Murder of Grigori Rasputin
Rasputin’s physical murder logically followed his ethical murder already carried out by that time. The image of Satan in the flesh created by the mass media completely overshadowed the real Rasputin. Virtually everyone who knew Rasputin probably wanted to see him dead.
The latter part of 1916 was a frightful time in the history of Russia when the last preparations were being made for destruction of its sanctuaries.
Lies were being spread in Petrograd, Moscow and other towns about dreadful crimes committed by Rasputin, his debauches, bribes, German influence and court schemes, all of which Rasputin was allegedly involved in.
The powers interested in chaos were spreading rumors of «a black car» supposedly used by Rasputin for his crimes.
Nadezhda Teffi wrote: «The black car still remains a mystery». Several nights in a row this car was seen speeding through the Marsovo Pole (Mars Field) going under the Palace Bridge and disappearing into nowhere. Someone was shooting at passer-bys from the car. Some people were wounded.
«These are Rasputin’s deeds», they used to say.
«What does he have to do with that?»
«He benefits from evil, black and unexplainable deeds. He brings panic and distemper but to the people who believe in him, he can explain it for his benefit».
From time to time rumors were spread that Rasputin had already been murdered. For instance, in the winter of 1916 they said Rasputin had been killed in a drunken orgy in the Villa Rode Restaurant.
Meanwhile the real murderers were hatching their evil plans. These were ill-spirited people who despised Russia’s true values. These included:
Vasily Alekseevich Maklakov (1869 – 1957), a left radical, one of the leaders of the Russian Freemasonry and the Constitutional Democratic Party. He obtained the poison and developed the plan for Rasputin’s murder.
Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich (1870 – 1920), a far-rightist, extremist, notorious for his flamboyant and scandalous behavior, one of those whose selfish beliefs discredited the patriotic movement in Russia.
Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov, a representative of the low aristocracy and ruling classes who due to his western education and lifestyle was hopelessly separated from the Russian people, a member of the Mayak Freemasonry society. He was weak-willed and was known for his flamboyant and selfish behavior. Rasputin treated him for mental disorders.
Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of the Imperial House of Romanovs, a two-faced, low person tormented with political ambitions.
Doctor Lizavert and Lieutenant Sukhotin, representatives of the Russian intelligentsia totally unaware of the national consciousness.
Rasputin was introduced to Prince Yusupov in 1911 in the home of Mariya Evgenievna Golovina, a place where he later met Rasputin on two occasions. In November 1916 Prince Yusupov visited the Golovins for the purpose of meeting Rasputin again. As a ruse he told Mariya that he needed his healing.
In late November – early December Prince Yusupov visited Rasputin with Golovina and had two healing sessions.
On December 16th Prince Yusupov had a table set for the guests he was expecting for tea in the evening in his personal study, thus «a table for 8 people was laid. The guests were to arrive by the side door which lead directly to his study. During such parties the servants were generally not allowed in the study so that night none of the servants saw the Prince’s guests except for Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich whose arrival became known as he entered the house through the front porch».
According to Rasputin’s relatives and servants, Prince Yusupov visited Rasputin around midnight on December 17th and they left together. Earlier Rasputin himself mentioned that he was going to Prince Yusupov’s place. When leaving home Grigori was dressed in a blue shirt and a fur coat.
He left by the back door (the front door was locked) through the kitchen. Before leaving he woke up his servant (Anna Nikolaevna Rasputina) and asked her to lock the door.
About 4 a.m. on December 17th a policeman on duty not far from Prince Yusupov’s house heard four shots. Soon he was summoned to Prince Yusupov’s where Purishkevich, a member of the State Duma, told the policeman that Rasputin had died and if he loved the Tsar and mother Russia he would keep quiet about it. However the policeman told his superiors everything he had heard and seen.
The monstrous, cowardly murder was committed at night on December 17th, 1916. Rasputin was lured to Yusupov’s palace under the pretext that Yusupov’s wife Irina was suffering from an illness and needed healing. Rasputin was shown into a room in the basement. A table was laid with tea, vine and pastries. The vine and pastries were laced with poison obtained by Maklakov who did not directly participate in the murder. Yusupov invited Rasputin to eat the «treats» while he went to fetch Irina who was supposedly entertaining her guests (in fact she was not even in Petrograd). Meanwhile the other conspirators – Purishkevich, Dmitri Pavlovich, Dr. Lizavert and Sukhotin were in Yusupov’s study waiting and drinking heavily. They had developed a plan and selected a place for hiding Rasputin’s body and destroying his possessions.
As the night grew on the poison seemed to have no effect on Rasputin though he did not feel well.
He may have started to suspect something was amiss and thought of leaving. Then Yusupov suggested they should pray. There was a crucifix in the room. Rasputin came up to the crucifix and knelt to kiss it when Yusupov shot him from the back aiming at the heart. Rasputin fell down.
The exulted murderers now wanted to get rid of any evidence. Sukhotin put on Rasputin’s fur coat, his rubber boots, took his gloves and left with Dmitri Pavlovich and Dr. Lizavert to burn Rasputin’s possessions.
Yusupov and Purishkevich stayed and waited for their return to get rid of the body. They drank more (by the morning all of them were dead drunk). Then Yusupov went back to the room with Rasputin’s body. Later when Purishkevich went the same way, he heard Yusupov’s hysteric yell, "Purishkevich, shoot him! He is alive! He is running away!" Purishkevich was chasing after Rasputin with a revolver. He fired his gun but missed. He fired again but missed again. A third bullet hit Rasputin in the back. Purishkevich wrote: "The fourth shot seemed to have hit his head. He fell down heavily with his head jerking. I ran up to him and kicked him in the head as hard as I could». 144
Later when moving Rasputin’s body, the sight of his mutilated face put Prince Yusupov in a rage and he started hitting Rasputin with a heavy dumbbell. Blood started spurting and when Yusupov was finally pulled off, he was splattered with blood. 145 We will never know what else was done to Rasputin’s body. A forensic examination showed that in addition to the wounds in the head and back Rasputin had a bullet wound in the forehead and «a huge lacerated wound in the chest from a knife or spur». It was also discovered that Rasputin was thrown in the water while still alive. 146 It was a brutal murder just as numerous murders by the Bolsheviks which followed this crime.
After many brutal tortures Rasputin was thrown in an ice-hole near the Krestovskiy Island.
The next day the murderers behaved cowardly and dishonorably. Prince Yusupov, for instance, wrote a letter to the Tsarina where he swore by his family name that Rasputin had not visited him the previous night. He said they were having a house-warming party, drank too much and before leaving Dmitri Pavlovich shot a dog. His double-faced and treacherous nature is obvious from his letter: «Your Majesty. In obedience to your order I’m writing to inform You of what happened at my house yesterday night to erase those dreadful accusations against me. On December 16th I invited my friends and several ladies for a house-warming party. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich attended. Around midnight Grigori Efimovich telephoned me and invited me to go over to the gypsies with him. I refused saying that I was entertaining and inquired where he was calling from. He said, «That’s none of your business» and hung up. When he was talking I could hear voices in the background. That was all I heard from Grigori Efimovich that night». Prince Yusupov finished his letter this way: «I have no words, Your Majesty, to express how shocked I am and how wild these accusations are against me. I remain deeply devoted to Your Majesty. Felix.» 147 Dmitri Pavlovich did the same. He wrote a letter to the Tsar swearing that he had nothing to do with the murder.
According to Vyrubova, the entire police in Petrograd was searching for Rasputin. First they found Rasputin’s boot next to the ice hole on the Krestovskiy Island and later divers found his body. Rasputin’s arms and legs were tied with a rope. He managed to free his right hand while being thrown in the water and he put the fingers as a sign of the cross. His body was brought to the Chesme hospital. It was decided that he should be temporarily buried in Tsarskoye Selo and then brought to his native land.
The funeral took place on the morning of December 21st in strict secrecy. Only the Tsar, Tsarina with their children, Vyrubova and several other people attended. No one else was allowed to attend. The confessor of the Tsar’s family conducted the burial service. The Tsarina placed an icon on Rasputin’s chest brought from Novgorod and signed on the back by her, her four daughters and Vurybova.
The Tsar’s family was in deep sorrow. It was aggravated by the fact that many people even close to the family were glad Rasputin had been murdered. The Tsar and Tsarina were particularly shocked with the telegrams intercepted by the police which Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna of Russia, the Tsarina’s sister, sent to Rasputin’s murderers – Dmitri Pavlovich and Prince Yusupov:
1. «Moscow. December 18th, 9.30 a.m. To Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. Petrograd. Came back late yesterday night after a week in Sarov and Diveev praying for all of you. Tell me the details in a letter. Let the God help Felix after his patriotic deed. Ella».
2. «Moscow. December 18th, 8.52 a.m. To Princess Yusupova. Koreiz. All my prayers for you for the patriotic deed of your dear son. Let the God be with you. Returned from Sarov and Diveev where spent ten days in prayers. Elizabeth».148
These shameful telegrams devastated the Tsarina. Vurybova wrote: «She was crying bitterly and incessantly and I could not calm her down». 149
By blessing «the patriotic deed» of the murderers Elizabeth Fedorovna was influenced by the left extremist hysterics which turned the country upside down in 1917. By applauding Rasputin’s murderers Elizabeth was in fact applauding the murderers of her husband and her own murderers. By giving in to the general intolerance, accepting murder as a solution to social problems she stepped away from the orthodox beliefs just as many others did at that time.
It is important to mention the following important fact. In February 1916 a petition was filed to the Tsar from 12 members of the Imperial House of Romanovs for «granting mercy» to Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich:
«Your Majesty. We all whose signatures You can see at the end of this letter ask to soften Your decision regarding the destiny of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. We known that he is physically ill, deeply shattered and depressed.
You as his former Imperial guardian know that his heart is fond of You and Your country.
We implore Your Majesty due to his youth and truly weak health that You allow Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich to stay in Usov or Ilinskiy. Your Majesty knows how hard the conditions are for our troops in Persia due to the absence of accommodation, epidemics and other difficulties. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich being there is like his death and Your Majesty’s heart will be open to feel sorry for the boy You love so much and who from childhood spent time with You and for whom You were a father. Let the God make Your Majesty change your resolution and temper justice with mercy.
Devoted and loving Your Majesty: Pavel Aleksandrovich, Nikolay Mikhailovich, Sergey Mikhailovich, Mariya Pavlovna, Boris, Andrey and Kirill Vladimirovich, P.A.Oldenburgskiy, Ioann Konstantinovich, Gavriil Konstantinovich, Elena Petrovna, Elizabeth Fedorovna».
Resolution by Nicholas II
«No one has the right to murder. I know that many others have that on their conscience and not only Dmitri Pavlovich participated in that. I’m surprised at your petition.
(GARFDO. F.102. 1916, îp.246, D.367, L.4).
Calling for «the right for unpunished murder» those who signed this petition actually signed their own death sentence. Four of them were murdered by the Bolsheviks, the rest managed to escape by a miracle.
Even the Tsar and the Tsarina to a certain extent gave in to this mood. The murderers remained unpunished. No case was opened against them and there were no fair proceedings.
Can you consider as punishment sending Yusupov to his estate and sending Dmitri Pavlovich to the Caucasus? Purishkevich and the other participants were just left alone. Even young Tsarevich Alexei was surprised that the Tsar did not punish the murderers properly. Vyrubova wrote: «The Tsar and the Tsarina decided not to tell him about Rasputin’s murder at once but when they finally did, Alexei Nikolaevich burst into tears hiding his head in his arms. Then he turned around and yelled in a rage: «Papa, won’t you punish them properly? Stolypin’s murderer was hanged!» The Tsar did not say anything.» This had a huge impact on the Russian society. Public conscience got a «right» for unpunished murder – the main impetus of the revolution that followed.
In spite of the rampant Bacchanalia of lies against Rasputin in the upper society, he still had numerous supporters from various levels of society. Pilgrims came to his burial ground – the people whom Rasputin helped at a difficult time. Many people demanded the murderers be judged in court. The murderers got numerous angry letters. One of the letters to Yusupov said, «Peasants are trying to find out the guilt of Grigori Rasputin killed in your home against any hospitality traditions. Many peasant leaders say that the whole Russian peasantry was murdered and thrown away with Rasputin so they would like this case discussed openly as it is still a mystery for many of us. And if it is discovered that Rasputin is innocent, the peasants intend to demand trial over his murderers and accomplices».
MYTHS ABOUT RASPUTIN
Rasputin’s body was not left alone for long. Two days after the Tsar’s abdication, freemason Kerensky ordered that Grigori’s casket be exhumed and brought to Petrograd. The casket was taken from the burial ground, placed in a piano box and hid for several days in the court stables at the Konyushennaya Ploshad (Stables Square). Kerensky gave another order to secretly bury Rasputin’s body in the Petrograd suburbs so that there was nothing left of him and to get rid of any evidence of the dreadful crime as an investigation was under way.
The truck with the body broke down on the way. Then the executors decided to burn Rasputin’s body. They piled wood, poured gasoline over it and started a huge fire. It happened on March 11th, 1917 between 7 and 9 a.m. in the forest next to the road from Lesnoy to Pisarevka.
Immediately after the Tsar’s abdication, an investigation committee of the Provisional Government started its work. A member of the Emergency Investigation Committee for Misuses of Former Ministers and other Chief Executives wrote: «After arriving in Petrograd to work for the Investigation Committee I started with involuntary prejudice against the reasons of Rasputin’s influence after reading certain brochures, newspaper articles and hearing rumors circulating in the public, but a careful and objective investigation proved that all these rumors and newspaper articles were far from the truth».
A thorough investigation proved that Rasputin did not belong to the Khlysty sect. No evidence was found to support this accusation. Professor Glomoglasov from the sectarianism chair of the Moscow School of Theology studied all the investigation materials and all the religious writings by Rasputin and saw no signs of his devotion to the Khlysty sect.
The rumors of huge amounts of money received by Rasputin by solicitation for granting petitions was also unproven. The official requests to the banks did not reveal any money deposited in the name of Rasputin or any of his close relatives (except for the money which the Tsar’s family granted to Rasputin’s family after his murder).
The investigation also showed that the book by Trufanov-Iliador titled «Svyatoy Chert» («Mad Monk») was also a falsification (we have talked about that earlier).
The most significant incriminating information (Rasputin was allegedly receiving money from the police and was heavily drinking) obtained by the committee was based on testimony (and fabricated materials) by untrustworthy people who according to the Tsarina were notorious for their lies – Khvostovskiy and Beletskiy as well as such swindlers and villains as Andronnikov, Manasevich-Manuylov who were interested in attributing to the dead Rasputin at least some of the crimes they had committed.
The false image of Rasputin started to unravel. The chairman of the committee, a famous freemason N.K. Kerensky interfered with the committee’s activities and insisted on confirming by Detective Rudnev the existing accusations against Rasputin. Rudnev refused and had to leave the committee.
In general, the influence of freemasons on false accusations against Rasputin, his hounding to discredit the Tsar and then his murder and eliminating any evidence was determinative but not the only one.
On the basis of the Special Archives of the USSR and research by N.Berberova titled «Luidy i Lozhi» («People and Lodges») we would like to note that the members of Masonic lodges were the main enemies and persecutors of Rasputin.
Earlier freemasons planned the assassination of Nicholas the Second. Freemason Duke Bebutov who hosted freemason meetings in his memoirs wrote that he gave Azev 12 thousand rubles to assassinate the Tsar. Later they adopted the plan to discredit the Tsar’s family by creating a fabricated, evil and mysterious image of Rasputin. Their plan was heinous but effective. Freemason Guchkov started Rasputin’s persecution in the State Duma and was constantly feeding it. Freemasons Kerensky, Lvov, Nekrason, Hessen, etc. were his active supporters. They were not alone. At least a half of the most influential deputies of the State Duma were Freemasons. 151
In the Tsar’s close surroundings constant intrigues against Rasputin were led by Dukes Nikolay Mikhailovich and Aleksandr Mikhailovich who were also Freemasons.
Deputy (friend) Minister of the Interior, Governor General freemason Dzhunkovsky had been fabricating police reports against Rasputin for many years.
Amfiteatrov, a Freemason and a writer, together with Iliodor published a falsified article titled "Iliador and Grisha" where they gave a brief account of the book «Mad Monk» which followed and became one of the primary sources of libel against Rasputin. Most probably Amfiteatrov also participated in writing the book.
In Rasputin’s close circles lies to undermine his credibility were being spread by a freemason A.Simanovich.
One of the leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party, the brother of the Minister of the Interior, freemason Maklakov participated in preparations for the murder and obtained poison for Rasputin. Freemason Yusupov committed the murder.
Freemason Kerensky eliminated the evidence by ordering Rasputin’s body destroyed.
At that time no one knew that these people belonged to the Masonic lodges and were members of that secret organization. This fact became known only after the Second World War.
While freemasons were organized criminals (it is hard to find any other words to describe their activities), other non-organized powers or let’s say – criminals with the same mentality as Khvostovskiy, Beletskiy, Trufanov (Iliodor) or Duvidzon joined them. They may have also been connected with freemason lodges. In fact there are many reasons to believe that freemasons used them for their purposes. Otherwise it is hard to explain what influential organizations were supporting Trufanov and Duvidzon. We have mentioned earlier the connection between Trufanov-Iliodor and freemason Amfiteatrov.
However we do not want to connect Rasputin’s tragedy only with the masonry. The contributions by Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich and a part of the clergy were quite independent. They had their own interests in Rasputin’s persecution. As for the Russian intelligentsia totally unaware of the national consciousness, the freemasons skillfully used their nihilistic, sneering attitude towards Russia and excited them with the allegedly justified protest against the "rotten" tsarist regime which allowed keeping «that monstrous Rasputin» close to the Tsar’s family.
Later on both the Bolsheviks’ leaders and their enemies with equal enthusiasm blamed Rasputin without making any effort to prove his guilt. They both needed the myth about Rasputin for political and ideological reasons. For Bolsheviks Rasputin was a symbol of degradation of the tsarist Russia, its wretchedness and dissipation from which they saved the country. When they talked about the last Russian Tsar they pointed at Rasputin to prove that their bloody policies were the only way to lead the country from the nightmare of destruction and decay.
For the Bolsheviks’ political opponents Rasputin was a scapegoat, the reason for their failures. Their political incapacity, separation from the people, wrong behavior and rude mistakes prior to the revolution with the following collapse they tried to explain by influence of the evil powers headed by Rasputin.
People like Milyukov, Rodzyanko, Kokovtsev, Shulgin with dozens and hundreds of other failed politicians believed till their very last day that Rasputin’s influence had fatal consequences for the country and they fell victim to the impostor. This was a fatal feature of the Russian intelligentsia unaware of the national consciousness and following a western lifestyle – they were looking for someone guilty anywhere but among themselves. Shifting the blame for their mistakes to the «backward» people and their reactionist representatives, these political figures till their last day repeated common accusations against Rasputin.
Both the Provisional Government and the Bolsheviks contributed to the myth about Rasputin advanced by yellow press. It was concocted in the same old ways by falsifications by swindlers and impostors such as Beletskiy, Khvostovoy, Trufanov and Duvidzon.
In the 1920’s a series of books about Rasputin were published from traditional literature in the Iliodor style to fabricated memoirs by Dzhanumova and Teffi based on literary revision of rumors and wishful thinking. Soviet writers and historians enthusiastically accepted the social request for fabricated works about Rasputin. Aleksey Tolstoy and historian Shchegolev fabricated a book titled «Dnevniki Vurybovoy» («Memoirs by Vyrubova») dreadful in its content. One of the centers of such activities became a magazine «Golos Minuvshego» (Voice from the Past).
Some pseudoscientific books were also published. A model for them became a book by freemason N.N. Evreinov under the promising title «Tayna Rasputina» («Rasputin’s Mystery») issued by Byloe Publishing House. In fact it was a rather boring and ill-written pasquil. The author did not know the facts and made mistakes with dates and events but he made up for that by accusing the Tsar and Tsarina with revolutionary pathos talking about the Tsarina’s liaison with Rasputin and then affairs of the Tsar’s daughters with Rasputin. He supported these hideous and vulgar accusations with pseudoscientific speculations on hypnotism, Freudism and the Khlysty sect. The illustrative material was drawn primarily from Iliodor’s book «Mad Monk».
A contribution to the myths about Rasputin was also made by foreigners. Their works however are just a weak reflection of the Russian falsifications.
Among them are the memoirs by Maurice Paleologue, a French ambassador who had perfunctory knowledge of the Russian life and looked down on its sanctuaries and national features. At the same time these are memoirs of a person interested in starting the war and believing the rumors that Rasputin was working for the Germans. They contained numerous inaccuracies in facts. These memoirs cannot be considered a source of information as they are generally based on rumors and gossip. Vyrubova wrote about these memoirs: «Reading the memoirs by Paleologue I found many inaccuracies concerning myself. The author also did not relate accurately his first meeting with Rasputin».
The memoirs of P.Zhilyar about Rasputin are also perfunctory due to his mentality. While he was truly and sincerely fond of the Tsar's family he also used in his memoirs court rumors and gossip. There was a lot he could not understand and a lot was just concealed from him. It is known that no members of the Tsar’s family were ever talking about Rasputin in his presence. And if such conversation was started, it was immediately broken off upon his appearance.
On top of conscious falsifications about Rasputin are the works by the Soviet historians. Let me quote an article on Rasputin from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia which was written by reputable Soviet experts. The author of the article is K.F. Shatsillo:
«Rasputin (Novykh) Grigori Efimovich (1864 or 1865, village of Pokrovskoye, now the Tyumen Region – December 17th, 1916, Petrograd)… He was born in the family of a peasant E.Novykh. At the end of the 19th century he joined the Khlysty sect. Under the disguise of a religious person he was leading a wild life. He got the nickname Rasputin which later became his last name…»
These numerous mistakes, falsifications and conscious lies reveal the Soviet idea of Rasputin’s personality.
Once Miguel de Cervantes said that deceitful historians should be executed just like forgers. Of course, in his times problems were often solved with an executioner.
But who will free us from creators and distributors of lies and libel against Rasputin of the pre-soviet, soviet and post-soviet times?