Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Olga Nicholaievna => Topic started by: slhouette on March 10, 2020, 09:48:19 PM

Title: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: slhouette on March 10, 2020, 09:48:19 PM
I was wondering if anyone could help me find an academic/reputable source for the following letter by Olga? The only source I can find so far for it is I know the site runners put a lot of effort into pulling their information from reputable sources, but unfortunately, for citation purposes, I can’t use the website as a reliable source. :(
“9 October 1915 (to Papa)
I am sitting in Mr. Gilliard's rooms near the door of his water-closet where Trina's little nasty girl Katya is sitting locked in by Anastasia and myself. We've just drawn her along the dark passage and pushed her in. The weather became very cold and it was snowing today and the snow didn't melt. We had a lot of fun when we went for a drive with Isa but Mama was receiving visitors all the time which was rather dull. Mordvinov had breakfast with us and told us a lot of interesting things but we interrupted him every moment as usually and didn't let him go on. It's always a great pleasure for us to read Alexei's letters. He writes such nice and funny letters without Pyotr Vasilievich's help. Katya is still locked in the W.C. She is knocking and wailing behind the door but we are implacable.”
I’m inclined to believe the source is real because I’ve discovered, Katya was a real person - Ekaterina Zhivaya - and was actually Trina’s maid, my source being “Претерпевшие до конца. Судьбы царских слуг, оставшихся верными долгу и присяге,” aka “Endured to the end. The fate of the royal servants who remained faithful to duty and oath.”

From August Sisters of Mercy (“Н. Зверева, Августейшие сестры милосердия”, here's a link a diary entry backs up both Katya’s existence and OTMA’s torment of her: “Sunday, February 1...Marie Baryatinsky drank tea. Alexey walks, but still limps. Dad cabled out of the way. [Telephoned?] Then tortured and scared Masha and Katya, the girls of Trina.” “Masha” was another of Trina’s maids, Maria Kulakova. Tatiana’s diary entry for February 1 mentions “We drank tea with Mom and Maria Baryatinsky. Then we scared the girls.”
Tatiana’s February 1 diary entry is in Helen Azar’s book for Tatiana’s letters and diaries, but neither Olga’s “locked Katya in the W.C.” or “tortured and scared Masha and Katya” are included in Azar’s Olga book. So basically I’m very confused and want to find the W.C. quote super bad, because I know it is probably real, and the implications are so interesting!!
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: slhouette on March 17, 2020, 06:50:57 PM
I'll record my journey to find a source for this note in this thread, I guess. Maybe it will be interesting/useful for others?

So the quote is not in any of Helen Azar's translations of the Romanov sisters diaries/letters. Since reading the text provided online of August Sisters of Mercy, I noticed that Ms. Azar's books don't have every single diary entry/letter that they wrote.

I took a chance on Raegan Baker's "Anastasia's Sisters," the next installation of her Romanov studies after Olga's 1913 diary translation, it wasn't in there either. Not sure where to go from here. I contacted's site runners but no response, I'm not even sure if they would remember where they found that as the site was made in the early 2000s. Very frustrating!!
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: Georgiy on March 23, 2020, 02:16:12 AM
The letter is genuine and can be found in GARF 640-1-1318.
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: Duchess Hydrangea on March 31, 2020, 11:56:20 PM
Looking at this article: Katya and Maria seemed to have ended up in exile when Trina was killed. Does anyone know how old they were at the time of the water closet event?
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: slhouette on May 08, 2020, 02:12:21 PM
@ Georgiy thanks so much for the reply! That's so exciting to know!

@ Duchess Hydrangea I really can't find anymore information about them at all, it's pretty mysterious... I wonder if there's any material in GARF on them. Hm.

Here's an interesting lead: In Helen Rappaport's Romanov Sisters, she cites an article from a Los Angeles emigre magazine that was apparently written by Trina's niece Natalya Soloveva. The citation is: Soloveva, Natalia, ‘La Tristesse Imperiale,” Rodnye dali 202 (Los Angeles), 1971, pp. 12-15. The piece of text attached to the citation is: "Two other young visitors to Trina Schneider at her apartments in the AP found themselves bombarded with similar questions. Maria and Anastasia often joined them at Trina’s apartments after lunch and engaged the girls, Natalya and Fofa, in exuberant, mischievous games that were almost too much for Trina to cope with. In quieter moments Anastasia and Maria were endlessly inquisitive about their everyday lives. ‘They asked us about school, our friends, our teachers and wanted to know how we spent our time off, which theatres we went to, what books we read, and so on.’" [pg 161]

I'm planing on taking a closer look at the article, as I live decently close to the US Library of Congress. It'd be nice to see what else she mentions in the article. Too bad everything's shut down because of Coronavirus, agh! 
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: Marie-Catherine on May 24, 2020, 10:11:56 PM
Woah such an exciting search ! I definitely miss researching now that I'm done with university. What are you searching this for ? Please do let us know if you go to the Library of Congress, I'm excited to read this piece :) !
Title: Re: Locking Trina's Maid in Water-Closet
Post by: slhouette on June 14, 2020, 01:04:34 AM
Aw thanks! Well most of my research is for a personal project - I'm writing a short film about OTMA that I hope to make. (I'm a computer animation student so it'd be more feasible for me to make my own project than a "live action" filmmaker, as I can create and reuse sets + character rigs at my leisure.) I thought the water-closet episode would be a fascinating scene - though due to the nature of a short film, it'll probably not get in there. In the end I was really curious.

I'm thinking of requesting a digital scan of the article because it'll be easier in the end, plus getting to go to DC - to look up the article, and just for fun! - probably isn't going to happen soon because of the coronavirus. I'll have to look carefully at the pricing, though; even for a few pages, it seems like it could be about $40.