The Russian royal Family. Seated: Olga, Tsar Nikolai II, Anastasia, Tsarevitch Alexei, Tatiana. Standing: Maria, Tsarina Alexandra Fedorovna
The All-Russian Union of Cities and Tatiana’s Committee began to help these forced migrants. In 1915, the Committee raised about 200,000 rubles for Armenian refugees, and dispatched 40 train cars with day-to-day essentials, including bedding, clothes and footwear. Humanitarian aid was sent to Kars, Sarıkamış, Alexandropol (Gyumri), Erivan (Yerevan), Igdir, Nakhchivan, Echmiadzin, and other towns and districts. In addition, the Committee opened special bureaus to help Armenian refugees find new employment. Trade shops in Tiflis, Kars and other towns also found jobs for these people.
End of an era
After the February Revolution of 1917 and Nikolai’s abdication from the throne, the Romanov family spent six months confined to their apartments at Tsarskoye Selo. The children fell sick with measles and hospital experience came in handy for the elder sisters — they patiently nursed each other and other members of the family. “I’m sad that now that I’m well again, I can’t work in the hospital. It’s so strange to be at home in the mornings, not doing the bandaging. Who’s doing that now?” Tatiana wrote to the hospital’s senior nurse, V. Chebotareva, in April 1917.
In August, the Romanovs were exiled to Tobolsk, and from there — to Yekaterinburg, where on July 17, 1918, Russia’s last Tsar was executed along with his entire family. The kind-hearted Tatiana was among the victims.
In 1917, the committee that she founded was renamed the All-Russian Committee for Assistance to the War-Stricken. Miraculously enough, the regional branches of Tatiana’s Committee continued to provide assistance to refugees even after the revolution, and some of them even had dorms and other property to their name. At the beginning of 1918, due to inflation and the overall situation in the country, assistance could no longer be provided in cash, but it was supplied in foodstuffs. Soon, however, even this became impossible, victims of the Russian Civil War joined to world war refugees.
In March of 1918 the Petrograd branch, effectively the headquarters of Tatiana’s original committee, officially ceased operations. That brought an end to the century-old history of charitable establishments and committees under the auspices of the Romanov Imperial House.
Header image: A “Tatiana Committee” meeting, in the center - Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna with her daughters Tatiana and Olga.