BOOKS: IN SEARCH OF THE ROMANOVS

THE MASS EXECUTION OF RUSSIA'S ROYAL FAMILY TRIGGERED AN UNCANNY MYSTERY UNTIL DNA TESTING PROVIDED THE SOLUTION

THE DEATH OF COMRADE NICHOLAS Romanov was nasty and brutish. In 1918 the last Czar of Russia was a prisoner of the Ural Regional Soviet in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg. With him were his German-born wife, the Czarina Alexandra; their four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia, and hemophiliac son, the Czarevich Alexis; the family doctor, Eugene Botkin; and three servants.

On the evening of July 17 a member of the Soviet's executive committee, Yakov Yurovsky, ordered the prisoners to dress. They were herded into a barren, unfurnished room with a single grilled window. Because "your relatives...

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