Author Topic: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia  (Read 132498 times)

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P. Kleinpenning

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The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« on: March 04, 2004, 03:55:46 PM »
May I ask for your help with the following?

In their File on the Tsar, Summers and Mangold described several facts which I feel have hardly been addressed properly since then and which have puzzled me for years. They suggest a possible involvement of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig in attempts to rescue Alexandra and her children in the summer/autumn of 1918. I would very much like to know if anyone knows of a proper in-depth investigation carried out into such an involvement of Ernst Ludwig.

I am not sure, but I have the impression that this is a field not really covered yet. I am therefore considering examining some records and doing some fieldwork this summer in Darmstadt myself; I hope to find some evidence that might prove some of the suspicions I have.  I would much appreciate any information about other investigations into the activities of Ernst Ludwig at the time.

Offline JM

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2004, 01:15:10 PM »
I have read several times that Alexandera's brother made a secret trip to Russia during World War I. Is this true?

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2004, 02:58:29 PM »
There are no records in Russia that I have heard of or have seen that suggest this visit happened.

Offline Louise

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2004, 05:16:12 PM »
Bob, you stated that you have not seen or heard that GD Ernest visited Russia and his sister during WWI. Can we assume that the rumours that have been around since that time are just that? Are they rumours?

Do you have any information on how this rumour began? I have read a few books that have mentioned the apparent visit, but there has never been more than a footnote in those books.

Thanks, Louise

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Offline JM

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2004, 05:22:44 PM »
Just wondering . . . if this visit did happen, there probhably wouldn't be any records. Obviously "if" it had occured there wouldn't be much information considering it was secret. Could this explain the lack of information?

Offline Valmont

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2004, 06:18:42 PM »
As far as I know, one of the first persons to mention this around was Ana Anderson, and she was trying to probe with this, that she  was in fact  GD Anastasia. It was  one of the facts she "remembered". Now, it has been proven that Ana Anderson  was not GD Anastasia, and being Ana one  of the first ones (if not the first one) to spread this around, we can infer how "real" this visit was in fact...
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Offline JM

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2004, 06:37:39 PM »
The Anastasia and Anna Anderson situation aside. In 1949 Colonel Larski (a former commander of a Russian Guard's regiment) swore on oath that the Grand Duke had made the trip to Russia. Crown Princess Cecile apparently stated in 1953 that "our circles knew about it even at the time." I'm just wondering if anyone has new information.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2004, 08:14:05 PM »
There is nothing at GARF about this and on the days when Ernst-Ludwig was supposedly in the Alexander Palace there is no record of him being there and the Tsar and Tsarina's calendars are completely accounted for.  There are no palace records of him being there.

I don't know how he could manage to get into Petrograd and then out to Tsarskoe Selo and back to Germany through Sweden without anyone catching or seeing him.  You would think Elizabeth would have come to see him.

Imagine how embarassing this would have been for Nicholas if it had become public - it just doesn't sound like something he would have allowed to happen.

One person swearing he saw him isn't enough for me.  There should be something at GARF.  I'm open to somebody proving this mysterious visit to have really occured...

Bob

Offline JM

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2004, 08:43:51 PM »
This is a mystery. At first I was extremely sceptical. However, there seems to be too much information to totally deny that the trip did not occur, in my opinion. Then again there certaintly is not enough information to say it happend with absolute certainty.

Apparently the Soviet government acknowledged these trips, in two secret tsarist archives called Monarkhia pered Krusheniem, 1914-1917 and Romanovyi germanskie vliyania, 1914-1917. It is very possible that these are false. I doubt the credibility of the Soviets intentions. Regardless, the fact that they at least claimed this happend in these two books is definitely worth noting. I wonder why they would do this? Perhaps to stir up the Russian community in exile?

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2004, 07:54:43 AM »
There has always been discussion about the "Secret" Grand Duke Ernst visit, and indeed, it is a major part of both the play and the movie "Anastasia,"  but in my research, the closest thing that I have ever gotten to confirmation of it are the letters which Ernst sent to Alexandra to negotiate a peace, which she rejected.  A copy of ALexandra's letter stating "no peace is possible" is still in the Grand Ducal Archives of Hesse.  She then sent the letter on to her sister Elizabeth, who took it upon herself to become involved.

After this rejection, Emperor Wilhelm tried to reach Alexandra through Ernst himself, by getting Priness Marie Vassiltchikova to smuggle a letter in from Ernst via Grand Duchess Elizabeth (who had herself used Marie Vassiltchikova in 1905 to get a letter to her brother Ernst)

Nicholas was infuriated by this meddling on Elizabeth's part, which could have placed the Empress in the position of being accused of treason, and he sent Princess V. into internal exile on her sister's estates at Chernigov.  This information may be found in GARF, "Materialy k Zhitiu prepodobnomuchenitsi velokoi knyagini Yeizavety; Pis'ma, dnevniki, vospominaniya, dokumenty." and also in Bokhanov's "Sumerki Monarkhii"published in Moscow in 1993.  You can find a good telling of the story in Hugo Major's Elizabeth, Grand DUchess of Russia.

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Offline Ilana

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2004, 05:34:16 PM »
I haven't heard anything like this, and I wonder if you would be able to find evidence of this at the archives in Darmstadt -- or whether Dr Franz would be willing to show this to you.  If such evidence exists, I am not sure how easy it would be for you to see it.
So long and thanks for all the fish

P. Kleinpenning

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2004, 02:29:57 PM »
I know it will be very difficult to find any hard evidence. Nevertheless, I will give it a try.  I am absolutely convinced Alix wasn't murderd in July 1918, and that  Ernie knew much more about Alix's wherabouts after July 1918 than is commonly known.  

I have very strong suspicions about what happened to her in the autumn of 1918. It is as if I know how the various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit together. I just need more evidence - much more evidence.

In this stage, I won't need access to any "state secrets". The official archives in Darmstadt probably won't contain  any hard evidence anyway. If my suspicions are correct, Ernie knew exactly what he was doing and made sure he didn't leave any official traces. There are, however, certain secondary records that wil look perfectly insignificant to innocent readers, but that might reveal Ernie's secrets to someone who knows exactly what to look for. I hope I will be able to get access to these records.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2004, 02:50:32 PM »
Alexandra was murdered along with her family in July 1918.  NO ONE escaped.  We have her remains.  There were many witnesses to the murder.

I don't understand where all these crazy theories come from - it's very depressing!

Bob

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2004, 08:09:01 PM »
I think Grand Duke Michael's beauteous but fragile widow would have gone on the Oprah show--make that Sally Jessie Raphael--to justify her actions and gain  public sympathy.  And Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, being a bit flinty, might have consented to a Sixty Minutes interview. But the others undoubtedly would have shunned the media spotlight.

The psychology and survival of those left after a society/culture has broken up is always interesting--hence one of the reasons for the popularity of "Gone With the Wind"!  And the way the world is going nowadays, it might be a good idea to dig deeper into how people survive the destruction of all that is familiar to them.

Offline Namarolf

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Re: The Alleged 1916 Visit to Russia
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2004, 07:51:02 PM »
Wasn't Ella accused by crowds of hiding her brother in her convent? Of course it was just a stupid lie, but for me it shows that some people believed or wanted others to believe in the alleged trip.