Author Topic: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?  (Read 20810 times)

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Vanya Ivanova

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2012, 01:51:27 PM »
For me its the fact that witnesses (Baroness Buxhoeveden, Gleb Botkin, Pierre Gilliard, Sydney Gibbs etc) who knew the family well all stated that Olga seemed the only one to fully grasp the danger, of course one can speculate why they had that impression but it cannot be discounted completely as its made by several different and independent first hand eye witnesses.

Undoubtedly the rest of family certainly HAD the same information but the difference was how they processed it. Olga was perhaps the most analytical member of her family. Tatiana we know was a contradiction of practical and poetic, she was however also rather reserved and so may not have expressed her fears to anyone outside the family. However the fact remains is that Olga alone has the reputation for insight because that's what those around the family at the time noticed and recorded.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 02:27:54 PM »
Fair enough Vanya, and that's exactly what I've read also...

Clearly I cannot sit and assume to know more about Olga and the mental state the family was in better than those eye witnesses. I guess it's fair to question what people perceive however.

Like you said about Tatiana, is it not possible that she had equal grasp of the events but her reserved nature made her seem oblivious...or at least ambivalent. Compare that to someone like Olga who wears her emotions on her sleeve.

That said I have no problem with referring to Olga as the smartest person in the family either...
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Vanya Ivanova

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2012, 04:34:27 AM »
I don't see that's its a case of Olga being more intelligent than the others. From all the witnesses who met the two elder girls at the Lazaret during the war the overall impression was that Olga was far less able than Tatiana to control her emotions and was particularly open and expressive.

In my opinion Olga's inability to cope with the trauma of working at the Lazeret given her age and sheltered background was perfectly normal and entirely understandable. On the other hand Tatiana's ability to not just cope but excel in the situation given the same background and relative age was extraordinary. Thats not to say Olga was weak and Tatiana was strong, rather that Olga felt and expressed things immediately where as Tatiana was able subdue her emotions so that she could focus on the task at hand.

In my opinion that made Tatiana a born nurse, her instinct was always to help others and put their needs first. Again that's not to say that Olga was selfish in anyway, just that Tatiana could focus on what needed to be done there and then in the crisis where as Olga would analyse, and then grasp the overall situation, sometimes to her detriment. Both are strengths and the sisters complimented and balanced one another.

With regard to the rest of the family, the Tsar and Empress obviously believed that the only danger was to themselves as otherwise they absolutely would not have allowed their family and suite to accompany them into captivity as readily as they did. There is simply no evidence that Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei ever expressed awareness of the danger and again the consensus of the witnesses was that they did not. In contrast, Anna Demidova is recorded as having been terrified of 'what the Bolsheviks might do to them'. This suggests that the younger members of the family were deliberately sheltered as much as possible and treated very much as 'children'.

The most interesting event in this respect for me is when the family were separated at Tobolsk. Its obvious from witnesses that at this point the Tsar and Empress still only considered Nicholas himself was in danger as otherwise its very unlikely the Empress would have left Alexei. I think its fair to say however that by the time Yurovsky took command of the Ipatiev House all of the captives were disturbed and afraid to some extent and the last visiting priest's testimony adds weight to this. However the the testimony of the cleaning ladies who were among the last people ever to see the family alive contradicts this impression to some extent. The problem is apart from Doctor Botkin's unequivocal letter written the night they all died we don't have any documentary evidence to prove how they felt either way other than witnesses 'impressions'. 

Again, I have to stress the consensus there was that among the family, only Olga seemed to understand the danger they were all in.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2012, 07:33:07 PM »
Well said.
I think that once they were in Ekaterinburg and away from any witnesses who had opportunities to write books, there is no real way to know exactly how much danger any members of the IF felt they were personally in, but it does seem that the adult members of the captives didn't shelter too many illusions about a rosy future, especially considering the testimony of the Priest.

Offline Lady Macduff

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 09:56:47 PM »
Also remember that according to testimony Alexandra and Olga were the ones who crossed themselves when they were told they were about to die. We know how the tsar reacted - "Shto?" ("What?!") and it seems that even if he had sometimes thought it would end that way he was not prepared for it. It almost seems like Alexandra and Olga knew it was going to happen, maybe even that night, and they had thought about what they would do when facing their end.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2013, 09:28:51 AM »
Also remember that according to testimony Alexandra and Olga were the ones who crossed themselves when they were told they were about to die. We know how the tsar reacted - "Shto?" ("What?!") and it seems that even if he had sometimes thought it would end that way he was not prepared for it. It almost seems like Alexandra and Olga knew it was going to happen, maybe even that night, and they had thought about what they would do when facing their end.

IMO it was more likely an automatic reaction. It's hard for me to imagine a devout orthodox christian not making the sign of the cross when consciously facing the moment of death. Had the tsar been able to comprehend what was happening in time, I think he very likely would have crossed himself as well.

It's entirely possible that some of the other eight victims also crossed themselves. We'll never know. I doubt the executioners had time to notice the reactions of all eleven people in the room before the shooting started, especially given that most of them were directing their attention to the tsar and tsaritsa's response.
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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2013, 03:43:24 AM »
I agree with Sarushka - it's an automatic reaction.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2013, 01:13:29 AM »
I agree it's automatic...plus I believe they had a nanosecond longer to take it in than the Tsar...as it seems the murderers were initially  fixated on him because of who he was , but also  because  he was saying ( shouting ?)  "what!"...now I say a nanosecond, a very short amount of time ...but just enough time for an automatic gesture. Even an automatic gesture needs time.

Speaking of automatic...it's interesting to remember that Janet Suzman when playing  Alix , though she  practiced  a good deal ,could not remember to sign in the orthodox way. When  the cameras rolled, she  automatically went back to the western version she  grew up with . You can't control the automatic ....even while play acting it seems

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2013, 02:42:22 AM »
Did Janet Suzman grow up making the sign of the cross? Her family is Jewish.

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2013, 11:23:38 AM »
Did Janet Suzman grow up making the sign of the cross? Her family is Jewish.

Ann

Right. Interesting. Since I guess she never would have grown up crossing herself I would think that the Orthodox way would now become the automatic way for her to do so. Of course you grow up seeing other people doing it, even if you and your family do not.

I had almost zero religious upbringing and almost never crossed myself other than as a silly, cynical gesture. But when I did cross myself it was always left to right because that's what I saw other people do.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2013, 12:58:01 AM »
oh dear...well she signs western...so perhaps I should say
even though she practiced  the orthodox way,  she sighed as she saw others doing while gowning up lol
Or perhaps I should stop digging this hole lol

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Did GD Olga have more 'insight' than the rest of the family?
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2013, 07:31:29 PM »
oh dear...well she signs western...so perhaps I should say
even though she practiced  the orthodox way,  she sighed as she saw others doing while gowning up lol
Or perhaps I should stop digging this hole lol

Maybe she played other roles in the past where she crossed herself the western way :) 

Also, I never grew up crossing myself either, but when I try to do it (just for fun), I intuitively seem to do it the Western way too (left to right)! I wonder if it has anything to do with being a righty or a lefty....