Author Topic: Stress under captivity/Awareness of her family's fate  (Read 39662 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #135 on: July 31, 2007, 10:33:44 AM »
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.

Radzinsky is a big drama queen whose statements we should always take with a grain of salt, and I wouldn't be surprised if this notion was born in his mind and acquired a mind of its own... It often happens this way. It's all well and good to dramatize sometimes, but unfortunately some people can't decipher between drama and historical facts, which creates a problem in the end...

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #136 on: July 31, 2007, 11:27:37 AM »
Well, it is true that things can get out of hand with historical speculation. But there is a difference between things that certainly never happened in history ( as for example speculation on an earlier thread that Nicholas II had something to do with Rasputin's murder), and things that might have happened, but for which we really don't have hard evidence such as Olga ''knew what was going to happen'' to quote the title of this thread. I do realize history isn't fiction, but sometimes speculation is inevitable, even if it doesn't make it true, hard, proven, fact.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #137 on: July 31, 2007, 11:38:45 AM »
Truly there are some evidence in the behavior of all the imperial family in the last days.  The diary of the Tsar, for example, a diary which he never waivered in entering every single day of his life, was all of a sudden sporadic and then ended several days before it happened.  When the last religious service was allowed them by Yurovsky, the entire family immediately fell on their knees and it was noted that they were not singing as usual and that something was definitely different about them.

This of course can be speculated upon as well, to mean anything. But given that Yurovksky had become the new head of the guard at the Ipatiev house and the regimen was more strict than before, one can only imagine what this meant once Nicholas figured out Yurovsky was no "doctor" as he previously wrote in his diary. 

The IF were not unintelligent.  IMO they would have realized that Yurovsky changes were ominous for them and how precarious their situation was.  For example the shot through their window, nearly missing GD Anastasia.  That they accepted in the beginning the bogus note for help to escape and then all of a sudden refused it, IMO seems Nicholas wasn't quite the fool they took him to be.  Obviously they ALL realized the danger they were in at that point.

Olga, as has been documented, was more sensitive and withdrawn after the Rus incident. Was she thinking of her and her family impending doom?  Maybe not.  But it certainly couldn't have looked like they were headed for a holiday. IMO, they all realized the precariousness of their situation once Kerensky's government fell.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #138 on: July 31, 2007, 12:22:45 PM »
No it shouldn't be part of history. But it is part of the answer to the topic of the thread.  Everybody CAN only speculate.  It can be accepted as one's own personal view of the IF's imprisonment and subsequent execution.
And the events surrounding their imprisonment will always be subject to this "murky" speculation.  But it's part of what draws us here to the forum. To talk about how we interpret what happened almost 100 years ago and how we feel about it now. There are so many unanswered questions regarding Nicholas and his family and the events that transpired during and even before his reign.  It is unlikely that we will find them.
Not all of us are scholars. But we post here because we are united in our interest in the subject matter.  Whether or not it has concrete fact, doesn't make it any less appealing.
So getting back to whether or not Olga knew, certainly it's all speculation.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #139 on: July 31, 2007, 12:38:14 PM »
Olga, as has been documented, was more sensitive and withdrawn after the Rus incident.

After what "Rus incident"?

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #140 on: July 31, 2007, 01:19:21 PM »
Olga, as has been documented, was more sensitive and withdrawn after the Rus incident.

After what "Rus incident"?

Playing coy? How about "the alleged Rus incident"? ;)


Truly there are some evidence in the behavior of all the imperial family in the last days.  The diary of the Tsar, for example, a diary which he never waivered in entering every single day of his life, was all of a sudden sporadic and then ended several days before it happened.  When the last religious service was allowed them by Yurovsky, the entire family immediately fell on their knees and it was noted that they were not singing as usual and that something was definitely different about them.

This of course can be speculated upon as well, to mean anything. But given that Yurovksky had become the new head of the guard at the Ipatiev house and the regimen was more strict than before, one can only imagine what this meant once Nicholas figured out Yurovsky was no "doctor" as he previously wrote in his diary. 

The IF were not unintelligent.  IMO they would have realized that Yurovsky changes were ominous for them and how precarious their situation was.


I'm willing to agree to some extent in regards to the very end of the IF's captivity. Although they first encountered him on 13/26 May, Yurovsky took charge of the Ipatiev house on 21 June/4 July -- only 12 days before the execution. I'm perfectly willing to accept that the IF sensed some change in their situation under Yurovsky's command, and that things could well have begun to feel more ominous at that point.

There's certainly a strong possibility that the IF began to feel they were "in for it" by the end of June. However, I still believe they had no way of knowing exactly what "it" would turn out to be.


I'd also like to make a point regarding one of Gleb Botkin's speculations about Olga:
"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."

I don't think Gleb is saying that Olga was on to the Bolsheviks' plans for murder -- rather, I believe his point is that she seemed to have a realistic outlook. "Illusions" to me are fanciful, happy-ending scenarios. For example, I think it's safe to assume Olga didn't believe they'd all be turned loose, or sent to the Crimea to be left in peace, or suddenly rescued by their British relatives. IMO, she was "often sad and worried" because she realized she and her family were headed toward something unpleasant. That could have been any number of things: perpetual imprisonment in Yekaterinburg; another painful separation from her parents; trial and imprisonment for her father; yes, perhaps even death by execution crossed her mind. But what I keep hammering away at is that it doesn't require a great deal of perception and/or a sure knowledge of impending doom for a person to appear sad, worried, withdrawn, or moody in the situation Olga found herself by May of 1918. Even if she seriously entertained the possibility of execution, I don't think Olga had reason to anticipate her own death at all -- more likely her concern would have rested solely with her parents' and possibly her brother's safety.

All I'm asking is that we step back for a moment and consider this question with a larger dose of perspective and relativity than we've done in the recent past.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #141 on: July 31, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »
Olga, as has been documented, was more sensitive and withdrawn after the Rus incident.

After what "Rus incident"?

Playing coy? How about "the alleged Rus incident"? ;)

I'll buy that  ;)

All I'm asking is that we step back for a moment and consider this question with a larger dose of perspective and relativity than we've done in the recent past.

And without hindsite 20/20...
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 01:38:44 PM by Helen_A »

Offline Raegan

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #142 on: July 31, 2007, 01:55:34 PM »
Alexei Voklov traveled with the Grand Duchesses and Alexei on the Rus. According to his memiors (which can be read on the main page of the Alexander Palace site) the Grand Duchesses were left in peace.

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/volkov/19.html

Offline Raegan

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #143 on: July 31, 2007, 02:01:24 PM »
We've come to the point where we're just repeating the same points to no avail....

I think you may be right about that. I think I will bow out of the discussion. However, I do understand where you are coming from in regards to your post, Sarushka.

Offline Lanie

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #144 on: July 31, 2007, 06:41:01 PM »
I think the problem with OTMA and discussing them is the fact that we have many young members on this board who often fantasize and idealize those they look up to, and certainly romanticize these girls who died at young and were utterly romanticized for other people's profit after they died. We forget they were humans, and as we look to history and make assumptions (because that is what we do when we look at things, we make our own assumptions about people and events; and a discussion board certainly breeds that kind of attitude) and these girls become larger than life and we forget they were real people with real emotions among a sea of other people who died because of the Revolution.  We lose sight of the other things going on, focused on these larger-than-life pretty girls in pretty dresses in photographs.  There is honestly not all that much to 'learn' about these girls, I don't think, simply because they died young and their diaries were accounts of their days, bland and uninformative insofar as looking into their thoughts and feelings.  Letters are better for this, but anyway...  We romanticize.  I think it's human nature, to look apart from the grisly fate they met, to think oh Olga was a literary genius; Tatiana was so responsible; Maria was so sweet; Anastasia was funny, so was Alexei.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 06:42:59 PM by Lanie »

Offline Belochka

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #145 on: July 31, 2007, 07:09:49 PM »
I'd also like to make a point regarding one of Gleb Botkin's speculations about Olga:
"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."

I don't think Gleb is saying that Olga was on to the Bolsheviks' plans for murder -- rather, I believe his point is that she seemed to have a realistic outlook.

I have the view that Gleb wrote his impressions in this way because he knew what the final outcome was. He was never in the position to know what Olga thought at all.

For Gleb this was just a bunch of extra words to add to his book.

Margarita
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Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #146 on: July 31, 2007, 07:43:53 PM »
What's wrong with the fact of Olga knowing what was to happen? I do not see any wrong nor good about it...And ultimately is a question of opinion. We could spend hours saying: "Yes. She knew what it was coming", "Or not, she wouldn't".All it's interpretation. As Belochka said, we were not into Olga's mind, so we well NEVER know for sure. We must accept this fact.

Nowadays we have a growing tendence to considered things in a totallitary way, when almost all things are question of interpretation. I'm sure that for a bunch of authors who could demonstrate (and they could! ) that Alexandra was an hysterical who imagined all her sickness, you also have another bunch who could demonstrate (and they could too!) that she was perfectly mentally- balanced and that her sickness were for real. There also are historians who could demonstrate that OLga was never depressed and others that would demonstrate exactly the opposite. I'm not saying that all is relative, but I'm only pointing out what a personal, political  or religious points of vew may  make you seeing a same fact differently (I'm not speaking of people who doesn't works with documents and never quotes anything).

I still think that Olga was aware that somewhat awful should happen to them, but that her strong faith helped her to accept it and even to forgive her ennemies.  You may think otherwise, it's not a sin...But again, I wouldn't think this could be established as an undisputable fact.

Oh, and please...Don't speak so harshly about Gleb Botkin. You can like him or not (I do not agree with his way of life and with his religious views), but you can't deny he loved NAOTMAA and made a great depiction of them in his writings. He was one who knew them. 

RealAnastasia.

Offline Lanie

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #147 on: July 31, 2007, 08:43:53 PM »
Gleb didn't really know them as much as he claimed to, right?  My reaction to his writings is:  ::)  Same with Radzinsky.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #148 on: July 31, 2007, 08:48:46 PM »
What's wrong with the fact of Olga knowing what was to happen? I do not see any wrong nor good about it...And ultimately is a question of opinion. We could spend hours saying: "Yes. She knew what it was coming", "Or not, she wouldn't".All it's interpretation. As Belochka said, we were not into Olga's mind, so we well NEVER know for sure. We must accept this fact.
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with Olga having a certain level of awareness of her family's situation and possible fate. I've protested only because I think our general suppositions have grown out of proportion to the information available.


Quote
Nowadays we have a growing tendence to considered things in a totallitary way, when almost all things are question of interpretation.

That's certainly true, but I get just as irritated with people who present their personal interpretations as fact. Too many of us (and I'm probably guilty of this too, from time to time) have fallen into the sloppy habit of saying "this is how it was" or "she felt this way" without indicating that we're posting opinions and interpretations. As I said in another thread, with the new information on OTMA that continues to come out of the Russian archives, it's no longer safe to assume our fellow members' posts about them are only suppositions. Some of us now have access to the children's wartime letters and diaries, and those documents in some cases contradict a number of our previously held notions about the imperial children's lives and personalities.


Quote
I still think that Olga was aware that somewhat awful should happen to them, but that her strong faith helped her to accept it and even to forgive her ennemies.  You may think otherwise, it's not a sin...But again, I wouldn't think this could be established as an undisputable fact.

Stated that way, I can certainly agree with you.


Quote
Oh, and please...Don't speak so harshly about Gleb Botkin. You can like him or not (I do not agree with his way of life and with his religious views), but you can't deny he loved NAOTMAA and made a great depiction of them in his writings. He was one who knew them. 

I've got nothing against Gleb Botkin, but for purposes of this discussion I think it's wise to keep in mind that he had NO contact with the imperial family after they left Tobolsk.
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« Reply #149 on: July 31, 2007, 09:04:51 PM »
Gleb didn't really know them as much as he claimed to, right? 

I believe that you are correct in suggesting this point Lanie.

Margarita
  :)


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