March 01, 2017

1917 Diary

March 2

It is necessary for me to abdicate. Ruzsky told headquarters about his conversation,* and Alexeyev then told all the supreme commanders. By 2:30 I had received their responses. They essentially said that we must take this step in order to save Russia and prevent unrest at the front. I consented. Headquarters sent a draft manifesto. In the evening, Guchkov and Shulgin arrived from Petrograd. I spoke with them and gave them the signed and reworded manifesto. This experience was weighing heavily on me when I left for Pskov at one in the morning. I am surrounded by treason, cowardice, and deceit.

This famous diary entry was made by Nicholas II immediately after his abdication. He was at least spared the knowledge that Petrograd was rejoicing, and he did not yet know that his brother Mikhail, in whose favor he had renounced the throne, would refuse it, bringing the monarchy to an end. And certainly he could not have imagined the fate that awaited him and his family, nor could the supreme commanders of all the fronts who had agreed to support the Duma’s demand for abdication have imagined what the coming weeks and months would hold for their armies.

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