Telberg George Gustav - Wilton Robert - The last days of the Romanovs

Authors : Telberg George Gustav - Wilton Robert
Title : The last days of the Romanovs
Year : 1920

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During the night between the 16th and 17th of July, 1918, the former Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his family, as well as all the persons Attached to it, were murdered by the order of the Yekaterinburg oviet of workmen's deputies. The news of this crime broke through the closed ring that surrounded Bolshevist Russia aad spread over the entire world. At the end of July, 1918, the town of Yekaterinburg was taken from the Bolsheviks by the forces of the Siberian Government. Shortly after their occupation of the district an investigation was ordered to be made of the circumstances attendant on the murder. A judicial examination therefore took place of the witnesses connected with the life of the imperial family at Czarskoe-Selo, Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg by N. A. Sokoloff, the Investigating Magistrate for Cases of Special Importance of the Omsk Tribunal. Upon the fall of the Kolchak regime, copies of the depositions were taken from the archives by M. George Gustav Telberg, Professor of Law at the University of Saratov and Minister of Justice at Omsk, when he fled with the other ministers of the Omsk government. / These combined statements reconstruct the life-story of the imperial family from the time of the emperor's abdication until the murder of himself, his wife, his children, including the czarevitch, and their few faithful servants in IpatiefFs house at Yekaterinburg. The translator has endeavored to preserve the original simplicity, and in some cases the crudeness and lack of education apparent in the witnesses. Colonel Kobylinsky, M. Gilliard and Mr. Gibbes are educated men who apparently gave their evidence without displaying any outward emotion, but, though they did not exaggerate the sufferings of thd imperial family, they were not eye-witnesses of the final hours of their captivity. The testimony of the soldiers strikes a more sinister note. Two of them witnessed most of the daily happenings at IpatiefFs house, but they display certain evidences of pity and of having been well-disposed towards the prisoners whose murder they condemned. Indeed these men are most insistent that the crime was committed by the "Letts." The third soldier (Medvedeff) took an active part in the murder. The narrative of Mr. Robert Wilton which supplements the translations of the official records is, we think, a document of incalculable value. Written by a man who for sixteen years was correspondent for the London Times in Russia, and who not only speaks Russian but was present throughout the investigation of the scene of the murder and during the search for the relies, his story has a poignancy and an intrinsic value that cannot be overestimated. It is proper here to explain to the reader that the contents of this volume as represented by the Official Depositions in Part I and Mr. Robert Wilton's Narrative in Part II came into existence quite independently and without the design, originally, of publishing them together. Mr. Wilton, who escaped from Siberia after the fall of the Kolchak Government, took with him one of three copies of the dossier of the official investigation. Upon this original source he based his story, adding to it certain facts which he had personally gathered. By a most fortunate circumstance, George H. Doran Company, who were preparing for the press the depositions secured by M. George Gustav Telburg, learned of Mr. Wilton's narrative, and arrangements were immediately made to combine the records in one volume. As the two parts of the book are from different sources, no effort has been made to secure uniformity in certain minor variations in the spellings of proper names. The Index in Part III adopts the spelling used by Mr. Wilton, but the reader will readily recognize the same persons and places in Mr. Telberg's translation in Part I. It will be seen by comparing the two parts that, so far as the depositions here published go, they entirely bear out and give, so to speak, chapter and Verse for Mr. Wilton's narrative; and we have every reason for stating that, if and when the rest of the dossier becomes public, similar affirmation will be given to the whole of his thrilling story, which presents clearly, succinctly, a full and absolutely authentic account of this great human tragedy the greatest perhaps of all time. ...

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