Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 101st Anniversary Of His Murder

Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 101st Anniversary Of His Murder

Exactly this week – 101 years ago in the early hours of the morning of 17 July 1918, the deposed Tsar, his wife Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were executed by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House. Other members of the Romanov family were killed at Alapayevsk later the same day. On July 16, 1918, the Czechoslovak legions were closing on Yekaterinburg. The Bolsheviks executed the deposed imperial family, believing that the Czechoslovaks were on a mission to rescue them. The Legions arrived less than a week later and captured the city.

Tsar Nicholas II Passport - 100th Anniversary Of His Murder
Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 100th Anniversary Of His Murder (Getty Image)

When the firing commenced, the bullets flew wildly, some ricocheting off the Romanov children because they had sewn diamonds into their underclothes to keep the family valuables safe, ensuring they could pay their way in the event that they did escape.

The members of the inexperienced death squad, brandishing an assortment of firearms, were themselves hit in the melee. Nicholas died instantly but several members of the family were only injured, writhing in their own blood on the basement floor as caustic gunpowder smoke filled the air. Their leader, Peter Ermakov, was drunk at the time and only managed to hit Maria in the thigh as she tried to run for the doors.

Two of the girls were still breathing when the bodies were carried out, a fact that has been cited as the origin point for the myth of Anastasia’s escape. Like the shootings, the secret disposal of the victims’ remains was also badly bungled.

Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 101st Anniversary Of His Murder

Yurovsky’s men piled the corpses into the truck, which broke down on route to the nearby Koptyaki woods. They were met by 25 accomplices, also drunk, who had arrived on horseback bearing lamps and expressed disappointment that the Romanovs were already dead as they had hoped to have the pleasure of lynching them.

Ermakov, in his stupor, had only brought one shovel, so Yurovsky dismissed the work crew, retaining only five to help with the burial in an abandoned mineshaft. It was only after having stripped the dead of their clothing, looting the hidden jewels and dousing them in sulphuric acid that Yurovsky realized the mine was too shallow to be secure.

After returning to Yekaterinburg to discuss the problem, it was decided to retrieve the bodies and rebury them in a deeper copper mine to the west.

On route, the truck became stuck in the mud in a hollow known as Porosenkov Log (”Pig’s Meadow”), where, too exhausted to continue, the men dug a mass grave and dumped the cadavers, pouring more acid over the remains, smashing the bones to splinters with their rifle butts before concealing their handiwork and returning to town.

But the fate of the Romanovs was brutal beyond reason.

The rediscovery of Nicholas, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia’s bones in 1979 by amateur investigator Alexander Avdonin allowed them to be reburied in the family crypt in St Petersburg in 1998.

The remains of Alexei and Maria were found in 2007 but have so far not been reunited with those of their tragic family due to a DNA dispute raised by the Russian Orthodox Church. A century later, the Romanov ghosts are still not at peace.

Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 101st Anniversary Of His Murder

Here is an example of a passport during the reign of Nicholas II, a large folio document, written in Russian and French language. The passport was issued in Vienna 1911 to Baron Uxküll Gyllenbrand. The passport is signed by Russian Ambassador Mikhail Nikolayevich von Giers who was actually ambassador in Romania from 1902 -1912, then at a post at the Ottoman Empire.

The mentioned Baron Uxküll Gyllenbrand could be possibly one of the plotters of the attack on July 20, 1944, against Hitler.

Passport Nicholas II issued 1911 in Vienna, Russian language
Tsar Nicholas II Passport - 100th Anniversary Of His Murder
Passport Nicholas II issued 1911 in Vienna, French language

Tsar Nicholas II Passport – 101st Anniversary Of His Murder



  1. Sorry, but the writing of the story before the great passport is only marginally less glory than the business of the murders itself.

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