Rasputin’s RedemptionPosted: June 15, 2012
by Dick Loftin.
“Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History”
by Delin Colon.
Publisher: Createspace, 2011
They were not allowed to own or lease land. They were banned from certain occupations, denied education, and segregated to living in a restricted, ghetto-like area. They were blamed for crimes, wars, and espionage. From the time of Peter the Great into our recent history, they were persecuted, slaughtered, separated from their families. Women were forced into prostitution in order to study or teach. Parents would bribe teachers and headmasters to admit their children to schools. All of this because they were judged to be tricksters and cheats, they were said to be shrewd and skilled at gaining advantage over others. All of this because they were Jews.
One man, Grigory Efimovitch Rasputin, a spiritual advisor to the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia, and believed by them to be a holy man, worked to correct these wrongs. His efforts misunderstood, his reputation and position in history tarnished by those more powerful than himself is the basis for the book, “Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History,” by Delin Colon. Colon is the great-great niece of Aron Simanovitch, Rasputin’s Jewish secretary.
Before I read Ms. Colon’s book, I knew very little about Rasputin. After finishing this book of just over 100 pages, I was left wondering if there may be two Rasputin’s in history. One, a man of deep faith, whose only concern was for his fellow man, who used his position of influence with the Tsar of Russia to try to help the less fortunate, particularly the Jews; or Two, a man who used religion as a tool for manipulation and to gain influence and favor for power, money and advantage. Either way, the conclusion is tragic, for Rasputin was assassinated in late December 1916, and the reign of Tsar Nicholas II ended with his death and that of the Romonov family in July 1918.
Who is this man who some say was a “devil-like figure,” and “The Mad Monk?” Colon’s book hopes to redeem the reputation of Rasputin, which she believes has been tarnished in books and movies throughout history.
Rasputin became known a healer, helping people with migraine headaches and other illnesses through prayer and the laying of hands. His reputation for healing became known to the Romanov family who sought help for young Alexei Romanov. Alexei suffered from hemophilia, a disease in which the blood is unable to clot, which can result in severe, unstoppable bleeding from something as simple as a cut. It would be of little consequence to most, but could be fatal for someone with the illness. The boy would bruise easily, causing internal bleeding and severe pain. When Rasputin entered the family’s lives in 1905, he was able to help the boy relax (some say through hypnosis) and allow his body to heal. Rasputin won the Tsar’s and the family’s confidence, with the Tsar referring to him as a “holy man” and “our friend.”
While Rasputin gained influence with the royal family, he was not entirely welcomed by the Russian elite. He was often accused of sexual misconduct and was said to have spent three months in a Monastery for theft as a teenager. Rasputin dismissed the sexual misconduct charges and the theft charges are noted only as a “possibility” in other source materials.
Whatever influence Rasputin may or may not have had over the royal family, his passion for human rights and the equal treatment of others is clear. He repeatedly councils the Tsar on human rights issues related to the Jews at a time in history when it was not popular to do so. Rasputin would not let human rights issues rest, and continued to work to remedy the problem to the end of his life.
“Although Rasputin was said to have psychic capabilities, and many
of his predictions did come true, it does not take a psychic to forsee
that the extreme oppression of a large population will eventually lead
to agitation and revolution. Rasputin’s politics, simple and naïve as
they were, had the goal of providing plenty for the masses. Had the
Tsar followed Rasputin’s advice of equal rights, peace, and oppor-
tunities for all, revolution may well have been avoided.”
Rasputin also sympathized with the rights of women, giving them attention and consideration, which may have lead to the accusations of sexual impropriety, but the books states that Rasputin had relations with “women of all social classes.” “I speak to them, and they feel better,” Rasputin is quoted as saying.
The Tsar sought, and Rasputin offered, advice regarding social issues, cabinet appointments, saving the monarchy and other issues of the period. The Tsar would consider Rasputin’s advice, but would not always follow it. Once the appointees were in office, they would often back away from positions they promised to keep.
I have read several pieces written about Rasputin on the internet and watched many video clips, including a complete biography of Rasputin’s life. One piece I read of the life of Tsar Nicholas II, barely mentions Rasputin beyond the help he offered to Tsesarevich Alexei Romanov. And it specifically notes Alexandra wholeheartedly believed in Rasputin’s powers and “for the rest of her life she would defend him and turn her wrath against anyone who dared to question him.” For me, this is a powerful statement in support of Rasputin.
In the end, Rasputin is murdered, and months later the Tsar and his family are slain.
Many historians today believe Rasputin to be a scapegoat and so much of the story of Rasputin is puzzling. Was he the “Mad Monk?” Rasputin was certainly a controversial figure in history, and in “Rasputin and the Jews: A Reversal of History,” Delin Colon continues the discussion and brings some clarity to the story of Grigory Efimovitch Rasputin.
Alexei Romanov as Tsesararevich:
Biography of Grigoriy Yefimovich Rasputin from The Biography Channel:
Nicholas II of Russia:
Author and Book Sources: