Author Topic: Alexei and Hemophilia  (Read 190890 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #210 on: April 06, 2006, 11:45:15 AM »
That is one of the more interesting what ifs of history, although unlike most ifs, I don't know really have an answer as to what could have been if they hadn't kept it a secret. The things you raise are though provoking, however, and it is possible things might have gone better if they had been open about it. I think perhaps one reason that they didn't was that they didn't want to make the future tsar out to be anything less than the sacred figure of the autocracy, so he coudn't have anything that would taint him. Perhaps they also feared that it would be a discredit to the Romanov Dynasty if it was known, and perhaps people who were not informed about the matter would think that it was even worse than it was, that is hemophilia. It is possible that Alexandra coudn't have dealt with this, especially as it would have been she that was most likely blamed. If it had not been the heir, but rather a second, third, son would they have been more open perhaps?

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 814
  • Another Anastasia claimant; the ears match exactly
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #211 on: April 06, 2006, 12:18:01 PM »
Mmm, that's a really interesting point, Imperial Angel. :)

The Tsar was God's representative on Earth, so admitting that his heir, also preumably ordained by God, had a life threatening illness, would slightly undermine the premise of the Tsar being this perfect, indestructible, totally dependable being.  I would imagine that Nicholas was afraid of having his perfect image tainted by this.  Also, Alexei having haemophilia would suggest a future of weakness and instability if he became Tsar, which would be something Nicholas would not want to project out of choice.

The decision to inform the public was made at a highly stressful time, and I wonder if the public would ever have been told if Alexei hadn't come so close to death at Spala.

I think that if Alexei had been a younger son then the worry would not have been as great for Alexandra, as obviously even though she was worried for her son's health, she was even more worried about Russia being left without a heir and the throne passing away from her and Nicholas' children.  I still don't think it would have been made public out of choice, for the reasons I mentioned before, but I don't believe that Alexandra would have become so religiously fanatical if Alexei had not have been her only son, and I don't think Rasputin would have been welcomed to court in that scenario.  

It is interesting to note though that Alexei was often seen in public being carried by Nagorny far beyond the age when being carried was acceptable.  I am surprised that the public did not become concerned or suspicious about this, and if they did, or if anything was said, what Nicholas and Alexandra offered as an excuse?


Rachel
xx
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline Georgiy

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2023
  • Slava v vyshnikh Bogu
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #212 on: April 06, 2006, 10:37:24 PM »
I don't think the tsar was God's "representative" on Earth. The Tsar was chosen by God, but in Orthodox thought, God is everywhere present and fillest all things. He doesn't need a representative. The Tsar was annointed ruler, in a ceremony that dates back to the (Christian) Roman Empire. Thus, the Tsar is (was) answerable to God for his rule over Russia as God entrusted that land to him. The idea of God having a Representative is, it seems to me, more a Roman Catholic form of thought, and resulted in the Pope being a 'Vicar' of Christ, one of the many differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

Offline Georgiy

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2023
  • Slava v vyshnikh Bogu
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #213 on: April 06, 2006, 10:37:33 PM »
I don't think the tsar was God's "representative" on Earth. The Tsar was chosen by God, but in Orthodox thought, God is everywhere present and fillest all things. He doesn't need a representative. The Tsar was annointed ruler, in a ceremony that dates back to the (Christian) Roman Empire. Thus, the Tsar is (was) answerable to God for his rule over Russia as God entrusted that land to him. The idea of God having a Representative is, it seems to me, more a Roman Catholic form of thought, and resulted in the Pope being a 'Vicar' of Christ, one of the many differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 814
  • Another Anastasia claimant; the ears match exactly
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #214 on: April 07, 2006, 03:41:36 AM »
Oh thanks for setting me straight, Georgiy.  I had the 'Divine Right of Kings' idea in my head but obviously it was not the exact same situation in Russia.

Rachel
xx
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #215 on: April 07, 2006, 08:44:29 AM »
What you posted, Rachel, in the first few paragraphs of your post answering me, is exactly what I was try to get out. I would wonder if Nicholas and Alexandra saw it this way, at least in part, or if there were other motivations. Alexandra was always a very private person, who liked to keep herself out of the public eye, and she never really felt at home in the Russian court. So she would not want such people having knowledge of her son's condition, and perhaps passing judgement on her for it, this could be one reason why it was kept secret for so long. I don't think they would ever have made it public had it not been for Spala,which required an explanation. If no explanation had been needed, then I doubt any would have been offered. It is natural and understandable to want to keep private family tragedies, such as Alexei's hemophilia was regarded. It is perhaps even more natural when you are Alexandra, in Russia, and your child is the only heir to the throne of your blood.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 814
  • Another Anastasia claimant; the ears match exactly
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #216 on: April 07, 2006, 08:52:19 AM »
I'm glad I understood what you were saying, Grace. (I found out your name from another thread- hope you don't mind!)

I also think what you brought up about Alexandra being a very private person is an excellent point.  She liked to keep her children to herself and shelter them away from the court life at St Petersburg, plus she was only really herself with people she knew well.  Sharing her personal tragedy with the public would have been abhorrent to her knowing how private she liked to keep her family life.  Plus, sharing secrets about her children, who she tried so hard to keep to herself, would have been something Alexandra would have done everything in her power to avoid, I would imagine.

It must have been a terrible quandary to be placed in. Tell the public and you either get sympathy or hatred, and you can't predict which.  You either tell them and have some of your problems solved, or tell them and get even more problems.  I'm not surprised they chose not to tell until it became absolutely necessary; it wasn't worth the risk of Alexandra's vilification.

Rachel
xx

'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #217 on: April 07, 2006, 10:21:38 AM »
It certainly was understandable that they didn't tell until they had to. If they hadn't had to offer an explanation, they most likely would have chosen not to say anything as they were so many worries about telling, all of which are true.  They didn't know the reaction, if it would weaken the public image of the Romanov Dynasty particularly in Russia, or if it would result in Alexandra being regarded more coldly than she was, and she was perhaps regarded as coldly enough. They wanted to do the best for themselves, the dynasty, and Alexei, and they didn't know the reaction. Perhaps whatever they did, they were damned, because it was a fact they coudn't escape-Alexei's hemophilia, or as it was known bleeding disease. I believe they tried to keep secret from all but close family members as well, even Pierre Gilliard wasn't aware at first, I believe.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by romanov_fan »

Offline Natasya

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • I like Russia, history, and Russian history.
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #218 on: April 07, 2006, 07:38:43 PM »
Pierre Gillard knew something was obviously wrong, but didn't know exactly until Spala.
A proof is a proof and when you have a good proof it's because it's prooven.
-Jean Chretien

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #219 on: April 09, 2006, 08:20:05 PM »
Yes, that's when it became not so secret knowledge about what exactly his illness was. Most people closely around them had some inkling that he had some illness before that, but weren't exactly sure what.

Offline kaleema

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Harley Quinn
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #220 on: April 18, 2006, 11:42:37 AM »
Let's get some of this straightened out.


DNA was not dicovered until after the 1930's. Nor were the tests. Back when the Imperial family was still alive, they would summerize all the similar diseases as the same even if there were some differences.

To this I ask, have you ever seen the show "House"? They would write down the symptoms, and go through countless numbers of diagnoses. This is only different in the fact that some diseases had not been understood and thus were thought to be something different.


You must also remember that the memoirs that are constantly analyzed were meant to be PRIVATE. They were never meant to be read by members of the public. How many mothers do you think will exaggerate things that have happened to their offspring?

I ask now, how many of you have a background knowledge in genetics? Factor VIII is a clotting factor not the platelet. The clotting factor is most likely a hormone of sorts; a combination of bonds between carbon and other atoms to make a compound. Do you know the likelihood of two rare blood diseases being in the same family? The royal family is a geneticist's worst nightmare and also their best example at the same time. It is primarily studied because the gene pool had been isolated for several generations. It is the best example for why marrying into one's own family is not a good thing.


Alexei was a young boy. Bruising happens not spontaneously with them. They are normally the cause of them.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 814
  • Another Anastasia claimant; the ears match exactly
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #221 on: April 18, 2006, 12:57:44 PM »
Kaleema, I don't understand what point you are trying to make.

We know Alexei had haemophilia.  There's no real question about it.  Are you agreeing with that, or questioning it? I could quite make out what you were trying to say in your post.

Rachel
xx
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #222 on: April 18, 2006, 05:03:48 PM »
I am with RaRa. Kaleema you post makes little to no sense. You post from British columbia Canada, but is English not your first language maybe?

I have spoken to some of the finest haemotologists in California and asked them about the subject. Alexei had classic haemophilia in their opinion. We know that the female carriers descended from Victoria passed it along, nobody questions that.

Only the claims of one non-scientist supporting the Tamnet claim even refute it, yet elsewhere in the Forum you can read the scientific proof also dispel even these claims.  

Go read the 1912 New york times article for yourself, they got it right.
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/img/alexeinyt.jpg

Of course if you have some specific scientific evidence, please do share it.


Offline kaleema

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Harley Quinn
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #223 on: April 19, 2006, 01:12:37 PM »
Back when that article was written, in most cases, any blood disease was generalized as haemophilia. This included to what happened at Spala. One must remember that medical pracitices and the diagnosis of diseases that were not fully understood back then have now been looked at "under a microscope".

To be honest, I never read the New York Times. For news stories, I might believe it. However, for articles that are 96 years old, I wouldn't take with a grain of salt.


In school (post-secondary), we are taught that if we are looking for any reference for a paper, we are to look for an article that has been peer-reviewed. Also, it is also highly recommended that we look for the most recent publication date. In this regard, that article is not valid in my eyes.

With new pieces of information, we are able to correct what has been handed down in history. This includes everything from Egypt to Medicine. For example, Hysteria was thought to only occur in women, and were cured by hystrectomy. We know now that this was not the case.

Then again, at that time, the men were doctors, and any sickness was blamed on the women. How is this different?

Society has come a long way, but for some reason, people like to hold on to things that they think was true then and still do. They are not willing to change. Yet, change will occur, no matter what.


I never did believe that he had haemophilia, but I do know that it was a blood diesease of some sort. I'm not like other people. I think for myself, not by what others think. By this, I'm trying to set examples, not only to my peers, but also to my elders, who are currently set in stone in their thinking.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 814
  • Another Anastasia claimant; the ears match exactly
    • View Profile
Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« Reply #224 on: April 19, 2006, 01:51:57 PM »
Well, Kaleema, it's all very well questioning beliefs held almost a century ago and going back over them from a modern point of view, but there really is NO evidence to suggest that Alexei did not have haemophilia.

Haemophilia was KNOWN to be in the Royal family.  Queen Victoria passed it on to her son Leopold, and two of her daughters, Princess Alice and Princess Beatrice, were carriers, as they passed it on to their children.

Princess Alice was the mother of Empress Alexandra.  Alexandra's brother Frittie had haemophilia and died of it at the age of 3.  Alexandra then went on to have her own haemophiliac son, as she inherited the carrier gene from her mother.

It would be coincidental to the point of being unbelievable for a son of Alexandra to have had a bleeding disease and it not be haemophilia, when haemophilia was so obviously evident in the family and it had a direct maternal source.  Are you trying to say that NO members of the Royal family actually had haemophilia at all? Because to say Alexei didn't have haemophilia but to admit that haemophilia was evident in Alexandra's family is really a bit silly.  It would be virtually impossible for ALL of the diagnoses of haemophilia in the Royal family to be wrong and for Alexei to have suffered from a bleeding disease that wasn't haemophilia.  

Yes, I agree, a lot of medical knowledge was primitive at the time and it has advanced a lot today.  However, Alexei fits every criteria of haemophilia and it has only ever been suggested by conspiracy theorists trying to 'prove' that Alexei could have survived, that he did not suffer from haemophilia.  It is rather generalised to say that 'all' medical professionals at the time 'lumped together' different kinds of diseases; I don't think they were that ignorant as to call all bleeding diseases haemophilia.  That's not a very water tight theory.

Please don't come on here trying to say that Alexei didn't have haemophilia and that everyone is wrong without some evidence to back up your claim.  I'll be all ears if you can say that you have a research paper from a medical professional with some information that suggests Alexei's disease was not haemophilia, but I suspect you do not.  None of us on here are stupid and blindly follow what we read in books, which seems to be what you're implying.  A little bit of logical thinking will get you to the consensus that Alexei had haemophilia regardless of what you read.

Rachel
xx
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel