Author Topic: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall  (Read 168639 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Eddie_uk

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2925
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #465 on: February 05, 2007, 10:38:43 AM »
Rich, I can't recall my source - George V is indeed blamed by many! But I think I read it in "The Lost Fortune of the Tsars" and the Duke of Windsor reportedly said that to an author. :)

I think you raise an interesting question, which is easy to speculate with hindsight but what should Nicholas & Alexandra have done differently to save themselves?? Apart from got the hell out of Russia! It's a pity they couldn't have joined the other Romanovs in the Crimea.
Grief is the price we pay for love.

FREE PALESTINE.

Robert_Hall

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #466 on: February 05, 2007, 11:10:58 AM »
Eddieboy, I think Rich is correct. The king was originally for the offer made by his government, then withdrew with the advice of his secretary & advisors responding to percieved public opinion. The latest source I have is King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay [2006]. But it seems to be the consensus from most other books on the subject I have read as well.

Offline Eddie_uk

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2925
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #467 on: February 05, 2007, 11:32:28 AM »
Thank you Robert! I stand corrected but didn't George wrote in his diary cursing his ministers for there withdrawal asylum?
Grief is the price we pay for love.

FREE PALESTINE.

Robert_Hall

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #468 on: February 05, 2007, 12:12:21 PM »
Eddieboy
 I was not trying to correct you, just offer my insight from what I have read.  I think GDElla has a different opinion about this as well ! So who knows whom is correct really? As for GeorgeV, I take the Kenneth Rose bio  as the best. He is not kind in the assessment of the King's behaviour in this- especially regarding Alexandra [the Russian one, not his mother!]. Imo, GV was self-serving, he wanted the monarchy to survive so expediency was the rule. I think Alexandra [the Russian] was counting on a bond that was not there, in the end.
 What this might have done to colour her thoughts in Tobolsk is unknown to me.  Could she STILL have thought thier English relatives were to come to thier rescue?

Offline Eddie_uk

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2925
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #469 on: February 05, 2007, 12:17:38 PM »
Sorry Robert, that was my bad grammer! I ment I stand corrected on the accuracy of my second comment as I don't have any of my sources with me. Went i'm home next will get the Rose biopgraphy out. When did the IF give up the idea of going to Livadia?
Grief is the price we pay for love.

FREE PALESTINE.

Offline RichC

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 757
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #470 on: February 05, 2007, 01:26:43 PM »
Eddieboy
 I was not trying to correct you, just offer my insight from what I have read.  I think GDElla has a different opinion about this as well ! So who knows whom is correct really? As for GeorgeV, I take the Kenneth Rose bio  as the best. He is not kind in the assessment of the King's behaviour in this- especially regarding Alexandra [the Russian one, not his mother!]. Imo, GV was self-serving, he wanted the monarchy to survive so expediency was the rule. I think Alexandra [the Russian] was counting on a bond that was not there, in the end.
 What this might have done to colour her thoughts in Tobolsk is unknown to me.  Could she STILL have thought thier English relatives were to come to thier rescue?

I always had the impression that George V did not really like Alexandra.  This is based on his diary entry at the time of the March (February) revolution where he wrote, (I'm paraphrasing), "Bad news from Russia.  The country has broken out in revolution and Nicky has abdicated.  It's all Alicky's fault."  I think that's the gist of the diary entry. 

Of course he said some nice things about them after they all got shot.  Perhaps he did not realize the danger, or was misled.  Totally an aside, but it's amazing how much smarter Queen Victoria was than all of these other people.  Perhaps she was just better advised, but even in 1894 her blood was "running cold" at the thought of her grandchildren living in Russia, sitting on that "unstable throne".

What must Alexandra have thought about her grandmother's warning, sitting in Tobolsk, or Ekaterinburg.

Offline Eddie_uk

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2925
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #471 on: February 05, 2007, 01:51:35 PM »
I really don't think George V knew how serious a situation the IF were in.  Had he known I think he would have sent a battle ship or do whatever in order to get them out. It's common knowledge that George was very fond of cousin Nicky.

Yes, Queen Victoria was one shrewd lady! Writing that "nothing good" would come out of the union of Nicky and Alix neither did she like Ella's match . She didn't like Russia as a whole thinking it unstable. How right she was!

I wonder if, in those dark days of Ekaterinburg, Alixs mind went back to happy Victorian days spent at beautiful Windsor Castle and Osbourne House with her beloved grandmother, maybe she even reminisced with her daughters. Tragic.  :'(
Grief is the price we pay for love.

FREE PALESTINE.

James1941

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #472 on: February 05, 2007, 03:50:42 PM »
Before we beat up on old George V, perhaps we need to review the facts. In the days immediately following Nicholas' abdication, the British government sent a message to the Britsh general representing it at Stavka (his name escapes me at this moment) telling him to offer Nicholas asylum. Unfortunately, Nicholas had left for Tsarskoye Selo before the offer could be tendered. The general sent the message on to Sir George Buchanan, British ambassador in Petrograd. The ambassador showed the message to Milyutin, in the Provisional Government, and offered to faciliate the family's movement to the seaport of Romanov on the White Sea. Milyutin urged Buchanan to keep the message quiet, "for the time being" as the government was having problems with the Soviet. Buchanan, who was under orders from the British government to cooperate with the Provisional government, reluctantly did so. He would be blamed for not doing enough to help the Romanovs but he had to balance a genuine concern for them with his duties as the British represenatative. So, the British at first were very willing to help the family get out. Later, the offer of direct asylum was withdrawn. It was only meant that the family would not be welcome in Britain, not that the British wouldn't help in moving them to a place of safety.
Even if George V had moved heaven and earth, even sent a whole fleet of battleships, it would have done no good. The Soviet had determined that Nicholas and Alexandra and the other Romanovs would be prisoners, and they were not about to let them go free without a fight. And once the Romanovs were in Siberia in the clutches of the Ural Soviet, there was nothing Britain could do. The only country that had any leverage with the Bolsheviks was Germany. And the evidence seems to indicate that Germany was trying hard to rescue the Romanovs. Events moved faster and when the Czechs revolted and the Whites began the Civil War it was too late.
George got a battleship, and other ships sent to the Black Sea in 1919 to rescue his aunt Marie and his other cousins. But they refused the offer at first. Only when the British admiral in charge persuaded the dowager empress that the danger was real and agreed to take as many refugees as they could would the Romanovs consent to be rescued.
Blaming George V for the tragedy is unfair. It has become a myth that refuses to die despite evidence to refute it. Just like the one that he and Queen Mary cheated the grand duchesses out of a fair share of their mother's jewels.

Offline RichC

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 757
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #473 on: February 05, 2007, 04:09:08 PM »
So, the British at first were very willing to help the family get out. Later, the offer of direct asylum was withdrawn.

If the King wasn't involved, who, among the British withdrew the offer for asylum and why?

Blaming George V for the tragedy is unfair. It has become a myth that refuses to die despite evidence to refute it. Just like the one that he and Queen Mary cheated the grand duchesses out of a fair share of their mother's jewels.

I thought this was pretty well established, particularly the role of Lord Stamfordham.

But I don't blame George V for the same reason I don't blame Alexandra for the deaths of her own children; he didn't shoot them, the Bolsheviks did.  He simply took away one of their options (the most attractive one) at the beginning of their captivity. 

Robert_Hall

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #474 on: February 05, 2007, 04:18:24 PM »
Back to Eddieboy's question- I would think Alexandra finally realised there was no help from England when they were ordered to leave Tobolsk.

James1941

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #475 on: February 05, 2007, 05:08:59 PM »
King George V was involved, very much so. The offer was withdrawn for "allowing the Romanovs to come to Britain" by Lloyd George's government. As a result for the longest he got the blame. The Duke of Windsor fulminated against Lloyd George for not rescuing the Romanovs. But it did so after discussion with the palace. I don't think Lloyd George cared one way or the other about the Romanovs. But, I say again, the offer applied only to allowing the Romanovs to come live in Britain. The British were not, per se, adamant against helping the family get out.
The king took advice, then made his decision. To allow the Romanovs to come live in Britain would be a risky thing, particularly the German-born Alexandra, since anti-German feeling was rampant. Please don't bring up that she was Queen Victoria's grandchild. So was the Kaiser, but no one would have welcomed him if he had been in trouble. The situation at the moment was politically sensitive, and George based his decision on what he thought was best for his own position and his dynasty's. His government agreed with him, OR they would have ignored the king's request. One might argue it was a failure of his moral rectitude, or even cowardice, or simply doing his duty as a sovereign. Those are individual calls.
Besides all this about George V being responsible for the Romanovs not being rescued is to ignore the fact that even if the British had maintained the offer it would have made no difference. It is just possible that the Provisional Government could have brokered a deal to get the children out, but the Soviet would never have allowed Nicholas or Alexandra to leave. The family might have escaped to a safer place in the first week when things were in a fluid and muddled state, but after that they were closely watched prisoners.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 05:20:58 PM by James1941 »

Offline RichC

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 757
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #476 on: February 06, 2007, 12:10:45 AM »
To allow the Romanovs to come live in Britain would be a risky thing, particularly the German-born Alexandra, since anti-German feeling was rampant. Please don't bring up that she was Queen Victoria's grandchild. So was the Kaiser, but no one would have welcomed him if he had been in trouble.

I spent some time this evening reading about this matter in Steinberg and Khrustalev.  The withdrawal of asylum was definitely instigated by Lord Stamfordham, on behalf of the King, and the government quickly agreed.  But public feeling in Britain was not against the Romanov's coming because Alexandra was German-born.  Public feeling ran high against both Nicholas and Alexandra because they were viewed as despots who repressed their own people.  The revolution (at this time) was seen in Britain (and in the United States) as the Russian people rising up and tearing down the shakles of tyranny.

Elisabeth

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #477 on: February 06, 2007, 12:33:55 PM »
Sorry Elisabeth, but I have to disagree completely here.  The responsibility for the family's safety lay with the Provisional Governement (and later, the Bolsheviks), not Alexandra.  She may have "worn the trousers all unseen" in Nicholas's place, but so what?  She still had no authority, or say, in what ultimately happened to her or her family.  Or are you saying that decisions she made after the abdication led to the deaths of her, Nicholas, the children and servants?

Actually, that's exactly what you are saying, isn't it?  If not, what is there to forgive?

You might be right that I'm being unduly harsh with Alexandra. Of course the ultimate responsibility for the murder of the imperial family lay with the Bolsheviks. But I'm sorry, the more I read about Nicholas and Alexandra the more exasperated I become with their consistent record of very bad decision-making. Okay, we all make mistakes. We have all made stupid decisions that we regret with hindsight. But the last emperor and empress of Russia made one terrible decision after another, and never even seem to have acknowledged that they had made mistakes, much less learned from them. Gibbes in his memoirs recalls that, after the October Revolution, Nicholas regretted abdicating. But there's no evidence whatsoever that he felt any regret for all the actions that had made his abdication all but inevitable in the first place.

It would be one thing if Nicholas and Alexandra, like Grand Duchess Elisabeth, had been all on their own, without children. Consciously or unconsciously they could have taken their path to martyrdom without any reproaches from the likes of myself. But the fact of the matter is that they did have children, and after the abdication, they should have moved heaven and earth to get them out of Russia. As one of their retainers said during the March Revolution, when Alexandra refused to get the children out of the country because they were ill with measles, the first people to be taken out of a burning house are the invalids... And later, in Tobolsk, Kobylinsky recalled that he never understood why the family hadn't taken the great opportunity afforded them during this period to escape - indeed, throughout the fall and well into the winter, before the Bolsheviks could send their own reinforcements, the soldiers guarding the Romanovs clearly sympathized with the entire family.

I thought Soloviev did try to rescue them but was duped?  Would you still call him a charlatan, or just foolish?

No, Soloviev was a real charlatan. He made off with, if not all the money raised to save the family, then most of it. This particular conspiracy seems to have existed mainly in Alexandra's head.

What strikes me about Nicholas and Alexandra, always, is their terrible passivity. Probably this had something to do with Nicholas's fatalism. But why did they always rely so much on other people to "save" them? Why not seize the initiative and try to escape on their own? They had all the jewels they needed to bribe any unwilling guards and to pay for a safe passage to China. Kobylinsky, as we have seen, was willing to aid them in an escape. The central government was thousands of miles away and largely ineffective at such a distance... Marie Antoinette, in similar circumstances, I can almost guarantee you, would have gotten her entire family out safely. (As it was, in much, much worse circumstances, she almost succeeded in getting her family out of revolutionary France.) But then I think Marie Antoinette was a woman of real strength and substance, whereas Alexandra, like her husband, was mainly delusional when it came to the hard political realities.

And in my previous post, you would see that I said criticism is one thing, bashing is another.  So, I'm not sure where the comment about Hillary is coming from.  I never said that criticism was off limits.

Well, I don't think I'm "bashing" Alexandra. I think I'm criticizing her, perhaps too severely, but then again, maybe not, because as I said, the more I think about all this, and the more I read about it, the more critical I become of both her and her husband - both before and after the abdication.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 12:41:58 PM by Elisabeth »

Offline Dulcinea

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • To Dream the Impossible Dream...
    • View Profile
    • Blithe Tragedy
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #478 on: February 06, 2007, 01:21:07 PM »
I think without Alexandra knowing that escaping safely was a possibility, she (and Nicholas) simply could not commit their entire family to a plan that may have failed and would most certainly get all of them killed.  Not to mention Alexis would have been NO good in a physical situation.  Bribing the guards would be a very risky solution that could also end up with more charges against them and potentially get them killed.  If a guard was untrustworthy enough to be bribed, they are untrustworthy enough to go to their superiors and use the situation to their advantage. 

I do not think the IF or any of the other sovereigns that tried to get them out, really thought that they would be so brutally murdered.  I am sure the execution of Nicholas was, of course, considered a possibility.  Unfortunately for Russia (and eventually the Romanovs) the family saw themselves as a family before they were a political force.  This most definitely led to the decision of not leaving.  I believe they truly did love Russia and never thought that her people would dispose of them so brutally.

Many people are calling for the "abdication"(i.e. impeachment) of George Bush.   Can you imagine them putting him and his family under house arrest and them murdering them?  I'm sure the Romanovs never saw it that way either.  They saw their world was "civilized"; unfortunately those who were oppressed did not.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 01:24:08 PM by Dulcinea »
**I have dreamed thee too long,
Never seen thee, or touched thee,
But known thee with all of my  heart.**
~MaN oF lA mAnChA~
[/b]

lexi4

  • Guest
Re: Alexandra - the Abdication and the Family's Downfall
« Reply #479 on: February 06, 2007, 01:53:31 PM »
Dulcinea,
There is no comparison to impeachment proceedings in the United States and abdication of a throne. None.
I don't think Nicholas really had a choice about abdicating. By that time, he had no army. His military had turned against him. He could easily been shot on the spot. His decision to take over the military was another one of many bad decisions.