‘God Bless and Keep the Tsar…’

Play-goers or movie-buffs might recall the end of this “prayer for the Tsar” offered impromptu by the Rabbi near the beginning of “Fiddler on the Roof”: “…far away from us!” The line reflects a popular anti-monarchist sentiment that scorns all crowned heads of state, including Russia’s own Caesar (whence the word Tsar or Csar originates). But the Romanovs, Russia’s royal family, were not what the Communist propaganda mill made them out to be, nor what our own anti-monarchic national prejudice might tend to believe.

Contrary to much Marxist mythology, Russia under the Romanovs was not horrible. The Russian economy was growing at a faster rate than America or Germany and would have made the huge empire into the second largest economy in the world by 1930. This growth was not limited to natural resources and agricultural products, but industry and the highest levels of technological development.

Political and civil liberties under the Tsars were also reasonably good. Defense counsel was required in criminal cases. Judges frequently ruled against the state. Acquittal of high profile defendants was common. The explosion of Russian literature, science, music, and art that occurred under the Romanovs reflected a fairly free society, which is the antithesis of what politically correct historians have taught. Although some Russians, notably persecuted Jews, left Russia, the exodus was less than Italy, Germany, Ireland, Greece, or other European nations.

From “Press Freedom in the New Russia” at The New American.

Readers interested in this subject may enjoy reading “The Conversion of Russia” by Gary Potter and “Royal Russian Converts: The Two Princes Galitzin,” compiled by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Curious question: When Russia converts to Catholicism, as the Blessed Virgin said she will, will we see “The Return of the Tsar?”

Some of us are thinking the answer is a definite “Da”!