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Author Topic: END OF A DYNASTY: THE MURDER OF THE ROMANOVS  (Read 22 times)
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PzLdr
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« on: July 16, 2017, 01:54:55 pm »

The family had ruled Russia for over 300 years. Yet by 1918, the Czar, Nicholas II, had been forced to abdicate, a provisional government had been overthrown by a Bolshevik coup, Russia had made peace with Imperial Germany, the Czar, his Czarina, Alexandra, and their five children, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and the Czarevitch, were prisoners, and a Civilo War between the Reds and the Whitesw was ragfing the length and breadth of Russia.

Russia had entered World War I with high hopes, but a badly divided society. The Revolution of 1905 had forced reforms on the autocratic Czar, including a parliament he dissolved with monotonous regularity rather than engage in representative government. And aside from the Brusilev Offensive of 1916, the Germans had beaten the imperial Army like a drum. War weariness, food shortages, and left wing propaganda had resulted in the Czar's forced abdication, and the formation of the Karensky government. But Karensky supported continuing the war, which most Russians opposed. So he was toppled in the October Revolution engineered by Lenin's Bolsheviks.

And the Czar and his family? They became prisoners, after the King of England, his cousin, refused to accept  the Romanovs as refugees.

At first the family was exiled to Siberia. But then, as the Civil War raged and the Whites advanced, they were moved to Yekatrienburg, in the foothills of the Urals, where they were placed in a stockade house, under Bolshevik guard. And there they stayed, until the local Soviet received a telegram from Moscow signed "V. Lenin". The Whites were driving on Moscow, and advancing westward through the Urals. Rather than have them liberated, Lenin suggested they be dealt with.

The result was that in the early morning hours of July 17th, the family, their retainers, servants and bodyguards were ordered to assemble in the basement of the house, ostensibly to take a photo to show they were alive. Some seats were provided for them.

But instead of a photographer, a squad of Bolshevik him men, led by one Ulasky, came through the door, and opened fire. The Czar, his son and several others went down in the fusillade. But the Czarina and the girls were a tougher proposition. They had, at some point,  sewed jewelry into  their dre4ssesd, which acted as a sort of flak vest. So they were bayoneted, stabbed and clubbed to death.

They bodies were then removed to a mineshaft, set afire and dumped. They were subsequently removed from the mineshaft and reburied [except for the Czarevitch and his sister Maria who were, for some reason buried separately in another location. When the Whites arrived in Yekratrienburg, they found nothing.

The grave of Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and their retainers was discovered in 1976, but wasn't publicly revealed by the discoverers until 1991. DNA testing, using Prince Philip of England's DNA  [he was related to the Czarina], proved the bodies were those of the Romanovs. After a funeral Mass, the Romanovs were buried in the St. Petersburg Cathedral. The bodies of Anastasia and her brother were discovered in 2007. Again DNA conclusively identified them, but the Russian Orthodox Church has questioned the finding, and as yet, they have not been interred with the family.

And the murder site? Once the death of the Romanovs was disclosed, it became a macabre tourist site, and an embarrassment to the Soviet Government. It was torn down, on their orders by a local engineer. the alacrity with which he accomplished the task put him on the fast rack for promotion in the communist Party. His name was Boris Yeltsin. 
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