Author Topic: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?  (Read 73616 times)

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Offline DeAnochka

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Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« on: May 10, 2004, 11:52:58 PM »
This is a thought that I just haven't been able to get out of my head. In King and Wilson's Fate of the Romanovs, there is an account on page 140-141 by Gibbes about the Grand Duchesses on Rus. . .  

"The abuse reached a crescendo as the night wore on. Gibbes, locked away in his cabin, listened helplessly, as he later told his son George, as the drunken guards harassed the Grand Duchesses. 'It was dreadful, what they did,' the former tutor recalled. The 'terrified screams' of the girls, Gibbes said, haunted him 'to the end of his life.'"

I refuse to believe that the girls were raped. I think that the guards probably tried to touch them, but I couldn't imagine them actually being raped.  I felt so sympathetic towards them after reading those pages  :-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by JediDeshka »

Offline bookworm8571

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 09:37:59 AM »
I don't think it's possible to know whether they were raped.

They were certainly talked to crudely, harassed as they walked to the bathroom under guard, and probably feared rape during their captivity. They were pretty young women surrounded by angry, half-drunk, out of control men who wanted to get even with the Romanovs.

Offline Sarai

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2004, 09:51:21 AM »
JediDeshka,
This topic has been explored on another thread called "Grand Duchess Marie and Ivan Skorokhodov?" You may want to look there as well for further information.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline _Rodger_

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Re: Pointless conjecture, pointless thread
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2004, 11:40:54 AM »
Given the bragging that these morons engaged in following the alleged murder, and the 'machismo' these lowlifes displayed for the rest of their lives, if anything like that occurred they would have bragged about any such conduct at any opportunity.

No such behavior occurred, let it go, and let this pathetic conjecture die.

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Offline Helen

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2004, 01:46:53 PM »
You're absolutely right, Rodger.

I thank God that the girls were spared such horror! That doesn't mean that the situation wasn't horrible enough as it was.
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Offline _Rodger_

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2004, 09:35:25 PM »
I must apologize to the young lady who started this thread.  I understand that in reading that particular book, your thoughts may have turned to the unlikely scenario you originally inquired about at the outset of this thread.

There is no evidence of any such act(s), and given the nature of the criminal gang that had imprisoned the family, it would have been entirely out of character for them not to have bragged about what virile men they wanted everyone to think they were.  

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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2004, 10:23:03 PM »
There is absolutely no evidence they were raped - none anywhere.

I wish this inference had never been published.  It's not personal, we love Greg and Pennny in here and I know they simply felt they were telling the story they had found.  It doesn't say they were raped and I don't think Greg or Penny think they were.  People can read into the account as they want.

Bob


Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2004, 10:47:26 PM »
I think perhaps several different incidents got mixed up in this discussion, rendering it less clear. The original poster was asking specifically about the 2nd trip on the Rus, which took place after Nicholas, Alexandra, and Marie were taken to Yekaterinburg.The three remaining sisters and Alexis were taken to their parents from Tobolsk and were again on the Rus for part of the trip.

The poster was not asking about Marie and the guard Ivan S. in Yekaterinburg. The poster was not talking about how guards at either of their 3 imprisonments treated them. So, if we could please confine ourselves to this issue.

I agree there is no direct evidence that the three grand duchesses were raped. However, from what was written and observed, it does appear that the tsar's children were subjected to some type of abuse while on the Rus. I tend to think not rape, as the consequences of rape can be unplanned pregnancy - and the murder of the family had not necessarily been fully planned when this trip was made.

However, as we know from recent events, one need not rape or be a hardened revolutionary to inflict significant damage on a female prisoner. It is evident that Olga was deeply affected by what happened on that part of the trip.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2004, 11:18:29 PM »
To set the record straight: We have no evidence to suggest rape.  We think it's unlikely, given the manner in which Tatiana and Anastasia continued to associate with their guards and openly flirt with them at the Ipatiev House-that behavior tends to undermine any idea that whatever they were subjected to on the Rus amounted to actual rape.  But we do think that they were assaulted in some manner-be it verbally, or through unwelcome advances-and, as Lisa says, that this had a profound affect on Olga.

While I understand Bob's sentiment I do think, given the amount of information concerning that voyage, it would have been irresponsible historically not to mention what we found.  But in those-and with the incident with Marie at the IH, we were careful to delineate fact from speculation and not to engage in the latter.

Greg King

Offline DeAnochka

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2004, 12:51:00 AM »
I really do apologize for posting this question. I hadn't read the "Grand Duchess Marie and Ivan Skorokhodov" thread before. It seems foolish of me now to have even brought up the subject. All apologies to anyone I may have offended. This truly is a terrible thing to discuss. I was just seeking some clarity on the particular incident I had read about.

Peace.

Offline _Rodger_

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Re: those anxieties
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2004, 01:46:24 AM »
Well, it seems to have been a bit of a tempest in a teapot.  

You've even had the opportunity to hear from the author in question regarding your concerns.  So hopefully you can ease your mind and rest easier about your fears, which are most likely unfounded.

   
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2004, 02:13:42 AM »
Pipes at p 762 states that:

"There exist many lurid stories about the abuse of the Imperial family at the hands of the guards.... these stories while not baseless, tend to be exaggerated: the behaviour of the commandant and his guards was undoubtedly rude, but no evidence exists of actual maltreatment."

It is important to place any quoted words into the era from which they were written and not place any inferences into our modern context. By achieving that the meanings take on a completely different complexion.


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Adele Chatelain

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2004, 07:49:45 AM »
Quote
I really do apologize for posting this question. I hadn't read the "Grand Duchess Marie and Ivan Skorokhodov" thread before. It seems foolish of me now to have even brought up the subject. All apologies to anyone I may have offended. This truly is a terrible thing to discuss. I was just seeking some clarity on the particular incident I had read about.

Peace.


It's wasn't 'foolish' of you at all to bring up the question:  Considering so much rape went on during the chaos of the Revolution, it's no wonder you wanted to know more  about it.    It takes courage to face up to painful possibilities.  I admire you for asking the question.  

Be well!     ---Adele

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2004, 03:16:10 PM »
I second the above statements!

While agreeing that no evidence exists that OTMA were assaulted, I think it also should be acknowledged that rape can happen to anyone, whatever the person's age or social class. And--we all know this, right?--the victim should never be blamed, nor ever viewed as less than "worthy," although certainly cultures exist to this very day that consider a woman forever sullied and look the other way if family members kill the victim in the name of "honor."

When I first read that portion of Greg and Penny's book about Gibbes hearing the shrieks of the girls, I immediately closed the book and wouldn't go near it for three days. (And, I might add, was very stressed during that time.) After reading many accounts of the girls and feeling that I knew them almost as well as my own friends, I had grown very fond of them, and the implications of Gibbes' testimony troubled me more than I can describe. Then I read some of the previous postings at this site, followed by a careful reread of the chapter, and gradually I began to reconcile my thoughts about what happened, also taking into consideration today's point by Rodger about the distinct lack of bragging. I think most of us who have read that chapter in FOTR can now agree that the girls were very badly frightened--even  mentally and/or emotionally abused--but not so bad that Tatiana and Anastasia were unable to "bounce back," although Olga--given her own sensibilities--did not.

And again, I agree with Adele's statement: "It takes courage to face up to painful possibilities." I think, in fact, her statement is a good way of summing up Olga's personality.


Offline Alice

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2004, 07:40:16 PM »
"When I first read that portion of Greg and Penny's book about Gibbes hearing the shrieks of the girls, I immediately closed the book and wouldn't go near it for three days. (And, I might add, was very stressed during that time.)"

Oh Janet, I can relate to this! I was horrified when I read Gibbes' testimony. I had trouble sleeping that night.