Author Topic: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof  (Read 99310 times)

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Offline Mari

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2008, 10:59:00 PM »
These photographs really portray the horrible damage War brings. How sad!

Offline Cathy

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2008, 10:53:32 AM »
Thanks Michael HR for your kind words.

This is my passion.

Robert Hall in my haste I should have mentioned that it was the unburied statues that the Germans smashed - they did look for the buried statues and did find a few and destroyed them but most of the hidden statues were saved. A cute story - some people/palaces laboriously mapped every placement of every buried treasure; some people/palaces did not have the time to do the mapping. The lucky people after the war had an easier time unearthing the mapped statues. The unlucky people of the unmapped treasures had to dig everywhere to find them. Big holes!!

Kuchumov spent many years travelling throughout Russia and adjoining countries following the trails of lost and stolen treasures.

Gatchina today does not get the tourists that the Catherine Palace etc. do but it is being meticulously restored inside and does have lovely gardens. The park is open to the public. The town itself is rather uninspiring. But one day it will be a huge treasure as well.

I do not know if it was Getsapo in the AP but I do know that hundreds of SS are buried in the driveway/garden directly in front of the AP. I do not think that the bodies were moved elsewhere so they may still be under the gravel.

I do not know if Lenin was even in Tsarskoe Selo.

After the war there was a decree that found tenants for the mansions and palaces (during restoration and after) who would keep the buildings in reasonable repair and for the most part not destroy anything that remained. For example, rest homes and orphanages. Eventually, military moved into many.

Some places were never repaired and are lost forever.

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2008, 11:16:06 AM »
This will be gone into in detail in Bob's AP book. Part of the delay in finishing the book is that Bob has uncovered much recently about the War years and German occupation of TS and the AP,

The AP was not Gestapo, it was the SS hospital, which is why the dead were buried there, and it was the last building to be evacuated for obvious reasons, which is why it was mostly spared the same fate as the Catherine Palace.

I don't think Lenin ever set foot in the Palace.

Offline Michael HR

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2008, 11:20:35 AM »
Cannot wait for the book. Will buy it the movement it comes out
Remembering the Imperial Corps Des Pages - The Spirit of Imperial Russia


Offline BobAtchison

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2008, 04:35:13 PM »
I have around 100 original photographs of Gatchina, Peterhof, Livadia and Tsarskoe Selo during WWII and afterwards.  In Tsarskoe Selo I have many pictures of the pavilions and the great palace.  I only have 10-15 of the AP.  There are a few accounts in print of Germans in the palaces.

Susanne's book on Pavlosk is mavelous, but it does not tell the accurate story of what happened at the AP.  Suzanne must have misunderstood what Kuchumov said.  I have pictures that show the Imperial rooms on the lower floor on left side survived the war, they were a mess, but they were saved.

Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo suffered differently during the war.  The Great Palace in Tsarskoe was not destroyed by the Germans, it was destroyed by Soviet shelling.  It happened over time.  The Great Hall's roof went first, then later further shelling and fires destroyed more.  For some time after the Germans captured it Peterhof was preserved and even had some furniture in it.  Later, Peterhof was totally destroyed by shelling from Kronstadt.  This shelling destroyed the English Palace and the Lower Palace.  It heaviliy damaged the Peterhof Cathedral.  I have many pictures of this.  The palaces were used the the Germans or they were indifferent to them.  Is it surprizing that German soldiers seemed to have no appreciation for the palaces?  Well, Americans soldiers did severe damage to Babylon and the great minarets of Samara during the Irag war.

As to the Russian palaces, German and Spanish soldiers went in and out of them - except for the AP, which was occupied by the dreaded SS.  No average German soldier could go in there.  There were no 'tours'. There are few pictures when they were there and I don't have any.  I have lots showing what the Russians found when they recaptured Tsarskoe.

WWII was a terrible awful conflict, which brought on the worst in everyone.  The destruction was horrible.  Millions died.  The palaces were damaged because of the German invasion and they are responsible for what happened.  It is terrible what happened because of the Russian shelling, but perhaps the military reasons for it would make sense if I knew them.

Offline Cathy

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2008, 07:30:24 AM »
Bob I think that we are all standing in line to buy your book   :)

Have you ever seen a picture of the AP INTERIOR as a SS hospital?


Offline BobAtchison

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2008, 09:07:02 AM »
I have an old friend who has an album of pictures including some of the interior of the palace during the war.  I have not seen the pictures for a long time. I hope I can find a couple on my own, too.

Offline Vladimir_V.

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2008, 11:00:26 AM »
I've wondered if Lenin ever looked around inside Alexander Palace.

Lenin visited Tsarskoe Selo many times. But he has never been in the AP. I think he hated AIII/NII palaces.
As you know, Alexander III killed Lenin`s brother in 1887. And since 1887 Lenin`s goal was the liquidation of the monarchy in Russia.

Well known that Stalin visited Monplezir in Peterhof and Lower Palace.

Bush visited Peterhof Palace, Monplezir, Strelna Palace, Caterine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo. Lora Bush visited Pavlovsk.

Offline vladm

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2008, 12:20:00 PM »
Bob, for my understanding German Archives post WWII open for public. If someone good enough in German language, he/she can do research and retrieve most of the documentation and photos related to Alexander Palace and Catherine Palace even online, some video archives available also online for free.
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2008, 12:42:55 PM »
Thank you, Vladimir. I was pretty sure Lenin had come to TS at least once. We came accross a plaque on a wall in the village with his profile on it.  We dusted it off and  my friend translated it. It was about a speah he gave to the workers, I forget the date, and location.  but it not at the palaces, just a wall on what was probably one of the cadet academies.
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Offline Ivan Gurlov

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2009, 01:27:59 PM »
But didn't Russian forces destroy the Amber Room housed in the Knights Hall in Konigsberg Castle sometime between 9th-15th April 1945?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2009, 01:37:53 PM »
They did destroy the halll itself, but the theory is that the amber room itself had been evacuated before that.  See The Amber Room by  Levy  & Scott-Clark
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Offline Cathy

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2009, 10:49:37 AM »
It is just a theory! And I think that the book The Amber Room by Levy & Scott-Clark may be too sensationalized to sell the book and a little biased (imho) against Russia!

Offline Ivan Gurlov

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2009, 01:08:42 PM »
Just finished the Levy - Scott-Clark (did NOT like their writing style)- IMHO the fact that so many investigations have gone into looking for lost treasure from Catherine Palace and in particular the AR, with no real evidence or results - it would seem what the Nazi's took has gone forever....

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: War Damage of Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2009, 01:46:37 PM »
I will that the writing style does leave something to be desired. However, the fact remains that there is no one given answer to what happened to the original Amber Room.  Was it destroyed in  the bombing of  the castle? Was it  looted and carried off somewhere still unknown, like  a private collection or a mine? Was it lost at sea?
 One fact does remain,and that is- it it probably not anything that would be recognised now, as the original was.  It has no doubt disintegrated into cloudy blurred pieces. Without the care of proper curators and experts, it is gone.
 The recreation at the Catherine palace is a marvellous achievement in art and workmanship.  A tribute to the original masterpiece. IMO.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.