February 16th 1915.


My dear Nicky,

Having heard that there is a question of exchange of wounded prisoners of war between Russia and Germany-Austria, I hasten to send you these lines. I want to assure you that it would be a great satisfaction to me, if I could be of any use in this matter, and I am most willing to do what I can to facilitate this transaction and to give necessary instructions to my authorities for the fulfilment of this charitable purpose.
You can well understand, dear Nicky, how deeply impressed I am by all the horrors of this terrible war. And it is only natural that my thoughts should dwell upon the possible means of soon bringing this dreadful manslaughter to an end. I am not able to judge when this may be attainable, but my conscience bids me to tell you, that I would at any moment that might, sooner or later, seem convenient to you, be ready to offer you my services.
If you find my suggestions worth a thought, I would feel very happy, and at all events, I hope you kindly send me a few words, so that I may hear your opinion on this matter.
In remembrance of our old friendship I feel convinced that you will not misunderstand my addressing these lines to you.. With much love to you and Alix, ever, dear Nicky, your affectionate cousin and friend



On May 29, 1916.

My dear Nicky.
Since you permitted me, whenever I have something on my soul, frankly to write about it to you, I am sending you the following lines.
First of all let me thank you for your kind letter, which you envoy 2 handed to me some time ago after his return from Petrograd. I highly appreciate your assurances of friendship and I highly appreciate your assurances of friendship and and good-neighborly relations, for which I am ready cordially to answer the same.
I remember with feeling of sincere gratitude that in 1908 the delicate question which has hung over us about the Aland Islands was resolved satisfactorily thanks to your personal intervention. Now, in the same way as well as during that time, both chambers of the Swedish parliament unanimously stated pointing out that this question is vital for Sweden. I hope therefore that you will render now the same friendly assistance for simplification of negotiations coming about it, which would be desirable for us to begin in the nearest future.
I ardently wish, that they will take place in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and would promote the strengthening of the good relations between our countries.
Deeply and always loving you and Alix your devoted friend and cousin to you


1 I: The original typewritten text of the letter of Feb. 16th 1915, signed by the Swedish King Gustaf; 2 Probably, A.V. Neklyudov — the Russian envoy to Sweden.


My dear Gustaf.
I thank you for your letter, as well as for assurances of friendship and the good-neighbourly relations, which gave me a great pleasure.
I remember negotiations which went in 1908 about the Aland Islands.
At that same time both Russia is very close to my heart as well as benevolent discussion and the solution of this question to the full satisfaction of Sweden.
When this awful war broke out, we were forced to take a row of precautionary measures on these islands, the imperative necessity of which, I'm sure you are well understood. At the same time with these measures my government, operating, one and a half years ago on its own initiative, warned the Swedish government about them, giving it a sincere and comprehensive explanation of the true significance of the defensive works erected on some of these islands. Recently, according to the special instruction, my envoy in Stockholm repeated the same assurances. Thus, it seems to me, your country has no reasons for concern in the regard of this question.
If nevertheless you consider it expedient for the Swedish government to begin new negotiations about it, I express my consent on this.
But it is essential that both sides will conduct them in that reconciliatory spirit; because only on the basis of mutual understanding it is possible to secure mutual interests in a view of strengthening good-neighborly relations.

On June 4, 1916.

3 This letter is the answer to the second of above copied letters of King Gustaf.

Source: I: Swedish National Archives. II & III: Дневники  и  документы  из  личного  архива  Николая II: Воспоминания.  Мемуары.—Харвест,  2003.  II & III: Machine-assisted reverse translation by Pauli Kruhse from the Russian translations of the original letters in English.

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