Author Topic: Stress under captivity/Awareness of her family's fate  (Read 39668 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RealAnastasia

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1890
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #120 on: July 16, 2007, 08:08:04 PM »
People: we can't, simply CAN'T know what Olga Nicholaievna tought about her own life. We can only wonder about it. I don't think she was desperate for marriage: if it was the case, she would have married Prince Carol of Romania and didn't. Don't get obsessed by a think that maybe it's wrong: Olga wanted to have another life totally different than the one she was living. I don't think it was her case. If she seemed (and probably was) depressed during the last monthos of her life, anyone could blame her. If I would be her, I should have been depressed as well! She was an intelligent, sensitive young woman...The hard War times must have make her very stressed and sad. As a sensitive person, the view of these men, very badly wonded and some of them near to death, drove her very sad. And of course, she KNEW what most of the people thought about her parents. This must have stressed her as well.

Then, it was the emprisonement, and the dread for her life (I think the danger was always there and that all family knew it. Thek knew what had happen with Louis XVI and his family). If I was her, I shouldn't be jumping with joy, precissely!

I admire much more OTMA than Irina Yussupova.

RealAnastasia.

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #121 on: July 26, 2007, 04:56:30 PM »
Yesterday I saw Edvard Radzinsky speaking in a documentary. He quoted that famous letter in Olga's handwriting about Nicholas asking that no one take revenge for him, and that he'd forgiven all. Radzinsky takes that quote as evidence that the IF knew they were going to be executed, but I think that's too big of an assumption on his part. IMO, by the time they reached Tobolsk, the IF already had plenty to forgive -- abdication, exile, and on overall betrayal of loyalty -- even without knowledge of their impending death.

I just wonder if Radzinsky is partly responsible for spreading this notion that the IF in general and Olga in particular were aware of what was in store for them.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline RealAnastasia

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1890
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #122 on: July 26, 2007, 07:37:42 PM »
I read the document without Radzisnky intervention and I just got the same impression. I think this is not a great fantasy from him (even if, yes...he is very fantasious  ;)) , but rather the truth. Besides, just think the situation in which NAOTMAA were in...with Radzinsky or whithout Radzinsky they could certainly think that something very bad could happen to them there were they were. They wouldn't ignore that White troops were fighting to have them free, that they were certainly very near, and that Reds would not allow that. They knew how important they were as a symbol of the "fromer" Russia and that a violent death could be their immediate end. Maybe they never tought about something so awful as a murder without a trial, in a little cellar, but it is possible they could think at some sort of death penalty. Revolutions are NOT kind with overthrowed Monarchs...Charles I, Louis XVI...And certainly Olga was very aware of it. Maybe the others also tought they should die, but we'll never know it!

And there is a lot of statesments about Olga's sadness before the murder. She seems to have been apart from her sisters, and spending a lot of time with Alexandra. She was the only one who didn't indulge herself into familiarities with the guards, excepting Alexandra. (FOTR. Penny Wilson and Greg King)...And even Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna said bitterly to her biographer Ian Vorres: "...They knew they should to die..."

RealAnastasia.

Offline mr_harrison75

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 233
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #123 on: July 29, 2007, 05:51:53 PM »
I still have to read about what Radzinsky said of Olga (is that in his book The last Tsar?) but I think that after a few days in Ekaterinburg, the entire family had no illusions about their fate (and especially Olga). I think that Olga, being what she was, simply had more difficulties to hide her fear and sadness about their situation...and how could we blame her?  :(

Offline Lanie

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1533
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #124 on: July 30, 2007, 05:24:16 AM »
Honestly, I would be surprised if they had any OMG we are going to die thoughts outside of being in such a situation.  Of course they would have maybe gone there as a fate too horrid to contemplate, like any of us would; but I think saying "Olga knew they were going to die" is stretching it.  Maybe she thought it, who knows? but being in such a situation as they were in isn't surprising for one to have depressing thoughts, but "knowing" is way different than thinking it fleetingly because you are in a bad situation where you have no clue where it will take you.

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #125 on: July 30, 2007, 05:47:17 AM »
I would think they would have liked to have been set free. Certainly they can have been under no illusion when they were in the Ipatiev House that matters were tense and life was very different from before the revolution. They knew they were hated by their jailers. It was all so tragic that it had come to this. I still find the fate of the children very difficult.

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #126 on: July 30, 2007, 06:35:12 AM »
I agree with Lanie. Certainly the family knew their situation wasn't good -- why else would they have attempted to comply with the "officer letters"? -- but I doubt they lived under the assumption that they were on the equivalent of death row. It's possible the family realized that as former heads of state Nicholas and Alexandra were at risk, but I really have a hard time accepting the notion that anyone (including Olga) believed the children were in mortal danger. Think about it: some of the guards were shocked enough at the proposal of executing the entire family that they refused to participate. When the family was taken to the cellar, they appeared completely calm and seemed to suspect nothing. Intially the Bolsheviks didn't even admit that the children had been killed. When they did, the world was shocked -- no one expected the imperial children to die with their parents, and so I highly doubt the IF themselves realized what was in store for them.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline RealAnastasia

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1890
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #127 on: July 30, 2007, 06:40:04 PM »
Maybe they didn't know they were about to die in this very moment. But they could have tought about a violent death. The fact they wouldn't know HOW, WHERE and WHEN, doesn't change the facts. And reading Olga's prayer and other entries on her diaries, one may see how she knew what their fate should be.I don't need Radzinsky ramblings to have my own opinion about this matter. Olga's prayers speaks all by herself..We don't need to read the sentence: "Oh, well...I really know I will be killed in no time, here at Ipatiev House, in the cellar..." to conclude that Olga feel their fate will be awful.

I repeat that the fate of former overthrowned Monarchs - all of them were killed - would not give them a lot of hope about their own.  :-\

RealAnastasia.

P.S: I didn't watch the Documentary with Radzinsky in it...


Offline nena

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2927
  • But every spring smells like you.
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #128 on: July 30, 2007, 08:22:26 PM »
For me, also, Olga knew what was going to happen, he wrote her last prayer to God(I forgot name, I know name in Russian and Serbian-"'Na pragu groba") And I think Aleksei knew what was going to happen, he wasn't so sage, but was seer. Just look to his last letter when he said "goodbye", I am pretty sure he though "goodbye forever''. And, I thnik Olga wrote that famous , mysteric letters to ''an officier" . But who smuggled all letters? Deverenko? or an solider? or Leionid Sednev? I think all was snare, but I am not sure.
-Ars longa, vita brevis -
Mathematics, art and history in ♥

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #129 on: July 30, 2007, 09:37:12 PM »
Looks like I'll just have to agree to disagree with many of you. We've come to the point where we're just repeating the same points to no avail....
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Janet_W.

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1888
  • ...And no one's grief has ever passed you by...
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #130 on: July 30, 2007, 09:58:06 PM »
The imprisonments of Nicholas, Alexandra and their children--first at their own home, and later at two Siberian locations--were not business as usual. They were extraordinary circumstances, and even at the beginning the uncertainty alone would be enough to cause fear and distress, not to mention the  knowledge of murder and revolution occuring only a few hundred yards away. But as we know, while at the Alexander Palace and Toblosk and even Ekaterinberg there also were stretches of tedium and occasional complacency.

So here's another way to approach this matter: How about if each of us, right now, thinks about our OWN inevitable demise? Each of us know--intellectually, at least--that one day we will die. Of course we don't typically think about this on a daily basis or else we wouldn't be able to function. But death will most certainly claim us all. Now, will it be by automobile accident? A plane crash? Cancer? AIDS? Alzheimer's? A fall? After surprising burglars, as happened a week ago today to the mother and her teenage and grade school daughters living on the other side of the United States from me? Or will it be a stroke or heart attack or drowning or an act of terrorism? We do not know. We know it will happen. But unless we are very sick or very elderly, rarely do we think about the circumstances that will ultimately claim us because it really does us no good at all, and . . . well . . it's pointless. Plus I would guess most if not all of us are generally in a state of denial about our own mortality anyway. That denial, in fact, is what helps keep us alive, and what helps us to find meaning in the time that we DO have here on earth.

In short, we know we're going to die. But unless we have some real psychological issues, we don't obsess about it.

There's no infallible way to KNOW something unless you've actually lived it. But I'm guessing that, given her personality and experiences, the imprisonments weighed especially heavily on Olga, and that she was very possibly far more aware than her sisters of the shrinking odds of their survival. And yet it's true that "hope springs eternal" and that "where there's life, there's hope." Not to mention that wrapping one's minds around the eventuality of one's own inevitable death is not pleasant--if you took up my challenge just now, how did it make YOU feel?--so psychological defense mechanisms tend to buoy most of us out of such thoughts.  For that reason, I'm thinking a similar situation was going on with Olga, and that her primary focus--even after arriving and settling in at Ekaterinberg after that ride on the Rus--was mostly about getting by, hour by hour, day by day.

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #131 on: July 30, 2007, 10:15:36 PM »
Certainly as legitimate heirs to Nicholas and Alexandra the children were targets as much as their parents. The Bolsheviks murdered any Romanovs, no matter how remote so that there could be no turning back. That is the enormous tragedy of it all. Nicholas and Alexandra should have tried to listen more seriously to warnings in order to keep the throne. Instead they went their own way and this was completely disastrous not just for their own family but also for the peoples of their former empire. Sometimes I think it is quite remarkable that they held the throne for so long given their actions.

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #132 on: July 30, 2007, 10:44:59 PM »
My concern is simply that our suppositions are outgrowing the actual evidence. Here are two previous posts of mine that offer the bulk of our first-hand knowledge of Olga's state of mind during the war and in captivity:

Yes, but even then, Baroness Buxhoeveden notes that Olga "realised the danger that their parents were in" and then only after N&A had been transported to Yekaterinburg. I don't think Olga necessarily had a sense that she and her siblings were in mortal danger.

Baroness Buxhoeveden:
"The horror of the Revolution told on her more keenly than on any of the others. She changed completely, and all her bright spirits disappeared."

"The young people seemed cheerful enough, but the two elder realised how serious things were becoming. The Grand Duchess Olga told me that they put on brave faces for their parents' sake. The younger children did not realise their danger, and the Grand Duchess Marie said once to Mr. Gibbes, in the early days of their stay, that she would be quite content to remain for ever in Tobolsk!"

Gleb Botkin:
"She was by nature a thinker and as it later seemed to me, understood the general situation better than any member of her family, including even her parents. At least I had the impression that she had little illusions in regard to what the future held in store for them, and in consequence was often sad and worried.

Again, many of these recollections were made years after the IF's death. In the case of Gleb Botkin, he freely admits that he didn't actually see Olga face-to-face during her captivity and formed his impressions of her mindset after her death -- just as we're doing.


My main trouble with the premise of this topic all boils down to a common phenomenon on the forum lately:
We have so little information on OTMA in general that we tend to take what few bits of available info and, IMO, blow them out of proportion. For example, we know Olga was more thoughtful than her sisters; that she seemed to suffer some depression during the war years; that she copied a poem (probably written by Catherine Schneider) as a gift for her mother, and dictated a moving sentiment expressed by the tsar into a letter; and she sometimes appeared withdrawn in Yekaterinburg. Yet we've interpreted those scant remarks to mean Olga was politically astute, acutely sensitive, possibly a budding literary genius, fully aware of her fate, and on and on. It's as if we're slowly but surely losing any sense of relativity where OTMA is concerned, and I feel like that's happening again on this thread.


Certainly it's possible that Olga had an inkling that their fate was not good. However, I draw the line at believeing she sat around thinking, "It's only a matter of time until they kill us all."
« Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 10:47:36 PM by Sarushka »
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Raegan

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 208
    • View Profile
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #133 on: July 31, 2007, 09:40:47 AM »
My main trouble with the premise of this topic all boils down to a common phenomenon on the forum lately:
We have so little information on OTMA in general that we tend to take what few bits of available info and, IMO, blow them out of proportion. For example, we know Olga was more thoughtful than her sisters; that she seemed to suffer some depression during the war years; that she copied a poem (probably written by Catherine Schneider) as a gift for her mother, and dictated a moving sentiment expressed by the tsar into a letter; and she sometimes appeared withdrawn in Yekaterinburg. Yet we've interpreted those scant remarks to mean Olga was politically astute, acutely sensitive, possibly a budding literary genius, fully aware of her fate, and on and on. It's as if we're slowly but surely losing any sense of relativity where OTMA is concerned, and I feel like that's happening again on this thread.

While skimming this thread in an attempt to catch up on it, I must say I agree 100% with Sarushka.

As stated before, it is impossible to know for certain if Olga knew what was in store for her family. There is simply no evidence to support that she knew they were all going to be killed. Olga did not keep a 1918 diary, in fact none of the Grand Duchesses did (or if they did, they have been lost or destroyed because none exist in the State Archives of the Russian Federation). The 1918 diaries of Nicholas, Alexandra and Alexei have survived, but I do not recall any of them writing that Olga feared their lives were going to be cut short.

Certainly it's possible that Olga had an inkling that their fate was not good. However, I draw the line at believeing she sat around thinking, "It's only a matter of time until they kill us all."

I agree. Thank you for your post, Sarushka.




Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #134 on: July 31, 2007, 09:51:17 AM »
I agree with both Sarushka and Raegan. Hindsite is always 20/20 and it's easy to see things that simply weren't there in reality... We must be careful and not attribute things to Olga, or anyone else, that did not exist.