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Messages - Kurt Steiner

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The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: why is Mary, Queen of Scots seen as tragic?
« on: February 17, 2007, 12:14:06 PM »
Indeed, history is written by winners. Mary gambled and lost, Elizabeth gambled and won. That's the key difference.

In the end, Mary's son succeeded Elizabeth, but the luck of the Stuarts didn't improved, methinks.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: February 17, 2007, 10:34:24 AM »
Glad to help!

I forgot to add GD Kyril Vladimirovich who, during the February Revolution, upon the abdication of the tsar,  didn't hesitate to join with his regiment of the Marine of the Guard, the most loyal and elite troops of the Alexander Palace, IIRC, to swear allegiance to the provisional government, wearing a red revolutionary band on his uniform. Perhaps it could be argued that, by then, Nicholas has already abdicated, so Kyril was not betraying him directly, but... It is also true that his regiment was pested with many desertions, so it was a question of choosing sides as fast as possible, methinks. Again teh same problem for me. Is this a betrayal or just a way to try to survive?

Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: February 17, 2007, 05:04:55 AM »

As the creator of the thread,  I asked everyone to discuss  not how they felt but  how Nicholas II felt.  In his diary he wrote he felt  he had been betrayed.

So, the  topic on this thread  is:  Who do you think betrayed Nicholas II?

Hi Bear,

A Short Answer: all of them -the people, the army, the nobility, the imperial family.

A longer one: If we are considering who betrayed the Tsar and thus who are to blame for his fall from power (Am I right on this point?), I think that, as Rob as pointed out, it was a complex situation.

Indeed, Guhkov seemed to make a plan of his own as, it has been said, “to forestall the social revolution by apppointing a new government of confidence." Indeed, too, Lvov and Alexeev, along with other several liberal politicians and generals, planned to compel Nicholas to hand over the authority to the Grand Duke Nikolai.  But the Grand Duke Nikolai didn’t want to become involved.

If you ask me, this looks as an attempt to save the ship when it is already sinking. The disaster was coming, even if they had not acted.

It has been also said that the Grand Dukes could have bought time to establish a Constitutional monarchy. They didn’t so they betrayed also the Tsar. I only see a way to do that, that is, the Constituional monarchy, and it is by removing Nicholas (and by addition Alexandra) from power, as they don’t were quite willing to admit this kind of changes. So, if the GDs wanted to establish such a model, they would had had, in the end, to get rid of the Tsar, too, IMHO.

And this takes us to the beginning. Which is the reason that makes Guhkov, Lvov and Aleexev to take such a bold step? I would say that the strikes, in the beginning of February, from workers in Petrograd helped by the soldiers who deserted their officers and joined the revolt instead, permitting it to become more conventionally armed. The wheel was already in motion, and Lvo and the rest only reacted to the situation. They saw that the system was beginning to crack, and tried to save the situation by the only way the thought it could work: getting rid of Nicholas.

Indeed, this solution can be considered as a plain and full betrayal but you are only a traitor when you are defeated. If not, you’re a patriot –see 1776-. So, I guess that the question for us to ask is: “who allowed this situation to get to this point?” But I suspect that this has been asked on another thread.

Nicholas wasn’t the man to sabe the Czarist Russia, but he tried, according to what he had learnt. I don’t think he betrayed himself, in the direct sense, as he did what he thought it was the good thing to do. He was wrong, but that doesn’t make him a traitor, but a human being. And we all make mistakes.

So, which is my point? First I don't think it was a betrayal -in the sense I understand it, but several groups of people trying to save the situation as they thought. In the end, it is a betrayal -I'm being paradoxically contradictory here, I know- because an oath of allegiance is an oath because you can break it. However, what do we do with an oath that doesn't help to save the situation but only makes everything worse? Then we break it and we become traitors -the workers, Lvov an the rest.

But, still, I don't think they were traitors. They were just desperate people. And, alàs, the Tsar found himself alone in the worst moment, when they need them -all of them- most.

My two cents.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: February 16, 2007, 06:56:21 AM »
So, as far as I have read -I have to reread it all again- it seems that we are divided between those who think that Nicholas' final downfall was caused by himself and those who think that he was betrayed -by the people, by his family, etc, there are many possibilities on this issue. Dunno why, but I think I simplyfing the situation a bit too much... Well, I think it's time for me to read a bit and try to do my bit here. If there is anything to add, of course.

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: why is Mary, Queen of Scots seen as tragic?
« on: February 16, 2007, 03:22:30 AM »

Well, I suppose that what makes Mary a tragic figure -even Shakespeare acknoledged the fact when he used Mary as inspiration for his Lady Macbeth- his downfall, since he arrives to Scotland. Is she a heroine? I don't think so, but she seems to be some kind of femme fatale, that brings death to every single man who is close to her.

Hi Kurt!

I don't think Shakespeare was thinking of Mary when he created the character of Lady Macbeth - wherever did you read that?  :o For one thing the play is an elaborate compliment to the Stuart dynasty (the descendants of Banquo). It's more likely that Will was thinking of his own nagging wife, Anne Hathaway!

Hi Bell!

In Zweig's biography of her, actually. I must confess that Macbeath is one of Shakespeare's plays that I don't like at all, so I'm not very familiar with it :(

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: why is Mary, Queen of Scots seen as tragic?
« on: February 15, 2007, 04:41:04 AM »
As for people in Scotland they might not have wanted a woman they would have come to regard as pretty much a foreigner with the passing years in Scotland. They might have liked better some sort of regent government.

Scotland's nobility would have prefered someone else as a regent, but someoneelse who wasn't very powerful, at least no so much to defy the power of the noble houses.

Iberian Royal Families / Re: TM King Felipe & Queen Letizia
« on: February 14, 2007, 04:13:43 AM »
If I remember correctly, those kings Divinely designed by Good and the Bible went out of fashion some time ago... And I don't think that the French are going to like the idea of a Spaniard ruling them. After all, they have Luis Alfonso de Borbón for that matter, and they don't care either.

And, bearing in mind that in his time it was murmured that the intervention of God in Louis XIV's come to life is reduced to Mazarino -sorry,I  can't help being a silly joker...-, well, I dunno what to say about it...

And, finally, bearing in mind what happened to Louis XIV' grandson, were I SAR prince Felipe I would be quite careful with the future. Well, he or his grandson ;D

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: why is Mary, Queen of Scots seen as tragic?
« on: February 14, 2007, 02:58:31 AM »
i believe stefan zweig named one scottish nobleman that somehow always knew when to leave the country: whenever he left, something serious happened and he always made sure he was no part of it. can't remember his name though. he lived in mary's time and stefan zweig made a comment like 'mary should have realized the seriousness of the circumstances when ? decided to leave scotland'

Indeed, it was Moray. I have Zweig's book, too.

Well, I suppose that what makes Mary a tragic figure -even Shakespeare acknoledged the fact when he used Mary as inspiration for his Lady Macbeth- his downfall, since he arrives to Scotland. Is she a heroine? I don't think so, but she seems to be some kind of femme fatale, that brings death to every single man who is close to her.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Why did Russia go to war in WW1?
« on: February 13, 2007, 06:36:29 AM »
Would WW1 ever have occurred if the ruling monarchs would have had more say in the matter? I thinks the roots of the war was popular nationalism which some monarchs had to ally with. In earlier days royalties were royals in their own right, which state they happened to rule was a secondary matter. That could change from time to time.

It is obvious that the Prussian-French war of 1870/71 would never have happened if Napoleon III and King William had been able to decide on the matter. Napoleon was forced by chauvinst politicians and William by Bismarck. WWW1 must have a similar background!

Bearing in mind how Wilhelm II was, perhaps the war would have not started in 1914, but in 1908... At least, it the issue depended just on him.

No, Anastasia died with her family. She was not Anna A. Don't believe it when people say they DNA was switched or wrong. It was right and tells the truth.

I fully agree. I find very frustrating those who deny the DNA tests. What do they need? God thundering from above?

Iberian Royal Families / Re: TM King Felipe & Queen Letizia
« on: February 12, 2007, 04:01:42 AM »
As far as it is know here, in Spain, Erika Ortiz suffered from a nervous condition and this may have caused her tragic end. Nothing much has been said, because the family wants, of course, to keep private this issue.

She was, as it has been said, 31 yo, and had a daughter.

May his soul rest in peace.

Of course nobody survived the Ipatiev massacre, that's not the point. But I find tragical those deaths and I would like that they did not happen.

Of course, sometimes I wonder why not avoiding Franz Ferdinand's fatal fate -let's no go futher back, even to Mayerling ;D- and getting rid of the Great War...

Imperial Russian History / Re: Why did Russia go to war in WW1?
« on: February 11, 2007, 12:47:51 PM »
Some general bibliography on the issue, just in case

The Origins of the First World War / Ruth Hening; London [etc.] : Routledge, 1989

The First World War / John Keegan; New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1999 (although I do not agree with his vision, but it's a good reading if you can skip some biased comments)

Forgotten victory : The First World War : myths and realities / Gary Sheffield; London : Headline, 2001 (I'm in love with that book, I can't help...)

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« on: February 11, 2007, 03:53:48 AM »
I don't think that all the blame was on her part. In the situation that she lived, many people would have made similar mistakes -or worse ones. She, of course, took some unfortunate decissions, but, within the whole affaire, there were many mistakes and disasters, and not all of them were done by Alix.

Anyway, as it has been said many times before, the seeds were there before she married Nicholas.

PD: Finally I've been able to call her Alix. ;D With all due respect from my part, of course.

Official opinion is also wary of the effects that the Romanovs arrival in Britain would have on the stability of the King’s reign. It is pointed out in a telegram to London that Nicholas’ presence in the country would be exploited by German agents in Russia, much to the detriment of Britain’s standing. If the King was already reluctant to see the Romanovs enter Britain, he is now wholly opposed, and he asks Lloyd George to withdraw the invitation. The British government is not prepared to shut the door on Nicholas just yet. Lloyd George asks Paris whether France is prepared to accept the former Tsar. The response os positive, and channels of communication between Paris and Petrograd are opened to bring the Romanovs safe transit to France. Whilst this fact birightens the prospects of Nicholas and his family, the indecision of the Soviet do so further. Whilst extremists seek his imprisonment and trial, others are haunted by the spectre of the revolution being curtailed by resurgent tsarism, and desired only that the Romanov family is exiled and the republic set in stone. On his part, Nicholas, originally unwilling to leave Russia on account of the illness of his children, is heartened by their recent recovery, and countenances a move to France with less foreboding. On 28th March, it is made an official request to France that asylum be granted, with the French government giving its assent two days later. Meanwhile, the British and French agree that there is little time, and the Admiralty notifies a submarine on patrol in the North Sea, the J6, of the need to safely extract the Romanovs from Russian territory, and orders it to journey to Romanov-on-Murman. Meanwhile, Nicholas and his family travelled to the Barents Sea port. Few people can watch  the Imperial Train travelling northwards and taking its occupants to relative safety.

By 4th April, the Romanovs are housed in strikingly unremarkable accommodation in the recently established port, waiting expectantly for the Royal Navy to arrive. At last, and to the family’s immense relief, a submarine surfaced, and Nicholas cast his eyes on J6’s White Ensign, auguring salvation. Watched by a company of loyal troops, the last of the ruling Romanovs unceremoniously board the J6, taking up their cramped rooms on board the vessel – graciously, the captain offered his cabin to Nicholas and Alexandra.

Maximum secrecy surrounds the arrival of J6 at Rosyth on 10th April. The Romanovs, wearing unassuming clothing, are quietly hustled into motor cars and driven to Waverley train station, Edinburgh. From here, a special train tooks them to King’s Cross, London, where they are secretly driven to Buckingham Palace, where the King greets them emotively. After dining together, the Romanovs are driven to Charing Cross, where they took a train to the south coast, and, from there. ferried to Calais, to be finally railed to the south of France, to take up accommodation in Nice, on the Côte d'Azur. The revelation that Nicholas have been granted asylum do not provoke any debate in France, where republican ideals are too deeply ingrained to be offended by the arrival of the former Tsar.

Well, that was the theory that my friend made up, but I would like to think that Spain was a better place for the Romanovs -at least, the weather is better ;D

And now that I've taken them safely out of Russia, please, give me some time to guess what comes next... ;)

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