Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Russian History => Rasputin => Topic started by: Truthseeker on March 17, 2014, 02:04:26 PM

Title: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Truthseeker on March 17, 2014, 02:04:26 PM
I am researching Rasputin for my dissertation and am finding it VERY hard to discover what is truth and what is myth. I am hoping that there might be people out there with genuine views and opinions and even, possibly, some TRUTH about the man that seems to have created such passion in so many people in his time, both adoration and hatred!

I am really looking forward to some serious discussion on the subject, thanks.

Truthseeker
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on March 17, 2014, 02:20:43 PM
This entire thread is full of such information.  It might be easier for you to ask for specific questions or specific information.  I suggest reading these threads first then asking specific questions.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Truthseeker on March 17, 2014, 03:05:02 PM
Thanks - I am in the process of working my way through the forum as we speak. There is some interesting stuff here but I confess that I am hoping to find someone who might specialise in Rasputin history to guide me to reputable academic sources?  I am beginning to believe that he might have been a psychopathic personality, many of his reported qualities do seem to correspond with known psychopaths in more modern times, but I am looking for factual history rather than the myths.

He is an intriguing mystery!
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Превед on March 17, 2014, 03:05:18 PM
Please not that Rasputin's surname, which have been given all kind sof (im)moral interprations derives rom Russian распутье - crossroads, the same way Putin derives from путь, road. I.e. someone who lives by the road or at the crossroads.

The word is for example used in the title of Vasily Vasnetsov's painting "Витязь на распутье" - The Knight at the Crossroads:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/%D0%92%D0%B8%D1%82%D1%8F%D0%B7%D1%8C_%D0%BD%D0%B0_%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BF%D1%83%D1%82%D1%8C%D0%B5_%281878%29.jpg)

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on March 17, 2014, 03:15:28 PM
Rasputin: The Untold Story by Joseph T. Fuhrmann ·is pretty good factually.

Radzinsky is pretty useless. If you speak/read French, Raspoutine by Alexander Spiridovitch, Payot Paris 1932 is good, although has some errors, written by Nicholas II's Chief of Secret Personal Security who had copies of all of the Okhrana survellance reports on Rasputin and made a long study to research all first hand accounts.

Richard Cullen's book is very good, although there has been some questioning of his forensic conclusions, however his factual background research is outstanding.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Truthseeker on March 17, 2014, 03:21:03 PM
So far, I have looked at Maria Rasputin's book and I'm reading Edvard Radzinsky's 'Rasputin, The Last Word' in which he is adamant that Rasputin derives from 'rasputa' which means deviant or debauched? He is dismissive of the claim that it means 'crossroads'. I admit I have been wondering how reputable an historian he is so thank you for your recommendation and will see if I can find a copy of the book you suggest.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Превед on March 17, 2014, 03:28:25 PM
Rasputin appeared to "distance heal" Alexey Nikolayevich because he adviced to let nature run its course and stop giving the patient the new wonder drug aspirin, whose anti-coagulant qualities were unknown at the time.

If Rasputin had any esoteric knowlegde it was perhaps about the basis of aspirin, meadowsweet - spiraea > aspirin, a typical northern plant, also native to Siberia.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Превед on March 17, 2014, 03:34:36 PM
So far, I have looked at Maria Rasputin's book and I'm reading Edvard Radzinsky's 'Rasputin, The Last Word' in which he is adamant that Rasputin derives from 'rasputa' which means deviant or debauched?

That would be распутник, rasputnik.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on March 17, 2014, 03:37:46 PM
So far, I have looked at Maria Rasputin's book and I'm reading Edvard Radzinsky's 'Rasputin, The Last Word' in which he is adamant that Rasputin derives from 'rasputa' which means deviant or debauched? He is dismissive of the claim that it means 'crossroads'. I admit I have been wondering how reputable an historian he is so thank you for your recommendation and will see if I can find a copy of the book you suggest.

One fact is now without dispute.  Rasputin was his family name for generations before his birth, it isn't that uncommon in his region and it has nothing to do with "debauched".

More current facts: Rasputin never had sex with the Empress or the Grand Duchesses.  Rasputin was inside the Palace itself only perhaps 6 or 7 times.  He almost always met with the Imperial Family elsewhere.  Nicholas II was under no real influence of Rasputin directly. Rasputin was dead in the rear Courtyard of the Yussupov Moika Palace from an execution style gunshot to the back of the skull iin addition to two other fatal gunshots to his body, and so was long dead by the time he went into the Neva.  There was no poison in his system at all.

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Превед on March 17, 2014, 04:09:56 PM
Well, we can't know for sure, because "wayward", "de-via-te" etc. is also in Russian taken from the concrete meaning, just like in English. Even though the most common Russian surname (Смирнов - Smirnov) is derived from a personal quality (смирный - meek, gentle - perhaps a prized quality in a land of servitude?), it is rather unusual for adjectival nicknames about personal qualities, especially negative ones, to turn into surnames. (The many animal-derived Russian surnames, from wolf, hare, bear, sparrow, nightingale etc. are probably derived from nicknames alluding to the qualities associated with these animals, I'd guess, if they are not outright totemistic). I'd rather suspect the common surname Vinogradov, derived from виноград, vinograd, grape, to be indicative of a debauched ancestor....

It is much more likely that a surname based on a concrete, geographical feature is indeed a habitational name. Though there is also the possibility that it is derived from распутица, rasputitsa, spring thaw, the period when you couldn't tell where the road was and it all was one big mess / crossroads.

Rasputin's Russian Wikipedia article says:

Родоначальником рода Распутиных был «Изосим Федоров сын». В переписной книге крестьян села Покровского за 1662 год говорится, что он с женой и тремя сыновьями — Семёном, Насоном и Евсеем — пришёл на Покровскую слободу за двадцать лет до того из Яренского уезда и «стал на пашню». Сын Насон позже получил прозвище «Роспута». От него пошли все Роспутины, ставшие в начале XIX века Распутиными. По дворовой переписи 1858 года в Покровском значилось более тридцати крестьян, носивших фамилию «Распутины», в том числе и Ефим, отец Григория. Фамилия происходит от слов «распутье», «распутица», «перепутье».
=
The ancestor of the Rasputin family was "Izosim son of Fyodor'." The census book of the peasants of the village of Pokrovskoye for 1662 says that he and his wife and three sons - Simon, Nason and Evsey -  came to the free village of Pokrovskoe twenty years before the uyezd of Yarensk " began on the land ." The son Nason later earned the nickname "Rosputa ".  From him descended all the Rosputins who became in the early XIX century Rasputin. According to the 1858 census Pokrovskoye had imore than thirty peasants who carried the name "Rasputin" , including Efim , the father of Gregory . The name comes from the words " crossroads ", " thaw ", " intersection."

BTW regarding the spelling Rosputin instead of Rasputin it's must be due to the issue of Russian vowel reduction okanye /akanye, also an issue when going from Church Slavic to modern Russian. Archaïc okanye dialects which pronounce "o" as /o/ where modern Russian reduces it to /a/ may sound Church Slavic. I don't know if this applied to Rasputin's Siberian dialect.

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Превед on March 17, 2014, 04:22:25 PM
Rasputins Russian Wikipedia article says:

Source for the family history:
Боханов А. Н.: Правда о Григории Распутине. — М.: Рус. издат. центр, 2011. — C. 57, 58.
By the same author:
Боханов А. Н.: Распутин. Анатомия мифа. — М.: АСТ-ПРЕСС. 2000. — 416 с.: ил. — (Историческое расследование). — ISBN 5-7805-0715-5

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Truthseeker on March 17, 2014, 04:51:06 PM
Thank you, part of my problem has been finding knowledgeable information on a subject that is surrounded by myth and half truths! I am finding his story fascinating to follow! I have also found an old 1800's newspaper clip that places a 'Rasputin' as arrested for being a Nihilist in 1895. Would this have been when Grigori was supposedly wandering through Russia as a religious pilgrim? Do you think it likely that there might be  any connection?
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: wakas on March 17, 2014, 06:01:06 PM
Rasputin was dead in the rear Courtyard of the Yussupov Moika Palace from an execution style gunshot to the back of the skull iin addition to two other fatal gunshots to his body, and so was long dead by the time he went into the Neva.  There was no poison in his system at all.



I thought this gunshot didn't kill him and that he died drowned.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on March 17, 2014, 07:47:24 PM
Grigori Rasputin was never arrested as a Nihilist. Nor was he Khlysti..

The autopsy photos show without doubt that Rasputin's brain was blown out of his head by a close range gun shot.  He was NOT DROWNED nor Poisoned.  THOSE are untrue myths.

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: historyfan on March 17, 2014, 09:02:13 PM
Read Margarita Nelipa's book, The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin. Ms Nelipa is a member of these forums. : )
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: wakas on March 17, 2014, 09:08:15 PM
Quote
The autopsy photos show without doubt that Rasputin's brain was blown out of his head by a close range gun shot.  He was NOT DROWNED nor Poisoned.  THOSE are untrue myths.
Thank you for your answer. This is very interesting.
Is Felix Yusupov's testimony about the murder reliable or is it exaggerated?

Read Margarita Nelipa's book, The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin. Ms Nelipa is a member of these forums. : )
I've never read this book. What does it say ?
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on March 17, 2014, 09:35:00 PM
Yussupov's account of events is for the most part fiction.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: historyfan on March 17, 2014, 10:44:55 PM
Quote
Read Margarita Nelipa's book, The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin. Ms Nelipa is a member of these forums. : )
I've never read this book. What does it say ?

Here's the link to the thread on the book, on this forum:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=10647.0
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: wakas on March 17, 2014, 11:59:46 PM
Thank you both!
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: John Walker on April 26, 2014, 03:33:52 PM
I've come into this interesting thread late.  Sorry!  Very interesting replies and very useful to the researcher - especially the reference suggestions and reading recommendations of Forum Admin ....... except the statement that Rasputin was long dead in the back courtyard from an execution style shot to the back of the head.  This with respect is inconceivable.  The police report and photos showed clearly that there was blood in the front yard and on the doorstep leading into the staircase down to the cellar.  That blood was shown to be human.  Rasputin was shot twice at close range from slightly behind as the autopsy showed.  His body was left, as the conspirators said, for dead.  He revived, was seen making his way up the stairs by Purishkevich who followed him out into the yard and fired wildly.  Purishkevich missed but the weakened Rasputin simply expired. (There were no bullet wounds from long range to substantiate any claim that he had been shot in flight by Purishkevich although Purishkevich assumed that because Rasputin fell down that he must have shot him.) His body was dragged back into the palace, the door slammed shut and a fatal execution administered to the forehead by...... well we have been here before haven't we! For Rasputin to have escaped out into the back yard and been shot there, would mean his climbing the full staircase, somehow evading the notice of at least four persons in the room above, which he would have needed to pass through, and escaping the notice of any servants, making his way through the whole Palace to the back door, which would logically would have been locked anyway.  The autopsy showed the execution shot was to the forehead - single clear entry wound - and not from the back.  The reports stated the medical staff were sickened by the sight of the injury without giving details.  This supports the view that the execution bullet was unjacketed and after penetrating the forehead bone literally blew out the back of the head.  As Forum Admin correctly states there was no poison in Rasputin's stomach.  Nor was there water in the lungs to support any suggestion of drowning
   
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on April 27, 2014, 09:25:03 AM
All servants had been dismissed for the evening by Felix prior to Rasputin arriving, intentionally.  Please read Richard Cullen's excellent forensic analysis of the evening and the body, and you will discover that the story told by Purishkyevich and Yussupov is utter and complete fiction and any detail found there must be dismissed as "fact".  Mr. Cullen is a very senior British Forensic police investigator and brings a level of expertise to this discussion far beyond "speculation".



Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: John Walker on April 27, 2014, 11:22:12 AM
Then how do you account for the police scene of crime documents which state clearly by forensic doctor Zavadsky (I am in Petersburg at the moment without my reference material and writing from memory I may have the name wrong) that blood was found in the front yard?  How do you explain the photographs of blood on the doorstep?  That blood, by the same forensic report was proved to be human?  Whose was it if it wasn't Rasputin's?  Do you contend two people were murdered in the palace that night?
How do you suggest Rasputin got from the cellar to the back yard, where you contend he was shot? 
How do you actually know who was and who was not in the Palace that night?  That question, with arrival and departure times, has always been and remains one of the biggest mysteries.
How do you explain the existence of a police photograph showing the entry point of the execution shot in the centre of Rasputin's forehead, if, as you claim, he was shot in the back of the head? 
Richard Cullen's is forensically by far the best book on the subject.  I agree entirely an excellent work by a world forensic expert.  But Richard Cullen set out with the intention of proving one thing only.  That Oswald Rayner was in the Palace that night and that it was his gun which fired the execution shot and that British Intelligence was involved.  That after all is the title of his book!  He needed to disprove the poison theory and investigated the forensic evidence.  He did not need to investigate the forensic evidence from the yard, and why should he spend hours, days even doing so.  He simply dismissed all the Yussupov/Purishkevich writings of poisoned wine and cakes, rising from the dead and escape into the yard as romantic fiction.   
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: John Walker on April 27, 2014, 11:48:38 AM
Dear Truthseeker!  Whilst writing my last post I was thinking of your initial question.  Because of his very nature Rasputin attracted widely conflicting 'biographies'.  Contemporaries were either for him or constructing evidence to use against him.  And who from either side had a balanced impartial view?  Later writings appeared in the 20s and 30s generally from Russian exiles trying to sell their memoirs - leaving one to question whether those memoirs might be spiced up a bit to promote sales.  Original documents were inaccessible in Soviet archives.  Later writers have generally set out with their personal contention as to whether Rasputin was good or bad and selected information and quotations from the numerous sources to support their contention.  In this way what was originally speculation has become established fact because it has appeared in several books when actually it is generally established bunkum.
Forum admin makes the excellent point that Rasputin was only in the Palace half a dozen times.  Forum admin, I presume, notes there is no documentary evidence, as might be expected, to support his being there more regularly and more intimately with the family and particularly the children.  Other writers suggest he almost lived there!  It's suits their take on Rasputin and his influence.
So, Truthseeker, read everything, particularly contemporary documents.  Weave your way through the intriguing tangle and hold in mind with every word you read "Who wrote this?  Why did they write it?  Did they have their own angle?".  Then use your own judgment as to what is sensible, what is likely to have been, what fits with facts.  In the end like most people you will probably believe what you want to believe!     
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: Forum Admin on April 27, 2014, 02:35:07 PM
Then how do you account for the police scene of crime documents which state clearly by forensic doctor Zavadsky (I am in Petersburg at the moment without my reference material and writing from memory I may have the name wrong) that blood was found in the front yard?  How do you explain the photographs of blood on the doorstep?  That blood, by the same forensic report was proved to be human?  Whose was it if it wasn't Rasputin's?  Do you contend two people were murdered in the palace that night?
How do you suggest Rasputin got from the cellar to the back yard, where you contend he was shot? 
How do you actually know who was and who was not in the Palace that night?  That question, with arrival and departure times, has always been and remains one of the biggest mysteries.
How do you explain the existence of a police photograph showing the entry point of the execution shot in the centre of Rasputin's forehead, if, as you claim, he was shot in the back of the head? 
Richard Cullen's is forensically by far the best book on the subject.  I agree entirely an excellent work by a world forensic expert.  But Richard Cullen set out with the intention of proving one thing only.  That Oswald Rayner was in the Palace that night and that it was his gun which fired the execution shot and that British Intelligence was involved.  That after all is the title of his book!  He needed to disprove the poison theory and investigated the forensic evidence.  He did not need to investigate the forensic evidence from the yard, and why should he spend hours, days even doing so.  He simply dismissed all the Yussupov/Purishkevich writings of poisoned wine and cakes, rising from the dead and escape into the yard as romantic fiction.   

You look at the series of events backwards.  He was shot in the Courtyard, then dragged back into the house while they figured out how to get rid of the body.  That is the explanation for the blood trail.  I helped Richard with his book, and actually his initial thesis wasn't about Raynor specifically.  He only got onto the British involvement trail after.  His initial thought was indeed to dismiss every word of Yussupov et al, and simply analyze everything ELSE to see what made sense.  The tales of poison and rising from the dead are all total and utter fiction.  Nobody will ever know who specifically was or was not in the house and the person(s) who pulled the trigger shooting and killing Rasputin will never be known as the actual killers never revealed their identity to anyone other than each other in the Palace.

Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: John Walker on May 01, 2014, 04:38:04 PM
Thank you Forum Admin.  Yes I have read Cullen.  Have you read На Великом Изломе (Дело об убийстве Распутина) from"Архив русской революции" С.В.Завадский "На велоком изломе" т. VIII. Berlin 1923?  This is a primary document; it is in Russian but the relevant facts are reported in Nelipa pp 209 -15. 
Fyodor van Nandelshtedt, Procurator of the District Court, sent Procurator Sergei Zavadsky and Special Forensic Investigator Victor Sereda to the Palace on the morning of the murder.  Blood was found in the front court yard of No 92 and in profusion on the doorstep.  That blood was forensically tested by Sereda that day and it proved to be human.
I responded to this post after reading Forum Admin's "Rasputin was dead in the rear courtyard of the Yussupov Moika Palace from an execution style gunshot to the back of the skull....."  Cullen writes, p 200, "The farce of Rasputin's resurrection didn't occur, there was no escape into the yard......."  Wrong!  In his otherwise excellent book Cullen makes no mention of either Zavadsky or Sereda, the two men who led the investigation.  He was presumably unaware of the existence of Zavadsky's 1923 report.
So Rasputin did make it up into the courtyard of 92 and the gunshots reported by Vlasyuk and Yefimov were those of Purishkevich firing 'at' him.
I assume Forum Admin's "....to the back of the head...." was written in error.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: GeorgePe on August 08, 2014, 03:54:56 AM
First hand opinion? . . . . My grandfather Lt. A.S.Butakov (later Colonel) was a palace guard at that time, after finishing at the military academy. I am a direct descendant of Admiral Grigory Ivanovich Butakov.  My mother recalls my Grandfather saying that Rasputin was "Cумасшедший" (A madman) and  "психопат" (A psychopath).
He met the man and that was his opinion.
Check out this URL for more information -  http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/434/-life-death-rasputin/

Regards.
Title: Re: Grigori Rasputin - seeking information and opinion :)
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on July 04, 2015, 04:39:39 PM
Other books:
Prologe to the Revolution The Murder of Rasputin Ron Moe good account of the politics ect surrounding Rasputin
Nelpa's book is the best on the murder it's self
Rasputin and the Jews good discussion of Rasputin and his defense of Jews which is one of the reasons he was so hated.