Author Topic: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress  (Read 38845 times)

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2005, 07:53:14 AM »
I have just located this startling piece of information which I remembered I had in the depths of my library.

In Dziewanowski's appraisal of Alexander I, he noted that after Lenin died, Stalin ordered Dzerzhinsky to "open all the graves of the Romanov clan". He equated these sacred remains to those of the Egyptian pharaohs, who themselves were buried with priceless jewels, orders etc.

... and the reason?

It was the soviet's need to obtain hard currency in order to purchase machinery to aid in the construction of a dam on the Dnieper!!! :o

Michael_II asked "how can a human being do something as disgusting as this?"

Perhaps the reply is best understood by looking at who was responsible for these criminal acts?          
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2005, 10:11:26 AM »
I am resonably sure that this subject has been discussed here in the past.  I've read a number of times that the tombs in St. P&P were opened so that anything of value could be stripped away.  It supposedly happened in the late 20's as I recall.

I have also been told (god only knows now by whom!) that, generally speaking, that Orthodox dead are not buried with valuable objects.  There are many on here that know more about that than I.  I also vaguely remember being told that the only person who had a cache of jewels buried with her was Catherine the Great - which in itself doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that fact she was buried, along with her murdered husband, by a son who absolutely detested her.

I have never heard anything about bodies being dragged out of their tombs and paraded around St. Petersburg.  Given the insanity of the time I suppose it is possible but looking at it from the perspective of today it sure seems odd, disgusting, unusal, and meaningless.  BUT I am not questioning those who have other information to contrdict my point - my information is not from any first hand sources - just what I've read.  Finally, given the ghoulish nature of this event it seems odd to me that it hasn't  been written about extensively since the revolution.

I will forward my spreadsheet to Alex P as he requested and to the FA in the hopes that he might have a way to display it here or on the main website for all to see.  I've been over it a few times and am confident that it reflects the research I have done (all from published, secondary sources).  Remember, it reflects who is suppose to be buried where - given what we've learned here it may not be accurate.

Best,
dca
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Dominic_Albanese »

Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2005, 10:13:51 AM »
Quote

I have a video documentary about Nicholas and Alexandra by Prince Michael of Kent showing some scenes of the opening of Grand Duke Georgij Alexandrovitch's tomb which was shoot(ed?).
Really macabre but his body seemed indeed to be "quite intact" - considering that he died more than 100 years ago...
He still wore his boots and there were also some palmtree-branches laying on his coffin. Maybe his grave was spared fr the desecration as it is hard to believe that they date from the reburials of the flayed bodies...


Why did the Greek Government bring Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna's body to Tatoi? And how could they know whether it is indeed her body if all the graves were opened and desecreted?

My word...how can a human being do something as disgusting as this?




Thomas: is the video something in an electronic file that might be able to be posted?  If not, perhaps the FA (our technical genius!!) has a way to turn it into a video file that can be posted?

best,
dca

AlexP

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2005, 11:03:04 AM »
Quote

I have a video documentary about Nicholas and Alexandra by Prince Michael of Kent showing some scenes of the opening of Grand Duke Georgij Alexandrovitch's tomb which was shoot(ed?).
Really macabre but his body seemed indeed to be "quite intact" - considering that he died more than 100 years ago...
He still wore his boots and there were also some palmtree-branches laying on his coffin. Maybe his grave was spared fr the desecration as it is hard to believe that they date from the reburials of the flayed bodies...


Why did the Greek Government bring Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna's body to Tatoi? And how could they know whether it is indeed her body if all the graves were opened and desecreted?

My word...how can a human being do something as disgusting as this?



I am sorry Thomas but one thing is quite clear from your posting and please help me here.

Was it the video that was "shooted" or was it the Grand Duke that was "shooted"?

And frankly I refer to Belochka's posting above wherein Dhzersinky, etc., etc.   I need to go check things again but I distinctly remember that in Russia proper there was entire concern as to whether indeed this was whom it was supposed.  His Holiness the Patriarch, in his previous capacity as Metropolitan of St. Petersburg, was quite aware of what happened at the Krepost.  It is amazing what things can happen in Russia under the aegis of the Godless hordes.

And you raise a good point as to whether his body would have been spared.  I come back to the information, however, presented by Belochka.  And you raise an even better point about the Greek-Russian Romanov.  And an even better point about how anyone could do something like this...

With all of the best from Shanghai,

A.A.


Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2005, 11:14:01 AM »
Alex - I have seen video (and I assume this is what is being discussed here) of the crypt being opened (with a priest in attendance of course) and the coffin being pulled out.  I also think there is a quick shot of the body - principally showing the upper body - I remember him being clothed in a tunic with a sash covered with prawns.  To the untrained eyes he appeared to look like one would expect since he was buried.  I specifially remember thinking if his tomb was opened why would the Soviets put the prawns back in place?  Anyway, that's why I think it would be good to see the video - this was a number of years ago and since I have trouble remembering what I had for dinner last night I could very well be wrong in what I remember...

best,
dca

AlexP

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2005, 11:39:03 AM »
Quote
Alex - I have seen video (and I assume this is what is being discussed here) of the crypt being opened (with a priest in attendance of course) and the coffin being pulled out.  I also think there is a quick shot of the body - principally showing the upper body - I remember him being clothed in a tunic with a sash covered with prawns.  To the untrained eyes he appeared to look like one would expect since he was buried.  I specifially remember thinking if his tomb was opened why would the Soviets put the prawns back in place?  Anyway, that's why I think it would be good to see the video - this was a number of years ago and since I have trouble remembering what I had for dinner last night I could very well be wrong in what I remember...

best,
dca


Dominic, dear friend, never underestimate the Soviets.  Never.  Just like the "sudden" discovery of the Romanov bones after 80 years.  Never, ever, ever.  The Russian word is "pakazuxa".  Belochka, Hikaru, translate please for me.

Regards,

A.

Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2005, 12:19:26 PM »
Quote

Dominic, dear friend, never underestimate the Soviets.  Never.  Just like the "sudden" discovery of the Romanov bones after 80 years.  Never, ever, ever.  The Russian word is "pakazuxa".  Belochka, Hikaru, translate please for me.

Regards,

A.


Admittedly, I am looking at this intense time through the (relatively) sane prism of the 21st century.  One can only imagine St. Petersburg in the early 1920's and late teens.  I again have to defer to you who clearly has much information that is new to me and many others.

best,
dca

Penny_Wilson

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2005, 12:42:05 PM »
Quote
I have just located this startling piece of information which I remembered I had in the depths of my library.

In Dziewanowski's appraisal of Alexander I, he noted that after Lenin died, Stalin ordered Dzerzhinsky to "open all the graves of the Romanov clan". He equated these sacred remains to those of the Egyptian pharaohs, who themselves were buried with priceless jewels, orders etc.

... and the reason?

It was the soviet's need to obtain hard currency in order to purchase machinery to aid in the construction of a dam on the Dnieper!!! :o

 


This squares with something I have heard about the repatriation of Alexandra Georgievna's body:  That she was essentially exchanged for a large piece of construction equipment paid for by the Greek government.  For the life of me, I can't remember this morning where I read or heard this...

However, a Russian Countess told me that back in the 60s, on an assignment in St Petersburg for an American magazine, she was offered a private tour of the Peter-Paul complex, including the Grand Ducal tomb.  The docent who showed her around told her that the graves were indeed opened in the 20s in order to retrieve any jewelry or other valuables that may have been there -- but that when the bodies were returned to the grave, attention was not paid as to who was placed where.  Based on some unstated piece of knowledge, the docent was of the opinion that KR was one of the Grand Dukes who is not where he ought to be.

Offline pers

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2005, 01:31:02 PM »
Good Lord!  

This posting thread is getting more and more interesting despite the shocking content.  Penny, do you know anything about this so-called parading of the corpses through the city?  I agree it sounds rather strange that Catherine the Great would have been buried with jewelry as Paul I presided over the funeral arrangements.  Does anyone know whether photographs were taken at the time of the so-called exhumations and goulish parade?  I agree it sounds rather strange that this incident of the parading of the corpses on pikes never reached the West.  Please God, let it only be that the tombs were opened for jewels and just closed up again...

I did read that it was a major excercise (maybe in FOTR?) when Georgi Alexandrovitch was exhumed in the 90's.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2005, 02:37:44 PM »
Before this discussion takes on a life of its own I would like to write that I think the tomb desecrations that took place inside of the Kremlin in 1917/18 are being confused with the systematic looting of the tombs in the Peter and Paul Fortress that took place in the 1920's.

During the Revolution the Kremlin changed hands a few times in bloody fighting that included the use of artillery which left a large hole in the front of the Uspensky Cathedral. For those who have seen the design of the ancient tombs inside, one can imagine how easily they could be opened with a large pry bar and a sledge hammer. The tombs in the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral could not have been opened by a rioting crowd, unless a few of the vandals had the forethought to bring a wagon loaded with tools and were willing to work many hours to get to a single coffin. How likely is it that drunken proles would do this? Besides the logistics and hard labour needed, the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress was an important government complex that housed a prison and the Russian Mint, it went from the hands of Tsarist officers to the Provisional Government and then directly to the Bolsheviks who continued to use it as a prison. When could riotous looting have taken place with all of the guards in place?

I have been trying to find the account to the desecration of the tombs in the Uspensky Cathedral but it eludes me thus far.

David

Penny_Wilson

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2005, 04:07:26 PM »
Quote
Good Lord!  

Penny, do you know anything about this so-called parading of the corpses through the city?  


No, I don't, pers.  I can't claim to have read everything about revolutionary Russia, but with all the reading and research that I have done, I haven't come across even a mention of this.

I hope that it is a mix-up of some sort...

Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2005, 07:15:33 PM »
I have, unfortunately, read (And I think I discussed it once with Bob A) that the tombs in St. P & P were opened and looted of jewels in the 20's.  I have not read anything about taking the corpses out of ST. P&P and parading them around or of corpses not getting back where they belong.  But, as we all know, each of us learns something new on this web site every day!

More info from some of our resident experts would greatly be appreciated!!

best,
dca
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Dominic_Albanese »

AlexP

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2005, 08:10:24 PM »
Quote
Before this discussion takes on a life of its own I would like to write that I think the tomb desecrations that took place inside of the Kremlin in 1917/18 are being confused with the systematic looting of the tombs in the Peter and Paul Fortress that took place in the 1920's.

During the Revolution the Kremlin changed hands a few times in bloody fighting that included the use of artillery which left a large hole in the front of the Uspensky Cathedral. For those who have seen the design of the ancient tombs inside, one can imagine how easily they could be opened with a large pry bar and a sledge hammer. The tombs in the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral could not have been opened by a rioting crowd, unless a few of the vandals had the forethought to bring a wagon loaded with tools and were willing to work many hours to get to a single coffin. How likely is it that drunken proles would do this? Besides the logistics and hard labour needed, the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress was an important government complex that housed a prison and the Russian Mint, it went from the hands of Tsarist officers to the Provisional Government and then directly to the Bolsheviks who continued to use it as a prison. When could riotous looting have taken place with all of the guards in place?

I have been trying to find the account to the desecration of the tombs in the Uspensky Cathedral but it eludes me thus far.

David


David,

In the Krepost, they were not opened by a rioting, drunken, crowd.  They were opened by new regulars of the Goskomitet bezaposnostii and by forced workers from Kronstadt.  The Komitet provided them the materials and the workers worked at gunpoint.  Eventually most of these workers were liquidated.

With all of the best from Shanghai,


A.A.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »

Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2005, 08:48:25 PM »
Alex - what is Krepost?

dca

AlexP

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Re: Grand Ducal Vault in the P&P Fortress
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2005, 09:48:43 PM »
Penny, I am sorry but it is not a mix-up of some sort.  It indeed did happen.  And experiments were performed on some of the corpses a la sovietique.

Have you been granted access to the private diaries still existing in Paris of some of the old Petersburg families?

Do you have an introduction to the great name families that attend the rue Daru?  Have you consulted any archives that may be held at the rue Daru?

Have you been granted access to those 5 members or so of the great name families that attend that Russian Church in Geneva, the Cantacuzene-Speranskiis among others?

Have you thorougly interviewed the members of the Russian Nobility Society in New York to see if they can provide you with access to private family memoirs?

Have you contacted and interviewed the nobles who are members of the Soioz Rucckoe Dvorianstov in Moscow as per the above?

Have you consulted their archives?  Do you wish me to put you in contact with Prince Galitzine who heads it?

Have you read through all the back articles in the La Pensee Russe (Ruckaya Miscil) since 1948 on this subject, a newspaper which was controlled for many years by the Tolstoy family in the Emigration and did not publish things lightly, and which articles may provide you with cross-references to other materials with which you were not familiar?

Have you interviewed the various Bishops and Archbishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad on this subject and have you asked them to open their archives to you and to share their vast amount of private knowledge?

Have you, and this is of primordial importance, sollicited and been granted an interview with His Holiness, the Patriarch of Moscow and of All the Russias, Alexis II, who in his previous charge as Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladgo, had an intimate knowledge of all of this?

Have you sollicited, and been granted, an interview with the Grand Duchess Maria Vladirimovna on this subject, and asked Her assistance in having any family archives opened to you that may not have been opened?

Have you contacted Professor Nicolas Ossorgin at the Institut St-Serge in Paris, or any of his cohorts, all of whose families come from St. Petersburg, and questioned them and asked them if they had any archives on this subject and if not, could they assist you and would they be kind enough to open them for you?

Let me know if I may be of any kind assistance to you here.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AlexP »