Author Topic: Maria's letters & notes  (Read 102051 times)

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Offline Jeremiah

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #285 on: October 09, 2017, 07:25:35 AM »
In H. Azar's book Maria and Anastasia: Letters, Diaries, Postcards there is a letter sent from Maria in Ekaterinburg to Anastasia in Tobolsk dated 15/28 April 1918. It starts like this:

"Ekaterinburg, 28 April. Christ is risen! I send you my greetings for the Feast of Light, my sweet Anastasia. We arrived here by car after the train. We had breakfast at 4.30 in the cafeteria. Only unpacked our things in the evening, because the luggage was searched, even the "medicine" and the "candy" ..."

Obviously the date is wrong, since they arrived in Ekaterinburg -and in the Ipatief- on April 30 (NS). The correct date should then be -judging from the content of the letter- May 1st. I don't think it could be from the 2nd, because Maria sent a postcard to Anastasia on that day (also included in Azar's book).

So, can anyone help me on this? Do we know about the correct date for sure? And BTW, what does she mean by "in the cafeteria"? Should it be "from the cafeteria"?

I also wanted to ask about Alexandra's first letter to Tobolsk. Again in Azar's book Tatiana Romanov...Diaries and Letters there is a short paragraph from a letter Alexandra sent to Olga on April 18/May 1:

"...Your old mother is always with you in her thoughts, my dear Olga. The three of us are constantly talking about you and wonder what all of you are doing..."

My question is: Is this the letter that Greg King refers to in FOTR (p.135) as follows: "The next day, the children finally had a letter from Ekaterinburg. Dictated by Alexandra and written by Anna Demidova, it noted that their belongings had all been searched, even their “medicines,” a code word to indicate the family’s jewels." -quoting Bulygin and Kerensky, 232.

Finally, do we have this letter in English, apart from Azar's short paragraph from it?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 07:28:09 AM by Jeremiah »

Offline GDSophie

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #286 on: October 09, 2017, 11:22:45 AM »
So, can anyone help me on this? Do we know about the correct date for sure? And BTW, what does she mean by "in the cafeteria"? Should it be "from the cafeteria"?

Nope, they sat with the guards or she would have said 'from the cafeteria'. Maria is stating that her, Nicholas and Alexandra sat 'in the cafeteria' most likely with the guards and whoever accompanied them to the Ipatiev House. The 'cafeteria' is most likely the room the guards sat in for lunch.
'Give my love to all who remember me' - Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Jeremiah

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #287 on: October 09, 2017, 12:08:13 PM »
Thanks GDSophie.

Anything about the dates? I just got even more confused after going through Azar’s In their own words. The dates of the Ekaterinburg-Tobolsk letters there are even more confusing! They start from March 18/April 1! Has this been cleared out already by anyone?

Offline Sanochka

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #288 on: October 09, 2017, 03:13:40 PM »
Re dates of Maria's letters:  could it be she simply got the dates wrong?  It's entirely possible, and certainly understandable, given the difficult, uncertain, and stressful journey she and her parents had just undertaken.   I get dates wrong myself from time to time - who doesn't? - and under far less stressful circumstances. 

Offline Jeremiah

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #289 on: October 09, 2017, 04:50:53 PM »
Re dates of Maria's letters:  could it be she simply got the dates wrong?  It's entirely possible, and certainly understandable, given the difficult, uncertain, and stressful journey she and her parents had just undertaken.   I get dates wrong myself from time to time - who doesn't? - and under far less stressful circumstances. 

That would indeed make sense. But if that's the case for this one letter (from the book Maria & Anastasia) what about all the Tobolsk-Ekaterinburg letters from Russia's Last Romanovs? There all the letters go wrong.

Do we have any other source/list of those letters with their dates? In English, that is. Or is there anyone who could give us the correct dates from another non-English source?

Thanks again.

Offline Jeremiah

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #290 on: October 09, 2017, 05:05:51 PM »
Well, to be fair, not all the letters have wrong dates (hopefully), but at least the first three are not correctly dated:

From Ekaterinburg to Anastasia, March 18/April 1
From Anastasia to Nicholas Ekaterinburg, April 12/25
From Olga to Ekaterinburg, April 12/[25]

From then on the dates continue, as they seem, with correct dates:
From Alexandra to Tobolsk, April 18/[May 1] etc.

But after one point they lose their chronological order:
Thus, a Tobolsk's letter dated April 27/May 10 is followed by one from Olga to Ekaterinburg April 19/May 2 then comes May 17 one, and then a May 5 etc.

Any help?

Offline Dru

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #291 on: October 09, 2017, 05:32:37 PM »
Could Maria have been confused about the dates because of the O.S./N.S. thing?  The calendar switch had only recently been effected when these letters were written.  Just a thought; I could be way off base here.   

Offline GDSophie

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #292 on: October 10, 2017, 11:38:26 AM »
Could Maria have been confused about the dates because of the O.S./N.S. thing?  The calendar switch had only recently been effected when these letters were written.  Just a thought; I could be way off base here.   

That's what I thought when I was trying to explain the wrong dates but I couldn't calculate what it would have been before that year.
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #293 on: October 12, 2017, 04:14:36 PM »
In H. Azar's book Maria and Anastasia: Letters, Diaries, Postcards there is a letter sent from Maria in Ekaterinburg to Anastasia in Tobolsk dated 15/28 April 1918. It starts like this:

"Ekaterinburg, 28 April. Christ is risen! I send you my greetings for the Feast of Light, my sweet Anastasia. We arrived here by car after the train. We had breakfast at 4.30 in the cafeteria. Only unpacked our things in the evening, because the luggage was searched, even the "medicine" and the "candy" ..."

Obviously the date is wrong, since they arrived in Ekaterinburg -and in the Ipatief- on April 30 (NS). The correct date should then be -judging from the content of the letter- May 1st. I don't think it could be from the 2nd, because Maria sent a postcard to Anastasia on that day (also included in Azar's book).

So, can anyone help me on this? Do we know about the correct date for sure? And BTW, what does she mean by "in the cafeteria"? Should it be "from the cafeteria"?

I also wanted to ask about Alexandra's first letter to Tobolsk. Again in Azar's book Tatiana Romanov...Diaries and Letters there is a short paragraph from a letter Alexandra sent to Olga on April 18/May 1:

"...Your old mother is always with you in her thoughts, my dear Olga. The three of us are constantly talking about you and wonder what all of you are doing..."

My question is: Is this the letter that Greg King refers to in FOTR (p.135) as follows: "The next day, the children finally had a letter from Ekaterinburg. Dictated by Alexandra and written by Anna Demidova, it noted that their belongings had all been searched, even their “medicines,” a code word to indicate the family’s jewels." -quoting Bulygin and Kerensky, 232.

Finally, do we have this letter in English, apart from Azar's short paragraph from it?

Thanks.

I have not yet seen the book, but allow me to make some observations anyway:

The original of this letter is in the Beinecke Library at Yale University. We have a photocopy of it, which I am looking at right now.

The date is written: "18/1 го Апр. 1918 г." -- which translates as "18th / 1st of [May] April, year 1918". The 18 is at the upper end of the slash mark, and the 1 is at the bottom on the other side, which is a common way of double-dating letters in both Old and New Style. The month May is understood, since the main date, as far as the author is concerned, is the Old Style, i.e., in April.

It says that they ate out of a "common pot", i.e., the food was brought to them in one vessel; they did not eat in the cafeteria.

And, as has been explained elsewhere on this forum, in those days "zavtrak" did not mean "breakfast", as it does now, but it refers to lunch, a meal usually taken around 1 PM.

When considering the letters written between Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg, bear in mind that not all of these letters have survived, and not all of them reached their destination -- the Bolsheviks held on to some of them. Thus, several letters of those in Princess Eugenie of Greece's possession have been seen by us, but not by their intended recipients at the time of writing.

For example: of the 22 letters which Empress Alexandra mentions having sent to Tobolsk, 15 are known, and 7 have gone missing.

So, when replying to each other, the members of the Imperial Family had not always seen the letter which the other party was referring to.
Some letters also span several days and were only sent upon completion.
All of this adds a bit of confusion to translating these letters.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:24:39 PM by Inok Nikolai »
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #294 on: October 12, 2017, 04:31:28 PM »
Well, to be fair, not all the letters have wrong dates (hopefully), but at least the first three are not correctly dated:

From Ekaterinburg to Anastasia, March 18/April 1
From Anastasia to Nicholas Ekaterinburg, April 12/25
From Olga to Ekaterinburg, April 12/[25]

From then on the dates continue, as they seem, with correct dates:
From Alexandra to Tobolsk, April 18/[May 1] etc.

But after one point they lose their chronological order:
Thus, a Tobolsk's letter dated April 27/May 10 is followed by one from Olga to Ekaterinburg April 19/May 2 then comes May 17 one, and then a May 5 etc.

Any help?

Some help:

From Ekaterinburg to Anastasia, March 18/April 1
*This has been explained above as 18 April / May 1, 1918.

From Anastasia to Nicholas Ekaterinburg, April 12/25
From Olga to Ekaterinburg, April 12/[25]
*These two are correct, but were not sent to Ekaterinburg. These are farewell notes which each of the children wrote to their parents on the eve of their forced departure to Ekaterinburg from Tobolsk.

I forgot to mention that in her book on Tsarevich Alexis, Princess Eugenie grouped the letters together and did not always follow chronological order. Often it seems that she put a letter and the response to it together; meanwhile other letters had been written from each location.


« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 04:36:51 PM by Inok Nikolai »
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #295 on: October 12, 2017, 04:51:05 PM »

Do we have any other source/list of those letters with their dates? In English, that is. Or is there anyone who could give us the correct dates from another non-English source?

Thanks again.

Well, I could, if someone could explain how to put an attachment to a posting. Or do I need to host it elsewhere with a link here?

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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #296 on: October 12, 2017, 06:09:58 PM »
Yes, you will have to upload it to a host site then put the link here. We simply don't have the server space to host all the images and attachments people want to post here.

Offline Jeremiah

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #297 on: October 13, 2017, 06:02:37 AM »
Inok Nikolai, I’m so grateful. Thanks for clearing things out. Now it all makes sense! Actually, I was hoping that you would take care of the problem, and I was right. Thanks again!

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #298 on: October 13, 2017, 04:52:18 PM »
Yes, you will have to upload it to a host site then put the link here. We simply don't have the server space to host all the images and attachments people want to post here.

Thank you for the clarification.

Since PhotoBucket now charges $400 a year, as stated elsewhere on the Forum, can you or anyone else recommend a hosting site?

Thank you!
IN
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Maria's letters & notes
« Reply #299 on: October 14, 2017, 04:57:44 PM »
Inok Nikolai, I’m so grateful. Thanks for clearing things out. Now it all makes sense! Actually, I was hoping that you would take care of the problem, and I was right. Thanks again!

Well, I think PhotoBucket will still allow me to post links.

1) A table of the letters found in Pr. Eugenie's book:



Princess Eugenie’s father was Tsar Nicholas II’s first-cousin, Prince George of Greece (“Big Georgie”), who had saved the then Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich’s life when he had been attacked in Otsu, Japan, in 1891. According to Princess Eugenie, after the death of her parents, she discovered a biscuit tin in the cellar of her mother’s house containing eighteen letters written by the Imperial family from captivity. Although Princess Eugenie suggested several possible scenarios, she was never able to determine for certain how those letters came into her father’s possession.

The account given here concerning the one letter found at Yale from this period suggests a possible source for those other letters. Perhaps the letters which eventually found their way to Prince George of Greece were originally part of this same cache of letters and photos described by Rodion Bulatsel.

2) Rodion Bulatsel's account:

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