A new band descended from the mountains—horse marines, thugs, whom even the Bolsheviks feared. Bandits armed to the teeth, atop stolen horses, flew into our yard with red flags. On the flags the promising, “Death to the bourgeoisie!”, “Death to counterrevolutionaries!”, “Death to property owners!” Suddenly one of them asked if it were true that I killed Rasputin. When I said that it was true, they drank to my health and announced that if it indeed were so, neither I nor my family had anything to fear.
The fighting has started. The Black sea fleet took the Bolshevik’s side. In Sevastopol they’ve been killing officers. The whole of Crimea has become a slaughterhouse. Sailors broke into houses, raping women and children in front of their families. See more
They tortured the men to death. I had to see them: pearl and diamond necklaces on hairy chests, hands covered in bracelets and rings. There were 15-year olds among them. Many of them were crudely made up in red. It’s a masquerade from hell. In Yalta, rebelling sailors tied rocks to the legs of their casualties and threw them in the sea. Whenever we go to sleep, we don’t know if we’ll wake up tomorrow.
It’s my birthday, which brings me no comfort and nobody else any happiness. At 12 o’ clock they gathered in my room for prayer, which all my siblings came for, including Irina and Felix – he finally arrived during the night. See more
It was so scary to hear his stories about the events in Petersburg, especially about how cruelly they treated the unlucky cadets; they gouged out their eyes, cut off their ears and noses, and then drowned them in the river.
My parents arrived after me in a large car, whose bonnet bore a flag with the Yusupov family coat of arms and a crown. This told me that everything was still tranquil in Crimea.
At the train station in Petersburg, I bought a newspaper and read, “Prince Yusupov has been arrested and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress.” The servants who had read of my arrest were in tears. See more
When they saw me, their mouths gaped, and they began weeping with joy instead. Although it was forbidden me, I met with one or two of my friends. Finally, after a few days, I left along with those same guardian angels of mine, both military and civilian, for the Crimea.
I told the commander that I had no intention of indefinitely staying in Kiev and doing nothing. I wanted to join my family in Crimea. Moreover, I had to pick up some things that I left in Petrograd, as I was leaving the city in a hurry.
When I opened the newspaper by accident, I jumped in my seat: there was a search for a criminal who had the same name as I did in my fake documents. I’m going the commander. He took away my document and easily gave me a new one, also fake.
Confusion reigns in Kiev, just like in the capital. Rifle fire comes from everywhere, such that people are killed by stray bullets. Machine gun fire rages off and on. I pretty much crawl around the city. See more
My landlady was horrified when she saw me in a torn dress, covered in dirt from head to toe. My commander came to me and said that the house where he’d settled and to which he’d called me had been hit by a bomb. The house was no more. He’d stayed somewhere else and, as a result, had escaped.
I have decided to go to Petersburg, to hide my jewels and the most valuable items of my collection. I got to work as soon as I arrived. First I headed for the Anichkov Palace to remove the large portrait of Alexander III. See more
I took it out of its frame and rolled it up, like I did with my Rembrandts in the spring. As for the jewels, I was too late. They have been taken to Moscow on the orders of the Provisional Government. Having completed my tasks in Petersburg, I gathered all the family diamonds and went to Moscow to hide them there together with my trusted servant Grigory. I hid them under the stairs.
Despite the events and general alarm, we still accept guests often. Life takes over, even more so in adolescence. We get together with friends almost every day, at ours on the Moika, then at someone else's. Once, we even went to Tsarskoye Selo.
The Bolsheviks have attempted to seize power for the first time. Trucks full of armed men drove around the city. Lines of machine gun fire fanned out from the trucks.
Despite events and the general anxieties of the guests, we still often accept them. Life takes own, even more so in youth. We meet with friends almost every day. We have them over at our place on the Moika, then we go to someone else. We once went to Tsarskoe Selo.
While we were away, a court of inquiry visited regarding a complaint from Irina’s family: my mother- and father-in-law reported thefts that happened during the house-check in May. Everyone in the house was questioned separately. The Empress’ turn came. At the end of the interrogation they suggested she signs it “the former Empress”. She signed “Widow of Alexander III”.
The residents of Ai-Todor are daily exposed to insults. Twenty five soldiers and sailors, beasts and savages to a man, have taken up residence in the manor. The commissar has announced to my parents-in-law that they are under arrest.
Первая ласточка беды прилетела в Ай-Тодор. Утром тесть мой проснулся, ощутив револьверное дуло у себя на виске. В дом нагрянули с обыском матросы. Обыскивать приказал Петросовет: этим начальникам взбрело на ум, что Иринины родители — контрреволюционеры. Отобрали ключи от письменного стола и оружие. See more
Вдовствующую императрицу подняли с постели и переворошили простыни. Она стояла за ширмой и не смела слова сказать. Главарь забрал ее письма, бумаги моего тестя. Обыскивали все утро. Всего оружия нашли дюжину старых винчестеров, хранившихся прежде на яхте, о которых тесть мой и думать забыл. В полдень главный их, офицер, явился объявить великому князю, что арестует Марию ФедоровнуВдова императора Александра III, мать императора Николая II: дескать, оскорбила Временное правительство. Еле угомонил его тесть, объяснив, что, если матросы ломятся к пожилой даме в пять утра, она, понятное дело, недовольна. Обыск в Ай-Тодоре лишний раз показал, как слабо Временное правительство.