Author Topic: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917  (Read 46061 times)

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Offline Michael HR

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2010, 07:01:48 AM »
I totally agree with Robert. also I am sure had he known what was to happen he would have made sure they got out (with the assistance of the government) as he did with the Dowager Empress. By then he knew what would happen if they were not removed. I am sure that had George V simply left them to the firing squad I doubt the the Dowager Empress and GD Xenia would have stayed in Britain when they did. We all speak with hindsight today but I do not think that Ekaterinburg ever crossed anyones mind at the time.
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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2010, 07:34:26 AM »
His government's advice was to accept the Imperial family and to grant them entrance into Britain.  King George V vetoed that.  so he was not following his governmnet's amonarch and not that of the country advice.  I think he was worried about his position as constitutional monarch and not that of the country as a whole.  As I said before, he also had the option of accepting the children. Prior to August 1917, the exit of the children would have been easy to facilitate.  And I am sure that neither Nicholas or Alexandra would have been against this.  I stand by my original judgement.  Noone would have started a revolution about the Imperial children coming to England.

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2010, 09:15:43 AM »
If anyone can access Lord Stamfordham's papers, the discussion between King George V and David Lloyd George is there.

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2010, 09:32:31 AM »
According to a story in the Independent from 1999 about files that were released, King George was following the matter closely
And 75 years later, documents which have been locked inside the most secret archives of the British state are chilling in their account of the murders: "She kept running about and hid herself behind a pillow, on her body were 32 wounds. The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna fell down in a faint. When they began to examine her she began to scream wildly and they dispatched her with bayonets and butt ends of their rifles."

The assassination of Tsar Nicholas II and his family horrified the then British King, George V, and the fate of his close Russian relatives has been the subject of mystery and speculation ever since.

The newly declassified files, compiled at great personal risk by British diplomats and secret agents, were handed over yesterday by the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, to his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, at a ceremony at the Foreign Office. They contained hundreds of documents from the British archives on the death of the last Tsar and his family at the hands of the Bolsheviks. The exchange of documents came as Mr Cook and Mr Ivanov signed a memorandum of co-operation between the archives of the two foreign ministries. In return Mr Ivanov handed over original documents captured by Soviet forces from the Germans at the end of the Second World War. They relate largely to the fate of British prisoners of war held by the Germans.

According to a Foreign Office spokesman many of the British files on the murder of the Romanov family were classified as "top secret" until this release. They contain voluminous encrypted correspondence between the Foreign Office and its representatives in the field from 1918 to 1920. Some are hand-written letters between King George, Nicholas's cousin, and the then foreign secretary, AJ Balfour.

The 38 bulky files now released to the Russians have taken British archivists several years to compile. They begin with a despatch from the British Consul in Ekaterinburg on 18 May 1918, noting the arrival of the Tsar and other members of the Russian royal family under a Red Army guard. The next, a terse telegram from Moscow, delivers stark news. "Ex-Emperor of Russia, Nicholas: Reports that he was shot on July 16 by order of Ekaterinburg Local Soviet." The memo is marked for the attention of the king.


And once again I ask you if the presence of the Tsar's mother or sister in England caused a revolution? The evidence points to the fact that neither would the presence of the Tsar's family or probably the Tsar himself.  Only King George's fears prevented the Imperial family's survival.



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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2010, 09:53:08 AM »
Does anyone live in London who could make a trip to the British Museum to look up documents of state relating to this?

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2010, 10:04:39 AM »
'And once again I ask you if the presence of the Tsar's mother or sister in England caused a revolution? The evidence points to the fact that neither would the presence of the Tsar's family or probably the Tsar himself.  Only King George's fears prevented the Imperial family's survival.'

I think we should bear in mind that neither was a ruler, and by then Nicholas and his family had all been murdered. Further, the government in power by then were hard-line revolutionaries, not a bunch of well-meaning (though ultimately ineffectual) democrats whose rise to power was largely welcomed by the British populace. The grammar school I went to some 30 years ago had a bound set of a weekly magazine published during WW1 called The War Illustrated. It is a long time now since I spent my school lunchtimes working my way through it, but I distinctly remember the enthusiasm the magazine showed for the Provisional Government (somewhat hypocritically, since they had been praising Nicholas only weeks earlier!)

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #81 on: April 13, 2010, 10:51:20 AM »
The BM? I do not think they would be there. More likely the National Archives in Kew or the  Windsor  repository. There might also be some documantation  in the Imperial War Museum. That place is full of surprises.

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #82 on: April 13, 2010, 11:17:37 AM »
I am sure they would be in the British Library
here is another link i am looking at for sources  http://books.google.ca/books?id=sfsGsSLCghQC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=Lord+Stamfordham+papers&source=bl&ots=hBq3dthQCM&sig=UvvvbZNr6PzmXKg82ttOALNeX28&hl=en&ei=3oTES8mpF8iCOODniNQP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Lord%20Stamfordham%20papers&f=false
The two other archives might also be useful

Ann
The decision to revoke the offer of exile came in 1917 and I am sure that the King was tracking every move of the Imperial family through the British Embassy and consuls.  My point is that there was a point when it was not too late to get out either part or all of the family and King George alone was responsible for cancelling the only possiblilty that the Tsar's family had of escaping what was a worse and worse situation.

Offline TimM

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #83 on: April 13, 2010, 12:02:38 PM »
I have to agree.   The British Goverment may have taken some flak if they had given Nicky and his family asylum, but that's it.  Revolution?  Wouldn't happen.  The conditions in Britain and Russia were nowhere near the same.  Most of all, Britain was a democracy.  Revolutions rarely happen in democratic countries.

Of course, this is hindsight here.  I don't think anyone realized how much danger the Romanovs were in, especially when Lenin and his thugs took over.
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Constantinople

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #84 on: April 13, 2010, 12:18:39 PM »
Well one thing that is more or less clear is that Nicholas and Alexandra intended to leave Russia after the revolution and the idea that Nicholas wanted to stay in Russia at any cost is probably a myth.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 01:51:26 PM by Alixz »

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #85 on: April 13, 2010, 01:55:07 PM »
I think that Nicholas did intend to stay.  Somehow, he believed that he could retire to Livadia and become "landed gentry" after he abdicated.

All of the Romanovs (from what I have read) regardless of the fact that so many had been executed, always thought that eventually they would be welcomed back and they would just take back their palaces and their estates and live as they had before.  Just without a Tsar.

That is why Empress Marie stayed so long.  She just could not believe that things would somehow return to "normal".

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #86 on: April 13, 2010, 03:52:17 PM »
I used to think that too but I don't now.  I think that he was giving that image so he didnt invoke a lot of retaliation.  I doubt whether Myiulkov would have started negotiations for exile if he knew Nicholas would get cold feet,  I think the thing about Livadia was its proximity to the Black see and Romania or Bulgaria or out through the Bosphorus to the Med.

Offline mcdnab

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #87 on: April 13, 2010, 04:00:27 PM »
 A few points on some of this interesting thread.

Nicholas' only real chance of escape was in the immediate aftermath of the abdication - a point made by one of his entourage during his mother's final visit before he returned to the capital.
The illness of the children prevented an immediate escape but i think Baroness Buxhoeven in her memoir suggests that escape plans were discussed with them leaving seperately (the children following i think) but were dismissed by Nicholas and Alexandra.
The British Government - had two reasons for offering asylum - 1) The personal relationship between the British and Russian Royal Families 2) A desperate desire to ensure that the provisional government stayed in the war!
George V's doubts as expressed to Stamfordham were essentially accurate - Nicholas II's reputation abroad for much of his reign was appalling, he would quite literally have been a red flag to a bull with regards the burgeoning British Left and many on the right had formed a view from the views of the British Ambassador which hadn't been that good in the last year or two of the reign.
George V's diary is not overly kind to either "Nicky" or "Alicky" but there is no animosity to either of them nor is their an absence of fear of what might happen but it doesn't imagine the future horror to come.
Russia and Britain were not natural allies - they were imperial rivals for domination in the middle and far east, Britain's support for the collapsing Ottoman Empire had been a significant thorn in Russia's side through much of the 19th century for example. Nicholas II was more than happy being a good cousin but he was also quite content to write to his sister Xenia praising the poor Boers during Boer War and likewise British sympathies in 1905 were far more with Japan than with the Russians.
The offer had been made in good faith however by the time it was withdrawn formally Kerensky had already had to give guarantees due to questions from the soviet that the former Tsar wouldn't be allowed to leave.
At the same time Alexandra was under active investigation by the Provisional Government for treason charges (they had nothing and eventually admitted as much).
Kerensky spent most of his time in exile blaming everyone but himself - the reality was that moving them into the interior ostensibly to protect them he had in fact made it far far harder for anyone to have rescue them. If he'd had any real guts or desire for a bloodless revolution he should have shuffled them across the border into Finland and blamed someone else!

Someone pointed out that the Empress and Grand Duchess Xenia were welcomed with open arms by England then why not the Tsar - two reasons - Marie Feodorovna and Xenia Alexandrovna did not arrive in Britain until 1919 - after first staying at Malta. The knowledge of the executions of the imperial family had changed public opinion to a certain extent. The war had ended and George V no longer felt as worried about his throne's security and neither MF or XA had been head of state. Even so the British left wing didn't like it and as Corynne Hall comments one paper describing MF as the "evil genius of her son's reign". It is notable though that no Grand Duke was ever welcomed to Britain even Xenia estranged husband wasn't allowed entry and the Ambassador who brought Grand Duke Dimitri out of Persia to Britain was not a very popular man with the Foreign Office for sometime afterwards.

I don't think MF or her daughters ever really bemoaned their change in financial circumstances - arguably Xenia A had had the most luck bringing more of her jewels with her than the other two (much of the Empress Dowager's jewellery had already been confiscated from the Anitchkov by the time someone went to try and get some of it for her - she being already in the Crimea by then). What does seem to have concerned them was their inability in meeting their financial commitments to the numerous charities they supported in the immediate aftermath of the revolution. In exile both MF and XA continued their charitable work although in a far less high profile way.

Offline TimM

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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #88 on: April 13, 2010, 04:02:27 PM »
Quote
I think the thing about Livadia was its proximity to the Black see and Romania or Bulgaria or out through the Bosphorus to the Med.

Makes sense, if things got too hot, they could get out quickly.  Of course, things did get hot, but by then it was far too late.  Once they were in Ekaterinburg, they were too well guarded to get away.
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Re: Nic II's Plans to go abroad April 1917
« Reply #89 on: April 13, 2010, 10:46:19 PM »
Macdnab
            that makes a lot of sense.  I also dont thnk Nicholas had a quick mind or else he would have negotiated the exile of his family when he had the chance: prior to abdication.