Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Tsarevich Alexei Nicholaievich => Topic started by: clockworkgirl21 on October 22, 2005, 09:30:44 PM

Title: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 22, 2005, 09:30:44 PM
I know this has been discussed before, but between other topics, and not very deeply. I thought it was interesting enough to have its own thread. Why does everyone think he did this? Boredom maybe?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Caleb on October 22, 2005, 09:48:31 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if it was boredom, seeing as Alexei was an active boy & the long hours of boredom that the ex-Imperial Family endured at the governor's house in Tobolsk & then in Ekaterinburg.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: grandduchess_42 on October 23, 2005, 04:01:08 PM
yes i think it was bordom. being cooped up all day inside, must really take a toll on the guy. i would want to do somthing daring too if i were him.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 24, 2005, 10:09:47 AM
Could also have been a symptom of what folks call the "daredevil reaction" in hemophiliacs.  It's basically rebellion against the constant protection and worry that surrounds them. Massie may mention it in Nicholas & Alexandra, but I think I heard about it first in relation to Ryan White.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Eternal_Princess on October 24, 2005, 11:26:07 AM
Most likely it was bordem,if it actually happened. (Imagine being a thirteen year old, active boy stuck in a house with nothing to do.) Most people believe it was only a myth though, there's no real evidence to back it up.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Margarita Markovna on October 24, 2005, 12:13:40 PM
I am pretty sure it did happen, after all, he never walked again.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 24, 2005, 12:17:49 PM
Quote
Most people believe it was only a myth though, there's no real evidence to back it up.

Really?

He was certainly sick in March of 1918 - Alix mentions his pain & difficulty sleeping on 31 March/13 April - and it was considered his worst attack since Spala. Further, he was unable to walk for the remainder of his life. If the sledding incident is a myth, what caused the hemmorhage that prevented him from being transferred to Ekaterinburg?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 24, 2005, 12:35:41 PM
Robert Massie & Greg King both attribute the story to Tatiana Botkina (page 56 in her book, Vospominaniia o Tsarskoi Sem'ye). Wasn't she living across the street in the kornilov house at the time? I don't have a copy of her book, so I can't be more helpful than that.

Neither the Tsar nor the Empress seem to make mention of what caused Aleksei's final attack. Nicholas's diary on March 30 states: "Aleksei's groin began to hurt from coughing, and he stayed in bed all day."
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: nene on October 24, 2005, 12:56:46 PM
I know this may sound shocking, but I think Baby rode his sled down the stairs on purpose. Maybe he was looking for a way out-out of this situation he and his family are in, out of the pain he was in half the time, out of everything. And to tell the truth, I really can't blame him. Death would be so much more appealing than living, especially when you're a prisoner who has to be cooped inside all day.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on October 24, 2005, 01:52:19 PM
I  Dont think it was  on purpose
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 24, 2005, 02:23:33 PM
Well, I don't think it was a suicide attempt. But I also believe it was more than boredom.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 24, 2005, 10:02:20 PM
Well, if the tsar mentioned it was caused by coughing, that could well be. He could have got a really strong cold, and coughed so much he strained his inside which caused the bleed. (OTOH, the Tsar mightn't have written the real reason). Tatiana Botkin wasn't in the house after all, so she mightn't be fully accurate. If he did sled down the stairs (and though I think it is a myth, it is possible), it would be from boredom. Teenage boys do stupid things when they're bored. Even intelligent ones.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: RealAnastasia on October 25, 2005, 08:08:40 PM
Quote
I know this may sound shocking, but I think Baby rode his sled down the stairs on purpose. Maybe he was looking for a way out-out of this situation he and his family are in, out of the pain he was in half the time, out of everything. And to tell the truth, I really can't blame him. Death would be so much more appealing than living, especially when you're a prisoner who has to be cooped inside all day.


This is exactly what was shown in "Nicholas and Alexandra"'s movie...But of course, movies are not "the real thing" . I suppose that he did it for he was extremely bored, but I'm surprised that he did such a stupid thing. He was not a little boy any more, but a 13 years old teenager. He must have realized how dangerous what he was doing was...

And of course, there is proof about him riding his sled down the stairs. Almost all books about the IF quotes the fact, and I remember (I would go to check to "Nicholas and Alexandra"'s book) that Nicholas or Alix mentioned the accident in a letter to someone.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 25, 2005, 08:43:48 PM
No, Aleksey was no longer a little boy. But I'm not surprised he did something stupid like that. Just because you get older doesn't mean you quit doing stupid things. You should ask my aunt, who's a nurse, how many adults end up in the emergency for being stupid while bored.  :o
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 25, 2005, 09:04:13 PM
I reiterate, teenage boys do 'stoopid' things. And they don't think through the consequenses of their actions.

As for most of the books about the IF saying he did this, I can't recall reading it anywhere. I haven't read Tatiana Botkin's book, and last I read Massie was ages ago. is it really in there? I don't recall it. I thought it was just in the movie for 'dramatic effect', - when I first saw the movie I was very surprised about it. Maybe someone can quote from either Massie or Botkina-Melnik with this information?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Lanie on October 26, 2005, 12:53:12 AM
Seeing as Nicholas mentioned it in his diary (I believe he did!), it took place.  He was probably bored.  It was right after their snow mountain was destroyed, as I recall.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on October 26, 2005, 07:14:34 AM
I agree...I have a friend who is usually a somewhat sensible girl (at 14) but that didn't stop her from getting in a fight with a staircase last month.  ::) But I think Alexei had more common sense than that.

So, yeah, I personally think that it was boredom. (Just to throw in my 2 sense)
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 26, 2005, 03:18:17 PM
But didn't the diary say that Alexey is bleeding in the groin as aresult of coughing? Please someone post something definate about this.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Grand Duchess Marishka on October 26, 2005, 04:57:11 PM
Quote
I know this has been discussed before, but between other topics, and not very deeply. I thought it was interesting enough to have its own thread. Why does everyone think he did this? Boredom maybe?


OH I KNOW THIS!!!
In the early movie, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, the one with Amy Irving, they show Alexei going on the stairs.
He was bored (definitely) but he also mentioned he wasn't afraid to die. He had a feeling that they were all going to get hurt in some way. He told this to Anastasia in the movie (which was based off of fact) and said," I love you, Ana" before running to the stairs and sliding down on the sled.
He was obviously both bored and knowing in the fact that some harm was to come to his family anyway. He had come so near to death before, he was no longer afraid probably.
Hope that helped.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 26, 2005, 05:17:07 PM
Yes, but that movie is fiction. I want facts from the horse's mouth so to speak. Not from a movie, but from a direct source.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on October 26, 2005, 06:04:58 PM
 ::) Think about the last time you were bored and tried something that might have ended up dangerous... I once built a campfire that almost burnt down my grandmothers house :P While youre actually doing it your thought is not, "Oh, I know i'm going to die", it's more like, "Nothing bad will happen, what are the odds in that?" So it was just as fate would have it with Aleksey.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 26, 2005, 10:05:18 PM
I'm afraid neither Massie nor King quote Tatiana Botkina's book directly. Here's how they describe the incident, though.
Massie:
Just at this point, and enemy older than the Bolsheviks rose up to shatter her [Alix's] hopes. Alexis had been well all winter and was filled with energy and high spirits. The destruction of the snow mountain had deprived him of an activity which had absorbed much of his vitality; in its place, he was devising new and reckless games which no one seemed able to inhibit. One of these - riding down the inside stairs on a boat with runners which he had used on the snow mountain - led to calamity. He fell and began to bleed into the groin.The hemorrhage was the worst since Spala five years before.

King:
Alexandra also faced a potential crisis with Alexei. A week earlier, the tsarevich had used a sled on the interior stairway of the house and fell; a severe hemorrhage in the groin began immediately.

On the bright side, a library in my county has Botkina's book. I've put a hold on it, so once it comes and I have a chance to translate page 56, I'll let you know what I find.  :D
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on October 27, 2005, 07:12:49 AM
That last quote doesn't say *why* Alexei decided to sled down the stairs, but it was interesting all the same. I can't wait until you get that book...that's awesome! Hope you like it!
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 27, 2005, 03:11:06 PM
Yes, it will be good to hear what Tatiana Botkina-Melnik has to say. I won't deny the possibility it happened (for the reasons that Massie gives, and not that he was suicidal - someone that has got through crices like Alexei had I think is less likely to be suicidal than someone to who something terrible happens to all at once and are unable to cope...)

However, the diaries of both the Tsar and Tsaritsa state that he has developed a haemorrhage in his groin through coughing. This strikes me as interesting, because if they were trying to subterfuge any potential readers of their diaries, why not just say he has a bad cold and leave it at that. Why mention he has a haemorrhage at all? Also the fact that the Empress was writing in English suggests to me that people would have trouble reading what she wrote anyway, as well as the fact that that probably wasn't an issue with them until Ekaterinburg.

It could well be he took to sledding inside as a daredevil kind of activity, but the cause of the haemmorrhage was severe coughing and straining of his inner parts thus and not because of any accident on the sled. Perhaps Botkina-Melnik made up that part to make an interesting story. Was she in contact with her father, or just by letter? If just by letter, it hardly seems credible that the Doctor would write something like that which could be intercepted and read. If there was personal contact however, I can understand there would be opportunities to talk about incidents.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 27, 2005, 06:03:17 PM
Even though the Tsar doesn't mention the sled, I think it's possible that the coughing aggravated a hemorrhage that was already in progress. As many of his biographers complained, we can rarely rely on Nicky's diary for a complete picture of anything -- in this case, for example, he hardly hints at the fact that this was Aleksei's worst attack since Spala. Alix's diary also indicates little as to the severity of the hemorrhage -- it's only in a letter to Anna Vyrubova that she makes the comparison to Spala. I don't remember her diary stating the cough was the cause of Aleksei's attack, but I will double-check.

I don't know enough about Tatiana Botkina to know if she's thought to be a reliable source or not. It should be easy enough for me to dig up the dates of when she was living with her father and when she wasn't, though. If they were in direct contact, Yevgeni Sergeivich might well have shared the cause of the tsesarevich's illness with Aleksei's sometime playmates. After all, Gleb Botkin was composing stories for Aleksei's entertainment at this time, wasn't he?

For now, I still think the daredevil explanation is a feasable one. In Ekaterinburg, Nicky mentions a time when Aleksei knocked his leg against something, as if on purpose...
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 27, 2005, 07:02:41 PM
Here's the excerpt from Alix's letter to Anna Vyrubova regarding Aleksei's illness:
Sunbeam (Alexei) has been ill in bed for the past week. I don't know whether coughing brought on the attack, or whether he picked up something heavy, but he had an awful internal hemorrhage and suffered fearfully. He is better now, but sleeps badly and the pains, though less severe, have not entirely ceased. He is frightfully thin and yellow, reminding me of Spala. Do you remember? But yesterday he began to eat a little, and Dr. Derevenko, is satisfied with his progress. The child has to lie on his back without moving, and he gets so tired. I sit all day beside him, holding his aching legs, and I have grown almost as thin as he. It is certain now that we shall celebrate Easter at home because it will be better for him if we have a service together. I try to hope that this attack will pass more quickly than usual. It must, since all Winter he was so well.

This came from Memories of the Russian Court, on the main AP site. Unfortunately, Vyrubova doesn't give an exact date for the letter -- only March 1918. I will look at my copy of Pered Rasstrelom and see if the letter is there & is dated more specifically.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 27, 2005, 07:15:30 PM
There's another case that makes me wonder. Aleksey hitting his leg "as if on purpose." It's different from the other accidents. Riding the sled down the stairs could have been him trying to have fun. His bumping his leg against something would be him trying to hurt himself.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Grand Duchess Marishka on October 27, 2005, 09:39:22 PM
Quote
Yes, but that movie is fiction. I want facts from the horse's mouth so to speak. Not from a movie, but from a direct source.



I've seen many Romanov movies and all seemed to give reliable information at points. No need to be rude. I was only making a suggestion.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Eternal_Princess on October 27, 2005, 11:18:35 PM
As I start laying out drafts and notes for the novel I'm writting about Alexei and his family, I'm finding the more I learn about them, the less I actually know!

There are so many myths, secrets and lies that are promoted by the movies hollywood types make, the truth is that I have had to ignore a lot of it.

There is not actual sentence in any of Alexandra's letters or Nicholas diary, that say Alexei rode his sled down the staircase. It's not to say it may have not happened, there is every chance it did.

But when neither of the parents mention it specifically you have to be a little curious.

They say he had a terrible cough, and if Alexei had a delicate stomach lining, (which he did, his medical report says it.) A cough would have easily aggrivated it and caused hemorging in his lower abdomen.

Most people at the time this information was released, believe the story because they still envisioned Alexei as a small boy.

He was a teenager, and yes I agree with everyone else, I was young teen not that long ago, and I did do very stupid things. But I'm convinced he would not have done something like that, esspecially as if the movies claim, his beloved Naysta or other sister's were around to see it.

Why would he want to upset his sisters, who loved him like crazy, like that by seeing what might have very been his death?

I'm still not convinced. There is not enough evidence,  most of it is just copied from other accounts.  :-X
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 28, 2005, 12:11:41 AM
Alix's letter to Anna Vyrubova is dated 6/19 April, 1918. At that point, Aleksei had been ill for a week, so it seems 30 March was the beginning of his trouble.

The Botkina version is loooking less and less likely, isn't it?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on October 28, 2005, 10:33:43 AM
According to Marina Botkin Schweitzer (Gleb Botkin's daughter)  Tatiana Botkina was already with her father in Tobolsk when Gleb joined them in the fall of 1917, and the children remained in Tobolsk throughout the Imperial Family's captivity there. So, yes, Tatiana Botkina had direct, daily contact with her father at the time of Aleksei's illness. Whether or not she told the truth, embellished the story, or just plain made up the cause of the hemorrhage is another matter...

However, I was incorrect in saying that Gleb was writing stories for the tsesarevich in the spring of 1918 -- Gleb's stories were written for Aleksei before the October Revolution of 1917.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on October 29, 2005, 01:37:06 AM
Sorry GD Marishka if I sounded rude - that was not my intention.

I think the comment "As if on purpose" has a hint of irony in it, I doubt it means the Tsar thinks he knocked his leg on purpose, more like "this would happen, just when we don't need it to."

I doubt we will ever be able to say one way or the other as to what happened, but I think the coughing is more likely. Botkin might have seen Alexei sledding inside and mentioned it to Tatiana Botkin, then a day or two later Alexei is sick, and Tatiana Botkin puts two and two together in her own mind, and then later on in her book writes what she supposed had been the cause of the haemmorhage. Maybe that is an explaination?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Eternal_Princess on October 29, 2005, 09:22:45 AM
Quote
I doubt we will ever be able to say one way or the other as to what happened, but I think the coughing is more likely. Botkin might have seen Alexei sledding inside and mentioned it to Tatiana Botkin, then a day or two later Alexei is sick, and Tatiana Botkin puts two and two together in her own mind, and then later on in her book writes what she supposed had been the cause of the haemmorhage. Maybe that is an explaination?



I think that is the best thing I've heard on the subject, Georgiy. And I think you could be right.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on November 02, 2005, 10:11:57 PM
My book came today, so here's my translation of Botkina's version of the story:

Suddenly, Aleksei Nikolaevich took to his bed. It was a great misfortune for everyone, since he suffered very much; there appeared on him an internal bruise from the injured place, quite as exhausting as at Spala. Terribly lively and gay, he constantly jumped, skipped, and made up very rough games. One of them -- riding down the stair-steps in a wooden boat on runners, another -- a sort of improvised rolling from logs. I don't know during which of these, but Aleksei Nikolaevich was injured and took to his bed, suffering.

There you are. Now judge for yourselves.  ;)
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Grand Duchess Marishka on November 03, 2005, 09:00:51 AM
No my apologies, Georgiy, I shouldn't have been so sensitive about it-
and yes, I suppose it was an accident in the mind of an unfortunately invalid boy. One must feel sympathy for him.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on November 03, 2005, 11:16:23 PM
Yes, whether it was one of those things or a cough as the Tsar and Tsaritsa suggest, it was certainly not as a result of any suicidal behaviour on Alexei's behalf. I still tend to think that Tatiana Botkin heard of his antics and put two and two together when he was bed-ridden. Otherwise the Tsar or Tsaritsa would have probably written something like "Baby hurt himself while playing and has developed a haemmorhage in the groin..."
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on November 04, 2005, 08:29:52 AM
I agree with Georgiy. I think it's likely that Tatiana Botkin simply made an assumption based on Aleksei's recent behavior.

I find it interesting that the Imperial couple allowed Aleksei to toboggan on the snow mountain in the first place. It's safer than the stairway, but certainly not risk-free -- I can't tell you how many times I've fallen off a sled or knocked my head on the hill on the way down... (Of course, anyone who's ever seen Home Alone knows the stairway stunt can be done!)
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: ladyamythyst69 on November 28, 2005, 03:02:23 PM
I don't think from the evidence we can assume that Alexsei hurt himself sledding downstairs. It is a possible explanation but only one of several possibilities. It is just as likely that he hurt himself coughing.

That said - I am the parent of two children with severe food allergies. I won't go into a long explanation of the medical condition here except to say that if my children eat or inhale the wrong thing they will go into anaphylactic shock and could die within minutes. Anaphylactic shock involves (among other things) the inability to breathe and it comes on very, very fast. I carry injectable Epinephrine everywhere as an emergency measure.

Anyhow - I mention this because I absolutely believe that children who live with any type of illness in which they are perfectly normal most of the time, yet could be struck down at any second and in danger of dying a quick and painful death can and do develop risk taking behaviors as a way of coping with the stress.

It sounds backwards to think that they do this but they do. They actually feel better if they "challenge" their condition by taking a risk. They roll the dice and if nothing bad happens to them that time, it can make them feel a little less vulnerable.

I cannot over stress the absolute vulnerability these children feel. They may appear happy and go about life and cope very well. But anyone who knows them well can see how the knowledge of their condition pervades every single aspect of their lives. It is inescapable.

All I can say is that Alexsei and his parents and siblings carried a burden that no one who had not been there themselves can ever fully understand.

This is probably a large reason why I am so attracted to the story of the IF myself. Things that they did that look incomprehensible to others seem perfectly reasonable to me given the condition of their son and the medical knowledge & capabilities of the times. Because I share the same type of stress about my children I really can feel for the IF as human beings.

(I'm not saying that other people can't understand them - just that I may have a unique perspective.)
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Tania+ on November 29, 2005, 12:14:04 AM
I tend to lean towards this explanation, and thank you for your offering your perspective.

I have worked with children who have taken like actions as you describe, in regards to coping with stress.

quote:
"can and do develop risk taking behaviors as a way of coping with the stress
end quote.

Their parent's and family members are at a loss, and worried, but many times unable to change their actions, unless brought to a person skilled in stress reduction.

Thanks again for your perspective.

Tatiana


Quote
I don't think from the evidence we can assume that Alexsei hurt himself sledding downstairs. It is a possible explanation but only one of several possibilities. It is just as likely that he hurt himself coughing.

That said - I am the parent of two children with severe food allergies. I won't go into a long explanation of the medical condition here except to say that if my children eat or inhale the wrong thing they will go into anaphylactic shock and could die within minutes. Anaphylactic shock involves (among other things) the inability to breathe and it comes on very, very fast. I carry injectable Epinephrine everywhere as an emergency measure.

Anyhow - I mention this because I absolutely believe that children who live with any type of illness in which they are perfectly normal most of the time, yet could be struck down at any second and in danger of dying a quick and painful death can and do develop risk taking behaviors as a way of coping with the stress.

It sounds backwards to think that they do this but they do. They actually feel better if they "challenge" their condition by taking a risk. They roll the dice and if nothing bad happens to them that time, it can make them feel a little less vulnerable.

I cannot over stress the absolute vulnerability these children feel. They may appear happy and go about life and cope very well. But anyone who knows them well can see how the knowledge of their condition pervades every single aspect of their lives. It is inescapable.

All I can say is that Alexsei and his parents and siblings carried a burden that no one who had not been there themselves can ever fully understand.

This is probably a large reason why I am so attracted to the story of the IF myself. Things that they did that look incomprehensible to others seem perfectly reasonable to me given the condition of their son and the medical knowledge & capabilities of the times. Because I share the same type of stress about my children I really can feel for the IF as human beings.

(I'm not saying that other people can't understand them - just that I may have a unique perspective.)

Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarastasia on December 30, 2005, 12:00:59 PM
Maybe I'm just being silly, but this doesn't seem to be the sort of stunt that Alexei would pull. Wouldn't he know what agonizing pain it would cause him?? The way they portraied it in Nicholas and Alexandra was really strange... It was almost like it was an attention-seeking act. Which is rather ridiculous since he already had a LOT of attention!

Sarastasia xx
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on December 31, 2005, 10:17:27 AM
LOOK AT THIS! From Aleksei's own diary on 25 March, quoted in Romanov Autumn:

A local businessman sent me a sledge and a boat as a present, modelled on the sledges and boats they use in this area.... Kolia and I played with them for ages and we slid down the staircase in the boat. He left at nine.

:o
So while we can't be sure this is how Aleksei hurt himself, we can be certain that the sledding incident is true!
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Eternal_Princess on December 31, 2005, 10:40:33 AM
Quote
LOOK AT THIS! From Aleksei's own diary on 25 March, quoted in Romanov Autumn:

A local businessman sent me a sledge and a boat as a present, modelled on the sledges and boats they use in this area.... Kolia and I played with them for ages and we slid down the staircase in the boat. He left at nine.

 :o
So while we can't be sure this is how Aleksei hurt himself, we can be certain that the sledding incident is true!



Ahh. Now this starts to put things in some perspective. ;)

Perhaps it did happen, Tatiana Botkin heard about the incident and Alexei being ill. Perhaps Dr Botkin didn't say what had specifically injured Alexei, maybe that's how she put it together?
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Joy0318 on December 31, 2005, 07:57:53 PM
I think that he probably did go sledding down the stairs. He was a 13 year old boy and was probably bored and decided that sledding in the house would be something fun to do. I don't think he thought about what the consequences of his action might be. I did some pretty stupid and dangerous things as a child.  I can still remember diving off the high diving board and doing a big belly flop one time. Ouch!  I don't think he was trying to hurt himself to get attention or worse a suicide attempt.  He was just not that type of person.   I think he was just being a kid.  It mad me mad that in the movie Nicholas and Alexandra tried to make it look like either an intent to hurt himself or an attention getting ploy.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: koloagirl on January 02, 2006, 11:35:54 PM
One of the many flaws in the movie "Nicholas and Alexandra" is the film's decision to show Alexei as being sullen and depressed towards the end-- lashing out at his father after the abdication and after professing everything "hopeless" -- taking his "sled" up the stairs
as if to commit suicide.

Everything that we now know (and remember this movie was made way back when!) indicates that none of this behavior would be something that the Tsarevich would engage in.

Other than the young man who played Alexei looking somewhat (only somewhat!) like him - his portrayal was otherwise really "off" in my opinion.

Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: Joy0318 on January 03, 2006, 08:16:00 AM
Quote
Other than the young man who played Alexei looking somewhat (only somewhat!) like him - his portrayal was otherwise really "off" in my opinion.



I agree.  The portrayal Alexei's character was way off.   I hope that if they decide to do a re-make of this movie they choose an actor who looks a bit more like Alexei and that they  DO NOT portray him as being so bland and depressed. They need to show him as he really was.  A happy boy despite his ill health.
Title: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: anna11 on January 30, 2006, 10:56:08 PM
Ok, I searched through the first 3 pages and even did a search. So dont bash my if this has been discussed just point me in the direction of the discussion.

When Alexei rid his sledge down the stairs at Toblosk, was this an attemted suicide(As is shown in the movies) or just a bored kid trying to have fun? I guess no one will really no for sure but what do most people think?
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on January 31, 2006, 06:49:23 AM
There are several posts on this topic already, scattered all around the boards. But since the thread was already started, and since I have no idea where the other ones are... ;)
the sum up version was what you said, however. most people seemed to think it was out of sheer boredom. I have to say I agree with that.
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on January 31, 2006, 07:14:09 AM
Here's a nice long thread all about it  :)
Riding His Sled Down the Stairs (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=alexei;action=display;num=1130031044)
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Joy0318 on January 31, 2006, 08:10:17 AM
I don't think it was a suicide attempt. I think he was a bored 13year old  boy looking to have some fun.
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: imperial angel on January 31, 2006, 10:45:55 AM
I agree with the last person, that he was most likely bored, and looking for something to do, and came up with this activity, which may not have been the best one, and in fact proved not to be.
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Georgiy on January 31, 2006, 02:40:46 PM
Anyway he wasn't doing it on his own - I think I read he roped Kolya Derevenko into his games of riding things down the stairs as well. But I did not know that Kolya was able to visit him at Tobolsk. Can anyone confirm this, or was it with Lenka Sednev that he played this game?
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on January 31, 2006, 03:42:06 PM
Sednev seems like the better guess to me, but I'm just guessing, because I agree that Kolya's being there seems a little odd. Curious... I can't wait until someone who knows for sure replys!

Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on January 31, 2006, 05:36:14 PM
I have replied on this subject in it's other threads...with this: (well, something along the lines of this..)

Aleksei was 13 years-old when he unconsciously, subconsciously, or consciously rode a sleigh down a flight of stairs and landed on his body; helplessly his body reacted with it's illness of haemophilia, Alekse; undoubtedley, in shock.
The movie Nicholas and Alexandra interpreted this as a suicide attempt, which I feel has caused many to believe that it was an attempt of that kind.
In my opinion, I think it was just a tragic variation of a Haemophillia attack.....especially according to the lack of activity that Aleksei was experiancing in Tobolsk (when he was usually such a curious, active---notwithstanding his illness's limitations---Tsarevich)....I believe that Aleksei rode a sleigh down the stairs out of boredom.
If you are an adult, you can think back to when you were his age, and you would try to do ANYTHING just to get rid of boredom. As long as it would entertain you, you would never take part noticing  the rules...or the consequences....you would just...do it.
And we all know Aleksei was a normal lad, so I rest my case.

Sofia
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on January 31, 2006, 05:43:25 PM
Quote
Anyway he wasn't doing it on his own - I think I read he roped Kolya Derevenko into his games of riding things down the stairs as well. But I did not know that Kolya was able to visit him at Tobolsk. Can anyone confirm this, or was it with Lenka Sednev that he played this game?


Well, yes of course...wasn't Kolya there when the soldiers destroyed the snow mountain?
Anywho, I do remember reading letters written by Aleksei to Kolya during bedridden periods in Tobolsk.......would that mean that Kolya was not allowedin Tobolsk then, and I am wrong about him being there during the Snow Mountain event?
If Kolya was allowed in Tobolsk...then Aleksei most probably wrote to him when he was sick with Haemophilia....I presume Kolya wasn't allowed to see Aleksei during those attacks.

Sofia
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: APFELBLUME on January 31, 2006, 09:54:51 PM
I think he did it for fun. Poor kid didn't get a bycicle... :-[
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Joy0318 on February 01, 2006, 09:08:36 AM
Quote
Poor kid didn't get a bycicle... :-[


I remember reading that in the book Nicholas and Alexandra about how he asked his mother for a bicycle and how she had to tell he could not and then he would cry and ask "why am I not like other boys?"  So sad!
:'(

IMO I think he was just bored and thought riding his sled down the stairs would be fun. I don't thnk he even thought about what the consequences might be. Kids sometimes do dangerous things without thinking. I can still remember my jumping off the high diving board when I was about seven just because my big brother was doing it and I ended up doing a belly flop. OUCH!! It was  a long time before I jumped off the high board again.

Some people seem to think that Alexei riding his sled down  the stairs might have had something to do with the "daredevil reaction" sometimes displayed by hemophiliac children. This could have been the case but I really don't think so. Of course, no one really knows why he did it.

I DO NOT think that he was trying to kill himself or even hurt himself though. I did not like it that the movie N&A  tried to make the incident look like a suicide attempt.
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on February 01, 2006, 10:07:37 AM
Quote
I think he did it for fun. Poor kid didn't get a bycicle... :-[

He did have a full-size tricycle, but I'm sure he would have preferred a bike like everyone else's!
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Elisabeth on February 01, 2006, 11:04:24 AM
He was obviously bored out of his mind. Doesn't his diary itself support that conclusion? I don't have it in front of me but as I recall one entry after another said, "It's so boring," "Everything the same as yesterday," etc., etc.

I also have to add that I read somewhere of a study neuroscientists had done of teenagers' brains in which they showed that teenagers generally do not have sufficient brain development to understand the negative consequences of taking risks. They literally don't have the synapses yet to understand that if you do X, Y will necessarily follow. Thus the importance of telling them over and over again, "Do not do this. Do NOT do this. DO NOT DO THIS."  ;)
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: RussiaSunbeam1918 on February 01, 2006, 04:44:28 PM
There was a month span where his entries were "Today was the same as yesterday"...but I always wondered what 'yesterday' was like.

Obviously it wasn't something he was finding enjoyment from, so I would be very surprised if was anything besides a boy being a boy.
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Sarushka on June 26, 2006, 08:07:17 AM
A new link to the other thread on this topic:
Riding His Sled Down the Stairs (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/YaBB.cgi?num=1130031044)
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: skitzo12 on June 27, 2006, 09:27:03 PM
THanks sarushka
that must have taken you a long time to  find them!

cya

alex
Title: Re: Riding Sledge down Stairs
Post by: Guinastasia on July 02, 2006, 12:53:07 PM
It sounds like something my cousins and I might have tried at a family get together-we were always coming up with crazy, semi-dangerous, or just plain messy stunts like that.  Once at a picnic, we hooked a hose up to the water pump and fixed it at the top of the slide, making a water slide.  (Which quickly became a mud slide!).

The only reason I think it merits special mention is that it was more dangerous due to Alexei's condition.  What kid hasn't participated in some crazy, hair-brained activities like this?
Title: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: stacey on March 07, 2007, 01:26:57 AM
I've just been rummaging thru that excellent book The Fate of the Romanovs, written by Greg King and Penny Wilson, and I came across a mention of one of Alexei's most severe injuries.

It occurred at Tobolsk, when, as King and Wilson put it, "Alexei...injured himself while tobogganing down the main staircase." This of course soon triggered a serious attack of hemophilia--altho Alexei did survive it, it left him basically crippled for the rest of his short life.

My question is--why??? Why would Alexei, who was no longer a small child, do something so foolish, so potentially deadly? He knew how likely it was to trigger an attack (if it didn't kill him outright!). He knew how agonizingly painful such attacks were, and how they could well lead to his death (and Rasputin was no longer alive to come to his rescue). He knew the anguish his parents and sisters--and especially his mother--suffered during any of his attacks of hemophilia. He knew that the last thing his family needed at such a stressful time was to have a badly injured boy to look after.

So why did Alexei drag a toboggan to the top of a steep staircase, sit down, and push the toboggan (with him on it) down all those stairs?

Was he suicidal? Was he so upset by the situation around him that he decided to have some boyish "fun", no matter the consequences? Why would he do something so, excuse my bluntness, stupid???

I know he was a reckless boy who loved to play. I understand how frustrating it was for him to suppress his pent-up energy for fear of injury. I've heard that this is not unusual in boys with hemophilia--to live in denial of the seriousness of their illness, to "push the envelope", to tempt fate.

But still....it was such a senseless thing to do, and Alexei was not a stupid or a thoughtless boy.

What do the rest of you think?

Why did Alexei risk that wild toboggan ride down that long staircase, knowing how dangerous it was??  ???
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: J_Kendrick on March 07, 2007, 02:34:28 AM
I've just been rummaging thru that excellent book The Fate of the Romanovs, written by Greg King and Penny Wilson, and I came across a mention of one of Alexei's most severe injuries.

It occurred at Tobolsk, when, as King and Wilson put it, "Alexei...injured himself while tobogganing down the main staircase." This of course soon triggered a serious attack of hemophilia--altho Alexei did survive it, it left him basically crippled for the rest of his short life.

My question is--why??? Why would Alexei, who was no longer a small child, do something so foolish, so potentially deadly? He knew how likely it was to trigger an attack (if it didn't kill him outright!). He knew how agonizingly painful such attacks were, and how they could well lead to his death (and Rasputin was no longer alive to come to his rescue). He knew the anguish his parents and sisters--and especially his mother--suffered during any of his attacks of hemophilia. He knew that the last thing his family needed at such a stressful time was to have a badly injured boy to look after.

So why did Alexei drag a toboggan to the top of a steep staircase, sit down, and push the toboggan (with him on it) down all those stairs?

Was he suicidal? Was he so upset by the situation around him that he decided to have some boyish "fun", no matter the consequences? Why would he do something so, excuse my bluntness, stupid???

I know he was a reckless boy who loved to play. I understand how frustrating it was for him to suppress his pent-up energy for fear of injury. I've heard that this is not unusual in boys with hemophilia--to live in denial of the seriousness of their illness, to "push the envelope", to tempt fate.

But still....it was such a senseless thing to do, and Alexei was not a stupid or a thoughtless boy.

What do the rest of you think?

Why did Alexei risk that wild toboggan ride down that long staircase, knowing how dangerous it was??  ???

Can anyone really be certain that this often told claim of the "sled on the stairs" had ever really happened?

Oh, sure... It does make for a good story... but...

It is totally unsubstantiated.

Tatiana Botkin was the only source ever to make any suggestion that an injury may have been caused by a "sled on the stairs" (writing in her book several years later), but Miss Botkin was not a witness of those events.  There are no first hand witnesses whatsoever.  In reality, this same unconfirmed notion was actually one of two possibile causes that Miss Botkin had proposed in her book.  Some forty years later, Robert Massie had picked out the more dramatic of those two suggestions that Miss Botkin had proposed in her book... and then wrote his own interpretation as if it were fact.  Now, everyone blindly accepts Mr. Massie's no better than third-hand re-telling of the story as true, in spite of the fact that there is no corroborating evidence at all.

Tatiana Botkin could not possibly have known the real cause of Alexei's health problems at Tobolsk.  In truth, Miss Botkin was not staying with the IF at the time and she was not a first hand witness.  At that very same time, Miss Botkin was staying with her brother in rooms across town during the peak of a snowstorm -- no where near the Imperial family -- so the source for her speculations could only have been second hand at best.

So sure, it does make for a good story, but there is no proof that it ever actually happened.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: matushka on March 07, 2007, 02:59:03 AM
J_Kendrick, I read Tatiana Botkin's book a long while ago, have not it under hand and can not remember the second possible cause she gave. Could you place refresh my memory? That's true, Mrs Botkina was not in the Governor's mansion; she and her brother only observe the imperial family from their window and, as we can see from her book, they extrapolate about the imperial prisonners' feelings. But, at the same time, let us remember that their father was the whole time with the family and keep contact with Tatiana and Gleb. He probably related them a lot. Another source is this little boy who came to Alexei and played with him, as well as others members of the suite, who had their appartement in the Kornilov's house and were admited in the Governor's mansion. So her testimony keep some valibility.
Did really Alexei toboggan down the stairs or not, we will never know. But we know for sure that this boy first liked very much risk: it is quite common among such ill people, playing incounsciently or not with death. How many time did he already do such things! Second, he was not especially mature for his age and his plays kept a very childish tone. Read again his diary for 1917, he related how he sprand and so on. There is no proof of this incident, was it in the stairs, was it in the snow (mountain...). But there is something like a probability.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 07, 2007, 07:15:57 AM
On the contrary J_Kendrick, as I discovered in December of 2005, we do have proof that Aleksei rode his sled down the stairs in Tobolsk. This is from his diary entry for March 25, 1917 quoted in Romanov Autumn:

"A local businessman sent me a sledge and a boat as a present, modelled on the sledges and small boats they use in this area. Kolia and I played with them for ages and we slid down the staircase in the boat."



There are a number of old threads on this topic:
Riding Sledge down Stairs (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,6061.0.html)
Riding His Sled Down the Stairs (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,4887.0.html)
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: J_Kendrick on March 07, 2007, 11:27:39 AM
On the contrary J_Kendrick, as I discovered in December of 2005, we do have proof that Aleksei rode his sled down the stairs in Tobolsk. This is from his diary entry for March 25, 1917 quoted in Romanov Autumn:

"A local businessman sent me a sledge and a boat as a present, modelled on the sledges and small boats they use in this area. Kolia and I played with them for ages and we slid down the staircase in the boat."



There are a number of old threads on this topic:
Riding Sledge down Stairs (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,6061.0.html)
Riding His Sled Down the Stairs (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,4887.0.html)
At that same time,

Yes, but...

That same single quote from Alexei's diary does not say that the "sled on the stairs" was the cause of his medical problems.

Neither Alexei nor anyone else in the family, nor anyone even close to the family, had ever mentioned an incident on the stairs as the cause of Alexei's problems at Tobolsk.  That claim, in reality, is nothing more that one of two possible causes that had first been speculated about only by Tatiana Botkin.

The diary quotes during that same time period from both Alexei himself and from both of his parents had, in fact, attributed the start of his problems at Tobolsk to nothing more dramatic than a persistant cough that had troubled him for several weeks.

Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 07, 2007, 12:41:07 PM
Yes, but...

That same single quote from Alexei's diary does not say that the "sled on the stairs" was the cause of his medical problems.

Neither Alexei nor anyone else in the family, nor anyone even close to the family, had ever mentioned an incident on the stairs as the cause of Alexei's problems at Tobolsk.  That claim, in reality, is nothing more that one of two possible causes that had first been speculated about only by Tatiana Botkin.

The diary quotes during that same time period from both Alexei himself and from both of his parents had, in fact, attributed the start of his problems at Tobolsk to nothing more dramatic than a persistant cough that had troubled him for several weeks.

That's absolutely true. We can't know for certain what triggered the attack, but at least we know that Aleksei did in fact run his sled down the stairs, as Tatiana Botkin reported.  ;)
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Mischa on March 07, 2007, 01:20:49 PM
Sorry, but how can a haemophilic boy sledge down the stairs and not have medical problems afterwards?
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: J_Kendrick on March 07, 2007, 04:49:42 PM
Sorry, but how can a haemophilic boy sledge down the stairs and not have medical problems afterwards?

Having haemophilia does not guarantee that the patient will instantly have some sort of medical problem on every occasion that he attempts to do something physical, although many here on this board seem to be under the mistaken impression that it does.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: RealAnastasia on March 07, 2007, 10:56:59 PM
Well...I may said (since I live few steps ago from an Hospital specialized in blood diseases, specially Leukemia and Haemophilia- I'm speaking of "Fundaleu"- ) that Mr. Kendrick is right in a point: haemophiliac person not always get injured after an accident. I spoke about it with a specialist in "Fundaleu" Hospital, and he ven gave me some good booklets and a book about this particular disease. Sometimes, a little blow, will cause a really great bleeding who could bring the patient right to death, or to a ver deep crisis, at least. Sometimes, big blows or injures, causes nothing to the patient...Or the inverse. haemophilia, as Robert K. Massie would say, is a "capricious disease".

On the other hand, I think that the "sled affair" could be considered as settled. All the books speaks about it. Not only Penny Wilson and Greg King's one...All the other historians (being pro-survivors or againts-survivors theorist) accepted the fact. I do not have the book "Nicholas and Alexandra: a lifelong passion", which has an extensive compilation of the IF writings and letters, at hand, but I believe that there is a letter from Alexandra to Anna Virubova, telling her Alexei's accident in the staircase.

Of course, if it happened, it was a foolish behaviour in a 13 years old child who knows that he may get seriously injured if doing something like that. But do not forget that Alexei was already a teen - teens could be foolish time to time...and I said it for I was a teen myself!  ;D - and that he was bored...VERY bored. Some days ago, soldiers had distroyed the mountain of snow where he used to go down with his sled, and that they stealed him his little saber. He must have been with his nerves very excited, feeling himself closed in a prison and without knowing how get rid of the exces of activity which a young man NEEDS to get away. It's not so weird he did something so "foolish" like going down a staircase with his sled.

RealAnastasia.

P.S: the scene with Alexei going down the staircase must be seen in "Nicholas and Alexandra" 's movie. The things is not show exactly like it really happened, but the important is that the fact was mentioned long before Wilson and King's book. So, they didn't made up it... ;)
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: RealAnastasia on March 13, 2007, 08:05:55 PM
There is more than a year that there isn't any new message to this topic, but since we began to discuss the matter again, recently I wanted to see a little thing more about it. It's about the movie "NIcholas and Alexandra", and the sled incident.

Most of people sees it as a suicide attempt...But why wouldn't we see it otherwise? In the movie, Alexei sled down the staircase RIGHT AFTER he heard that they must leave Tobolsk in the morning. He asked to his father if there is not any hope to avoid it, and even if Nicholas answered "Nonsense", he quickly picked up that, in fact there wasn't any hope after all. They MUST leave. So, he did the stupid thing of the staircase to avoid the moving, and not in order to suicide. If he was severely ill, Bolsheviks wouldn't move the family...(of course, they moved it all the same)

Of course, we are speaking about the MOVIE and not about Alexei's real life. In real life, if the accident really took place, it happened long time before they moved to Ekaterinburg, and maybe he injured internally only for his bad coughing attack. Who knows?

However, we have two established facts: 1-Alexei DID sled down that staircase (even if we didn't know if he got hurt after doing it) 2-Alexei had an hemorrage 'cause a bad coughing attack. Maybe we will never know which of this two things caused him the last hemorrage that avoided him to walk anymore.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
Post by: rosieposie on March 15, 2007, 05:42:04 AM
That reminds me of Rasputin (the HBO production) when Alexei over heard Nicky and Alix talking about being over thrown.  Alexei walks with his cane and tells his sisters "We are all going to die" in a matter of fact tone.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: AaronGlaeser on March 16, 2007, 07:43:28 PM
The stairwell accident has been linked to the reason that two separate groups were removed from Tobolsk.  Alexei was too ill to be moved with his parents and the rest of the first group.  This is noted in countless historical accounts as being the root cause for two separate groups being transferred.

If anyone has any sources or insight as to another reason that Alexei was too ill to be moved with the first group, then I for one would find this very interesting.

Aaron

Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 16, 2007, 09:59:21 PM
The stairwell accident has been linked to the reason that two separate groups were removed from Tobolsk.  Alexei was too ill to be moved with his parents and the rest of the first group.  This is noted in countless historical accounts as being the root cause for two separate groups being transferred.

If anyone has any sources or insight as to another reason that Alexei was too ill to be moved with the first group, then I for one would find this very interesting.

There is no question that Aleksei was ill with a bout of hemophilia in April of 1918, and that his illness prevented the family from being transported together to Yekaterinburg. As has been discussed here and on similar threads, it's impossible to know for sure whether that hemophilia attack was brought on by Aleksei's sledding down the steps, or by a chronic cough which worsened that same night.

Further, sledding on the steps was *not* an accident; it was a deliberate playtime activity.


Sorry, but how can a haemophilic boy sledge down the stairs and not have medical problems afterwards?
It was surely a bumpy ride down the steps, but unless he actually crashed into something, it's entirely possible for Aleksei to have suffered no injuries. As J_Kendrick pointed out, part of the trouble with hemophilia is that it's so unpredictable.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Danka on March 16, 2007, 10:42:30 PM
to the point of why he DID slide down the stairs, some of the older posts say that hemophelia can also cause something called "daredevils syndrome", most likely the cause...another biographical book about the Romanovs say that he was usually bored, since he was inside a lot of the time....
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 17, 2007, 09:09:57 AM
It's hard to know from the diary entry if Aleksei spent the afternoon sliding down the steps, or only did it once. Kolya and Aleksei certainly played with the sledge and boat somehow or another for most of the day. I believe that while his parents tried not to be too over-protective of Aleksei's physical activity, they would have intervened if they throught he was doing something truly reckless. And I can't imagine that they wouldn't have noticed the sound of a wooden sledge going down a flight of stairs. ;)
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: ChristineM on March 21, 2007, 07:53:40 AM
Robert Massie was well placed to call haemophilia a 'capricious disease' since it was his own experience with his son which stimulated an interest in researching the history of haemophilia.   The result was his biography - 'Nicholas and Alexandra' - still in print more than forty years after its publication.

Alexei was not wrapped in cotton wool.   He did have his 'Uncles' who kept their eye on him, but according to a lady I knew, Alexei, and his minders, could be inordinately cavalier.    The late Vera Mikhailovna, (she died four years ago) whose father - called Uncle Misha by the Imperial children - tended the fires in the Alexander Palace.   Her family lived in a cottage not far from the palace and she recalled how Alexei used to ride his pony bareback.   Sometimes an 'Uncle' used a leading rein, but mostly the boy rode his pony with only a bridle and reins.   

In later years when the true cause of Alexei's mysterious illness was revealed, Vera Mikhailovna recalled the potential for the boy's serious injury.   

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Natasya on March 23, 2007, 07:33:39 PM
I'm surprised his parents would let him ride bareback. It is very rough, and without sturrups it is harder to stay on the horse.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Greenowl on April 28, 2007, 02:32:48 PM
I thought that Alexei was forbidden to ride horses and bicycles on account of his condition....Robert Massie relates one incident where Nicholas sent a platoon of soldiers to "catch" Alexei after he borrowed a bike from someone in the course of a military review or parade or something.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on April 28, 2007, 03:04:46 PM
I thought that Alexei was forbidden to ride horses and bicycles on account of his condition....Robert Massie relates one incident where Nicholas sent a platoon of soldiers to "catch" Alexei after he borrowed a bike from someone in the course of a military review or parade or something.

Aleksei had a special three-wheeled bicycle he was allowed to ride without assistance. He also rode from time to time on a special seat mounted over the handlebars of Derevenko's bicycle.

As for horses, I have seen photos of Aleksei on horseback, but to my knowledge, he was never allowed to actually ride. There's a short film clip of Aleksei on a horse behind the Alexander Palace, but the horse never even walks -- it's held in place by a Cossack or one of the sailor nannies.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Greenowl on April 28, 2007, 04:37:01 PM
Thanks for the information Sarushka! It makes sense, as the risk of falling would be just too great in both cases
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on April 28, 2007, 06:22:05 PM
You're welcome.

A couple photos for you:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Aleksei/th_abroad-12.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Aleksei/abroad-12.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Aleksei/th_bike.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Aleksei/bike.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Greenowl on April 30, 2007, 03:32:30 AM
Thanks again Sarushka! I love the photos! Do you know who the child is on the other bicycle?
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on April 30, 2007, 07:42:48 AM
It could be one of Aleksei's Greek or Hessian cousins -- I'm pretty sure the photo was taken in Germany in 1910 -- but I don't know exactly who.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Greenowl on April 30, 2007, 08:26:52 AM
I'm afraid I am no expert on the Greek or Hessian relations so I can't even hazard a guess !
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: dmitri on July 05, 2007, 01:15:44 PM
I've often wondered about this myself. It is hard to imagine him deliberately injuring himself given the previous situations he went through such as Spala. Most people do not use to deliberately hurt themselves.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Natasya on July 05, 2007, 04:40:28 PM
I think, that if it was delibrate, it could possibly be to aviod going to "Moscow,"where he believed they were going.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Nemos on November 28, 2007, 03:51:23 PM
http://pushkin-history.info/fotoalbom-old-1-/6122.html

Ïðàâ ëè ÿ ÷òî ýòî ñêîðåå âñåãî öåñàðåâè÷ Àëåêñåé?
Whether rights I that it most likely cesarevitch Alexey?

(http://i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cdt.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cd.jpg.html)

À ýòî åãî ñ¸ñòðû?
And it is its sisters?

(http://i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167t.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167.jpg.html)

Ôîòî èç áèáëèîòåêè êîíãðåññà ÑØÀ.
Photo from library of the congress of the USA.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Ally Kumari on November 28, 2007, 03:54:35 PM
Amazing find!
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: amanduhh592 on November 28, 2007, 05:57:31 PM
I've never seen those before!
Really Cool!
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Alixz on November 28, 2007, 06:26:05 PM
It certainly does look like Alexei and his sisters.

We know that in Tobolsk, they were, at first allowed to go outside and even requested to walk about town.

In another thread, we have been discussing Alexei's height.  The first picture gives us a good indication of his height in relation to the man standing in front of him.  And Alexei looks to be walking quite straight and in good health.

Both the house in Tobolsk and the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg look so similar in style.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on November 28, 2007, 10:28:06 PM
WOW!  8)

I'm quite certain that is indeed Aleksei and his sisters in Tobolsk. (A portion of a side street alongside the governor's mansion was fenced in so the family could walk outdoors. The fence and small porch also match other photos from Tobolsk.) In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Tatiana is in the first photo, while Anastasia, Olga and Tatiana are the GDss in the second photo.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: mr_harrison75 on November 29, 2007, 09:16:34 PM
I think you're right, Sarushka. Both Olga and Tatyana wore the same clothes on other pictures of them in Tobolsk, especially that white scarf that Olga N. had.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: RealAnastasia on November 29, 2007, 10:32:41 PM
What a great, great finding! These Russian sites has a lot of stuff really. In the last photos, there is Olga and Tatiana together, and Anastasia could be seen alone, with her head down, searching I do not know what in her clothes... ::)

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Natasya on November 30, 2007, 04:23:10 PM
Amazing...there don't seem to be as many summer Tobolsk photos.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 08, 2008, 03:50:33 PM
There is no question that Aleksei was ill with a bout of hemophilia in April of 1918, and that his illness prevented the family from being transported together to Yekaterinburg. As has been discussed here and on similar threads, it's impossible to know for sure whether that hemophilia attack was brought on by Aleksei's sledding down the steps, or by a chronic cough which worsened that same night.

Further, sledding on the steps was *not* an accident; it was a deliberate playtime activity.


I've been comparing documents from the IF's imprisonment in Tobolsk and found and interesting bit of information regarding Aleskei's sledding on the steps and his last attack of hemophilia:

I'd always thought the sled ride and the final hemorrhage happened within 24 hours of each other. Massie and other sources certainly present the events that way. However, according to Aleksei's own diary, he received the toy sledge and boat on 25 March. He and Kolya spent that day playing with them on the steps. According to Alexandra's diary, Aleksei's hemorrhage began on the night of 29-30 March, a full four days later. In the meantime, Aleksei and Kolya practiced archery and broke up pools of ice in the yard. Alexandra attributes the hemorrhage to a bad cough, which she mentions for the first time on 30 March.

I'm no medical expert, but IMO this four-day delay between Aleksei sledding down the stairs and developing his last hemorrhage makes it less likely that the two events were directly linked. Particularly since he was active and apparently in good health between the two events.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: pandora on March 09, 2008, 01:45:11 PM
The delay in hemorrhage due to the sledding incident is very possible and of course, the chronic cough didn't help Alexei's situation. Various medical websites explain that an injury can occur and the sufferer may only feel slight stiffness but as the injury progresses, of course the hemorrhaging becomes evident.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Peterhof on March 09, 2008, 06:11:02 PM
I'm inclined to believe Alexandra's diary entry as the explanation for Alexei's hemorrage.  Kolya and Alexei spent their time outdoors in the cold playing games those days.  Coughing might very well had caused the bleeding.  There's not first hand witnesses of Alexei injuring himself by sledding the stairs.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: mr_harrison75 on March 09, 2008, 06:54:43 PM
I agree. Just think of the Spala incident. Aleksei fell on the boat, If I remember correctly, and almost immediately there was an hemorrhage. I believe you are correct, Peterhof.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Belochka on March 09, 2008, 08:43:28 PM
If you are interested this published paper "An Inheritance that no one Desired" (acclaimed by several university professors and will be used this year as a student reference by one Australian University in Victoria) provides information about the events you are discussing:

The information may be found under the heading "A Duality of Events"

See: http://www.facesofrussia.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=2

Margarita
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: pandora on March 09, 2008, 09:25:06 PM
Belochka - the website you posted was very interesting & informative. Thank you.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Alixz on March 09, 2008, 09:40:47 PM
If his hemorrhage was caused by a cough, then why were his groin and legs effected?

He never walked again.

I am no medical expert, but having read about Alexei and hemophilia even as little as I have, I think that a cough would be more likely to cause bleeding in the chest and lungs.

And I know that I have read that the cause of the bleeding might not seem too catastrophic when it happens, but that it is "progressive" and the bleeding can continue unchecked until it does become a problem.
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 09, 2008, 10:34:33 PM
If his hemorrhage was caused by a cough, then why were his groin and legs effected?

He never walked again.

I am no medical expert, but having read about Alexei and hemophilia even as little as I have, I think that a cough would be more likely to cause bleeding in the chest and lungs.

And I know that I have read that the cause of the bleeding might not seem too catastrophic when it happens, but that it is "progressive" and the bleeding can continue unchecked until it does become a problem.

If playing on the stairs initially triggered the bleeding in the groin, I could see how a bad night of coughing might exacerbate the problem...
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Peterhof on March 10, 2008, 07:51:53 PM
Perhaps nothing really happened with the boat and the stairs.  Perhaps the hemorrhage started due to Alexei and Kolya rough playing outside and his coughing.  To slide down the stairs in a boat is pretty outrageous in my view, especially for a person suffering of hemophilia.  If that had caused the hemorrhage, wouldn’t Alexandra have mentioned it in her diary?
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Katya90 on March 26, 2010, 11:59:06 PM
Sorry I'm so late at replying to this one...
At Spala, didn't Alexei initially feel fine after he slipped getting into the boat, but then later he went for a carriage ride and the jostling suddenly put him in pain? So perhaps the same sort of thing happened with the sled and the coughing.

Also, how close to his being ill was the family told that some of them would be taken out of the house? I ask because when we saw Nicholas & Alexandra in our history class, all of us were pretty disturbed by him deliberately closing the door and then riding into it. Since that scene happened at the exact time that they were getting ready to leave in the movie, our teacher told us Alexei was trying to devise a way to make the family stay in Tobolsk longer. Being bedridden would have certainly done it. Whether or not that resembles anything of the actual situation I don't know... I certainly don't think Alexei would sled into a closed door... just down a set of stairs seems less dangerous. I used to "sled" down the stairs in my house on pillows and never had any incidents of "crashing" into things. Didn't Marie Pavlovna also do this with her toddler son in Sweden, on a tray or something? Anyway, I don't think Alexei was suicidal, but could he possibly have been trying to keep his parents from leaving? At least it's a less harsh way of looking at all the movie interpretations of the scene...
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: rosieposie on March 27, 2010, 07:21:48 AM
I thought the accident happened prior to the N,A and M leaving.  The reason the whole family didn't go was because of the accident and O,T and Anastasia stayed behind to look after Alexei while he recovered.

Agree I don't think he was suicidal, he was just fooling around like most bored teenagers.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 27, 2010, 08:09:59 AM
Quote
At Spala, didn't Alexei initially feel fine after he slipped getting into the boat, but then later he went for a carriage ride and the jostling suddenly put him in pain?

Close -- at Spala, he slipped in the boat and was ill for a number of days. He seemed to have recovered when Alexandra and Anna Vyrubova took him out for the ride that triggered the crisis.


Quote
Also, how close to his being ill was the family told that some of them would be taken out of the house?

If you look a few posts down, you'll see the dates you're interested in.

Sledding: 25 March/7 April

Coughing: 30 March/12 April

NAM leave: 13/26 April

So the movie is incorrect -- Aleksei was ill for approximately two full weeks before NAM were transferred to Ekaterinburg.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on March 27, 2010, 08:21:12 AM
I believe boredom and or the  daredevil impulse people with chronic conditions often have as the reasons and it could have been both together!
But in reading this thread, it seems it was something that he did with a playmate more than once. in his diary , Alexis says they did it for "ages" .In the movie N&A,  they make it seem it was out of the blue and a direct attempt to alter events...it's an interesting question...because so often events are made up of many things and in a combination that we , over 90 years later , might not be able to see.

As for who is who in the amazing photos Nemos  posted in  Posts: 461 on page 6
I would say left to right
(http://i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cdt.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cd.jpg.html)
Tatiana, Alexis, Nicholas, guard
(http://i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167t.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167.jpg.html)

Anastasia, Olga, Marie
and I believe a case can be made this was the same day of the roof photo,where they are sitting in a line, based on the clothing
(which seem a complete match)  and just the fact that photos are being taken. I don't believe it was an every day event like before captivity .
These photos are so evocative...the crushing boredom is palpable

Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on March 27, 2010, 08:37:44 AM
But in reading this thread, it seems it was something that he did with a playmate more than once. in his diary , Alexis says they did it for "ages".

That's correct -- Aleksei and Kolya played all afternoon on the stairs.

During the following days, Aleksei played with his boat/sledge in the yard, broke up ice on the small duck pond, and practiced archery.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on March 27, 2010, 09:37:49 AM
......During the following days, Aleksei played with his boat/sledge in the yard, broke up ice on the small duck pond, and practiced archery.
Then imo, it would be impossible to say the indoor sledging caused the attack. What is interesting is Tatiana Botkin seems to be the source of the idea that the  indoor sledging = Alexis's  attack...and what we might be hearing is a concern of her father expressed about the indoor sledding , become a certainty in her memories. But lord knows 
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on March 27, 2010, 02:59:11 PM
(http://i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cdt.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i032.radikal.ru/0711/8a/f6de53f0b9cd.jpg.html)(http://i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167t.jpg) (http://radikal.ru/F/i046.radikal.ru/0711/ba/0bd00496b167.jpg.html)(http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/greenhouse2a.jpg)
 
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on March 29, 2010, 12:48:44 AM
So the above two photos is actually one cut in two..and the man next to Alexis is not the Tsar...he's off to the side a  bit
(http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/expand-jfellow1.jpg)
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on April 22, 2010, 10:57:19 PM
rereading this thread...so the story about the sledding on the stairs was from Tatiana Botkin...But it seems it  started life  in her book as simply  an example of the kind of rough games Alexis would indulge in...However it  is now seen as the cause for his last attack....Quite a leap . But as was shown in this thread, he sled  down the  the stairs " for ages"  and was fine for days afterwards...Just about rules out  the sledding was the cause. .... how legends are formed
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: nena on April 23, 2010, 08:11:09 AM
Close -- at Spala, he slipped in the boat and was ill for a number of days. He seemed to have recovered when Alexandra and Anna Vyrubova took him out for the ride that triggered the crisis.

Close - he slipped in the boat in Bialowieza in mid of September in 1912, not at Spala. Though they are both located in Poland.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on April 23, 2010, 01:59:09 PM
Close -- at Spala, he slipped in the boat and was ill for a number of days. He seemed to have recovered when Alexandra and Anna Vyrubova took him out for the ride that triggered the crisis.

Close - he slipped in the boat in Bialowieza in mid of September in 1912, not at Spala. Though they are both located in Poland.

You're absolutely right -- I'd forgotten. Thanks!
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Gorseheart on May 31, 2010, 12:53:07 AM
Well I think him and Kolia did the sliding thing on purpose for fun, and the coughing caused the haemorrhage. When doctors check guys "Down there" they have them cough. Maybe this would help. :) The IF did many dangerous things. In one of Anastasia's diary entries (on this site) she says that ALL of the children went into a dark room and fired guns at each other, and that Alexei got scared and left. I don't think that it was a sucide attempt, he seemed to think that the Hemophilia would get him first.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on June 01, 2010, 02:33:42 PM
Re: Reply # 116 of "Gorseheart":   I must say that I've never seen reference to, or read, that particular entry as you say is in the diary of the Grandduchess Anastasia N. about  "ALL the children went into a dark room and fired guns at each other...." Are these supposed to be REAL firearms?  Seems HIGHLY unlikely!  For my edification, may I ask that you give the FULL EXACT quote, date, geographical location of where this is supposed to have occurred (city, town, etc.) and the source ? Also, why your very strange comment on this incident, as  "I don't think that it was a suicide attempt....." (meaning on the part of the Heir) ?     AP.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on June 01, 2010, 07:39:20 PM
Re: Reply # 116 of "Gorseheart":   I must say that I've never seen reference to, or read, that particular entry as you say is in the diary of the Grandduchess Anastasia N. about  "ALL the children went into a dark room and fired guns at each other...." Are these supposed to be REAL firearms?  Seems HIGHLY unlikely!  For my edification, may I ask that you give the FULL EXACT quote, date, geographical location of where this is supposed to have occurred (city, town, etc.) and the source ?

Anastasia to NII:
Jan. 5, 1916, p.113
"...Nothing special is happening here. Mother is lying and we usually have breakfast and dinner nearby. But we have tea in the bedroom. We all have pistols now and we like to shoot very much. In the evenings after dinner we go to play in the Corner room where Olga, Maria, Alexey and I hide from each other and then shoot at each other in the darkness, but Alexey is sometimes scared and does not enter the room..."

(quoted from the main APTM site)

Apparently Alexandra also complained to the tsar about the children's noisy gun play in one of her wartime letters. I'll see if I can find it for a direct quote.


Quote
Also, why your very strange comment on this incident, as  "I don't think that it was a suicide attempt....." (meaning on the part of the Heir) ?     AP.

This incident has been portrayed in at least one feature film (Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna) as a suicide attempt on Aleksei's part.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on June 01, 2010, 07:49:08 PM
Alexandra to Nicholas, 4 Jan 1916:

"The Children are eating & fire away with their rotten pistols."

(Complete Wartime Correspondence, pg 345)
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on June 01, 2010, 08:07:08 PM
This is unbelievable! You mean live ammo??  This takes OTMA rough housing to a  new level! lol! Why would it be seen as Alexis trying to commit suicide, when he left! Also,  Olga is famous for having a gun, but it seems she and the small pair were familiar with firearms! I can't believe their parents would allow  live ammo...perhaps the"  rotten pistols " shot potato pellets??
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on June 01, 2010, 08:35:48 PM
This is unbelievable! You mean live ammo?? 

No probably just toy guns. It was right after Christmas, remember.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on June 01, 2010, 08:54:53 PM
Thank you, "Sarushka," for the speedy references. ( It is interesting to note that "Grouseheart" has not replied to my queries. )  I quite agree with "blessOTMA", being a shooter myself, that at the very, very MOST, the "ammo" was not live, and it is totally realistic to believe that the "weapons" were "play-noise" items.  It is certainly seriously beyond normal rationale/belief that anything beyond this would be allowed by responsible adults/parents, especially with the fragile condition of the Heir, and the inherent future of the other Imperial children. Thus I can NOT in all seriousness, believe that it is anything more than "play" with non-lethal replicas.  I think that "rotten" is used in the English way to denote "disgusting," etc.  Relating to weapons handling/utilization of pistols/shoulder arms:  Even in posed pictures, the Heir is NOT shown with a sidearm (pistol), but in several cases HOLDING a rifle and posing with a (captured) machinegun on tripod at the Palace. As I have commented before (having fired many different military weapons, INCLUDING the Russian Mosin standard military rifle of WW I era), the Heir would not be able to take the recoil of a standard shoulder arm, for fear of brusing the shoulder. There apparently are NO records of ANY of the Imperial children going and actively participating (with firearms) in an organized hunt. The one actual handling of an unquestionably real pistol is the incident involving the GD Olga N.  IMO, the idea of "suicide", or a "death wish," on the part of the Heir being involved here with lethal firearms, is the stuff of which "movies/tv programs" are made ..... and unfortunately believed .... and repeated !   Regards,  AP
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Sarushka on June 01, 2010, 09:22:08 PM
( It is interesting to note that "Grouseheart" has not replied to my queries. )

Gorseheart hasn't logged in since you made your queries, so I don't think we can read anything into his silence on the matter.

At any rate, I think it's time we all returned to topic.
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on June 01, 2010, 09:25:31 PM
Thanks! With your clearly referenced input, I believe that we have pretty much "cleared" the "darkened room/gun" segue !   Regards,  AP
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Gorseheart on June 02, 2010, 08:19:40 AM
Alexandra to Nicholas, 4 Jan 1916:

"The Children are eating & fire away with their rotten pistols."

(Complete Wartime Correspondence, pg 345)

Thank you for quoting it! (Finally, someone on my side!)
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Kalafrana on June 02, 2010, 09:04:09 AM
Cap pistols perhaps? For non-UK forumeers, these tookl a roll of waxed paper with spots of gunpowder at intervals. When the pistol was fired, the hammer hit the gunpowder and produced a satisfactory bang, a bit of smoke and a gunpowder smell.

I use the past tense because such things are now thoroughly politically incorrect and I haven't seen one in years.

Ann
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: blessOTMA on June 02, 2010, 01:28:23 PM
Ann, I had a toy gun like that. The caps came in red rolls. The smoke and noise was amazingly life like. I think it very likely Alexandra called them "rotten" pistols exactly because of the noise they  made. That would cause someone resting to dislike them intensely.(  But it sounds like fun! lol! )  Live ammo would not be needed to make rushing around in a darkened room seem dangerous to Alexis. All he would have to do was bump into something for this game to have a bad end. 
Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: Gorseheart on January 16, 2012, 03:23:41 PM
I'm a she, btw Sarushka ^^;  When I was little we had those little guns too! I always thought they were real when my neighbor fired them at me..... It has a tad bit of gun powder in it. They are called cap guns: http://oranges-world.com/data_images/cap-gun.jpg

According to http://www.drtoy.org/toy_history/toy_history_timeline.html Cap guns have been around since 1886 and maybe before that, but in more of an American market, because after the Civil War, gun factories had too little demand for the guns they made, so they turned into toy manufacturing.

As quoted from: http://www.mechanicalbanks.org/scrapbook/1970s/pages/1976_cromwell.htm

"Lastly we come to the manufacture of cast iron cap pistols. The company catalog of 1859 lists "Fire Cracker Pistols". As the firm expanded in the mid-nineteenth century it produced more elaborate models. There were given names. There were also novelty pistols. In the 1890’s Stevens made a cap pistol shaped like a sea serpent with a cap-exploding jaw. Another had a monkey who, at the press of the trigger, banged a coconut down on the cap. These fine early pistols are collectors items today.

In later years Russell A. Frisbie (grandson of Russell) and Herman Lorentz designed toy pistols. A 1921 newspaper item states "Herman Lorentz of the J. & E. Stevens Co. has invented a new type cap pistol on which he has been granted a patent. The pistol differs from the ones that have been turned out by the Stevens Co., inasmuch as it is made of sheet metal and the parts are stamped out by a press. They are much neater in finish than the cast iron ones."

After 1928 the company devoted itself exclusively to the manufacture of cap pistols. For some years the factory prospered under the able direction of the late Russell A. Frisbie. At one time he stated he felt his masterpiece to be a repeating cap pistol in which the caps were fed through a slot in the hammer rather than through the fixed parts of the toy.

As late as 1940 the demand for cap pistols was so great it took six tons of metal a day to maintain the production of this single foundry, where one hundred men made them. However, with the onset of World War II the fires were cooled and the factory closed by the decision of Russell A. Frisbie, because of the government’s need for iron and labor difficulties experienced at the plant. The business was sold to Buckley Brothers, of New York, who continued to make cap pistols there until 1950."
Title: Re: Alexei's Fall at Tobolsk
Post by: Inok Nikolai on February 16, 2012, 10:15:22 PM

I've been comparing documents from the IF's imprisonment in Tobolsk and found and interesting bit of information regarding Aleskei's sledding on the steps and his last attack of hemophilia:

I'd always thought the sled ride and the final hemorrhage happened within 24 hours of each other. Massie and other sources certainly present the events that way. However, according to Aleksei's own diary, he received the toy sledge and boat on 25 March. He and Kolya spent that day playing with them on the steps. According to Alexandra's diary, Aleksei's hemorrhage began on the night of 29-30 March, a full four days later. In the meantime, Aleksei and Kolya practiced archery and broke up pools of ice in the yard. Alexandra attributes the hemorrhage to a bad cough, which she mentions for the first time on 30 March.

I'm no medical expert, but IMO this four-day delay between Aleksei sledding down the stairs and developing his last hemorrhage makes it less likely that the two events were directly linked. Particularly since he was active and apparently in good health between the two events.

An added bit of information:

In her letter to A. V. Syroboyarsky of March 30 / April 12, 1918, the Empress wrote:
"...I have been sitting with the Little One, since he is lying in bed. Lately he has been coughing severely whenever he goes for walks, and the coughing has caused him some mild internal pains — but it is nothing. All he needs to do is lie quietly in bed and then it won’t hurt and it will soon pass."

(Not sure what time of day it was when she wrote that.)

Title: Re: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk
Post by: bkohatl on December 30, 2012, 09:28:20 AM
I think that the real answer is yes it probably happened. As to why, that is the interesting question. I think that being deprived of his snow mountain to sled on may have been the last straw. He and the family were in "prison", with the passage of time that became more and more apparent, but worse, they had to know that their situation was deteriorating. Their guards, less and less friendly. Did they give up hope? Quite possibly. Alexei and Olga's actions seem, to me, to indicate that they knew what awaited them. A child of 14 is less likely to keep his guard up 24/7. The pressure must have been unbearable for all of them. Maybe Alexei, for one moment, said to Hell with it.