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Finality: Russian Czar’s Family All Killed

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After decades of whispered rumors among Europe’s royal houses, Hollywood films fanning the flames of royal pretenders identifying themselves as the only remaining survivors of the murdered Russian Czar Nicholas II’s family, latest DNA technology confirms that all of the heirs to the Russian throne were slaughtered.

The remains of their parents—Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra—and three siblings, including the czar’s youngest daughter, Anastasia, were unearthed in 1991 and reburied in the imperial resting place in St. Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church made all seven of them saints in 2000.

Despite the earlier discoveries and ceremonies, the absence of Alexei’s and Maria’s remains gnawed at descendants of the Romanov dynasty, history buffs and royalists. Even if Wednesday’s announcement is confirmed and widely accepted, many descendants of the royal family are unlikely to be fully assuaged; they seek formal “rehabilitation” by the government.

“The tragedy of the czar’s family will only end when the family is declared victims of political repression,” said German Lukyanov, a lawyer for royal descendants.

Nicholas abdicated in 1917 as revolutionary fervor swept Russia, and he and his family were detained. They were shot by a firing squad on July 17, 1918, in the basement of the Yekaterinburg house where they were being held.

Rumors persisted that some of the family had survived and escaped. Claims by women to be Anastasia were particularly prominent, although there were also pretenders to Alexei’s and Maria’s identities.

“It was 99.9 percent clear they had all been killed; now with these shards, it’s 100 percent,” said Nadia Kizenko, a Russian scholar at the University at Albany, State University of New York. “Those who regret this news will be those who liked the royal pretender myth.”

Remains of Czar Nicholas’s Son May Have Been Found (2007)

Tsar Nicholas II’s Coronation (1896) Scenes from the coronation of Russia’s last Tsar Nicholas II in May 1896; this is one of the oldest filmed moving images in existence, and one of the first examples of a significant news event being filmed to be shown to audiences worldwide.

Mystery of the Romanovs – National Geographic video

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Written by smalltalkwitht

May 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm

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