L’assassinat du grand-duc Serge
R: Lucien Nonguet. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1905
“Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia (11 May 1857 – 17 February 1905) was the fifth son and seventh child of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. He was an influential figure during the reigns of his brother Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his nephew Emperor Nicholas II, who was also his brother-in-law through Sergei’s marriage to Elizabeth, the sister of Tsarina Alexandra. (…) Between 1891 and 1905, Grand Duke Sergei served as Governor-General of Moscow. His reputation was initially tarnished as he was partially blamed for the Khodynka Tragedy during the festivities following the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. As Governor of Moscow, he pursued very conservative policies that made him a polarizing figure. At the start of his tenure, he expelled Moscow’s 20,000 Jews and repressed a student movement to prevent the spread of revolutionary ideas. Because of this, he was often regarded as a reactionary. In 1894 Grand Duke Sergei was made a member of the State Council. In 1896 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed as Commander of Moscow Military District. After thirteen years of service, Grand Duke Sergei resigned from the Governorship on 1 January 1905, though he remained head of the Moscow Military District. Targeted by the SR Combat Organization, he was assassinated later that year by a terrorist bomb at the Kremlin during the 1905 Russian Revolution.”
R: Louis Feuillade. D: Max Charlier, Mlle Loisier. P: Société des Etablissements Gaumont. Fr 1907
“Les terroristes en Russie, 1907, starring Max Charlier and Mlle Loisier, is a very rare and considered many years as lost silent film. Cf. Gaumont catalogue no 1590, the title was changed in La terroriste.
“A first possible documentary ressource for the creators of the movie may be the assassination of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia in 1905. Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia was a son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. [see above (…)].
A second possible documentary ressource may be the assassination of the Minister of the Interior, von Plehve 1904 in St Petersburg. Plehve was the director of Imperial Russia’s police and later Minister of the Interior. Plehve was an obvious target for revolutionaries. After he did nothing to prevent a bloody wave of anti-Jewish violence in 1903, the known double agent Yevno Azef decided not to inform on the SR plans to kill Plehve. He survived one attack in 1903 and two in 1904 before the Socialist-Revolutionary Combat Group succeeded. On 15 July 1904, a bomb was thrown into Plehve’s carriage by Yegor Sazonov, in Saint Petersburg, killing him at 58.
The Combat Organization was the terrorist branch within the Social Revolutionary Party of Russia. It was a terror sub-group that was given autonomy under that Party. In his memoirs, group member Boris Savinkov called the group the ‘Terrorist Brigade.'”