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The Jewish History Series

Lesson #3: The Slaughter of the Innocents (1918)

He was a mild-mannered, pleasant, not too bright sort of a fellow who should have been a gentleman farmer or a small businessman. She was a slightly bossy, rather vain and silly but kind-hearted and basically good woman who should have been a German hausfrau. The four young girls should have been typical teenagers worried about zits, boys, dances, and confiding their secrets to their diaries. Unfortunately, this ill-matched couple was cursed by Destiny. He was Czar Nicholas II of Russia, and she was Alexandra the Empress.

There was a time when world Communism, which in the early part of the last century effectively meant world Jewry, blamed this harmless, dithering family for all the evil of the world, and so they butchered the Romanovs in one of the most heartless and unnecessary atrocities ever committed by the Jewish people against humanity.

This is neither the time nor the place to go over the long and complex series of events which led to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Suffice it to say that Lenin and his Red Guards never actually overthrew the Czar; they overthrew a shaky caretaker government under Alexander Kerensky. Kerensky's regime had done the actual revolutioning, almost completely bloodlessly, and more or less courteously removed the Czar from power in March of 1917. By all accounts, Nicholas was ready to go. He knew he was in way over his head.

It was only when the largely Jewish Bolsheviks took over Russia that the Czar and his family were placed under arrest. The family consisted of the Czar himself, the Czarina Alexandra, the Czarevitch or Crown Prince Alexis, and the four daughters Anastasia, Olga, Tatiana, and Marie. They were treated with increasing contempt and cruelty, being constantly moved from place to place for fear of a possible rescue attempt by the White Guards who were resisting the Communist coup.

In May of 1918 the Romanovs were taken to the remote Ural city of Ekaterinburg, and were confined in the house of one Nicholas Ipatiev, a wealthy Jewish burgess of the city. The Bolsheviks fenced it and boarded up all the windows with timbers that rose up to the top windows. The Gentile commander of their guard force, a man named Avdief, had occasionally done small kindnesses for the family such as giving the girls and the thirteen year-old Czarevitch Alexis extra food and delicacies such as milk and fresh fruit. But in July, Avdief was replaced from Moscow by a new man: a brutal Jew named Yakov M. Yurovsky.

Yurovsky's surviving photographs show that his face actually resembled that of the traditional Mephistopheles, with a pointed beard and burning eyes. He literally looked Satanic, and he was considered even by many of his fellow Communists to be insane. Yurovsky brought with him a detachment of ten other men from the Cheka, the dreaded Bolshevik secret police, who had been selected to be the family's executioners. All of these men were Jews, and comprised what is known in Judaism as a minyan, the ten men required by Talmudic law to conduct any Jewish prayer or religious service—such as a blood sacrifice.

Yurovsky brought with him sealed orders from the Praesidium of the Soviet government, signed by the Jews Sverdlov and Trotsky (Bronstein). He was to kill the entire Romanov family and destroy their remains so that no trace of them could ever be found. No one has ever accused Vladimir Lenin of being merciful, but Lenin himself later denied that he had authorized the killings and on several occasions was overheard in the Central Committee shouting reproaches at Trotsky and Sverdlov.

The Romanovs must have known that something was coming. Their treatment at the hands of Yurovsky deteriorated immediately. His first act was to rob them of all their personal effects and jewelry; the later stories about bullets in the execution cellar bouncing off the girl's dresses because they were sewn in with diamonds were untrue. All of their servants, including the children's foreign tutors, were taken away from them and deported to various parts of Russia, except for one lady in waiting, Anna Demidova, their family physician Doctor Botkin, their faithful cook Kharitonof and one footman, a man named Trupp. These four refused to desert the doomed family, even though Nicholas and Alexandra took them aside and implored them to leave while they still could. The four of them again refused.

Sometime in the early hours of July 16, 1918, the family and the four remaining companions were awakened and ordered to get dressed, being told they were going to be moved again. Instead they were taken downstairs into the cellar of the house, a fairly spacious basement with stone walls. Yurovsky marched in and behind him came the ten Jewish killers with rifles.

The family understood, and without a word silently knelt in prayer as Yurovsky gabbled out an official death sentence from a piece of paper and then drew his pistol, screaming curses and obscenities at them in Yiddish. The death squad opened fire. They don't seem to have realized that bullets bounce off stone walls—this seems to have been the origin of the diamonds-in-dresses legend—and several of the executioners were wounded by their own ricochets. One detail that only emerged when the secret Russian archives were opened in 1994 was that many of the prisoners were not killed outright by the barrage of wild shots, and Yurovsky himself went from body to body and cut each throat, draining them of their blood kosher style.

It should also be pointed out that many of the Soviet files on the Ekaterinburg massacre are still "missing," either held back deliberately or else genuinely removed and purged at some point in the past to save the Soviet government embarrassment. These sections are reputed to deal with the unsavory facts surrounding the family's captivity and the mistreatment they suffered during Yurovsky's brief command, including the allegation that the four princesses were repeatedly gang-raped by the Jewish guards.

The murderers had a lot of trouble disposing of the evidence. The bodies were loaded into trucks and taken far out into the trackless Ural forest. There the killers tried to burn them, but the ground was wet and they did not have enough petrol. Then they tried to dissolve the corpses in acid. Finally they threw the mangled mess down into a flooded collapsed mineshaft. Later they decided to move the remains and hide the evidence of their crime in a deeper mineshaft, but by then the pressure of the advancing White Army forced the Bolsheviks to leave the area before this could be done.

The Ipatiev house was destroyed to avoid it becoming a place of pilgrimage. For many years the location of the bodies of the last of the Czars and his family was one of the most closely guarded secrets of the Soviet state. For a long time the actual location was lost to memory, but a clandestine Soviet expedition in 1979 managed to discover the site again. For political reasons, the remains could not be exhumed. Exactly one day after taking power in 1991, Boris Yeltsin, first Russian president, order the remains retrieved, and the identification process began. Many teams of experts, Russian, British and American investigated sorted and analyzed the remains for DNA for 10 years and came to conclusion that the bones were those of Nikolai, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and the four others who died with them.

It should be mentioned here that DNA analysis has also conclusively proven that the woman Anna Anderson who later claimed to be Anastasia, and who died in Germany some years ago, was not Princess Anastasia, and that Anastasia's remains have been identified as conclusively as is possible after the lapse of time and the conditions of the recovery. As romantic as the legend is, Anastasia died with her parents and sisters on that hideous night.

On July 17, 1998, the bones of the Imperial family were buried in the St.Peter's and St.Paul's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. They are considered martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church. There is a move afoot to canonize them, although the world Jewish community and the Israeli government have lodged official protests with the Church and the Russian government and as of the time of this writing, the family are not yet officially recognized as saints. On July 16, 2003, the 85th anniversary of the murders, a Russian Orthodox cathedral was opened and dedicated to the memory of the victims, on the former site of the Ipatiev house.

The lesson for our time is clear. Justice and vindication in the face of Jewish evil is, in fact, possible. Damned slow in coming, but the triumph of Zion is not either inevitable or irreversible.