Stalin and the Romanovs

The other part of the question which interests me is “What was the Official Explanation given about the Romanovs during Stalin’s time?” That’s one that I’d really like to read…

(Off topic, but this reminds me of the question of what stories were told at the time to explain the Princes in the Tower.)

>>Tzi redst di yidish, Rowan? Talk to me!! I need the practice.<<

Do you know I had to read that out loud to get it?

Actually, I SPEAK Yiddiah only haltingly, but I understand it to listen to.

My favorite aunt has Yiddiah as a first language-- she spoke it to her kids, and I spent a lot of time at their house when I was growing up (I by far preferred my aunt and uncle to my own parents), and to her parents and brothers and sisters when they visited.

I got to the point where I could understand it just fine (otherwise I didn’t get the jokes!!), but I never really spoke until I was a teenager and I asked my aunt to start teaching it to me.

I barely read it, and don’t write it.

Unfortunately, my Russian is getting just as weak. I saw a Russian movie just a couple of months ago, and understood it fine (the subtitles were white, and didn’t show up well), but sometimes I try to think of the Russian word for something, and I can’t for the life of me remember it. I did speak it fluently once, but that was twenty years ago.

So much for true confessions. Actually, you’re motivating me to see if there’s a class or something I can take…

Anyway, I don’t know that I’m such good practice. But there’s a couple of great Yiddish websites. One has weekly Torah lessons in Yiddish.


–Rowan
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

>>Tzi redst di yidish, Rowan? Talk to me!! I need the practice.<<

Do you know I had to read that out loud to get it?

Actually, I SPEAK Yiddish only haltingly, but I understand it to listen to.

My favorite aunt has Yiddiah as a first language-- she spoke it to her kids, and I spent a lot of time at their house when I was growing up (I by far preferred my aunt and uncle to my own parents), and to her parents and brothers and sisters when they visited.

I got to the point where I could understand it just fine (otherwise I didn’t get the jokes!!), but I never really spoke until I was a teenager and I asked my aunt to start teaching it to me.

I barely read it, and don’t write it.

Unfortunately, my Russian is getting just as weak. I saw a Russian movie just a couple of months ago, and understood it fine (the subtitles were white, and didn’t show up well), but sometimes I try to think of the Russian word for something, and I can’t for the life of me remember it. I did speak it fluently once, but that was twenty years ago.

So much for true confessions. Actually, you’re motivating me to see if there’s a class or something I can take…

Anyway, I don’t know that I’m such good practice. But there’s a couple of great Yiddish websites. One has weekly Torah lessons in Yiddish.


–Rowan
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

>>Tzi redst di yidish, Rowan? Talk to me!! I need the practice.<<

Taka, Ich sproyk’n a bissl Yiddish; Ich ken nisht leyn’n oider shrayb’n af Yiddish. Mein Doda Chana hot Yiddish fir a loshen irshten, un zi sproyk’n af Yiddish mit di mishpacha, un Ich farsht’n gut, a nisht gedul sproyk’n.

Maybe I should take a class.

A gutn.


–Rowan
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

Sorry people; only meant to e-mail that second one.



–Rowan
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

I, on the other hand, don’t speak even a bit of Yiddish. I can’t read or write it, either. But if what Rowan is writing is Yiddish, it is awfully similar to Swabian German… (I didn’t get “loshen irshten” or “mishpacha”, but most of the rest was transparent).

I’m of the opinion that Yiddish is a creole - given that it’s been spoken for something like a thousand years in Central Europe. The existence of Ladino (was there an Italian version too?) seems to back me up on this one.

Here’s the scenario - groups of Jews start wandering Europe and settling down in various places. They speak whatever it is they speak at the time (Hebrew? Aramaic?) but they need to start interacting with the local yokels as well. So then we get a pidgin tongue - just enough to get by with daily business, then this pidgin grows and takes on its own life and becomes a creole.

Still, though, Yiddish kicks ass. I remember the first time I was able to read a couple sentences in script - a bigger thrill than reading Russian.


Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

Perhaps part of the reason for Stalin et al keeping the lid on the Romanovs is the habit of secrecy and internal politics of the Party. I mean, we’re dealing with people who almost regularly not only rewrote their personal history, but had old comrades who had fallen from favour removed from photographs!

This mindset, which did so much to inspire Orwell’s “1984”, continued on well into modern times. For example, the “House of Special Purpose” in Ekaterinburg (or whatever it’s called) was demolished fairly recently (?c1980?) on orders from Moscow. The local functionary who carred out the orders was a young go-getter named Boris Yeltsin.


“A friend will help you move house. A best friend will help you move a body.”–Alexi Sayle