90 years on, Russia remembers slain royals
90 yrs ago today the family was executed.....
Great rec, Aries!
An excellent book on the subject is "The Romanovs - The Final Chapter" by Robert K. Massie. I got especially interested in the subject as my husband was a hemophiliac and as Alexi was one of the first well known hemophiliacs, it was a natural interest. Also, I believe the author's son is also a hemophiliac. Queen Victoria passed it around in her family and there were others.
In any event, this book documents the revolution, murders and discoveries very well I think. It kept me engrossed.
I doubt seriously that Alexi tried to hurt himself; he was a boy who wasn't able to play like the other boys and so tried to make his own fun...sometimes with very painful results. It doesn't take much to get hemophiliacs to bleed in their joints, etc. and without treatment (which obviously they did not have then), it was excruciating and slow to recover. Just imagine your knee joint filling up with blood until it's the size of a cantelope and there's nothing to do about it.
Anyway, I love this subject for many reasons and highly recommend the book.
wow..... I never knew the finally found everyone...very cool
Take a look at this site, it talks about the discovery of the bones and show some really good pics. And it also talks about Anna Anderson, I believe she is the woman who claimed to be Annastasia!
It's a lifetime filled with tiny graces, the biggest things in the smallest places...
Just found this thread. Since this stuff really is my cup of tea and I’ve written five books about the Romanovs, I’m going to try to cover about eight million things, starting with….
Rasputin’s penis: It was later claimed that Prince Felix Yusupov (a gay, drug addicted transvestite to boot!), the principal assassin who murdered him, cut off Rasputin’s penis after the murder. Felix later hinted at this in exile but he loved being the center of attention and, drama queen that he was, you have to take everything he ever said with a very large grain of salt. Patte Barham, who co-authored Maria Rasputin’s last book on her father, claimed to have seen something she described as a “12 inch long blackened banana” kept in a velvet box in Paris by some Russian émigrés who said it was Rasputin’s penis. I’ve researched this both for my 1995 book on Rasputin’s murder and then continuing on and it’s clear now that Rasputin’s penis wasn’t cut off as I have the autopsy report and autopsy photos. There’s even a story about how, when after the Revolution some soldiers dug up Rasputin’s body, the used a brick to measure his rotting penis (ugh) before burning his body. So no castration, sorry to say.
On the Romanov murders: of the 11 victims in the room, only 4-Nicholas, Alexandra, the valet Trupp and the cook Kharitonov-were killed in the first volley. Smoke from the revolvers used forced the execution squad from the room and they had to wait for it to clear before re-entering (and even then only half of them went back). Botkin, the family’s doctor, had been shot in the leg and was trying to raise himself up when he was shot point blank in the head. Marie, the third daughter, had only been shot in the thigh and lay on the floor. A couple of the men made their way through the room to the rear, where the two eldest daughters Olga and Tatiana were huddled together; one of them kicked Olga back and shot her through her mouth as she was falling back, while the other shot Tatiana in the head. Thirteen-year-old Alexei still sat in a chair, terrified. One of the men shot him probably a dozen times but he just sat there (he probably had on an undershirt padded with jewelry that protected him). He finally slipped to the floor and Yurovsky, the leader of the squad, shot him twice in the head. Marie, Anastasia, and the maid Demidova were all still alive at the rear corner of the room. Shots at the Grand Duchesses had no effect at all and they continued to scream and plead for their lives. One of the men tried to stab them with a bayonet but it would not pierce their bodices, under which they also wore double chemises padded with diamonds and pearls. They were supposedly “finished off” with shots to the head. Demidova was the last to die. Rather than re-load, the soldiers simply turned on her with bayonets and chased her back and forth across the rear wall, stabbing her until she was dead. Twenty minutes later, as the bodies were being loaded onto a truck, first Marie then Anastasia sat up screaming, gurgling blood and crying out. Because they were outside now, the men couldn’t shoot them, and repeated efforts to stab them also once again failed. One of the soldiers ended up turning the butt of a rifle on them and smashed them repeatedly in their faces until they fell silent.
The new remains: the Russians found a mass grave containing 9 of the 11 victims that night in 1979, revealed it in 1989, and exhumed it in 1991. This contained Nicholas, Alexandra, Botkin, Demidova, Trupp, Kharitonov, Olga, and two other daughters, whose identities remain contentious. Over the years, two different teams of American forensic and anthropological experts determined that they were the remains of Tatiana and Marie, meaning Alexei and Anastasia were missing. The Russians claimed that it was Alexei and Marie who were missing. The Americans based their decision that Anastasia was missing on 5 different anthropological factors while the Russians claimed they had Anastasia based only on a comparison of photos to the skulls (which were missing most of their facial bones and had been questionably reconstructed). In 1998, the Russians buried the body of a fully mature (at least twenty years old according to all of the American teams) young woman who was the tallest of the recovered remains as that of Anastasia, who was actually 17 years old and one month at the time of her death and was the shortest of all the four girls. The Russians and Americans have continued to fight about this, arguing at scientific conferences. Having studied this for years, I’m pretty certain that the Russians did not have Anastasia but instead claimed they did in an effort to put an end to what they regarded as unwelcome “Western” myths about Anastasia’s survival.
Last July the Russians found 46 bone fragments in the forest-these are the remains of which they are talking. Of course, they’re missing something like 95% of each body. The Bolsheviks said that they burnt two of the corpses, but they had only 90 minutes, and thus nothing would have disintegrated to such an extent, so perhaps there are more remains there to be found (after the first exhumation of the mass grave in 1991, the Russians faced a similar dilemma and went back to the site, to find that they had previously missed more than 300 bone fragments, and they announced a few weeks back that even with these new remains they were going to keep searching the forest for more).
The new DNA tests have yet to be published so it is not known what sorts of testing has been done on them, though they’re certainly Romanov bones. But until they publish the results of the tests we won’t know exactly if they did nuclear DNA testing against the genetic profiles of the other 3 Grand Duchesses found in 1991. And any DNA, whether nuclear of mitochondrial, can’t establish that the dozen or so fragments identified as the missing Grand Duchess belong to Marie or Anastasia-the Russians are simply following through on their declaration that they found Anastasia in 1991, thus, this has to be Marie. In fact, the remains would have to be those of Anastasia as far as I’m concerned based on all of the forensic and anthropological tests done by the two American teams.
But the Russians are still undertaking testing of the remains-every few weeks Edvard Rossel, the Governor of the province involved, makes a claim that it is all over, but the officials in charge of the investigation continue to say that the determination is ongoing.
Finally, Alexei: Yes, in fact, while the Imperial Family was imprisoned in exile at Tobolsk in Siberia, he one day took a sled and rode it down the staircase in the house, which, being a hemophiliac, brought on a new crisis. He certainly didn’t try to kill himself but he was engaging in what he knew to be reckless behavior. By July 16, 1918-the night of the murder-he still had not recovered from this and thus, as he had difficulty walking-his father had to carry him into the execution room.
On this whole subject of the new remains, next week, on July 22, National Geographic will air a new documentary called “Finding Anastasia,” for which I filmed some segments, so anyone interested in learning more about the discovery might watch it.
They were a good lookin bunch of folks! Unusual for royalty!
So glad they found those remains...and now can rebury them in peace. It sucks that Anastasia didn't survive...I had always hoped that she had escaped unharmed. Awful that they executed the children like that...sure that haunted the soldiers for the remainder of their lives...savages. What did the Czar's children ever do to anybody?
I've always found the Romanov deaths fascinating. I suppose one reason is American chauvinism- they wrote to each other in English so you can read the primary sources, but then of course it has all- glamor, tragedy, romance, evil, etc.. Ultimately I have a hard time feeling sorry for Nicholas, but his family of course is a different matter.
Anyway- does Anna Anderson still have any supporters among the objective scholars of the subject? I know there was DNA testing, but the Conspiracy Theorists at the time claimed it was misleading (that to most of the world it's trivia but to Prince Philip and the royal families of Europe it would be an extreme embarassment), but they'd claim that if they found Anastasia's perfectly preserved corpse under Lenin's in the Kremlin. (Yul Brynner's character even mentioned the "need" to believe in Anastasia so many White Russians had, telling his pudgy male friend "half would sign an affidavit saying you were Anastasia".)
Why did Anna Anderson have such a a following of all the many Grand Dutchess claimants? (She even got money from the producers of the play and movie ANASTASIA in spite of it having little to do with her life other than she was once in Paris.)
I saw her once when I was visiting family in Charlottesville. My cousin managed a restaurant at the Farmington Country Club which Anderson's husband belonged to and they occasionally came by. Just in the few minutes I sat across a room from her she seemed two things- arrogant and crazy-as-hell, both of which I'm told were quite accurate. There were tons of stories about her and her husband (green card marriage)- at the time they were fighting the city who was trying to take their dogs as they wouldn't vaccinate or fence them in, and they drove around town in an old station wagon loaded so full of junk a passenger couldn't fit in and the house was supposedly very Early Modern Grey Gardens- filthy, dilapidated, and basement to attic cluttered).
Anyway, does she still have any supporters other than fanatics and 'wanna believe it cause it's a great story' folk?
I am so happy I found this thread. I have loved their story ever since the first time I heard it and found their tragic deaths unfathomable. Greg...came aboard late and missed the show you were talking about but hopefully they will replay it!
God created liquor to keep the Irish from conquering the world!
The issue of Anna Anderson does indeed still remain contentious amongst certain factions. The problem is that, on the one hand, you have DNA tests that say she was in fact Franziska Schanzkowska; on the other hand, you have 88 years of accumulated assertions, testimonies, depositions, a 34 year long legal battle in the German courts, and other information said to support her claim. It's always been a struggle over credibility, but after the DNA tests I think the difficulties for those who supported Anderson arose from two things: the DNA tests not only contradicted decades of assumed evidence in her favor but they also offered nothing beyond a stark scientific fact; and the results of the DNA tests contradicted so much of the human experience of her claim (people who did or did not recognize her but who would speak of her aristocratic manner, how she intimately seemed to know all rules of royal etiquette, etc.). There's plenty of evidence against Anderson's claim aside from the DNA, but I think the questions will linger until some attempt is made to reconcile the DNA to the specifics of Anderson's case and offer reasonable and verifiable hypotheses to explain how she managed it all. I don't think it's a real question of too many people now alleging conspiracy as to the DNA but rather that the outstanding questions in her case have yet to addressed.
Additional details regarding the Romanov murders ~ first person account:
During the early morning hours of July 17 the Tsar, his wife, children and servants were herded into the cellar of their prison house and executed.
"We must shoot them all tonight."
Pavel Medvedev was a member of the squad of soldiers guarding the royal family. He describes what happened:
"In the evening of 16 July, between seven and eight p.m., when the time of my duty had just begun; Commandant Yurovsky, [the head of the execution squad] ordered me to take all the Nagan revolvers from the guards and to bring them to him. I took twelve revolvers from the sentries as well as from some other of the guards and brought them to the commandant's office.
Yurovsky said to me, 'We must shoot them all tonight; so notify the guards not to be alarmed if they hear shots.' I understood, therefore, that Yurovsky had it in his mind to shoot the whole of the Tsar's family, as well as the doctor and the servants who lived with them, but I did not ask him where or by whom the decision had been made...At about ten o'clock in the evening in accordance with Yurovsky's order I informed the guards not to be alarmed if they should hear firing.
About midnight Yurovsky woke up the Tsar's family. I do not know if he told them the reason they had been awakened and where they were to be taken, but I positively affirm that it was Yurovsky who entered the room occupied by the Tsar's family. In about an hour the whole of the family, the doctor, the maid and the waiters got up, washed and dressed themselves.
Just before Yurovsky went to awaken the family, two members of the Extraordinary Commission [of the Ekaterinburg Soviet] arrived at Ipatiev's house. Shortly after one o'clock a.m., the Tsar, the Tsaritsa, their four daughters, the maid, the doctor, the cook and the waiters left their rooms. The Tsar carried the heir in his arms. The Emperor and the heir were dressed in gimnasterkas [soldiers' shirts] and wore caps. The Empress, her daughters and the others followed him. Yurovsky, his assistant and the two above-mentioned members of the Extraordinary Commission accompanied them. I was also present.
During my presence none of the Tsar's family asked any questions. They did not weep or cry. Having descended the stairs to the The Ipatiev housefirst floor, we went out into the court, and from there to the second door (counting from the gate) we entered the ground floor of the house. When the room (which adjoins the store room with a sealed door) was reached, Yurovsky ordered chairs to be brought, and his assistant brought three chairs. One chair was given to the Emperor, one to the Empress, and the third to the heir.
The Empress sat by the wall by the window, near the black pillar of the arch. Behind her stood three of her daughters (I knew their faces very well, because I had seen them every day when they walked in the garden, but I didn't know their names). The heir and the Emperor sat side by side almost in the middle of the room. Doctor Botkin stood behind the heir. The maid, a very tall woman, stood at the left of the door leading to the store room; by her side stood one of the Tsar's daughters (the fourth). Two servants stood against the wall on the left from the entrance of the room.
The maid carried a pillow.
The Tsar's daughters also brought small pillows with them. One pillow was put on the Empress's chair; another on the heir's chair. It seemed as if all of them guessed their fate, but not one of them uttered a single sound. At this moment eleven men entered the room: Yurovsky, his assistant, two members of the Extraordinary Commission, and seven Letts [operatives of the infamous Cheka or Secret Police].. Yurovsky ordered me to leave, saying, 'Go on to the street, see if there is anybody there, and wait to see whether the shots have been heard.'
I went out to the court, which was enclosed by a fence, but before I got to the street I heard the firing. I returned to the house immediately (only two or three minutes having elapsed) and upon entering the room where the execution had taken place, I saw that all the members of the Tsar's family were lying on the floor with many wounds in their bodies. The blood was running in streams. The doctor, the maid and two waiters had also been shot. When I entered the heir was still alive and moaned a little. Yurovsky went up and fired two or three more times at him. Then the heir was still."
Painting of the Romanovs depicted as Saints, Church on the Blood, Ekaterinburg.
Jewels of the Romanovs
STAR OF THE ORDER OF ST. ANDREW
ST. PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1774
Gold, Silver, diamonds (24.27 carats), 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in (8.0 x 8.0 cm)
NECK BADGE OF THE ORDER OF ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKY
LEOPOLD PFISTERER, MOSCOW 1775
Gold, silver, diamonds (97.78 carats), ruby, glass, enamel
RUSSIA, CIRCA 1860
Gold, silver, diamonds (56.60 carats), Ceylon sapphire (260.37 carats) 2 1/8 x 2 3/8 in (6.0 x 5.3 cm)
Silver filigree, gold, pearls, rubies, beryl, quartz, 4 3/8 x 13 3/8 in (11 x 34 cm)
Cellar death pic
"I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."
PRAYER NOTEBOOK OF EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA (1798-1860), WIFE OF NICHOLAS I
IN GERMAN AND FRENCH
PAIR OF EARRINGS IN THE FORM OF BEES
RUSSIA, CIRCA 1760
Gold, silver, diamonds (48.61 carats),enamel, colored foil
2 1/2 x 1 5/8 in (6.25 x 4.0 cm)(
RUSSIA, CIRCA 1820
Gold, enamel, ivory, goache, table cut portrait diamond (27 carats), 7 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 7 7/8in (3.5 x 19.6 cm)
NECK BADGE OF THE ORDER OF ST. ANNE
LOUIS-DAVID AND JACOB-DAVID DUVAL, ST. PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1760
Gold, Silver, diamonds (9.11 carats), 2 x 1 3/8 in (5.0 x 3.5 cm)
Court Gown of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Wife of Nicholas II
Russia, Circa 1890
Pink silk moiré silver thread
Court Gown of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Wife of Nicholas II
By Court Couturiére Mme. Olga Nicholaevna Bulbenkova (1835-1918),St. Petersburg, Circa 1890
White silk moiré silver and gold thread
Court Gown of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, Sister of Nicholas II
By Court Couturiére Mme. Olga Nicholaevna Bulbenkova (1835-1918),St. Petersburg, 1894
Blue Velvet, white silk and gold thread
Photograph shows Czar Nicholas II and family gardening at Alexander Palace during internment at Tsarskoe-Selo, 1917.
The Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, signed his enforced abdication (in favour of Grand Duke Mikhail, who effectively declined power) on 15 March 1917 (2 March in the Julian calendar) at 3.05 p.m.
Decree of Abdication
In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial.
Internal popular disturbances threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of this persistent war. The destiny of Russia, the honour of our heroic army, the welfare of the people and the whole future of our dear fatherland demand that the war should be brought to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost.
The cruel enemy is making his last efforts, and already the hour approaches when our glorious army together with our gallant allies will crush him. In these decisive days in the life of Russia, We thought it Our duty of conscience to facilitate for Our people the closest union possible and a consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory.
In agreement with the Imperial Duma We have thought it well to renounce the Throne of the Russian Empire and to lay down the supreme power. As We do not wish to part from Our beloved son, We transmit the succession to Our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and give Him Our blessing to mount the Throne of the Russian Empire.
We direct Our brother to conduct the affairs of state in full and inviolable union with the representatives of the people in the legislative bodies on those principles which will be established by them, and on which He will take an inviolable oath.
In the name of Our dearly beloved homeland, We call on Our faithful sons of the fatherland to fulfil their sacred duty to the fatherland, to obey the Tsar in the heavy moment of national trials, and to help Him, together with the representatives of the people, to guide the Russian Empire on the road to victory, welfare, and glory.
May the Lord God help Russia!
FREDERICKS, MINISTER OF THE IMPERIAL COURT
Extracts from the 1917 Diary of Nicholas II
March 12, Monday
Disorders started several days ago in Petrograd; unfortunately, even the troops have begun to take part in them. It is a sickening feeling to be so far away and to receive fragmentary, bad news. I did not spend much time listening to reports. During the day I took a walk along the highway towards Orsha. The weather was sunny. After dinner I decided to go quickly to Tsarskoe Selo, and at 1 o'clock in the morning [March 13] boarded the train.
March 13, Tuesday
I went to bed at 3:15 as I had a long talk with [General] N. I Ivanov, whom I am despatching to Petrograd with troops to restore order. We left Mogilev at five in the morning. I slept till 10 o'clock. The weather was cold and sunny. During the day we passed through Viazma, Rzhev, and Likhoslavl at 9 o'clock.
March 14, Wednesday
During the night we turned back from Malaia Vishera, as Liuban and Tosno seenied to be occupied by the rebels. We went to Valdai, Dno, and Pskov, where I stopped for the day. Saw Ruzski.(General N. V. Ruzski, Commander of the Northern Army). He, with Danilov and Savich, dined. Gatchina and Luga, too, reported to be in possession [of the rebels]. Shame and disgrace. Failed to reach Tsarskoe, [Selo] but my thoughts and feelings are always there. How hard it must be for poor Alix [Empress] to go through all these events alone. Lord help us.
March 15, Thursday
In the morning Ruzski came and read his very long direct-wire talk with Rodzianko. According to this, the situation in Petrograd is such that a Ministry of the Duma would now be powerless to do anything, for it has to contend with the Social-Democratic Party, represented by the workers' committee. My abdication is required. Ruzski transmitted this talk to Headquarters, and Alexeev sent it on to all the commanders-in-chief. By 2 o'clock replies were received from them. The gist of them is that in order to save Russia and keep the army at the front quiet, such a step must be taken. I have agreed. From Headquarters has been sent a draft of a manifesto. In the evening Guchkov and Shulgin arrived from Petrograd, with whom I discussed the matter, and I handed them the signed and altered manifesto. At 1 o'clock in the morning [16th] I left Pskov, with a heavy heart because of the things gone through. All around me there is treachery, cowardice, and deceit.
March 16, Friday
I slept long and well. Awoke far beyond Dvinsk. The day was sunny and cold. Talked with those near me about yesterday. Read a great deal about Julius Caesar. Arrived at 8:20 at Mogilev. All ranks of the Staff were on the platform. Received Alexeev in the car. At 9:30 I went over to the house. Alexeev came with the latest news from Rodzianko. It transpires that Misha [Grand Duke Michael] has abdicated. His manifesto ends with a four-tail formula (Universal, direct, equal, and secret suffrage. There was no definite time set for the Constituent Assembly) for the election of a constituent assembly within 6 months. God knows who put it into his head to sign such stuff. In Petrograd, the disturbances have ceased-if it would only remain that way.
March 17, Saturday
Slept well. At 10 o'clock came the good Aleck (Prince A. P. Oldenburg.). Then I went to listen to the reports. At 12 I drove to the platform, to meet dear Mother, who has arrived from Kiev. I took her to my own place and lunched with her and our own family. We sat and talked a long time. Today, at last, I received two telegrarns from dear Alix. I took a walk. The weather was very bad-cold, with a snowstorm. After tea I received Alexeev and Fredericks. Toward 8 o'clock I drove to dine with Mother and remained with her till 11.
March 18, Sunday
It blew hard during the night. The day was clear and frosty. At 10 I drove to mass. Mother arrived later. She lunched with me and stayed until 3:15. I walked about the little garden. After tea I received N. I. Ivanov, who has returned from his mission. He was at Tsarskoe Selo and saw Alix. I took leave of poor Count Fredericks and Voeikov, whose presence, for some reason, has been irritating everybody. They have gone to his estate in Penza province. At 8 o'clock I went to dine with Mother.
March 19, Monday
Last day at Mogilev. At 10:15 I signed the farewell order to the armies. At 10: 30 I went into the guard-house to say good-bye to all ranks of the Staff and bureau. At my own house I bade farewell to the officers and Cossacks, of my guard, cavalry and infantry. It nearly broke my heart. At 12 o'clock I went to Mother's and lunched with her and her suite. At 4:30 1 left her, Sandro, Sergei, Boris (Grand Dukes Alexander and Sergei Mikhailovich, and Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich) and Aleck. Poor Nilov was not permitted to go with me. At 4:45 I left Mogilev; a crowd that was greatly moved came to see me off. Four members of the Duma accompanied me. Went by way of Orsha and Vitebsk. The weather is cold and windy. It is hard, painful, and sad.
March 22, Thursday
Arrived quickly and safely at Tsarskoe Selo at 11:30. But, God, what a difference! On the street, around the palace, inside the park, wherever you turn there are sentries. Went upstairs and saw dear Alix and the precious children. She looked cheerful and well. The children were lying in a darkened room, but were in good spirits except Maria, who recently came down with the measles. We lunched and dined in the playroorn with Alexei. I saw good Benckendorff. Walked with Valia Dolg (Dolgoruki)... and worked with him in the little garden, as we cannot go beyond... After tea I played a game of Solitaire. In the evening we visited all the occupants of the other wing and found them in their places.
March 23, Friday
We slept well. In spite of the present circumstances, the thought that we are all together cheers and consoles. In the morning I received Benckendorff. Later I looked through, arranged, and burned papers. Sat with the children till 2:30. Walked with Valia Dolg... accompanied by the same guard, who were today more agreeable. Had some good exercise working in the snow. Sunny weather. We spent the evening together.
March 24, Saturday
In the morning I received Benckendorff. Learned through him that we must remain here for some time. This is a pleasant thought. Continued burning letters and papers. Anistasia has earache just as the others had. From 3 till 4:30 I walked with Valia Dolg... and worked in the garden. The weather was unpleasant, windy, with 2 degrees of frost. At 6:45, we went to evening service at the field chapel. Alexei took his first bath. Called on Ania, Lilly D., (Anna Vyrubova and Lili Dehn) and the others.
April 5, Thursday
After 2 o'clock it cleared and thawed. Walked for a short time in the morning. Sorted my belongings and books, and sorted the things I want to take with me in case I go to England. After luncheon I took a walk with Olga and Tatiana, and worked in the garden. Spent the evening as usual.
April 9, Monday
We began to prepare for holy communion, but it has not started well. After mass Kerenski arrived and requested that we confine our meetings to mealtimes, and that we sit apart from the children. This, he claimed, was necessary in order to placate the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. I had to submit so as to avoid the possibility of violence. Took a walk with Tatiana. Olga has again taken to bed with a sore throat. The others feel well. At 9: 45 I went down to my rooms. Tatiana sat with me till 10: 30 Afterwards I did some reading, drank tea, and went to bed...
April 12, Thursday
During the day a strong wind scattered the clouds. At 10 we went to mass, where many of our people took communion. Walked for a short time with Tatiana. Today was the funeral of the "victims of the revolution" in our park, opposite the central part of Alexandrovski Palace, not far from the Chinese Palace. We could hear the strains of the Funeral March and the Marseillaise... It was over by 5:30. At 6 o'clock we went to the service of the Twelve Apostles; Father Bieliaiev, all alone, bravely read all of them. The evening I spent like all recent ones.
April 20 Friday
The weather has improved and it has grown warmer. Was out of doors a long time this fine morning. During the day I was occupied with Tatiana and Alexei. The appearance of the soldiers, and their slovenly bearing have made a disgusting impression on all of us. Read a great deal. From 10:15 on I was in my own rooms, downstairs.
April 21, Saturday
Celebrated the 23d anniversary of our engagement quietly. Weather was springlike and warm. In the morning spent a long time with Alexei. Found out why yesterday's guard was so disagreeable: it was made up from among the Soldiers' Deputies. Today it has been a good guard, from the reserve battalion of the Fourth Rifles. Worked at the landing stage, on account of the mob, and we enjoyed the warm sunshine. Spent the evening as usual.
November 2, Friday
Warm day. About 4 o'clock it rained a little. Now all our people who wish to take a walk are forced to pass through the city escorted by the soldiers.
November 3, Saturday
From our window we saw the funeral of a soldier from the Fourth Rifles... At the head of the procession marched a band made up of high school students which played very poorly. At 11 mass was said at our house. Sat till tea time with Kostritski. At 9 o'clock, there was a vesper service and then we made confession to Father Alexei. Went to bed early.
November 17, Saturday
In the morning I was made happy by a letter from Xenia. Much snow had fallen; I cleared a place for walking, and during the day we carried wood to the barn. It is already two days since any agency telegrams have been received. During the last two days there has been no telegraphic news, which may be due to unfortunate events in the big cities.
November 23, Friday
Another warm day - it went to zero. During the day I sawed wood. Finished the first volume of "1793." In the evening I read Turgenev's "Memoirs of a Hunter" aloud.
November 24, Saturday
Much snow has fallen. No newspapers or telegrams have come from Petrograd for a long time. At such a grave time this is serious. The girls were occupied with the swings, jumping from them into a pile of snow. At 9 o'clock there was a vesper service.
November 27, Tuesday
Birthday of dear Mother and 23rd anniversary of our wedding. At 12, there was a religious service. The choir got things mixed up and sang out of tune, probably because it had not been rehearsing. The weather was sunny and warm, with gusty winds. After afternoon tea, I re-read my earlier diaries-pleasant occupation.
November 30, Friday
The same disagreeable weather, with a penetrating wind. Heartbreaking to learn from the papers descriptions of what happened two weeks ago at Petrograd and Moscow. It is much worse and more dishonorable than before.
December 1, Saturday
There has come to attention a most incredible report that three delegates of our Fifth Army went to the Germans before Dvinsk and signed the preliminary conditions of an armistice. Such a nightmare I never expected. How could these Bolshevik scoundrels stoop so low as to carry into effect their cherished dream of proposing peace without asking the opinion of the people, and at a time when the enemy is occupying large tracts of our country?
December 3, Monday
The frost increased and the day was clear. There was disaffection among the soliders because they had not received their pay from Petrograd for three months. This was quickly settled by a temporary loan of the necessary sum from the bank. During the day I busied myself with the firewood. At 9, there was a vesper service.
December 4, Tuesday
This day of the Feast of the Presentation we had to go without church service because Pankratov (V. S. Pankratov was a Commissar sent from the Capital.) did not deign to permit it. The weather was warm. Everybody worked in the yard.
December 9, Sunday
At 8 o'clock we went to mass. This is a holiday in honor of those decorated with the St. George Cross. The city gave a dinner and other entertainments in the Community House in honor of them. Among the members of our guard were several knights whom their comrades, not members of the Order, would not relieve even on a day like this. Freedom... Walked long and much; weather moderate.
December 14-15, Friday-Saturday
Both days passed exactly alike. There has been a biting frost with sunshine. After our daily walk, we gather every day at...[sic] for rehearsal.. At 9, there were vespers.
December 16, Sunday
Alix and Alexei did not go with us to mass, on account of the cold-it was 16 degrees. All morning we rehearsed our parts in the drawing-room, where, with the aid of numerous screens and all manner of furniture, we set up something like a stage. In the evening it was all put back in place. We walked as long as there was daylight. While bezique is being played, I am now reading aloud Turgenev's "On the Eve."
December 19, Wednesday
My name day was passed quietly, and not as in former years. At noon there was a religious service. The men of the Fourth Rifles, on guard duty in the garden, congratulated me, and I them, on the occasion of their regimental holiday. I received three Saint's Day pies and sent one of them to the guard. In the evening, Maria, Alexei, and... [sic] carried off our parts in the play very nicely, and there was much laughter.
January 10, Thursday
Wonderful, sunny, warm day, with 2 degrees of frost. Remained long in the open air, both morning and evening. Learned with indignation that our good Father Alexei is being examined by the authorities and held under arrest in his house. This happened because at the Christmas service in the church the deacon referred to us by our title in the presence of the soldiers of the Second Rifles. Pankratov and his crowd probably had a hand in this, as they always do.
January 13, Sunday
Not a cold day, with a gusty wind. Toward evening, Alexei got up. He was able to put on his boot. After tea we separated, till the arrival of the New Year.
Lord, save Russia.
Czar Nicholas II, left, and his son Alexei Nikolaievitch are shown in this undated photo sawing wood to heat the Siberian prison camp where they were held during the Russian Revolution.
Last edited by Omerta; 12-30-2009 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Spelling
Summer dresses belonging to the Romanov girls: Anastasia's, Tatiana's, Olga's. The dresses are white lace, but are given color by the underskirts.
Here are court dresses in display in the Hermitage. Anastasia's in on the far left, then Maria's is behind her's. On the far right is Olga's then behind her's is Tatiana's.
This is a picture of Anastasia's regiment's badge. Her regiment was the 148th Caspian Infantry. There are no known photographs of her in her regiments uniform; probably because she got her's around when the war started, and there wasn't time to take them.
ROMANOV MYSTERY SOLVED
On July 29, 2007, members of an Ekaterinburg Russian Army Club called "Mountain Shield" searched the Southern part of the Pig's Meadow and found the site of a bonfire that contained 44 pieces of charred bones and teeth belonging to possibly the Tsarevich Alexis and his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria.
SEARCH Foundation's director, Capt. Peter Sarandinaki, was tasked by the Russian Most Senior Investigator of the Romanov case, Colonel Vladimir Soloviev, to coordinate the DNA validation process for newly-discovered remains. To this end, with the help of Dr. Anthony Falsetti, the director of the C.A. Pound Human Id Lab., SEARCH brought the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) and the University of Innsbruck Institute of Legal Medicine (ILM) Laboratory onboard to conduct DNA studies on the remains of Romanov family. Dr. Michael Coble, Chief of the AFDIL Research Section, was the lead scientist of the American team and Dr. Walther Parson leading ILM.
Dr. Falsetti came onboard as the 12th. Forensic Anthropologist to examine the newly found remains. In November 2007 Drs. Coble and Falsetti as well as Capt. Sarandinaki traveled to Ekaterinburg to meet the Russian team and to plan the work ahead.
The Russians invited Dr. Evgeny Rogaev, of the University of Massachussets, and of the Moscow Vavilovsky Institute DNA Laboratory, as the third independent DNA Laboratory representing the Russian team.
Colonel Vladimir Soloviev, welcomed the participation of these leading DNA Laboratories who would work independently to identify the newly found remains. It was also requested by Soloviev that all results be sent to Dr. Peter Gill of the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) to independently review and validate the result of three laboratories.
The identity of the remains of Nicholas II; his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra; their children: the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, Maria and the Tsarevich Alexis and their faithful servants, would be tested with the most advanced and sophisticated DNA techniques the world had to offer.
Dr. Nikolai I. Nevolin, director of the Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine had recently purchased the latest equipment to start a new DNA lab, requested that his scientists be trained by the AFDIL and Innsbruck laboratories in current forensic DNA techniques. The plan was for Nevolin's scientists to bring the DNA samples from the newly found remains to the USA and Austria.
Two Ekaterinburg based scientists, Tamara Tsitovic and Natalya Bondarenko, came to the USA and two others, Elena Trynova and Elena Vylegzhanina, traveled to Innsbruck for training. Tsitovic and Bondarenko were to bring enough bone samples for DNA testing to be divided amongst the three Labs. They first went to Dr. Evgeny Rogaev's Lab in Massachussets for initial training and after three weeks arrived at AFDIL in Rockville, MD.
Unfortunately, the two Russian scientists brought insufficient bone samples for the AFDIL and ILM. In March 2008, Dr. Coble and Capt. Sarandinaki traveled to Ekaterinburg to bring more sample of the 2007 material (2nd. grave), as well as samples from the 1991 materials (1st. grave), a portion of which was delivered to Dr. Parson at Innsbruck by Russian scientists in April of 2008.
Romanov Mystery Solved [continued]
In June of 2008, the AFDIL and ILM laboratories completed their work and after a review from Dr. Peter Gill, he found that each lab matched their results 100%. Dr. Gill was quoted as saying in July 2008, "There is overwhelming evidence to support the contention that the remains found in the second grave are those of Alexei and one of the Romanov princesses." In March 2009 a joint publication by Drs. Coble, Parson, Gill, and Falsetti was published in the online journal, "PLoS-ONE."
Russian Dr. Evgeny Rogaev's data matched AFDIL's and ILM's results. He not only the tested the DNA of the Russian royal family but also of their servants, who were murdered and buried along with the Romanovs. Dr. Rogaev's results were published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 27 February 2009). The Ekaterinburg Bureau of Forensic Medicine's new DNA Lab tested a blood sample that belonged to Nicholas II. In 1881, while traveling through Otsu, Japan, then Tsarevich Nicholas, was brutally attacked by a Japanese policeman, who tried to cut off his head with a sword. Nicholas was wounded on the right side of his head above his ear.
He held his head with his right hand and his blood stained the shirt. Luckily, the shirt was kept, never washed, and was found stored in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Dr. Rogaev as well as the Ekaterinburg scientists, were able to gather a sample of blood and were able to derive DNA from this 117 year old blood stain.
On December 5, 2008 the Final DNA results were announced to the world. The Romanov Mystery had been solved. ALL FOUR Labs matched 100% in their results. The DNA of the blood samples taken from Nicholas' shirt by Dr. Rogaev and the Ekaterinburg DNA lab matched the DNA results of the bones excavated by Avdonin in 1991 and tested by Coble and Rogaev.
An amazing wealth of information regarding this topic is located here: http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/Final-DNA.html
Restoration of Alexander Palace:
World Monument Fund
Tsarskoe Selo, Russia
Restoration and Museum Adaptation
As the Catherine Palace evokes Russia's eighteenth century grandeur, its neighbor, the stately neoclassical Alexander Palace, recalls the empire's final tumultuous century. Commissioned by Catherine the Great for her grandson, the future Alexander I. the Alexander Palace was the home of all Russian rulers from Alexander I to Nicholas II during part of their lives. The building is most closely connected with the tragic reign of Nicholas II, the last Tsar, who was born at the palace. Following his coronation, Nicholas and his empress Alexandra chose the palace as their permanent residence. Their daughters Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia grew up there along with their young brother, the Tsarevich Alexis. After Nicholas' abdication in 1917, the palace was the site of the Imperial Family's house arrest before their exile to Siberia and their eventual execution.
Fascinating online book, first hand perspective:
This book was written by Julia "Lili" Dehn, who was a close friend of the last Empress of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna. She witnessed many of the most important events of the sunset years of the Romanov Dynasty. Her book is an intimate, first-hand account from the perspective of a palace insider and close friend of Alexandra. Lili met the infamous Rasputin through Alexandra and knew him personally. She experienced the events of 1917 and the fall of the dynasty at the side of the Empress This is an excellent memoir to learn more about the Romanovs and life before the Russian revolution.
I have been a keen student of the Romanov dynasty, and its tragic end. Thank you all for posting. Avid reading!!!
Everyone must die but not everyone has lived
Visit my blog to read my memoir "Monster In The Closet".
I welcome your coments and input.
None of the western countries wanted to help the royal family. The world was at war and they had their own issues to deal with though Great Britain should have at least moved them to one of their dominions like Canada or even Australia.
But the Russian royal family was a political hot potato. No one wanted to be associated with them. It's terribly sad, and their story fascinates me to this day.
There's an excellent book called "The Flight of the Romanovs" by John Curtis Perry and Constantine Pleshakov. It's about the extended members of the royal family: uncles, cousins, sisters, etc, and what happened to them. Some were lucky enough to flee in time because they saw what was coming. Sadly, some did not and were executed for being a royal. It's a wonderful book and I've read it many times.
Do not knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run. He hates that.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
I once saw a programme about a woman who claimed to be Anastasia and she had a lot of supporters who totally believed her. After she died they did DNA tests and she was a fraud.
Great thread this!
I must admit I do like the fantasy that Anastasia did escape.
It was always 1 of those mysteries you just wanted to believe.
We have an exhibition in Amsterdam at the moment called " At the Russian court" about the Romanovs at the Amsterdam Hermitage. I went there in september and it was absolutely fascinating. Costumes, artwork, furniture etc can be seen there. I espescially loved the costumes.
Here is a link in the English language:
Some people just need a high five.... in the face.... with a chair...
Thanks for all the pics. This story has always fascinated me too. So tragic.
So here's my Romanov story. They have always fascinated me, and I'm sort of related to them, very distantly, by marriage, through Xenia Georgievna, who was a cousin of the last Tsar:
Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia (22 August 1903, Mikhailovskoe, Russia – 17 September 1965, Glen Cove, New York) was the daughter of Grand Duke George Mihailovich of Russia and Princess Maria Georgievna of Greece and Denmark.
Xenia and William Leeds divorced in 1930. Her second marriage was with Herman Jud (b. 14 February 1911). The wedding took place at Glen Cove, New York on 10 August 1946. The couple had no children.
Herman Jud was my mom's uncle/my grandfather's brother. He's shown in a few of the Royal family trees that I've found on the internet. Xenia was involved in the whole Anastasia/Anna Anderson scandal. Anna claimed to be Anastasia, and that she had escaped somehow the night of the execution, but it was later proven that she was bats*** crazy, and her claims were false.
We saw an exhibition a year or two ago at the Newark Museum in NJ, with tons of the Romanov's things; clothes, toys, cradles, and lots and lots of photographs. The children each had their own cameras, used them frequently, developed their own film, and kept lots of scrapbooks and albums. Just fascinating! The thing that I always found very touching was how close the whole family was, even the parents and children, which doesn't seem to be common in Royal circles, at least not in the British royal family.
Greg King (who is on this forum) has written some things about them. I am facinated with them as well. You should visit the Alexander Palace Forums for a WEALTH of information. But be warned people can be not very nice over there (I usually lurk for that reason). I actually have a picture of Grand Duchess Olga and a picture of the Catherine Palace hanging in my office.
Who loves not a false imagining, an unreal character in us; but looking through all the rubbish of our imperfections, loves in us the divine ideal of our natures - not the man that we are, but the angel that we may be.” ~Tennyson
I had to bump this thread! There was a Romanov thread just started in "other deaths", but I remember reading this one, and had to search for it. Sheesh, I just ended my most recent Manson kick, and now I have to start reading up on the Romanovs again! I must hunt down Greg King's books...
How in the world did I miss this Greg King post.......
The only difference between a death hag and the rest of the world is that we don't DENY we're fascinated by death.... (Tebssis)
Yeah me too!
You don't mess with friggin Dave Coulier click here to mess
There was a guy named Mike Romanoff who owned a restaurant in Beverly Hills which was also called Romanoff's. I believe it was on Canon Drive and was a big hangout for the movers and shakers of the 1950s. I think it was one of Humphrey Bogart's favorite restaurants. Romanoff claimed to be part of the Royal Family, but I suppose he was an imposter.
I just read that Rasputin's daughter Maria spent her last years in the Silver Lake neighborhood of LA on Larissa Dr -- where she died. Wow. Anyone know the address by any chance?
Ok can someone explain in Cliff Note terms why they were inprisoned to start with?
"I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."