Anyone who has a soft spot in his heart for V.I. Lenin must overlook the man’s bloodthirsty nature and the cruelty of his followers. Revolutionaries don’t mind breaking a lot of innocent eggs to get to that utopian omelette they are always prophesying.
One such example of Bolshevik psychopathy is the murder of the deposed Tsar and his family on the night of July 16/17, 1918.
Tsar Nicholas II had abdicated early in 1917 in the February revolution which produced the first Russian democratic government. He and his family — wife, four daughters, and a son — were held under house arrest at first and were treated decently, but when Lenin’s Communists seized power they were moved to Yekaterinburg in central Russia and confined under harsher circumstances.
The Russian civil war that pitted Whites against Reds complicated matters. In July 1918, Bolshevik forces in Yekaterinburg grew alarmed at the approach of anti-Communist forces and decided to kill the Romanovs lest they be rescued. They were taken to the basement of the house and brutally shot, bayoneted, and clubbed to death, along with four of their servants who had elected to accompany them in their imprisonment. The bodies were then disfigured and hidden in a nearby mineshaft and forest.
Lenin’s government announced the death of Nicholas but continued for years to insist that the rest of the family was alive. The mystery of their disappearance allowed all sorts of imposters to claim that they were a missing princess or prince.
Though Lenin accepted ultimate responsibility for the murders, historians still debate whether he gave the order or merely acquiesced in the actions taken by local Bolsheviks.
The bodies of Nicholas, his wife, and three daughters were recovered secretly during the communist era and only revealed after the Party’s downfall. Only later were the bodies of the boy and one of his sisters found in a different location — these remains have not been authenticated to the satisfaction of the Orthodox Church and remain in a vault. As of 2018, splendid tombs house the other bodies in the church of the Sts Peter and Paul Fortress in Leningrad.
The royal family and their servants have been canonized by the Orthodox Church, not as martyrs but as “passion bearers”.