Author Topic: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?  (Read 48747 times)

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Offline Helen

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #75 on: September 09, 2004, 01:23:21 PM »
We have probably read more or less the same books, bios and letters, yet we clearly come to different conclusions about Alix's character. My opinion about her character is certainly much milder than yours. There is a lot I would like to say about your characterisations of Alix and Ducky, but this is clearly not the right thread to go into a full consideration of your descriptions. So again, let's agree to disagree.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2004, 01:16:36 AM »
Quote

Sorry about not reducing the quote size. :(  I have no doubt that Ernie was a great guy.  I don't know a whole lot about him, but I don't hold it against him that he was gay.  I just don't like it when people flaunt it, because there's no need.  I have the same view of straight people flaunting it.  Just save it for your own home because some people don't care to see it--there's no reason.  I'm glad that you don't hold it against me, Louise, that I have different views than you and everyone else on this board.  I'm obviously a black sheep. ::)  Your previous post was I'm sure meant in the nicest way, and I appreciate that. :)  I believe the Bible IS the enlightened way, but no one else here does, and I except that.  I'm just sick of arguing.  It's not good for this board or it's users.  I know I've been having high blood pressure the past few days (or at least I'm assuming LOL), and no doubt I'm sure some of you have also been that angry.  And that's definitely not healthy.  

I hope no one takes this post as another comeback or what have you, because it's not.  I simply want peace.  :)


If you are going to blindly believe my dear Michelle "everything" said in the Bible...girl are you in for a lot of grief.

I seem to remember that the good book says something about not judging people, it is a sin I also believe, yet in your enthusiastic youthfulness you have done so with quite great carelessness.

The Bible also says that if you wear clothes made from mixed textiles, this is an abomination...meaning that if you wear some cotton/wool blends for example, you will be headed directly to the biblical frying pan.

Eating a ham sandwich is a sin...

Eating steak and shellfish together gets you condemned as well...

Lusting after the cute guy who sits across from you in class...you guessed it...is a sin as well...gossiping is also a big no-no, judging (again) is also a big NO-NO...

And the list goes on...and on...and on...

Before one states a condemnation of someone else, one should realize that this is judgemental and therefore a sin.  If you are going to base your opinion on what the Good Book says, you have to take it all, not just pick and choose like so many "good" Christians tend to do, just so they can go about feeling better about themselves.

If the Good Book gives you such great guidance and comfort, then perhaps you should read The Book of Ruth(1:16-17) as well as the Book of Samuel (18:1-5; 20:16-17).

I am one of the grooms whose wedding Ilana, Lisa and Bobby Hall rejoiced in and I will not, under any circumstance will I stand quietly by while a child who should know better, goes about passing judgement on me.

In utter disbelief at the bigotry so blatantly demonstrated by some,

Arturo Beéche >:(
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Offline pushkina

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2004, 06:32:32 AM »
the correct term in hebrew for these kinds of offenses is aveira.  there are 35 of them i think.  an aveira is punsihable by death, i think by stoning (as many moral majority/xtian rightwingers like to remind gay people).

and arturo, you are absolutely right, mixing meat and milk, eating swine and shellfish, mixing linen and wool, cotton and silk, all fall into this category, as do other sexual crimes, such as adultery and ALL sexual expression for women and girls outside of wedlock.

this is exacltly then the dilemma of reformed vs. orthodox jews: how to live within g-d's laws and live within modern society? our social norms have changed: the orthodox say the Law hasn't changed and we must still do as written in the text; the reformed say, some of these laws are really stupid (cotton and wool to be banned?!) and how can we make accomodations.  as this refers to romanovs, it is interesting that poboenetsov (sp? sorry off the top of my head!) didn't trust the modernist, reformed jews who tried to live within the russian social norms, even as he didnt' trust the traditional orthodox jews who were unwilling to make any accomodations at all.

the upshot of that is that you can't pick and choose amongst your biblical texts and which laws are g-d's invioble, never changing laws.  either they all are (and drop that cheeseburger! that cotton blend suit, that silk/linen sweater and don't even LOOK at a guy to whom you arent' married: the biblically mandated punishment [it is stated in the text] is stoning to death) and prepare to accept the consequences when YOU break one of the laws or learn to be flexible and understand that the literal text is not always the only (or best) way to organize your life.

mazal tov arturo.  i hope that you both have a long life of joy and happiness in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. and i say that as a native californian, exiled to the lovely sydney, australia.  do go to the hunan restaurant (the one outside of chinatown that used to be a car dealership) and have a banquet and think of me, bereft of proper szechuan food!
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Offline Adele

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2004, 06:34:42 AM »
I know I'm going to get blasted for being 'off topic', but I agree with the previous writer's comments.

I'd also like to add that when talking about the 'Bible', it's important to go to the original languages; in Hebrew (or so I'm told by my Rabbi friends) the word 'sin' is a very loose translation of the actual Hebrew word, which actually translates into: 'missing the mark'.  

How many times all of us have 'missed the mark'?  If we accept this as the translation, then it's more than a little difficult to be self-righteous and point our finger at anyone else.

I was in a 20 year relationship with another woman; It was the most beautiful relationship of my life; we worked tirelessly, together to help others who were less fortunate than ourselves.  I believe this is the real purpose of any religion, isn't it?  To HELP others.  To teach others (especially the young) that  in the end, Compassion is the only  Way, no matter what:  Even in the darkness and the whirling winds.

Now, onto Grand Duke Ernst:  There are many heterosexual people, even today, who have on-going homosexual experiences yet who consider themselves 'straight'.  From what little I know about the GD, I get the feeling that this was the case.  

Sexuality is a very complex thing---and so is denial, yes?  So was he 'really gay/bisexual'?  Not if presented in that particular framework.

Warm regards,
Adele




Offline pushkina

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2004, 06:42:28 AM »
oh, and michelle?  anger is a VERY healthy emotion.  it saves people's lives.  it is gets them going.  it is how one uses (or misuses) anger that is how it can make one sick.  all i know is that when the day comes that i can no longer get angry, i will be sure that i am not much longer for this world and will begin to prepare accordingly.

oh, and just so you know: i too believe that the lessons taught in the hebrew bible are Truth. so you are not alone here on this board. but i also beleive that i have a responsibility to myself, my family and my generation to learn and do and to go to the deepest heart of it.  that is where the healing lies, healing for me and the universe.

healing needs many tools; just as doctors use shock to solve some problems, anger is the emotional shock treatment.  don't be afraid of it.
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Offline grandduchess_ella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #80 on: September 14, 2004, 08:51:46 AM »
Oh no, I thought we had finally steered this back to the original topic.   :-/  I thought a truce had been declared and an agreement to get back to the question of the HISTORICAL fact (or rumor) of Ernst's sexual preference and it's impact on both his marriages. This discussion could go on forever (even longer than Marie Vladimirovna!  ;) ) but people's views aren't going to change and most people who hold strong enough views have already posted what they feel about the subject--including myself. Can we please move on--I hate the bad & hurt feelings that this engenders amongs our happy little group.  :(

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #81 on: September 14, 2004, 09:09:08 AM »
As long as bigotted statements are made with impunity and are ignored phobias shall continue to drench us with bad feeling.  Comments like these should have never been made, particularly by someone who lacks the knowledge and experience to to carry out this discussion in a logical manner, at least.  Pandora's box is tempting to open, but it always unleashes much chagrin...sadly.

However, I cannot remain quiet when confronted with bigotry and the use of a book that is plentiful of contradictions.  Hollier than though posturings should not be even part of our discussions, however, they have been in this discussion.

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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2004, 09:14:24 AM »
Quote
I know I'm going to get blasted for being 'off topic', but I agree with the previous writer's comments.

I'd also like to add that when talking about the 'Bible', it's important to go to the original languages; in Hebrew (or so I'm told by my Rabbi friends) the word 'sin' is a very loose translation of the actual Hebrew word, which actually translates into: 'missing the mark'.  

How many times all of us have 'missed the mark'?  If we accept this as the translation, then it's more than a little difficult to be self-righteous and point our finger at anyone else.

I was in a 20 year relationship with another woman; It was the most beautiful relationship of my life; we worked tirelessly, together to help others who were less fortunate than ourselves.  I believe this is the real purpose of any religion, isn't it?  To HELP others.  To teach others (especially the young) that  in the end, Compassion is the only  Way, no matter what:  Even in the darkness and the whirling winds.

Now, onto Grand Duke Ernst:  There are many heterosexual people, even today, who have on-going homosexual experiences yet who consider themselves 'straight'.  From what little I know about the GD, I get the feeling that this was the case.  

Sexuality is a very complex thing---and so is denial, yes?  So was he 'really gay/bisexual'?  Not if presented in that particular framework.

Warm regards,
Adele


Dear Adelle,

My hesitation about this is that we have never had any proof of Ernst Ludwig's alleged dalliances.  Back in the day it was common for gay men to head to Capri, a nice retreat off the Italian coast.  EL never did. The identity of a single one of his companions had escaped us.  His diary, as far as I know, makes no mention of any homosexual feelings, like that of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich did.

What we do have is the word of an embittered ex-wife and a mother-in-law who lost no time in spreading rumors about his character and personality, perhaps in an effort to hide the fact that the ex-wife had plenty of failings herself and began her relationship with her second husband while still married to the first one.

Arturo Beéche
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Offline grandduchess_ella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2004, 09:22:04 AM »
Quote
As long as bigotted statements are made with impunity and are ignored phobias shall continue to drench us with bad feeling.  Comments like these should have never been made, particularly by someone who lacks the knowledge and experience to to carry out this discussion in a logical manner, at least.  Pandora's box is tempting to open, but it always unleashes much chagrin...sadly.

However, I cannot remain quiet when confronted with bigotry and the use of a book that is plentiful of contradictions.  Hollier than though posturings should not be even part of our discussions, however, they have been in this discussion.

Arturo Beéche


I understand your feelings Art--and you have more reason to feel affronted than many. My only point was that MUCH chastisement had already been levelled and no one was posting any bigotry anymore--probably it ended while you were gone so it may be new to you. The comments were no longer being made and we'd gotten back to the original topic. Already there've been a few responses back to the issue of homophobia, biblical teachings, etc...I think you'd be pleased if you read some of the responses and realized that suitable punishment had been meted out and I don't think that any new comments will be made.  I was hoping (and thought) that the 'Pandora's box' had been slammed shut.
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #84 on: September 14, 2004, 09:25:53 AM »
Quote

I understand your feelings Art--and you have more reason to feel affronted than many. My only point was that MUCH chastisement had already been levelled and no one was posting any bigotry anymore--probably it ended while you were gone so it may be new to you. The comments were no longer being made and we'd gotten back to the original topic. Already there've been a few responses back to the issue of homophobia, biblical teachings, etc...I think you'd be pleased if you read some of the responses and realized that suitable punishment had been meted out and I don't think that any new comments will be made.  I was hoping (and thought) that the 'Pandora's box' had been slammed shut.


Good!

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Offline grandduchess_ella

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #85 on: September 14, 2004, 09:28:47 AM »
Quote

Dear Adelle,

My hesitation about this is that we have never had any proof of Ernst Ludwig's alleged dalliances.  Back in the day it was common for gay men to head to Capri, a nice retreat off the Italian coast.  EL never did. The identity of a single one of his companions had escaped us.  His diary, as far as I know, makes no mention of any homosexual feelings, like that of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich did.

What we do have is the word of an embittered ex-wife and a mother-in-law who lost no time in spreading rumors about his character and personality, perhaps in an effort to hide the fact that the ex-wife had plenty of failings herself and began her relationship with her second husband while still married to the first one.

Arturo Beéche


Now THIS is the meat of what I was trying to get when I started the thread. Tracking down evidence and sorting truth/rumor so that an accurate historical picture could emerge no matter what the outcome. As many catty biographies that were floating around about various royalties (and AF--his sister and EF--his aunt were certainly targets of very scurrilous attacks), I've just always wondered where any independent corroboration was. All seems to trace back to Ducky (the infamous 'stable boy' anecdote) and Marie Sr. Could that just been a story that was too juicy not to  pass on? I mean there were some major league gossips out there, yet that seems to be the one story everyone comments on and draws most conclusions from that he preferred men. Maybe he just didn't like Ducky!  ;) Or if he didn't have inclinations in that direction, maybe he was just too well-liked and kind for people (other than the aforementioned bitter relatives) to write down anything or pass on stories. Ileana's bio is often quoted but her aunt's marriage was long over by the time she was on the scene. If it was 'known' that that's the reason Ducky's marriage broke up, maybe she would naturally go to her for advice on her own situation and Ducky would've had no choice but to 'counsel' her. I don't know--I'm in a very speculative mood to keep my mind off Ivan. (I wish I knew where exactly that wretched hurricane was making landfall! )

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #86 on: September 14, 2004, 09:29:54 AM »
Arturo-

Actually, one of the first things Ernie did when his divorce from Ducky was final WAS to go to Capri-he stayed, of course, with Friedrich Krupp at his infamous refuge, and was in fact there when the police booted Krupp out of the country for homosexual activities.  Thereafter Ernie's name was frequently linked to various reports of these activities, and to other incidents followed by certain observers and the police (homosexuality being illegal in the German Empire).

As I've said elsewhere, the evidence does not all rest with a single accusation related by Ducky to Ileana; there are other letters, files kept by private detectives, etc., that we've seen and reviewed for our biography of the Grand Duke.  While no one may be able to say for 100% certainty, the weight of evidence in this case is certainly much more than the word of either Ducky or her mother.

Greg King

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #87 on: September 14, 2004, 09:59:48 AM »
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Arturo-

Actually, one of the first things Ernie did when his divorce from Ducky was final WAS to go to Capri-he stayed, of course, with Friedrich Krupp at his infamous refuge, and was in fact there when the police booted Krupp out of the country for homosexual activities.  Thereafter Ernie's name was frequently linked to various reports of these activities, and to other incidents followed by certain observers and the police (homosexuality being illegal in the German Empire).

As I've said elsewhere, the evidence does not all rest with a single accusation related by Ducky to Ileana; there are other letters, files kept by private detectives, etc., that we've seen and reviewed for our biography of the Grand Duke.  While no one may be able to say for 100% certainty, the weight of evidence in this case is certainly much more than the word of either Ducky or her mother.

Greg King


Dear Greg,

I look forward to reading what you two have to say about this.  Manfred Knodt's excellent bio of EL, as far as I have read does not touch upon this subject.

Arturo Beéche
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #88 on: September 14, 2004, 10:05:15 AM »
Thank you, Greg.
This is exactly what I was hoping for. Information away from that old gossip! I thought someone had told me that Ernst's name was in other references  about homosexual behavior at the time, but as it was in German, I never persued it.  As I mentioned before, the stable boy in the palace does not ring quite correct,  [in the stable, maybe] and so was hoping something more substantial would come up in your research. By the way, it is great you doing all the research, and then all I have to do is buy the book !
Best,
Robert
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Re: Was Grand Duke Ernst really gay/bisexual?
« Reply #89 on: September 14, 2004, 11:15:53 AM »
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and arturo, you are absolutely right, mixing meat and milk, eating swine and shellfish, mixing linen and wool, cotton and silk, all fall into this category, as do other sexual crimes, such as adultery and ALL sexual expression for women and girls outside of wedlock.


what about how it's okay to beat your wife with a stick no bigger around than your thumb, that's in there too. It's also a sin for a girl to cut her hair, better let it grow down to your knees. While I am a believer, I think maybe a lot of stuff in the Bible is not exactly all God's word but a history of the culture, lifestyle, ways and beliefs of a time thousands of years in the past? ??? (hopes not to be stoned or go to hell for posting this)