Author Topic: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg  (Read 18138 times)

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bookworm

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Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« on: August 17, 2004, 09:29:08 AM »
I've just read Greg King's and Penny Wilson's "The Fate of the Romanovs," which gives more detail about the last days of the Romanovs in Ekaterinburg and about the backgrounds of the people who murdered them. This is without a doubt one of the most extensively researched and detailed books I've read on this topic.
It goes a long way towards explaining the possible motivations of everyone involved. It's also excruciatingly difficult to read the description of the murder scene.

What I found particularly interesting was the description of the Grand Duchess' relationships with some of the members of the guard. To paraphrase, the three younger girls were apparently quite friendly with these men, as they were with the sailors on the Standart, and the young Ekaterinburg guards took it as flirting. Some of these men became so enamoured that they wouldn't shoot the girls and probably wouldn't have minded if they managed to escape. Olga was described as withdrawn and haughty, perhaps traumatized by an incident on the ship that brought the four remaining children to Ekaterinburg.

Marie was friendliest and was allegedly caught in some sort of compromising situation in late June with Ivan Skorokhodov, a guard who apparently managed to smuggle in a birthday cake to her to celebrate her 19th birthday. According to the book, the commander noted that Marie became something of an "outcast" in her family after this "indiscretion" was discovered and was shunned by her sisters and mother. He said she was the only one of the girls who wasn't wearing jewels concealed on her person after the murder. This guard she flirted with was supposedly removed from the house and sent to prison.

So what was going on here? Some strange part of me is rather glad that little Marie had some experience of love and romance in the last weeks of her life, even though it was at such a high price.

Offline Annie

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2004, 09:43:49 AM »
I think it sounds like a tragic and romantic love story that would make a good movie, or at least be included in the N @ A miniseries so many of us want to make. It's a touching and interesting episode, and shows that both the daughter of a Tsar, and a red soldier, were human with feelings and hearts like anybody else.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2004, 10:03:50 AM »
It seems perfectly natural that the IF should want to try to make the best of their situation by trying to establish some kind of relationship with their captors but they were exactly that - their jailers, and I find it hard to believe that they would  have been able to forget that fact fully.
Flirting, maybe, anything more than that I doubt.  As for Maria's compromising situation - simply to be caught alone talking to a man would be enough of a compromising situation for a young woman of Maria's station in life.
Maria was already in Ekaterinburg when the remaining Grand Duchesses in Tobolsk received the coded message from their mother concerning the jewels, which she referred to as "medicines".  The jewels were sewn into the camisoles of Olga. Tatiana and Anastasia before they were transferred to Ekaterinburg; afterwards it probably would have been too risky to redistribute them.  This is probably why Maria's underclothes did not have jewellery hidden in them, as opposed to her being excluded from the secret.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

bookworm

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2004, 10:11:54 AM »
Why was Alexandra wearing jewels hidden in her clothing then, since she was also at Ekaterinburg with Marie?

I don't suppose we'll ever know everything that happened, if anything, between Marie and the soldier Ivan. I don't imagine they would have had time or the privacy to do anything that incriminating. Maybe they were discovered in a corner kissing and petting? That would probably have infuriated and shamed Alexandra.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2004, 10:28:10 AM »
On several threads this subject about Marie and her soldier has been discussed.  In fact,  I was jumped on because I suggested:

Quote

Let me throw this theory out to Jeremy:  What if Marie and her soldier friend left  and did not return on the day of her birthday?  From what I understand from the other threads, Marie had felt rejected by her family and the others.  And,  she had a good relationship with the guards.  Perhaps it was the five guards whose bodies were later discovered by the Four Brother's Mine, who had helped Marie and the soldier escape...  The rest of the family was executed to prevent any more rescues.  Since they had Anatasia, Yurovsky could have sent out words that she was the one missing.  If any questions were raised by local CHEKAs or Moscow,  he could say, the rumors were false because he had Anatasia and could prove it. Which he could, if it was Marie who had gone missing.

AGRBear



I was told that Marie was absolutely in the Ipatiev House after her birthday because she was mentioned in her mother's diary several times on different days following and up to the 15th or 16th, I think it was.

On her birthday: If Marie and her soldier friend left the grounds for a few hours or not,  this disapearence, or a few stolen kisses in the basement, set all the wrong things into action.  Yurovsky took over and discovery of a rescue plot changed everything for all eleven prisioners in the Ipatiev House.

Marie's solider, Ivan,  was sent away/arrested  and never seen again.

Marie's reactions: One can only imagine how Marie must have felt.  I can assume that she felt horrible in many ways.  She had not only lost her boyfriend,  he probably had been sent to the Western Front or worst,  in prision or dead, because of a few stolen kisses.  She was being treated miserably by her sisters, brother and parents for having changed everything.   I can almost see her hurt feelings turned to anger.  And,  she wanted to get away from all of it.


It seems if any of the Romanov daughters were resued by  a Red soldier it would have been Marie on the night [after 10:00 pm, Alexandra's last entry in diary was at this time slot] of 16 July 1918.

AGRBear
Edited #2 -changed a few sentences
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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bookworm

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2004, 10:32:41 AM »
Going by the evidence discovered at the grave site, I think it's most likely that Marie was killed that night along with her family and the servants.

Certainly the romantic in me would like to believe in some sort of "happy ending" for Marie and the soldier who wished her a happy birthday, but I don't think there is one here. Marie died and the soldier was probably taken out and shot for fraternizing with the prisoners.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2004, 10:32:53 AM »
I can't quite remember and sadly don't have access to my books at the moment, but am pretty sure that Alexandra did not have anything like the quantity of jewels concealed about her person.
Indeed I seem to recall (I am sure that someone will correct me if I am wrong ) that the principal item was a pearl necklace of great value that had been a wedding gift (from Nicky?).
My point is that she may have left Tobolsk with this jewellery already concealed on her person - I don't however think that she had one of the specially constructed camisoles.
Maria's indiscretion, whatever it was, must be viewed from their eyes and with their values.  I still however feel huge sympathy for her predicament.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

bookworm

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2004, 10:39:32 AM »
Sympathy for everyone involved goes without saying, doesn't it? We can't really know what they did or did not do. The word of the captors/murderers is probably distorted but the King/Wilson book does mention that  Alexandra was spotted scolding Marie fiercely several times for being too friendly with the soldiers. This happened even before her sisters and brothers arrived in Ekaterinburg.

Your explanation for why Marie didn't have the underclothing with jewels in it does make sense.


Offline Michelle

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2004, 10:59:47 AM »
That is just so tragic and romantic!  Almost like Romeo and Juliet! (Okay, maybe that's stretching it ::)).  Oh poor Maria!! :'(  It's just all so unbearably sad!  So terrible!   :'(  :'(  :'(  :'(

Offline Annie

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2004, 11:34:01 AM »
Quote
It seems if any of the Romanov daughters were resued by  a Red soldier it would have been Marie on the night [after 10:00 pm, Alexandra's last entry in diary was at this time slot] of 16 July 1918.

AGRBear


You know, this has my overactive imagination going wild. That is true, if one of the daughters was missing and rescued by a guard, it would have been Marie! The guard was never seen again, so who knows what really happened? What a story! The Russian scientists say it is Marie who is missing! Hmmm!  ;)

Okay, how about another movie idea? We could call it "Anastasia's Sister" since everyone has heard of Anastasia but not much on the other OTMA girls (except us enthusiasts!)

We have, say Keira Knightly as Marie and Ashton Kutcher as the boyfriend. We have the romantic, touching involvement of two desperate young lovers in a constantly frightening and uncertain situation. We have the cake. The birthday. The family. The controversy. Then the guard is gone, but where? Then the family is shot, but someone is missing? Intesting prospect? We could have the guard rescuing Marie, and they have several harrowing adventures in their escape, then possibly a happy ending as they live to old age as obscure peasants, unknown to anyone but always in love. Or the ending could be left ambiguous. I like it! Much better than the Anastasia cartoon and not so inaccurate!


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2004, 11:37:41 AM »
Let's let them live happily ever after in Canada or USA in some far remote place which is breath takingly beautiful and peaceful.  ;D

AGRBear

Edit #1.  If a person translated Skorokhodov into English, what would it be?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Annie

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2004, 11:44:18 AM »
Quote
Let's let them live happily ever after in Canada or USA in some far remote place which is breath takingly beautiful and peaceful.  ;D

AGRBear


Yes! Like deep in the mountains by a stream with a lovely view:)

Quote
Edit #1.  If a person translated Skorokhodov into English, what would it be?


If it's a name or a place name, just sound it out. If it's a word, I don't know :-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline BattleAngel

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2004, 03:19:11 PM »
Oh but how about Drew Barrymore with dark hair as Marie.

She has such a sweet look when she isn't in the modern girl makeup.

Mary

bookworm

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2004, 05:15:33 PM »
Drew Barrymore is about 15 years too old to play Marie in any movie. I can't think of any teenage, 20-something actress who I'd pick to play her. Maybe an unknown Russian actress?

But this story WOULD make as good a movie as the Anna Anderson/Anastasia myth. All the elements are there. Say the soldier was taken to prison, but escaped. They shoot the family, but Marie is only wounded. He hides behind something and sees them carrying the bodies out, but sees Marie stir on the stretcher. He rescues her, takes her to his mother's house and nurses her back to health. Then the two of them decide to emigrate to America and live incognito. The movie could always end with an old, old Marie telling the story to her great-great granddaughter.

A cheesy romance and no more true than Ingrid Bergman as Anastasia, but we all want the happy ending, don't we?

Offline BattleAngel

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Re: Grand Duchesses and soldiers at Ekaterinburg
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2004, 06:48:35 PM »
Quote
Drew Barrymore is about 15 years too old to play Marie in any movie.



Sadly, you're right but back when she was younger she had that kind of winsome, sweetness and if you look at some of the photos of Marie and Anastasia visiting the hospital they had a similar look.




Natalie Portman seems about the only person in Hollywood who could pull off girlish sweetness.

Mary