Rasputin remains one of the most enigmatic characters in history . Some know him as the miracle sorcerer of the Russian royal family before his catastrophe, others as a schemer in the tsar’s court, and still others for myths such as the enormous size of his penis.
Beyond some legends about his person and the obscurantism that surrounded his figure, there is no doubt about the influence that he exerted on the figure of the tsarina , and hence the importance of him in the throes of tsarism in the pre-revolutionary Russia.
Who was Rasputin
? What real impact did he have on the events that ended the Russian Revolution
? What is true and what is myth in his legend?
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Who was Rasputin?
Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was both cause and consequence of a key period in Russian history: the decline and end of tsarism after more than three centuries of absolute power. His life, marked by a cloudy mystical halo whose reality is confused with legend and myth , coincides with the most freakish stage of the Russian monarchy .
The best Russian chroniclers of the time say that while the once powerful Russian empire crumbled between social unrest and military defeats, the absorbed Tsar Nicholas II, with a more than corroborated intellectual limitation, enclosed himself in a bubble of fantasy and frivolity that prevented him from handling the situation.
In this context and while the Russian court entered an unstoppable decadence, an enigmatic character burst in whose influence was going to be, in many cases, decisive. Womanizer, sorcerer, conspirator, drunk, with an inhuman physical strength and a giant penis, Rasputin represented the mystical and dark Russia.
He was born in a region of Western Siberia into a peasant family, and showed great attractiveness from a young age. Little is known about those years, except that he helped his father with the farm chores and began to show a fondness for drinking.
In 1892 he left his wife and children to start a monastic life in a monastery, after which he joined the sect of the flagellants, condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church. In thoseFor years he participated in all kinds of orgies and ritual practices that would turn him into the immoral and depraved being that legend attributes to him.
At a time when Tsar Nicholas II was surrounded by mystics and healers, this character arrived at his court who fascinated by his physical strength and his appearance: with long hair, a deep and disturbing look , and an easy verb with which Imam of a preacher, he quickly put the royal family in his pocket.
Myths and truths about Rasputin Rasputin
‘s overwhelming personality began to consolidate him as the most influential character in the royal court when in 1905 he managed to stop the bleeding of the hemophiliac son of the tsars, Aleksei. And there the myth of him also begins to be forged.
1. Sorcerer and sinner: “The mad monk”
Rasputin was a despicable being whose personality was marked by illiteracy and a penchant for violence, sex and alcohol. As a young man he began to reveal some visions that he related with surprising ease, and to hypnotize others with a demonic and terrifying gaze.
But that morally depraved character and his overwhelming personality made him irresistibly attractive to the legions of pilgrims who flocked to him and followed him. Soon his religious beliefs were mixed with magic, divination and miraculous healing , in a Russia still ruled by ignorance and obscurantist mysticism.
Upon entering the sect of the flagellants, he began to be convinced that personal salvation passes through pain, but he metabolized these ideas in a very particular personal interpretation: Rasputin began to preach that in order to overcome evil one had to be satisfied with it .
And therefore, to atone for sin, he said, one had to sin with the flesh. His house became a nest of orgies and debauchery in which the most respected wealthy families of the Russian aristocracy began to participate.
And when he arrived at the court of the tsars and healed the young prince Aleksei, the tsarina Alexandra, who had already entered a downward spiral in the shadow of her insane husband, fell prey to the enigmatic fascination of the one who was nicknamed “The Monk”. mad”.
We dismantle some myths about the figure of Rasputin. | Image from: Wikimedia Commons.
While Rasputin burned the nights from scandal to scandal in the filthiest taverns of St. Petersburg , at court he won the Tsarina’s favor by influencing some of the most momentous political decisions of the day.
It was even rumored that Rasputin slept with the Tsarina while the Tsar was on the war front, an extreme that historians rule out. But the fervor that the tsarina is corroborated in the letters that she sent to her husband, and that she often cited Rasputin as “Our friend”.
The halo of messianic mysticism that Rasputin had managed to transmit is summed up in that letter in which the tsarina says to her husband: “Before the council of ministers, do not forget to take in your hands the small icon donated by Our Friend and comb your hair several times with his comb”.
During those years the chronicles report all kinds of spells, miraculous cures, exorcisms, black magic, divinations and hypnotizations by Rasputin for the tsars and for the main aristocratic families of the country.
2. Rasputin’s political role
But his significance went beyond his magical abilities. The warlock was also a cunning and intelligent character , despite his lack of training.
At one point, the Tsarina (and her husband, under her influence) believed that Rasputin was a Saint and that the salvation of the Russian nation lay in the hands of this medicine man. That in the same way that she had healed little Aleksei, she would heal sick Russia.
In the period of the First World War, many of the decisions that were taken in the Council of Ministers bore the stamp of this lunatic.
Many of the ministers that the Tsar placed and ceased were proposed by Rasputin . For example, the Minister of the Interior Aleksander D. Protopopov had been imposed by the Tsarina at the request of Rasputin, who prevented his dismissal by convincing the Tsar that he had to be kept in his power because things would go better.
In 1916 the Tsarina sends a letter to the Tsar: “Nicky, we must heed what Our Friend says.” It is a plea for Nicolas II to grant Rasputin’s protege, Sturmer, the presidency of the Council of Ministers. That same year Protopopov and Sturmer participate in seances at Rasputin’s house.
At that time, Rasputin’s decisions had led to a military collapse that had led to a very serious economic crisis. And the people, starving and seeing how the Russians died in vain on the front, blame the tsars for having ceded the destinies of the nation to a crazy medicine man who had bewitched the tsarina herself.
This explains the decisive factor that many historians give to the figure of Rasputin, who, in addition to handling the political threads in the phase of the decline of the monarchy, hatched numerous palace intrigues in which the most ancient noble families of Russia were immersed. .
3. Rasputin’s penis
In the Erotic Museum of Saint Petersburg, the visitor finds in its showcases an authentic jewel: Rasputin’s penis in a glass with formalin. They say a maid found the severed penis next to Rasputin’s corpse and kept it.
Already at the time it was said that Rasputin’s penis measured 30 centimeters, which coincides with the monstrous member exhibited in the aforementioned museum. Now the question is whether what we really see behind those windows are really the sorcerer’s genitals.
Apparently, after some years in the possession of strangers, Rasputin’s daughter claimed that it was returned to the family and kept until her death, at which point it was acquired by a certain Augustine, who sold it to an auction house. Somehow, the penis was lost until in 1994 the museum claimed to have found it.
And although the director of the museum gave the find a scientific appearance, it is unlikely that after so many years the real member of Rasputin would end up in the hands of the museum. Everything seems, rather, a pure marketing operation .
Whatever the truth, Rasputin is still known to many by the story of his penis, and there is no doubt that this myth about his life gave him even more attraction. The size of the penis is thus related to his great virility, and the fact that according to the chronicles dozens of ladies of the Russian aristocracy had passed through the sorcerer’s bed.
The mysterious death of Rasputin
A being as depraved, as demonic and as strong as Rasputin was, had to be immortal too. So the legend of his death and a curious immunity to cyanide was forged around his figure .
On December 30, 1916, the mad monk visited the palace of Prince Yusupov and two days later his body was found frozen in the river.. Even today it is unknown what happened in those 48 hours, but like everything in his life, the mystery has given rise to the legend.
Yusupov himself recounts what happened in his memoirs, although some doubt his reliability due to his playful and childish style. According to this aristocrat, they offered him a small banquet that concluded with cakes poisoned with cyanide . But while the prince awaited his death, the monk went on gobbling with great laughter.
After emptying all the remaining cyanide into his wine, Rasputin seemed more alive than before, so they decided to shoot him in the heart .. Approaching his body, Rasputin opens his eyes and lunges at the prince in a melee fight. He finally receives four bullets, they wrap him with cloth and throw him into the river.
Experts consider it implausible that a human being could resist such a dose of cyanide and a bullet to the heart, and on top of that fight in hand-to-hand combat. It seems more appropriate to think that whoever prepared the dose of cyanide used poor quality material or did not correctly calibrate the quantities. And that the rest is pure literature of the prince.
But the reality is that Rasputin died as he had lived: at the hands of intrigue and conspiracy, in a heinous crime in the midst of alcohol and violence, in the mist of the night and the frozen waters of the river whose silence was taken in secret. and forever the truth of a death after a life full of mystery and lies.
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