Author Topic: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death  (Read 23354 times)

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Offline Sarushka

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Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« on: May 08, 2007, 10:48:45 AM »
Has anyone ever come across any information about Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death? There's plenty out there on Alexandra's response, of course, and I've found diary entries by both Olga and Tatiana about Rasputin's disappearance and murder, but I don't recall reading anything regarding Aleksei. I've even got Aleksei's 1916 diary, but it makes no mention of Rasputin's murder. Does anyone know who broke the news to the heir?


A friendly note: I'd prefer this thread be confined to actual written evidence, NOT speculation.
I can imagine as well as anyone how Aleksei *might/probably/could have* have felt, but what I'm really looking for are first-hand accounts of what he said or did when he learned Rasputin was dead.
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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 09:26:34 PM »
Maybe someone who can read Russian would have better luck. I'm sure there has to be something, maybe not translated. I've thought of this myself, and wondered why Aleksey was never mentioned.

Something else to think about while searching for answers, how well did Aleksey even know Rasputin? A lot of times, Aleksey was either passed out from pain or had such a high fever he had no idea what was going on when Rasputin was around.  :-\

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 07:53:25 AM »
That is an interesting question. Rasptuin's most famous healing of all - Spala - was done by telegraph.

I know the empress regularly met Rasputin at Anna Vyrubova's house, but I don't know how often she took any of the children with her. In one of her wartime letters, she mentions Olga going along in the fall of 1914.

OTMA in general seem to have gone to Vyrubova's house quite a lot regardless of whether Rasputin was present), but I can't find a single photo of Aleksei there. That strikes me as rather odd...
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Offline tian79

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 12:23:51 PM »
I'm sure I've read somewhere that after Rasputin's death Anna Vyrubova found Aleksei crying in his room sobbing "who will help me now" I just don't remember where I read it.

This is from Anna's Memories of the Russian Court
Alexei usually defended all offenders, yet when the day came when his parents, in deep distress, told him that Father Gregori, that is, Rasputin, had been killed by members of his own family the boy's grief was swallowed up in rage and indignation. "Papa," he exclaimed, "is it possible that you will not punish them? The assassins of Stolypin were hanged."

Quote
OTMA in general seem to have gone to Vyrubova's house quite a lot regardless of whether Rasputin was present), but I can't find a single photo of Aleksei there. That strikes me as rather odd...

According to Gilliard "from January 1st, 1914, to the day of his death in December, 1916 Rasputin only saw Aleksey Nicolaievich three times).
The children saw Rasputin when he was with their parents, but even at that time his visits were infrequent. Weeks, and sometimes months, passed without his being summoned to Court. It became more and more usual to see him with Madame Vyrubova, who had a little house quite near to the Alexander Palace. The Tsar and his heir hardly ever went there, and meetings were always very rare."


Offline Sarushka

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 05:10:55 PM »
According to Gilliard "from January 1st, 1914, to the day of his death in December, 1916 Rasputin only saw Aleksey Nicolaievich three times).
The children saw Rasputin when he was with their parents, but even at that time his visits were infrequent. Weeks, and sometimes months, passed without his being summoned to Court. It became more and more usual to see him with Madame Vyrubova, who had a little house quite near to the Alexander Palace. The Tsar and his heir hardly ever went there, and meetings were always very rare."

That last sentence is quite interesting. I wonder if N&A were deliberately trying to keep the public from associating Aleksei with Rasputin & Vyrubova?
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Offline XJaseyRaeX

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2007, 10:58:00 AM »
Quote
This is from Anna's Memories of the Russian Court
Alexei usually defended all offenders, yet when the day came when his parents, in deep distress, told him that Father Gregori, that is, Rasputin, had been killed by members of his own family the boy's grief was swallowed up in rage and indignation. "Papa," he exclaimed, "is it possible that you will not punish them? The assassins of Stolypin were hanged."

to me it seems as if Aleksei didn't realise how much Rasputin meaned to him until he in fact was gone. with the reality of Rasputins death upon him he acted in a way any young preteen male would have reacted...


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Offline Greenowl

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2007, 03:15:49 PM »
With regard to the question by Clockworkgirl about how well Aleksei knew Rasputin: If you read Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie (Chapter 15, page 242...I think) you will get the impression (or at least I did), that Aleksei knew Rasputin quite well, at least in the early days. According to Grand Duchess Olga (Aleksei's aunt) Rasputin watched him playing, told him stories, took him by the hand and prayed with him in front of an icon.

I have never read anything about Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's murder.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 12:10:56 AM »
On 18 December Alexei writes 'At 3:40 to the station with Papa. We went for a walk, then at 4:30 set off for Tsarskoe Selo...' 19th December "Arrived at Ts. S at 5:30. Mama and sisters met us..." Then he writes nothing until 23rd December. At the time he left for Tsarskoe, I guess he could not have possibly known that Rasputin would disappear. The fact he writes nothing for a few days after suggests to me he is affected by Rasputin's disappearance and death. This is speculation, but the fact he wrote nothing for some days, could mean he was devastated or at least highly distraught over it..

Bob_the_builder

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 02:42:00 AM »
I wonder the same thing.

But it is true that Alexei did know Rasputin well, and they would often pray together when Alexei was not having an attack, which convinced Olga Alexandrovna that Rasputin was sincere.

TheAce1918

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 10:35:43 AM »
Keeping Aleksey's age in mind, also the constant threat of his health...I would agree that he had no idea how much Rasputin would hold influence over many things in his life.  To the heir, he probably considered Rasputin as 'Our Friend' like N&A...but in the sense that Rasputin was much like the other 'officials' that came to visit his parents on a regular basis. 

As far as his diary entry goes...its anyone's guess.  Aleksey could have been devestated, or maybe too shocked to write anything.  I highly doubt he was in jubilation once he heard the news.

Offline tian79

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2007, 02:00:17 PM »
Finally found "who will help me" quote.
It is from Anna Virubova's later memoirs, Keisarinnan hovineiti.
My translation from Finnish:
When I went to the empress's room, shortly after news of Rasputin's murder had arrived, I heard Aleksei sobbing, hiding his head in the curtains: “Who will now help me when our friend is dead.”

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 02:36:15 PM »
Quote
“Who will now help me when our friend is dead.”

To me, it seems Aleksey was more worried over himself than about Rasputin. Human nature, of course.

TheAce1918

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2007, 08:43:48 PM »
I'm sorry, but are you sure that the quote isn't "...now that our friend is dead."?   :-\

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2007, 10:03:19 PM »
I'm sorry, but are you sure that the quote isn't "...now that our friend is dead."?   :-\

It's a translation, so there's room for some variance there...
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Offline RichC

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Re: Aleksei's reaction to Rasputin's death
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2007, 10:07:16 PM »
Finally found "who will help me" quote.
It is from Anna Virubova's later memoirs, Keisarinnan hovineiti.
My translation from Finnish:
When I went to the empress's room, shortly after news of Rasputin's murder had arrived, I heard Aleksei sobbing, hiding his head in the curtains: “Who will now help me when our friend is dead.”


Hmmm.  I think there's a general consensus that Vyrubova's "memoirs" were somewhat self-serving.  If Alexei was distraught over Rasputin's death, one would think there would be some corroboration to Madame Vyrubova's testimony.  It would have been recorded elsewhere.  Perhaps a mention in Nicholas' diary or one of the other court memoirs?  One might think that the heir's devastation would have been noted by many.  He was the heir afterall.

I find it HIGHLY unlikely that Nicholas or Alexandra ever did or said anything to make Alexei think that his health depended in any way on Rasputin.  They were better parents than that, I believe.  Nicholas' diary doesn't mention anything about Alexei being distraught...