In her diary entry of November 13, 1917, the purported Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia recorded a conversation which, if true, turns history upside down. Marga Boodts had claimed, circa 1960, that she was the surviving Grand Duchess Olga, and was therefore not killed at Ekaterinburg in July 1918. Marga/Olga wrote her autobiography before she died in 1976, but it was not until 2012 that the book was finally published, in Spain, under the title Estoy Viva (I Am Alive).
It was in Tobolsk, historic capital of Siberia, while the Russian royal family was imprisoned at the Governor’s Mansion (renamed the “House of Liberty” by the revolutionaries), in the late afternoon, that the following conversation reportedly occurred.
Sitting by the fireplace in the living room were Tsar Nicholas II, his daughter Olga, Evgeni Kobylinski, commander of the guard, Vasili Pankratov, a former political prisoner and convert to Socialism, and a Dr. Friderenski, who had replaced Dr. Eugene Botkin months before at Tsarskoye Selo. (Background: Boodts Says Diaries Fake, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, October 21, 2014.)
In an idle moment, Pankratov turned the chat to the subject of the abdication of the Tsar. The history books tell us that Tsar Nicholas II abdicated on March 15, 1917 (the Ides of March). In Russia, the revolution newspapers had reported the abdication. And so, that late afternoon of November 13, 1917, Pankratov and the others were startled when the Tsar said, “I never abdicated.”
All those present, including the Grand Duchess Olga, were stunned.
“How can this be?” asked Pankratov. “This gives the lie to all we know.”
Kobylinski, agitated, looked at the Tsar and said, “Perhaps you can explain.”
Dr. Friderenski, astonished, exclaimed, “My God, then the history is not only changed, it is turned upside-down!”
“Exactly. It is inverted,” replied the Tsar, who then began to explain the true facts.
“First you must understand the criticisms and intolerance of the Grand Dukes, my relatives, and of the military commanders. If this revolution has succeeded, it is not due to the revolutionaries but to the plots hatched in the salons of St. Petersburg and amongst the top generals.”
After the assassination of Grigori Rasputin in December 1916, the Tsar had left St. Petersburg and returned to the frontlines of Russia’s war with Germany. At that time, in St. Petersburg, all had seemed to be under control. It was only around March 8, 1917 that telegrams from Mikhail Rodzianko, Chairman of the Duma, and Mikhail Belyayev, Minister of War, provided the first hints to the Tsar that there was trouble back in St. Petersburg.
Around this same time, direct communication with the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna at Tsarskoye Selo suddenly became impossible, with the excuse that there were serious problems with the telegraph lines.
Tsar Nicholas II received false, and even treacherous assurances from persons such as Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador to Russia, indicating “nothing serious” in St. Petersburg. The Tsar is quoted by Marga/Olga as having said, that late afternoon of November 13th in Tobolsk, “The support of Buchanan for a coup d’état was evident.”
At the frontlines, surrounded by traitors whom the Tsar mistakenly believed to be his friends, Nicholas increasingly was cut off from reality.
On March 13th, the “friends” of the Tsar persuaded him to take a “special train” back to Tsarskoye Selo, on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, so he could better control chaotic events in the then Russian capital. Enroute, the Tsar was told a group of rebels had disrupted the railroad line to Tsarskoye Selo. The train’s route was changed towards Pskov.
At Pskov, General Nikolai Ruzsky boarded the train. The Tsar recalled to his rapt audience by the fireplace in Tobolsk, “When General Ruzsky was in my presence, without preamble and with harsh words, he informed me that General Ivanov, instead of marching as ordered to St. Petersburg to put down the disturbance, had halted and set up quarters at Tsarskoye Selo.” Total abdication was demanded.
“It was not the revolution of the people,” recalled the Tsar, “nor of the peasants of old Russia, but the Grand Dukes, the military caste, and the aristocracy which had conquered. The coup d’état, already announced by General Krymov, had triumphed.”
And yet the Tsar, a devoutly Christian man, went on to forgive his enemies: “Before God, to all I give my pardon: To all, even to those who, traitors among the Romanovs, have betrayed Russia and trampled upon her honor. But I do not pardon, and I cannot pardon, and I never shall pardon General Nikolai Ruzsky. He has stabbed, worse than Judas, not the body of the Tsar, but the body of the nation and the bodies of her soldiers…”
At this point Pankratov interrupted the Tsar. “But Your Majesty,” he said, “you had signed a proclamation to the army, in which…”
“I did not write that proclamation, nor did I sign it!” roared the Tsar. “The true history is different, very different.”
“For two days and nights General Ruzsky kept me a prisoner on that train. He kept urging me to sign an abdication for myself and the Tsarevich Alexei. Each time, I categorically denied to do so.”
Later, on March 15th, at least according to the account of Marga Boodts/Olga Nikolaevna, false unauthorized telegrams announcing the Tsar’s abdication were sent out.
(Source: Estoy Viva, by Olga Nicolaievna. Madrid: Ediciones Martínez Roca, 2012. Translation by Ersjdamoo.)