Author Topic: Living Memory  (Read 17497 times)

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Offline Sanochka

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Living Memory
« on: February 12, 2015, 01:59:24 AM »
It is with profound sadness that I see Nicholas, Alexandra, and their five children slipping from living memory.  When I was born, they had died only 42 years earlier - well within living memory of large numbers of people.  Today, one would have to be at least 96 to have been alive before the Imperial family died.  I read recently that there remains only one person reliably known to have been born in the 1800s, a woman who was born in 1899 - the same year as Grand Duchess Maria.  She'll be 116 this year, if she's still alive.

I wonder if there's anybody still alive today who has personal recollections of the NAOTMAA.  Does anybody know?  If so, he or she would have been a mere child then, and very old today.

Offline TimM

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 07:01:20 AM »
Anyone with living memory of NAOTMAA would now be close to, if not over, 100.  There might be one or two, but that's probably it.
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Offline edubs31

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 07:11:19 AM »
Nice topic here. I guess the hard part is not only being old enough to have remembered the IF, but as a 100+ year old having the memory and mental faculties to be able to recall anything about them...or perhaps how one felt when they heard the news of the family's death. Some people are plagued by false memories too. An elderly person might be shown a picture or read a story about the IF and think they're recalling something when in reality they're just remembering something they read or saw years after the fact.

For example, when I was kid I remember seeing clips of Kennedy's assassination and being startled by the imagery...but that doesn't mean I was around and remembered when the actual tragedy occurred.

Speaking of Kennedy. I "remember" seeing a network interview with a man purported to have attended (and remembered) Lincoln's funeral from 1865. This would have made this man at least 104 or so by the time JFK was killed in November, 1963. And of course many of us are familiar with the story of Nicholas meeting the elderly veteran in 1912 presented to him as having recalled the battle at Borodino a century earlier.

All that said. There were around 1.8 billion people alive in 1918. Stands to reason that at least a couple are still around an old enough to remember the events of 1918.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 08:39:19 AM »
I can't remember the program (damn!) but it was a documentary/biography from the 90s that had Russians who were old enough to have recollections of Imperial Russia. Some had even seen the IF and gave their descriptions of what they thought of them.

I wish I remembered it but it was an English program. It might have been "Last of the Tsars" by the Discovery Channel but I'm not sure.

There are some documentaries on Laura Mabee's site Frozentears. Perhaps one of them has some people with recollections of the IF in them. That might be where I saw it.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 08:43:37 AM by Maria Sisi »

Offline TimM

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 11:22:24 AM »
The passage of time.  Soon we won't have anyone left with direct memories of World War II.  The Battle Of The Bulge will become as remote as the Battle Of Chancellorsville.

Even anyone who was alive when JFK was assassinated would now be in their late 60's or early 70's.  
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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 11:55:25 AM »
EXCUSE ME, but I was alive when JFK was assassinated, and I'm not yet close to even 60, much less 70... :D

Offline Превед

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 03:12:11 PM »
LOL. And some of us will say, with Ukraina being dismantled as we speak, those years of glorious Ukrainian freedom were the best years of my life.....
In the nursing home I'll be in my rocking chair humming "Shche ne vmerla Ukrayiny i slava, i volya" = "Ukraine's glory has not yet died, nor her freedom"!
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

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

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 04:01:54 PM »
First of all, a thread on this topic already exists, if it wasn't lost on the AP site makeover some years ago. Hope it can be pulled up by someone resourceful. Since it was roughly seven or eight years ago,not only were there definitely people alive then who remembered the Romanovs, but there were  personal anecdotes about them (both the Romanovs and their contemporaries) contributed to the thread. Most fascinating.

And, Maria Sisi, there were indeed multiple documentaries , generally pre-2000 which showed interviews of old-timers with real personal memories of the period and the IF . I've seen them,and may actually have one or more in some form. Damned if I know exactly which ones though. Laura Mabee would likely know.

As one of those oldtimers mentioned below, I can say that I was a teenager when Olga Alexandrovna died in Ontario a few hundred miles  across the border  from me in New York State. Naturally I didn't note it.

Realistically, one would have to be well over 100 years old to remember the fate of the Romanovs as say, an eight year old in 1918. They would be 105 this year. And yet, quite possible.

 For what it's worth, Sanochka, I can tell you that second hand accounts of those alive in the Romanovs' time are very much in existence and can be quite telling and moving, not to mention informative.
Many millions of people fall into that category, including numerous on this site  with wonderful family memories of the Romanovs , including of Court life. These would be basically middle-aged or even younger whose grandparents or great aunts or uncles or even acquaintances told them of their familiarity with the Romanov era when the listener was young, say any time in the  last half of the twentieth century.

All of my grandparents were in their youthful prime in the early quarter of the last century, and likely absorbed some news of the dramatic parts of the IF's life, if only as informed newspaper readers. I could kick myself now for not having been Romanov-attuned myself when I'd had the opportunity to ask about their memories.

So in a sense there are  still some indirect  bearers of  Romanov memories amongst us. And, also, bless  those great documentaries , whose producers had the sense and energy to capture those actual Romanovs' contemporaries' accounts!
Rodney G.

Offline TimM

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 06:12:42 PM »
Quote
EXCUSE ME, but I was alive when JFK was assassinated, and I'm not yet close to even 60, much less 70..

You must have been just a kid then.  Someone who was 10 years old on November 22nd, 1963 would now be in their early 60's.  

I was alive when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in 1968.  However, I have no clear memories of those two assassinations, I was not yet two years old when they happened.  
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 06:16:28 PM by TimM »
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Offline DNAgenie

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 09:59:28 PM »
How would anyone know that the Romanovs had died then?  Was it headline news in the newspapers of the time or was it hushed up until much later? I did a quick search in an Australian newspaper archive and can't find anything published before 1924, when a book was mentioned in which it was reported. Don't forget most countries were still at war, and there was intense press censorship.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 10:36:10 PM »
How would anyone know that the Romanovs had died then?  Was it headline news in the newspapers of the time or was it hushed up until much later? I did a quick search in an Australian newspaper archive and can't find anything published before 1924, when a book was mentioned in which it was reported. Don't forget most countries were still at war, and there was intense press censorship.

New York Times has a major headline about it. Granted it came a few months later after their deaths had been confirmed but I believe it read; "Apparent deaths of the Russian imperial family".
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 08:45:27 AM »
Quote
EXCUSE ME, but I was alive when JFK was assassinated, and I'm not yet close to even 60, much less 70..

You must have been just a kid then.  Someone who was 10 years old on November 22nd, 1963 would now be in their early 60's.  

I was alive when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in 1968.  However, I have no clear memories of those two assassinations, I was not yet two years old when they happened.  

I was 4 years old. I don't remember the actual assassination, but I do remember watching the funeral on our black and white TV in the Den, with my Mom and Sister who were crying their eyes out. I remember Bobby Kennedy's assassination as if it were yesterday.

Offline TimM

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 11:20:29 AM »
Yeah, you would have been about 9 when Bobby was killed.

I guess you also remember Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.  I was too young to appreciate that momentous event.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 04:00:06 PM »
I can't remember the program (damn!) but it was a documentary/biography from the 90s that had Russians who were old enough to have recollections of Imperial Russia. Some had even seen the IF and gave their descriptions of what they thought of them.

I wish I remembered it but it was an English program. It might have been "Last of the Tsars" by the Discovery Channel but I'm not sure.

Yes, that's the one.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline TimM

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Re: Living Memory
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 06:17:17 PM »
In a couple of decades, there won't be anyone alive who fought in the Korean War.  And those that fought in Vietnam are getting up there too.
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