.