"The World Will Never Know What We Did to Them:" The Western Press Coverage of the Romanov Family Murder
On July 17, 1918, three hundred years of monarchy had ended in Russia with the brutal murder/execution of ex-Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family. In the midst of this, the Russian Revolution had been in full swing and Lenin rose to power. He also intended to keep this power and would do so by any means necessary. While keeping the Romanovs under house arrest, Lenin and the Bolsheviks pondered for months about what to do with the former royal family. He concluded that they could not be kept alive because of the possibility that one member could be reinstated as the monarch. However, Nicholas had been the individual to blame for Russia's descent and the world would be shocked to discover that Lenin had murdered innocent women and children to keep his power. Therefore, it was imperative that Lenin and the Bolesheviks mislead the West, specially their reporters who had been the main sources of information coming from Russia. This paper analyzes the effect that this deception had on the press and the stories that it generated. Many of these fabrications could not be verified because of the lack of physical evidence and the overall suppression of speech regarding the monarchy. It was not until the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent DNA analysis of the remains when the true fate of the Romanovs emerged.