Author Topic: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?  (Read 29824 times)

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Alixz

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Rasputin was known to the Imperial Family from 1905 to his death in 1916.  So for eleven years he was available for visits and consultations.

I have read that he spent "very little time" with Alix and the children.  And almost no time with Nicholas.

Then I have read that he was always on call and that he was available for religious comfort as well as the "healing" of Alexis.

I know that most of his meetings were held in Anna Vyrubova's little house at Tsarskoe Selo and not in the Alexander Palace itself.

But just how many times did he see Alexei to "heal" him and just how much time did he spend with Alix and OTMA?

And during the war, Alix's letters are filled with "advice from Our Friend", did he actually see her or was all of this done by telephone? Because from her letters it would sound like she saw him or spoke with him every day!  :-\

I have been very confused by this for years.  ???   I hope that someone can clarify this.  :)

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 02:53:25 PM »
This is a very interesting question Alixz.   So far as I am aware, nobody really knows.   The Secret Police files will hold this information, but, so far, those have not been released by GARF.

I believe the family only met with Rasputin on very few occasions.   He did visit Livadia where he was received by the family and there is a photographic record of this.   Although he visited Anna Vyroubova's house regularly, the Imperial Family were not usually present.   Vyroubova acted as a conduit - an example of this took place on the day before Rasputin's murder.   The family probably entrusted any correspondence with her.   All telephone conversations were listened into by palace 'secuirty'.   The family were aware of this and would have been mindful of the fact.   By the outbreak of the first war, Rasputin was, of course, completely persona non grata at the Alexander Palace.   Even before then, I believe any visits were infrequent and usually in a response to a crisis in the tsarevich's health.   

I know from a first hand witness that Rasputin was a frequent visitor to Tsarskoe Selo.   The late Rene Beerman's father was pastor of the Lutheran Church there.   The family lived on the ground floor of the Church.   Renee Beerman recalled how, as a boy, he frequently saw Rasputin being driven in a cab through the town.   I assume he on those occasions he was there to meet with Anna Vyroubova.   He certainly visited her in hospital after her near fatal train crash.

It is worth remembering that, from the outset of the Revolution and virtually ever since, Alexandra Feodoronva and Grigory Efimovich have been the 'whipping boy and girl'.   This makes it all the more difficult to tease out the facts from the fiction.

tsaria     

Offline Helen

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 03:27:48 PM »
On an other thread, the FA wrote that Alexandra met Rasputin in person less than ten times in all these years. Apparently, Alexandra did not feel the need to meet him often, at least in later years. She said to Lili Dehn in 1916: "Why does Gregory stop in Petrograd? The Emperor doesn't wish it. I don't. ..."
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 03:32:16 PM by Helen »
"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"

Alixz

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2007, 07:05:04 PM »
tsaria - thank you for your reply.

On another thread FA has said that he will be "looking some" things up for me concerning this topic.

So how then, did Rasputin have so much influence and play so large a role in Alix's letters to Nicholas during Nicholas's time at Stavka if Alix and Rasputin rarely met?   ???
 
And in her letters, Alix doesn't' say that Anna V told me that Rasputin said ....xyz.  She says that "Our Friend" says as if she were talking to him and getting the advice from him personally.   :-\

How could so many ministers be called up and replaced if all this had to be done through a "conduit" like Anna?  Alix must have been at her house or Anna at the palace everyday? Or there must have been much note carrying, but no notes survive.

And I guess the most troubling thing to me is how many times did Rasputin actually see Alexei and "heal" him?  We know of one time at the palace and the one time "in absentia" at Spala.  Was that enough proof for Alix that Rasputin had her son's life in his hands?  Just twice?
In eleven years, Rasputin only 'healed' Alexis twice and that was enough to bring down the Imperial Family?  Alexei must have had more than two moderate to severe attacks in eleven years!   ???  He was an active boy with "dare devil" tendencies because of the unusual stifling care that was lavished on him.

And according to the Lutheran minister's son, Rasputin was seen frequently being driven in a cab through the town.  So he was in close proximity on a regular basis but did not see the Empress or Alexei.

I hope to find out more about this. I was wondering about the Lili Dehn source.  Was that from Lili's book or from Alix's letters to Lili?

 Thank you, tsaria, again.  :)

Offline Helen

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 01:29:20 AM »
I hope to find out more about this. I was wondering about the Lili Dehn source.  Was that from Lili's book or from Alix's letters to Lili?
It's from her book, p. 113.
"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"

Alixz

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 08:30:33 AM »
Helen,

I began reading Lili Dehn's book about Alexandra on line years ago.  I never finished.  I would do much better if I had a copy which I haven't found yet.

I am going to look it up on line again, and also see if I can find a reasonably priced copy.

Thank you

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »
tsaria - thank you for your reply.


So how then, did Rasputin have so much influence and play so large a role in Alix's letters to Nicholas during Nicholas's time at Stavka if Alix and Rasputin rarely met?   ???
 
And in her letters, Alix doesn't' say that Anna V told me that Rasputin said ....xyz.  She says that "Our Friend" says as if she were talking to him and getting the advice from him personally.   :-\


Well, for one thing, the first telephones were installed in the Alexander Palace in 1896. Alexandra had her own phone right next to her chaise in the Mauve Room. Certainly  by 1913 there were thousands and thousands of phones all over Petersburg.  I'm certain that Rasputin spoke to her by telephone FAR more often than he saw her in person.


Offline ChristineM

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2007, 02:59:01 PM »
Alixz - don't forget at the outbreak of the revolution, the Empress, with the help of Lili Dehn, spend days - and nights - destroying correspondence, diaries etc.   Alexandra  Feodorovna was convinced by other incidents of 'healing' - the nose bleed in the train while returning from Stavka - is one example which springs to mind.

Nicholas remained rather sceptical about Rasputin the Healer, apparently tolerating him only because of the soothing effect he appeared to have on his wife and son... until the train accident in early 1915 when Ania Vyroubova was almost killed.   Both Emperor and Empress were at the Palace Hospital and told by doctors that Ania was in extremis and probably would not survive.   It was with great reluctance that Nicholas finally agreed to permit Rasputin to be called from St Petersburg.   As a direct result of Rasputin's intervention, it seems Vyroubova was miraculously 'cured'.   Thereafer, Nicholas was persuaded there was something to this man's healing powers.

The frequent, flowery letters written by Alexandra - delivered by Ania Vyroubova - were part of the character of the Empress.   She spent hours every day 'working' on her correspondence.   The over exuberance was partly her personal style and partly symptomatic of the period.    Of course, it was a pretty one-sided correspondence.   Rasputin could bearly write - although under instruction this did improve with time.   He was never, what one could describe as, fluent.

Yes, according to Renee Beerman, Rasputin was a frequent visitor to Tsarskoe Selo.   Even then Tsarskoe Selo was a fair sized town and Rasputin wasn't necessarily always in close proximity to the Alexander Palace.   He could have been visiting other 'friends' or 'patients'.   But, he probably did his best to ensure he maintained as close a proximity as possible with the Imperial Family.

I agree with you about the accusations levelled at Alexandra re the hiring and firing of government ministers on Rasputin's whim - or advice.   It does seem strange this was accomplished at a distance.   Perhaps this is yet another example of Bolshevik disinformation.

tsaria


Offline ChristineM

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2007, 03:01:31 PM »
I was under the impression that there were telephone intercepts on all the palace telephones, FA.   Indeed, this was used as the reason why Nicholas was so reluctant to use the telephone.   He knew palace 'security' eavesdropped on all his conversations - telephone and otherwise.

tsaria

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 03:19:23 PM »
True Tsaria, Spiridovitch's men AND the Palace operator listened in to all telephone calls made by the Emperor and Empress, however I'm certain Alexandra still did not let that stop her from calling "her friend".

Offline Belochka

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2007, 07:24:38 PM »
True Tsaria, Spiridovitch's men AND the Palace operator listened in to all telephone calls made by the Emperor and Empress, however I'm certain Alexandra still did not let that stop her from calling "her friend".

I do not have the impression that Alexandra phoned Rasputin at all. Anya Taneeva certainly did.

There are two matters worthwhile to consider, firstly after the rumors began flying around the city about their alleged "relationship", Alexandra would never have compromised herself by telephoning directly. Secondly, Rasputin's phone was also monitored by the ever present Okhrana.

Margarita
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2007, 08:26:31 PM »
Yes, according to Renee Beerman, Rasputin was a frequent visitor to Tsarskoe Selo.   Even then Tsarskoe Selo was a fair sized town and Rasputin wasn't necessarily always in close proximity to the Alexander Palace.   He could have been visiting other 'friends' or 'patients'.   But, he probably did his best to ensure he maintained as close a proximity as possible with the Imperial Family.

tsaria

For any one person to suggest that Rasputin was seen to be a "frequent visitor to Tsarskoe Selo" depends on one's definition of "frequent" and whether that observer was honest with their statement. I agree that the locations where he was seen to frequent may have been at any location with the city of Tsarskoe Selo. The years when those observations were made are also of relevance.

During the war, Rasputin was often visiting a number of the Tsarskoe Selo infirmaries on behalf of the many person's who sought information about their wounded.

Margarita
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« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 08:28:49 PM by Belochka »


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Alixz

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2007, 10:53:40 PM »
So, that brings me back to my original question.  Just how many times did Alix actually meet with Rasputin and how many times did Rasputin actually "heal" Alexei?

It is OK to say that Nicholas et al were impressed with Rasputin's other medical miracles and or reports of miracles of an kind, but just how much did Alix and Nicholas actually see with their own eyes?

I, too, don't believe that Alix would use the phone as it went through a switchboard and was not private.  If she had, then the "rumors" of Rasputin's involvement in government affairs would no longer have been rumors.  They would have had the palace operators and the Okhrana as "ear witnesses".

So in eleven years of interaction of Rasputin in the affairs of the Imperial Family, if Rasputin only saw Alix less than ten times, that is less than once a year  ???  That is not much time for her to become so enamored of his "wisdom" and "healing" power. 

Granted the "healing" of Vyrubova in 1915 is a big time mystery, but that was in 1915 about two years before Rasputin's death and Alix had already given him her undying trust long before that.

So why was she so committed to him?  I've been trying to find sources that tell me exactly when Rasputin saw Alix and why he saw her.

From Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna we know of one visit when Alexei was well enough to be "jumping about like a rabbit" and Rasputin prayed with him and calmed him immediately.

We also know of one bad attack where Rasputin was in the Alexander Palace to "heal" Alexei.  And, of course, Spala in absentia.  And someone mentioned a "nose bleed" on the train coming back from Spala, but again Rasputin was not there.  (and was that in 1912 as well?)


Offline Belochka

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2007, 01:25:29 AM »
So, that brings me back to my original question.  Just how many times did Alix actually meet with Rasputin and how many times did Rasputin actually "heal" Alexei?

I do not believe it was a healing process at all. Rasputin was summoned to the Palace to pray over Alexei's bedside, on December 6, 1915 (following a severe nose bleed after he had contracted a cold earlier in Mogilev Headquarters). ("Cure" # 4)

The famous Spala crisis of October 1912. ("Cure" # 3) - no direct bedside intervention.

There was one direct encounter in the summer of 1907 following a leg injury. (Cure # 2)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rasputin came to St. Petersburg for the first time in May 1904.

The first time Nikolai II and Alexandra met Rasputin was at the Montenegran sister's (Stana and Militsiya's) residence on November 1, 1905 at the Sergievka Palace.

The next encounter was not until July 18, 1906 at the same Sergievka Palace.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It would take a while longer before Rasputin first set foot in the Alexandrovskii Palace. He was first invited on Friday October 13 1906.

On this occassion he met all the children as well. Alexei was in recovery at the time from a earlier (less than critical) crisis. However, Alexandra had believed that Rasputin's prayers helped Alexei to settle for the night. (Cure # 1)

It seems that the actual "spiritual" help in allegedly curing Alexei was only on four or so occassions at most. On three of these occassions he was considered close to death, which added to the element of fear and emotional trauma and subsequent dramatic survival with its own set of emotions attached. Alexei's other bleeds were not considered so serious to warrant other intervention.


It is OK to say that Nicholas et al were impressed with Rasputin's other medical miracles and or reports of miracles of an kind, but just how much did Alix and Nicholas actually see with their own eyes?

The only other time they both saw an alleged "cure" was after Anya Taneeva lay comatose following her railroad accident and was not expected to live. That was in January 2, 1915. Again it was the body slowly healing itself. All Anya did on that occasion was to open her eyes and then go back to sleep. That was the nature of the "miracle".

Granted the "healing" of Vyrubova in 1915 is a big time mystery, but that was in 1915 about two years before Rasputin's death and Alix had already given him her undying trust long before that.

This incident gave Alexandra another firm reason to believe in Rasputin's so called healing capabilities.

The fact that Anya underwent months of rehabilitation and later would occassionally require a stick to aid her to walk with comfort, sometimes racked by back pain, or suffer headaches was not considered to be relevant.


They would have had the palace operators and the Okhrana as "ear witnesses".

I like that!  :D

Margarita
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« Last Edit: June 16, 2007, 01:38:55 AM by Belochka »


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Alixz

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Re: Question: Just how often was Rasputin with the Imperial Family?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2007, 01:40:52 AM »
Belochka:

Here I am in the middle of the Easter Standard Time night - it is 2:30AM here.  Searching the Internet for books on Imperial Fashions.  I am not doing very well.

Thank you for the time line on the actual events.  That puts it in better perspective.

Do we know what was the very first thing that made Alix sit up and take notice (besides meting Rasputin at the Montenegrin sister's home)?  Why did she invite him to the palace on Friday October 13, 1906?  Was she just curious about this "man of God" or was she testing the waters as Alexei was recovering and she wanted to verify Rasputin's abilities.

The meeting with Grand Duchess Olga - was that on Friday, October 13, 1906 as well?  Since Olga mentions that Rasputin went into Alexei's room to pray with him.  (for those with an aversion to Friday the 13th - what an inappropriate date!)

I appreciate your help as you always have the information at your fingertps  :D