Author Topic: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?  (Read 73571 times)

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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2004, 03:29:33 PM »
OK, here is Volkov's account of the trip on board the Rus, he was on board as well as Gilliard:

"The boat departed at two o'clock and headed in the direction toward Tyumen.  The conduct of the soldiers during the voyage was abominable.  No discipline whatsoever.  They fired gun shots and even threw hand grenades, without rhyme or reason, at birds, up in the air...It was a savage orgy.

Rodionov locked the Tsarevich in his cabin with the attendant Nagorny, having left the grand duchesses in peace.  Nagorny constantly contradicted Rodionov and quarreled with him.

We arrived at Tyumen the 8/21 May, at eight in the morning."

Now, to me, there are two important parts here.  The first is the exact statment "having left the grand duchesses in peace."  The original French reads: "Rodionov fit enfermer l'héritier dans sa cabine avec le laquais Nagorni, ayant laissé en paix les grandes-duchesses."

Now, the other important part of this is that just a few pages earlier, Volkov spends a lot of time talking about how he almost got shot by Rodionov for refusing to permit the door to the grand duchess's rooms to be left open all night. I feel that his silence here speaks volumes, he would have mentioned something had anything at all occurred to the girls on board the Rus, since he mentions ill treatement of the IF at great length in other parts of the book.

Ref: "Souvenirs d'Alexis Volkov, Valet de Chambre de la Tsarine Alexandra Feodrovna 1910-1918". Payot, Paris 1928, pp.125-126.
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Offline Mark_Byron

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2004, 09:09:04 PM »
Actually, though I'm glad we talked our way through this, and I think we all kind of agree the grand duchesses were not physically harmed, whew, glad that's over, I think what we really want to discuss is what was the Imperial familiy's mental state at Ipatiev house? Two of N & A's daughter's were grown women, the other two nearly were. Being in cramped quarters, there had to be a major readjustement in their private lives.I mean, it would be natural for the girls to talk to the guards, their final frontier.Plus N & A had condoms, so there had to be some sort of normalcy there. I would like to discuss what and how you think they endured                                                                      those last two months?

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2004, 09:24:21 PM »
In "The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra", by Peter Kurth, it is said that while they were imprisoned, at night, some of the gaurds often got drunk and waltzed into the granduchesses rooms while they were sleeping and tried to rape them but the girls (supossidly) kept pots or pans under their sheets and pillows, knowing, from past experiences, that the gaurds would try and rape them. But when they came in the room the girls knocked them out. I think that, just maybe, the gaurds tempted to rape them but failed.

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2004, 09:50:15 PM »
A very interesting question, Mark. How indeed did the girls endure the last months. Personally, I think their faith in God helped them through the adjustment of their lives. I think faith in God, and their innocence in life assisted them through the harshest days. I believe the calm behavior, the gentlemanly demeanor of their father led the family and allowed them to get through the embarrassments, the humilations and the ridicule.

I can't quite remember the quote, but it was from Olga. She said she was glad that she lived in a time when men were kind. I think this simple belief was what helped them endure.

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2004, 10:10:14 PM »
Personally, I think that pots & pans story dubious at best.
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2004, 02:31:58 AM »
Surely if any sort of untoward physical contact was made against any of the girls, then at least one one of the G.D's would have displayed some sort of noticeable change in their demeanor? At no time had any of the girls expressed to anyone that any physical interference had occurred onboard the Rus'. Furthermore Olgas's genuine concern the next day that one of her captors incurred an injury onboard is an important indicator that no harm ever came to Grand Duchesses.

The enforced separation from their parents, facing unknown dangers in a strange environment would have sensitized the Grand Duchesses considerably. The proximity of drunken noisy men acting out, the knowledge of having no place to hide, and the awareness that should they need help they were unable to seek comfort from their protectors - all these considerations would have compounded their fears collectively.

The emotional trauma the Grand Duchesses would have experienced was expressed as the collective voice of absolute fear. Today this eruption has been misinterpreted as reflecting something physical.

Neither Gilliard nor Buxhoeveden suggested that anything physical occurred to any of their precious charges. While Gibbes' statements should be viewed in a different light to that which has been implied by some people. To understand his concerns one should first understand the personality of this caring sensitive man who expoused his own fears, and place his words into the arena of his own complete helplessness.  

Moreover the Empress would have felt instinctively had any of her daughters been physically interferred with when they were all reunited.  Their familial inter-relationships resumed as far as their captive situation permitted. Neither the Empress nor the Emperor ever expressed their personal fears concerning any of their daughter's welfare after they completed their journey on the Rus'.    

IMHO to suggest anything more occurred is only erroneous.


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Offline David_Newell

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2004, 04:26:53 AM »
Just a thought so we can leave this subject, the girls were wearing their jeweled bodices, the ones they had been sewing valubles into at Tobolsk, surely if the unmetionably had happened these would have been discovered!!! I think more and more that something happened and I think its was taunts and foul mouthed abuse from young men who though it was funny. I have seen this in street with strangers. There was always a tension surrounding the family. You are right about Gibbes, he was gay and devoted to his charges and the Empress. He could have not been able to cope with the noise and what he may have dreaded appear to be happening.

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Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2004, 03:06:36 PM »
Quote

There is a lot I didn't buy into, espeially that Yurovsky was "sorry" for what he did


I am just wondering why you wouldn't believe that specifically? - It comes from a statement by his own son...

Janet

Offline Guinastasia

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2004, 04:08:56 PM »
I'm gonna go with the majority-there's no evidence of rape, and unless someone finds otherwise, that's that.

However, I do think they were subjected to what we would now call sexual harassment.  Crude comments and jokes, the drawings in the bathroom, having to leave the bathroom door open, loss of privacy.

That's bad enough.  

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2004, 09:46:16 PM »
Quote
I am just wondering why you wouldn't believe that specifically? - It comes from a statement by his own son...

Janet


Hi Janet. Well, concerning that statement, I really don't care if it came from his son or Yurovsky himself. I really don't believe that someone like that--who had a lifetime of hatred for the monarchy (as well as the high born, and the Romanovs represented both) would suddenly feel sorry for putting a bullet in their heads. Call me crazy for not putting much faith in a man who didn't mind firing at an unarmed family with innocent children. Yes, I know that some people will say he was just following orders, but you have to consider the person he was prior to the revolution/murders. If what has been written about him is true, then I seriously doubt he was haunted by killing them. His son was most likely trying to make his father come across as best he could.

Offline masha

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2004, 10:22:03 PM »
David,
when you say that"...the girls were wearing their jeweled bodices, the ones they had been sewing valubles into at Tobolsk, surely if the unmetionably had happened these would have been discovered!!!"
it should be pointed out that their captors already knew the jewels were concealed. Check our Penny & Greg's book  Fate of the Romanovs

Masha

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2004, 05:31:15 AM »
yes I know that they probably knew about the jewels, but did the enlisted men know this. I doubt it. I don't think they had any real idea where the jewelry was, just my opinion.

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2004, 02:31:20 PM »
Quote

Hi Janet. Well, concerning that statement, I really don't care if it came from his son or Yurovsky himself. I really don't believe that someone like that--who had a lifetime of hatred for the monarchy (as well as the high born, and the Romanovs represented both) would suddenly feel sorry for putting a bullet in their heads. Call me crazy for not putting much faith in a man who didn't mind firing at an unarmed family with innocent children. Yes, I know that some people will say he was just following orders, but you have to consider the person he was prior to the revolution/murders. If what has been written about him is true, then I seriously doubt he was haunted by killing them. His son was most likely trying to make his father come across as best he could.



Well, OK - that's fair enough. Though perhaps I would add that having a long-time hatred of the monarchy doesn't mean he would automatically proceed to killing children. To be very frank, though you might not like me saying this, I'm not surprised that people hated the monarchy. The Tsarist regime after all, did run something close to a police state - an inefficient one, by modern standards, but a police state neverthless - and even Richard Pipes, who is not noted for his left-wing views, writes this. So I think it's quite possible that a man like Yurovsky, in those extraordinary times, could easily have convinced himself that he had to kill the whole family for the greater good of Russia. Eliminating the monarchy for once and for all, perhaps? And later came to regret it, if only because his neighbours shunned him.

Nicholas II committed or sanctioned brutal acts as Emperor because he believed them necessary - and that includes the killing of unarmed children - but his friends and entourage insist that he came after the revolution to ponder his own responsibility for what had come before. Nicholas's own diary though suggests that he thought he had fallen victim to a vast conspiracy by the Jews and Masons. Probably you accept that his friends' word counts for something, nevertheless.

So, anyway - though I might not be popular for saying this - it seems to me that there was little real difference between Nicholas and Yurovsky, and if we owe understanding to one, perhaps we owe understanding to both?

Just a thought; that's all....

Janet

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2004, 03:49:14 PM »
Quote
So, anyway - though I might not be popular for saying this - it seems to me that there was little real difference between Nicholas and Yurovsky, and if we owe understanding to one, perhaps we owe understanding to both?


I absolutely agree with this.  Now that I am on the other side of almost four intensive years of research and writing for FOTR, I cannot believe how naive I was going into the project.  It is now my considered opinion that Nicholas made his executioners in his own image -- however unintentionally.  His was a brutal and savage rule in many ways, and his was also a brutal and savage death.

That said, I DO regret the murders: All of them, from Perm to Petrograd, were probably, in the long run, unnecessary to the Bolshevik cause.  I think Lenin knew the dangers of creating martyrs of the Romanovs -- which is just exactly what the Ural Bolsheviks did.  Had Nicholas, Alexandra, their children and their extended family been exiled from the country, I doubt we'd be talking about them and writing books about them now.  I think they would have faded into obscurity very quickly, and their descendants would now exist as oddities on the far-flung fringes of European society, seen occasionally at one or another royal gathering.  And I truly wish that this had happened for them.  

After writing the FOTR with Greg, I found myself more desperately sorry for the children than I had ever been before; sorrier for Alexandra than I would have ever believed possible, since I've never particularly admired her; and rather ambivalent about Nicholas.  But I also found myself empathizing with the Bolsheviks:  It's hard to say what sort of part I might have played at that time, being today a confirmed social liberal and more than a bit Bolshie myself.  I hope I would have wanted them gone, but not dead.  But the thing that is missing from this sort of contemplation is the anger and rage at the years of oppression and persecution that these people must have borne.  This anger is what drove the Ural Bolsheviks to murder, I am sure of it -- but I'm not sure that I have any right to judge these men and say it was misplaced.  The question I keep coming back to is this:  Were Nicholas' beautiful children any more entitled to the fruits of this earth than the beautiful children of Yakov Yurovsky?  I think not -- and I think that this desire for a better future for their families was also an impetus for the Bolsheviks.  But I still do regret those murders.  So it's a difficult thing to call -- I just try to be aware of the truth and rightness that existed on both sides of the equation.

As far as Yurovsky being sorry for having killed the family -- I believe he was.  Having read the progression of his various "Notes," I can see that he was trying to swallow it whole, trying to work it through in his own mind -- and I don't think he ever quite squared it with his conscience.  One thing that he was NOT was a Charles Manson-type natural-born killer; Yurovsky killed once, and never did again -- he was not the natural force of evil that some people seem to believe him.  As we wrote in the book, Yurovsky was not even a serial criminal before the revolution; all his "crimes" were political -- and it's important to remember, I think,  that while for many here, these murders are emotional, for Yurovsky, they were a political necessity.  Which is not to say that the murders are palatable to me: They're not. I just kind of understand why and how they happened.

Anyone who is interested in Yakov Yurovsky should read Francis McCullough's book that contains his interview with the man -- the only one he ever gave.  It's a fascinating insight into this man -- and having thought a lot about it, I don't see that Yurovsky committed these murders because he was "following orders."  I think he did them because he thought at the time that it was the most correct thing to do.  And he could probably have refused the job, or have come down with "political flu" like his friend Pavlushin did.

This is all very interesting stuff for discussion, I think...
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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Were the Grand Duchesses raped?
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2004, 04:27:43 PM »
I for myself can not find any truth or rightness in killing innocent people.

The men that murdered the Imperial Family are not judged for their wishing of a better future for their families. They must be judged for their crime.

Someone who can do what they did that night (and in the way they did it), is not a human being any more.

By the way, i find no difference between Yermakov and the Manson´s murderers.