NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally published on 18 October 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG
A descendant of the Russian Imperial family, the great-great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III, Paul Kulikovsky, is convinced that there is a lack of reliable information about the last Russian emperor and the epoch of his rule for both Russians and foreigners. Kulikovsky believes that the new English version the Tzar-family.com website will help foreigners have a better understanding of the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.
AiF-Ural: How important is this project today in the work of the Church for the return of the good name of the sovereign Nikolai Alexandrovich and the restoration of the historical memory of society?
Paul Kulikovsky: I think that the Tzar-family.com web site is very important for a variety of reasons. First, I would note that in modern society, people are trying to get information quickly and easily, by accessing the Internet, not books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Therefore, the Church must be represented on the Internet to be one of the sources, and be part of the learning process. They must make it interesting and attractive, and by offering something which other sources do not offer. I also find it important to attract young people. Many young people do not go to church, therefore, in order to reach them, you need to find another way. Some may be attracted to history, others like stories about princes and princesses, and some are looking for role models. As soon as they find something of interest to them, they will find such information on the site.
A more serious reason is that there is so much false information, direct lies, myths, propaganda and half-truths about Emperor Nicholas II and his family making it is very difficult to find material which contains the truth.
These massive repetitions of false information over the past 100 years have made people think that these old stories are true. But, as many of us know, a lie will not be true, no matter how much you repeat it.
It could be assumed that this would cease when the godless Soviet regime collapsed. But nothing like this happened. Twenty seven years later, the Communists and their supporters continue this senseless repetition of false information. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have a site that not only provides the truth, but is well known and respected as a reliable source.
You can deceive people for a long time, but not infinitely. Sooner or later the truth will prevail. One step in this struggle is to give people the opportunity to learn the truth, and this is, I think, what this site is doing – both in relation to Emperor Nikolai Alexandrovich and to restore the historical memory of society.
AiF-Ural: This project is dedicated to the royal family, which is a model of relations both between family members as well as their relations with their neighbors and their Fatherland. How relevant is this family example for modern society?
Paul Kulikovsky: I think that in terms of family relations, the imperial family is in many ways a model for modern society.
What, in essence, is the task of any family? I believe that it is this social institution that gives the new generation the best chances for family happiness, that is, creating their own family. It is in the family that children must learn to love and care, understand what is right and wrong, and how to become responsible adults.
In this, the imperial family can be a source of inspiration. Members of this family were associated with wonderful relationships based on love and respect. In everything they did, they were guided by Christian family values. They cared very much about each other, and about other people. They considered charity not as a debt, but as something natural.
Over the past 50 years, the family, as an institution, has undergone dramatic changes, a transformation. The traditional family is being destroyed not only in Russia, but throughout the world.
For many, happiness now lies in having more and more things. Family time and energy is spent on the acquisition of wealth and less – on relationships and spiritual values.
An increasingly secularized society dilutes fundamental Christian values and makes it difficult for people to understand the difference between what is right and wrong. In a sense, people have lost their sense of proportion. Moral standards are changing.
Having learned about the imperial family, they will see an alternative, perhaps they will change their life both within their family and in relation to their neighbors and society as a whole.
AiF-Ural: On 14th October, the English version of the web site was launched. Why is this necessary for a foreign audience?
Paul Kulikovsky: There is a great interest in the royal passion bearers outside Russia, but for the most part people abroad do not know Russian, so the English version of the site will help those who are looking for reliable information.
In addition to the learning aspect, there are also materials on the site which elicit an emotional response — diaries, letters, and memories — and this can inspire some. Foreigners, too, need it.
I also think that it would be really good if foreigners could learn more about Russia and, in particular, the history of the reign of Emperor Nicholas II. I think it would be fair to say that in the West many historical books and textbooks are colored by communist propaganda. This English web site will present a different perspective on the reign of Nicholas II, and some people may be surprised by all the successes that have been achieved thanks to him and his character. This can change their perception of the personality of Nicholas II, Russian history and, ultimately, Russia.
Finally, I think that the English site will present a positive image of Russia.
AiF-Ural: Information about the members of the House of Romanov is an important component of the restoration of historical justice in relation to the Russian tsars in Russia. What else do you think should be done to eliminate the “white” spots in the history of the country?
Paul Kulikovsky: I think this problem has two aspects. One of them is the real “white” spots, when information about something is simply not available in the public forum, but it can exist. You just need to conduct research, and then publish the results.
In the year of the 100th anniversary of the murders of the imperial family, one “white” spot was studied. The question was whether it was possible to save the imperial family after the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, and did anyone try to do this? At least two books in English were published on this issue, and this gap was unexpectedly filled.
What else needs to be done? I would like representatives of the Church to compile a list of gaps in history and begin a research program. Perhaps different groups of historians, students, and the church community can explore these white spots and report at the end of the year. Perhaps a competition could be announced, during which a prize would be awarded and, of course, their work could be published in the future.
Another problem with the “white” spots, is that some are actually painted in black. This is information that someone decided that the public should not know or remember. This happens when events are distorted by propaganda and lies, and the real facts disappear from people’s memory.
The Bolsheviks and the Communists have accomplished this in Russia, during the last 100 years.
Here I see a real problem, because if society is based on myths and lies, in the end it’s very difficult to understand what is right and what is wrong. People create life based on the concepts of interconnections and come to an opinion on the basis of false ideas. And this can undermine our whole society.
That is why it is so important to fill in the “white” spots. Provide people with the truth.
And this also happens with the participation of the Church. The difficulty is to encourage people to absorb and accept this information. As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
And this is a real challenge. How to make people recognize that their knowledge of a particular subject is not 100% correct and perceived new information.
Maybe it is also necessary to provide training for journalists to reveal these myths, lies or fake news and urge them to reveal this or that as a lie every time it appears in the media.
Of course, a web site like Tzar-family.com can be used to refute lies and propaganda against Emperor Nicholas II and his family.
Click HERE for more information about the Tzar.family.com English-language web site
© Information Agency of the Yekaterinburg Diocese / Paul Gilbert. 2 December 2019