Author Topic: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses  (Read 28558 times)

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Offline markjhnstn

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2008, 05:02:29 AM »
How much time did Ermakov actually spend at the Ipatiev house?

 He wasn't one of the regular guard under either Avdeyev or Yurovsky. As i understand he spent most of the time terrorising the local area as part of the Cheka and his main participation in events was on the night of the murder when his drunken brutality really came to the fore in that basement.


Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2008, 08:24:01 PM »
Quote
I have been reading Seven League Boots by Halliburton, which has an interesting interview between the author and Ermakov. Ermakov seemed to like to take more than his fair share of credit for the massacre of the Romanovs, but his stories about the Grand Duchesses while in captivity are interesting and I quote from the book here.

'The interpreter asked how the four girls passed the day. Ermakov understood. "Oh, they had a lot of games. They played dominoes with the Czar. And they read a lot and talked a lot - I don't know about what - wasn't important. They all seemed to love Alexis. Some one of the girls was with him all the time - handsome little fellow...but a hopeless invalid...no sort of Czar for Russia.

'"Olga was the oldest daughter - nothing special. About twenty-two, maybe twenty-three. I remember Maria had her nineteenth birthday party in the prison house - one of the guards took her some cakes. She seemed to be the Czar's favourite. They always walked in the garden together."

I don't see how we get from this brief mention of cakes being brought to Maria by one of the guards on her birthday to the assumption in FOTR that this guard was Skorokhodov, and that "they disappeared together." This is the passage in FOTR that is footnoted 73, "Ermakov, in Halliburton, Seven League Boots, 128:"

"Quickly he [Skorokhodov] found himself exchanging smiles and sipping tea with the former emperor's daughters, an extraordinary experience that seems to have completely overwhelmed him. On this particular day, he had smuggled a cake into the Ipatiev House, to celebrate Marie's birthday. Apparently he pulled her aside, and the pair disappeared." (FOTR, p. 244)

Is there something more in Halliburton's account that you didn't mention, Georgiy?



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Offline Marie-Catherine

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2008, 08:37:52 PM »
It's a book called Fate of the Romanovs by Penny Wilson and Greg King.


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Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2008, 03:30:03 PM »
Ermakov,s comments about the Gtand Duchesses may or may not be accurate. I wouldn't take them at face value and would need significant corroboration. As for Peter Ermakov himself, he was a drunk, braggart, thief, liar and multiple murderer of young women and girls. Other than that maybe a fine fellow.
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Ermakov/hairpieces/Grand Duchesses
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2009, 01:49:02 AM »
RE: hairpieces--never heard or read of them. Everybody kept hair to press in books, or place in lockets, etc.
RE: Ermakov's drunkenness--referred to I believe by Summers and Mangold, and King and Massie. And they all source Ekaterinburg Reds.
RE: Ermakov's memories of the Grand Duchesses--according to Greg King, Maria and Anastasia were flirty and friendly with the guards; Tatiana was polite and proper insisting on proprieties, while Olga, who suffered from depression and the intelligence to see what was happening had apparently become bitter and unhappy. And she had been so charming like her grandmother the Dowager Empress prior to the ghastly war and revolution.
ALSO RE: Maria's birthday cake(s)--if Greg King in his excruciatingly detailed research found evidence of compromising behavior for Maria and a young guard, that's enough for me. Think what might be considered shameful and compromising under the circumstances of the imperial family's imprisonment. 1. receiving any gift from a guard, 2. secretly slipping into any empty room without chaperonage with a male guard, 3. perhaps holding hands, or hugging, or kissing, or leaning onto each other, or sharing a piece of cake, 4. reacting with anything like guilt, surprise, or shame when discovered with a man in an empty room. Any of these could be seen as a betrayal of the family bond of loyalty AND the young guard immediately disappeared from the guard list for the house shipped somewhere no doubt.
So, I've had my partial say and I hope this topic isn't dead as much of the previous threads' material can be addressed further.


Bear, I know this was three years back, but did you ever find the source for the hair pieces? Susana, I agree with you about Marie, in the sense that any of these things could have been what Marie did, and it still would have been considered shameful and compromising.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 01:50:38 AM by imperial angel »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2009, 10:46:59 AM »
I probably read about the hair pieces in THE FILE ON THE TSAR by Summers and Mangold because they mentioned the various items of interests plus the cut hair found on the bathroom floor of the Ipatiev House.  The hair pieces may have been, also,  mentioned in THE LAST ACT OF A TRAGEDY by V. V. Alekseyev.

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Offline Reco

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2009, 04:59:15 PM »

THE FILE ON THE TSAR by Summers and Mangold


Offline Sarushka

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2009, 05:24:27 PM »
Thank you, Reco.

I have not read Summers & Mangold -- are they considered a reliable source?

I have a copy of Alekseyev, so I'll try to look for mention of the hair pieces/cuttings.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2009, 07:47:39 PM »
I have a copy of Alekseyev, so I'll try to look for mention of the hair pieces/cuttings.

Bear, do you recall if the hairpieces were mentioned in Alekseyev as part of a list, or in a block of text (as they are in Summers and Mangold)? I've browsed the lists of belongings and valuables in Alekseyev and not found anything like a hairpiece, hair cuttings, or wigs.
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2009, 10:30:08 PM »
Summers and Mangold was published in the '70s before a lot of the information we have on the Romanovs' end today became availiable. It basically speculates that the Tsar and his family may have escaped and survived Ekatrinburg, which we all know is not true today, but which seemed more believable then because that was long before DNA testing or the remains becoming publicly known. So it's not a totally reliable source, although it's far from being as bad as James Lovell's AA biography for example. But it isn't the greatest source either. Basically, the passage that Reco kindly posted talks about them maybe using hair pieces ( or the lack thereof) as a disguise to escape I think, if I'm remembering correctly from reading this book some years ago. I can't recall who the Chemodurov quoted in that section is. I know hair has been mentioned in almost all the accounts of the last days of the IF, but not has not been identified as being used for hair pieces very often.FOTR mentions the hair.

Offline markjhnstn

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2009, 03:14:36 AM »
I first read File On The Tsar when i was a kid and after that was convinced the IF had not been executed in that basement.

Now we know all but back then all there was to show was the evidence gathered from the Four Brothers mine and lots of conflicting eye-witness statements and various speculation theories and of course Anna Anderson.

I have always wondered if this book made the Soviet authorities in the seventies curious about whether the IF remains were indeed where Yurovsky said they were and if anyone had maybe survived (Anastasia).

It wasn't too long after this book that Geli Ryabov was seeking out Alexander Avdonin and Yurovsky's son and then Mr. Andropov was ordering the demolition of the Ipatiev house....

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2009, 07:12:36 AM »
I can't recall who the Chemodurov quoted in that section is. I know hair has been mentioned in almost all the accounts of the last days of the IF, but not has not been identified as being used for hair pieces very often.FOTR mentions the hair.

Chemodurov was an elderly man who served Nicholas. His health began to deteriorate soon after arriving at the Ipatiev house, and the tsar released him from duty. Chemodurov is the only servant besides Leonka Sednev who actually lived with the IF in the Ipatiev house and survived the Ekaterinburg period. King & Wilson believe he was approaching senility, and treat his recollections somewhat cautiously.

I will check FOTR for mention of the hair.
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Offline tom_romanov

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2009, 10:28:44 AM »
FOTR mentions the hair was found in a few places -

- Pg 342 Pushed beneath the edge of the raised tub was a small wooden box containing three distinct colours of hair, which Chemodurov identified as having come from three of the grand duchesses; more hair, from all four girls,was discovered on a corner shelf. ( This is in the bathroom)

- Pg 343 There was also a box of hair- four colours- identified as those of the grand duchesses. (This is in the corridor outside the commandant's office)

- Pg343 and another box of hair cut from the heads of the grand duchesses (This is in Yurovsky's office)

Offline nena

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2009, 10:44:42 AM »
Terentii Ivanovich Chemodurov, died at Tobolsk in 1919. He shared room with Botkin ( in dinning room) in Ipatiev house.  ;-)
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2009, 01:31:10 PM »
Thank you, Reco.

I have not read Summers & Mangold -- are they considered a reliable source?

I have a copy of Alekseyev, so I'll try to look for mention of the hair pieces/cuttings.

Although often overlooked in the flurry of Romanov books of the 1990s, FOTT contains some valuable work. Most specifically, they make the case for the fact that the bodies of 11 murder victims could not be totally destroyed with the time and technology available to the Ural Bolsheviks. IOW, there had to be some kind of grave, which we know now is absolutely true.

The credibility of their work is diminished by their many incorrect conclusions from the evidence they had. However, from the evidence they do present plus the facts we now now, it is very possible that the Bolsheviks tried to muddy the waters with some false "survivors" in the area right after the murders.

I would absolutely recommend that you read this book - it's very flawed but also very interesting.