Author Topic: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated  (Read 293982 times)

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Offline Denise

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #90 on: February 07, 2005, 09:12:20 AM »
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I often wonder if she would have been quite so determined to preserve the autocracy at all costs if Alexei had not been a haemophiliac. While, of course, she saw it as Nicky's God-given duty to uphold the traditions etc. & adhere to the promises he made at his coronation, it seems to me that, on a more human level, Alix's 'shame' that she had passed on the disease to her son, & her hours of agnoy watching him suffer, may have made her want to give him something else. She could not give him health...so she was determined to give him his 'inheritance.'  


On the same note, perhaps she felt the autocracy must be preserved for Alexei because then he MUST live to uphold it.  In other words did Alexandra think (superstitiously) that if the autocracy were gone then Alexei would not have a reason to hang on to life.  

I am phrasing this badly, but I guess I am wondering that if Alexandra felt she could keep the political system strong, by default Alexei must stay strong to fulfill his destiny as heir.

Denise

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #91 on: February 07, 2005, 09:16:51 AM »
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On the same note, perhaps she felt the autocracy must be preserved for Alexei because then he MUST live to uphold it.  In other words did Alexandra think (superstitiously) that if the autocracy were gone then Alexei would not have a reason to hang on to life.  

Denise


That's a really interesting idea. For someone as complex as Alix, too, it sounds very likely, doesn't it? (And perhaps it helped her to deny to herself the fact that his life was so precarious.)

Offline Denise

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2005, 09:32:55 AM »
That is what I though.  It would be her way of compensating for passing on the disease.  And as she and Nicky were so desperate for an heir, the political system must stay strong to justify the need for an heir.  

It is simplistic to say that Alexei's illness was the downfall of the Romanovs, but so many things happened because of it--the reclusiveness and secrecy of Nicky & Alix, the introduction of Rasputin, the rumors that Rasputin was dictating policy and advisors after Nicky went to the front.....

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #93 on: February 07, 2005, 09:38:28 AM »
Yes, I agree with you, completely, Denise.

It seems to that Alix was 'fated' almost. Even from the Khodynka field, the failure to produce an heir...then the one she did produce had hemophilia...Poor woman - anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And yes, she has to take some responsibility for what happened - but oh, what she must have gone through! (At least, unlike many princesses, she had a husband who truly loved her.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 01:53:17 AM by Alixz »

Offline Denise

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #94 on: February 07, 2005, 09:47:38 AM »
I have always thought that despite the tragedy that befell them, the Romanovs were indeed fortunate to be such a tight and loving family.  Imagine how hellish captivity would have been for them if they hadn't had that bond.  Unlike most political marriages, Nicky and Alix appeared to stay in love till the end...

And yes, her personal torment must have been great.  Didn't they call her a "casket bride" and said at the time the marriage was ill fated?  PLus Nicky was born on the feast day of St Job... They both seemed to believe that bad luck was their God given destiny.

Mgmstl

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #95 on: February 07, 2005, 12:34:09 PM »
Even sadder is the fact that they are considered some type of martyr, while that is where I totally disagree, to let their children go into captivty, and perish with them, is what angers me.  Why not try to arrange for the children to be with their Aunts or Grandmother or to Denmark.

Those children should have been given a chance to live life, instead of having it taken away.

Offline Silja

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2005, 12:50:21 PM »
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Even sadder is the fact that they are considered some type of martyr, while that is where I totally disagree, to let their children go into captivty, and perish with them, is what angers me.  Why not try to arrange for the children to be with their Aunts or Grandmother or to Denmark.

.


Well, they had certainly not expected it would come to this. Moreover, I doubt the children would have agreed to leave the country. Remember the English Royal family during WW2 and Queen Elizabeth's comment as to why they didn't send the children to Canada? General sense: "The children cannot leave without me, I cannot leave without the King, and the King will never leave of course".

Offline Denise

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #97 on: February 07, 2005, 12:52:03 PM »
From what I understand, Michael, they did not want to go.  The first time the family was separated was when Nicky & Alix took Marie and went on ahead. They truly were an unsually close family, as Olga and Tatiana were young ladies and by rights should have been married....

Offline griffh

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #98 on: February 07, 2005, 07:19:59 PM »
Denise, Michael, Bluetoria, and Silja what tender concerns and what a great discussion you are sharing with each other.  

Michael I know what you mean about the tragedy of Alexandra's daughter's lives being sacrificed.  Like Denice says, I believe they were devoted to each other and their parents.  I think the girls were so used to nursing not only their little brother but even their mother before the war and then serving as nurses in their Mother's hospitals must have created for lives of service that translated into captivity.

The other thing that is so hard to remember is how young the entire family was.  When she was arrested Alexandra looked as though she could have been almost 60 but she was only 42.  

I thought I might tell a little story that was related to me about how closely united the girls were.  Years ago I would go to the NYC public library and look through the picture file on the Romanoff family.  In those days there were many clippings of pictures from magazines, newpapers and books, but there were also real photographs that had often been printed as post cards.  Among them was a postcard with a picture of the Grand Duchess George and her two daughters, Nina and Xenia.  

I knew that that Nina had married Prince Paul Chavchavadaze and that she was living on the Cape in South Wellfleet, MA., and everytime I looked at the picture of her and her sister and mother I felt it was only right that she should have it.  So one terribly exciting Saturday when no one was looking I put the photograph in my sweater and walked out of the Library.  

I was sure that someone was going to search me but they didn't.  When I got home I wrote Nina a letter and enclosed the photo.  I explained that I had come across this photo of her and her mother and sister and wanted to send it to her as I felt that it rightly belonged to her.  I am not sure I told her exactly how I had happened to come across the photo and I really never expected to hear from her, but within a week I recieved the most charming letter all written on the loveliest blue stationary telling me how grateful she was for the photograph.  It seems that no one had managed during the Revolution to save any pictures of her mother taken in their palace in St. Petersburg and that this this photo of herself and her mother and sister was taken in their favorite drawing room sitting in their favorite chairs in their palace in St. Petersburg.  She explained that her mother was wearing black because she was in mourning for the King of Greece who had just been assassinated.  Nina explained that her mother was Greek by birth.

Nina wanted to know where on earth I had gotten the photo and said that she would be forever grateful for it.  Again I am not really sure if I told her that I stole it, but the upshot of this rather long story is that she and I began corresponding and I had millions of questions and because I wanted only to know about the details of family life without any reference to politics or the Revolution, Nina answered all my questions.

She said that her mother and father were very "non political" and therefore had remained friends of Nicky and Alix.  And that when Olga came of age GD George and family were invited to the informal dinner dances that were held for Olga and Tatiana at Livadia just before the War broke out.  Nina described the dances as the most delightful, light hearted, enjoyable occassions imaginable, held in the beautiful almost brand new palace italianate palace, and that the french doors were left open to the rose garden so that the scent of the roses mingled with the dance music which mingled with the pretty pastel gowns and that is was all just incredibly enjoyable and that Alix was as light hearted as her daughters.  

Nina said that Olga and Tatiana were so close that they decieded to come out together, even though Tatiana was not offically the right age, being a year younger.  However Alexandra agreed and let her two older daughters come out in society together and that these informal parties were held for both of them.  

I think that the Empress Dowager gave Olga and Tatiana a very large coming out party in St. Petersburg and I believe it was at that party that teenage Marie, who was struggling then with being over weight slipped and fell down while dancing, but I am not sure.  

I felt the closeness and family loyalty of the girls from Nina's delightful memories of their coming out parties and I thought I might take this opportunity to share it.  




Offline Denise

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #99 on: February 07, 2005, 07:32:37 PM »
What an absolutely beautiful story.  Thanks for sharing.  It is so nice to hear personal stories untouched by politics.

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #100 on: February 08, 2005, 09:24:11 AM »
Oh wow, Griffh! That's lovely!  :) :)
(The only removeable things I ever find in library books are other people's supermarket receipts!)

Offline chintz22

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #101 on: February 08, 2005, 03:48:44 PM »
Hi All,

What a great story!  I loved those old photo and clipping files--do libraries still have them?  I used to haunt the one at the Minneapolis Public Library.  I wonder if it would be possible for you to write an article for the AP website about your correspondence--I'm sure we would all love more details!

Best,

Sarah

Mgmstl

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #102 on: February 10, 2005, 01:44:50 AM »
Yes Griffh thanks so much sharing that wonderful story. Isn't it amazing what a simple gesture of a personal photograph can do in opening up an entire new world for you.

Mgmstl

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #103 on: February 10, 2005, 01:49:31 AM »
Weren't Nina & Xenia and their mother out of Russia during the war, it was too late for them to get to Russia. I can't remember the story, but didn't that twist of fate probably save their lives.  I wonder if they got out of Russia with any of their jewelry?  Just curious.

Offline griffh

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #104 on: February 11, 2005, 09:24:19 PM »
Thank you for the kind remarks about my story.  The sad thing is that I lent my letter archive, photo archive and several rare books to a publisher in NYC who had published Russian memoires for three decades.  

I thought that they could be trusted.  The son of the publisher had known Felix Yusupov, or rather, had met the Prince on the Rivera where they had become aquainted and I suppose that fact rather turned my impressionable young head.  Somehow I imagined that in dealing with the publishers that I was dealing with gentlemen, even if they were gentlemen of the world.  

At the time they were caught up in an unreasonalbe frenzy trying to prove that Eugenia Smith was the real Anastasia.  I had actually taken the intitative to call on them and prove to them that the had erred.  At my second meeting with them I said that I could disprove Eugenia Smith's claims because of my photo archive of the Romanoffs which was quite extensive by then as I was in the midst of making a photo geneology chart of the family back to Alexander II.  Now with DNA and all that has transpired in connection with Anastasia claimants my efforts seem laughable, sort of like paste and glue takes on microbiology.  

Well be that as it may, the publishers asked me to bring my archive and then never returned anything and no matter how hard I tried I could not get anything returned.  I suppose they justified their action at the time because they believed they were on a holy crusade.  

The sad thing was that when they refused to return my letter archive as well, l lost my correspondence with Nina.  I also lost, among the books they refuse to return, the memoirs of Countess Brassov's daughter, Natalia, entitled "Imperial Stepdaughter."  

Years after the publishers humiliated themselves when the Eugenia Smith hoax fell apart, suddenly one of the photos from "Imperial Stepdaughter" which clearly showed Nicky's sister Olga snuggling up to her husband's Aide de Camp on a hill side long before she was supposed to have started her affair with Col. Kulikovsky was published stating that the photo proved that Olga had not told the truth in her memoir.  

Perhaps it was just a coincidence but I had pointed out that picture in Imperial Stepdaughter specifically to the publisher and had made the very same remark.  Again, it is probably just a coincidence and anyway it is so good to forgive and forget and keep moving forward.  

All my books except Imperial Stepdaughter have reappeared from the most unexpected sources.  And besides I think it is wonderful that I have had these experiences and can now share them.  

Besides all I have to do is close my eyes to see Nina's  beautiful blue stationary and re-read that lovely description of Olga and Tatiana and the music and rose garden.  That is something the publishers will never be a able to rob me of.

And yes the Grand Duchess George and her two daughters spent the war in London and were spared the hardships of the Revolution.  Countess von Stokel (I might have mispelled her name) was one of the Grand Duchess' ladies and writes a delightful memoir that shares many details of the Grand Duchess George in her book, "All Is Not Vanity." (Again I might have the title a bit off)