March 2009 Newsletter: The 1910s

  March 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm by

March’s newsletter focuses on the world events of the 1910’s. This is the time of the Great War, which signals not only the beginning of “modern” times, but mostly the end of an era and certainly the end of reign for many a royal family. We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter. We hope that you enjoy this month’s newsletter.

Lady Jennifer, Kimebear, LadyLeana and Zonk

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The Royal Articles

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The 1910s


28 March 1910: Princess Ingrid of Sweden (later Queen Consort of Denmark) was the third child of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught. She was one of the many royal grandchildren of British Queen Victoria. Princess Ingrid was, at one point, linked to the then Prince of Wales, but she ended up marrying Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Iceland, who was a third cousin through several family ties. The couple had three children, the current Queen of Denmark, Margrethe, Benedikte and Anne-Marie, former Queen of Greece. the Princess became Queen upon her husband’s accession to the throne in 1947. She died on 7 November 2000 and was interred next to her husband outside Roskilde Cathedral.

29 June 1911: Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (later Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, consort to Queen Juliana) was born with the title of Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, because the marriage of his parents, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, the younger brother of the reigning Prince of Lippe) and Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm was considered morganatic. Later on, he wagranted the title of Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld. He married (then) Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, and became Prince Consort upon her accession to the throne. During WWII he was very active in the army, and he is known to have wrecked many a plane and care in his lifetime. He fathered six children, four of whom with his wife: Beatrix (now Queen of the Netherlands), Irene, Margriet, and Christina. Prince Bernhard died on 1 December 2004 of cancer. His funeral was held with all possible military honours.

20 June 1913: Infante Juan of Spain (later Count of Barcelona) was the fourth son and designated heir of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the monarch replaced by the Second Spanish Republic. He married Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1910-2000), known in Spain as Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbon Dos-Sicilias y Orleans, in Rome on 12 October 1935. On her marriage, she gained the title of Countess of Barcelona. They had four children, one of which is King Juan Carlos of Spain, under whom a constitutional monarchy was restored. As King, he would have been Juan III of Spain. He died on 1 April 1993.

2 August 1916: Zein al-Sharaf (later Queen Consort of Jordan and mother of King Hussein) was born in Alexandria, in Egypt. She is mostly known for her pioneering work in the promotion of women’s rights in Jordan, and her many efforts in charitable work. She married King Talal in 1934. She was a major political influence during the 1950’s and acted as regent both during her husband’s and son’s reign. She had four sons, one of which was King Hussein of Jordan, the father of the current King, and two daughters. She died on 26 April 1994 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

28 November 1916: Lilian Baels (later Princess of Réthy, morganatic wife of Leopold III of Belgium) was born as Mary Lilian Baels in London, where her parents were living at the time. She was educated in English, Dutch and French, and attended a finishing school in London. At the age of 20, she was presented to King George V and Queen Mary of England. She met her future husband, King Leopold III of the Belgians in 1933, when he was still Duke of Brabant. In 1941 she was invited to Laeken to entertain King Leopold, who was quite depressed because of his emprisonment by the Nazis (he was a prisoner of war, but was allowed to live in his palace). Leopold and Lilian married in September of that year. Lilian declined the title of Queen, and was known as Princess of Réthy. The couple had three children: Alexandre, Marie Esmeralda and Marie Christine. This morganatic marriage was one of the reasons Leopold had to abdicate. The couple moved from the Palace in Laecken to Argenteuil upon the marriage of Baudouin and Fabiola, where Lilian lived until her death in 2002.

18 April 1917: Princess Frederika of Hanover (later Queen Consort of Greece) was the daughter of Ernest Augustus III, Duke of Brunswick and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of German Emperor William II and Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1936 Prince Paul, Crown Prince of Greece, proposed to her in Berlin when he was there to see the 1936 Summer Olympics. On 9 January 1938 they married in Athens. Prince Paul was the son of King Constantine I of Greece and Sophie of Prussia. Ten months after their marriage their first child was born on 2 November 1938: Sophia, the future Queen Sofia of Spain. On 2 June 1940 their son and heir, Constantine was born. She was Queen Consort of Greece from 1947 to 1964, when her husband died of cancer. Queen Frederika died in Madrid, in exile after the abolishment of the Greek monarchy, on 6 February 1981, during surgery.

Marriages and Anniversaries

24 May 1913: Princess Victoria-Louise of Prussia and Ernst-August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick. Princess Victoria-Louise was the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia. She and Ernst-August of Hanover met when he visited the Court to thank the Kaiser for his condolences on the death of Ernst-August’s elder brother. The couple fell in love and were married in May 1913, the last large ceremony involving the European royals before World War I. Later that year, Ernst-August took over the title Duke of Brunswick from his father. Ernst-August and Victoria-Louise had five children, four sons and a daughter. The daughter, Frederika, married the King of the Hellenes and is the mother of King Constantine of Greece and Queen Sofia of Spain.

4 November 1919: Alexander I of Greece and Aspasia Manos. Aspasia Manos was a Greek commoner and not considered a suitable wife for King Alexander. They eloped and contracted a secret marriage. Because of the outcry at the marriage, the couple had to leave Greece for a while and live in Paris. Aspasia was never referred to as Queen but instead was known as Madame Manos. Alexander and Aspasia had one daughter, Alexandra, who eventually married King Peter of Yugoslavia. Alexander died in October 1920, less than a year after his wedding and five months before the birth of his daughter. His father, Constantine I, was restored to the throne and in 1922 formally recognised the marriage of Alexander and Aspasia. After this, Aspasia was granted the title Royal Highness, as was her daughter. She died in Venice in 1972.

6 November 1919: Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma. Charlotte became Grand Duchess of Luxembourg in January 1919 following the abdication of her sister Marie-Adelaide. In November of that year she married Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma, one of the 24 children of Robert Duke of Parma. He was created Prince of Luxembourg the day before the wedding. Felix and Charlotte had six children, the eldest being Jean, who succeeded his mother as the ruler of Luxembourg and who is still alive today, aged 88.


6 May 1910: Edward VII. Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria, had been King since his mother’s death in January 1901. As Prince of Wales he had been excluded from constitutional affairs by Queen Victoria, so he spent his time pursuing pleasure. He was a leader of society for most of his adult life and had lived the good life, overeating and being a heavy smoker. He ascended the throne in late middle age, during a turbulent time in European history when the Great Powers were manoeuvring for position and advantage within Europe and worldwide, and he proved to be an able statesman and leader. By the time of Edward’s death in 1910, Kaiser Wilhelm had pushed Europe very close to war, which broke out four years later. Edward died aged 68 as a result of bronchial disease and heart failure brought on by his overindulgent lifestyle. Queen Alexandra invited his latest mistress, Alice Keppel (great grandmother of the present Duchess of Cornwall), to visit him during his final illness.

25 February 1912: Grand Duke William IV of Luxembourg. William was the eldest son of the previous Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Adolphe, and succeeded his father as ruler in 1905. He and his wife, Infanta Marie Anna of Portugal, had six children, all of them daughters. Since his only male heir was the son of a morganatic marriage, he asked Parliament to change the law so that his eldest daughter, Princess Marie-Adelaide, should succeed him as ruler.

14 May 1912: Frederik VIII of Denmark. Frederik was the son of Christian IX (the grandfather of Europe) and Queen Louise (born Louise of Hesse); his siblings included the Queen Consort of Britain, the King of Greece, and the Empress of Russia. He ascended the throne late in life and reigned for only a few years. As an informal and democratically minded monarch, he was greatly loved by the Danish people. He and his wife, Lovisa of Sweden, had eight children, the eldest of whom, Prince Christian, succeeded him as monarch and reigned as Christian X. His second son, Prince Carl, later became King Haakon VII of Norway.

30 July 1912: Emperor Meiji. Emperor Mutsuhito, known after his death by the name Emperor Meiji, had become Emperor in 1867 at the age of 14. He presided over the transformation of Japan from an insular, feudal society dominated by powerful warlords to a modern country that maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with the rest of the world. He was the first emperor in over 250 years to be the ruler of his country as opposed to a powerless figurehead. Soon after his accession he married Ichijo Masako, who was known during her life as Empress Haruko and after her death as Empress Shōken. The Empress bore no children, but Emperor Meiji fathered several children by various ladies in waiting. On his death in 1912 he was succeeded by his eldest son, Yoshihito (Emperor Taishō), who was mentally handicapped after contracting meningitis as an infant.

18 March 1913: George I of the Hellenes. George was a younger brother of Frederik VIII (see above) of Denmark; he was born Prince Christian of Denmark, son of Christian IX and Queen Louise. He was elected King of the Hellenes in 1863 while still a teenager. In 1867 he married Grand Duchess Olga, with whom he had eight children (including Prince Andrew, father of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh). His reign was marked by increasing prosperity and influence of the country, but also by internal unrest and conflicts with Turkey. The King survived assassination attempts but on 18 March 1913 was killed in Thessaloniki by an assassin who was found to be mentally deranged and who committed suicide while in police custody. George was succeeded by his eldest son, who ruled as Constantine I.

9 April 1914: Empress Shōken (Haruko). Empress Shōken, the consort of Emperor Meiji, survived for only a couple of years longer than he did. Born Ichijo Masako, daughter of a prominent government official and member of the powerful Fujiwara clan, she was an intelligent and accomplished young woman when she married Emperor Mutsuhito (Emperor Meiji) shortly after his accession. She was an active and visible consort, taking part in many official activities and accompanying the Emperor on overseas visits. She had no children, but adopted her husband’s eldest son, who succeeded him on his death. After her husband’s death she was known as the Empress Dowager. On her death, she was interred next to her husband.

28 June 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. His assassination in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of World War I. After the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889, Franz Ferdinand became the heir to Emperor Franz-Josef of Austria-Hungary. In 1895 he married Countess Sophie Chotek against the wishes of the Emperor since Sophie was not considered highly enough born to be a suitable bride. The marriage was morganatic, with their children having no succession rights. Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo in June 1914 by Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian separatist group. This incident resulted in a declaration of war against Serbia by Austria-Hungary, an action that led to World War I as members of different alliances entered the war in support of their allies.

10 October 1914: Carol I of Romania. King Carol I was born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, second son of the ruling prince. He was elected ruler of Romania in 1866 after the overthrow of Alexander, Domnitor of Romania, in 1862. In 1869 he married Elisabeth of Wied. Their only child predeceased him, so his nephew Ferdinand became his heir. He died in October 1914, possibly due to the stress of the international situation and the position of Romania with regard to the warring powers.

2 March 1916: Queen Elisabeth of Roumania aka Carmen Sylva. Queen Elisabeth, born Princess Elisabeth of Wied, was the wife of King Carol I of Romania. She was a highly accomplished woman, with talents in the areas of music, fine arts, and writing, where she used the pen name of Carmen Sylva. She and King Carol had one child, a daughter who died at the age of three. She was sent into exile in the 1880s for encouraging the King’s heir, his nephew Ferdinand, to marry a Romanian commoner.

21 November 1916: Emperor Franz Josef of Austria. Franz Josef was the nephew and heir of Emperor Ferdinand, who was mentally retarded. In 1848 Ferdinand abdicted as Emperor of Austria and Franz Josef succeeded to the throne. He was effectively an absolute monarch for much of his reign. He married Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1854; their only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, died in a suicide pact with his mistress Marie Vetsera at Mayerling in 1889. His heir then was his nephew Franz Ferndinand, who contracted a morganatic marriage against his wishes and thus became estranged from him. He died in the middle of World War I, a war precipitated by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

16-17 July 1918: Nicholas II and his family murdered at Ekaterinburg. Tsar Nicholas, son of Tsar Alexander III and Tsarina Marie Feodorovna (sister of Queen Alexandra of Britain, George I of Greece, and Frederik VIII of Denmark), ascended the throne after the early death of his father in 1984. He married Princess Alix of Hesse, a carrier of haemophilia. After the birth of four daughters, they had a son, Alexei, who was a haemophiliac. Nicholas was a weak ruler who was manipulated by his wife and his powerful uncles; the Tsarina was under the influence of Grigori Rasputin, an opportunistic “holy man” who claimed to have powers that would cure Alexei of his disease. Increasing social unrest throughout the country in the early 20th century was met with brutality from the Army, and eventually turned into a full-scale revolution. Nicholas was forced to abdicate, and he and his family were imprisoned in a house in Ekaterinburg. When their Bolshevik prisoners were afraid that a rescue attempt was being planned, they shot the entire family and disposed of their remains.

17-18 July 1918: Several Romanovs murdered at Apalayevsk, among them: Grand Duke George Michaelovich, Prince Ioann Constantinovitch, Vladimir Paley, and Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna. As part of the Bolshevik plan to do away with the Imperial family, many Romanovs were arrested and imprisoned by the Russian secret police. When rumours of a rescue attempt reached the authorities, they decided to kill their prisoners. The prisoners were taken to an abandoned mine shaft outside Apalayevsk, beaten, thrown down the mine shaft, and left to die. A grenades had been thrown into the shaft after them, but most of the prisoners survived the detonation and died later of injuries and starvation.

Accessions, Enthronements, Jubilees, and Abdications

6 May 1910: HRH The Prince George, The Prince of Wales ascends the throne as King George V after the death of his father King Edward VII from a series of heart attacks. His wife, Victoria Mary became Queen Mary at the request of her husband.

27 August 1910: prince Nicholas I of Montenegro takes the title of king. He was the first and only King of Montenegro, the kingdom being merged into the Kingdom of Serbia in 1918.

29 August 1910: Emperor Sunjong of the Korean Empire abdicates and the monarchy is abolished.

5 October 1910: King Manuel II is exiled from Portugal as a result of a military coup. He relocates to the United Kingdom and dies young under suspicious circumstances. Having no heirs of his own, he recognizes Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza as the legitimate heir to the throne of Portugal.

22 June 1911: Coronation of George V and Mary of Teck at Westminster Abbey. Along with the enormous pageantry associated with the coronation of a British Monarch, the event is also celebrated with the Festival of the Empire at the Crystal Palace.

11 December 1911: George V and Mary are crowned Emperor and Empress Consort of India when they travel for the Delhi Durbar. Of the three Durbars held, it is the first and only time that the monarch has attended. All dignitaries of India attend to pay allegiance to the new Emperor and Empress. While there, Queen Mary is presented with the magnificent Delhi Durbar Tiara.

25 February 1912: Accession of Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide of Luxembourg. The eldest of six sisters, she became the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg ever. She was also the first Luxembourg-born sovereign since 1296. Her reign was marked by a friendly relationship with Luxembourg’s German occupiers and she was forced to abdicate after seven years in favor of her sister Charlotte.

14 May 1912: Accession of Christian X of Denmark upon the death of his father, King Frederick VIII. His 35 year reign including the trying times of World War I & II and his resistance to the Nazis made him one of Denmark’s most popular monarchs of all time.

30 July 1912: Emperor Taisho ascends the throne of Japan. He suffers from ill health and is kept out of public as much as possible. Eventually, it becomes common knowledge that he is unable to rule on his own and, in 1919, the Crown Prince is named regent in his place.

12 August 1912: Sultan Abd al-Hafid of Morocco abdicates. During his reign, he angers many of his countrymen by being overly accommodating of the French. When he relinquishes his throne, it is under the condition that he be allowed to leave on a waiting ship to France. Eventually, he is exiled in Tangier.

18 March 1913: ascension of King Constantine I to the throne of Greece upon the assassination of his father, George I. He will reign for four years before abdicating the throne for the first time.

5 November 1913: Ludwig III of Bavaria ascends. He gains the throne after deposing his cousin Otto I, however, his reign is only a brief five years until the German Revolution breaks out.

7 March 1914: Prince William of Wied ascends the throne of Albania. The country is in a constant state of revolution and his brief reign is overwhelmed by coups and death threats. He goes into exile, still proclaiming himself sovereign.

3 September 1914: Prince William of Albania (formerly Wied) went into exile after only six months of rule.

12 December 1915: General Yuan Shikai declares himself “Emperor of China”. Against great opposition, he holds out until 22 March 1916 when he abandons the idea of monarchy.

27 September 1916: Iyasu V of Ethiopia, an uncrowned emperor, is deposed in a palace coup by his aunt Empress Zauditu.

27 September 1916: Empress Zauditu of Ethiopia ascends the throne. Although she is not origically allowed to rule on her own, she becomes a popular empress due to her religious piety and kindness.

21 November 1916: Accession of Emperor Charles I of Austria. He is the last monarch of the Hapsburg dynasty, the last King of Hungary, the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Croatia and the last King of Bohemia. His reigns lasts for only two years. He is beatified after his death by the Catholic Church for considering his faith before politics in his decisions as monarch.

30 December 1916: Coronation of Emperor Charles I of Austria as King of Hungary.

1 March 1917: Tsar Nicholas II abdicates the throne of Russia. In the face of a population of hungry and disaffected citizens rioting, a mounting massive revolution by his own troops and fearing for the lives of his family, Nicholas is forced to abdicate in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Michael and becomes the last Romanov Tsar and the last Tsar of All the Russias.

11 June 1917: Constantine I of Greece goes into temporary exile. As a result of the National Schism and with half of his country under Allied control, Constantine abdicates in favor of his second born son Alexander and leaves for Switzerland with his family, including his eldest son.

11 June 1917: Accession of King Alexander of Greece. He reigns for only three years and is a lame duck King, in reality only supporting the Prime Minister with no power or authority of his own.

4 July 1918: Mehmed VI ascends the throne as the Ottoman Emperor. He reigns for four years before the Turkish Grand National Assembly abolishes the monarchy.

3 October 1918: King Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicates. He goes into exile in German and his succeeded by his son, who becomes Boris III.

9 November 1918: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicates for exile to The Netherlands. He loses his throne when his own military revolts against him. While in exile, The Treaty of Versailles specifically calls for his return and prosecution against him, but Queen Wilhelmina refuses to turn him over, allowing him to stay under her protection.

22 November 1918: Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden abdicates and the Grand Duchy of Baden ceases to exist.

14 January 1919: Abdication of Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide of Luxembourg. She is the first reigning Grand Duchess and the first Luxembourg-born sovereign since 1296. During her reign, she becomes highly unpopular due to her friendly relationship with the German forces that are occupying Luxembourg, leading to a call for her abdication. She is succeeded by her younger sister Charlotte.

14 January 1919: Accession of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. Charlotte succeeds her sister as reigning Grand Duchess and rules for an impressive 45 years. Unlike her sister, she is non-controversial and due to a change in the constitution that limits the power of the sovereign, she stays clear of political scandal. She marries HRH Prince Felix of Bourbon, Prince of Parma and it is a result of this marriage that the junior members of the royal house now enjoy the style of HRH.

28 February 1919: Amanullah Khan ascends the throne of Afghanistan. He is, at first, very popular. He is a pioneer in advocating women’s rights. He establishes new schools and dress codes, allowing women much more freedom than they had ever known. He is also friendly with Europe and dramatically increases trade. Unfortunately, he is seen as too friendly and too European himself. His dramatic change of domestic policy is seen as too radical by some in the conservative nation and it leads to the Khost rebellion. He reigns for ten years before be forced into exile in Switzerland.

Major World Events

The Xinhai Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution, began with the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911 and ended with the abdication of Emperor Puyi on February 12, 1912. The Xinhai revolution was motivated by anger at government corruption, by frustration with the government’s inability to restrain the interventions of foreign powers, and by majority Han Chinese resentment toward a government dominated by an ethnic minority (the Manchus). The revolution did not result immediately in a republican form of government; instead, it set up a weak provisional central government over a country which remained politically fragmented. The monarchy was briefly and abortively restored twice, and there was a period of military rule. Though the revolution concluded on February 12, 1912, when the Republic of China formally replaced the Qing Dynasty, internal conflict persisted. The nation endured a failed Second Revolution, the Warload Era and the Chinese Civil War before the official establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

War World I, also referred to as The Great War began June 28, 1914. The catalyst for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro Hungarian throne by a Bosnian Serb nationalist. Austria-Hungary’s resulting demands against Serbia led to the activation of a series of alliances which within weeks saw all of the major European powers at war. The war had two opposing sides: the Entente or Allied Powers included the Russian Empire, the British Empire, France, Italy, the Empire of Japan and later the United States. The opposing side, the Central Powers included the German Empire, the Austrian-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman Empire and Kingdom of Bulgaria. During the war over 70 million military personnel were mobilized and over 15 million people were killed. On November 11, 1918 an armistice was signed by Germany. By the end of the war, four of the imperial powers — Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire had been defeated and no longer existed in their previous forms. Austria Hungary and the Ottoman Empire simply ceased to exist as autonomous nations- the map of central Europe was redrawn into smaller states. The break up of these two empires would impact world relations for the next eighty years.

The Easter Rising was a rebellion that occurred in Ireland in during Easter Break in 1916. The Rising was an attempt by Irish Republicans to win independence from Great Britain. Although there had been periodic outbreaks of violence, this act of rebellion was the most significant and organized uprising in Ireland since the Rebellion of 1798. Organized by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Rising lasted from Easter Monday 24 April to 30 April 1916. Members of the Irish Volunteers, a smaller Irish Citizen Army, members of Cumann na mBan, seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic independent of Britain. The Rising was suppressed after seven days of fighting, and its leaders were court-martialed and executed, but it succeeded in bringing the fight for Irish independence to the forefront of Irish politics. In 1919, the Irish War of Independence began when the Irish Republican Army began a guerilla style war with the British government in Ireland.

The Russian Revolutions of 1917, was a series of revolutions in Russia that began with the destruction of the Tsarist autocracy and the formation of the Soviet Union. In March of 1917, the February Revolution, members of the Dumas assumed control of the country and founded the Russian Provisional Government. Without the support of the Russian army, who was unable to suppress the revolution, Nicholas II, Czar of Russia abdicated. The October Revolution (also known as the Bolshevik Revolution) began on October 25, 1917. The Bolshevik Party, led by Valdmir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks appointed themselves as leaders of various government ministries and seized control of the countryside. The Bolshevik leadership signed a peace treaty with Germany in March 1918, thereby ending Russia’s involvement in World War I. A civil war soon erupted between the Red and White (all non-Bolshevik) factions, which was to continue for several years, with the Bolsheviks ultimately victorious. Following his abdication, Nicholas II and his family, were imprisoned at Alexsander Palace (in Tsarske Solo), the Governor’s Mansion (Tobolsk) and finally at the Ipatieve House (Yekaterinburg). On July 17, 1918 Nicholas II, his wife, his son, his four daughters, the family’s medical doctor, his personal servant, the Empress’ chambermaid and the family’s cook were killed by the Bolsheviks.

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