GUSTAF (V) TO NICHOLAS (II)1
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.
February 16th 1915.
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
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
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
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
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
On May 29, 1916.
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.
NICHOLAS (II) TO GUSTAF (V)3
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
I remember negotiations which went in 1908 about the Aland
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
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:
II & III: Machine-assisted reverse translation by Pauli Kruhse from
the Russian translations of the original letters in English.
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