Romanov murder twist: Investigators consider 'ritual killing' theory
“Investigators plan to undertake psychological and historical analysis to establish if the shooting of the Russian royal family was a ritual killing,” a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee – the agency dealing with especially important and resonant crimes – announced at a Moscow conference dedicated to the probe of the killing of the Romanovs.
Svetlana Molodtsova announced that the Investigative Committee plans to form a special panel of experts comprising representatives from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow and St. Petersburg Universities and the Russian Orthodox Church. She added that the experts would start working after the completion of a major archive research project that was underway at the moment of the conference.
The secretary of the Russian Orthodox Church’s commission for examination of the remains of the Royal Family, Bishop Tikhon, told RIA Novosti that Nicholas II remained a symbolic and sacred figure even after his abdication in 1917. Therefore the ritual theory of the killing made sense.
“The murder of the Tsar and his family was a very special act with a ritual and symbolic meaning as it put an end to the 300-year Romanov dynasty, which was loathed by the new authorities,” Tikhon said. “Bolsheviks and their henchmen of all sorts were not alien to very unexpected and various ritual symbolism,” he added, citing Vladimir Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow as an example of a typical ritual building.
“Back in 2015 when the new probe just started it was announced that investigators would look into all theories without a single exception. It would be strange, to say the least, if today we exclude just one theory from the research done by professional historians and forensic experts,” he said.
Chief spokesman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Rabbi Boruch Gorin told Interfax that he and his co-believers were shocked by the statements made by representatives of the Investigative Committee and the Russian Orthodox Church.
He noted that the representatives of the Committee and the Church have not connected the Romanov family’s killing with Jews in their statements. However, any educated person who knows the history of these accusations would understand that they mean the theory that the killing was a Kabbalah ritual organized by Jewish members of the Bolshevik Party.
“We, as a Jewish community are shocked not only because of the absurdity of such assumptions. The myths about the existence of ritual killings relate to various cults and religions, but in Russia … this has become a typical anti-Semitic myth, used by anti-Semitic propaganda for several decades,” Gorin said. “In our view, the absurdity of this theory is evident, because it’s obvious that the murder was committed by complete atheists – people who had rejected any faith in any powers apart from what can be done with their own hands.”
The last Russian Emperor, his wife and five children were killed by a group of Bolsheviks in mid-1918 outside the city of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains. Their burial places were discovered in 1991 and 2007, and in 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized Nicholas II and his family members as martyrs and saints.
Their remains were taken out of the unmarked graves and reburied in Romanov’s family sepulcher in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. However, the Russian Orthodox Church has refused to recognize the remains as authentic due to insufficient evidence. In 2015, the probe into the killings was resumed.