Tsar Nicholas II

A moment from yesterday

November 1, 2017 | Viewpoints | Volume 21 Issue 21
Laureen Harder-Gissing |

Tsar Nicholas II, seated on a chair at centre of this photograph, is surrounded by patients, Red Cross workers and other staff at a hospital for wounded men in Ekaterinoslav, South Russia. Abraham Dick, a Mennonite non-combatant serving in the medical corps, was present that day. He carried this photograph with him when he emigrated to Ontario in 1924. This was probably one of the last public occasions for the Tsar, who was deposed in March 1917. Knowing what was soon to happen in Russia, how does this picture make you feel?

For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.

Share this page: Twitter Instagram


My grandmother showed me this picture of the Tsar, with the explanation that my grandfather was in the honour guard, so not in the picture.
For both the Tsar and Mennonites in Russia, it was the end of an era. Tsarist autocracy ended, Mennonite families were divided and a second migration, fifty years after the first, began. The previous migration had been less traumatic and the one after the photo included more refugees in flight from persecution. No longer were Mennonites in Russia allowed to serve in the medical corps in wartime.
James Neufeld

She would tell me that her father, Abraham Harder, was in the Tsar's honour guard as well. They even climbed Mount Everest. I wonder if there is a way to find out more about this subject.

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.