Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Final Chapter => Topic started by: Romafan96 on May 27, 2015, 12:24:53 PM

Title: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: Romafan96 on May 27, 2015, 12:24:53 PM
It's documented that that Yurovsky thought of several ways to kill the family before steeling on the idea of a firing squad.  Given the fact his chosen method ended in disaster, I was just wondering if there were any real, feasible other ways of executing the family that would have been "cleaner" so to speak. I think taking them to wood and carrying it out there would have made things "easier" but I can imagine the issues that would have presented.

Title: Re: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: edubs31 on May 27, 2015, 12:59:46 PM
I've thought about this before as well. Given how gruesome their deaths were it's hard to think of silver linings, but I have one...Better that they were shot in the basement of that house mere seconds after being read aloud their death sentence. Up until that point they were unaware, or at most only mildly suspicious, of their impending fate. I take some solace in the fact that they were at least afforded that peace of mind. Yurovsky could easily have loaded them into that truck and taken them to the field alive, as you say. Then promptly have them dragged out of the vehicle, likely kicking, screaming and begging for their lives. Their deaths could have been both physically painful and emotionally terrifying.

That said a more conventional style execution must have crossed Yurovsky's mind. Load them into the truck alive, tell them to get out at the meadow, tie blind folds around their eyes and shoot them, all simultaneously, in the back of the head. This would have would have made more sense to me.

One question I have dealing with Yurovsky's decision...Did he assume a barrage of bullets in the Ipatiev basement to actually have been a more humane way to execute them? Those waiting for the truck of corpses at Pig's Meadow were said to be greatly disappointed at not having the opportunity to off the Tsar, Empress, and their family and retainers. The image a of a bloodthirsty lot of goons much in the vein of Petr Ermakov comes to mind. Given this is is reasonable to believe that had they been afforded the opportunity the men could have been beaten, tortured, and women raped before being killed? And did Yurovsky, not wanting to chance this outcome, thereby elect to liquidate the prisoners prior to leaving the home?

Title: Re: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: Romafan96 on May 27, 2015, 02:13:26 PM
Edubs, I agree. The Cheka method of a shot to the back of the neck would have made the executions a lot quicker and they would not have had to resort to the bayonets and bludgeoning. However, like you pointed out, this would have presented a lot of problems. Even though I don't think they would have suspected anything if they had been placed in the truck alive given the fact they may have still been hoping to go into exile abroad, I think Yurovsky rightfully feared that one of the prisoners might escape (Volkov managed to escape when Hendrikova and Scheidner were shot). Also, the Whites could have interrupted the murders.

I don't think Yurovsky cared too much about the humaneness of the killings, although the fact he wanted it to be over quickly by shooting them in the heart suggests he wasn't out to massacre them.  He just wanted to get the job done in a way that they would not raise alarm in the town and people would not find the bodies. I think he settled on the basement because it was set into the hill so the noise would be absorbed. Also, he expected the walls to absorb the bullets, which, as history shows was a rather silly expectation. Not allowing Yermakov's friends to participate was a wise decision. It would have complicated things even further and most likely added to the suffering of the victims.
Title: Re: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: TimM on May 27, 2015, 05:15:52 PM
I don't think those murdering thugs gave a damn how much it would hurt.  

Of course, most of said murderers were not professionals, they were just hired thugs.
Title: Re: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: Romafan96 on May 27, 2015, 05:23:05 PM
I remember reading that a few of them hoped it would be over quickly. Peter Voikov said it was to their dishonour that the children had to suffer. Remember, killing the Tsar and his family was BIG, especially since they had not received full clearance from Moscow when they did it. I can understand why many of the killers were nervous - they were about to cross a point of no return. Not to mention, Yurovsky was weary of the exterior guards' reactions since they had grown close to the Grand Duchesses. It was a savage thing they did, but I don't think they deliberately wanted to make them suffer (apart from maybe Ermakov). The bad logistics of the room and the fact that some of the killers didn't want to kill the women meant the few tough ones had to finish off the survivors in a brutal manner.
Title: Re: Alternative way of execution (Morbid)
Post by: TimM on May 27, 2015, 05:27:01 PM
Ermakov, yeah, that guy enjoyed every minute of it.  Hope they keep Hell hot for thugs like him.