The famous manifesto was the century’s greatest forgery
(An interview with Peter Multatuli, contemporary Russian historian and researcher of the epoch of Emperor Nicholas II.Peter Valentinovich Multatuli was born in 1969 in St. Petersburg. His great-grandfather, the cook Ivan Kharitonov, was martyred together with the royal family in the Ipatyev House. Peter Multatuli is the author of several books on Emperor Nicholas II; the latest is called “Nicholas II. The Abdication that was not.”
- On March 4, 1917 the Manifesto on Emperor Nicholas II’s abdication of the throne in favor of his brother the Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich was published in practically all the newspapers. However, no one saw the original until 1928, when it was discovered in the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad. This was a typewritten text, where Nicholas II’s signature was made in pencil (!). The Emperor’s title and personal Imperial seal were missing. It is this particular document which is still considered to be the original of the Manifesto and is kept in the RF State Archives! It is quite obvious that documents of state importance were never signed by the Tsar in pencil. In 2006 the researcher Andrey Razumov factually proved that the “penciled signature” was taken from Nicholas II’s 1915 order to the Army and Fleet and was “transferred” using special technology. The Manifesto also contains the signature of the Imperial Court Minister Count Fredericks. This signature was also made in pencil and then traced over by pen. Yet when Fredericks was later questioned by the Provisional Government’s special investigative committee, he declared: “I was not at the Emperor’s side at that moment.” This inquiry was documented.
- So what really happened?
- By February 1917 the conspiracy to dethrone Nicholas II had already been a year in the making. This was being arranged by the leadership of the National Duma (its chairman Rodzyanko, the leader of the Cadet party Milyukov, the entrepreneur Konovalov, and the representative of the Duma’s revolutionary faction Kerensky), the leadership of the military-industrial committees (Guchkov), and members of the Stavka [Imperial Headquarters] (generals Alexeyev, Ruzskiy, and Brusilov). They favored a coup-d’état through a conceited belief that they would be able to rule Russia better than the Tsar. The conspirators were supported by the ruling circles of several Western countries. The forces that strived to abolish the monarchy gained the upper hand. For this they needed an abdication in favor of a candidate who, on one hand, had some kind of right to the throne, and on the other hand, this right could be contested if need be. Such a candidate was the Emperor’s brother, the Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich. After the latter married the twice-divorced Natalia Wulfert in 1912, his descendants forfeited their right to the throne, while Michael himself – the right to become ruler of the state in the event of Nicholas II’s death. Could Nicholas II have willingly handed over the throne into the hands of such a person? Absolutely not! According to the existing law, the Emperor could not abdicate at all!
- How then did the conspirators achieve the abdication?
- The Chief of Staff General Alexeyev lured the Tsar from Petrograd to the Stavka, in order to have his train seized en route. Contrary to established belief, Nicholas II was deprived of freedom not on March 8, 1917 in Mogilev, but in the night of February 28th in Malaya Vishera. The Imperial train could not get to Tosio and even to TsarskoyeSelo not because “revolutionary troops” had barred the railway lines, as we were lied to for a long time, but because in Malaya Vishera the train was forcibly derouted by the conspirators to the town of Dno, and afterwards to Pskov. As of February 28th Nicholas II was totally sequestered. Simultaneously the Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich was sequestered in Petrograd, in Prince Putyatin’s apartment on Millionnaya Street. In Pskov the Imperial train was taken under harsh control by the active conspirator, aide-de-camp GeneralRuzskiy, Commander-in-chief of the Northern Fleet armies. No one could get to the Emperor without Ruzskiy’s permission. It is in such conditions that the Tsar’s “signing” of the so-called “abdication” took place. According to the conspirators’ published memoirs, the Tsar went into his study and then came back with several telegram blanks, on which the text of the Manifesto was typed. Can you imagine the Emperor typing on a typewriter like a typist? It is said that the Emperor composed the Manifesto himself. In reality, the document was written by Ruzskiy and Rodzyanko several days before the event. TheTsardidnotevenseeit. TheEmperor’ssignaturewasfaked. After the “signing” of the Manifesto on abdication, on March 8, 1917 the Emperor was officially arrested. The conspirators feared that if the Tsar came out from under their control, he would immediately talk and deny his abdication. The Emperor was held under harsh house arrest up to his very end.
- But there are Nicholas II’s diaries in which he confesses his abdication.
- As regards the diaries, there are serious indications that the Bolsheviks introduced forgeries into them. In her memoirs published abroad in the ‘20s, the Empress’ friend Anna Vyrubova wrote that the Tsar said to her when he was brought to the Alexandrov Palace: “The events in Pskov have so devastated me, that all those days I was unable to keep my diary.” The question arises: who kept them then? Moreover, based on Nicholas II’s diary it turns out that he did not know the time of his departure from Pskov to the Stavka, nor of his arrival in Mogilev, since the time of departure and arrival indicated in the diary does not coincide with the time indicated in Stavka documents.
- Why did the Emperor not try to escape?
- Nicholas II was an Orthodox Christian. When he, having refused to sign any papers of abdication, found out that, despite everything, the Manifesto in his name was neverthelesspublished, he accepted this as God’s will and did not try to struggle for power. He and his family bore their cross of martyrdom for Russia.
The interview was conducted by Maria Pozdnykova
(Reprinted from the newspaper “Arguments and Facts,” No. 45, 2009)