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§752 The Great War and Russian Revolution (1914-1918): IV-43.

IV-43 (§752):

The arms shall be heard to beat in the sky:
Even in that year the divine enemies
Shall want to thrash unjustly the holy laws
By thunderbolt and war good believers put to death.

(Seront oys au ciel les armes batre:
Celuy an mesme les divins ennemis
Voudront loix sainctes injustement debatre
Par foudre & guerre bien croyans à mort mis.)

NOTES: Batre: = battre; « batre: battre (to beat), frapper (to strike).» (Daele).

The arms shall be heard to beat in the sky: This kind of expressions are found four times in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, whose 3 cases (I-64, II-85 and III-11) are archaic after the fashion of Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV, 783 (cf. Brind’Amour, 1996, p.140), i.e. prefiguring some disasters to come, and the case under analysis is realistic, i.e. offering effective aerial battles (cf. Lamont, 1944, p.352: Aerial war), because the adverbial phrase ‘Even in that year’ announces the simultaneity of the aerial battles and the divine enemies’s thrash of the holy laws. And the aerial battles in its first appearance are characteristic of the First World War (1914-1918), as shown by the quatrain I-55 (§740): « .., air, sky shall be soiled,» where « air soiled » refers to the gas attacks and « sky soiled » to the aerial battles, both of these having been seen for the first time in the Great War: « Submarines and torpedoes had been prefigured in the American Civil War of 1860s, and the air dimension had already been entered by reconnaissance balloons in various conflicts. However, the First World War witnessed the first development of all these, plus airship and aeroplanes, as regular weapons of war. In this sense it was the first mechanized, three-dimensional war. Aircraft were also becoming amphibious, being designed with floats or special hulls to take off from, and land on, water.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.188).

Debatre
: = battre en emphase (to beat hard, to thrash), the prefix ‘de-’ expressing
EMPHASIS (Ibuki, Suzuki); « Debatre. Agiter (to agitate), battre (to beat); Disputer (to dispute); Contredire (to deny), contester (to challenge).» (Huguet); « debatre, battre (to beat), frapper (to strike); contester (to challenge); débouter (to nonsuit); récuser (to impugn) » (Godefroy).

The holy laws
: = the Russian monarchy of the Romanovs devoted to the Orthodox Church. Cf. I-53 (§351): the holy law (French Catholicism); VI-23 (§346): holy laws (the French ancient regime imbued with Catholicism).

Even in that year (celuy an mesme): = In the year 1917, when is yet in progress the Great War and the Romanov reign is demolished.

Even in that year the divine enemies Shall want to thrash unjustly the holy laws: « He [Tsar Nicholas II] had assiduously maintained the autocratic rule of his father whilst blindly resisting all political innovation and condoning the suppression of the empire’s turbulent minorities. His stubborn belief in his role as God’s anointed representative [the holy laws] made him turn a blind eye to increasingly anxious calls for political change. But political and social unrest, funned by revolutionary activity among the urban workforces of St Petersburg and Moscow, had finally forced Nicholas into token gestures of constitutional reform in 1905. The democratic powers of the newly inaugurated Duma were, however, greatly circumscribed and Nicholas routinely subverted its activities, refusing any real concessions to representative government, and condemning moves to modernise, as he had since the day he ascended the throne, as mere ‘senseless dreams’. He retreated instead into domesticity; playing contentedly with his children, closeted away at the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo outside St Petersburg and seeing only a small circle of family and friesnds. Nicholas’s increasing invisibility from public view and his continuing resistance to reform rapidly set in motion the inexorable collapse of an already moribund political regime, despite a degree of economic recovery and growth in the years between 1907 and 1914. The process of collapse was accelerated after Russia’s enthusiastic entry into the First World War in August 1914. The initial euphoria of national solidarity, which Nicholas could and should have capitalised on politically, rapidly crumbled in the face of catastrophic losses. By September of the following year continuing gross ineptitude in both the conduct of the war and the supply of materiel, coupled with serious territorial losses to the Germans in Galicia, finally dragged Nicholas away from family preoccupations to assume supreme command at the front. But by now, despite the presence of its batyushka – ‘little father’ – at the head of the army, Russia was engaged in a war of attrition, fuelling unprecedented desertion rates in its demoralised, ill-equipped and starving peasant army. After centuries of unquestioning loyalty, the long-suffering conscript had begun to ask what he was fighting for. The Tsar, it seemed, only wanted him to plough, and fight, and pay taxes. And so Nicholas’s peasant army began deserting in their thousands. Back in Petrograd (as St Petersburg had been renamed in August 1914), Nicholas’s deeply unpopular wife, Alexandra, had been left in effective political control at a time when she was increasingly spellbound by Grigory Rasputin, the charismatic but hugely manipulative ‘holy man’ who had demonstrated an inexplicable ability to control her haemophiliac son Alexey’s attacks of bleeding. Alexandra’s intimacy with Rasputin had thrown her into hysterical conflict with government ministers and fuelled unbridled increasingly virulent gossip about the true nature of their relationship. Meanwhile Nicholas ignored the repeated and increasingly urgent warnings from members of his government about the escalating situation in Petrograd. He would not even listen to his devoted uncle, Grand Duke Nikolay, whom he had relieved of supreme command of the army, when the duke begged him to make compromises and save the dynasty from annihilation. The juggernaut of revolutionary change in Russia was now clearly unstoppable; politicians and foreign diplomats had been predicting it for years. Yet Nicholas stubbornly trusted only to his own counsel and that of his wife, a woman determined to protect the Romanovs’ absolute sovereignty, their divine right to rule [the holy laws], and with it the inheritance of their precious only son. Early in 1917, urban economic chaos in Petrograd finally triggered violent industrial strikes, marches and bread riots, bringing mutinous soldiers out on to the streets. The volatile situation erupted into outright revolution at the end of February. Away at the front, Nicholas believed he had no option but to abdicate ‘for the good of Russia’, the morale of the army and – most pressingly – the safety of his family. He had already been told by his ailing son’s doctors that Alexey was unlikely to live to the age of 16, so he took the decision simultaneously to abdicate on behalf of his heir.» (Rappaport, 2008, p.5-7); « By using the slogan ‘Peace, Land, Bread’, Bolshevik agitators [the divine enemies] were able to maximize their support from soldiers, urban workers and peasants. In the cold, short, dark days of early 1917, desperation was growing among Russians. In Petrograd (St Petersburg) bread riots, in which soldiers of the garrison joined, turned into revolution on 8 March. This challenge became a crisis when Cossaks refused to shoot at rioters. Four days later the Soviet (Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies) was set up, which regarded itself as independent of the liberal opposition. The Soviet quietly planned to undermine the army and seize power. The Tsar, trying to return to Petrograd from his military headquarters, was stopped and turned back. On 15 March the liberals convinced the generals that the Tsar no longer had the support of the army and forced him to abdicate.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.219).

Good believers (bien croyans): = « les orthodoxes (the orthodoxes) » (Brind’Amour, 1996, p.524) = the Tsar Nicholas II and his family: « Canonised by the Russian Orthodox church as ‘Holy Passion Bearers’, the Romanovs are immortalised in a host of modern-day icons on sale across Russia. The iconography of an idealised family has come full circle.» (Rappaport, 2008, between p.158 and p.159); « Sunday 14 July 1918. It was a beautiful bright Sunday morning as Father Ivan Storozhev, one of two resident priests at the Ekaterininsky Cathedral overlooking the River Iset, got out of bed to prepare for the Sunday liturgy. Suddenly he heard a loud knock at the door. He unlocked it to find himself confronted by one of the guards from the Ipatiev House. Father Storozhev was wanted up at the Ipatiev House that morning to conduct a liturgy for the Romanovs. Storozhev agreed that he would be at the house by 10 a.m. and immediately headed off to the cathedral to collect the things he needed for the service. It had been three weeks now since the Romanovs, a profoundly pious, church-going family, had been allowed a priest in to say mass for them. To be denied the ritual of the liturgy that was so much part of their everyday lives had been agony for the family – but they had kept each other buoyed up with continuous readings from the scriptures and other sacred works, for as Russians the spiritual life was as important to them as the physical. Exhausted by their present hardships, they took great strength in religious consolation and their mutual devotion to God; it helped them transcend the uncertainty of the dangerous and unstable world they now inhabited. Storozhev, who had given up a career as local public prosecutor to study for holy orders, himself had previously conducted a service – on 19 May. At that time, mid-May, Storozhev had been shocked at how pale, trasparent even, Alexey had appeared, so tall and thin and too sick to stand, but lying on his camp bed covered with a blanket. But there was light and life still in his darting eyes, which followed Storozhev’s every move with childish curiosity. Alexandra, despite appearing sickly and needing to frequently sit and rest in a chair, nevertheless looked ‘majestic’ – Storozhev could not deny it. She was dressed very simply, with no jewellery, but the Tsaritsa in her was still very apparent and she had taken an active part in the service. The Tsar, who had appeared calm and in good spirits, had been wearing military dress with the cross of St George pinned to his tunic. Storozhev had noticed that the four girls all had short hairs. The profound respect with which the family had bowed and acknowledged Storozhev as priest during the service had greatly impressed him, as too had the Tsar’s deep bass voice ringing out the responses behind him and the quiet fervency with which they had all recited the prayers.» (Rappaport, 2008, p.159-161).

By thunderbolt and war good believers put to death: The term « foudre (thunderbolt) is metaphorical and represents the suddenness and the powerfulness – the thundering character – of the attacks.» (Brind’Amour, id., p.525) and the phrase ‘by war’ signifies that the scene of shooting the Romanovs in the basement of Ipatiev House is as furious as if in a war; « Wendesday 17 July 1918. It was about 2.15 a.m. when Yurovsky and Nikulin, accompanied by two of the internal guard with rifles, led the family in the semi-darkness down the steep, narrow stairs to the ground floor... All was silent, except for the roar of the Fiat’s engine rattling the window panes. Yurovsky opened the double doors and entered. ‘Well here we all are’, said Nicholas, stepping forward to face Yurovsky, thinking that the truck they could hear revving outside had now arrived to take them to safety, ‘What are you going to do now?’ His right hand clutching sweatily at the Colt in his trouser pocket, his left holding a piece of paper, Yurovsky asked the family to stand. Alexey, of course, could not and stayed where he was, as the Tsaritsa, muttering her complaints, struggled to her feet. Suddenly the room seemed to shrink in on him as Yurovsky stepped forward, brandishing his sheet of paper. It had been drafted by the presidium of the Ural Regional Soviet and given to him by Goloshchekin that day. Here, at last, was the commandant’s personal moment in history. Yurovsky had rehearsed his statement many times and raised his voice in order to be heard more clearly. ‘In view of the fact that your relatives in Europe continue their assault on Soviet Russia,’ he began portentously, gazing straight at Nicholas, ‘the presidium of the Ural Regional Soviet has sentenced you to be shot ...’ The Tsar registered blank incomprehension; turning his back to Yurovsky to face his family, he managed an incredulous stutter – ‘What? What?’ – as those around him were rooted to the spot in absolute terror [By thunderbolt good believers put to death]. ‘So you’re not taking us anywhere?’ ventured Botkin, unable also to comprehend what had just been said. ‘I don’t understand. Read it again ...’ the Tsar interrupted, his face white with horror. Yurovsky picked up where he had left off: ‘... in view of the fact that the Czechoslovaks are threatening the red capital of the Urals – Ekaterinburg – and in view of the fact that the crowned executioner might escape the people’s court, the presidium of the Regional Soviet, fulfilling the will of the Revolution, has decreed that the former Tsar Nicholas Romanov, guilty of countless bloody crimes against the people, should be shot ...’ Instinctively, the Tsaritsa and Olga crossed themselves; a few incoherent words of shock or protest heard from the rest. Yurovsky, having finished reading the decree, pulled out his Colt, stepped forward and shot the Tsar at the point-blank range in the chest... » (Rappaport, 2008, p.185-189).

By war good believers put to death: « Yurovsky shot the Tsar at the point-blank range in the chest. Ermakov [the swaggering alcoholic], Kudrin [the factory mechanic and, as a dedicated Cheka man, a willing killer] and Medvedev [a 28-year-old welder from the Sysert works and senior guard at the Ipatiev House], not to be outdone and wanting their moment of personal revenge and glory too, immediately took aim and fired at Nicholas as well, followed by most of others, propelling an arc of blood and tissue over his terrified son beside him. For a moment the Tsar’s body quivered on the spot, his eyes fixated and wide, his chest cavities, ripped open by bullets, now frothing with oxygenated blood, his heart speeding up, all in a vain attempt to pump blood round his traumatised body. Then he quietly crumpled to the floor. But at least Nicholas was spared the sight of seeing what happened to his wife and family.» (Rappaport, id., p.189);

« For in that moment, Ermakov had turned and fired his Mauser at the Tsaritsa only six feet away from him as she tried to make the sign of the cross, hitting her in the left side of the skull, spraying brain tissue all around, as a hail of bullets from the other assassins hit her torso. Alexandra crumpled sideways on to the floor, her warm, sticky blood and brain tissue spreading across it in a mist of steam. Next to her, poor lame Alexey, too crippled even to get up and run, sat there transfixed, clutching in terror at his chair, his ashen face splattered with his father’s blood. The other victims meanwhile had fallen first to their knees and then to the floor in an instinctive attempt to protect themselves, some of them convulsing from the trauma of flesh wounds received from bullets aimed at the Tsar and Tsaritsa that had missed, others crawling in desperation in the impenetrable smoke, trying to find a way out. Trupp [footman] had gone down quickly, his legs shattered, and was finished off by a final shot to the head. Kharitonov [cook], his body riddled with bullets, crumpled to the floor and died beside him.» (Rappaport, id., p.189).

« Within minutes there was such chaos in the basement room that Yurovsky was forced to stop the shooting because of the choking conditions; he did so with great difficulty, for by now the men had been overtaken by the frenzy of getting the job done. The air was thick with a nauseating cocktail of blood and bodily fluids – the faeces, urine and vomit precipitated from bodies in moments of extreme trauma. The killers were all choking and coughing from the caustic smoke of burnt gunpowder as well as showers of dust from the plaster ceiling caused by the reverberation of bullets. Their eyes were streaming too and they were all temporarily deafened by the delayed noise of the gunshots. As Yurovsky’s men staggered from the storeroom, shaking and disorientated, to gasp at the cool night air, some of them vomited. But it wasn’t over. Once the deafening roar of firearms had ceased and the smoke had abated, the moans and whimpers they could hear inside made it all too apparent that they had botched the job. Many of their victims were still alive, horribly injured and suffering in agony. Dr Botkin had already been hit twice in the abdomen when a bullet aimed at his legs had shattered his kneecaps, knocking him to the ground. From here he had lifted himself up on his right elbow and tried to reach towards the Tsar in one final, protective act. Seeing Botkin was still alive as he re-entered the room, Yurovsky took aim with his Mauser and shot him in the left temple as the doctor turned his head away in terror. His wish had been fulfilled: he had, at least, been permitted to die with his Emperor.» (Rappaport, id., p.189-190).

« None of the Romanov girls – those pretty girls whom none of the guards had really wanted to have to kill – had died a quick or painless death. Maria had earlier been felled by a bullet in the thigh from Ermakov as she had pounded hysterically at the locked storeroom doors, and was now lying on the floor moaning. Her three sisters had suffered terribly, filling the room with their screams as they shrieked out for their mother, Olga and Tatiana doing what came instinctively, pressing themselves into each other’s arms in the darkest corner for protection. Realising that the two older girls were still alive, Ermakov lunged at them with the eight-inch bayonet he had stuffed in his belt, stabbing at their torsos. But, drunk and uncoordinated as he was, he had trouble penetrating the girls’ chests. It was the cool and collected Yurovsky who strode though the smoke and shot Tatiana in the back of the head as she struggled to her feet to escape his approach, the brains and blood from her shattered skull showering her hysterical sister. A wild-eyed Ermakov shot Olga through the jaw as she tried to rise to her feet too and run; in her death throes she fell across Tatiana’s body. Anastasia meanwhile had taken refuge near the wounded Maria. Realising that the two youngest girls were still cowering alive in the corner, Ermakov again resorted to his bayonet and stabbed Maria repeatedly in the torso, but his weapon would not go through and Yurovsky had to step over and deliver the coup de grȃce with a bullet to her head. Anastasia suffered horribly too: Ermakov lunged at her like a wild animal, again attempting to pierce her chest with his bayonet as he rained blows down on the helpless girl, before finally taking his gun to her head.» (Rappaport, id., p.190-191).

« Incredibly, Yurovsky now saw that the Tsarevich was still alive (for, as it later turned out, the boy too was wearing an undergarment sewn with jewels). He could not comprehend the sick boy’s ‘extraordinary vitality’ and watched in disbelief as a shaky Nikulin spent the entire clip of bullets from his Browning on him. But the fatally flawed blood of the haemophiliac boy still continued to pump round his body, keeping him alive when on so many occasions in the past it had nearly killed him. Yurovsky, having fired the last bullets from his Mauser, could do no better than Nikulin. Frenzied stabs by Ermakov with his bayonet again had little success at penetrating the layer of jewels surrounding the boy’s torso. In the end Yurovsky pulled a second gun, his Colt, from his belt to give the dying boy the coup de grȃce as he lay on the chair which had fallen sideways on to the floor. Alexey’s body then finally slumped and rolled silently against that of his father. Miraculously, the maid Demidova had somehow survived till now, wounded in the thigh, having fainted while those all around her were being put to death. When the shooting died down, she came to and staggered to her feet screaming, ‘Thank God, I am saved!’ Immediately Ermakov turned on her with his bayonet as Demidova found superhuman strength in the face of imminent death. She had been frightened of what the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg might do to them all; she had said so when she left Tobolsk. And now she resisted violently, turning this way and that, fending off bayonet thrusts with her reinforced cushions – the Tsaritsa’s jewels that she had so carefully protected now protecting her – until one of the assassins pulled them from her. In desperation Demidova made a final attempt to defend herself against the bayonet, hysterically swiping at it with her bare hands until she was finished off.» (Rappaport, id., p.191).

« Yurovsky had seen plenty of death and mutilation during his time as a medical orderly in the war. He had a stronger stomach for the grisly spectacle of the basement room [war] than most of the men there that night, and now the medical man in him took over as he went round checking pulses to make sure the victims were all dead. Ermakov meanwhile, his drunken brain reeling from this orgy of killing, staggered and stumbled and slipped as he crossed back and forth in the room, flailing at bodies with his bayonet, wreaking his personal hatred on the bullet-ridden bodies of the Tsar and Tsaritsa and cracking their rib cages. It had taken 20 minutes of increasingly frenzied activity to kill the Romanovs and their servants. Professional marksmen given the same task would have taken 30 seconds. What should have been a quick, clean execution had turned into a bloodbath [war].» (Rappaport, id., p.191-192).
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© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2018. All rights reserved.
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Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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