Haunting Photos of Russia’s Last Royal Family Before Their Execution

When Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne, they were immediately exiled and moved about Russian residences.

Then, on July 16, 1918, the Tsar and the rest of the Romanov family, the Tsarina, Alexandra Feodorovna, born Princess Alix of Hesse; Alexei, the Tsarevitch; and four other children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, were brutally executed by the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Their four servants were also killed.

Before being executed, they were told to get dressed and go down into the cellar, where they were arranged for a photograph. That’s when a dozen armed men rushed into the room and opened fire. When the smoke cleared, anyone who was still alive was stabbed to death with bayonets.

According to accounts, it took a cruel 20 minutes to kill the Romanovs and their servants.

Their slaughter brought an end to the three-century-old Romanov dynasty, which was linked by blood to countless European royal families.

Somehow, the Bolsheviks were able to convince the family that they were safe, that they were being protected. But instead of protecting them, they were killed in the most violent manner. Even local authorities were ordered not to help rescue the the Imperial family.

The Bolksheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, were members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party. They seized control of the government to become the leading political power. After taking control over the state and signing a preliminary armistice with Germany, they brought the war to an end. Ultimately, the Romanov dynasty was replaced with a Communist government.

The Romanov family’s final years, from 1914 to 1918, are documented in the photographs above.