Massie’s Chapter Not Necessarily “Final”
Robert K. Massie’s The Romanov’s: The Final Chapter is quite possibly the most comprehensive documentation of the waning hours of the Romanov family and the extensive research over the discovery of their remains. Massie seemingly shuts the door after retelling the entire story by calling it “the final chapter,” but as the politics in the book illustrate, can this issue really be put to rest? With every step of the Romanov research, there was at least one dispute to coincide with it. Even after death, Tsar Nicholas II remains controversial and in 2007, with the discovery of more remains that tests have suggested are the tsarevich Alexis and the Grand Duchess Marie, the flames continue to be fanned. The politics involved were directly responsible for the long time the country had to wait for the remains exhumation and identification. As thorough as Massie’s account is, the Romanovs will continue to be a point of contention between parties involved.
When Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne, he and his family were placed under house arrest at the Ipatiev house. Yurkov Yurovsky was sent in one night to move the Romanovs downstairs for safety concerns. If they were left upstairs when the White Army rolled in, they could be harmed. However, this worry was a ruse and the Romanovs were brutally executed in the basement of the house. Their bodies were taken to the Four Brothers mine shafts in Ekaterinberg, doused with gasoline and sulfuric acid, burned, disfigured, and buried. Lenin ordered their merciless execution out of fear of a Romanov resurgence. Their existence could have possibly been the head of an anti-Bolshevik movement. As a candidate for the opposition’s lead, Lenin would take no chances in letting them live out their lives in the Ipatiev house. Politics would influence their untimely deaths, and would continue to be a factor in the decades to follow.
In 1978, Alexander Avdonin and Geli Ryabov set...