Déjà Vu Blogfest 2015—In Memoriam

Today’s my English birthday (eight days after my Hebrew birthday this year), and I think I’ve finally reached the age where I simply want to say I’m old enough instead of giving my true age. It’s not like anyone would believe me if I told them my true age anyway, since I don’t look a day over 25, if that. Though don’t worry I’ll be one of those people pretending to be turning 21, 25, or 29 every single year from now on!

deja_vu 2015

As in previous years, D.L. Hammons is once again hosting his Déjà Vu Blogfest, wherein participants repost something they felt didn’t get enough exposure, or their favorite post from the past year. Click on the button for more information and the list of participants.

My Friday posts generally don’t get many views, and this one has under 30 to date since its 17 July posting. It’s a memorial post for Russia’s last Imperial Family, with nothing more than their names, pictures, birthdates, and death dates. I felt that would convey the enormity of this loss of life far more than some overly graphic account of the murders. The Mourner’s Kaddish doesn’t once mention Death, and the Torah portion Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah) starts by talking about how Sarah lived, not that she died. In mourning Death, we celebrate Life.

I also avoided any discussion of the ongoing arguments over whether the Imperial Family (particularly Nicholas and Aleksandra) should’ve been canonized, or which people in particular. To make a long, heated story very short, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad canonized everyone but Fyodor Remez as New Martyrs (including two other servants murdered in September 1918), whereas the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia only canonized the immediate Imperial Family as passion-bearers, plus Aleksandra’s sister Ella and her nun Varvara as New Martyrs.

Originally published 17 July 2015:

In memory of the 19 souls murdered 97 years ago, victims of Bolshevik repression and now elevated to sainthood by the Russian Orthodox Church:

Murdered on 17 July 1918:

Tsarevich_Nicholas_Alexandrovich

Tsar Nicholas II (Nikolay Aleksandrovich), born 6/18 May 1868

Princess_Alix_of_Hesse_1890

Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna, née Princess Viktoria Alix Helena Luise Beatrice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 6 June 1872

Olgachair

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna, born 3/15 November 1895

800px-Tatyana_Nikolaevna_1914

Grand Duchess Tatyana Nikolayevna, born 29 May/11 June 1897

368px-Maria_Nikolaevna_1914

Grand Duchess Mariya Nikolayevna, born 14/27 June 1899

800px-Anastasia

Grand Duchess Anastasiya Nikolayevna, born 5/18 June 1901

02943lg

Tsesarevich Aleksey Nikolayevich, born 30 July/12 August 1904

BotkinES

Dr. Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Botkin, born 27 May/8 June 1865

Anna_Demidova

Anna Stepanovna Demidova (lady-in-waiting), born 14/26 January 1878

Ivan_Mihaylovich_Haritonov

Ivan Mikhaylovich Kharitonov (cook), born 2/14 June 1870

Aloise_(Alexei)_Yegorovich_Trupp

Aloiziy Yegorovich Trupp (footman), born 5 April 1856

Murdered on 18 July 1918 (though most took several days to die):

800px-Grand_Duke_Sergei_Mikailovich_0

Grand Duke Sergey Mikhaylovich, born 25 September/7 October 1869, and his secretary, Fyodor Remez

Elizaveta_romanova

Sister (formerly Grand Duchess) Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, née Princess Elisabeth Alexandra Luise Alice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 1 November 1864

Varvara_Yakovleva

Sister Varvara Alekseyevna Yakovleva, born circa 1850

Ioann_Konstantinovich_of_Russia

Prince (né Grand Duke) Ioann Konstantinovich, born 23 June/5 July 1886

Prince_Konstantin_Konstantinovich

Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich the younger, born 20 December 1890/1 January 1891

Prince Igor Konstantinovich

Prince Igor Konstantinovich, born 29 May/10 June 1894

1916bis

Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (really a Romanov), born 28 December 1896/9 January 1897

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)

In Memoriam

In memory of the 19 souls murdered 97 years ago, victims of Bolshevik repression and now elevated to sainthood by the Russian Orthodox Church:

Murdered on 17 July 1918:

Tsarevich_Nicholas_Alexandrovich

Tsar Nicholas II (Nikolay Aleksandrovich), born 6/18 May 1868

Princess_Alix_of_Hesse_1890

Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna, née Princess Viktoria Alix Helena Luise Beatrice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 6 June 1872

Olgachair

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna, born 3/15 November 1895

800px-Tatyana_Nikolaevna_1914

Grand Duchess Tatyana Nikolayevna, born 29 May/11 June 1897

368px-Maria_Nikolaevna_1914

Grand Duchess Mariya Nikolayevna, born 14/27 June 1899

800px-Anastasia

Grand Duchess Anastasiya Nikolayevna, born 5/18 June 1901

02943lg

Tsesarevich Aleksey Nikolayevich, born 30 July/12 August 1904

BotkinES

Dr. Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Botkin, born 27 May/8 June 1865

Anna_Demidova

Anna Stepanovna Demidova (lady-in-waiting), born 14/26 January 1878

Ivan_Mihaylovich_Haritonov

Ivan Mikhaylovich Kharitonov (cook), born 2/14 June 1870

Aloise_(Alexei)_Yegorovich_Trupp

Aloiziy Yegorovich Trupp (footman), born 5 April 1856

Murdered on 18 July 1918 (though most took several days to die):

800px-Grand_Duke_Sergei_Mikailovich_0

Grand Duke Sergey Mikhaylovich, born 25 September/7 October 1869, and his secretary, Fyodor Remez

Elizaveta_romanova

Sister (formerly Grand Duchess) Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, née Princess Elisabeth Alexandra Luise Alice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 1 November 1864

Varvara_Yakovleva

Sister Varvara Alekseyevna Yakovleva, born circa 1850

Ioann_Konstantinovich_of_Russia

Prince (né Grand Duke) Ioann Konstantinovich, born 23 June/5 July 1886

Prince_Konstantin_Konstantinovich

Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich the younger, born 20 December 1890/1 January 1891

Prince Igor Konstantinovich

Prince Igor Konstantinovich, born 29 May/10 June 1894

1916bis

Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (really a Romanov), born 28 December 1896/9 January 1897

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)

WIPpet Wednesday—A sisterly lecture

Since What’s Up Wednesday has been retired, I’m now taking part in WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by K.L. Schwengel. The caveat to participating is that the excerpt must adhere in some way to math related to the date. Since five plus thirteen equals eighteen (one of my lucky numbers and the date of my English birthday), I’m sharing eighteen lines.

This comes from the second chapter of my alternative history in progress, And Aleksey Lived, a what-if fantasy about the unlikeliest Tsar in history. I originally started this story back in ’96 and did a bit more work on it in 2001, but I realised I had to start fresh, with only the same general idea and a few of the same storylines. The original version was just a bad gimmick, the journals of five young women from succeeding eras of Russian history. I also originally had the entire Imperial Family being rescued, but that wouldn’t have worked out well for anyone, and didn’t create any real challenges for my protagonist.

The morning after the miraculous rescue of the Imperial children and two of their retainers, 13-year-old Aleksey initially thinks it was all a nightmare. He’s in a state of shock as his saviors take him down to breakfast in his murdered mother’s wheelchair. At the table, his 21-year-old sister Tatyana urges him to look after himself so he’ll recover all that lost strength and health. I chose her because she was known as the responsible one who always looked after her younger siblings.

Николай-Алексей-Татьяна

“You need to eat your fill, Sunbeam, instead of just pushing it around the plate,” Tatyana said after the soldiers had left them in peace. “You’ve lost too much weight, on top of your injured knee.  Now that we have real food again, it’s your duty to eat as much as possible.  Your strength won’t regain itself.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You have to be as hungry as any of us.  Just look at all this wonderful food the soldiers found for us.  You only got so sickly and injured yourself twice in a row because you weren’t getting enough to eat, and didn’t have enough fresh air and sunlight.  Now you have no choice but to look after yourself.  You do want to live long enough to assume the throne, don’t you?”

“I never really cared about that too much.  It was just a position I was born into, not something I was particularly looking forward to.  Someone has to be Tsar, and it just happens to be me, even if I’m no one’s idea of a real Tsar.” He plunged a fork into a poached egg and watched the runny yellow yolk running all over the plate.

“You have to be the Tsar.  It’s what you were born to be.  This also means you need to take extra-good care of yourself from now on.  No more riding sleds down stairs, jumping out of boats, roughhousing, chopping wood, or sliding down ice mountains.”