Author Topic: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited  (Read 20841 times)

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2009, 10:26:02 AM »
Yes, the orders of execution were voted on, written up by and delivered up after a vote of the Ural Regional Soviet, and it makes no mention of Moscow involvment.

Offline Silja

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2009, 05:00:15 PM »
Thanks for providing the testimony, FA. 

So, we know there was the idea of a trial in Moscow for the Tsar, discussed periodically throughout the spring and a pet project of Trotsky.  But by July, I think the idea had been abandoned as unrealistic.

Here's an excerpt of what Rappaport has to say about the idea of a trial:  "...The time had long since passed for a proper trial to be held and [Lenin] knew it.  But he wanted to be sure that his name would not be in any way tainted with the killing of the Romanovs - judicial or otherwise. 

Yes, I agree. And anyway, how does Trotsky's diary entry about Sverdlov and Lenin having "decided it here" fit in with the interpretation that it was Ekaterinburg which was responsible? I think the most probable answer is that Lenin considered the trial but ultimately discarded the plan.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2009, 05:17:18 PM »
Yes, the orders of execution were voted on, written up by and delivered up after a vote of the Ural Regional Soviet, and it makes no mention of Moscow involvment.


Er, excuse me, but why would the "orders of execution" (what a euphemism) mention Moscow or Moscow's orders? Remember Hitler? He left absolutely no documentary evidence behind that he ever officially or even unofficially ordered the Final Solution (another interesting euphemism!). And yet most historians - the respectable and respected lot at least, as opposed to the revisionists like David Irving - believe that Hitler did indeed at some time following the invasion of Russia in the summer of 1941 personally order the mass extermination of the Jewish popuation in Europe. Probably not on paper, but only verbally, and only to a selected, very tiny group of his followers.

But I am curious, why all this sudden trust in existing documentation, which in the Soviet, as in the Nazi case, was highly subject to tampering, suppression, even outright destruction by the government in power (Soviet archives are still subject to interference by the current Russian government, in reality many important archives have in recent years again been closed to researchers, both domestic and foreign). Lenin's government never wanted the truth about the Ekaterinburg murders to come to light (least of all the fact that they were murders, since the daughters and servants at least were not political figures of any significance and hence their deaths should never be referred to so euphemistically as "assassinations" or "executions").

I for one am not going to take on faith a few historians' opinions about Lenin's non-involvement in the murders of the IF, since I think these scholars regard the Bolsheviks much more sympathetically than they do the Nazis (whereas in my mind there's no room for sympathy for either group). As I posted before, the majority of Lenin's biographers believe that if he did not order the murders he approved them in advance, given a certain set of circumstances (the imminent fall of Ekaterinburg to the Whites). And here please note that I am even leaving out the testimony of the very important Soviet politician Aleksandr Yakovlev, who conducted an actual official (if top secret) investigation into the murders back in the early 1960s on the orders of Khrushchev and came to the same conclusion, i.e., that these were murders of expediency, carried out with Moscow's full knowledge and approval.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 05:34:34 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Lemur

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2009, 05:31:18 PM »
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/gilliard/XXII.html

Avdiev was under the immediate control of the other commissaries, members of the Presidium and Tckrezvytckaika. They were not long in realising the change which had come about in the feelings of the guards towards their prisoners, and resolved to adopt drastic measures.At Moscow, too, there was uneasiness, as was proved by the following telegram sent from Ekaterinburg by Bieloborodov to Sverdlov and Golochtchokin (who was then at Moscow): "Syromolotov just left for Moscow to organise according to instructions from centre. Anxiety unnecessary. Useless to worry. Avdiev revoked. Mochkin arrested. Avdiev replaced by Yurovsky. Inside guard changed, replaced by others."

This telegram is dated July 4th.

At this time the death of the Imperial family had already been decided upon in Moscow. The telegram quoted above proves this. Syromolotov left for Moscow "to organise according to instructions from centre"; he was to return with Golochtcholkin, bringing instructions and directions from Sverdlov.

Offline Lemur

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2009, 08:31:31 AM »
The reason I believe it was ordered from Moscow is that I don't think any local Soviet would make such a big decision on their own. In a time when people were getting shot right and left, for anything, even Bolsheviks against each other, it does not seem plausible that they would take a chance on being shot or replaced if they displeased Lenin. The loose connection to Moscow alleged by Gilliard, who was present at the time of the Whites' investigation, makes sense considering how hardly anyone wanted to accept responsibility for anything. It was common for those in charge to lie out of it and made cover stories for excuses- such as when the family and other Romanovs were killed. It would be very handy for Moscow to order them killed and then find someone else willing to accept the blame. I do accept that Lenin did want Nicholas brought to Moscow for public trial, but must have changed his mind when the Whites were approaching Ekaterinburg. He must have had his doubts he'd be able to keep custody of him, and be able to transport him that far back without him being taken away by the Whites along the way, where they held so much territory at that time.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2009, 09:04:56 AM »
I think some posters here are gving Moscow much more power and influence than it really had.  Lenin was facing anarchy, chaos and civil war. Power had not been consolidated.
 Also, the Romanovs were not that important any longer.  They had become expendable. I believe he just left the decision on what to do with them to whomever had their hands on them. He had far more important issues to deal with.
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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2009, 10:41:01 AM »
Elisabeth,

Nobody is "suddenly trusting" the written evidence, the question asked was "what evidence IS there". Now, the evidence we have may very well be unreliable, BUT the rest is mere speculation and nothing more. We can no more lay direct blame for the murder of the  IF on Lenin without direct evidence than we can say the Grand Duchesses were sexually abused on the Rus or Buxhoeveden was stealing the money meant to support the Romanovs in exile.  These claims were also made based on SPECULATION.

Again, I think Robert makes a valid point.  Lenin's power was not so absolutely consolidated at this time.  Remember too the local Soviets felt they were EQUAL to Moscow not subordinate, and Lenin was too busy fighting a war and stopping another war and trying like hell to consolidate his position to really pay that much attention to what they did in Ekaterinburg.  He was an opportunist above all else. He changed direction all the time, seizing opportunity as it arose to best suit his advantage.


Offline JStorey

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2009, 12:26:06 PM »
...the rest is mere speculation and nothing more. We can no more lay direct blame for the murder of the  IF on Lenin without direct evidence than we can say the Grand Duchesses were sexually abused on the Rus or Buxhoeveden was stealing the money meant to support the Romanovs in exile.  These claims were also made based on SPECULATION.

Again, I think Robert makes a valid point.  Lenin's power was not so absolutely consolidated at this time.  Remember too the local Soviets felt they were EQUAL to Moscow not subordinate, and Lenin was too busy fighting a war and stopping another war and trying like hell to consolidate his position to really pay that much attention to what they did in Ekaterinburg.  He was an opportunist above all else. He changed direction all the time, seizing opportunity as it arose to best suit his advantage.


That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!  Aren't you "speculating" he was not involved?

The question of whether Ekaterinburg acted alone or Moscow ordered the execution does not have a default answer; either conclusion necessarily involves interpreting circumstantial evidence and ultimately a bit of what historians adore most:  smelling roses.

The fact is there is indeed a great deal of circumstantial evidence here, certainly enough to merit healthy discussion and analysis.

Regarding the above points, I would suggest - as have many others - that in Lenin's "trying like hell to consolidate his position", the elimination of dynastic inheritance more than served that end.  This was not a remotely trivial question.  I also don't buy for a moment this idea of indifference to Moscow; the Ural Bolsheviks were acutely aware that the success or failure of the central structure would determine their own fate, and that in the event of success they would have to answer for their actions.  Not just following, but strictly adhering to Moscow's direction was in their own best interest.  It would and did determine their future.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 12:29:35 PM by JStorey »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2009, 12:53:42 PM »
I doubt very much the succession issue played much of a role. After the immediate IF, there were plenty to to fly the flag, not many did, their time had passed. This goes into another thread, but Lenin simply was not interested in them.  There were plenty of folks that hated the Romanovs for various reasons.  Let them handle it, so to speak. Above all, Lenin was making sure the revolution was secure and they  just did not matter in his pragmatic agenda. Once the benefit of even a show trial was passed,  they barely  made a footnote in the history he was writing.  He had a lot to accomplish, and remember his time was running out as well, he died in 1924.
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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2009, 01:05:23 PM »
I never said Lenin was NOT involved.  All I have been saying is that there is no direct evidence that he WAS involved.  The direct evidence does not support his being involved per se, that is all.  I can just as easily see Lenin saying he didn't want them executed for a lot of reasons, and the Ural Soviet going ahead anyway, and Lenin approving ex post facto once they were dead....as I can also see Lenin ordering the executions secretly and letting the Ural Soviets carry out the dirty work so he can appear with "clean hands" so to speak.  Both are reasonable conclusions given the evidence, that's all I mean.

The rest is speculation, that is all I'm saying.
 

Offline Silja

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2009, 01:19:27 PM »
Once the benefit of even a show trial was passed,  they barely  made a footnote in the history he was writing. 

A show trial wouldn't have been a benefit, and Lenin must have known it. If put on trial, even on show trial, the aim would have been to find Nicholas II guilty or not guilty. Trying a person means that person might be considered innnocent, if only in theory. The Bolsheviks didn't really care about putting Nicholas II on trial in this sense. They meant to annihilate the Tsarist system and all its representatives.  A trial could thus only have been counter productive. Lenin must have realised this very soon. So in my opinion this is the main reason for Moscow's change of mind.  
The imperial family may not have been so important in the "history Lenin was writing", but if the Bolshevik regime continued to be unstable and  failed to win general popular support, then any opposition group, be they whites or white monarchists or monarchists etc. might still help to threaten the Bolshevik regime, not by itself but by uniting opposition forces in the long run. To me it makes absolute sense not to let the imperial family fall into the hands of the Whites.

By the way, although the Bolsheviks for a long time couldn't be sure to sustain their power, Lenin's leadership was beyond dispute. Ekaterinburg would hardly have acted against Lenin's wishes.


Offline Silja

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2009, 01:26:50 PM »
I never said Lenin was NOT involved.  All I have been saying is that there is no direct evidence that he WAS involved.  The direct evidence does not support his being involved per se, that is all.  I can just as easily see Lenin saying he didn't want them executed for a lot of reasons, and the Ural Soviet going ahead anyway, and Lenin approving ex post facto once they were dead....as I can also see Lenin ordering the executions secretly and letting the Ural Soviets carry out the dirty work so he can appear with "clean hands" so to speak.  Both are reasonable conclusions given the evidence, that's all I mean.

The rest is speculation, that is all I'm saying.
 

Which is actually a good summary of the facts. We now have the two positions with the one finding the circumstantial evidence pointing to Lenin having ordered the "executions" more convincing than the evidence that he didn't, and the others finding it the other way round.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 01:28:29 PM by Silja »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2009, 01:55:30 PM »
I think we all know that trial was just a propaganda operation to  justify an execution.
 I disagree that Lenin was  "beyond dispute" He was constantly  fighting opposition in  the Party.  Near and far.  His genius was in gathering  both his supporters and enemies in the same place  as well and organising  a hierarchy of control. This took time.  He was ruthless and rarely tolerated dissent, but understood it.  Often used the opposition to his greater effect.  To him, as I see it, the Romanovs were a trivial matter, where he was concentrating on the larger, more important issues.
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Offline JStorey

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2009, 07:37:26 PM »
Which is actually a good summary of the facts. We now have the two positions with the one finding the circumstantial evidence pointing to Lenin having ordered the "executions" more convincing than the evidence that he didn't, and the others finding it the other way round.

I agree wholeheartedly, and having identified these two positions alone is a worthy accomplishment.  I might substitute "Moscow" for Lenin.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Orders from Moscow or Ekaterinburg Revisited
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2009, 07:37:58 PM »
A PEOPLE'S TRAGEDY  by Orlando Figes voices pps 641-2:


>>On July 4 the local Cheka had taken over the responsibility of guarding the Romanovs at the Ipatev House.  Yakob Yurovsky, the local Cheka boss who led the execution squad, was one of Lenin's most trusted lieutenants--ruthless,  honest, intelligent and cruel.  His brother said he 'enjoyed oppressing people'.<<

Yurovsky was "one of Lenin's most trusted lieutenants" who was placed in the Urals as the head of the Cheka.

Yurovsky was in Moscow several times from June to early July of 1918.

Who else had Lenin personally known in the leadership of the Soviet Urals?

Filipp Goloshchekin.

Goloschekin was in Moscow in July of 1918.

I really don't think it was necessary for Lenin, if  he had given verbal order to both of these men,  to send either of these men after they returned to Ekaterinubrg a telegram telling them, again,  to carry out the execution of Nicholas II and his family before the Whites entered Ekaterinburg.

AGRBear






« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 07:49:12 PM by AGRBear »
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