Today marks the Centenary of the Execution of the former Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family in the cellar of the ‘House of Special Purpose’ in by the orders of the Bolshevik Government that had come to power after the 1917 October Revolution. The family’s tragic fate has fascinated countless people for centuries, with a host of imposters claiming to be one of the members of the family. To mark the Centenary, we are taking a look at their last moments-
WARNING- Graphic Visuals Ahead!
After another hot, restless day in the ‘House of Special Purpose’, around midnight the family and their four members of staff, a cook, footman, maid, and the Tsarevich’s doctor, were woken up and told they were going to be moved to a safe location due to impending chaos in Yekaterinburg.
The group were led to a small cellar, where they waited for a truck to transport them to the location. The Tsar asked for two chairs, on for the Tsarina and one for the Tsarevich.
A few minutes later, Yakov Yurovsky, the commandant, arrived with the execution squad and read out the order given to him by the Ural Executive Committee:
Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you.”
Afterwards, the gunmen pulled out their guns and started shooting.
The first to die was the Tsar, with the Tsarina shot close afterwards, followed by their staff. A few minutes after the initial barrage of gunshots, it was discovered that all the children were still alive, notably due to the fact that they had their jewels sewn into their clothing. After bullets failed to kill them, the executioners bayoneted them until the cries stopped.
Afterwards, the bodies were stripped, mutilated and buried in a variety of locations in the Koptyaki forest while the executioners haphazardly tried to dispose of the remains. Eventually, nine of the bodies were buried in a pit, while two other were burned, and were not discovered until 1979 and 2007 respectively, and the remains buried in the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. May they now rest in peace!