As described on Amazon, “This book is a well-documented account of Rasputin as a healer, equal rights activist and man of God, and why he was so vilified by the aristocracy that their vicious rumors became accepted as history. For nearly a century, Grigory Rasputin, spiritual advisor to Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina, has been unjustly maligned simply because history is written by the politically powerful and not by the common man. A wealth of evidence shows that Rasputin was discredited by a fanatically anti-Semitic Russian society, for advocating equal rights for the severely oppressed Jewish population, as well as for promoting peace in a pro-war era. Testimony by his friends and enemies, from all social strata, provides a picture of a spiritual man who hated bigotry, inequity and violence. The author is the great-great niece of Aron Simanovitch, Rasputin’s Jewish secretary.”
The purpose of these pages is not only about the book, but primarily to right a century-old wrong. Included among these pages are:
1. An Article, “Vindicating Rasputin,” distilling the basic essence of the book;
2. Excerpts from the book;
3. Reviews of the book by readers and book review editors;
4. The 12 year journey, researching and writing the book;
5. About Rasputin’s secretary, Aron Simanovitch and his memoirs
6. Related reading
7. Miscellaneous other details
As I post these entries, I hope that they will not only entertain, but educate, and perhaps add another dimension to the historical view of Grigori Rasputin.
Ted Gross interviews authors of books with Jewish themes.
December, 2013, marks the 97th anniversary of Rasputin’s murder. After nearly a century, it is time to dispel the myths that allowed Russia to blame Rasputin for all of its ills. It is also time to note his humanitarian efforts, suppressed by history all of these years.
Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History contains research culled from many different sources, verifying Rasputin’s efforts to better the lot of struggling and oppressed Russian citizens.
Rasputin: The Memoirs of His Secretary by Aron Simanovitch is an account of the observations and impressions of Rasputin’s friend and secretary of ten years.
Delin Colón is the author of Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History; here is a link to her website:
Q: What originally made you interested in writing about Rasputin?
A: My roots are Russian-Jewish. I’m a second-generation American. My father had always told me that his great uncle, Aron Simanovitch, had been secretary to Rasputin, and he had often recounted meeting Simanovitch in 1923, when my father was a young boy. I was in my late forties when I started researching my great-great uncle. I began finding mention of him in various biographies on Rasputin, but I hit the jackpot when I discovered an out-of-print copy of the 1930 French edition of Simanovitch’s memoirs (originally published in Russian in 1928). Fortunately, my undergraduate degree is in French and I spent several years living in the province of Québec, speaking only French.
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You wrote Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History and you also translated your great-great uncle’s memoirs.What are the memoirs about?
Rasputin: The Memoirs of His Secretary is my English translation (with annotations) of the French memoirs of my great-great uncle, Aron Simanovitch, who was secretary and friend to Rasputin for a decade. His perspective is also unique because he was one of a small percentage of Jews permitted to live outside the Pale of Settlement that most Jews were confined to. He lends an up-close, affectionate and intimate view of Rasputin whom he depicts as a threat to the nobility due to Rasputin’s progressive and egalitarian opinions on social and economic reform, which rendered him a convenient scapegoat for all of Russia’s ills. Simanovitch’s discourse is interspersed with much of the gossip, plots and intrigues of Petersburg society at the start of the twentieth century.
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