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Topics - James1941

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Nicholas II / How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II if....?
« on: January 26, 2007, 02:19:51 PM »
I would like to open an sort of op-ed thread here. Keeping in mind that it is a "what-if" situation to which there are no definitive answers.
What if: there had been no revolution. Nicholas II had been forced by the Duma during the war to accept strict limitations on the monarchy. Then, the war had been ended with a treaty with Germans, which while harsh was no where near as harsh as the Brest-Litvosk treaty. Then, say after three or four years Nicholas II had suffered a fatal heart attack and died. Alexei had become emperor.
What kind of verdict would HISTORY have rendered on the reign of Nicholas II? How would he have been judged without all the baggage of the revolution and the ultimate tragedy of Ekaterinburg?

The Final Chapter / The chairs in the murder room
« on: October 13, 2006, 04:10:47 PM »
This question is about a rather esoteric matter but it got me interested in asking it. Chairs were brought into the room for Alexandra, Alexis and Nicholas to sit on. I can't recall if the number was two or three. The victims were sitting on these chairs when the execution began. Whatever happened to those chairs?
They are not shown in any of the pictures taken of the room by the White investigators. I can't find any mention of them in any of the accounts or inventories taken of the contents of the house. Surely they would have been damaged by some of the bullets flying around, and certainly bloodied. When the men assigned to clean up the room in the hours following the murder, did they take the chairs out and clean them also? Did they destroy them? Take them for souvenirs? Do any of our very knowledgable readers have any information that would shed light on this most obscure item?

Imperial Transportation / Dowager Empress Marie's train
« on: May 12, 2006, 06:33:01 PM »
When the war broke out the dowager empress was staying at Marlborough House with her sister, Queen Alexandra. After a hurried packing she and her servants took the boat to Calais where her private train was waiting. GD Xenia was supposed to meet her but wasn't there. The train travelled through Belgium and Germany, finally arriving at the Berlin on August 4th. Only the Russian ambassador was there to greet her and informed her that the direct route to Russia was closed. Armed German guards surrounded the train to prevent anyone from getting off, and the heat was stiffling. The Kaiser had even considered interning her but decided it would be unwise. Word of her presence spread, the Russian imperial eagles giving the owner of the train away. A large and unfriendly crowd gathered on the platform, rocks thrown at the eagles, ribald songs were sung, jeers and catcalls directed at the train where the window curtains were tightly drawn. Word came that her grand-daughter Princess Irina and her husband Felix Youssoupov were in Berlin at a hotel and she tried to send word to join her. The message never got through and the Youssoupovs did not make it to the train.
The mob sent rocks crashing through the windows. When a servant tried to go into the station to get food, a German official refused to let him off the train. The empress was told that a group of stranded Russians were huddled together on the platform, the object of the crowds vituperation. She ordered they be brought on the train. Finally Count Mirbach, of the German Foreign Ministry, came on board and told the empress she could return to England via Holland, go to Switzerland, or go to Denmark. She chose Denmark. Soldiers with fixed bayonets guarded the locked doors of the carriages and the train was often sidetracked to allow troop trains to pass. After a long, tedious journey her train pulled into Klampenborg Station in Copenhagen. The empress and her retinue went to stay at Hvidore. From there she eventually travelled by ferry and Swedish train to Stockholm. It was intented she go by ferry to Turku in Finland but in the event she and her party travelled by auto to Torneo, where she found the old Finnish imperial train waiting to convey her to St. Petersburg.
Do any of the readers know what ever happened to the empress' private train she left behind in Copenhagen?

Other Palaces / The Likani Palace
« on: May 08, 2006, 03:22:16 PM »
I have just been re-reading Simon Montefiore's book: Stalin, At the Court of the Red Tsar. In it are several rarely seen photos of dachas used by Stalin on his holidays.
One was the Likani Palace, which the caption indicated was the home of Grand Duke Michael. It was one of Stalin's favorite resorts.
I believe it is now in the Republic of Georgia.
I would be interested if any readers have any detailed information about this Romanov palace--- when was it built, who used it, what is it's present state and condition, etc.
Thanks. :-?

The Russian navy had a rank called General Admiral, which was equivalent, I think, to Admiral of the Fleet or Grand  Admiral.
It was abolished in 1909 (I am not quite sure of the correct date but close to this if not 1909),
Does any one know why, and the story about this rank?
Also what was the insignia for this rank?

The Final Chapter / Imperial Relics from the Ipatiev House
« on: January 29, 2005, 05:35:33 PM »
No, these are not the boxes with the skin, finger and other debris recovered from the mines.
I just finished reading a new book entitled The Romanovs and Mr. Gibbes by Frances Welch.
Charles Sidney Gibbes was the tutor of English to the tsarevich and the four grand duchesses. He accompanied the family to Tobolsk, then to Ekaterinburg. He was not allowed to go to the Ipatiev House and never saw the family after that. Eventually after a few weeks in Ekaterinburg he was ordered back to Tobolsk but only got as far as Tiumen. When the Czechs took Ekaterinburg he returned and assisted in the investigation into the family's disappeance. He was allowed to wander at will in the deserted Ipatiev House where, according to Ms. Welch, "as he walked through the echoing rooms, he picked up and pocketed a large assortment of keepsakes." Among the items Gibbes acquired were some of Alexis' bloody bandages which he treasured for the rest of his life. Also he found the last letter the tsarevich ever wrote--to Dr. Derevvenko's son, Kolya. He also managed to get the chandelier from the ceiling in the bedroom of the grand duchesses, a large number of icons, some slightly charred, from the fireplaces and dustbins, and a pair of the tsar's felt boots. He also took exercise books of Marie and Anastasia and a pencil case and bell of the tsarevich.
When Gibbes died, his adopted son George showed visitors Father Nicholas' (Gibbes had taken orders and become an priest in the Russian Orthodox Church as Father Nicholas) bedroom. Over his bed was a icon given to Gibbes by the imperial family. George told the visitors that the icon had been dull and lifeless, until three days before Gibbes death when it suddenly and
"miraculously" began to glow and shine.
The light fixture from the girl's bedroom in the Ipatiev House was installed in a chapel Father Nicholas had built and the tsar's boots were placed near the altar.
I have seen a color picture of the chandelier.
Supposedly all these relics from the house and else where were donated to the Wernher Foundation in Britain.
Has anyone any further information on them?
Are these items on exhibit today?      :-/

The tsarevich's bloody bandages were supposedly used in the DNA testing of the bodies.

I find it interesting that the Russian Federation has re-instituted some imperial Russian symbols for the new democracy. They have made the imperial eagle the new symbol of Russia, adopted the red-white-blue flag, and what I find most interesting have re-instituted some tsarist orders. Today Russians and heads of state can be awarded the Order of Saint Andrew, established on July1, l998. It looks very simular to the old tsarist order, even to the blue ribbon.
Also re-insituted is The Order of Saint George, on August 25 2000. I have not seen a picture of this new order. Has anyone any information on it? Is it like the tsarist order? The soviet government had a St. George Order but it was a new type of medal with only the old orange and black stripped ribbon of the tsarist order.

Romanov and Imperial Russia Links / God Save the Tsar and Pennsylvania
« on: October 22, 2004, 05:19:10 PM »
In surfing the web I ran across a very interesting  or the Russian Anthems Museum. Using MP3 it has all the national anthems used in Russia from the first under Alexander I sung to the tune of God Save the King to the new one under President Putin.
It also states that the tune of "God Save the Tsar" written by Alexis Lvov in 1833 is now used as the Alma Mater of the University of Pennsylvania, called "Hail,
Pennsylvania", written by Edgar M. Dilley,and also as the County Song of Lackawana County.
If you go to the site and find this entry and click on the MP3 you can hear the glee club of U. of P. sing the song.
It may be the last place on earth the tune of God Save the Tsar is still used. ;D

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Precedence of the Dowager Empress
« on: October 20, 2004, 04:50:56 PM »
When Maria Feodorovna became Dowager Empress she claimed precedence over the new Empress consort Alexandra Feodorovna as first lady of Russia. This caused much embarrasment to Alexandra.
Can anyone cite the law or edict which specifically states that dowager empresses take precedence over the consort of the reigning emperor? Was this a law, or merely a tradition that had never been used by previous dowager empresses?

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