Author Topic: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!  (Read 15937 times)

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AngelAnastasia

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Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« on: May 15, 2014, 03:35:23 PM »
http://list25.com/25-of-historys-deadliest-dictators/2/
The list I linked above is of the 25 deadliest dictators. I was shocked to see NII listed at #6 -with #1 being the worst- with the caption:
"Anti-Semitic, idealistic, and very violent, 'Bloody Nicholas' as he was sometimes called cost Russia 3 million lives."
While it is certainly inaccurate to call him 'very violent', let alone to rank Nicholas above Vlad the Impaler, Lenin, Kim Il Sung, Saddam Hussein, and Pol Pot...
Would 3 million people have lived if it weren't for NII? Does anyone know how they came up with the death toll (Russo-Japanese War, Bloody Sunday, peasants starving, etc.), or is it simply (though I doubt it) a false statistic?
Does intention really mean that little?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 04:05:49 PM by AngelAnastasia »

Offline Dru

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 03:55:09 PM »
Well, he certainly wasn't as deadly as some of his predecessors, and while I generally like him as a person, he was a terrible ruler--completely inept, I would say.  That's not his fault, as he was not prepared to run an empire, but all the same, he certainly could have done things to improve his situation and that of his country (i.e., implemented a more democratic government.  In my humble opinion, autocratic rule, especially by what someone perceives to be his or her divine right, is abhorrent).  However, it can be argued that Nicholas didn't know any better, although I don't necessarily think of that as an excuse; but as I said, I rather like him as an individual.  I don't know the statistics, but all the wealth was concentrated in the hands of a very few, while suffering and poverty amongst the masses was rampant, and that's usually a recipe for disaster  And yes, Nicholas was, like most or all the Imperial family and aristocrats, an anti-Semite--in her diary, his daughter Olga, a product of her time and upbringing, uses anti-Semitic slurs more than once.  In spite of all this, though, I don't think he deserves to be ranked that high on a list of the twenty-five deadliest dictators.  There were far worse both before and after him.      

Welcome to the Forum, by the way :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 03:58:06 PM by Dru »

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 04:15:43 PM »
Nicholas II may not have been perfect, but there is no way he deserves to be put alongside the likes of Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot. 

Stalin probably killed more Russians that all the Romanovs put together in their three hundred year reign.
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AngelAnastasia

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 04:18:25 PM »
Yes, the ranking is absurd. Pretty sure NII never started a genocide...

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 04:23:26 PM »
Whoever made that poll should come here and learn a few facts.
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Offline Dru

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 04:38:35 PM »
I agree with you that Stalin was certainly one of the most evil dictators of all time--far worse than Nicholas II--and that the ranking is absurd, but while many people (myself included) like the Romanovs on a personal level, that doesn't mean their reign was "good" for the Russian people.  That's the only point I was trying to make.  I just can't support a government that allows one family to live in palaces and splendor, simply because their surname is Romanov, while the people they rule over have to struggle just to survive.  Nicholas may not have started a genocide, but he stood complacent while his people suffered horribly, and there was much he could have done to make their lives easier.  I do believe him to have been a good man, and he definitely did not deserve the fate he was ultimately met with, but he was not a good ruler.



Offline Превед

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 04:48:51 PM »
Indeed, quite absurd to put NII on such a list instead of Peter the Great. How many serfs died building his new capital?

If NII was a genocidal ruler, so was also George V, Wilhelm II and Franz Joseph, who all sent millions of soldiers to die in WW1.

I just can't support a government that allows one family to live in palaces and splendor, simply because their surname is Romanov

If that was the criterion, thousands of Russians would have lived the palace life, as it's one of the most common Russian surnames. :-)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 05:05:52 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

AngelAnastasia

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 04:58:50 PM »
Quote
If NII was a genodical ruler, so was also George V, Wilhelm II and Franz Joseph, who all sent millions of soldiers to die in WW1.
Excellent point.
Actually, Wilhelm II was on the list as well, ranked #16, with the caption:
"Kaiser Wilhelm II was the last emperor of Germany up until 1918. Known for his inability to control the military and inept command, he probably wasn’t nearly as deadly as he was incapable. Nevertheless, his time as emperor caused the deaths of millions."

I don't think he was necessarily evil, he was probably closer to crazy, IMO. I tend to be sympathetic towards him; he had such a traumatic childhood, it'd drive anyone mad.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 05:08:28 PM by AngelAnastasia »

AngelAnastasia

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 05:12:44 PM »
Quote
I just can't support a government that allows one family to live in palaces and splendor, simply because their surname is Romanov, while the people they rule over have to struggle just to survive.  Nicholas may not have started a genocide, but he stood complacent while his people suffered horribly, and there was much he could have done to make their lives easier.

Given that Nicholas had a persistent inclination towards naiveté, it would not surprise me if he was unaware of the extent of their suffering.
To Nicholas' credit, he did donate money to peasants, as well as voluntarily fund thousands of institutions, hospitals, etc. with money from his own wallet.

Offline TimM

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 05:30:23 PM »
Of course, there is a big difference between sending soldiers off to war and sending innocent people off to be murdered in death camps.

Whomever made this poll should realize that Nicholas II and Wilhelm II are light years away from Stalin and Hitler.
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AngelAnastasia

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 12:46:13 PM »
This is going kind of off-topic, but it sort of relates to this thread as it has to do with the portrayal of NII. Nonetheless, I don't think it's worth creating a new thread to ask this.

I have read many good things about NII (he was a wonderful husband and father, he donated to peasants and funded hospitals, etc. out of his own wallet, and that he was even kind to his rude captors when he and his family were placed under house arrest) and seen negative views of him easily rebutted or at least alleviated by people knowledgable about NII.

However, I have collected some of people's negative statements about Nicholas that (if they are true) alter my opinion of him a bit. If I recall correctly, some seemed to stem from fairly credible sources, too. I'll post some:

'When the Tsar issued a manifesto promising autonomy to Poland, Rasputin encouraged him to also grant equal rights to the Jews," but the Tsar refused. He recommended to the Tsar that despite the vast profits that the government made from the sale of vodka, the Tsar shut down these stores, because the drinking was unhealthy and the cause of misery to the less fortunate classes, and the Tsar refused. He advocated "expropriating land from the aristocracy, with compensation, and distributing it among the peasants so that they could have food to eat and dignity, but the Tsar refused. Scholars have concluded that if Rasputin's programs would have been adopted by the misguided Tsar, they would have been a viable means of averting the 1917 revolution.'

'[Although Nicholas did not issue Bloody Sunday nor was he at the Winter Palace when it occured,] Nicholas sent the signals of what he expected of his military and police forces. He had consistently sent signals in the past that he wanted a violent response to signs of civil unrest and that he felt a peaceful defusing of a situation was an opportunity missed for showing the government's resolve in the face of protest of any form. His commanders acted on those signals. It was government policy.'

'Nicholas violently suppressed the 1905 Revolution, executed political opponents, and pursued of military campaigns on an unprecedented scale.'

If knowing the sources for these opinions are neccessary, I think I could find them again, just let me know.

Can anyone deny or (though I hope these aren't all true) confirm these with evidence? Or if not, justify (if possible) or explain further? I generally like NII as a person, and I hope at least some of the above statements can be rebutted.

Just curious. Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 12:54:06 PM by AngelAnastasia »

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 01:49:49 PM »
All I can say is this is some really bad research Wihlem II and Nicholas II don't belong on this list here are some people who do:
The Castro Brothers they have established the nastiest dictatorship in Latin American history body count 150,000+ 1million + people fled the country and they are still killing people and people are still fleeing and many news media types won't even call them dictators!
The Vietnamese Communist leaders who succeed Ho they were almost as murderous as Pol Pot killing 3 or 4 million+ people
 The Indonesian Military they killed off 100,000-500,000 communist party member in the mid 1960s and more than a few people on Timor in the 1970s and 80s
Ibn Saud the founder  of Saudi Arabia he killed off 200,000 people and caused more to flee the country in his war of conquest
 Tito of Yugoslavia may have killed off around 1 million people during the period 1941 till his death

As for Wilhem II He does have the Herero revolt in Nambia  where his army and disease, starvation and thirst killed off a good chunk of the Herero tribe who were in revolt against the Germans. The German did kill several thousand Belgian civilians in 1914. Of course the Germans point out that Belgians in civilian clothing were firing at their troops. In Eastern Europe the Germans, Austrian and Russians sometimes shot civilians for the most minor reasons. Wilhelm II has been accused of being a anti-semtie and the Nazi accused him of being friendly to jews!? Finally it needs to be pointed out from the fall of 1916 to the end of the war Wilhelm II was pretty much a figurehead. Hindenberg and lundendorf ran Germany during this time.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 03:48:42 PM »
errata Castro brothers body count 150,000+ people who fled the country 1 million+

Nicholas II and 3 million dead these are mostly do to WW I which in Nicholas IIs defense he did not want! Russia suffered the following:
2 million military dead all causes some of which happened after he abdicated
Civilian dead I have seen all sorts of figures for this anything from 350,000 to 1 Million +. Most of these are do to starvation and disease caused by WW I deportations, fleeing refugees who die , things like this. While the Russian army did behave badly towards civilians no one gave any "Final Solution" type orders. If anything Nicholas spent some time during the war trying to stop the deportations by his Generals.
Other deaths: Russo-Japanese war the Russians suffered from 40-70,000 dead. Russian officials killed by terrorists from 1894 to 1917 I think is 24,000. I not sure.  I also believe several thousand civilians where also killed by terrorists during this same period am not 100% sure. The 1905 revolution period may have had around 10-14,000 dead.
POW deaths the Russians captured and had defect to 2,330,000 central powers POWs during WW I "Among the Prisoners of war in Russia and Siberia" has around 600,000 of them die > Prisoners of War and the Great war captivity on the Eastern front has 411,000 of them die. Many did die of disease in prison camps. It should also be pointed out that both these death tolls may be high because most of the prisoners were from the Austro-hungarian empire which broke up in 1918 and many returning POWs just came home and didn't notify anyone so our counted as dead. A number were killed fighting on either the red or White sides during the Russian Civil war note the Czech legion. There were also a few that either stayed behind in Russia or moved to other countries. While some prison camps were bad One the Totsko camp had 17,000 of 25,000 inmates die of typhus making it the worst POW camp of WW I. Other were fairly good for the time. Note after the February 1917 revolution things started going bad in the camps do to the breakdown in the government.

Based on the above you can say Nicholas does not deserve to be put in this list.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 06:52:32 PM »
Some errata:
Brezhnev: was the governor of Moldova during the 1950-52 period. Collective farms were forced on the peasants one wonders how many were shot, tossed in the gulag or exciled in the process. he also ordered the invasion of Afganistan in 1979 which caused one million dead 5 or 6 million refugees and pretty much destroyed the country before the Russians pulled out. I understand his generals more than once advised him that the war was unwinnable but he didn't listen. One should point out by 1979 he was pretty much a walking corpse do to a number of strokes.

Lenin: there weren't that many attempts on his life. There was a planned one in late 1917, there were shots fired at his car on 1/14 January 1918 and he was wounded on 30 August 1918. The national leader with the most plots to kill him was Adolf Hitler

Vlad III the Impaler according to some historians may not have been as bad as some accounts make him out to be. He may have had a bad press with some croniclors of the time. Needless to say he was living in a very violent time and he pretty much had to be a ruthless bastard to survive.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Nicholas II: Responsible for 3 million deaths?!
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 05:27:07 PM »
I have more errata on POWs:
The Murmansk railway built during WW I the Russians put 70,000 Central Powers POWs to work building it during the July 1915 to October 1916 period. Do to a mixture of a lack of food do to corrupt Tsarist officials, 18 hours workdays, beatings and really hard working conditions 25,000 of them died and most of the survivors were in poor shape. Note: the Russian also employed criminal labor to build this line. Also note the Burma-Siam railway AKA the Death railway of WW II immortalized in the movie "Bridge over the River Kawi". Had 46,000 Allied POWs working on it of which 16,000 died.
 The Minister of Transportation from November 1915-November 1916 General A. F. Trepov was made Prime Minister by Nicholas

The book "Black Bread and Barbed Wire" which deals with the experiences of British POWs in WW I says British POWs in Germany. Officer POWs were well treated but enlisted men were often badly treated, poorly fed were forced to do heavy physical labor sometimes right behind the front lines. I would say Russian POWs were treated often in a similar manner.

Note the Turks probably treated their POWs the worst of any of the major powers of WW I. I know British officers were fairly well treated but enlisted men were to put it mildly badly treated starved, beaten, forced to do heavy physical labor ect.