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Remembered Today:

Empress Zita and Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse by Rhine


militaryhistorywriter
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Does anyone have any information on Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary and her recommending Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse and by Rhine and his secret trip to Russia in regard to peace talks in World War One?

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Being the brother of Czarina Alexandra, the Grand Duke was certainly well positioned to put feelers out with regard to any possibility of a separate peace deal being negotiated that would remove Russia from the war, but I don’t believe that any factual evidence or information exists that supports the suggestion that a secret trip to Russia was actually made (presumably during mid to late 1916). Preliminary approaches would seem more likely to have been conducted via correspondence, rather than making an extremely dangerous visit that would have been impossible to keep secret (and had such a trip been exposed, the consequences would have been wholly counter-productive) Not that the absence of fact prevents conspiracy theories from forming, and there’s certainly been a few books written and films made where such theories have been put forward.

MB

 

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Didn't the Empress Zita have brothers fighting on either side (that sounds a bit odd but "fighting on both sides" is worse!)? I've a vague idea ther had been an approach through one of them at some time?

RM

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8 hours ago, JWK said:

Empress Zita wás involved in the Sixtus Affair, maybe that's what you're thinking of?

Prince Sixtus was her younger older brother, a Belgian officer.

Thank you. I think that's it.

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As for GD Ernst making a visit to see Alexandra. I would say and pointed this on the alexanderpalace. org thread on the subject:

Nicholas was upset about what he considered German double dealing in the days leading up to the start of WW I and would reject such a visit

Ernst would have been to big of a leader to go on such a mission

Lenin took 6 days to travel from Switzerland to Petrograd. I don't think Ernst could have done this in less than 4 or 5 days and he will have to go through  a lot of wartime security. Also note: Nicholas went around back then with what we would call presidential level security today. So slipping him into the palace on observed is just not possible.

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