Maria Rasputin

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Matryona Rasputina
Matryona Rasputina, far right, with her father, Grigori, left, and Maria Gill[citation needed] in the center, in March 1914.
Born Matryona Grigorievna Rasputina
March 26,[1] 27,[2][3] or 29[4] 1899
Pokrovskoye, Russian Empire
Died September 27, 1977(1977-09-27) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other names Mara, Matrena, Marochka, Maria Rasputina
Occupation Writer, Cabaret dancer, Circus performer, Riveter
Spouse(s) Boris Soloviev (1917-1926)
Gregory Bernardsky (1940-1946)
Children Tatyana Solovieva
Maria Solovieva
Parents Grigori Rasputin and Praskovia Fedorovna Dubrovina

Maria Rasputin (baptized as Matryona Grigorievna Rasputina) March 1899 - September 27, 1977 was the daughter of the Russian peasant, mystic and healer Grigori Rasputin and his wife Praskovia Fyodorovna Dubrovina.

After Felix Yussupov, one of the murders, published his memoir in 1928 she wrote two memoirs about her father, dealing with Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, several politicians, the scandals, the attack by Khionia Guseva and the murder. A third one, The Man Behind the Myth, was published in 1977 in association with Patte Barham. In her memoirs – it is hard to find out which one is the most reliable,[5] certainly not the last one[6] – she painted an almost saintly picture of her father, insisting that most of the negative stories were based on slander and the misinterpretation of facts by his enemies.

Early life[edit]

Maria [7] - only her mother and her father called Maria by the name "Matryona" - was born in the Siberian village of Pokrovskoye, Tobolsk Governorate, probably on the 26, but baptized the next day. She came as a teenager to St. Petersburg, where her first name was changed from Matryona to Maria to better fit with her social aspirations.[7] Rasputin had brought Maria and her younger sister Varvara to live with him in the capital with the hope of turning them into "little ladies."[8] After being refused at the Smolny Institute[9] they attended Steblin-Kamensky private preparatory school in October 1913.

Maria was Rasputin's favorite child.[10] Vera Zhukovskaya described sixteen-year-old Maria as having a wide face with a square chin and "bright-colored lips" that she frequently licked in a movement Zhukovskaya thought was predatory. Her strong body seemed about to burst out of its cashmere dress and smelled of sweat.[11] Society ladies kissed the tall teenager and called her by her pet names "Mara" and "Marochka" during one gathering at her father's modest apartment. Zhukovskaya thought it was odd to see Rasputin's daughter receiving so much attention from princesses and countesses.[12]

Her father[edit]

Entrance of Gorochovaia 64. Rasputin's apartment, No. 20, was on the third floor with a view in the courtyard,[13] but the Tsarskoe train station near. He lived this 5-room apartment from May 1914 with a two housemaids, a niece and his two daughters.

The little that is known about Rasputin's childhood was passed down by Maria.[14] According to her, he was never a monk, but a starets.

For her her father's healing practices on Tsarevich Alexei were based on magnetism.[15]

According to Rasputin's daughter Maria, Grigory did "look into" the Khlysti's ideas.[citation needed][16]

His daughter Maria records that Rasputin was never the same man after the attack by Guseva on 12 July [O.S. 29 June] 1914.[17][18] According to her, he started to drink dessert wines.[19]

On 17 December 1916 Rasputin was lured to the Moika Palace for a house warming party organized by Felix Yussupov, whom Rasputin called "The Little One."[20] (Yusupov, who had visited Rasputin regularly in the past few weeks or months.)[21] The following day they reported their father's missing to Anna Vyrubova. When traces of blood were detected on the parapet of the Bolshoy Petrovsky bridge on Sunday afternoon, one of Rasputin's galoshes, stuck between the bridge piles was found. Maria and her sister affirmed it belonged to their father. They identified one of his boots as belonging to their father.[22]

It is not clear whether Rasputin's two daughters were present, although Maria Rasputin claimed she was there.[23][24] The two sisters moved into a smaller apartment. After the February revolution the fled to their mother.[25]

Maria Rasputin asserts that, after the attack by Guseva, her father suffered from hyperacidity and avoided anything with sugar.[26] She and her father's former secretary, Simanotvich, doubted he was poisoned at all.[27][28]

It is Maria who mentioned the homosexual advances of Felix Yusupov towards her father. According to her he was murdered when he refused this. There is no reason to think Yusupov found Rasputin attractive.[29]

Life following the Revolution[edit]

Maria Rasputin being interviewed by a journalist from the Spanish magazine Estampa in 1930.

Maria was briefly engaged during World War I to a Georgian officer surnamed Pankhadze. Pankhadze had avoided being sent to the war front thanks to Rasputin's intervention and was doing his military service with the reserve battalions in Petrograd.[30]

Rasputin's followers persuaded[citation needed] Maria to marry Boris Soloviev, the charismatic son of Nikolai Soloviev, the Treasurer of the Holy Synod and one of her father's admirers. Boris Soloviev, a graduate of a school of mysticism, quickly emerged as Rasputin's successor after the murder. Soloviev, who had studied Madame Blavatsky's theosophy,[31] hypnotism, attended meetings at which Rasputin's followers attempted to communicate with the dead through prayer meetings and séances.[32] Maria also attended the meetings, but later wrote in her diary that she could not understand why her father kept telling her to "love Boris" when the group spoke to him at the séances. She said she did not like Boris at all.[33] Soloviev was no more enthusiastic about Maria. In his own diary, he wrote that his wife was not even useful for sexual relations, because there were so many women who had bodies he found more attractive than hers.[34] Nonetheless, she married Soloviev on October 5, 1917. They returned to Siberia and lived for several weeks in their mother's house at Pokrovskoye.[33] In September 1917 Soloviev received jewels from the Tsarina to help arrange for their escape,[35] but according to Radzinsky, he kept the funds for himself.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, Soloviev turned in the officers who had come to Ekaterinburg to plan the escape of the Romanovs. Soloviev lost the money he had obtained from the jewels during the Russian civil war that followed.[36] Soloviev defrauded prominent Russian families by asking for money for a Romanov impostor to escape to China. Soloviev also found young women willing to masquerade as one of the grand duchesses for the benefit of the families he had defrauded.[37]


Maria Rasputina as a circus performer in 1932[citation needed]

After the Bolshevik revolution Soloviev and Maria escaped first to Vladivostok.[38] The White émigrés got detained by the revolutionaries; she was questioned December 26, 1919 and January 1, 1920 and let go.[39] In an unknown year Maria was offered a job as a cabaret dancer in Bucharest only because of her name.[40] They settled in Paris, where Soloviev worked in an automobile factory and died of tuberculosis in 1926.[41] Maria found work as a governess and a waitress to support their two young daughters, Tatiana and Maria. After Felix Yussupov published his memoir (in 1928) detailing the death of her father, Maria sued Yussupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia in a Paris court for damages of $800,000. She condemned both men as murderers and said any decent person would be disgusted by the ferocity of Rasputin's killing.[42] Maria's claim was dismissed. The French court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over a political killing that took place in Russia.[43][44][45] Maria published the first of three memoirs about Rasputin in 1929: The real Rasputin. In 1932 Rasputin, My Father was published.

In 1935 she found work as a circus performer for Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, based in Peru, Indiana.[46] The circus toured America and Maria acted one season as a lion tamer, billing herself as "the daughter of the famous mad monk whose feats in Russia astonished the world."[47] She was mauled by a bear, probably in 1936,[48] but seems to have stayed with the circus until it reached Miami, Florida, where she quit before it ceased operations.[49] In 1937 she settled permanently in the United States. In March 1940 she married Gregory Bernadsky in Miami.[50] In 1945 they divorced and she became a U.S. citizen.

She began work as a riveter, either in Miami or in a San Pedro, Los Angeles, California shipyard during World War II.[40][citation needed] Maria worked in defense plants until 1955 when she was forced to retire because of her age. After that, she supported herself by working in hospitals, giving Russian lessons, and babysitting for friends.[51]

Maria claimed to be psychic in 1968 and said Betty Ford had come to her in a dream and smiled.[40] At one point, she said she recognized Anna Anderson as Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, a claim she would later recant.[52] A friend called her "Little Mother" because Maria fretted over whether handbags were in reach of strangers in restaurants, open suitcases in hotel rooms, and whether a reporter who was interviewing her had been given a comfortable enough chair.[40] Maria had two pet dogs, whom she called Youssou and Pov after Felix Yussupov.[53]

Rasputin with his children

During the last years of her life, she lived in Los Angeles, while receiving her Social Security benefits.[7] Her home was at 3458 Larissa Drive in the Silverlake, an area of Los Angeles with Russian émigrés. As of 2013, the original home is still standing. Maria is buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. Her headstone is located in Section H, Lot 189, Grave 1N, in the top center of that section.


One of Maria's two daughters married the Dutch ambassador to Greece and later became friends with Yussupov's daughter, Irina Yusupova, during the 1950s.[54] Maria's descendants live today near Paris.[7] Maria told her grandchildren that her father taught her to be generous, even in times when she was in need herself. Rasputin said she should never leave home with empty pockets, but should always have something to give to the poor.[55] According to Maria their infamous great-grandfather was a "simple man with a big heart and strong spiritual power, who loved Russia, God, and the Tsar," her granddaughter Laurence Huot-Solovieff, the daughter of Maria's daughter Tatyana, recalled in 2005.[55] Her modern day descendant is Anastasia Frolova who is currently studying at Edinburgh University.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 13.
  2. ^ California State Death Index, Name: Maria G. Rasputin, Birth Date: 03-27-1899 [sic], Sex: Female, Death Place: Los Angeles Co. (19), Death Date: 09-27-1977, SSN: 115-09-2290, Age: 78 yrs. [sic]
  3. ^ U.S. Social Security Death Index, Name: Maria Bern, Birth: 27 Mar 1889, SSN: 115-09-2290, Issued: New York, Death: Sep 1977, Last Residence: 90026 (Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., CA).
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  5. ^ van der Meiden, p. 84.
  6. ^ Fuhrmann, p. X
  7. ^ a b c d e Alexander, Robert, Rasputin's Daughter, Penguin Books, 2006, ISBN 978-0-14-303865-8, pp. 297-298
  8. ^ Edvard Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, Doubleday, 2000, ISBN 0-385-48909-9, p. 201.
  9. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 134.
  10. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 492
  11. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 202
  12. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 216
  13. ^ Петербургские квартиры Распутина. Retrieved on 15 July 2014.
  14. ^ Rasputin.
  15. ^ Rasputin, p. 33.
  16. ^ Moynahan, p. 37.
  17. ^ Mon père Grigory Raspoutine. Mémoires et notes (par Marie Solovieff-Raspoutine) J. Povolozky & Cie. Paris 1923; Matrena Rasputina, Memoirs of The Daughter, Moscow 2001. ISBN 5-8159-0180-6 (Russian)
  18. ^ Rasputin, p. 12.
  19. ^ Rasputin, p. 88.
  20. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, pp. 452-454
  21. ^ Maria Rasputin, p. 13
  22. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, pp. 452-454
  23. ^ Rasputin, p. 16
  24. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 222
  25. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 233.
  26. ^ Rasputin, pp. 12, 71, 111.
  27. ^ A. Simanotwitsch (1928) Rasputin. Der allmächtige Bauer. p. 37
  28. ^ Radzinsky (2000), p. 477.
  29. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 204.
  30. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 385
  31. ^ Moe, p. 628.
  32. ^ Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra, Dell Publishing Co., 1967, ISBN 0-440-16358-7, p. 487
  33. ^ a b Massie, p. 487
  34. ^ Radzinsky, Edvard, The Last Tsar, Doubleday, 1992, ISBN 0-385-42371-3, p. 230
  35. ^ Moe, p. 628-629.
  36. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, pp. 493-494
  37. ^ Occleshaw, Michael, The Romanov Conspiracies: The Romanovs and the House of Windsor, Orion Publishing Group Ltd., 1993, ISBN 1-85592-518-4 p. 47
  38. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 235.
  39. ^ Forum Alexanderpalace
  40. ^ a b c d Barry, Rey (1968). "Kind Rasputin". "The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)". Retrieved February 18, 2007. 
  41. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 494.
  42. ^ King, Greg, The Man Who Killed Rasputin, Carol Publishing Group, 1995, ISBN 0-8065-1971-1, p. 232
  43. ^ King, p. 233
  44. ^ Fuhrmann, p. 236
  45. ^ Moe, p. 630.
  46. ^
  47. ^ Massie, p. 526
  48. ^
  49. ^ Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940, p. 162 by Katherine H. Adams, Michael L. Keene
  50. ^ Time magazine (March 4, 1940). "Milestones, Mar. 4, 1940". Time magazine. Retrieved Dec 14, 2013. 
  51. ^ Wallechinsky, David, and Wallace, Irving (1975–1981). "People's Almanac Series". "Famous Family History Grigori Rasputin Children". Retrieved February 18, 2007. 
  52. ^
  53. ^ King, p. 277
  54. ^ Radzinsky, The Rasputin File, p. 500
  55. ^ a b Stolyarova, Galina (2005). "Rasputin's Notoriety Dismays Relative". "The St. Petersburg Times(St. Petersburg, Russia)". Retrieved February 18, 2007. 
  56. ^ Alexander, pp. 297-298