Tsar's family seeks historical truth

It is 89 years since the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his immediate family were murdered following the Bolshevik Revolution. Russia's Prosecutor General's office still refuses to admit they were victims of political repression.

Maria Romanova, the present head of the Romanov House, wants to clear her ancestor's name. She has appealed to the Prosecutor General to rehabilitate her Royal relatives.

Any repression is always lawless and that's grounds for rehabilitation. Even if we imagine that there was a trial and it proved that Nicholas II committed crimes then in that case he would not be subject to rehabilitation. But there was no trial and nothing was proved.

Aleksandr Zakatov, a historian representing the Romanov House in Russia


“Any repression is always lawless and that's grounds for rehabilitation. Even if we imagine that there was a trial and it proved that Nicholas II committed crimes then in that case he would not be subject to rehabilitation. But there was no trial and nothing was proved,” said Aleksandr Zakatov, a historian representing the Romanov House in Russia.

But the prosecution sees no grounds for that.After the February revolution the Tsar and his family were first moved to Siberia and later to the Urals. They were held in the Ipatiev House in the centre of Yekaterinburg, surrounded by a tall fence. No one was allowed inside without special permission from the commandant. Nicholas II and his family lived there until July 17, 1918.

On that night the royal family was brought down to the basement where the former Tsar, his wife and five children, together with four retainers were told they were enemies of the people and shot dead in cold blood. Their bodies were put into a truck and dumped unceremoniously into a coal pit in  the forest nearby.

89 years after the slaughter many still ask: Was the execution political repression or simply murder?

The Prosecution argues there was no trial and no official verdict, so according to law, it can not be treated as political repression.

But the Romanovs have no intention of giving up.
 
“There was a verdict. There was a telegram sent from Yekaterinburg to Moscow. The order was given by Vladimir Lenin.  Besides, the Ural Soviets were a legal power at the time and carried out the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The head of the Russian government Yakov Sverdlov wrote then that Nicholas Romanov needs to understand and know that he is arrested by the Soviet authorities,” German Lukianov, lawyer of the Romanov family, stressed.

Other historians argue whether any rehabilitation at all is needed.
 
“There was no trial and no verdict.  If we take the French revolution then they had some sort of trial before they executed Luis the Sixteenth and Maria Antoinette, although the children were not killed. Here they mercilessly murdered children. That's why I don't understand whom we need to rehabilitate and what for? After all, the church has already named them saints and martyrs. There must be some commercial interest in all this,” Historian, Aleksandr Bohanov, explained.

The Romanov say there's none.

“The fact the Tsar's family is not rehabilitated means that the State approves of their execution. Because the decisions made by the Central Committee at the time are valid to this day. How can we say that the terror is over in Russia if its victims are not rehabilitated,” Aleksandr Zakatov, chairman of the Russian Imperial house, said.

The house where the family was executed was demolished in 1979 and a Church was built instead.