Nazi Gold Train Could Contain Amber Room Topic: Amber Room
The Amber Room as it looked in 1932
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the August 29th, 2015 edition of the Daily Mail. Flora Drury own the copyright of the text presented below.
The recent claimed discovery of a Nazi gold train is not only stirring hope in western Poland, but it has also rekindled theories on the fate of the long-lost Amber Room panels that were plundered by a Nazi army force from the Catherine Palace outside Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in 1941. The panels were taken to Koenigsberg Castle and reassembled within weeks, but Adolf Hitler ordered all valuables removed from the Reich's eastern edge in January 1945.
The Nazi gold train could contain an ornate room crafted out of amber, gold and precious jewels which has been missing since it was looted during World War II, it has been claimed.
Journalist Tom Bower, who wrote Nazi Gold: the Full Story of the Fifty-Year Swiss-Nazi Conspiracy to Steal, has said he believes there is a high likelihood the hidden locomotive is filled with art and precious jewels, rather than bars of gold.
But what he really hopes to find in the train discovered abandoned in a tunnel underneath a Polish mountain is the Amber Room, stolen from the Catherine Palace, near St Petersburg, in about 1941.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bower said: 'If it is an art train, there will be paintings, there will be perhaps diamonds, there will be rubies and precious stones and also, the one thing that's always been missing, the Amber Room.
'I think it is far more exciting to think perhaps that is in the train.'
The Nazis dismantled the room - thought to be worth about £250million - when they arrived at the Russian palace in October 1941.
The Russians had tried to conceal the grand room, a gift to Peter the Great by the King of Prussia in 1716, by covering it in wallpaper, but their plan was foiled.
The room was then taken by the Germans by rail to Koenigsberg Castle, in what was then East Prussia. Now, the castle is found in the city of Kaliningrad.
But it disappeared In January 1945, after air raids and a savage ground assault on the city.
While some claimed it had been destroyed in the raids, others reported seeing 40 wagons moving away from the castle under a cloak of secrecy after the city fell to the Red Army.
To Mr Bower, it is entirely possible the train may have made the almost 400-mile journey across Poland to Walbrzych, on the border with the Czech Republic.
'As the Russians advanced and the Allies came in from the west, there was a huge movement as the Germans sought to keep it for themselves,' he explained.
Initially taken with a grain of salt, the story has gained credibility after a culture ministry official said he saw a ground-penetrating radar image of the alleged train on which he could make out platforms and cannons.
'I'm more than 99 percent sure such a train exists, but the nature of its contents is unverifiable at the moment,' Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said Friday.
Crimea to Unveil Statue of Empress Catherine the Great Topic: Catherine II
Catherine II played a great role in Crimea’s development, the peninsula became part of Russia during her rule
A new monument to Empress Catherine the Great who made Crimea part of Russia in 1783 will be unveiled in Simferopol, the peninsula’s capital, next year, the head of the Russian Unity public organization told TASS on Friday.
"The first monument was unveiled in Simferopol in 1890," Yelena Aksenova said. "However, it was completely destroyed in 1919, after the [Bolshevik] revolution."
The new statue may cost between 60 million and 120 million rubles (some $895,000 and $1.8 million), she said, adding that 40 million rubles ($597,000) had already been collected.
Aksenova presented the statue’s project to Dimitri Romanovich Romanov, the oldest relative of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The 89-year old Romanov descendant who visited Crimea with his wife Dorrit supported the idea.
"Catherine II played a great role in Crimea’s development. The peninsula became part of Russia during her rule," he said.
Catherine the Great ruled in 1762-1796 and her reign is considered Russia's golden age.
Memoirs of Romanov Scion to be Translated into Russian Topic: Romanov Descendants
The memoirs of a representative of the Romanov dynasty, Prince Roman Petrovich, second cousin and godson of Emperor Nicholas II, may soon be translated into Russian, reports TASS. The oldest surviving member of the dynasty, Dmitry Romanovich, hopes that the memoirs of his father Roman Petrovich may soon be available for Russian's to read in their native language.
His memoirs, which consist of more than 500 pages, were published posthumously by his two sons, Nicholas and Dmitry. The book was first published in Danish in 1991, and a German edition in 1995. "He spent a lot of his time and attention on the memoirs. He put his heart and soul into them", recalls Dmitry Romanov, who hopes that it will soon also be published in Russia.
Prince Roman Petrovich was born 17 October ( O.S. 5 October) 1896 at Znamenka, near Saint Petersburg. He was one of four children, and the only son of Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich of Russia (1864-1931) and his wife Grand Duchess Militza Nikolaevna of Russia (born Princess Milica of Montenegro). Prince Roman was a great-grandson of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855).
Prince Roman was married on 16 November 1921 at Cap d'Antibes, France to Countess Praskovia Sheremeteva (18 October 1901– 21 December 1980) and they had two sons: Nicholas Romanovich (1922-2014) and Dimitri Romanovich of Russia (b. 1926).
Prince Roman Petrovich with his wife and two sons: Dmitry and Nicholas
Following the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, Prince Roman resided at his father's Dulber estate in the Crimea and in April 1919 he left Russia, along with other members of the Russian Imperial family, on the British battleship HMS Marlborough.
In 1936, Roman Petrovich and his family moved to Rome. In 1941 he was offered and refused the Crown of the newly established Independent State of Montenegro. He refused, making it clear that none of his family would cooperate with the Nazis.
The war ended in 1945, and the political situation in Italy remained unstable. In a referendum in 1946, Italy was proclaimed a republic and all the members of the Italian royal house were forced to leave the country. The family of Roman Petrovich went to Egypt, where his sons Nicholas and Dimitri went to work, the eldest worked in the sale of tobacco, and the younger worked in an automobile factory.
After their Egyptian exile ended in 1951, Roman Petrovich and his wife returned to Rome. From 1954, he began to write his memoirs, leading an extensive correspondence with relatives scattered across the globe. Prince Roman Petrovich was planning to write two books, one about his life in Russia before the Revolution, and the second about his life in exile.
Prince Roman Petrovich died on 23 October 1978 in Rome, and buried in the cemetery of Monte Testaccio in Rome.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna: Path to Holiness Topic: Elizabeth Feodorovna GD
The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota announces the third in its series of short-term pop-up exhibitions of historical photographs, images, and related objects. Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna: Path to Holiness will be on display in the Main Gallery between August 28 and 31, 2015.
Remembering the life and works of Grand Duchess Elizabeth (Romanov), the exhibition includes forty-seven photographs of the Grand Duchess and her family, as well as several contemporary photographs of the related memorial sites. Organized in 2014 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary since the birth of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, the exhibition is presented in partnership with the Russian Cultural Foundation, Washington, DC, and the Elisabethan-Sergius Educational Society, Moscow, Russia.
Pierre Gilliard's Camera Presented to Tsarskoye Selo Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Pierre Gilliard's camera is now in the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve.
It will be on permanent display in the Alexander Palace when it reopens as a multi-museum complex in 2018
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve was presented with a very unique item earlier this week: an Eastman Kodak Bulls-Eye camera, which belonged to Pierre Gilliard (1879-1962) - French teacher to the children of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, and mentor to Tsesarevich Alexei. It was with this camera which Pierre Gilliard took photographs of the imperial family in Tsarskoye Selo and later in exile, many of which are familiar to the world today.
The camera was presented to the museum during a ceremony held in the Semi-Circular Hall of the Alexander Palace on August 26th by Mr. Jacques Moser - a great-nephew of Pierre Gilliard - who lives in Switzerland.
Pierre Gilliard was one of the faithful few who volunteered to follow the Imperial family into exile to Tobolsk. Then he moved with the Imperial children to Ekaterinburg, however, he was denied entry to the Ipatiev House and returned to Tobolsk. In 1920 he returned to Europe via Vladivostok. In 1922, Pierre Gilliard married Alexandra Tegleva (1884-1955) - who served as a nanny to the grand duchesses for 17 years. She also narrowly escaped death. They lived in Lausanne, Gilliard’s hometown.
All documents pertaining to the Gilliard and Tegleva, are now stored at the Pierre Gilliard Foundation in the Cantonal University Library (BCU) in Lausanne (Switzerland).
According to Mr. Moser, his mother, who was godmother to Pierre Gilliard, inherited the camera and explains that Uncle Pierre had made all the pictures of the Russian court, and that "the emperor himself held the camera in his hands." She showed him photographs - including the one in which "Uncle Pierre" is seen with the Emperor sawing wood in Tobolsk.
Mr. Jacques Moser presents his Uncle Pierre's camera to to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve
during a ceremony held in the Semi-Circular Hall of the Alexander Palace on August 26th, 2015
According to my most distant memories, I always heard about "Uncle Pierre" and his wife Aunt Alex with who had lived in Russia. Sometimes we met with him, because he was the brother of my grandfather. I recall opening the bottom drawer of his desk in the living room, and came across a square rigid case of beige leather, which contained the Eastman Kodak Bulls-Eye camera, bought by Uncle Pierre in St. Petersburg. After his return to Switzerland, Pierre, although he was an excellent photographer, no longer used it. It reminded him of the sad years and the death of the Imperial family, the fate of which he himself narrowly escaped - says Jacques Moser.
“For us, these things are particularly interesting and important as memorabilia associated with members of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, and Pierre Gilliard’s close association as a teacher of the Imperial children,” said Iraida Bott, Deputy Director for Research and Education at the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. “The Kodak camera is sure to become an exhibit of the Alexander Palace when we open it after a major restoration in 2018. The updated exhibition will include sections on people who surrounded the last owner of the Alexander Palace,” - added Bott.
Back in 2014 the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve received a gift of a tea set and a set of table items (32 pieces), which also belonged to Pierre Gilliard. They were handed over to the museum another Gilliard relative - his niece Françoise Gaudet, who lives in Geneva. The set had been presented to the Gilliard by one of his August pupils - the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. The beautiful tea set were made by the famous I. E. Morozova firm, a supplier to the Imperial Court.
Earlier, in 2013, Marie-Claude Gilliard Knecht presented the museum with items belonging to her aunt, Alexandra Alexandrovna Tegleva. The items included a pocket watch presented to her by the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and a brooch that her aunt received as a gift on the occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the House of Romanov in 1913.
For more information on previous gifts from the Gilliard collection in 2014 and 2013, please refer to the following articles:
Dmitri Romanovich: Crimea Feels Like Home Topic: Dmitri Romanovich
Dmitri Romanovich Romanov in the study of Emperor Nicholas II at Livadia Palace
Dmitri Romanov, the oldest living relative of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, who arrived in Crimea on August 26, said he was feeling at home at the Black Sea peninsula.
"I am not a tourist in Crimea, it feels like home," the 89-year old descendant, who resides in Denmark, told TASS.
On Tuesday, the head of the Romanov Family Association began his four-day Crimea trip with a visit to Livadia Palace, where a monument to last Russian Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled this past spring.
Dmitri laid flowers at the monument and expressed his gratitude to the local authorities and people for the tribute to Nicholas II.
"Russia respects its history," said Dmitri Romanovich who arrived in Crimea with his wife Dorrit for the first time since the peninsula’s reunification with Russia in March 2014.
Dmitri Romanov has devoted his whole life to the cause of restoring continuity in Russian history. It was he who accompanied the remains of Emperor Nicholas II and his family from Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, where they had been murdered on July 17, 1998 to St. Petersburg in July 1998.
Crimean Authorities to Help Dmitri Romanovich Move from Denmark to Crimea Topic: Dmitri Romanovich
Dmitri Romanovich told journalists that he wished to come to live in Crimea
permanently upon his arrival at the Crimean airport of Simferopol
Crimean authorities have promised to help Dmitri Romanovich Romanov, the oldest relative of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II, to move to live from Denmark to Crimea, Dmitry Polonsky, the vice-premier of the Crimean government, told TASS on Tuesday.
Dmitri arrived in Crimea earlier on Tuesday for the first time since the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. Upon his arrival at Simferopol airport, Dmitri told journalists that he wished to come to live in Crimea permanently.
"I would do that with great pleasure," Dmitri told TASS. Of course, I need to ask my wife first. We should also think about what to do with our house in Denmark. We can sell it and come here. Naturally, I would be glad to move here as soon as possible," he stressed.
Dmitri is travelling with his wife, Theodora (Dorrit).
"I do not think there is going to be anything bad in it. A person will just return to his roots and will find himself in the best place on Earth at twilight age. If he really makes this decision, we will do everything we can to help him doing that," Polonsky who met Dmitri at Simferopol airport said.
The peninsula’s authorities consider this visit to be symbolic.
Crimea’s head Sergey Aksyonov said the Romanov descendant’s visit to Crimea was symbolic, adding that he was ready to meet with the distinguished guests.
"I have not received any proposals [to meet with the Romanovs], but if I get I will have no objections," Aksyonov said.
Dmitri Romanovich Romanov with his wife Dorrit in Crimea
In an interview with TASS Dmitri said that Crimea had always been an important part of Russia. "My father loved Crimea the most," he said. "And now I am able to visit Crimea, which belongs to Russia again."
Dmitri believes that Crimea’s reunification with Russia will give an impetus to its development. "The most important thing is that Crimea can move forward now. It is a point from where it can progress not only in economy but also in tourism and many other spheres," Dmitri Romanov said.
"It is hard to explain what I feel now (when I arrived in Crimea). What a pleasure to see all these smiles. You are pleased and I am pleased. I do not care for what the world says," Dmitri said.
During his trip to Crimea, Dmitri Romanov is planning to visit places linked to the history of the Romanov House: the Livadia Palace where a monument to Nicholas II was unveiled this summer and the Dulber Palace, which was his family’s summer residence in which he spent his young years. He will walk on the Yalta embankment from where a ship took his relatives away from Russia in April 1919 and hopes to visit Sevastopol, the city of Russia’s naval glory.
"I hope to realize my lifelong dream to visit Sevastopol, the city of Russian naval glory," Dmitri Romanov said in a TASS interview. His grand uncle, Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich Jr., the commander-in-chief of the Russian army and Navy, used to be the honorary citizen of Sevastopol in pre-revolutionary Russia.
Members of the Russian Imperial Family will make a short tour of the Black Sea Fleet base.
Dmitri Romanov devoted his whole life to the cause of restoring continuity in Russian history. It was he who accompanied the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family from Yekaterinburg, the Urals, where they had been executed at the start of Russia’s Civil War (1918-1920), to St. Petersburg.
Dmitri Romanov, 89, was born in Antibes, southern France, in May 1926. He spent many years in France, Italy and Egypt and worked at the headquarters of Denmark’s biggest bank.
"Neither me nor other members of the Romanov family are claiming anything except for the right to be useful to Russia," the he said. In the early 1990s, Dmitri Romanov initiated the creation of a charitable fund to help orphanages and hospitals in Russia and preserve Russia’s cultural heritage.
Dmitri Romanovich and his family currently live in Denmark.
On This Day: Birth of Duke Peter Georgievich of Oldenburg 1812-1881 Topic: Oldenburg
Portrait of Duke Peter Georgievich of Oldenburg in 1842.
Artist: Joseph-Desire Court
“Duke Peter Georgievich of Oldenburg is a kind, honest man, who does good to many people, and has never harmed anyone. More to that, we, Russians, should always remember that it is him and his significant donations that we owe the establishment of the Law School, and it is his noble character that we owe the unselfishness of the school’s students…”
P. V. Dolgorukov
On 26 August (O.S. 14 August) 1812, in Yaroslavl, was born Peter G. (Konstantin Friedrich Peter) of Oldenburg, Duke, General of Infantry (1841), Chairman of the St. Petersburg Supervisory Board (from 1844), Chief of the IV Office of His Imperial Majesty's Chancellery for institutions of Empress Maria (1860-1881), Senator (1834-1838), member of the State Council (1836).
Peter Georgievich came from a German sovereign family of dukes of Oldenburg; his father was Peter Friedrich Georg of Oldenburg - Governor-General of Tver, Yaroslavl and Novgorod Provinces, chief of communication lines. His mother, Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna, was the daughter of Paul I.
Peter was educated at home, in Württemberg, and from 1819 - in Oldenburg, where, under the guidance of renowned educator, H. Runde, he studied law; he spoke fluently Russian, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, knew Greek, Latin.
The candidacy of Peter Georgievich was nominated for Greek throne, but in November 1830, Nicholas I called him to serve in Russia, and in December the duke joined the Life Guards regiment. A few years later he was promoted to Major General (1832) and then to Lieutenant-General (1834), and from 1836 served as head of the military educational institutions.
In 1834, Peter Georgievich left the army and was appointed a member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Justice, and then a senator in the 1st Department of the Senate. Having noticed a severe lack of legally educated officials, in January 1835 he presented to the Emperor a draft to establish a Law School, developed jointly with M. M. Speransky. After approval of the project, the duke financed the purchase (over 1 million rubles) of a building in St. Petersburg, at the corner of Fontanka and Sergius Street (now the Tchaikovsky Street). Grand opening of the school was held in December 1835 in the presence of the emperor. On the same day Peter Georgievich was approved trustee and awarded the Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd class. Later, the prince became the initiator and the first chairman of the Russian Society of International Law founded in 1880 in St. Petersburg.
In 1836, Peter Georgievich was a member of the State Council; in 1842 he served as chairman of the Civil and Religious Affairs, was adjutant-general, and General of Infantry. In 1839 he was made an honorary trustee of the St. Petersburg Board of Trustees, and from 1844 – the chairman of the Board. From 1841 to 1859 Peter Georgievich served as chairman of the Free Economic Society, and from 1845 - chairman of the newly established General Council of Women’s Educational Institutions.
From 1839, the duke directed many agencies of the Office of Empress Maria, the number of which had risen 4 times under him. Ardent supporter of charity, he spent a lot of energy and personal resources to improve the organization of former and new hospitals, almshouses, orphanages. This was noted by the authorities, and in August 1860 Oldenburg was appointed chief superintendent of the IV Department of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancery.
In addition to public affairs, the duke was interested in art, literature, wrote poetry, ballads, elegies, both in German and in Russian, translated Russian folk songs into German.
In 1837, Duke Peter married Therese Wilhelmine Friederikke, Princess of Nassau-Weilburg in Biebrich. This was a happy marriage that lasted for more than thirty years. They had eight children, three of them died early. Their daughter Alexandra married Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayvich of Russia (1831–1891), the elder, and was the mother of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayvich of Russia (1856–1929), the younger, and Grand Duke Peter Nicholayevich (1864-1931). After the break-up of her marriage, she retired from court life and eventually became a nun. Peter Georgievich and his wife led an exemplary family life, and looked carefully after the education of their children. The family spent the winter months in Peterhof and moved for the summer to their other residence Kamenoi-Ostroff.
Peter of Oldenburg died on 2 May (O.S. 14 May) 1881. He was buried in the Trinity-Sergius Hermitage near St. Petersburg.
In 1889, in St. Petersburg, on Liteiny Avenue, was erected a monument to Peter G. of Oldenburg with the inscription: "To the educated philanthropist."
Note: this article and images are for information purposes only. These items are not for sale through Royal Russia, nor do we have dealer information.
The Dulyovo porcelain factory is one of the most famous Russian and former Soviet porcelain manufacturers. Dulevo Porcelain were founded in the city of Likino-Dulyovo (78 km east of Moscow) in 1832 by the Russian merchant Terentiy Kuznetsov.
For the first 20 years the company has become one of the leading producers of porcelain in Russia. In 1864, the successor of the factory was Matvey Sidorovich Kuznetsov, during which time the company reaches its maximum development.
In 1918 the factory was nationalized and renamed the Dulyovo Porcelain Factory named after the newspaper Pravda. During the Soviet period (1918-1991), the factory employed more than 6,500 people, producing about 75 million porcelain and earthenware products a year.
Dulyovo porcelain has gained gold awards at the world's fairs in Paris and Brussels (1958). Dulyovo porcelain is now exported to the United States, Canada, Norway and some other countries.
The Dulyovo Porcelain Factory opened a museum on November 26, 2014, which today features a rich collection of porcelain products made at the plant, ranging from masters of the Kuznetsovsky era and works of contemporary artists.
The beautiful porcelain work depicting Emperor Nicholas II and his family (above) was created in 2014, and currently on display in the Dulyevo Porcelain Museum in Likino-Dulyovo.
For more Romanov Collectibles, please refer to the following links:
Around the World with Royal Russia Topic: Royal Russia
Every morning, I receive a report from Statcounter.com, a service which I pay an annual fee to monitor traffic to the Royal Russia web site.
On any given day, Royal Russia receives any where from 5,000 to 10,000 hits from visitors all over the world. As an example, the attached chart indicates the number of hits to Royal Russia on August 23rd, 2015. Traffic from 75 countries was recorded. The top 5 countries include:
#1 - United States with 4,342 hits or 41.35%
#2 - Russia with 1,332 hits or 12.69%
* Note: The total number of hits per country fluctuates on a daily basis, the above serves only as an example
The pages of statistics and other important information which Statcounter provide me is invaluable. It shows me which articles are most popular, what country the reader is from, and much more. All this information helps me in determining what topics are of interest to visitors to Royal Russia, and assists me greatly in selecting articles, videos and photographs for publication.
The main Royal Russia web site currently offers more than 50 full-length articles, nearly 700 news articles, more than 500 videos, over 2,000 photographs, an online bookshop, plus a blog with more than 1,800 news clips, videos and photographs, and the Royal Russia Facebook page has more than 34,000 followers around the world. Royal Russia is updated daily!
It is interesting to note that in 2006, Royal Russia received a mere 65,000 visitors, that number increased significantly in 2014 to more than 2.2 million! Royal Russia continues to grow each and every year, making it one of the most popular web sites dedicated to the Romanov dynasty, their legacy and the history of Imperial Russia.