Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grand Duke Alexander speaks of escape

July 9, 1918

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia, brother-in-law of the former Tsar Nicolas Nicholas II, was interviewed at the end of June at Ai-Todor in the Crimea, according to a New York Times report from Amsterdam.

The interview was conducted by a reporter from a Budapest newspaper.  The Grand Duke spoke of his life after the abdication of Nicholas II.

"We were for days at Dulbar (near Ai-Todor) at the house of Peter Nicolaievitch, all together.  We owe our lives solely to that good and intelligent man.  My six sons and myself were on the blacklist.  We scarcely hoped to escape with our lives.  They took our money and property.  Our house in Petrograd was razed.

"Fortunately, I have a property with a vineyard in Ai-Todor, on the produce of which my family and myself can live."

The Budapest reporter noted that by next year, Russia could again have a "monarchical constitution."

Grand Duke Alexander responded with skepticism, wondering if it "would be possible."  The reporter did not think that Nicholas II would be restored.  Grand Duke Alexander, who is married to Nicholas' sister, Grand Duchess Xenia, responded: "Certainly  not. He is vividly of the old system."

The correspondent also mentioned a conversation he had with Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievitch's Lord High Steward, General Balbaroff.  The General provided details of the Grand Duke's escape after being sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks, who said they :would not be content with the simple execution of the Emperor's relations."  They wanted to drive them "to death in a specially cruel manner."

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