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The Fall of the Romanovs

My husband's great great grandmother Eleonora Schmidt

My husband's great great grandmother Eleonora Schmidt

Train to St. Petersurg

The train from Kiev to St. Petersburg, Russia took off much later than scheduled. Eleanor Schmidt and her two little sons were in their compartment room when a well-dressed man of peasant appearance managed to get in the room. He was acting importunate and increasingly impudent. Eleanor felt uneasy and eventually got scared, especially in light of latest events. It was September 1911 and Russia was at shock after the assassination of prime minister Pyotr Stolypin at the Kiev Opera, in the presence of Tsar Nicholas II. Stolypin died four days later at hospital and his murderer anarchist Bogrov was hanged within ten days later by the order of Nicholas II.

Eleanor asked the conductor to remove her and her children to another room to get rid of the troublesome guest. In St. Petersburg, while looking through a magazine, one of the kids pointed at the picture of the man who looked like the one they met in the train. Eleanor and her husband looked at the picture and Eleanor confirmed it was the man who disturbed them. Under the photograph it said ‘Grigory Rasputin’. That Eleanor was my husband’s great-great-grandmother.

I found this accout from my husband very interesting and decided to write a little about the Romanov's and their fall from power.



Healer or Crazy Man?

While other countries experienced revolutions throughout the 17th and 19th centuries and had established parliaments to limit the power of their monarchs (France was the only non-monarchist country in Europe), at the start of 20Thcentury the Russian Romanov's were one of the last absolute monarchs in Europe, that is, their will was equaled to the law. Tragically it was their historical weakness: avoiding to delegate some power to the people, the monarchy was increasingly isolating itself from the population, getting the people build up with their thirst for reforms and rule into various political forms – from anarchism to socialism. So when Emperor Nicholas II reluctantly agreed to establish a parliament in 1905, amidst nationwide violence, strikes and the defeat at a war, it was historically too late. The parliament needed time, decades, if not a century to find constructive ways how to cooperate with Tzar's, and Tzar's to cultivate an understanding of a parliamentary institution. Yet there was little time to adjust to each other. As if fate didn’t want to give any chance to the Romanov's, at that very time the Imperial family got a messenger from hell in the form of a person by the name of Grigory Rasputin who submitted the Court to his influence. He was known as a healer of sorts and Alexandria the Tzar's wife was influenced by him because she thought he was able to help her son, who was a hemophiliac;unfortunately it turns out that his influence would soon be their downfall.



The Fall From Grace

Ministers and politicians had to deal with Rasputin rather than the Emperor, thus isolating him even from the aristocracy. That isolation was visible to all political parties. It is not hard to believe then that there were people that wanted Rasputin killed namely Prince Yusupov, who did just that in December 1916. Much has been said of the death of Rasputin as it took four attempts to actually kill the man before he finally met his demise. But it didn’t save the Romanov's or Russian Empire. Three months later new strikes began, amidst a new war. This time Tsar Nicholas didn’t have anything to offer his people like he did in 1905 when he agreed to a parliament. He was alone politically. To save his nation from chaos, his only way out was to abdicate. The new government, power-thirsty and righteous, arrested the former ruler of The Russian Empire on the premise of a trial investigation of the errors of the Tsarist governments. In honesty, the new provisional government and its leader Alexander Kerensky didn’t know what to do with the Tsar and his family; they had an idea that Nicholas’s cousin, the British Emperor George V, might take his family to England; but Britain didn’t exhibit any enthusiasm for that idea. Eventually, when the provisional government was seized by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, the fate of the Emperor was in their hands. The Bolsheviks and their leader, Lenin, avidly detested the Romanov dynasty (it’d be worth to mention Lenin’s brother was executed for assassination of Nicholas’ father, Tsar Alexander III).

The Royal Family


The Assasinaton

The Bolsheviks launched power-seizure throughout Russia. Immediately they were opposed by anticommunists who started to collect armies against the Bolsheviks. Russia’s first and only Civil war began. Cities and villages were changing their rulers every month: from the Reds (Bolsheviks) to Whites (pro-monarchists) and from Whites to Reds. It was that turmoil that Nicholas Romanov and his family found themselves in July 1918 in Yekaterinburg. The city had been barely taken over by the Red Army and already the White Army was approaching. The decision to kill the Tsar and his family was made quickly; if the White Army were to get hold of the Tsar, it would give them more validity, power and the very symbol to fight for, despite Nicholas’s low prestige. The Reds would never give them that chance;in a war where even schoolboys were executed for any pro-Tsar and pro-white sympathy, no one was to spare. So it would be. On July 17, 1918, Nicholas, his wife, their daughters and son, were shot and then buried in the nearby swamps.

The fate of Anastasia no longer a mystery.

The fate of Anastasia no longer a mystery.

Alexei Romanov

Alexei Romanov

Anastasia and the Crown Prince Alexei

There have been several people who have claimed to be the Tzar's daughter Anastasia and it has been the topic of many books and movies, however nothing was ever proven for many years. However in the 70's, bones were found that were scientifically proven by Russian and American scientiest to be the bones of some of the royal family, and everyone was accounted for except for two children, one being Anastasia and the other her brother Alexei. So it was then that the bones that were found were given their proper burials and are laid to rest in the place that they belonged, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Additionally in 2007 two more graves were found that were scientifically proven to be two of the missing children, Alexei the crown prince and his sister, whom is believed to be Anastasia, which finally puts to rest the theories of her existence. Once The Russian Orthodox Church accepts the scientific evidence of Alexei and Anastasia, then the bones will be buried alongside their family and they will finally get the burial that they deserve.

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ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on January 05, 2011:

Kiara your comments are much appreciated. I thank you. Cheers.

Kiara on January 05, 2011:

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I like how you adress WHY the Romanovs were killed. Most people just glaze over this vital piece of history for some reason.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on January 03, 2011:

J.D Thanks for your opinion and I agree with you. The whole fairy tale made a nice Walt Disney movie but I knew it wasn't true from the get go, it was way too far fetched. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

J.D on January 02, 2011:

Really Great! I'm glad that you don't go along with the whole Anastasia constiracy B.S. Some people refuse to believe that she's actually dead, despite all the evidence. Thanks!!

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on January 01, 2011:

Junpier you may be right, I have always read that they were buried in the swamps. Thanks for reading. CHeers.

Junpier on December 30, 2010:

You said that the Romanov were buried in a swamp, but weren't they dumped in a mine?

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on November 17, 2010:

Wd thanks for your theory and your visit. Cheers.

wd on November 17, 2010:

romanovs has got a noble girl baby.they sent the baby to rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove day she maried and her husband and their 6 suns,2 douthers went in turkey 1953 and she died in turkey. she said again and again “I am gallers princess”all her lifelong may be feodravna may be one of the OTMA members was mother of the baby who can belive but god knows

I bless you

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on November 15, 2010:

angela_michelle thanks for taking an interest in my hub and for your question. Apparently the bones that were found to be the Romanov children were compared to the Duke of Edinburgh who is a relative of the Romanov family and the findings were conclusive. Thanks for asking. Cheers.

Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on November 15, 2010:

Interesting, how did they know these two in 2007 were scientifically proven to be Anastasia and Alexei. It seems like a long time after to truly be the two missing children?

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on September 16, 2010:

Stuck in Orbit thanks for reading and I have always been fascinated by Russian hisory as well and it so happens that my husband is Russian and I did get to go to Russia which was a lifelong dream of mine. I agree with you that it is insane for anyone to think of Rasputin as anything other than evil incarnate. Happy hubbing and cheers to you.

Stuck in Orbit from LEO on September 16, 2010:

I've always been interesting in Russian history. When you said Rasputin is a messenger from hell, you are quite right. Such a manipulative man he was, that he could be considered in many eyes a saint, a healer and a prophet.

mnb on June 27, 2010:

olga (or sameone in her famyl) has got a noble girl baby.she sent her rasputins relatives in the wine basket (under the botles) They were take her bulgaria and they were give her a turkish family(bektashi religions((she did not make,join rutiels all her lifelong).the turkish family grove day she maried and her husband and their 6 sun,2 douther migration turkey and she died in turkey. she reaplayed again and again “I am gallers princess”all her lifelong

I bless you

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 28, 2010:

My Odyssey thanks for reading and love your name. I am a history buff myself. Blessings to you.

My Odyssey from Somerset, Kentucky on March 28, 2010:

Rated Up! I use to watch the Disney movie Anastasia and grew up believing she had ran off with a man name Dimitri. Of course, I learned otherwise. But great Hub! And nice history. I love reading about the Romanov's.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 21, 2010:

Thanks Kendall I know what you mean about Anna Anderson it seemed like she was really Anastasia and knew so much detail about her as well I didn't read the book but I am sure that it was interesting. Thanks for reading.

Kendall H. from Northern CA on March 21, 2010:

Great hub that has so much information. I read the imposter Anna Anderson's autobiography a few years ago and it's amazing how she basically lived her life pretending to be the actual Anastasia.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on March 01, 2010:

bonny2010 thanks for reading I know what you mean about Rasputin, he was a crazy man. They should have never trusted him or had anything to do with him. THanks again.

bonetta hartig from outback queensland on March 01, 2010:

great hub about a subject I follow - Rasputin was not a favourite of mine - hetook advantage of a sad situation, the biggest mistake the Romanovs made was to keep the boys illness a secret - in my view anyway -thanksfor the read it wasgreat

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on February 22, 2010:

Thanks habee you must be an insomniac as well. I usually do a lot of reading at night. Thanks for the comments.

Holle Abee from Georgia on February 22, 2010:

This is an awesome hub about a fascinating subject!

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on February 17, 2010:

hypnodude thank you for your comments. The Romanov story has always fascinated me especially the fashion in which they died and your right they had too much blood lust to let the innocent family go but that is the way it was done back then. WHen I found out about the connection to Rasputin that my husbands great great grandmother had it fascinated me even more. Thanks for taking time to read it. Always a pleasure.

Andrew from Italy on February 17, 2010:

I've always found the end of Romanov family really sad. The Bolsheviks could have executed the Tzar and exiled his family, but their blood lust had to be satisfied. And this is demonstrated by how Russia has been ruled until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Very beautiful hub ladyjane, interesting and historical. Thumbs up. :)

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on February 15, 2010:

Thank you Sa Toya always love to see you. Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading. I have always thought that this story was very sad, the way this family died was so horrid. And yes my husband has educated me so much about Russia that I didn't know before such as WWII and what his family went through during those years. People forget that millions of Russians died in that war and these people went through so much during these years. I appreciate your kind comments. Thanks again.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on February 15, 2010:

Thank you Ann I have always found this stoty to be intriguing as well and you are right Rasputin's wardrobe wasn't very hip but he was trying to come across as some kind of priest or monk or even a sear, I'm not sure but I do believe that his importance was exaggerated and the Romanov family was taken in by this man. Thanks for comments and for reading.

Sa Toya from England on February 15, 2010:

Rated you up my love. I always loved this books, watched films. Gutted though that she isn't/wasn't alive somewhere. It's such a sad story something that should only be a story and not life.

And they fact the your husband's grandmother met/saw him- WOW! very, very intriguing!

Good read, glad I read it I've learned something new.

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on February 15, 2010:

Very intriguing! I love the pictures but seriously, what was the dear elder Mister Rasputin wearing? Oh well it lent all the more character to this hub! It was a great and educational read ladyjane!

CiscoPixie on February 15, 2010:

As a child i loved the Disney film, Anastasia and i grew up thinking that she was really found but then i started reading up about it all. I have read many books about the Romanov family and i found the style in which they were killed horrific and cruel beyond words. Many women came forward claiming to be Anastasia but now the rumors can cease as the graves have been found. I really liked this hub and flagged it up. Great work!

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