The story of the death of Nicholas II and his family through the prism of source...
THE JOURNAL OF REGIONAL HISTORY V.6 No.1
The story of the death of Nicholas II and his family through the prism of source study Review of Pchelov, E.V. Tsareubiistvo 1918 goda: istochniki, voprosy, versii [The regicide of 1918: sources, questions, and versions]. Moscow: RGGU, 2020.
The historiography of the death of Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his family and retinue has been replenished with a new book. The monograph by famous historian Evgenii Pchelov The Regicide of 1918: Sources, Questions, and Versions published in 2020 by the publishing house of the Russian State University for the Humanities is based on the results of a source analysis of some issues related to the death of the members of the Russian imperial house in the Urals during the Civil War. The book consists of four sections (chapters), which respectively deal with four debatable and insufficiently studied issues within the framework of this topic. The first chapter of the book is dedicated to the mysterious fate of the documents of the White Guard investigation of the case of the murder of the tsar’s family. The author comes to the conclusion that the extant materials from different parts of the world, in general, make it possible to reconstruct the contents of eleven volumes of the case files. The second part of the work deals with the issue of interpretation of the finds made by investigator Nikolai Sokolov in the area of the Ganina Yama mine where the clothes of the victims were burned. The author disagrees with the conclusions of the White investigator about the complete destruction of the Romanovs’ remains. The third section of the book covers the controversial issue of “mysterious” inscriptions in the basement of the Ipatiev House, where the imperial family was shot. Evgenii Pchelov questions the mystical and cabbalistic background of these inscriptions, although he emphasizes that their further scientific study is necessary. In the final chapter, the author proposes a solution to the issue of whether Moscow represented by Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov sanctioned the murder of the Romanovs in Yekaterinburg. The researcher comes to a reasonable conclusion about the presence of a tacit permission from the top Bolsheviks to destroy the tsar’s family. The review notes both positive aspects of Evgenii Pchelov’s research and some inaccurate or insufficient conclusions of the author which were caused by ignoring the previous historiography, on the one hand, and by a simplified understanding of the source-study approach as relying solely on “available sources,” on the other hand.
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Russian Civil War, death of the Tsar’s family, Yekaterinburg remains, investigation, historical source, source study, memoirs, Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov
Knyazev, M. “The story of the death of Nicholas II and his family through the prism of source study. Review of Pchelov, E.V. Tsareubiistvo 1918 goda: istochniki, voprosy, versii [The regicide of 1918: sources, questions, and versions]. Moscow: RGGU, 2020. Historia provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 6, no. 1 (2022): 298–321, https://doi.org/10.23859/2587-8344-2022-6-1-8