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The Russian Royal Family


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The weekend paper had a report that Lloyd George offered to take in the Russian Royal Family but that it was vetoed by George V who was afraid it might endanger the British monarchy. The result, as we know, was the assassination of virtually all the Russian royals. Assuming this to be true, was it a proper thing for KGV to do? Was it on the nation`s behalf or his family`s? Phil B

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Even if KGV turned down the Russian Royal Family, he was not culpable. Culpable people pull triggers, slit throats, light fuses. He is only culpable if he knew beyond reasonable doubt that their fate was in his hands.

Even then, by modern standards, the grant of sanctuary is a political prerogative, so LG could always have threatened to call the King's bluff if he felt strongly enough about the matter.

I suspect the sinister hand of DH in this: surely we can fix the blame on him?

Can it be proved DH was not in the cellar? Never mind his diary as published, a total fabrication around those dates [remind me, what were the dates? Oh, never mind ...........]

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Here's the PoW's take on the subject

"It has long been my impression that, just before the Bolsheviks seized the Czar, my father had personally planned to rescue him with a British cruiser, but in some way the plan was blocked. In any case, it hurt my father that Britain had not raised a hand to save Cousin Nicky. 'Those politicians' he used to say. 'If it had been one of their kind, they would have acted fast enough. But just because the poor man was an emperor-----' Even after the British Government had recognized the U.S.S.R., it was quite a while before he could bring himself to receive the Soviet Ambassador."

Regards

Michael D.R.

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HarryBettsMCDCM

QUOTE (Phil_B @ Aug 15 2006, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The weekend paper had a report that Lloyd George offered to take in the Russian Royal Family but that it was vetoed by George V

Your papers are definitely getting delivered later & later,I'd definitely sack your Paper~Boy.

[Next week exclusive "Alcock & Brown fly the Atlantic"] ;)

That story was discussed in a TV Presentation on the fate of the Tsar & his kin;a few years ago;the King was fearful of Revolution;spreading throughout Europe:especially with the Reds fighting on the streets in post war Berlin,

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So the TV programme confirms the allegation but the PoW denies it? And Grumpy claims he wouldn`t be culpable anyway because he didn`t pull the trigger but assumed they`d be safe in the hands of the revolutionaries. Rather like Hitler didn`t personally pull triggers?

I`m no nearer, gents. Did KGV refuse to rescue the Russian Royals or not? :( Phil B

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quote : "the King was fearful of Revolution;spreading throughout Europe:especially with the Reds fighting on the streets in post war Berlin"

But I thought that the Czar died in July 1918?

Regards

Michael

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The King was very fond of his cousin, the Tsar, but the early decision to offer the Tsar and his family a refuge in Britain caused the King some concerns when he thought about it more deeply. He was aware that the Tsarist government in Russia was definitely not based on the democratic model. He was afraid that his own position as a constitutional monarch might be put as risk. More seriously, he also feared that a decision to provide a home for the Tsar and his family might cause serious unrest among the working class, and that if this unrest brought forth leaders (and socialist Members of Parliament were already asking questions about the wisdom and correctness of the plan) then there might be revolution here, too.

I believe that when Lloyd George wrote his memoirs, he protected the King's position by saying that the offer had always been open, but the fly in the ointment had been the obstructive behaviour of the revolutionary government in Russia. He never mentioned the change of mind.

Tom

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I'm sure that there was an article in 'The Telegraph' some days back about this. I can't find any reference to it on the web, but if I recall, it was to do with Prince Michael of Kent attending a funeral of some sort next year in Russia, and the article talked of reconciliation between the two royal families. I wish I could find the article to know the exact details!

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Jonathan Saunders

I used to read a lot on the Romanovs and I have always understood that KGV made the final decision not to bring the Russian Imperial family to Britain.

I understand the British Royal family were able to "liberate" some of the Romanov's cash/stocks in London banks and a fair proportion of their jewels - I think the jewels were purchased from fleeing extended family members at discounted values. Some of the jewels I believe became favourite items of Queen Mary.

My memory is a little hazy on this but I am sure there will be something on the net about it if it interests you. Whilst I would not like to be the one to say this was the reason why the offer of passage was refused it has to be considered that such purchases would have been difficult if the Tsar had lived, which does add contoversy to the story.

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Jonathan Saunders

Sorry to go on about this but I guess if Anna Anderson had been proved to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia then right of ownership of cash/stocks/jewels etc would create a very complicated legal issue for the British Royal family.

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Something that might interest you all is that in his long history of the revolution Orlando Figes points out that the White (counter revolutionary) Armies were well established in the area around Ekaterinburg several days before the murder of the Tsar and his family and they were more then capable of recapturing the town and its Romanov prisoner at that time. They probably knew that the Imperial family were located there. However the Whites paused until several days after the murders, by which point there can be no doubt that they knew that the murders had taken place while they wasted time around Ekaterinburg.

Forget Lloyd George and George V, the Tsar was not even considered useful by those who were supposedly fighting for him.

Jon

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Of all the topics in WWI to worry about .... IMHO the Romanovs deserved their fate ... if there were ever a powerful family devoid of talent or judgement, it is they.

Okay, I'll stop mincing words now ...

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OK, so anyone devoid of talent or judgement had better be sure they are not powerful, or AH will have you in the cellar like a brace of shakes.

Beg to differ, oh wise one.

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Something that might interest you all is that in his long history of the revolution Orlando Figes points out that the White (counter revolutionary) Armies were well established in the area around Ekaterinburg several days before the murder of the Tsar and his family and they were more then capable of recapturing the town and its Romanov prisoner at that time. They probably knew that the Imperial family were located there. However the Whites paused until several days after the murders, by which point there can be no doubt that they knew that the murders had taken place while they wasted time around Ekaterinburg.

Forget Lloyd George and George V, the Tsar was not even considered useful by those who were supposedly fighting for him.

Jon

Certain White leaders may well have felt that the Imperial Family if murdered by the Reds would help to rally popular support for their cause, but at the time White fortunes were at their high point and the local Red leadership decided to execute the Family because they were afraid the Whites were going to win the Civil War. The executions were retroactively approved by Lenin & Trotsky. The best way to ensure that such murders occured would have been for the Whites to encircle or attack Ekaterinburg, not to hesitate in their attacks.

I used to read a lot on the Romanovs and I have always understood that KGV made the final decision not to bring the Russian Imperial family to Britain.

There is no evidence to this effect, only insunuation. George V did later personally intervene to ensure the rescue some Greek royals IIRC. Some have suggested this was a guilty conscience, again without evidence. It is more likely that he wasn’t going to leave it to the politicians the next time. Considering the strength of popular support for the monarchy in the UK, it was the politicians and economic elites who feared ‘boshevism’ in the UK, more than the Royal Family. The Imperial Family could have been sent to any number of overseas destinations, there was no need for them to remain in the UK.

I understand the British Royal family were able to "liberate" some of the Romanov's cash/stocks in London banks and a fair proportion of their jewels - I think the jewels were purchased from fleeing extended family members at discounted values. Some of the jewels I believe became favourite items of Queen Mary.

If you refer to the Faberge items in Queen Mary’s collection they were purchased in the 1920s and 30s on the open market. Have you any evidence for the snide insuations about “fleeing family members?”

My memory is a little hazy on this but I am sure there will be something on the net about it if it interests you. Whilst I would not like to be the one to say this was the reason why the offer of passage was refused it has to be considered that such purchases would have been difficult if the Tsar had lived, which does add contoversy to the story.

If I’m not mistaken the Royal Family is still one of the richest in the world. You are apparently trying to suggest that they were hoping to pick up some Romanov bits and pieces on the cheap and so refused to help? Perverse thinking, to say the least. The extermination of other royalty is not a precedent any royalty care to assist in, for obvious reasons. Obvious to me, anyway.

Sorry to go on about this but I guess if Anna Anderson had been proved to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia then right of ownership of cash/stocks/jewels etc would create a very complicated legal issue for the British Royal family.

There were and are plenty of other impecunious Romanov heirs about, including sisters of Nicholas II. Were there claims to be made, you can be sure they would have made them. Any sources for these insinuations, other than your apparent antipathy for royalty? (save the Kaiser of course)

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I found a book called "The Flight of the Romanovs" by John Perrry and Constantine Pleshakov a very readable and detailed account. It begins with the assassination of Alexander II (1881) and covers the Romanovs well into the 1940's.

Ann

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Certain White leaders may well have felt that the Imperial Family if murdered by the Reds would help to rally popular support for their cause, but at the time White fortunes were at their high point and the local Red leadership decided to execute the Family because they were afraid the Whites were going to win the Civil War. The executions were retroactively approved by Lenin & Trotsky. The best way to ensure that such murders occured would have been for the Whites to encircle or attack Ekaterinburg, not to hesitate in their attacks.

Actually Ekaterinburg was surrounded by the Whites at the time of the Romanov murders. As for motives the Bolsheviks certainly were scared that the Whites would aquire a real leader, and a leader who could most certainly question their legitimacy. However we also have to see the murders within the context of the beginning of the Red Terror as the tottering Bolshevik regime attempted to establish itself by eliminating all of its internal enemies, the Tsar was certainly one of these, and a dangerous one at that. Finally the revolutionaries had wanted to put the Tsar on trial, looking back to the revolutionaries of 1792-3 who put Louis XVI on trial. Yet many Bolsheviks questioned whether this was really neccessary, to try was to accept that there was the possibility of innocence, and none of the Bolshevik leaders questioned his guilt.

Finally I don't see much of a case for the murders being 'retroactively' approved by Lenin and Trotsky. Trotsky himself, writing in 1935 claimed that, when speaking to senior Bolshevik Sverdlov in 1918, that Sverdlov had told him (after the executions) that ''We decided it here (in Moscow). Ilich (Lenin) thought we should not leave the Whites a live banner, especially under the present difficult circumstances...''. Head of the Ekaterinburg Soviet Goloshchekin (and funnily enough a friend of Sverdlov) travelled to Moscow in late June, everybody knew that he wanted the Tsars executed, it is known that during this visit he consulted with Lenin and his views were probably accepted. On the 16 July he sent a telegram to Moscow insisting that the time had arrived, the same day Moscow confirmed. I think that Lenin would probably have known about this and given his approval.

Historian Robert Service writes that 'circumstantial evidence strongly points to the Central Committee having inspired the decision'. Personally I would say the evidence is rather more conclusive then that! Information comes from ''A People's Tragedy'' by Orlando Figes and ''A History of Modern Russia'' by Robert Service.

Jon :)

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Jonathan Saunders
Any sources for these insinuations, other than your apparent antipathy for royalty? (save the Kaiser of course)

Having just reminded myself why I bought a halt to our last "debate", which I did enjoy and find stimulating at the time, I noticed you thanked me for my civility in debate - I only wish I could say the same for your post above. These comments were not meant as snide but simply something that I picked up on the way which have stuck with me - I shared them on the Forum because I regard the Forum more like chatting to friends in a pub, well in most cases, and discussing all aspects and controversies surrounding the fate of the Romanovs is not something I would be afraid to say elsewhere, so why should I censor anything here. I do not feel it a discourteous comment but one of interest. Neither do I think I have to provide sources or evidence - I said this was something I read years ago and it is not a subject I am inclined to return too. I expect the original proposer of this theory found circumstantial evidence and in any case the really interesting hard evidence that would explain the real causes was destroyed long ago or will be forever locked away.

I see you couldnt help but have a dig about my opinion that WW1 was started by a series of complex and inter-related occurences rather than your preference to depend on Lichnowsky and his blame on the Kaiser and German foreign policy - why else would you mention the Kaiser. Just to be clear, you have no idea of my opinion of the Kaiser because I have not told you. What I have told you is that I do not believe ww1 started purely because of the Kaiser or Germany. I decided to bring our last debate to an end when you confused my point of view with some sort of admiration for the man - an assumption on your part that I did not appreciate. But time has passed and I would have been quite happy to debate this contoversial subject with you but I find your tone not only unfriendly but also annoyingly repetitive in style - now you assume I have an antipathy for the Royal family when you have no idea of my opinion on either George V and Queen Mary or the current Royal family, other than I believe it was George V that made the final decision not to send a British warship to provide safe passage for the Russian Imperial family. I believe, but would not swear to it, that possession of the jewels was held by the Royal family sometime before they were purchased in the 1920s. Their purchase being fact and as with all aspects of the fate of the Romanovs adds to the controversy of the debate.

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Lloyd George in his memoirs , is quite explicit about the role of Britain in this:

"Before concluding this chapter on the tragic end of the Czarist regime in Russia, I must refer to the causes which prevented the Imperial family from gaining asylum in this country, and escaping the final horror of the Ekaterinberg cellar. Several writers alleged that the determining factor was a refusal on the part of the British Government to permit the Czar taking refuge here. That is untrue. The fact is that at no time between his abidication and his murder was he free to leave Russia. An invitation was extended by the Brtish Crown and Government. The Czar was unable to in the event to avail himslef of it, even if he had ben anxious to do so - and of that we have no evidence."

On the 21st March, 1917, The British Ambassador to Russia, Sir George Buchanan asked the Russian Foriegn Minister about the Czar's arrest and was told that "this was not strictly accurate. The position was that the Emporer was no longer allowed his liberty....."

The following day the matter was discussed by the Imperial War Cabinet "and it was decided that inthe interests of his personal safety that the Czar should leave Russia at the earliest possible date." It was then decided that the Czar and his family should be given refuge in Brtain "on the distinct understanding that they should not leave this country during the War except with the consent of the Brtish Government"

According to LG, there was extreme Left Wing oppsition in Russia to the Czar leaving and the Russian Goverment was was anxious that this offer not be made public.

On April 2nd 1917, the Ambassador infomed the Brtish Goverment that the Czar and his family were at Tsarkoe "under a strong guard"

Sir George Buchanan, , later wrote in his book "My Mission to Russia" that the the Czar had been offered asylum at the request of the Provisional Government "but as the opposition of of the Soviet, which they were vainly hoping to overcome, grew stronger, they did not venture to assume responsibility for the Emperor's departure..."

Buchanan goes on to say that the British had pressed the Russian Government *to make the neccesary arrangements for the journey to Port Romanoff. More than this we could not do. Our offer remained open and was never withdrawn."

Interestingly, LG says nothing about King George V's playing any personal role in this.

Make of it what you will.

Terry Reeves

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I understand the British Royal family were able to "liberate" some of the Romanov's cash/stocks in London banks and a fair proportion of their jewels

I've also read these allegations but it's my understanding that there's never been any evidence to support it. It's not just the British Royal Family which has been accused of 'redistributing' parts of the Romanov fortune. That's also been levelled at the US, British, French & German governments along with some well known financial institutions (Chase Bank, J.P Morgan's, The Bank of England, Barclays, Lloyds, Barings & Rothchilds to name a few). Without any substantiated evidence it remains at best just rumour. It's always been denied by those concerned including the remaining members of the Romanov family, whom I assume would have rights & issue to any such funds. The accepted view is that the millions the Tsar had ferreted away in the European & US banks were transferred back to Russia during late 1914 to help fund the war effort. Claims of a hidden fortune & its misappropriation seem in the majority to have come from those claiming to be survivors of the executions. I'm thinking in particular of Michael Goleniewski who claimed to be Alexi & of course Anna Anderson. I'm aware that there was a large amount of money which remained deposited with Barings Bank because it was frozen by the British Government when the Tsar was deposed. It sat accruing interest until the British & Soviet governaments struck a deal in 1986 & used it to pay off British holders Russian Imperial Bonds & those claiming loses of property & holdings because of the Russian Revolution. These claims took 3 or 4 years to investigate & I think those verified recieved approximately 50p in the £ on the value of the claim......................You can bet your life savings the Tsar didn't lodge any funds with the bank I work for. If he had my Spanish bosses would have found it by now ;)

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Edvard Radzinsky's book 'The Last Tsar' is fascinating on the subject of the murders. He had access to all sorts of files in Moscow and St. Petersburg and manages to trace the fates of the execution squad. There seems no doubt that Central Committee ordered the murders and he managed to trace witnesses or people who knew the main participants. he also gives accounts into the deaths of all the other Romanovs murdered at the same time as the tsar and his family.- the executions were simultaneous. I have rarely read a more chilling account.

One scene sticks in my mind - the Old Bosheviks used to convene in Moscow for the anniversaries of the Revolution. And there they sat in an ex Tsarist hotel, drinking tea through sugar and then crunching the cubes as they bragged of their part in the murders and the humiliations heaped on the girls. A wonderful book.

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In his biography, King George V first published in 1983, Kenneth Rose documents the exchange of letters between the Stamfordham (the King’s Private Secretary) and the Foreign Office concerning the Tsar and his family coming to London.

And, quoting from the review on the flyleaf, the book “… throws new light on the King’s denial of wartime asylum to his cousin, the Tsar Nicholas II”.

JEG

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IMHO the Romanovs deserved their fate ... if there were ever a powerful family devoid of talent or judgement, it is they.

In what respects were the Romanovs less worthy of respect than the other European Royals, Andy? Was talent or judgement conspicuously evident elsewhere? Phil B

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Of all the topics in WWI to worry about .... IMHO the Romanovs deserved their fate ... if there were ever a powerful family devoid of talent or judgement, it is they.

Okay, I'll stop mincing words now ...

Ahoj!

No child ever deserved to be murdered.

Your statment says a lot about you, though.

And please, don't mince your words, speak your mind.

Borys

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I agree with Borys. The detailed accounts of the murders are truly hideous. The accounts of the lives of the executioners are also vile. One can only pity anyone who fell into the hands of these people.

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