The Romanovs – The Final Chapter
Robert K. Massie
Random House, 1995, 292 PP
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Author Robert K. Massie ended his 1967 biography of Czar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra with a description of their death at the hands of the Soviets in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg in 1918. At the time of his previous book's publication in 1967 it was generally accepted that the Czar and his family had been shot in the basement of the home where they had been held captive and that their remains had been destroyed and scattered. More specific details of their deaths were thought to have been lost to history following the deaths of the only eye witnesses to the bloody event - team that had executed them and destroyed their remains. With no bodies to prove the deaths, there was always the question of whether or not some members of the former imperial family had survived - especially one or more of the Czar's four daughters.
"The Romanovs - The Final Chapter" solves most of the mysteries surrounding the death of Czar Nicholas and his family and discredits the claims of the numerous people who have come forward since 1918 claiming to be one of the Czar's children. For seventy years the "Iron Curtain" prevented the exchange of information about the Czar's murder between east and west. The collapse of Soviet rule in the early 1990s removed this barrier thereby allowing the numerous independent streams of inquiry to suddenly flow together into a single river that brought the story of the murder of the Romanov family and the numerous mysteries around it to conclusion. This book, which reads like a detective story, pulls all the various investigations together into a single story.
The first part of the book describes the actual finding and authenticating of the remains of the Czar and his family. The second part describes the stories of many of the people who had come forward over the years claiming to be one of the Czar's children who survived the murder of the family. Some of these, especially Anna Anderson who was thought by many to be the Czar's youngest daughter, Anastasia, had very credible stories and had many people championing their claims to be recognized as a survivor of the Czar's immediate family. Since the remains of two of the daughters were not found, there was the possibility that some of these claims may have been true. However, the new evidence unearthed concerning the murder and attempted destruction of the remains as well as DNA evidence obtained and used to authenticate the remains found clearly showed that all of those claiming to be surviving children of the Czar were false.
The review of this Book prepared by Chuck Nugent