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Four Brothers Mine - Temporary Graves of the Romanov Family

Four Brothers Mine - Temporary Graves of the Romanov Family Civil Wars Disasters Famous Historical Events Famous People Russian Studies Geography World History

This image depicts a scene from the investigation conducted by Nikolai Sokolov into the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.  Those events occurred after the White Army entered Ekaterinburg and before the town, and its entire surrounding area, was once-again captured by the Bolshevik-supporting Red Army.

In this photo we see the “Four Brothers” mine.  Here Sokolov and his team found human remains, a set of artificial teeth (belonging to Dr. Botkin) and other objects (including bullets).  The sheets were in place in the event that the investigators found any bodies.

Sokolov continued his investigation until the Red Army was nearby.  He was sure that high-ranking Soviets had ordered the death of the family and was able to reach eastern Siberia with his evidence (including various boxes of information) before he could be captured by Bolshevik-supporting troops.

A White-Army leader, General Michael Dieterichs, who had been with Sokolov at the mine, wrote a letter about the investigation (and what they investigators found) to Miles Lampton (a Brit):

    His Excellency the British High Commissioner,

    To the last possible moment I wished to retain in my own hands and in Russia, in the revival of which I still continue to trust, the affair of the Imperial Family, i.e. the substantive evidence in the matter and the Remains of the Their Imperial Majesties, which it has been possible to find on the place where their Corpses were burnt.

    The turn which events are taking, however, shows that in order to ensure the safety of these Sacred Relics, it is essential that They should not be connected with my fate.

    I cannot leave Russia; the German orientation in Chita [further east in Siberia] may compel me temporarily to seek refuge in the forest. Under such conditions I am of course unable to carry with me the Great National Sacred Relics.

    I have decided to entrust you, as the Representative of Great Britain, with the safe-keeping of these Sacred Objects. I think you will understand without my having to explain, why I wish it to be Great Britain: you and we have one common historical foe, and the tortuous murder of the Members of the Imperial Family, a deed unprecedented in history, is the deed of this foe, aided by their assistants the Bolsheviks.

    I should like to add that if circumstances compel you to take the Imperial Remains and the documents out of Russia, and if in England cannot return them to me, I consider that they can be only handed over to the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich or General [A.L.] Denikin [commander of the Whites in S. Russia].

    Allow me to wish you and your country every prosperity, firmly to withstand the storm raging in the whole world at present.

    I take the liberty of respectfully wishing all prosperity and health to His Majesty, the King of England, and beg to remain,

    Yours very sincerely,
    M. Dieterichs
    7 January, 1920

What was in the box which Dieterichs sent?  A note, scribbled in pencil, identifies its contents:

This box, which once belonged to Her Majesty the Empress, now contains all that was recovered at the mine shaft from the remains of the burned bodies of:

    His Imperial Majesty Nicholas II, Her Imperial [space left here for the titles] and burned together with them: Doctor Eugene Sergeyevich Botkin, Servant Alexi Yegorovich Trupp, Cook Ivan Mikhailovich Kharitonov, and girl servant Anna Stepanova Demidova.

    Signed... Lt-General Dieteriches

    5 January,1920

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Oct 19, 2017


Media Credits

Image, part of the Sokolov Archive currently maintained at Harvard University.  Online via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

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