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  #141  
Old 01-16-2009, 03:42 AM
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I have removed the personal and OT remarks in the previous post. As a reminder: we have been forced to close several thread due to some members inability to stick to the TRF rules. Mainly the 'stay respectful to each other' and 'keep the threads on topic' are forgotten quickly. I urge you to keep these things in mind.
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  #142  
Old 01-17-2009, 02:08 PM
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Why is it that some of you make it appear that people living in eastern section of Russian Urals didn't know other languages accept for Russian and that they were all illiterate? Russia was a huge melting pot of different groups of people. Especially in and near Ekaterinburg which was a mining town which had a huge influx of foreigners due to the rich resources being mined, also, there was a school of mines. Prosperous mines allowed the Ipatiev family and other families to build and/or buy grand mansions. And properous families brought in tutors who taught their children various languages like French, and, yes, even German. At that time a great deal of scholarly information in books were written in Latin and German. French was learned since it was then the international language for communication.

Yes, Yurovsky knew German and as a side note changed his religion to Lutheran while living in Germany.

Most believe Yurovsky's background was Jewish. If his family did hold Jewish roots, they probably came from German Jews who migrated into Poland and then migr. farther east to Moscow then to Odessa and then to the Urals. If so, they may have spoken German and Yiddish in their homes and Russian while in the public eye. According to Yurovsky, he was not raised Jewish in his father's house, therefore, Yurovsky's family may have just spoken Russian in their home. His knowledge of German would have been later if that was the case.

Source: >>“.... Once I had to take lunch to my father and passed a group of Jews on their way to their synagogue. And then I asked my mother, “How is it that Jews have all the money, and can close their shops to go to Synagogue on Friday, when others have to work? Why are they allowed to decide when it is forbidden to work, when the rest of us have to do so?” << King and Wilson have Yurovsky Memiors: kingandwilson >>...I was fifteen or sixteen when another important event took place. Whenever we sat down to lunch in our family, questions about the emperor would be raised. Father was very severe, and would not allow any contrary points of view from his children. He glorified Nicholas I. I didn’t think was deserved. And I began to argue that nothing good had happened because of Nicholas I. When something good had happened it was only because of Alexander II: he had freed the Serfs and was not so coarse as one heard that Nicholas I had been. When I was sixteen, we had a typical fight. My father refused to listen; he threw a fork at me and I ran out, staying away from home for two days. <<

Since Yurovsky was interested in the medicial field and knew about the Tsarvich's conditions, most medical books were in Latin and German at that time. And there is evidence that Yurovsky did have some background since he served as a medic in the Tsar's army at one time.

Yurvsky's little side business of photography and making false passports probably gave him the opportunity to hear many kinds of languages. Therefore, Yurovsky certainly knew what language the Romanovs and their servants were speaking at any given time.

Yurovsky continued:>>Because of my political views, we were forced to leave Russia and I spent many years in Berlin, where I worked as a watchmaker. We all spoke German and converted to the German [Lutheran] Church. My employer had a friend who made society photographs and he trained me in this, which I liked, particularly composing the photographs and capturing the faces. << Wilson and King's web site.

Because my ancestors were Germans who migr. into Russia, I am well aware of the various German colonies established in the Russian communities, so, I am not making any assumptions.

A great deal of information we Americans read is from the English speaking part of the world, England, and the rest of the world was not English, although, the British certainly had it's presents in the world. At that time they were interested in the resources in eastern Russia, especially their oil. Unless you had family in Russia and/or have a real interest in European history before the 1900s, your awareness is limited to the history written by the British. The Germans under Kaiser Wilhlem II, the Krupp Co. and others were fighting for world domination before WWI [The Great War]. The Germans were infiltrating right along with the British and right up at the top with higher education in all fields. The Germans were sending teachers into Russia where they taught at the highest levels and all the way down to the German colonies in every corner of Russia. German-Russian children were being sent to Germany to study in the universities and returned home with new ideas about everything from medicine to animal husbandry.

The White Army had a huge number of German-Russian officers. The Austrians didn't speak Austrian they spoke German.

The higher educated Lituanians were from the old Boyer families who's background were Prussians/Germans.

Alex III tried to halt the Germans successes in Russia. But that was like trying to stop the water from rushing into the valley after the dam was broken. After Alex. III's death, the German-Russians (Catholics, Lutherans and Jewish) became part of the rising new middle class citizens. It took WWI to turn the Russian masses against all German and German-Russians. Later Bolsheivks labeled most of the upper and middle class German-Russians Kulacks, "the enemies of the state" and carted them off in trains to Siberia and concentration camps.



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  #143  
Old 01-17-2009, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Anna was Franziska View Post
I don't think so. Especially not in those days. Parts of Russia were and still are very remote, little if any outside contact with foreigners, there was no media, no internet. Sure, rich traveling people in the smaller, closer countries of western Europe may have been exposed to several languages, but not the poor in the Ural region of Russia in the early 20th century.
My post above is directed to this post.


Oh, and by the way, an example for AWF, my one grandmother, who was the daughter of a blacksmith, knew seven languages fluently. She was born in a German-Russian colony which was a farming community and some distance from any large towns by the Black Sea.

I know its difficult for Americans to understand, but Europeans and Russians were confronted with a variety of languages. Unlike here, we can live our entire lives without learning another language.

Let me see if I can find any web sites that might show some of it's history and people.

AGRBear

PS
History of Ekaterinburg

MCR2009.RU :: Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg Russia. Ekaterinburg History. Part 2 | Ekaterinburg Russia : Travel to Ekaterinburg of the Urals : Russia
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  #144  
Old 01-17-2009, 04:03 PM
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bear honestly lets stick to the topic of the forementioned theard and i was born and lived most of my life in europe and i can honestly thats really untrue in hungary i lived with people whom were born in the periods of the final life of the austrain hungarin empire and i can honestly what u mention for the rural areas is completely untrue only in the major cities and those jobs which needed to know another launge was one ever learned and used outside the german and jewish cominuties
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  #145  
Old 01-17-2009, 04:48 PM
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bear honestly lets stick to the topic of the forementioned theard and i was born and lived most of my life in europe and i can honestly thats really untrue in hungary i lived with people whom were born in the periods of the final life of the austrain hungarin empire and i can honestly what u mention for the rural areas is completely untrue only in the major cities and those jobs which needed to know another launge was one ever learned and used outside the german and jewish cominuties
I've not known the people you've known, therefore, I would never say what you post is untrue, I'm sure what you post about you and them is true, however, I can say what I posted is true because of the the people I've known. The grandmother I've mention was born in the early 1880s in a rural area of Russia. Her father was born in rural Russia. And her grandfather was born in rural Russia. She lived to be almost 100 years old and was mentally sharp till her last breath.

Ekaterinburg was a crossroads between European Russia and Asian Russia. This is where Yurovsky grew-up. This is where many different people grew-up. The majority spoke Russian but not everyone spoke Russian in the privacy of their home because not everyone held Slavic roots. Not everyone attended the Orthodox Church. Some were illiterate. Some were educated. Some were laborers and some were owners of companies.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clearify my post.

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  #146  
Old 01-17-2009, 05:06 PM
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true i give you that but this is going off topic since 1st and foremost the topic is the family not everyone else 2nd all of this information can be found in the personal dairies of both nicolhas and alix what they spoke and said and each indicant as for the people well most i ll let history say that not myself
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  #147  
Old 01-17-2009, 05:27 PM
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true i give you that but this is going off topic since 1st and foremost the topic is the family not everyone else 2nd all of this information can be found in the personal dairies of both nicolhas and alix what they spoke and said and each indicant as for the people well most i ll let history say that not myself
It is a fact that Queen Victoria and her husband spoke German to each other in the privacy of their palace apartments. We know their children spoke German, this includes Tsarina Alexandra's mother, to their father who preferred German. We know that Alexandra spoke German while living in Hesse as a child. And, yes, once she lived in England, she preferred to use English. Unlike my grandmother who had an ear for foreign languages, I do not. So, I can understand Alexandra's difficulty with languages and that she'd settle in one language which was English. Although she could communicate in other languages like French and Russian, she'd never be comfortable in those languages.

I have not made any claims that Alexandra or Nicholas II did not write in English in their diaries or letters to family. Why would I? Just as I would not deny the fact that Alexandra and Nicholas II knew German and could speak it fluently. Both pulled away from it's use after Russia went to war with Germany. The same was true with the British royal family. They, too, were at war with Germany.

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  #148  
Old 01-17-2009, 06:40 PM
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Bear, you have given us the Queen Victoria and her husband thing pages ago. It happened years before Alix was even born and has no significance here.

Quote:
I have not made any claims that Alexandra or Nicholas II did not write in English in their diaries
Alix's were in English, but Nicky's diaries are in Russian.

Quote:
once she lived in England, she preferred to use English
It wasn't only then. Actually she was raised from babyhood by a British nanny, Miss Orchard.

I also remember one person on another forum posting that they had seen some of young Alix's schoolbooks, and that her teacher had written English words over some of the German ones she did not understand to help her study better. This would prove she knew more English than German and it came easier to her.

Quote:
Both pulled away from it's use after Russia went to war with Germany.
Sure everything German fell out of favor when the war started, but it wasn't like they were using it up until then and changed. They used English all along, even before they were married, and the whole time the kids were growing up. In every memoir by everyone who kne the family, it's clearly stated that the children spoke English to their mother, and Russian to their father. No mention of German, other than to say they never used it, after the AA incident came up.

You may say that she and Nicky only used English because it was their best common language, but that is not the reason. It speaks VOLUMES that Alexandra and her siblings chose to speak and write to each other in English. If they, as German born children, had felt more comfortable or preferred to use German, they would have done so in their private correspondence. So bear, just saying that because Queen V had a German background they *could* have used it really means nothing when the evidence tells us otherwise. (I am not saying Alix and her siblings weren't fluent in German, of course they were, but it wasn't the language they chose to use in their personal conversations and diaries, meaning it was not their most 'natural' language of choice) Also, as has been stated by Olga A., Gilliard and others, German was never used in the Russian Imperial family.

Bear, you are well known for your extensive quoting of "The File on the Tsar" by Summers and Mangold. How about digging out your copy and seeing what they say about the family's use of foreign languages during captivity? It will tell you how they had been using English but were then forbidden to do so.

Facts show us they did not utilize German. Nicky even corresponded with Kaiser Wilhem in English. They were very fluent and wrote better than most Americans. Willy used abbreviated terms of endearment, just like his cousin Alix, which shows us that it's likely most of the extended family of Queen Victoria mainly used English and wrote in this way. What do we make of the fact that the Russian Tsar and the German Emperor chose to write to each other in English?
1894 - 1914 Transcriptions of original English correspondence.

Pre - 1914 Documents - World War I Document Archive
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  #149  
Old 01-18-2009, 09:46 PM
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As for the Tsar understanding German, here is a snippet from von Nidda's book:

The Emperor, on being told of this letter, (from Count Eulenburg) commanded Count Fredericks to read it to him, and the latter proceeded to do so in the original German. His Majesty at once stopped him, saying, "Read it in Russian, I do not understand German."
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  #150  
Old 01-18-2009, 10:20 PM
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Then there is your proof a person can study a language for years very seriously and not know it well enough to understand it. (though I'm sure the children studied it far less than he did) That would be another reason that the Tsar and Kaiser used English, the Kaiser likely didn't know Russian. I am impressed by the flawlessness of the English used by the Kaiser and Tsar in their letters. Of course Willy, having an English mother, grew up biligual in English and German and Nicky had to learn it later.
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  #151  
Old 01-19-2009, 12:10 AM
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What proof? Where is your proof that Nicky took German lessons?
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  #152  
Old 01-19-2009, 11:41 AM
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I've read it in several books about him. I do not have time to go dig them all out and rummage through hundreds of pages trying to find just the right words, (maybe you do but I don't) but I'm sure I'm not the only person who has seen references to the languages he studied.
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  #153  
Old 01-19-2009, 12:24 PM
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....I am not saying Alix and her siblings weren't fluent in German, of course they were, but it wasn't the language they chose to use in their personal conversations and diaries....
This is my point. They were fluent in German. And, you are right, they chose to use other languages. I never said otherwise.

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  #154  
Old 01-19-2009, 12:42 PM
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As for the Tsar understanding German, here is a snippet from von Nidda's book:

The Emperor, on being told of this letter, (from Count Eulenburg) commanded Count Fredericks to read it to him, and the latter proceeded to do so in the original German. His Majesty at once stopped him, saying, "Read it in Russian, I do not understand German."
Surly Count Fredericks knew Nicholas II's abilities in languages and would have known if Nich. II could or could not speak German long before he read a letter from Count Eulenburg. If it is true, it's the first time I've ever heard that Nich. II couldn't speak German. Although, it would make sense that Nich. II might not have learn German in his early years since his father Alex. III was trying to Russianize Russia during his reign. At that time, some of my realitives were forced to Russianize their German names because Alex. III wanted Russians to dominate everything from the army down to the local govt. officials.

We do know Nich. II's dominate language was Russian.

Who was his nanny and what language did she speak?

AGRBear
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  #155  
Old 01-19-2009, 01:01 PM
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Very good question about the nanny, does anyone know?

I really thought I'd read several places that Nicholas studied English, French, German, and Danish (his mother's language) but he never mastered Danish, so maybe he never mastered German, either. Again, since the Germans he was most in contact with, such as Alix and Willy, used English, it was easier for him to avoid German.

In the autobiography of Sandro, (which I do not have to quote) there was a passage about how he and all his brothers had to study all those languages and were punished for making mistakes.

On a side note about languages, in Felix Y's book, he told how when he was a child, he and his brother, while they did learn languages, thought it awful that Russians would speak to each other in a language other than Russian, and they refused to do so. When some of their mother's society friends addressed them in French, they'd answer back in Russian. They would speak French to the French or other foreigners, but not to other Russians.
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  #156  
Old 01-19-2009, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AGRBear View Post
Who was his nanny and what language did she speak?
¨
I'm not sure, of course, but she was probably either Russian or Danish (since Nicholaus's mother was Danish).
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  #157  
Old 01-19-2009, 09:50 PM
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Nicholas had an English nanny, Elizabeth Franklin, and at the age of 8, he started English lessons with Mr. Heath, a Scotsman.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:21 PM
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I see... Thanks...
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  #159  
Old 01-19-2009, 10:53 PM
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Most likely the language was English and the Bolsheviks didn't know the difference.
it's not likely they'd be able to distinguish between western European languages.
Avdayev was born in 1887 in a small village on the outskirts of Ekaterinburg. Together with his sister Augusta, he attended the local grammar and secondary schools, and seems to have been an educated man. (FOTR)
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  #160  
Old 01-19-2009, 11:59 PM
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Going to local grammar and secondary schools does not guarantee you'll learn languages. Most Americans never take one, or even if they do, forget it, as apparently Nicholas did German, though he was highly educated. Also as you know I remain skeptical of any info that is exclusive to FOTR, but since you like it so much, remember the line where they had to take foreign letters to an official to read? This shows you no one in the house had a workable use of the languages.

And speaking of languages, the patient I was with tonight (Alzheimer's again) was Hungarian, but would blurt out words in English or Hungarian randomly now that she's lost her mind. (and getting angry when you don't understand, and no one did) I had been incorrect in mistaking Hungarian for German, though German is the one foreign language I have been exposed to in my life through many German brides who came here as brides of military men, many friends of the family.
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