Author Topic: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917  (Read 37736 times)

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Offline AGRBear

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Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« on: September 19, 2005, 04:44:43 PM »
How many of you are aware that Nicholas II was planning on leaving Russia in APRIL of 1917 and going abroad  There are letters from Nicholas II and Bennckendorff telling us this is so.  There is even the talk about a new uniform so he could wear his court ribbons" on this trip.

p. 261 THE LOST FORTUNE OF THE TSARS by William Clarke.

The simple task of ordering this uniform meant he had no intentions of abdicating in March or part of April.

Does this mean his  abdication was forced uppon him and therefore invalid?

And, this  does raise the question as to where was Nicholas II going in April?  

Was he going alone or with his family?

He was, afterall, in the middle of a war and was the Commander-in-Chief so was he going to hand that back over to his cousin or someone else?

I've never heard of Nicholas II thinking about going to Germany to arrange a "truce" or any kind of "treaty for peace"....

Anyone have any answers?

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2005, 05:43:17 PM »
Quote
The simple task of ordering this uniform meant he had no intentions of abdicating in March or part of April.

Does this mean his  abdication was forced uppon him and therefore invalid?


His intentions and legal niceities notwithstanding, you cannot be a tsar when the army and government cease to acquiesce in your right to command.  The monarchy did not end in that train car.  It ended when the Duma and countless soldiers asked, "Who's going to make me?" and no one could answer the question.

There is a wonderful line in the movie "La nuit de Varennes" describing the foiling of Louis XVI's flight from his Parisian captivity.  Someone is appalled to hear that the king was arrested.  The retort was:

"A king who can be arrested by a postmaster has already ceased to be a king."

Likewise, a tsar who can be told to abdicate by anyone has already ceased to be a tsar.



« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Ortino

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2005, 07:54:29 PM »
Hmmm, I own this book and I've never noticed this information before. I'll have to check this out more thoroughly once I have it in front of me.

EDIT: You misquoted a bit of it. Here it is:

"The archives reveal both the trivial and the significant. Only weeks before his final abdication Nicholas wrote to Benckendorff explaining that his delay in answering a letter had been caused by his need to order a new uniform for a photograph of himself wearing military medals rather than court ribbons. Less than a month later, according to the archives, Benckendorff was preoccupied by the possible departure of the royal family abroad and set out detailed notes, in his own handwriting, as to what would have been done in preparation."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

Offline lexi4

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2005, 10:42:19 PM »
Thank or Ortino.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917I don't
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2005, 11:03:57 AM »
I don't have the book around me today.  

>>Less than a month later, according to the archives, Benckendorff was preoccupied by the possible departure of the royal family abroad<<

Was the trip abroad being arranged before or after his abdication?

May have misread and that's why it poped out at me.

Thanks for posting the source which I should have done.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2005, 09:50:21 PM »
I would imagine the photo was probably a potential 'publicity shot'. Benckendorff is probably talking about the family being sent to asylum in England as everyone expected in the first few months after the abdication.

Offline lexi4

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2005, 10:57:31 PM »
Quote
I would imagine the photo was probably a potential 'publicity shot'. Benckendorff is probably talking about the family being sent to asylum in England as everyone expected in the first few months after the abdication.


Good point Georgiy!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline Caleb

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005, 03:05:50 PM »
Well I read that even Kaiser Wilhelm was even trying to get the Romanovs out of Russia, at least Alexandra & the children, but I'm sure he would have tried to intervine on Nicholas's behalf. I'm suprised that a neutral country like Switzerland, that wasn't taking a side in the war, didn't at least try to help the poor man & his family.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2005, 05:12:16 PM »
I think that today we sometimes forget just how negatively Nicholas was viewed outside of Russia during his reign, which had been one public relations disaster after another.

The continuation of the formal receptions and balls after a stampede killed hundreds during his coronation celebrations drew worldwide censure.  His handling of the Russo-Japanese conflict was viewed as incompetent and revealed Russia as a far weaker military power than had been assumed.  And the Bloody Sunday massacre, whether his fault or not, ignited international outrage.  Back in my pre-computer college days, I spent a weekend in my university's library reading microfiche news articles from around the world reporting the event at the time.  Nicholas and his government were excoriated in the major U.S., English, and continental newspapers.  He was not called "Bloody Nicholas" only in Russia.

This widespread view of him, along with the likely assumption in the early stages of his captivity that the provisional government would do him -- and certainly his family -- no harm, probably stayed the hands of many governments who might have taken more risks to help had they seen the Bolsheviks on the horizon.

But even that sentiment had its limits.  Whether rightly or not, Nicholas was almost universally held in the West to represent tyranny, and there simply was very little sympathy for a plight he was widely thought to have brought on himself.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2005, 06:00:21 PM »
Those are very good points. I think that had the (non Russian) governments perceived a bolshevik takeover they might have been more willing to help. Certainly after what happened to the Romanovs, when other dynasties fell in Europe the response to give asylum was much better! I guess the Royal families didn't want the feeling of guilt ("if only we'd help") from the blood of even more relatives on their hands.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2005, 10:37:00 AM »
p. 261

Quote

...[in part]...

"The archives reveal both the trivial and the significant. Only weeks before his final abdication Nicholas wrote to Benckendorff explaining that his delay in answering a letter had been caused by his need to order a new uniform for a photograph of himself wearing military medals rather than court ribbons. Less than a month later, according to the archives, Benckendorff was preoccupied by the possible departure of the royal family abroad and set out detailed notes, in his own handwriting, as to what would have been done in preparation."


Let me see,  the letter about the  uniform was sent to B enckendorff  weeks before Nicholas II's abdication.

It was "less than a month later", which appears to mean this occured after the abdication, "Benckendorff was preoccupied by the possible departure of the royal family abroad".

Quote
I would imagine the photo was probably a potential 'publicity shot'. Benckendorff is probably talking about the family being sent to asylum in England as everyone expected in the first few months after the abdication.


When was there talk by the Provisional Govt., who had Nicholas II and his family under house arrest, to send Nicholas II and his family abroad?  Because Clarke is telling us that "Beckendorrf was reoccupied" with this task?

Anyone have a source?

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Alixz

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2005, 06:08:20 AM »
You know I think that N & A and all of the Imperial Family made their own rescue and removal from Russia hard themselves.  

They were unwilling to give up the trappings of their positions and the matierial things that they loved (In my opinion) more than their freedom.

There is a line from N&A by Massie where Alix is worrying about her "picture books" and Kerensky tells her that she is lucky to be keeping her head.

What do you think?  Given the chance to get your family and loved ones away from a desperate situation or bringing trunk upon trunk of Imperial trappings, which would you take?

Every time that I read of their depravation in captivity with all of their servants and footmen and cooks and butlers and kitchen boys, etc.  I just shake my head in wonder.

How could they be so arrogant?  I would think that they would have been glad to get out alive with their loved ones and only the clothes on their backs.

It does seem though that fate was against them in the form of the measles and other stumbling blocks.  

But the arrogance of Alix and Marie F and everyone except GD Olga A seems incomprehensible.

But as to this topic, I would imagine that even if there were plans to go abroad, then all of this attenion to detail could have been fore gone and the important things, (the members of the family) should have just gone without Count Benckendorff arranging anyhthing more than that.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2005, 01:51:00 PM »
I guess it seems strange to us, especially in this era where practically no one has servants, but this was an era where even the middle class had if not a live-in maid, someone who would do for them. I guess it would have been beyond their comprehension to think that one could actually get by without any staff. (Though I agree the Empress should have had bigger worries than her books, I guess sometimes in very stressful situations as a relief-technique we end up focussing sometimes on the very trivial.)

Looking at people with servants and staff, it is interesting to note a lot of Titanic survivors took their servants onto lifeboats with them too.

Offline Tania+

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2005, 04:21:25 PM »
Hello Georgiy,

I could not help but look at the last part of your quote :

"I guess sometimes in very stressful situations as a relief-technique we end up focussing sometimes on the very trivial"

Indeed, under the greatest of stress, (and HI had more than her share) human beings do precisely this, 'focus on the trivial'. It's almost like the mind pushes away anything but what it can handle, and many times, is is anything but one who is not pressed on so many issues, would choose. Some have broken under just minort issues. HIH of course had almost the world of issues upon her person !

As to the other part of your quote :
"Looking at people with servants and staff, it is interesting to note a lot of Titanic survivors took their servants onto lifeboats with them too.[/quote]

Sometimes, servants and staff for families whom have them, (even nowdays) after a time of years, become almost family. How do you ever, leave family behind ?
Besides as you stated, it was another time, and yes Georgiy, almost another world. Today, our new generation barely can keep up with the last 25 years of change. Unfortunately, a hundred years of course, is much too far to relate to, and on many issues.

Thanks for always your depth of care and input !

Tatiana



Quote
I guess it seems strange to us, especially in this era where practically no one has servants, but this was an era where even the middle class had if not a live-in maid, someone who would do for them. I guess it would have been beyond their comprehension to think that one could actually get by without any staff. (Though I agree the Empress should have had bigger worries than her books, I guess sometimes in very stressful situations as a relief-technique we end up focussing sometimes on the very trivial.)

Looking at people with servants and staff, it is interesting to note a lot of Titanic survivors took their servants onto lifeboats with them too.

TatianaA


Alixz

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2005, 09:07:46 AM »
In the case of the Titanic, it was a blessing for the travelers to take their servants into the life boat with them.

In the case of the Romanovs, it was a death sentence.  I know that many went out of loyalty to the IF they wanted to go.

But what I was saying is that the Imperious (no pun intended) nature of the Romanovs seemd completely out of place considering their circumstances.  "your jewels or your life"  It seems a simple choice, yet MF and others had a hard time with the concept.

The thought that "I am Imperial" seemed to ignore the fact that they were not in charge any more, but still pretended that nothing had changed.

Doesn't it seem foolish to imagine that they might have to flee for their lives, but would need new uniforms and traveling clothes?  I just have a hard time getting my mind around that.

About the servants.  I was just observing that we always read about the family's depravation in exile.  When I think depravation, I think Lubianka, not a large house with servants.  Freedom may have been limited, but deprived of material pleasures they were not.  They just had a lot less than  they were used to, but probably still more than the average peasant could even dream about having.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alixz »