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  #61  
Old 04-13-2008, 06:02 PM
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The Danish book Zarmoder blandt Zarmordere: Kejserinde Dagmar og Danmark 1917-1928 by Bent Jensen, mentions several attempts by the Danish royal family, and the Danish government, to get a diplomatic solution to get the Czar and his family out of Russia. The book also mentions that the Danish government contacted the Germans to ask for help, and were denied twice. The Danish envoy in Russia, Harald Scavenius, according to the book, worked hard to try to get things solved.

One tack the Danish allegedly tried were to point out according to the book, was that if the Russians did not want the Dowager Czarina and her family to have Russian titles, and the titles were no longer in effect, then the title Princess of Denmark was still valid for Marie/Dagmar, and thus she [and her family] should be sent to Denmark .
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  #62  
Old 04-22-2008, 05:08 AM
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Jo, if you can find that article, I'd love to take a gander at it!
Russophile, sorry for the belated answer to your above mentioned post. The article Jo has mentioned was published last year in the "Spiegel" with the titel
"Die gekaufte Revolution: Wie Kaiser Wilhelm II. Lenins Oktoberrevolution mitfinanzierte". The same article is published today in the "Spiegel"-Special booklet on history - BTW written by Klaus Wiegrefe - "Experiment Kommunismus" (an awsome summary of the history of kommunist Russia from 1914-1991) in Chapter 1: "Die Deutschen und die Revolution." Wiegrefe uses the same sources - plus some news ones - as Sebastian Haffner, who has published already back in 1968 his book "Der Teufelspakt" on German-Russian relations. But be careful, in the latest version of "Der Teufelspakt" the publishing house has carried out some mayor cutbacks. If you can, try to get the 1968 version. Not sure though if it is available in English.

Additionally there is another book by Gerd Koenen, published in 2005 on German-Russian relations between 1914 and 1945. Again, I do not know if this is available in English.
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  #63  
Old 05-23-2008, 04:49 PM
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More on Captain Stephen Alley:

British spies in plot to save tsar - Times Online

>> From The Sunday Times
October 15, 2006
British spies in plot to save tsar
John Crossland

A NEWLY discovered diary has uncovered a plot by the British secret services to rescue the last tsar and his family from the house in Ekaterinburg where he was imprisoned by the communists and later executed.

The diary of Captain Stephen Alley, second in command of the British intelligence mission in Petrograd — now St Petersburg — shows he positioned four undercover agents ready to extract what he called “the valuables” — the deposed Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian imperial family — from the House of Special Purpose where they were held.

The diary also includes a sketch map drawn by Alley of the house and its surroundings.

It used to be believed that Britain had abandoned the tsar, his wife Alexandra — a granddaughter of Queen Victoria — and their children. But in recent years evidence has emerged that both King George V and the government of David Lloyd George were willing to rescue the family. No evidence has previously come to light, however, of the advanced stage that preparations had reached.

Alley’s diary was found accidentally by his descendants in a trunk of his papers and will be featured in Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren, a documentary to be shown on Channel 4 in December.

The diary shows that, after they had been sprung from custody, the tsar and his family were to be taken by train to Murmansk and then shipped to safety by the Royal Navy.

On May 24, 1918, Alley, who was employed by MI1 (c), part of what became MI6, wrote to the War Office in London naming the six Russian- speaking officers he wanted to carry out the rescue. He asked London for a grant of £1,000 a month (about £25,000 today) due to “increased requirements for intelligence purposes”.

Andrew Cook, the historian who has examined the papers for the documentary, believes Alley’s telegrams to London may have been intercepted, leading the Bolsheviks to reinforce defences around the tsar’s prison. “At the first hint of a rescue the whole family would have been shot,” he said.

Alley’s apparent reluctance to activate the plot led to his sacking and recall to Britain. He worked for MI5 in the second world war and died in 1969 at the age of 93.

He always kept his work secret, even from Beatrice, his wife. Anthony Summers, author of The File on the Tsar, said: “She told me that when she asked her husband what he did, he would say, ‘Sometimes I will go away for a night and sometimes for a year, and I won’t be able to tell you where I am, but I’m working for the king.’ She thought he was going for dirty weekends.”<<
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  #64  
Old 07-13-2008, 09:08 AM
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I think the only chances were either at Tsarkoe Selo in March - August 1st and perhaps Tobolsk. Once they reached Ekaterinburg there was no chance. If efforts had been made in the early days they may have been saved. Once August 1st came they lost all hope IMHO.
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  #65  
Old 07-13-2008, 12:47 PM
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i agree, once they were in Ekaterinburg their fate was sealed.
In the book "lost fortune of the tsars" by william clarke", he details some of the plots and factors out of control. it seems to me politics, cost of upkeep and family rivalry and conflicts doomed any plans to failure.

i hadn't been aware of the King of Spains efforts on their behalf.
quote "Princess Victoria felt the Spanish approach might be best, followed by a backup telegram from Queen Mary".

"(alfonso,delaying no further)... a flurry of telegrams had already been sent to Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Rose, Copenhagen and Moscow." on August 6 he sent the following telegram to Princess Victoria at the Isle of Wight.
"Letter received. I have started negotiations to save Empress and girls as Tsarevich think is dead. Proposition is to leave them to go to neutral country and on my word of honour they would remain here until the end of the war. Hope all the differenct sovereigns will assist me. will let you know all news i get- best love alfonso."

"August 15 George V sent him a telegram "Grateful if you will exert all your influence....to rescue Imperial family of Russia"

"two days after alfonso's personal appeal to the kaiser, he received a positive promise of help from Berlin, and within the week Berlin, Vienna and Moscow were receiving similar requests from the Pope and the King of Denmark"

Money for upkeep of the family seemed to be an undercurrant in efforts quote "The King of Spain made it clear that the royal family could stay in Spain at his expense until the end of the war and the Pope, promised to "ready to provide, if needed the finance for the ladies maintenance in proper style", also offering the Empress Marie "a life annuity to enable her to live in accordance with the dignity of her position".

"as late as the third week of september the russian government was still informing the german government that a proposal has been made to move the whole Imperial family to the Crimea"

page 92 "the germans were not the only players to realise the hostage value of the family..........the bolsheviks in ekaterinburg has had "considerable friction with the central bolshevic government on money matters' and in the final months had begun to use the royal family 'as a means of extracting funds ....by means of threatening to kill them', at a time the Gentral Government was anxious to hand over the family to the Germans in Moscow."
(i think this would have horrified the Tsar, can you imagine his reaction in being saved by "the enemy" even if he was a relative, knowing the outcome it certainly would have been better than what turned out to be the alternative)

"ransom demands did not cease even with the disappearance or death of most of the family, as late as december the King and Queen of Denmark provided 500,000 roubles for the release of the 4 grand dukes, they had already sent 25,000 for the empress, eight months earlier." the four dukes were shot in january 1919.

the more i read about the "secret messages" especially once they were in the "house of special purpose", i'm very suspicious and believe it was probably the soviets trying to arrange an "escape execution". I would expect the family would be very careful whom they trusted (no one at that point) and also insisted that their attendants were included in any rescue attempt.
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  #66  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:55 AM
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Thank you for the information. For me I always have blamed Goerge V for the lost chance to save the Tsar, that and the illness the children suffered at Tsarkoe which made it impossible to move them at perhaps the only time they could have been saved.
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  #67  
Old 08-01-2008, 07:03 PM
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First cousins

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Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine View Post
Sometime last year the leading German political magazine DER SPIEGEL published an article about the latest historical research of the involvement of emperor Wilhelm II: in the taking over of the Bolsheviks in Russia and it said that the emperor had financed Lenin and his people to get rid of the Tsar. He okayed the killing of his cousin, but agreed to take the empress and the children. They found no document claiming that the emperor felt guilty or was sad that his cousin had been killed.
I think the kaiser and the tsar were not cousins; the tsarina and the kaiser were first cousins, offspring of two sisters; George V was first cousin to the tsar by his mother and first cousin to the tsarina by his father.

I watched yesterday a british movie on Prince John, "Johnnie", not very kind to George V and Queen Mary. According to this film, was the king and not his secretary who had the idea of withdrawing the assylum offer.
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  #68  
Old 08-01-2008, 09:10 PM
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The Kaiser was first cousins with Alexandra- his mother was the sister of Alexandra's mother Alice. George V was also Alexandra's first cousin, sinc ehis father Edward VIII was the brother of Alice as well as the Kaiser's mother. Therefore, George V and the Kaiser were also first cousins.

These are vague connections and I forgot the exact names, but I think Nicholas and the Kaiser were distant cousins because a sister of the Kaiser's grand or great grandfather married one of the Tsars (I forgot which) and some other connection in the Hessian line.
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  #69  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:17 PM
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The Kaiser was the son of the Princess Royal Victoria who was the daughter of Queen Victoria. The Tsarina was the daughter of Princess Alice (Victoria's sister) who married the GD of Hesse.
The son of Catherine the Great Paul I married Wilhelmina of Hesse Darmstadt and then Marie of Wurtenberg. His son Alexander I married Louisa of Bade.
I believe this is as close to "cousins" as the Kaiser was to Tsar Nicholas.
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  #70  
Old 08-02-2008, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael HR View Post
I think the only chances were either at Tsarkoe Selo in March - August 1st and perhaps Tobolsk. Once they reached Ekaterinburg there was no chance. If efforts had been made in the early days they may have been saved. Once August 1st came they lost all hope IMHO.
They never made it to August 1.
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  #71  
Old 08-02-2008, 07:37 AM
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Sorry I was not clear. I was talking about August 1st 1917 when they left the Alexander Palace. Once bound for Tobolsk the chance of rescue got smaller and smaller. Once they arrived at Ekaterinburg all chances were gone in my view.
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  #72  
Old 08-02-2008, 10:58 AM
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Sorry I was not clear. I was talking about August 1st 1917 when they left the Alexander Palace. Once bound for Tobolsk the chance of rescue got smaller and smaller. Once they arrived at Ekaterinburg all chances were gone in my view.
It was very sad they were sent east instead of west, very sad their relatives wouldn't take them. I still can't believe there isn't some way Kerensky couldn't have snuck them out to somewhere else in the early days of their imprisonment. I know he never intended for them to die, because he never intended to lose power himself and have the Bolsheviks take over control of them. Still some in the emigre community blamed him for their deaths and he ended up moving from Paris to the US. Like WWI itself, it was just a horrible error with tragic results.
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  #73  
Old 08-02-2008, 02:02 PM
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Did the USA Ever express concern over them or because of the War were our hands perverbually tied
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  #74  
Old 08-02-2008, 02:56 PM
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good question, i don't remember reading about that in any publications, hopefully someone else will have a definite answer. i would be surprised if we made many overtures, at the time it would have seemed a "family matter" who would ever think powerful connections would not try to save them. i'd be appalled and embarrassed if it came out USA was asked for help and ignored the plight of the royal family, (how much difference it would have made? the fast moving events sealed the families fate...only luck and providence could have saved them IMO, a "plan" would have been doomed, too many spies, too much against them (large group, highly recognizable, invalid's needs, measles, refusing to split up...all of that and more worked against any kind of viable plan from the beginning) if only, if only, so sad.
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  #75  
Old 08-02-2008, 05:49 PM
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It was very sad they were sent east instead of west, very sad their relatives wouldn't take them. I still can't believe there isn't some way Kerensky couldn't have snuck them out to somewhere else in the early days of their imprisonment. I know he never intended for them to die, because he never intended to lose power himself and have the Bolsheviks take over control of them. Still some in the emigre community blamed him for their deaths and he ended up moving from Paris to the US. Like WWI itself, it was just a horrible error with tragic results.
Kerensky describes his reasoning to send them to Tobolsk, Siberia, in his own memoirs ("Russia and history's turning point" 1965 version) like this:
in my own words, quotes in ""

The former Tsar expressed the wish to go to the Crimea after hearing of His Majesty's Government withdrawal. "But a journey to the Crimea, which would have involved crossing very unsettled and turbulent parts of the country, seemed very unwise at the time. Instead, I chose Tobolsk, Siberia, which was without railway communication."

And lateron "But on August 14, Nicholas II and his family left for Tobolsk upon my personal order and with the consent of the Provisional Government. Neither the Soviet nor anyone else knew of it until afterward."

(all quotes Page 336)

Clearly Kerensky was concerned that the former Tsar could get easier connected in the Crimea and thereby possibly question the Provisional Governement or cause trouble. I agree to Michael HR that once they arrived in Tobolsk their chances diminished. The choice to send them there can be traced to Kerensky and actually, I would blame him for their deaths, too. Kerensky was more concerned about his own position and standing, showed poor or no backbone and self-confidence in this matter. Though I admit and agree, he certainly did not intend them to die.
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  #76  
Old 08-02-2008, 06:07 PM
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Did the USA Ever express concern over them or because of the War were our hands perverbually tied
The USA was the first one to congratulate the new Provisional Government with happiness and pleasure - no delay - on March 22! In fact, the American Government was the first to acknowledge. Basis for this prompt reaction was the ultimate believe of President Wilson that the new regime would be durable and would take over the committments of the Tsar due to reports of the then ambassador David R. Francis in St. Petersburg ... on a personal note I wonder if it was all about money and getting the loans paid back .... Actually the new foreign secretary Miljukow had transfered the message through the embassy "that Russia will remain mindful of the international engagements entered into by the fallen regime, and will honor Russia's word".

Wilson noted in his war speach before the Congress April 2, 1917 that finally the Russian autocraty was gone and cherished the new democratic approach.

Personally I doubt the American government would have helped the Tsar or his family. And if you recall the later Suez-Crisis, it reinforces the idea that the USA had no wish to support the old system. It appears to me that they tried to find new friends/allies by openly disapproving the old system and by favoring new democratic approaches. Too bad they could not keep those new friends/allies for too long ....
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:06 PM
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I assume the USA were anxious to keep Russia in the war and to have access to her ports at the time.
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  #78  
Old 08-02-2008, 07:38 PM
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I assume the USA were anxious to keep Russia in the war and to have access to her ports at the time.
Ports - I don't know

But keep Russia in the war - definitly yes!

Still I believe it has to do with money, too, just watch the subsequent events:

Altogether 187 million US Dollars were provided from Juli 6 to November 13 to support the Kerensky Government, which became weaker every day. The Russian people were crying for peace, whereas American ambassador Francis tried to encourage war. November 7 the Sovjets took over. November 21 Trotzki suggested armistice at all fronts. The allies declined and refered to the agreement of Sept. 5, 1914 that no separate armistices should be concluded. Only Germany accepted and thus the official peace negoation started on December 2 in Brest-Litowsk. Interesting is the part of Raymond Robins of the American Red Cross Mission who tried to disturb the negotiations. Also interesting the speach of President Wilson Jan. 8, 1918 with the central theme being the Brest-Litowsk negotiations. But it was in vain. The bolshevic leaders realised that he only wanted them to stay in the war and they saw that the was no hard prove in his vague words. (On a sidenote: they were probably wiser than Winston Churchill several years later who sold out the Empire). Well, early february it appeared as if the negotiation were broken off. Robins conjured the American government to quickly acknowledge the Soviet Government (please note: with Kerensky they did not hesitate the acknowledgment) trying to find a basis for future cooperation. But neither London nor Washington would comply - at the same time the bolshevic leaders started their campagne against private property in Russia and had all debts against London and the States cancelled - a complete annulation without exemption. The moment passed, the Germans kept marching and February 23 Lenin had to accept the German ultimatum.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:01 PM
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Not to confuse those who don't know very much about the differences between Kerensky's Prov. Govt. and Lenin's. For a very short time, Russia under the Prov. Govt. was headed toward some kind of democratic govt. but Lenin and his socialistic terrorists Bolsheviks [pre-runners of the communist party] were able to take up leadership in the early months of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Lenin, who wanted absolute power, became the new dictator and was followed by another dictator known as Stalin "The Bloody".

It stands to reason that when the Prov. Govt. took power that Wilson acknowledged them and supported them. And, yes, the US wanted Russia under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, the military brain of the group, to remain in the war with Germany. Why? Because the war would have ended sooner if Germany had been kept fighting in the east and the west. But Lenin knew his people were war weary and in his selfish skeme of ruling Russia, he played the tunes the Russians wanted to hear. I cannot blame the citizens of Russia. And this part of the discussion needs it own thread if anyone wishes to continue the pros and cons of this issue.

This, however, does not mean that there were no efforts in rescuing Nicholas II and his family out of harms way in Ekaterinburg.

It is not well known but the US did send troops into north and south eastern Russia to fight the Bolsheviks. If you are interested in this story, see my forum RomanovsRussia. I became interested because my paternal grandfather, who had been born in Russia, returned to Russia wearing a US army uniform on a ship which was provided to help evacuate certain people before they were taken by the Bolsheviks. For awhile, my grandfather was color guard at the US capital and Pres. Wilson knew him by name. Quite a treat for a small town farm boy from the Dakotas, where he and his family had settled. Anyway, I've learned a great deal about our boys who fought the Bolsheviks so long ago with the British and other country men who were part of the Allies who defeated Hitler and his gang of thugs.

Sorry, got side tracked. Anyway, most of the information about the US secret rescue actions toward the Royal Family has been difficult to uncover. There are a few books where the authors bat around some names and some possible agents sent but the trails just kinda fade and I cannot get real solid information to tell you exactly who the agents were, when they left for Russia or what happen to them. But I'll keep trying.

The same is true for the Germans, who did have a plot to rescue the royal family around the 16 of July 1918.

From people I've met through my 66 years, there is heresay that Tsar loyalists were, also, in Ekaterinburg after June of 1918, who wanted to resuce Nicholas II. It's probably true, but, obviously they failed, like the others.


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Old 08-03-2008, 04:07 PM
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First of all a huge Thank you for the detailled explanations, AGRBear. Of course you are right to point out the different Russian Regimes and Thanks for the information concerning American troops fighting the Bolshevics. I knew that Winston Churchill tried to send more British men and indeed there were obviously Murmansk and Archangelsk in English hands. However Lloyd George and his cabinet refused even additional men to cover the retreat of the remaining. General Ironside (Archangelsk) suggested to join Koltschak and he was supported by Churchill. Again L. George refused. 25.7. the cabinet decided a complete withdrawal from northern Russia and the Kaukasus. I always considered it kind of Winston Churchill's personal spleen to keep on fighting the Bolsheviks like some of his other military adventures. Were the American troops fighting separatly or part of the British engagement?

Also, I have never heard about a German plot dated 16.7.1918. Could you provide some more information on this one, please? Thank you kindly in advance for your help in this matter.
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