Imperator Nikolaj II - Tsar' Muchenik | Emperor Nicholas II - The Martyr Tsar
8.25 in HIGH x 6.5 in WIDE x .25 in DEEP
(20.95 cm HIGH x 16.51 cm WIDE x .63 cm DEEP)
Gift of Adam Nilsen

66-page soft-cover book about the life and death of Tsar Nicholas II, published in memory of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The cover shows a portrait of him, as well as the title, publisher ("A union of the followers of his sacred memory"), and place and year of publication. The text is entirely in Russian and contains photos, drawing, and reproductions of documents. The price, on the back side, is given as $1.50. This publication belonged to Tatiana Ivanovna Switchevsky, great-grandmother of Oakland Museum of California researcher Adam Nilsen. Tatiana was born in the town of Staraja Russa in the Novgorod province of Russia in 1898. She and her husband, Herculan Herculanovich Switchevsky, who was a lieutenant in the Russian Imperial Navy, fled from Vladivostok in 1922 to Shanghai, where they joined thousands of other Russians who fled Communist Russia. In Shanghai, Tatiana's daughter, Irene, and granddaughter, Julie, were born, and the family enjoyed their hometown and were involved in the Russian Orthodox Church and other Russian organizations. In 1948 the three women, a widowed Tatiana, divorcee Irene, and young Julie, fled during the advance of the Communists in China. They, along with 5,000 other Russians, were relocated by the International Refugee Organization to the Philippines, whose government had offered them the island of Tubabao as a refuge. Although they spent almost two years camping in tents, the women left with fond memories of the beautiful beaches, monkeys, and the jungle environment. They were excited when the opportunity arose to emigrate to the United States--they had long had their sights set on San Francisco, and in November 1950, they boarded the General Hersey and sailed there. The three lived in San Francisco for the next 25 years and were active in the Russian community in the Sunset and Richmond Districts. Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family were powerful symbols to Tatiana and her life in pre-Communist Russia. As with other "followers of his sacred memory," she mourned the death of the Romanovs, and she owned many portraits of and books about them in her homes in California.

Used: Tatiana Ivanovna Switchevsky

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