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Topics - M_Breheny

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In Norman Mailer's latest novel, "The Castle in the Forest," the famous author attempts to explain why Hitler became one of history's most evil men by examining Adolf's early childhood in Austria.  The story is told, I must add, by one of Satan's devils who has been sent to "oversee" the young Hitler, as well as to orchestrate other horrors in the world of the 1890s.  For fifty pages right in the middle of the novel, the author makes an abrupt shift.  The devil is "transferred" to Russia in time for Nicholas II's Coronation.  As baffling as this all sounds, Mailer has done his research.  The facts regarding Nicholas and Alexandra are accurate, right down to their letters and diary entries.  And of course, the Khodnynka Field tragedy is supposedly the work of "you know who."  Some readers will find this book one of Mailer's best, although others will, at best, think it is a strangely disappointing novel, and at worst, just plain bizarre.   Please note:  This should be considered an "R-rated" novel.

M. Breheny

The Final Chapter / Floor Plan of the Tobolsk Governor's Mansion
« on: February 20, 2007, 06:36:52 PM »
I am absolutely certain that a recent posting contained a floor plan of the Tobolsk Governor's Mansion, but, for the life of me, I cannot find the floor plan now, even after extensive searching.  (This is not to be confused with the floor plan of the Ipatiev House.)  Could someone point me in the right direction?  Thanks.

The Final Chapter / Ipatiev House Used in Soviet Films
« on: March 29, 2006, 08:09:45 PM »
I have noticed in several  television programs about the murders of the I.F. (footage taken from early soviet-era films) that the setting actually seems to be the Ipatiev House, especially the dining room and the back staircase.   Were these films made while the house was a museum or were the sets built to represent the rooms?  The first thing that caught my eye was the rather unique light fixture over the dining room table.  Does anyone know anything about this?


The Alexander Palace / House Located Near Alexander Palace
« on: February 16, 2006, 05:12:11 PM »
I was wondering if anyone who is familiar with the Alexander Palace and surrounding buildings might be able to help me identify this house.  I snapped the picture in July as we were driving away from the Alexander Palace, but I do not know anything about it. If I remember correctly, it is located across the street from the gates to the A.P.  I have ruled out it's being Anna's house, and in fact am not sure if the building is even pre-revolutionary.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.

The Alexander Palace / July 2005 Visit to the Alexander Palace
« on: August 23, 2005, 06:55:51 PM »
I am not sure if I should begin a new topic for this entry, but here goes.  During my incredible trip to Russia and the Ukraine in July, I was fortunate enough to visit the Alexander Palace, as well as the burial location of the Royal Family in the Peter and Paul Cathedral.  

In addition, while we were at one of the Kiev Cathedrals/Monestaries we noticed that, among the many ikons being revered by the many religious people there, one appeared to be particularly holy to those worshipping.  It was only then that I realized the date was July 17 and the ikon was that of the Royal Family.  The genuine devotion of the people there was so moving that I found myself in tears.  

As soon as I can figure out how to post my pictures I will do so.


Does anyone have any information on the fate of Dr. Vladimir Derevenko and his family?  We know that Dr. Derevenko was allowed to practice medicine in Ekaterinburg and to visit Alexei numerous times at the Ipatiev House (although no conversation between him and the family was allowed).  I have always wondered why Dr. Derevenko was not arrested or detained with the others.  Was it because he could be more useful as a physician, or was there another reason?    Supposedly, the last letter writter by Alexei was to Kolya Derevenko, who I assume lived with his father and family in Ekaterinburg.  From other postings, I have learned that Kolya survived, although he always refused to write about his experience with the family.  


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