Author Topic: One thing I find odd  (Read 109281 times)

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2006, 12:14:58 PM »
Oh, I don’t think Russia in 1914 was so bad, Tsarfan. You obviously haven’t been following the “Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?” thread. Russia in 1914 was not committing war crimes in Chechnya, was not in the middle of an AIDS epidemic threatening to decimate an already precipitously declining population, and was not on top of everything else massively polluted by toxic chemicals, which to this date are causing an unprecedented number of birth defects in children. Additionally, Russia in 1914 had not yet sacrificed 20-30 million victims to Lenin and Stalin and another 20 million to World War II (which partly explains the precipitously declining population).

With all this in mind, I can perfectly understand the nostalgia many Russians feel for pre-revolutionary, pre-World War I Russia. It was, after all, a time of great hope, however illusory that hope proved to be in the long run. In 1914 Russia was no longer an autocracy but a constitutional monarchy, with a government arguably more democratic than it is today, in 2006 (since back then, unlike now, it had an unmuzzled press and a thriving political opposition). Moreover, both the peasantry and working class were represented in the Duma, again, perhaps even better represented than they are today, in Putin’s Russia.

And let’s not forget Russia’s Silver Age, when innumerable writers, poets, painters, composers, musicians, architects, sculptors, choreographers and dancers were contributing to an unparalleled explosion of artistic talent. Nicholas II's Russia was considered to be the international leader in the arts. All this creativity was to be virtually snuffed out by the Bolsheviks, along with many of the artists themselves. One of the many crimes of the Bolsheviks, and probably not the least of them, either.

Of course it’s impossible to return to the past. But if Russia could turn the clock back, it would not be such a bad thing. In fact this discussion reminds me of that novel by Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow, in which time is turned backwards and all the dead of the Holocaust are magically resurrected. Imagine if most of the twentieth century had never happened in Russia. Imagine the millions of dead and unborn people who would be restored or born to life. Imagine where Russia would be today if it hadn’t been for the senseless murderousness and stultifying ideology of Lenin and his successors.   
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 12:35:19 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #121 on: October 24, 2006, 12:36:35 PM »
I don't agree with your observations, Elisabeth, in so far as they depict one aspect of an objective analysis of the situation.

However, having read hundreds of posts by people who pine for the return of Holy Mother Russia, Nicholas and Alexandra's sweet little family, and the fairytale existence of her aristocratic classes, I have the distinct impression that it is not the brief experiment with constitutional government (forced on Nicholas by a revolution, mind you) or the silver age of literature that is the siren call that lures them back to Russia's past.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #122 on: October 24, 2006, 12:54:55 PM »
I don't agree with your observations, Elisabeth, in so far as they depict one aspect of an objective analysis of the situation.

Do you mean you don't disagree with me, Tsarfan? Otherwise I don't understand your post. Or are you saying that you don't agree with me because my observations depict only one aspect of a contested past? (Upon rereading your post, I guess you mean the latter.)

However, having read hundreds of posts by people who pine for the return of Holy Mother Russia, Nicholas and Alexandra's sweet little family, and the fairytale existence of her aristocratic classes, I have the distinct impression that it is not the brief experiment with constitutional government (forced on Nicholas by a revolution, mind you) or the silver age of literature that is the siren call that lures them back to Russia's past.

Look, I don't care what other people think. I think what I think. I feel no nostalgia whatsoever for tsars and aristocrats and serfs. (Unlike you, I'm not even a "tsarfan" - I can't think of a single tsar I like, with the possible exception of Alexander II.) What I feel "nostalgia" for, if that's what you call a bitter regret for something stamped out without mercy, is the promise and potential held out by prerevolutionary, pre-World War I Russia. But I would argue that no one who has studied Russian history can feel anything other than tremendous sorrow at Russia's fate in the twentieth century. I don't understand this apparent need of yours to equate autocratic Russia with the Bolshevik Soviet Union... the two were not equivalent. And  I still do not ascribe to the belief that Russians somehow deserved what happened to them in the twentieth century, or were fated to go through these trials, because of their autocratic past - if you have read Russian literature, heard Russian music, you know there was a great deal more to imperial Russian history than an autocratic government. No, in my humble opinion Russia, in addition to the burdens placed on it by its unfortunate past, also suffered a run of tremendously bad luck in the twentieth century. Everything that could have gone wrong did, and in the worst possible way. I can't blame the Russian people or even autocracy for that.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 01:08:29 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #123 on: October 24, 2006, 01:15:59 PM »
Lordy, Elisabeth . . . I really don't manage to convey in my writing when my tongue is in my cheek.

Actually, I do largely agree with your interpretation of the promise that Russia held at the turn of the twentieth century.  And I think we largely agree that Nicholas was more a hindrance to than a promoter of that promise.

And, I assure you, it was definitely not you to whom I was referring with the comment about the siren call.  I find you unfailingly objective in your analysis of Russian history.

When I said your observations depict only one aspect of Russia as it stood in 1914, I did not mean that aspect was incorrect.  I simply meant that Russia had both good and bad aspects . . . and good and bad prospects.  You focused on the aspects that arose from Russia's attempts to progress, and I focused on the aspects that arose from her resistance to progress.

My real point was that when most people crave a return to Russia's past, it seems to arise from their attraction to traditional Orthodoxy and/or to the material glories of Romanov court and society.

If anyone said that they desired to go back and pick up the experiment with constitutional government before eight decades of communist rule put Russia almost beyond the reach any workable experiment in good government, I would whole-heartedly join in that wish.  However, if they desired to return to Orthodox autocracy as practised by the tsars, I would cringe at the prospect for Russians who want to control their own future.

Offline lori_c

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #124 on: October 24, 2006, 01:59:30 PM »
Thanks for being so patient with my lack of computer skills, Lori. I thought I was on the last page of this thread when actually I was on the first page! One must be ever-vigilant when following links...

At any rate, I have to insist that there's no factual evidence of rumors to the effect that two bodies were missing in 1918 Russia. There were rumors that one or more of the grand duchesses had escaped (please note: living bodies, not corpses!), but these seem to have been put about by the Ural Regional Bolsheviks themselves from their new headquarters in Perm, in order to confuse the White investigation as to the ultimate fate of the former empress and her four daughters.

I'd also be the first to admit that I don't find Radzinsky to be a reliable historian. Let's just say I find him an interesting one. He's a Romantic, with a capital R, and he practices the art of the Romantic biography, in the nineteenth-century sense of the term. He's biased, he's partisan, and he's very emotional. All of these are traits I definitely do not look for in a good historian... That said, I don't doubt that he had (and has) inside connections to the former Soviet KGB and other governmental entities who helped him with his research. For that reason, I am always careful to read what Radzinsky has to say - but always with a large grain of salt on hand! Radzinsky's chief talent lies in manufacturing a new national myth for Russia, as he did in his biography of Nicholas II, The Last Tsar. However, as a historian, as opposed to a mythologist, for the most part he lacks credibility.

Thank you Elisabeth for your repsonse.  I agree with you that there was no factual evidence of rumors to the effect that two bodies were missing.  I was just trying to explain that it was my own theory that perhaps somebody around the graveside in the area "talked".  Obviously two bodies ARE missing.  I don't believe they survived.  It's my belief that in the haste of the burial and reburial something might have gotten missed.  This is my own theory and I have no facts to back it up.  I just thought it would be  something to think about as to how the story of AN and the heir so called surviving surfaced long before the mass grave was opened and proved to the world that indeed two bodies are buried elsewhere.

I understand your point that the "escape" by one of the Grand Duchesses was put out by the Ural Soviet Bolsheviks to confuse the Whites.  But so were other rumors such as only the emperor and the heir were executed and the Empress and her daughters were swept away to safety.    But my point is only to as a question, how did the imposters know exactly which two bodies would not be found in the grave and then proceed to impersonate them?  Anastasia and Alexei have had many claiming to be them over the years, yet no one has come forward claiming to be the Empress?  It was only my theory that something must have taken place, unpublished and undocumented, perhaps by word of mouth to give the impression that those two specifically were not in the common grave and this could have been that which opened the door for claimaints all over the world.  I have no historical or scholarly evidence to back this claim.  I just thought it was an interesting idead to ponder.

I didn't realize that Mr. Radzinsky was considered lacking in creditbility.  I was sincerely impressed by his research and writings.  The Last Tsar is one of my favorite books about the imperial family.    But, since you take this with a grain of salt, I will be sure to be more open minded about any future writings from him.

Lori C.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #125 on: October 24, 2006, 02:08:28 PM »
But my point is only to as a question, how did the imposters know exactly which two bodies would not be found in the grave and then proceed to impersonate them?  Anastasia and Alexei have had many claiming to be them over the years, yet no one has come forward claiming to be the Empress? 

Wait a minute. No one may have come forward to be the Empress, but plenty had come forward to be other imperial children (see "The Imperial Claimants" thread):

Olga:    28 claimants

Tatiana:  33 claimants

Maria:    53 claimants

Anastasia:   33 claimants

Alexei:     81 claimants

Total:  228 "imperial children" who survived the Ekaterinburg massacre...

So there is no great coincidence that Anastasia and Alexei are the two who are "missing" and the two who "came forward"... Besides, we don't know for sure if the missing female remains are those of Anastasia, they could be of Maria. In fact, notice that Maria had more claimants than Anastasia, hmmm...  ;)


Offline Tsarfan

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #126 on: October 24, 2006, 05:02:03 PM »

I don't agree with your observations, Elisabeth, in so far as they depict one aspect of an objective analysis of the situation.


Oops.  Sorry, Elisabeth . . . I made a typo and meant to say I don't disagree with your observations.  Now I understand why you found my post confusing.

Offline Belochka

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #127 on: October 24, 2006, 10:39:15 PM »

Wait a minute. No one may have come forward to be the Empress, but plenty had come forward to be other imperial children (see "The Imperial Claimants" thread):


Maria:    53 claimants

Anastasia:   33 claimants


Total:  228 "imperial children" who survived the Ekaterinburg massacre...

.... In fact, notice that Maria had more claimants than Anastasia, hmmm...  ;)

Perhaps it may be that this set of pretenders bellieved that Mariya was the more attractive one to select?

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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #128 on: October 24, 2006, 10:46:09 PM »

I don't understand this apparent need of yours to equate autocratic Russia with the Bolshevik Soviet Union... the two were not equivalent. And  I still do not ascribe to the belief that Russians somehow deserved what happened to them in the twentieth century, or were fated to go through these trials, because of their autocratic past . . . .


In fairness, Elisabeth, you have paraphrased my position in a debate on another thread in a way that grossly distorts the points I made there.  I argued that Russia's autocratic past fostered in Russians a sense that their fates were in the hands of their government rather than in their own, and that the decisions of government were not to be questioned.  From that, I argued that this mindset -- borne of an autocratic heritage -- made the depredations of the soviet era easier for the dictators to pull off without challenge.

While I also saw some antecedents to the violence of the soviet era in things such as Peter I's dealing with the Streltsy, his likely murder of his own son, and his forced westernization policies, I never equated the soviet regime with the autocratic regime.  And I certainly never argued or suggested that the Russians deserved what happened to them in the 20th century.  That would be like arguing that Jews who lived in an anti-semitic Europe deserved the Holocaust.  I merely pointed out that the ability of one madman such as Stalin to murder countless millions of his countrymen without any significant resistance had to have had its roots in certain aspects of Russia's history . . . a history which was one of autocratic rule with all power concentrated in the hands of one person.

Something very strange happens when the topic of the soviet era is opened.  Anyone who tries to place it in a historical context by daring to suggest it had any historical antecedents whatsoever, or that it was not alone in the scale of its evil in a century when other regimes also killed millions upon millions, is immediately pounced upon as an "apologist" for the soviet regime or someone who thinks it was justified.  What was actually said or written is simply to be ignored when it gets in the way of such wilful distortion.


Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #129 on: October 24, 2006, 11:31:40 PM »
Some of us are getting very OT here. I am admonishing anyone who wants to discuss the political situation in Russia to post these in the history sections. This topic is about the Question of Survivors.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #130 on: October 25, 2006, 01:38:31 PM »
But my point is only to as a question, how did the imposters know exactly which two bodies would not be found in the grave and then proceed to impersonate them?  Anastasia and Alexei have had many claiming to be them over the years, yet no one has come forward claiming to be the Empress?

Wait a minute. No one may have come forward to be the Empress, but plenty had come forward to be other imperial children (see "The Imperial Claimants" thread):

Olga:    28 claimants

Tatiana:  33 claimants

Maria:    53 claimants

Anastasia:   33 claimants

Alexei:     81 claimants

Total:  228 "imperial children" who survived the Ekaterinburg massacre...

So there is no great coincidence that Anastasia and Alexei are the two who are "missing" and the two who "came forward"... Besides, we don't know for sure if the missing female remains are those of Anastasia, they could be of Maria. In fact, notice that Maria had more claimants than Anastasia, hmmm...  ;)



These numbers are not accurate because no one knows how many people claimed to have been any of the IF after July 1918.  For example, I believe there are more than 40 claimants known under the Anastastia list. 

From everything I've read,  the first grand duchess mentioned who was missing  by the Bolsheviks in and around Ekaterinburg in July of 1918 was "GD Anastasia".  Alexis was mentioned, also.

Since there are two bodies missing,  no one knows if they were buried elsewhere or survived.  We can assume the two missing were murdered because the information given to us my those who claimed to have been their murderers tell us so. Can we believe Yurovsky and the others who make this claim?  Helen and many others believe Yurovsky and the others.  There are some of us who have learned never to make assumptions, therefore, there are some of us not as certain about what occured  for a variety of reasons.  What are some of those reasons?
1) The two bodies were not buried where Yurovsky claimed they were
2)  Yurovsky left several different testimonies, one, which has not been published claims a single body was burned;  two have been published and he gives us names of the female to be that of Alexandra which he changes to that of the Demidov, both of which were found in the mass grave, which meant it was neither and Yurovsky was mistaken or lied....
4) For years people have been churning up the ground in and near Pig's Meadow, the site of the mass grave, and no other bodies have been found
5) Ermakov claimed the bodies were placed in a mine somewhere in the woods where no one would ever find ANY of them...
6) Some claim all the bodies were burnt which they were not
7)  Some claim there were 12 people executed that night, one was a "black" cook;  some claimed where were 13....
8)  A great deal of evidence has been destroyed by the Bolsheviks, comummunists and the Whites
9)  The subject dealing with sighting of some of the IF after 18  July 1918 has been destroyed and what little has been collected provides us with a different view of what happen that eventful night
10)  There are 40 know testimonies of people who claimed to have seen members of the IF in or near Perm
11)  Plots of resuce by loyalist and foreign govt. have been ignored,  lost to time or have been kept closed to the public and only now and then do we discover new stories about people invovled....
12) ...... etc. etc. etc.

The one thing I find odd is how some posters dislike learning everything which surrounds the deaths of the IF.   I for one,  would like to know ALL the facts and it little concerns me as to where these facts take me as long as it's towards the truth.

AGRBear

« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 01:43:38 PM by AGRBear »
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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #131 on: October 25, 2006, 02:28:44 PM »
I am in agreement with AGRBear.  I always try to keep an open mind and always look at all angles until something is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt.

However, I think that no one claimed to be the Empress because she was too old and too well known.  Same for Nicholas II.  But the children (or young adults as they were) were almost completely unknown to the outside world.  What they  looked like as they grew would be up for debate.  But the Empress and Nicholas II were already as grown as they would ever be.  No room for speculation.

I picked up Peter Kurth's book Anastasia - The Riddle of Anna Anderson not too long ago and I also have Guy Richards The Hunt for the Czar.  In both cases it is very hard not to want to believe.  Most of you who post here know that because you have read both books, too.

The authors seem to be on to something and the "evidence" that they postulate seems irrefutable.  That is until you read something else.  And of course now we have DNA and also the "found" bones.

But - there are two bodies "missing" (that is not in the mass grave) and one is Alexis and the other most probably Anastasia (I am on the side of he American team in this case because I believe that the Russians are still trying to play down the Anastasia escape scenario just because they can.  And they need to do it to fit their own warped and twisted sense of what truly happened).  Just my opinion, so please don't all jump on me.

But what I find odd, is that people knew.  They knew that two of the "children" would not be found with the others.  And they knew it in 1918!  No matter how afraid most people were of the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinberg in 1918, there would still be someone who would want to "follow" the truck to see what was going on.  Maybe I'm wrong about this not being there or knowing the political climate and the fear level at that time, but humans are curious.  And again, people knew!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 02:31:02 PM by Alixz »

Offline lori_c

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #132 on: October 25, 2006, 03:12:59 PM »


But - there are two bodies "missing" (that is not in the mass grave) and one is Alexis and the other most probably Anastasia (I am on the side of he American team in this case because I believe that the Russians are still trying to play down the Anastasia escape scenario just because they can.  And they need to do it to fit their own warped and twisted sense of what truly happened).  Just my opinion, so please don't all jump on me.

But what I find odd, is that people knew.  They knew that two of the "children" would not be found with the others.  And they knew it in 1918!  No matter how afraid most people were of the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinberg in 1918, there would still be someone who would want to "follow" the truck to see what was going on.  Maybe I'm wrong about this not being there or knowing the political climate and the fear level at that time, but humans are curious.  And again, people knew!

That's EXACTLY what I was trying to point out in my original post.  They already knew that two children wouldn't be found way back in 1918!  and like you said someone would want to see or would have seen what was going on and maybe that's how word got out beforehand.

That's all I was pointing out. But somehow AGRBear, you have the gift of explaining it better!

Thanks!
Lori C.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #133 on: October 25, 2006, 04:34:20 PM »


But - there are two bodies "missing" (that is not in the mass grave) and one is Alexis and the other most probably Anastasia (I am on the side of he American team in this case because I believe that the Russians are still trying to play down the Anastasia escape scenario just because they can.  And they need to do it to fit their own warped and twisted sense of what truly happened).  Just my opinion, so please don't all jump on me.

But what I find odd, is that people knew.  They knew that two of the "children" would not be found with the others.  And they knew it in 1918!  No matter how afraid most people were of the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinberg in 1918, there would still be someone who would want to "follow" the truck to see what was going on.  Maybe I'm wrong about this not being there or knowing the political climate and the fear level at that time, but humans are curious.  And again, people knew!

That's EXACTLY what I was trying to point out in my original post.  They already knew that two children wouldn't be found way back in 1918!  and like you said someone would want to see or would have seen what was going on and maybe that's how word got out beforehand.

That's all I was pointing out. But somehow AGRBear, you have the gift of explaining it better!

Thanks!
Lori C.

Folks, it was a coincidence, and nothing more. Coincidences happen all the time in history. Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert died on a December 14, her daughter Alice (mother of Alexandra) died on a December 14, and her great-grandson George VI was born on a December 14. But I'll give you another example... Michael Romanov was elected tsar in 1613 while staying in the Ipatiev Monastery and his descendant, Nicholas II, the last Romanov tsar, was killed in the Ipatiev House with all his family just over 300 years later. All coincidences, unless you're very superstitious, as Victoria was. But superstition is something you have to leave at the door, if you want to be a real historian! (And LoriC, by the way, Radzinsky is very superstitious.)
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Offline lori_c

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Re: One thing I find odd
« Reply #134 on: October 25, 2006, 04:55:08 PM »
Good point.  I noted in his book those "coincidences" you pointed out and there was another he said that Russians subscribe to of the 12 year cycle of the Tsar's.  I will get the book and quote it for you word for word.  So I do agree with your point.

But I am superstitious too (part of MY heritage) and for pure historians, it must be left at the door when dealing with facts. I agree with you on that as well.

But for me, when it comes to the Romanovs, mysticism and superstition all played and important role in their lives and so it does with mine as well.  It does make life a lot more colorful.

I am no historian and I bow to your knowledge.

but I do like that there is some sort of mystical untertow in life and that sometimes it shows itself in the most unlikely places...

Lori C.