Nicholas II was the last tsar of Russia He and has wife Tsarina Alexandra had five children Olga Tatiana Maria Anastasia Alexei The Royal Russian Family
Tatiana 1897-1918 Olga 1895-1918 Maria 1899-1918 Anastasia 1901-1918 Alexandra 1872-1918 Nicholas II 1868-1918 Alexei 1904-1918
Nicholas & Alexandra • On April 20, 1894, Czarevitch Nicholas II proposed to Princess Alexandra of Hesse. Although • seen by the Russian people as a cold, unhappy German princess • numerous letters document a lifelong love that existed between "Niki" and "Alix."
The Romanov Children • The Czar and Czarina Alexandra produced five children. • The first two daughters, known as the "Big Pair," were named Olga and Tatiana. • The next two daughters – the "Little Pair" – were Maria and Anastasia. • Then finally an heir to the throne, Prince Alexei, was born.
The Royal Family • Alexei, the only son, destined to be the next tsar, had hemophilia • Virtually untreatable and usually led to untimely death • In desperation, Alexandria began to rely on Rasputin, a mystic, who seemed to be able to help Alexei during bleeding episodes
Rasputin • healer for the young Alexei • Called upon when doctors couldn’t help him with his hemophilia • Alexandra believed that Rasputin was the only one who could cure Alexei • He warned that the destiny of both the Tsarevich and the Romanov dynasty were "irrevocably linked to him"
Problems for the Tsar • The mounting pressure of World War I and economic hardship led to massive discontent with the Tsar • In addition Alexandra began to consult Rasputin on domestic policy while the Tsar was absent leading troops in WW I, further alienating the Russian people • The Tsar was forced to abdicate in March, 1917
Rasputin’s Death • Russian officials decided that Rasputin should die • they fed Rasputin poisoned wine and tea cakes but they did not affect him • Dismayed, they shot him twice but he lived • it was only when they bound his body and threw it into the Neva River that he died.
Final Days • Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks took full control of the revolution and sought to govern the land.
Final Days • Family put under house arrest by the Bolsheviks • Became a problem for Lenin • Many still saw Nicholas as the legitimate ruler of Russia
Execution • On the night of July 17th, the family was awoken and told that there was trouble and that they would be safer in the basement • The whole family, the family doctor,and three servants went to the basement. A group of twelve Red Army soldiers appeared in the basement and shot those there. • The legend has it that the princesses had to be finished off with bayonets as they had stuffed jewels in their blouses which had deflected the bullets. • According to the Yurovsky (the man who carried out the execution) the bodies were soaked in acid, burned, and thrown down a mineshaft
Missing Bodies • The next morning, fearing the discovery of the bodies, Yurovsky ordered the bodies retrieved to be buried elsewhere • However, the vehicle carrying the bodies broke down and they were buried in a pit along a cart track
Locating the Remains • In 1979 a grave was discovered and believed to contain the bodies of the Tsar, his family and servants • Authenticity of the remains was questioned • Only nine bodies were found. (Yurovsky explained that two of the bodies were incinerated and not removed from the mineshaft) • Popular rumor that Anastasia had miraculously been survived • In 1995 and the fall of the Soviet Union that permission was given for the bodies to be exhumed and examined
Authentication of the Remains • Fingerprints • Dental records • Physical Inspection • Evidence of crushing blows, bayonet thrusts and bullet wounds were apparent and consistent with reports of the execution
Authentication of the Remains • Reconstruction of the remains • Nine skeletons were painstakingly reconstructed from 700 bone fragments which were consistent with ages and genders of those known to be executed
Authentication of the Remains • Nuclear DNA Fingerprinting • Proved that three young women were the daughters of one of the adult males • Insufficient DNA for complete analysis
Authentication of the Remains • Mitochondrial DNA Analysis • Mitochondrial DNA from living and dead (but known relatives) of the Tsar & his family established that the remains were indeed theirs
Final Mystery Anna Anderson continued to claim until her death in 1984 that she was the missing princess, Anastasia A small sample of tissue from Anna Anderson which had been removed during an earlier surgery was tested in 1994 Proved that she was not a member of the royal Romanov family and was born to a middle class family in Poland