The Romanovs – 18 & 19 July 1918




(public domain)

At four in the morning of the 18th, Yurovsky arrived back at the forest. He sent some men to watch the road and others to warn the locals that they would be shot if they tried to come near. Ten men had begun trying to retrieve the bodies from the flooded mine. One by one, the bodies were brought to the surface.1 The water had washed away the blood from their faces but some were missing body parts from the grenades thrown in after them. The ground proved too stony to bury the bodies, and Yurovsky wondered if there was enough time to drive the bodies to a deeper mine. The bodies were piled onto carts.

(public domain)

On the 19th, the procession of carts finally began moving, but they did not get far. The carts got stuck in the mud, and Yurovsky finally gave up. They would have to be buried right there. He decided to separate two of the smallest bodies, those of Alexei and Maria, and burn them 50 feet away to confuse anyone who might find the mass grave. That morning, the Romanovs and their servants were finally buried in a shallow grave. They were thrown on top of each other and doused in sulphuric acid. Their faces were smashed to a pulp with rifle butts. They were then covered with quicklime and earth. The bodies of Maria and Alexei were partially burned and pounded with spades. They then drove the truck over the graves to make sure that the earth was pressed down well.2

Back in the house, the only survivor, Alexei’s King Charles spaniel named Joy, sat whimpering outside the Romanovs’ quarters.3

  1. Helen Rappaport – The Last Days of the Romanovs p.203 US & UK
  2. Helen Rappaport – The Last Days of the Romanovs p.204-205
  3. Helen Rappaport – The Last Days of the Romanovs p.207






About Moniek Bloks 2085 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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