Jörg Ulrich Stange
Wolfgang Toerner, M.A.
Dr. Cordelia Andreßen
Elena Palmer (2013) Peter III: REBIRTH
The Russian Czar Peter III was an important historic figure. This cultivated, open-minded emperor began a reformation of the feudal country into a constitutional monarchy by introducing various courageous, even democratic reforms like freedom of faith, freedom of travel, the end of slavery etc. His death at the hands of his wife Catherine the Great’ lover brought Russia's development to a stop for a hundred years. Yet this proven historical fact remains hidden from the public due to the worldwide popularity of a wrong version, created by his wife, who denigrated her husband in her memoirs in order to justify her own participation in his murder. One of the Russian historians of the 19th century, V.O. Klyuchevsky blindly relied on Catherine’s twaddle and repeated her version, which was then officially recognized due to Klyuchevsky’s high regard in Russian historian circles at the time. Eventually his unsubstantiated, self-contradictory statements were distributed throughout the world and accepted as fact without any proof. Mirrored by modern writers and filmmakers this portrayal of Peter III as a mentally handicapped, good-for-nothing imbecile prevails.
Elena Palmer, a renowned German journalist with Russian origins, throws all evasiveness in wording. She thoroughly criticizes the official version, shows its inconsistency, and vigorously calls to trash and forget it. The problem all these years was that after murdering Peter III, Catherine the Great and her lover burned all documents, all records confirming his good work. The documents that remained were buried in private archives and were neither available, nor readable for researchers. Palmer possesses a knowledge of both old German and old Russian languages, combined with the courage to investigate. She found the documents and read them for the first time in history. Using the wealth of these previously untapped sources, including diaries and letters of Peter's family members, subjects, ministers, generals, she recounts this fascinating historic puzzle in its vivid details. Based on the undeniable historical facts she gives us Peter III as the enlightened ruler and courageous reformer he actually was.
This first edition of this book was first released in Germany by Sutton Publishing and awoke a strong emotional reaction. The public perception of Peter III in Germany was then completely changed. The association “A Monument for Czar Peter III” was established. In 2012 the government decided to build a monument for him in Kiel, his city of birth. Thus after 250 years the Emperor finally gets his official public rehabilitation, or Rebirth. This English edition is extended and supplemented through newer results of ongoing research.