Nicholas II - Historie

Nicholas II - Historie

Nicholas II

1868- 1918

Russisk monark

Nicholas II blev tsar i Rusland i 1894. Han forsøgte at bevare tsarens absolutte magt og undertrykte al modstand.

Efter revolutionen i 1905 gik han med til at oprette et russisk parlament, Dumas, men dette organ blev hurtigt opløst. Ved udbruddet af første verdenskrig tog han personlig kommando over den russiske hær.

Da strejker og optøjer brød ud i Petrograd, blev Nicolas tvunget til at abdisere. Han blev henrettet af bolsjevikkerne sammen med sin kone, børn og tjenere.


Nicholas II (1868-1918)

Nicholas II, 1914 © Nicholas II var Ruslands sidste tsar. Han blev afsat under den russiske revolution og henrettet af bolsjevikkerne.

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov blev født i nærheden af ​​Sankt Petersborg den 18. maj 1868, den ældste søn af zar Alexander III. Da han efterfulgte sin far i 1894, havde han meget lidt erfaring med regeringen. Samme år giftede Nicholas sig med prinsesse Alexandra af Hesse-Darmstadt (et hertugdømme i Tyskland). De havde fire døtre og en søn, Alexis, der led af sygdommen hæmofili.

Alexandra var den dominerende personlighed i deres forhold og opmuntrede de svagere Nicholas's enevældige tendenser. Han mistro de fleste af sine ministre og var alligevel ude af stand til at varetage opgaven med at herske over det enorme russiske imperium alene.

Fast besluttet på, at Rusland ikke skulle blive udeladt i kampen om koloniale besiddelser, opmuntrede Nicholas til russisk ekspansion i Manchuriet. Dette provokerede krig med Japan i 1904. Det resulterende russiske nederlag førte til strejker og optøjer. I januar 1905, på 'Bloody Sunday', skød hæren i Sankt Petersborg mod en skare, der krævede radikale reformer. Modstanden mod zaren voksede, og Nicholas blev tvunget til at indrømme en forfatning og oprette et parlament, Dumaen.

Nicholas indrømmelser var kun begrænsede. Der blev foretaget ændringer i afstemningslovene for at forhindre valg af radikale, og det hemmelige politi fortsatte med at knuse oppositionen. Dumaen gav imidlertid mange flere mennesker, især middelklassen, en stemme i regeringen.

Udbruddet af Første Verdenskrig i 1914 styrket monarkiet midlertidigt, idet Rusland allierede sig til Frankrig og Storbritannien mod Østrig-Ungarn og Tyskland. I midten af ​​1915 tog Nicholas den katastrofale beslutning om at tage direkte kommando over de russiske hære. Fra da af var enhver militær fiasko direkte forbundet med ham.

Da Nicholas ofte var væk, tog Alexandra en mere aktiv rolle i regeringen. Rusland led store tab i krigen, der var høj inflation og alvorlig fødevaremangel derhjemme, hvilket forstærkede den slibende fattigdom, de fleste russere allerede havde udholdt. Tyskfødte Alexandra blev hurtigt fokus på utilfredshed, ligesom hendes fortrolige, mystikeren, Rasputin, der havde været ved retten siden 1905 og havde opnået stor indflydelse gennem sin tilsyneladende evne til at behandle hæmofili af Alexis, tronarvingen.

I december 1916 blev Rasputin myrdet af en gruppe utilfredse adelsmænd. Så i februar 1917 begyndte udbredte folkelige demonstrationer i hovedstaden Petrograd (som Sankt Petersborg blev omdøbt i 1914). Nicholas mistede støtte fra hæren og havde ikke noget andet valg end at abdisere. En rystende midlertidig regering blev oprettet. Zaren og hans familie blev holdt på forskellige steder og blev til sidst fængslet i Jekaterinburg i Uralbjergene.

I oktober 1917 styrtede bolsjevikkerne den foreløbige regering. Efter en hård fredsaftale med Tyskland i marts 1918 faldt Rusland ned i borgerkrig. Den 17. juli 1918, da anti-bolsjevikker nærmede sig Jekaterinburg, blev Nicholas og hans familie henrettet. Dette var næsten helt sikkert på ordre fra den bolsjevikiske leder Vladimir Lenin.


Tidlige liv og regeringstid

Nikolay Aleksandrovich var den ældste søn og arving (tsesarevich) af tsarevitsj Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (kejser som Alexander III fra 1881) og hans gemal Maria Fyodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark). Efter hans far den 1. november 1894 blev han kronet til zar i Moskva den 26. maj 1896.

Hverken ved opdragelse eller temperament var Nicholas rustet til de komplekse opgaver, der ventede ham som enevældig hersker over et stort imperium. Han havde modtaget en militær uddannelse fra sin vejleder, og hans smag og interesser var de gennemsnitlige unge russiske officerer på hans tid. Han havde få intellektuelle prætentioner, men glædede sig over fysisk træning og hærens liv: uniformer, insignier, parader. Men ved formelle lejligheder følte han sig utilpas. Selvom han besad stor personlig charme, var han af natur frygtsom, og han undgik tæt kontakt med sine undersåtter og foretrak privatliv i sin familiekreds. Hans hjemlige liv var roligt. Til sin kone, Alexandra, som han havde gift med den 26. november 1894, var Nicholas lidenskabeligt hengiven. Hun havde den karakterstyrke, han manglede, og han faldt fuldstændig under hendes vej. Under hendes indflydelse søgte han råd fra spiritualister og tros healere, især Grigori Rasputin, der til sidst fik stor magt over det kejserlige par.

Nicholas havde også andre uansvarlige favoritter, ofte mænd med tvivlsom sandsynlighed, der gav ham et forvrænget billede af det russiske liv, men et, som han fandt mere trøstende end det, der findes i officielle rapporter. Han mistro sine ministre, hovedsageligt fordi han følte, at de var intellektuelt overlegen over ham selv og frygtede, at de søgte at tilrane sig hans suveræne privilegier. Hans syn på hans rolle som autokrat var barnligt enkel: han afled sin autoritet fra Gud, hvem han alene var ansvarlig for, og det var hans hellige pligt at bevare sin absolutte magt intakt. Han manglede imidlertid den viljestyrke, der var nødvendig hos en, der havde en så ophøjet opfattelse af sin opgave. Ved at forfølge pligtens vej måtte Nicholas føre en kontinuerlig kamp mod sig selv, undertrykke hans naturlige ubeslutsomhed og antage en maske af selvsikker beslutning. Hans dedikation til enevældens dogme var en utilstrækkelig erstatning for en konstruktiv politik, der alene kunne have forlænget det kejserlige styre.

Kort efter sin tiltrædelse forkyndte Nicholas sine kompromisløse synspunkter i en henvendelse til liberale deputerede fra zemstvos, de selvstyrende lokale forsamlinger, hvor han afviste "meningsløse drømme" deres forhåbninger om at deltage i regeringsarbejdet. Han mødte den stigende begrundelse for folkelig uro med intensiveret politiundertrykkelse. I udenrigspolitikken genererede hans naivitet og letholdende holdning til internationale forpligtelser nogle gange sine professionelle diplomater for eksempel, indgik han en alliance med den tyske kejser William II under deres møde i Björkö i juli 1905, selvom Rusland allerede var allieret med Frankrig, Tysklands traditionelle fjende .

Nicholas var den første russiske suveræn, der viste personlig interesse for Asien, mens han besøgte i 1891, mens han stadig var tsesarevich, Indien, Kina og Japan senere overvågede han nominelt konstruktionen af ​​den transsibiriske jernbane. Hans forsøg på at opretholde og styrke den russiske indflydelse i Korea, hvor Japan også havde fodfæste, var delvist ansvarlig for den russisk-japanske krig (1904–05). Ruslands nederlag frustrerede ikke kun Nicholas grandiose drømme om at gøre Rusland til en stor eurasisk magt med Kina, Tibet og Persien under dets kontrol, men gav ham også alvorlige problemer derhjemme, hvor utilfredsheden voksede til den revolutionære bevægelse i 1905.

Nicholas betragtede alle, der var imod ham, uanset deres synspunkter, som ondsindede sammensværgere. Ser han bort fra rådene fra hans kommende premierminister Sergey Yulyevich Witte, nægtede han at give indrømmelser til forfatningslisterne, indtil begivenhederne tvang ham til at give mere, end han kunne have været nødvendig, hvis han havde været mere fleksibel. Den 3. marts 1905 gik han modvilligt med til at oprette en national repræsentativ forsamling, eller Dumaen, med rådgivende beføjelser, og ved manifestet af 30. oktober lovede han et forfatningsmæssigt regime, hvorefter ingen lov skulle træde i kraft uden Dumaens samtykke også som en demokratisk franchise og borgerlige frihedsrettigheder. Nicholas brød sig dog lidt om at holde løfter trukket fra ham under tvang. Han bestræbte sig på at genvinde sine tidligere beføjelser og sikrede, at han i de nye grundlove (maj 1906) stadig blev udpeget som en autokrat. Han protesterede endvidere for en ekstremistisk højreorienteret organisation, Union of the Russian People, som sanktionerede terrormetoder og formidlede antisemitisk propaganda. Witte, som han bebrejdede for oktobermanifestet, blev hurtigt afskediget, og de to første Dumas blev for tidligt opløst som "upassende".

Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin, der erstattede Witte og gennemførte kuppet den 16. juni 1907, opløste den anden Duma, var loyal over for dynastiet og en dygtig statsmand. Men kejseren mistro ham og lod hans position blive undermineret af intriger. Stolypin var en af ​​dem, der turde udtale sig om Rasputins indflydelse og derved pådrog sig kejserens utilfredshed. I sådanne tilfælde tøvede Nicholas generelt, men gav sig i sidste ende over for Alexandras pres. For at forhindre eksponering af den skandaløse besiddelse, Rasputin havde i den kejserlige familie, blandede Nicholas sig vilkårligt i sager, der var korrekt inden for Den Hellige Synodes kompetence og støttede reaktionære elementer mod dem, der var bekymrede over den ortodokse kirkes prestige.


Indhold

Tidlige år Rediger

Anastasia blev født den 18. juni 1901. Hun var fjerde datter af tsar Nicholas II og tsarina Alexandra. Da hun blev født, var hendes forældre og den store familie skuffede over, at hun var en pige. De havde håbet på en søn, der ville være blevet arving til tronen. Hendes far gik en lang tur for at komponere sig selv, før han for første gang besøgte sin kone og deres nyfødte barn. [5] Hendes fars tante storhertuginde Xenia Alexandrovna fra Rusland sagde: "Herregud! Sikke en skuffelse. En fjerde pige!" [6] Hendes første fætter fjernede to gange storhertug Konstantin Konstantinovich skrev: "Tilgiv os, Herre, hvis vi alle følte skuffelse i stedet for glæde. Vi håbede så på en dreng, og det er en datter." [7] Rejseskribenten Burton Holmes skrev: "Nicholas ville skille sig af med halvdelen af ​​sit imperium i bytte for en kejserlig dreng." [8]

Anastasia blev opkaldt efter martyren St. Anastasia fra det fjerde århundrede. [9] "Anastasia" er et græsk navn (Αναστασία), der betyder "opstandelsen", en kendsgerning, der ofte hentydes til senere i historier om hendes rygter om overlevelse. Anastasias titel er mest præcist oversat til "Grand Princess". "Storhertuginden" blev den mest udbredte oversættelse af titlen til engelsk fra russisk. [10]

Zarens børn blev opdraget så enkelt som muligt. De sov på hårde lejersenge uden puder, undtagen når de var syge, tog kolde bade om morgenen og forventedes at rydde deres værelser op og lave håndarbejde for at blive solgt til forskellige velgørende arrangementer, når de ellers ikke var besat. De fleste i husstanden, herunder tjenestefolkene, kaldte generelt storhertuginden ved fornavn og fornavn, "Anastasia Nikolaevna", og brugte ikke hendes titel eller stil. Hun blev lejlighedsvis kaldt af den franske version af hendes navn, "Anastasie" eller af de russiske øgenavne "Nastya", "Nastas" eller "Nastenka". Andre familienavne på Anastasia var "Malenkaya", der betyder "lille (en)" på russisk, [11] eller "Shvybzik", hvilket betyder "lystig lille" [12] eller "lille ulykke" [13] på tysk. Anastasias kæledyrshund (som døde i 1915) havde først dette navn. Anastasia begyndte at signere sig selv som Shvybzik eller "Shvybz" under første verdenskrig.

Anastasia og hendes storesøster Maria var inden for familien kendt som "Det lille par". De to piger delte værelse, bar ofte variationer af den samme kjole og tilbragte meget af deres tid sammen. Deres ældre søstre Olga og Tatiana delte også et værelse og blev kendt som "Det store par". De fire piger underskrev undertiden breve ved hjælp af kaldenavnet OTMA, som stammer fra de første bogstaver i deres fornavne. [14]

Symptomatiske bærere af genet, selv om det ikke er blødere i sig selv, kan have symptomer på hæmofili, herunder en lavere end normal blodkoagulationsfaktor, der kan føre til kraftig blødning. [15] DNA -test på resterne af den kongelige familie beviste endegyldigt i 2009, at Alexei led af Hemophilia B, en sjældnere form for sygdommen. Hans mor og en søster, alternativt identificeret som Maria eller Anastasia, var bærere. Hvis Anastasia havde levet for at få egne børn, kunne de derfor også have været ramt af sygdommen. [16] Alexeis hæmofili var kronisk og uhelbredelig hans hyppige angreb forårsagede permanent invaliditet. [17]

Udseende og personlighed Rediger

Anastasia var kort og tilbøjelig til at være buttet, og hun havde blå øjne [18] og blondt hår. [19] Baronessen Sophie Buxhoeveden, hendes mors dame i vente, afspejlede, at "hendes træk var regelmæssige og fint skårne. Hun havde lyst hår, fine øjne, med urimelig latter i deres dybder og mørke øjenbryn, der næsten mødtes." [20] Buxhoeveden mente, at Anastasia lignede sin mor og sagde, at hun "lignede mere sin mors end sin fars familie." [21]

Anastasia var et livligt og energisk barn. Margaretta Eagar, guvernør for de fire storhertuginder, sagde, at en person kommenterede, at lillebørnet Anastasia havde den største personlige charme af ethvert barn, hun nogensinde havde set. [22]

Selvom hun ofte blev beskrevet som begavet og lys, var hun aldrig interesseret i skolelokalets begrænsninger, ifølge hendes undervisere Pierre Gilliard og Sydney Gibbes. Gibbes, Gilliard og de ventende damer Lili Dehn og Anna Vyrubova beskrev Anastasia som livlig, uartig og en begavet skuespillerinde. Hendes skarpe, vittige bemærkninger rammer undertiden følsomme pletter. [19] [23] [24]

Anastasias dristighed oversteg lejlighedsvis grænserne for acceptabel adfærd. "Hun havde utvivlsomt rekorden for strafbare handlinger i sin familie, for i frækhed var hun et sandt geni", sagde Gleb Botkin, søn af retslægen Yevgeny Botkin, der senere døde sammen med familien i Jekaterinburg. [25] Anastasia snublede undertiden tjenerne og spillede sjov med sine undervisere. Som barn klatrede hun i træer og nægtede at komme ned. Engang under en sneboldkamp på familiens polske ejendom rullede Anastasia en sten ind i en snebold og kastede den mod sin storesøster Tatiana og bankede hende til jorden. [19] En fjern fætter, prinsesse Nina Georgievna, mindede om, at "Anastasia var grim til at være ond", og ville snyde, sparke og ridse sine legekammerater under spil, hun blev fornærmet, fordi den yngre Nina var højere end hun var. [26] Hun var mindre bekymret for sit udseende end sine søstre. Hallie Erminie Rives, en bedst sælgende amerikansk forfatter og kone til en amerikansk diplomat, beskrev, hvordan den 10-årige Anastasia spiste chokolade uden at genere at fjerne sine lange, hvide operahandsker i operahuset i Skt. Petersborg. [27]

På trods af hendes energi var Anastasias fysiske helbred undertiden dårlig. Storhertuginden led af smertefulde knyster, som påvirkede begge hendes store tæer. [28] Anastasia havde en svag muskel i ryggen og fik ordineret massage to gange om ugen. Hun gemte sig under sengen eller i et skab for at afslutte massagen. [29] Anastasias storesøster, Maria, fik angiveligt blødning i december 1914 under en operation for at fjerne hendes mandler, ifølge hendes fars tante storhertuginde Olga Alexandrovna fra Rusland, som blev interviewet senere i sit liv. Lægen, der udførte operationen, var så nervøs, at han måtte beordres til at fortsætte af Marias mor. Olga Alexandrovna sagde, at hun troede, at alle hendes niecers blødning mere end normalt var og troede, at de var bærere af hæmofili -genet, ligesom deres mor. [30]

Forening med Grigori Rasputin Edit

Hendes mor stolede på råd fra Grigori Rasputin, en russisk bonde og vandrede stjerne eller "hellig mand" og krediterede sine bønner for at have reddet den skrantende Tsarevich ved flere lejligheder. Anastasia og hendes søskende blev lært at se Rasputin som "vores ven" og dele fortrolighed med ham. I efteråret 1907 blev Anastasias tante storhertuginde Olga Alexandrovna fra Rusland eskorteret til vuggestuen af ​​zaren for at møde Rasputin. Anastasia, hendes søstre og bror Alexei havde alle deres lange hvide natkjoler på. "Alle børn syntes at kunne lide ham," huskede Olga Alexandrovna. "De var helt trygge ved ham." [31] Rasputins venskab med de kejserlige børn var tydeligt i nogle af de meddelelser, han sendte til dem. I februar 1909 sendte Rasputin de kejserlige børn et telegram og rådede dem til at "elske hele Guds natur, hele hans skabelse, især denne jord. Guds Moder var altid optaget af blomster og håndarbejde." [32]

Imidlertid var en af ​​pigernes guvernanter, Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, forfærdet i 1910 over, at Rasputin fik adgang til vuggestuen, da de fire piger var i natkjole og ville have ham spærret. Nicholas bad Rasputin om at undgå at gå til planteskolerne i fremtiden. Børnene var klar over spændingen og frygtede, at deres mor ville blive vred over Tyutchevas handlinger. "Jeg er så afr (hjælp), at SI (guvernør Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva) kan tale. Om vores veninde noget dårligt," skrev Anastasias tolvårige søster Tatiana til deres mor den 8. marts 1910. "Jeg håber, vores sygeplejerske vil være godt mod vores ven nu. " [33]

Tyutcheva blev til sidst fyret. Hun tog sin historie med til andre medlemmer af familien. [34] Mens Rasputins besøg hos børnene efter alt at dømme var fuldstændig uskyldige, blev familien skandaliseret. Tyutcheva fortalte Nicholas søster, storhertuginde Xenia Alexandrovna fra Rusland, at Rasputin besøgte pigerne, talte med dem, mens de var ved at blive klar til sengen, og krammede og klappede dem. Tyutcheva sagde, at børnene var blevet lært ikke at diskutere Rasputin med hende og var omhyggelige med at skjule sine besøg for vuggestuen. Xenia skrev den 15. marts 1910, at hun ikke kunne forstå ". Alix og børns holdning til den skumle Grigory (som de anser for at være næsten en helgen, når han faktisk kun er en khlyst!)" [33]

I foråret 1910 påstod Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, en kongelig guvernør, at Rasputin havde voldtaget hende. Vishnyakova sagde, at kejserinden nægtede at tro på hendes beretning om overfaldet og insisterede på, at "alt, hvad Rasputin gør, er helligt." [35] Storhertuginde Olga Alexandrovna fik at vide, at Vishnyakovas påstand straks var blevet undersøgt, men i stedet "fangede de den unge kvinde i sengen med en kosakke fra den kejserlige garde." Vishnyakova blev forhindret i at se Rasputin, efter at hun havde anklaget hende og blev til sidst afskediget fra sin post i 1913. [36]

Rygterne fortsatte imidlertid, og det blev senere hvisket i samfundet, at Rasputin ikke kun havde forført tsarinaen, men også de fire storhertuginder. [37] Sladderen blev drevet af ivrig, men alligevel uskyldig, breve skrevet til Rasputin af Tsarina og de fire storhertuginder, som blev frigivet af Rasputin, og som cirkulerede i hele samfundet. "Min kære, dyrebare, eneste ven," skrev Anastasia. "Hvor meget ville jeg gerne se dig igen. Du dukkede op for mig i dag i en drøm. Jeg spørger altid mor, hvornår du kommer. Jeg tænker altid på dig, min kære, fordi du er så god mod mig." [38 ]

Dette blev efterfulgt af cirkulation af pornografiske tegnefilm, der skildrede Rasputin, der havde forhold til kejserinden, hendes fire døtre og Anna Vyrubova. [39] Efter skandalen beordrede Nicholas Rasputin til at forlade Skt. Petersborg for en tid, meget til Alexandras utilfredshed, og Rasputin tog på pilgrimsrejse til Palæstina. [40] På trods af rygterne fortsatte den kejserlige families tilknytning til Rasputin indtil hans mord den 17. december 1916. "Vores ven er så tilfreds med vores piger, siger, at de har gennemgået tunge" kurser "for deres alder, og deres sjæl har udviklet sig meget ", Skrev Alexandra til Nicholas den 6. december 1916. [41]

I sine erindringer rapporterede A. A. Mordvinov, at de fire storhertuginder virkede "kolde og synligt forfærdeligt kede af" Rasputins død og sad "klemt tæt sammen" på en sofa i et af deres soveværelser den nat, de modtog nyheden. Mordvinov mindede om, at de unge kvinder var i et dystert humør og syntes at fornemme den politiske omvæltning, der var ved at blive sluppet løs. [42] Rasputin blev begravet med et ikon signeret på bagsiden af ​​Anastasia, hendes mor og hendes søstre. Hun deltog i hans begravelse den 21. december 1916, og hendes familie planlagde at bygge en kirke over stedet for Rasputins grav. [43] Efter at de blev dræbt af bolsjevikkerne, blev det opdaget, at Anastasia og hendes søstre alle havde amuletter med Rasputins billede og en bøn. [44]

Første verdenskrig og russiske revolution Rediger

Under første verdenskrig besøgte Anastasia sammen med sin søster Maria sårede soldater på et privat hospital på grunden ved Tsarskoye Selo. De to teenagere, der var for unge til at blive Røde Kors -sygeplejersker som deres mor og ældste søstre, spillede brikker og billard med soldaterne og forsøgte at løfte humøret. Felix Dassel, der blev behandlet på hospitalet og kendte Anastasia, mindede om, at storhertuginden havde et "grin som et egern" og gik hurtigt "som om hun faldt med. "[45]

I februar 1917 blev Anastasia og hendes familie anbragt i husarrest på Alexander Palace i Tsarskoye Selo under den russiske revolution. Nicholas II abdicerede den 15. marts [O.S. 2. marts] 1917. Da bolsjevikkerne nærmede sig, lod Alexander Kerenskij fra den foreløbige regering dem flytte til Tobolsk, Sibirien. [46] Efter at bolsjevikkerne havde overtaget majoritetskontrollen over Rusland, blev Anastasia og hendes familie flyttet til Ipatiev House eller House of Special Purpose i Yekaterinburg. [47]

Stressen og usikkerheden ved fangenskab tog deres vej på Anastasia såvel som hendes familie. "Farvel [sic] ", skrev hun til en ven i vinteren 1917." Glem os ikke. "[48] I Tobolsk skrev hun et vemodigt tema til sin engelsklærer, fyldt med stavefejl, om" Evelyn Hope ", en digt af Robert Browning om en pige:

"Da hun døde var hun kun seksten år gammel. Ther (e) var en mand, der elskede hende uden at have set hende, men (k) ny hende meget godt. Og hun han (også) af ham. Han kunne aldrig fortælle hende det at han elskede hende, og nu var hun død. Men alligevel tænkte han på, at når han og hun vil leve [deres] næste liv, når det er det. ", skrev hun. [48]

I Tobolsk syede hun og hendes søstre juveler i deres tøj i håb om at skjule dem for deres fangere, da Alexandra havde skrevet for at advare dem om, at hun, Nicholas og Maria var blevet gennemsøgt ved ankomsten til Jekaterinburg og havde konfiskeret genstande. Deres mor brugte forudbestemte kodeord "medicin" og "Sednevs ejendele" til juvelerne. Breve fra Demidova til Tegleva gav instruktionerne. [49] Pierre Gilliard mindede om sit sidste syn på børnene i Jekaterinburg:

"Matrosen Nagorny, der tog sig af Alexei Nikolaevitch, passerede mit vindue med den syge dreng i armene, bag ham kom storhertuginderne fyldt med værdier og små personlige ejendele. Jeg forsøgte at komme ud, men blev groft skubbet tilbage i vognen af vagtposten. Jeg kom tilbage til vinduet. Tatiana Nikolayevna kom sidst med sin lille hund og kæmpede for at slæbe en tung brun valise. Det regnede, og jeg så hendes fødder synke ned i mudderet ved hvert trin. Nagorny forsøgte at komme til hende bistand blev han groft skubbet tilbage af en af ​​kommisarerne. "[50]

Baronesse Sophie Buxhoeveden fortalte om sit sørgelige sidste glimt af Anastasia:

"Engang, da jeg stod på nogle trin ved døren til et hus tæt på, så jeg en hånd og en lyserødt ærme åbne den øverste rude. Ifølge blusen må hånden have tilhørt enten storhertuginden Marie eller Anastasia. De kunne ikke se mig gennem deres vinduer, og dette skulle være det sidste glimt, jeg skulle få af nogen af ​​dem! " [51]

Selv i de sidste måneder af sit liv fandt hun imidlertid måder at hygge sig på. Hun og andre medlemmer af husstanden fremførte skuespil til glæde for deres forældre og andre i foråret 1918. Anastasias forestilling fik alle til at hyle af latter, ifølge hendes vejleder Sydney Gibbes. [52]

I et brev fra 7. maj 1918, et brev fra Tobolsk til sin søster Maria i Jekaterinburg, beskrev Anastasia et øjebliks glæde trods hendes sorg og ensomhed og bekymring for den syge Alexei:

"Vi spillede på gyngen, det var da jeg brølede af latter, faldet var så vidunderligt! Faktisk! Jeg fortalte det til søstrene så mange gange i går, at de blev ret mætte, men jeg kunne blive ved med at fortælle det masser af gange . Hvilket vejr vi har haft! Man kunne simpelthen råbe af glæde. " [53]

I sine erindringer huskede en af ​​vagterne ved Ipatiev -huset, Alexander Strekotin, Anastasia som "meget venlig og fuld af sjov", mens en anden vagt sagde, at Anastasia var "en meget charmerende djævel! Hun var uartig og jeg tror sjældent træt . Hun var livlig og var vild med at udføre komiske mimier med hundene, som om de optrådte i et cirkus. " [25] Endnu en af ​​vagterne kaldte imidlertid den yngste storhertuginde "offensiv og en terrorist" og klagede over, at hendes lejlighedsvis provokerende kommentarer undertiden forårsagede spændinger i rækken. [54] Anastasia og hendes søstre hjalp deres stuepige til at strømme strømper og hjalp kokken med at lave brød og andre køkkenopgaver, mens de var i fangenskab i Ipatiev -huset. [55]

Om sommeren påvirkede fangenskabets privationer, herunder deres tættere indespærring i Ipatiev -huset familien negativt. Ifølge nogle beretninger blev Anastasia på et tidspunkt så ked af det over de låste, malede vinduer, at hun åbnede et for at kigge ud og få frisk luft. En vagtperson angiveligt så hende og fyrede og savnede hende næsten. Hun prøvede ikke igen. [56] Den 14. juli 1918 gennemførte lokale præster i Jekaterinburg en privat gudstjeneste for familien. De rapporterede, at Anastasia og hendes familie i modsætning til skik faldt på knæ under bønnen for de døde, og at pigerne var blevet modløse og håbløse og ikke længere sang svarene i gudstjenesten. Efter at have bemærket denne dramatiske ændring i deres adfærd siden hans sidste besøg, sagde den ene præst til den anden: "Der er sket noget med dem derinde." [57] Men dagen efter, den 15. juli 1918, dukkede Anastasia og hendes søstre op ved godt humør, da de spøgte og hjalp med at flytte sengene i deres fælles soveværelse, så rengøringskvinder kunne rengøre gulvene. De hjalp kvinderne med at skrubbe gulvene og hviskede til dem, når vagterne ikke så på. Anastasia stak tungen ud til Yakov Yurovsky, lederen af ​​løsrivelsen, da han et øjeblik vendte ryggen og forlod rummet. [58]

Fangenskab og død Rediger

Efter bolsjevikrevolutionen i oktober 1917 gik Rusland hurtigt i opløsning i borgerkrig. Forhandlingerne om frigivelse af romanoverne mellem deres bolsjevikiske (fangere) kaldes 'røde' og deres storfamilie, hvoraf mange var fremtrædende medlemmer af kongehusene i Europa, gik i stå. [59] Da de hvide (anti-bolsjevikiske styrker, selvom de ikke nødvendigvis støttede zaren) avancerede mod Jekaterinburg, befandt de røde sig i en usikker situation. De røde vidste, at Jekaterinburg ville falde til den bedre bemandede og udstyrede Hvide Hær. Da de hvide nåede Jekaterinburg, var den kejserlige familie ganske enkelt forsvundet. Den mest accepterede beretning var, at familien var blevet myrdet. Dette skyldtes en undersøgelse foretaget af White Army -efterforsker Nicholas Sokolov, der kom til konklusionen på grundlag af genstande, der havde tilhørt familien, blev fundet smidt ned af en mineaksel ved Ganina Yama. [60]

"Yurovsky Note", en beretning om begivenheden, som Yurovsky indgav til sine bolsjevikiske overordnede efter drabene, blev fundet i 1989 og beskrevet i Edvard Radzinskys bog fra 1992, Den sidste zar. Ifølge notatet blev familien natten til dødsfaldet vågnet og bedt om at klæde sig. De fik at vide, at de blev flyttet til et nyt sted for at sikre deres sikkerhed i påvente af den vold, der måtte opstå, når den hvide hær nåede Jekaterinburg. Når de var klædt på, blev familien og den lille kreds af tjenere, der var blevet hos dem, samlet i et lille rum i husets underkælder og fik besked på at vente. Alexandra og Alexei sad på stole stillet til rådighed af vagter efter kejserindens anmodning.

Efter flere minutter kom vagterne ind i lokalet, ledet af Yurovsky, som hurtigt informerede zaren og hans familie om, at de skulle henrettes. Zaren havde tid til kun at sige "Hvad?" og vende sig til sin familie, før han blev dræbt af flere kugler i brystet (ikke, som det sædvanligvis er sagt, til hovedet hans kranium, genoprettet i 1991, bærer ingen skudsår). [61] Tsarina og hendes datter Olga forsøgte at lave korsets tegn, men blev dræbt i den indledende salve med kugler affyret af bødlerne. Resten af ​​det kejserlige følge blev skudt i kort rækkefølge, med undtagelse af Anna Demidova, Alexandras tjenestepige.

Demidova overlevede det første angreb, men blev hurtigt stukket ihjel mod bagvæggen i kælderen, mens hun forsøgte at forsvare sig med en lille pude, hun havde båret ind i underkælderen, der var fyldt med ædelstene og juveler. [62]

"Yurovsky Note" rapporterede endvidere, at når den tykke røg, der havde fyldt rummet fra så mange våben, der blev affyret i så tæt nærhed, blev opklaret, blev det opdaget, at bødlernes kugler havde ricocheret af korsetterne til to eller tre af storhertuginderne . Bødlerne kom senere til at finde ud af, at det var fordi familiens kronjuveler og diamanter var blevet syet inde i foringerne af korsetterne for at skjule dem for deres fangere. Korsetterne fungerede således som en form for "rustning" mod kuglerne. Anastasia og Maria siges at have hængt op mod en væg og dækket deres hoveder i frygt, indtil de blev skudt ned af kugler, mindede Yurovsky. En anden vagt, Peter Ermakov, fortalte imidlertid sin kone, at Anastasia var færdig med bajonetter. Da ligene blev udført, råbte en eller flere af pigerne og blev kløvet på bagsiden af ​​hovedet, skrev Yurovsky. [60]

Anastasias formodede flugt og mulige overlevelse var et af de mest populære historiske mysterier i det 20. århundrede og fremkaldte mange bøger og film. Mindst ti kvinder hævdede at være hende og tilbød forskellige historier om, hvordan hun havde overlevet. Anna Anderson, den mest kendte Anastasia -bedrager, dukkede først op offentligt mellem 1920 og 1922. Hun hævdede, at hun havde skabt døden blandt ligene af hendes familie og tjenere, og kunne få hende til at flygte ved hjælp af en medfølende vagt, der lagde mærke til, at hun trak stadig vejret og tog sympati med hende. [63] Hendes juridiske kamp for anerkendelse fra 1938 til 1970 fortsatte en livslang kontrovers og var den længste sag, der nogensinde var behandlet af de tyske domstole, hvor den blev officielt anlagt. Rettens endelige afgørelse var, at Anderson ikke havde fremlagt tilstrækkeligt bevis til at kræve storhertugindens identitet.

Anderson døde i 1984, og hendes lig blev kremeret. DNA-test blev udført i 1994 på en vævsprøve fra Anderson placeret på et hospital og blod af prins Philip, hertug af Edinburgh, en storesøstersøn af kejserinde Alexandra. According to Dr Gill who conducted the tests, "If you accept that these samples came from Anna Anderson, then Anna Anderson could not be related to Tsar Nicholas or Tsarina Alexandra." Anderson's mitochondrial DNA was a match with a great-nephew of Franziska Schanzkowska, a missing Polish factory worker. [4] Some supporters of Anderson's claim acknowledged that the DNA tests proving she could not have been the Grand Duchess had "won the day". [64] [65]

Other lesser known claimants were Nadezhda Ivanovna Vasilyeva [66] and Eugenia Smith. [67] Two young women claiming to be Anastasia and her sister Maria were taken in by a priest in the Ural Mountains in 1919 where they lived as nuns until their deaths in 1964. They were buried under the names Anastasia and Maria Nikolaevna. [68]

Rumors of Anastasia's survival were embellished with various contemporary reports of trains and houses being searched for "Anastasia Romanov" by Bolshevik soldiers and secret police. [69] When she was briefly imprisoned at Perm in 1918, Princess Helena Petrovna, the wife of Anastasia's distant cousin, Prince John Constantinovich of Russia, reported that a guard brought a girl who called herself Anastasia Romanova to her cell and asked if the girl was the daughter of the Tsar. Helena Petrovna said she did not recognize the girl and the guard took her away. [70] Although other witnesses in Perm later reported that they saw Anastasia, her mother and sisters in Perm after the murders, this story is now widely discredited. [70] Rumors that they were alive were fueled by deliberate misinformation designed to hide the fact that the family was dead. A few days after they had been murdered, the German government sent several telegrams to Russia demanding "the safety of the princesses of German blood". Russia had recently signed a peace treaty with the Germans, and did not want to upset them by letting them know the women were dead, so they told them they had been moved to a safer location. [71]

In another incident, eight witnesses reported the recapture of a young woman after an apparent escape attempt in September 1918 at a railway station at Siding 37, northwest of Perm. These witnesses were Maxim Grigoyev, Tatiana Sitnikova (and her son Fyodor Sitnikov), Ivan Kuklin and Matrina Kuklina, Vassily Ryabov, Ustinya Varankina, and Dr Pavel Utkin, a physician who treated the girl after the incident. [72] Some of the witnesses identified the girl as Anastasia when they were shown photographs of the grand duchess by White Russian Army investigators. Utkin also told the White Russian Army investigators that the injured girl, whom he treated at Cheka headquarters in Perm, told him, "I am the daughter of the ruler, Anastasia." Utkin obtained a prescription from a pharmacy for a patient named "N" at the orders of the secret police. White Army investigators later independently located records for the prescription. [73] During the same time period in mid-1918, there were several reports of young people in Russia passing themselves off as Romanov escapees. Boris Soloviev, the husband of Rasputin's daughter Maria, defrauded prominent Russian families by asking for money for a Romanov impostor to escape to China. Soloviev also found young women willing to masquerade as one of the grand duchesses to assist in deceiving the families he had defrauded. [73]

Some biographers' accounts speculated that the opportunity for one or more of the guards to rescue a survivor existed. Yakov Yurovsky demanded that the guards come to his office and turn over items they had stolen following the murder. There was reportedly a span of time when the bodies of the victims were left largely unattended in the truck, in the basement and in the corridor of the house. Some guards who had not participated in the murders and had been sympathetic to the grand duchesses were reportedly left in the basement with the bodies. [74]

In 1991, the presumed burial site of the imperial family and their servants was excavated in the woods outside Yekaterinburg. The grave had been found nearly a decade earlier, but was kept hidden by its discoverers from the Communists who were still ruling Russia at the time. The grave only held nine of the expected eleven sets of remains. DNA and skeletal analysis matched these remains to Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of the four grand duchesses (Olga, Tatiana and presumably Maria). The other remains, with unrelated DNA, correspond to the family's doctor (Yevgeny Botkin), their valet (Alexei Trupp), their cook (Ivan Kharitonov), and Alexandra's maid (Anna Demidova). Forensic expert William R. Maples decided that the Tsarevitch Alexei and Anastasia's bodies were missing from the family's grave. Russian scientists contested this conclusion, however, claiming it was the body of Maria that was missing. The Russians identified the body as that of Anastasia by using a computer program to compare photos of the youngest grand duchess with the skulls of the victims from the mass grave. They estimated the height and width of the skulls where pieces of bone were missing. American scientists found this method inexact. [75]

American scientists thought the missing body to be Anastasia because none of the female skeletons showed the evidence of immaturity, such as an immature collarbone, undescended wisdom teeth, or immature vertebrae in the back, that they would have expected to find in a seventeen-year-old. In 1998, when the remains of the imperial family were finally interred, a body measuring approximately 5'7" (1.70 m) was buried under the name of Anastasia. Photographs taken of her standing beside her three sisters up until six months before the murders demonstrate that Anastasia was several inches shorter than all of them.

The account of the "Yurovsky Note" indicated that two of the bodies were removed from the main grave and cremated at an undisclosed area in order to further disguise the burials of the Tsar and his retinue, if the remains were discovered by the Whites, since the body count would not be correct. Searches of the area in subsequent years failed to turn up a cremation site or the remains of the two missing Romanov children. [76]

However, on 23 August 2007, a Russian archaeologist announced the discovery of two burned, partial skeletons at a bonfire site near Yekaterinburg that appeared to match the site described in Yurovsky's memoirs. The archaeologists said the bones were from a boy who was roughly between the ages of ten and thirteen years at the time of his death and of a young woman who was roughly between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years old. Anastasia was seventeen years and one month old at the time of the assassination, while her sister Maria was nineteen years, one month old and her brother Alexei was two weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday. Anastasia's elder sisters Olga and Tatiana were twenty-two and twenty-one years old respectively at the time of the assassination. Along with the remains of the two bodies, archaeologists found "shards of a container of sulfuric acid, nails, metal strips from a wooden box, and bullets of various caliber". The site was initially found with metal detectors and by using metal rods as probes. [77]

DNA testing by multiple international laboratories including the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory and Innsbruck Medical University confirmed that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters, proving conclusively that all family members, including Anastasia, died in 1918. The parents and all five children are now accounted for, and each has his or her own unique DNA profile. [78] [79] While the tests have confirmed that all the Romanov bodies have been found, one of the studies was still unsure which body from the two graves was Maria's and which was Anastasia's: [78]

[…] a well publicized debate over which daughter, Maria (according to Russian experts) or Anastasia (according to US experts), has been recovered from the second grave cannot be settled based upon the DNA results reported here. In the absence of a DNA reference from each sister, we can only conclusively identify Alexei – the only son of Nicholas and Alexandra.

In 2000, Anastasia and her family were canonized as passion bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church. The family had previously been canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as holy martyrs. The bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of their daughters were finally interred in the St. Catherine Chapel at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, St Petersburg on 17 July 1998, eighty years after they were murdered. [80] As of 2018 the bones of Alexei and Maria (or possibly Anastasia) were still being held by the Orthodox Church. [81]

The purported survival of Anastasia has been the subject of cinema (such as the 1997 animated film and the 1956 film that inspired it starring Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner), made-for-television films, and a Broadway musical. The earliest, made in 1928, was called Clothes Make the Woman. The story followed a woman who turns up to play the part of a rescued Anastasia for a Hollywood film, and ends up being recognized by the Russian soldier who originally rescued her from her would-be assassins. [82]


Family man

In April 1894, he got engaged with Princess Alice Darmstadt of Hesse, daughter of the Grand Duke of Hesse, granddaughter of the English Queen Victoria. After the transition to Orthodoxy, she took the name Alexandra Fedorovna.

Their union was unusual for royal families as they were really in love with each other and carried the feelings throughout their lives. Alexandra bared him five children: Olga, Tatyana, Maria, Anastasia and Aleksey. Aleksey, the only male heir to the throne, was later diagnosed with hemophilia.

The parents were ready for everything to help their son. So it is not surprising that when in 1905, a mystic and self-proclaimed holy man Grigory Rasputin was mysteriously able to ease their son’s pain, Alexandra became convinced that Rasputin was sent to them by God. He got accepted at the court despite his well documented history of drinking and womanising. Very soon he exerted a powerful influence over the Nicholas and Alexandra including advising them on state matters.


Rasputin and the Romanovs

Alexandra—with a brusque demeanor and distaste for Russian culture—was unpopular with the Russian people. Her German ancestry and her devotion to Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin contributed to her unpopularity. She believed the self-proclaimed holy man could cure her son Alexei’s chronic illness.

Alexei, the only son and heir to the throne, suffered from severe hemophilia, and was often confined to bed. Hemophilia is an inherited disease in which the blood doesn’t clot normally, causing excessive bleeding after any injury. (Many relatives of Queen Victoria inherited the disease, which was sometimes referred to as “the royal disease.”)

Rasputin’s powerful influence on the ruling family infuriated nobles, church leaders and peasants alike. Many saw him as a religious charlatan. Russian nobles, eager to end the cleric’s influence, had Rasputin murdered on December 16, 1916.

Czar Nicholas II left Saint Petersburg in 1915 to take command of the failing Russian Army front in World War I. By 1917, most Russians had lost all faith in the leadership ability of the czar.

Government corruption was rampant and the Russian economy was severely damaged by World War I. Moderates joined with radical Bolshevik revolutionaries in calling for an overthrow of the czar.

Nicholas II abdicated the throne on March 15, 1917, putting an end to more than 300 years of Romanov rule.


7. He gave his mother and wife a Fabergé Easter egg every year

A series of 50 Imperial Fabergé Easter eggs were created for the Russian Imperial family from 1885 to 1916, 40 of which were created during Nicholas II’s rule. Nicholas gave two each year as presents, one for his mother and one for his wife. Fabergé was free to create anything he wanted, provided it housed some kind of hidden surprise inside.

Most famous was the Coronation Egg that Nicholas gave to his wife as a memento of their Coronation Day. The egg opens to reveal a surprise in the form of a replica of their coronation coach.

Photo of ‘Coronation’ Imperial egg by Fabergé (Image Credit: Uklondoncom / CC).


The History and Restoration of the Working Study of Nicholas II in the Alexander Palace

The Working Study of Emperor Nicholas II was decorated in 1896-1897, by Roman Meltzer (1860-1943) and furniture master Karl Grinberg. Grinberg was invited to repair the existing furniture from the mid-1870s. He had previously performed work on the decoration of the apartments of the daughter of Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881) Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna (1853-1920) and her husband the Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Duke of Edinburgh, 1844-1900).

The interior was decorated in the English style, with the upper walls painted a dark red and walnut panels on the bottom. The furniture was also made of walnut and upholstered in green morocco leather. One side of the room was occupied by a large ottoman (a copy of the one in the study of Emperor Alexander III), upholstered with a Persian carpet, as well as an L-shaped writing desk. Above it, a lamp was attached to a special rod, which easily rose and fell to the desired height. Next to the table was an Italian Savonarola armchair, decorated with carvings and upholstered in brown leather.

As the name implies, this business-style room was intended for work – here the Emperor read papers, including numerous correspondence, received foreign ministers and dignitaries and listened to reports.

PHOTOS: views of the Working Study of Nicholas II, as it looked in 1917


The interior was decorated with vases, mantel clocks, jubilee and souvenir glasses, miniature watercolours and photographs of the Imperial family and their relatives. Since Nicholas II loved to smoke, the Study was also filled with objects for smoking – pipes, cigarette cases, lighters, and ashtrays.

The Working Study featured special built-in cupboards with shelves which held about one thousand books from the Emperor’s library. Among these were biographies and memoirs, Russian and military history, as well as politics and religion, as well as albums, magazines, manuscripts and brochures.

Between 1918-1930s, the Study along with the other private apartments of the Imperial family was part of the museum, created by the Bolsheviks, unfortunately, it was completely lost during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45).

PHOTO: the current look of the recreated Working Study of Nicholas II

The recreated interior features wood paneling, built-in furniture and a carpet. The curtains were restored according to the samples preserved in the museum’s funds. Thanks to the pieces of tiles found in the pool of the Emperor’s Moorish Bathroom, it was possible to accurately restore the finish of the fireplace. The recreation of items of furniture will include an ottoman, a desk with a a lamp, and armchairs. Paintings and mantel clocks preserved in the funds of the Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve will be returned to the Alexander Palace to decorate the study.

The Working Study of Nicholas II is one of 15 interiors situated in the eastern wing of the palace, scheduled to open in 2021. Among the other interiors are the New Study of Nicholas II, Moorish Bathroom of Nicholas II, Reception Room of Nicholas II, Pallisander (Rosewood) Living Room, Mauve (Lilac) Boudoir, Maple Drawing Room, Alexandra’s Corner Reception Room, the Imperial Bedroom, among others.

In the future, the Alexander Palace will become a memorial museum of the Romanov family – from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II, showcasing the private, domestic life of the Russian monarchs who used the palace as an official residence. The eastern wing of the palace will be known as the Museum of the Russian Imperial Family. The multi-museum complex, which includes the Western wing is scheduled for completion no earlier than 2024.

Dear Reader: If you enjoy all my updates on the restoration of the Alexander Palace, then please help support my research by making a donation in US or Canadian dollars – donations can be made by GoFundMe, PayPal, credit card, personal check or money order. Klik på HER to make a donation or click HER to buy one of my Nicholas II calendars – the net proceeds help fund my work. Thank you for your consideration – PG


Indhold

For his life from birth to the Russian Civil War, please see Nicholas II of Russia on Wikipedia.

Escape from Russia

As Nicholas and his family were being prepared by the Bolsheviks for execution in Yekaterinburg, they were ambushed by members of the Russian-Greenland Legion, troops from the Greenlandic colony that were loyal to the tsar. After taking care of the Bolshevik escorts and escaping from Russia in Operation Savior of Man, the Russian-Greenlandics secured the royal family for transport to Russian Greenland, where they were warmly received by the colonial government of Oleg Yurievsky-Oldenburg. Although Yurievsky-Oldenburg was a monarchist, he could not be sure that the tsar's arrival would be positively received by the rest of Russian Greenland and thus pressured the tsar to remain politically inactive for the time being.

Nicholas himself was content with recovering from the rescue and escape from Russia, especially after being told that they were saved the night they were to be executed. When confronted with the possibility of getting involved in the affairs of state, Nicholas was unenthusiastic at first, likely because of his abdication and the murder of his brother and heir, Grand Duke Michael. When the situation in Greenland seemed more under control, Yurievsky-Oldenburg pressed Nicholas to take a leadership role in the provisional Greenlandic government. Nicholas refused unless he could be guaranteed some semblance of popular support. A referendum was held on whether the tsar should become the head of state of the new provisional government. An overwhelming 80% of the people voted yes and Nicholas duly accepted the post of president of the provisional government on September 15th, 1917.

However, the radical community refused to accept Nicholas in any political position, and the local Bolshevik leader Anatoly Dendarov led a protest to the central square of Peleveivo that broke out into a battle between workers and Company enforcers. Open warfare broke out soon afterwards in the Romanovan War of Independence. Upon hearing of the conflict Nicholas was reported to be in hysterics, telling Yurievsky-Oldenburg and his family that "Those damned Reds will follow me to the ends of the earth!" As support from the United Kingdom increased and the prospect of a White victory in Russia grew, Nicholas' outlook on the war improved. Indeed, both he and Yurievsky-Oldenburg hoped that the Bolsheviks would be defeated and the monarchy might be restored, even in limited form.

As 1920 came to a close, it became increasingly clear that White forces were winning in Greenland but losing in Russia. Yurievsky-Oldenburg pressured Nicholas to accept Russian Greenland declaring independence and to take the role of a constitutional monarch. Nicholas refused to do so at first, hoping to regain the position of an autocratic monarch in Russia. However, the flailing war effort in Europe and pressure from Nicholas' family swayed him. On Christmas Day, 1920, Nicholas II was crowned Tsar of Romanova, which had declared independence earlier in the day. As compensation, Yurievsky-Oldenburg allowed Nicholas and his successors to derive their regnal number from the line of Russian tsars, so that he remained Nicholas II and not Nicholas I.

Constitutional Monarch

Although apprehensive at first because of his upbringing in believing that the tsar was to hold absolute power, Nicholas soon settled into the role of the constitutional monarch for Romanova. He acknowledge that the position was not much different from that of his cousin George V of the United Kingdom, who continued to rule as a weakened monarch yet still commanded considerable prestige and influence within his domain. Nicholas was helped through the transition by a good relationship with Yurievsky-Oldenburg and thus a good relationship with the majority of the Romanovan Duma as well. The Romanovan government and Nicholas himself were aware of the political liabilities he posed and thus were careful to maintain his image as a new monarch bound by the will and devotion of his people, and his devotion to them. The majority of his early political efforts revolved around cabinet meetings and making diplomatic trips abroad, often to the United Kingdom.

With comparatively few political responsibilities, Nicholas had even more time to spend with his family, which had suffered much during the Revolution and their subsequent imprisonment and rescue. They found a new home at the Gorunov House, which had been gratefully given by wealthy businessman Anastas Gorunov to the royal family as a coronation present. Nicholas watched as all of his children grew up and got married, soon making him a spoiling grandfather. Nicholas also enjoyed spending time with some distinguished members of the White movement or other Romanovs that managed to escape from Russia. He frequently traveled back and forth between Great Britain, spending time with his cousin George V and his sons.

When the Great Depression struck Romanova, Nicholas was careful to put on an image of austerity so as to prevent revolutionary feelings from taking root. He and his family spent time working at hospitals and food kitchens without pay to help Romanova's sick and dispossessed. The government's efforts were not enough to prevent all political realignments from taking place and Alexander Kerensky took office as prime minister following his party's landslide victory in the 1932 general elections. Nicholas found it difficult to disguise his dislike and distrust in Kerensky, who had helmed the Russian Republic following Nicholas' overthrow and ordered their previous imprisonment. Even so, the two men agreed on a number of reforms necessary to help Romanova withstand the economic damage of the depression.

Like many in Romanova and the world, Nicholas was a supporter of the rise of fascism in Europe, believing it to be a potential counterweight to Soviet power. He was a brief supporter of Nazi Germany as he thought that a strong Germany might overrun the Soviet Union. However, he quickly turned against it and fascism in general after witnessing violence in the streets by the Russian Fascist Party's blackshirts and Adolf Hitler's hostile rhetoric against the Slavic peoples. Nicholas began to support closer ties with Great Britain and other parts of the British Empire such as Canada or Australia. The Romanovan general staff began integrated strategic planning with the British military and the Romanovan military adopted much of its modern munitions and vehicles from British manufacturers. Nicholas was a conduit of support between the sometimes tense relations between British prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Kerensky.

Anden Verdenskrig

During World War II, Nicholas remained often above the secrecies of military planning, although he and Alexi were privy to some details because of their roles within government and, in Alexi's case, the military. Nicholas II approved the declarations of war against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and, after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Imperial Japan. Following the Invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Nicholas became increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of his daughters Tatiana and Anastasia, who had married into the Yugoslavian and Bulgarian royal families respectively.

On July 20th, 1940, members of the Russian Fascist Party's paramilitary blackshirts surrounded the Gorunov House, demanding that they be given control over the house and that the Tsar would not be harmed if he cooperated. Both Nicolas and his friend Boris Mikoyan, the former commander of the Leib Guard and the commander that had saved the Romanovs in Russia, refused and ordered the Guard to secure control over the house. The opening struggles between the Leib Guard and the blackshirts marked the beginning of the Romanovan Civil War. Neither Nicholas nor his family were hurt in the affair. For the rest of the war, Nicholas and his family operated under higher security and often spent much of their time at a government military base in Kolomeitsev.

Død

Nicholas died peacefully in his sleep in the Gorunov House on 17 July, 1946. He was 78 years old. His remains lay in state at the Saints Peter and Paul Basilica for ten days, and he was interred in the same basilica after a High Mass. The Romanovan government declared a week of mourning and foreign dignitaries from around the world to attend his funeral, including his relatives in Britain, Scandinavia, Yugoslavia, and others.


The History and Restoration of the New Study of Nicholas II in the Alexander Palace

In 1902–1904, Roman Feodorovich Meltser’s (1860-1943) firm carried out the construction, decoration and furnishing of the New Study of Emperor Nicholas II in the Alexander Palace. The work had to be carried out according to precise calculations and drawings, which were submitted for consideration by the Technical Committee organized under the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty.

The emperor’s spacious four-window study had a mezzanine with marble columns, made by the German company Duckerhoff & Neumann (Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany), which was connected to the mezzanine of the Maple Drawing Room on the opposite side of the eastern wing of the palace. The interior was heated by fireplaces ordered from Vienna. Several types of electric lamps were specially made to illuminate the office, based on the best technological achievements of Russian scientists Alexander Ladygin and Werner von Bolton, as well as the developments of General Electric. Meltzer decorated the lamps with Tiffany style shades with variegated glass. These cylindrical coloured glass “tulip lanterns” have not survived, but are clearly visible in historic photographs, which will allow restorers to recreate them exactly to their original.

PHOTO: view of the staircase leading to the mezzanine, which connected the New Study of
Nicholas II with the Maple Drawing Room, as it looked in 1917 (above) and in 1944 (below)

The ceiling in the Emperor’s study was made of mahogany, including the trim. The walls were painted with a deep blue-green mastic paint and stencilled with ornamental friezes around the tile cladding above the fireplace and a niche behind the table. The walls of the mezzanine were painted in light yellow tones with the same stencil ornament.

An important decorative element of the decoration of the rooms of the Alexander Palace during the late 19th to early 20th centuries, including the New Study were the beautiful oriental carpets. The New Study of Nicholas II, was decorated with large Persian carpets, on top of a seamed crimson carpet.

A pool table occupied the space along the northern wall of the New Study, with a fireplace decorated with blue relief tiles. The pool table was made according to Russian standards, developed and produced by the St. Petersburg manufacturer Adolf Freiberg. A large corner sofa was placed next to the table.

Near the opposite wall was a large desk with an upper shelf and an attached electric lamp on a block. The desk, was covered with many family photographs, writing instruments and other accessories and small memorabilia. Near the window on a high mahogany curb stone stood a plaster bust of Emperor Alexander II by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica (1869-1959). It is known that Canonica made a modified bronze copy of the sculpture, which was approved by Nicholas II. A copy of this bust is preserved in the collection of the Museum of Pietro Canonica in Rome, therefore, it will be possible to recreate the lost sculpture based on a historical analogue.

In the central part of the New Study was a large round table, armchairs and chairs, a soft sofa and an armchair with an oval tea table between them. The table, armchair and chair have been preserved and are today in the collection of the Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve. The first meeting in the New Study is noted in the diary of Nicholas II on 3rd May 1903.

The New Study of Nicholas II was filled with works of Danish and Russian porcelain, family photographs, books, and memorabilia. In the bookcases, in addition to works on history, politics and religion, there were the collected works of Shakespeare and Tennyson, works of Byron, Merimee, Gaultier, Hugo, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Merezhkovsky among many others.

The New Study is one of the few interiors of the Alexander Palace, the decoration of which partially survived the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45: the ceiling lining with brass overlays, a mahogany door, two fireplaces, and columns on the mezzanine have all been preserved.

PHOTO: the New Study of Emperor Nicholas II, as it looked between 1997-2015

The interior of the New Study of Emperor Nicholas II was partially restored in 1997 for the opening of the Memories in the Alexander Palace exhibition. Several years later, the interior decoration was reconstructed, which included built-in wardrobes, sofas, chairs, a desk, lighting fixtures, draperies on the windows, made from photographs of the 1930s and inventory drawings of the Tsarskoye Selo Artistic and Historical Commission of 1918. These items were made in 2000 for the filming of Gleb Panfilov’s film The Romanovs. Crowned Family.

The current restoration of the interior began in 2015. In 2019, restorers discovered the original color and a fragment of the stencil painting that framed the fireplace portal, which made it possible to restore the historic color of the cabinet walls. The discovery of surviving samples of English tiles made it possible to recreate the cladding of the fireplace inserts and fireplaces.

PHOTO: the restored fireplace in the New Study (above) and a detail of the tile (below)

Furniture lost during the war will be recreated for the New Study. A corner sofa for the billiard table has already been made, a display cabinet, bookcases, wall sconces with Tiffany lanterns and other lighting fixtures are being recreated work is underway to restore the writing table and billiards, matched by analogy. One future project, is a plan to restore the window frames with cathedral (stained-glass) glass based on information from archival sources.

The Russian company “Tissura” together with the Swiss company Fabric Frontlain, have recreated the silk fabric decorated with hyacinths for the window decoration based on historical samples preserved in the Collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum. The window curtains will be made by the St. Petersburg firm “Le Lux”.

PHOTO: the current look of the restored New Study of Emperor Nicholas II

Specialists from the Studio 44 architectural bureau, will soon begin work on the reconstruction of the lost pieces of furniture and lighting fixtures for the New Study.

Paintings, porcelain, and interior sculptures which have been preserved in the Pavlovsk State Museum-Reserve, will be returned to the Alexander Palace. Among them – paintings, sculptures, busts, Danish porcelain, etc. Following the completion of the restoration of the New Study, these items will be returned to their historical places in the Alexander Palace.

© Paul Gilbert. 10 February 2021

Fifteen interiors situated in the eastern wing of the palace, are now scheduled to open to visitors in 2021. Among the recreated interiors are the New Study of Nicholas II, Moorish Bathroom of Nicholas II, Working Study of Nicholas II, Reception Room of Nicholas II, Pallisander (Rosewood) Living Room, Mauve (Lilac) Boudoir, Alexandra’s Corner Reception Room, the Imperial Bedroom, among others.

In the future, the Alexander Palace will become a memorial museum of the Romanov family – from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II, showcasing the private, domestic life of the Russian monarchs who used the palace as an official residence. The eastern wing of the palace will be known as the Museum of the Russian Imperial Family. The multi-museum complex, which includes the Western wing is scheduled for completion no earlier than 2024.

Dear Reader: If you enjoy my articles on the history and restoration of the Alexander Palace, then please help support my research by making a donation in US or Canadian dollars to my project The Truth About Nicholas II – please note that donations can be made by GoFundMe, PayPal, credit card, personal check or money order. The net proceeds help fund my work, including research, translations, etc. Thank you for your consideration – PG


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