To most, Rasputin was more than just a humble holy man. He was a drunk, demonic, womanizing charlatan who had bewitched the deeply religious Empress Alexandra in her desperation to save her only son. Rasputin and his three children, Matryona Maria , Varvara et Dimitri.
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Although Maria would admit in her old age that there were many things going on that she did not know about, at the time her life seemed charmed. But this fairytale life did not last long. One freezing December night in , Rasputin, lured with the promise of a late night party, was murdered by Prince Felix Yusupov and his associates. It is rumored that Maria had to identify the body of her father, which had been bludgeoned, shot and finally drowned. But, soon this safety net was ripped away as well, when the long brewing Russian civil war began.
The couple lived a chaotic, fugitive existence, attempting to save the royal family from their imprisonment in Siberia, and constantly on the run from the Red Army. When Boris was imprisoned, Maria got him out of jail by bribing a guard with 1, rubles. Rasputin with his wife and his daughter Matryona Maria , far right, in Maria gave birth to two daughters, Tatiana and Maria. They settled in Paris, where Boris eked out a living as a soap factory worker, night porter and car washer.
Maria was alone, but at least she was alive.
Grigori Rasputin - Wikipedia
Her mother and brother disappeared into the Soviet gulags of Siberia. Her sister, Varvara, died in Moscow in —some said of starvation, others said of poison. This was because of my name, not because of my dancing. Soon Maria took on another career- that of an animal trainer in a traveling circus. I have been in a cage with Bolsheviks. In it she said her reason for writing the book was not literary:. If I thought myself capable of undertaking a literary career I should not today be struggling to earn my daily bread as a trainer of wild animals…it is my desire to consecrate myself to a task, direct the whole of my life towards one goal, that of giving back to my father his true character.
Maria Rasputin as a circus performer in Maria officially immigrated to America in her daughters stayed in Europe and gave up her circus career after being badly mauled by a bear. She married Gregory Bern, an electrical engineer she had known in Russia. They settled in Los Angeles, but were divorced in According to Maria, Bern had called her bad names, struck her, and finally left.
After her divorce, Maria moved to a comfortable duplex in Silverlake, a neighborhood in Los Angeles with a large Russian population. After decades on the run, she had finally found the home where she would live out the rest of her long life. Ever the adaptive survivor, she went to work as a machinist at the shipyards in San Pedro. Maria Rasputin being interviewed by a journalist from the Spanish magazine Estampa in I wish to announce publically that I am not a communist even though my name is Maria Rasputin, daughter of Gregory Rasputin.
After retiring from the shipyards, Maria continued to support herself with social security payments and gigs as a babysitter and caregiver. Known to many as a friendly, amiable lady, she lived a quiet, secluded life, faithfully attending the neighborhood Russian Orthodox Church almost every week. She would give interviews when she needed money, her story often changing depending on who was interviewing her.
She briefly believed that Anna Anderson , an impostor who claimed to be the murdered Grand Duchess Anastasia, was telling the truth, but later retracted her support.
Throughout her interviews one thing remained constant. She never wavered from the belief that her father was a good, kindly man, who had been vilified by a manipulative society that he was too simple to understand. Co-authored by journalist Patte Barham, it thrust Maria once again into the spotlight. She died shortly thereafter, on September 27, , in her quiet duplex in Silverlake, and was buried in the nearby Angelus Rosedale Cemetery.
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He particularly influenced the czarina, and was rumored to be her lover. When Nicholas departed to lead Russian forces in World War I , Rasputin effectively ruled the country through Alexandra, contributing to the already-existing corruption and disorder of Romanov Russia. When he failed to react to the poison, they shot him at close range, leaving him for dead. A short time later, however, Rasputin revived and attempted to escape from the palace grounds, whereupon his assailants shot him again and beat him viciously.
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Finally, they bound Rasputin, still miraculously alive, and tossed him into a freezing river. His body was discovered several days later and the two main conspirators, Youssupov and Pavlovich were exiled. Not long after, the Bolshevik Revolution put an end to the imperial regime. Nicholas and Alexandra were murdered, and the long, dark reign of the Romanovs was over.
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