In the film, “Dr. Zhivago”, Yuri Zhivago is advised by his communist half-brother to flee Moscow for the east, for his safety. So too, for their personal safety, were the Russian imperial family sent east, away from the passions of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Romanovs were sent east to Ekaterinburg partly to shield them from danger, and partly because, in Ekaterinburg, was a “house of special purpose”, the Ipatiev House.
In her book, The Secret Plot To Save The Tsar (ISBN 0-688-16998-8), author Shay McNeal begins by demolishing supposed “DNA evidence” which surfaced in the 1990s purportedly proving that the Russian imperial family was murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918. That the Romanovs disappeared in 1918 is evident; but since their remains have never been recovered, the only evidence proving they were assassinated comes from conflicting testimony from Bolshevik liars.
McNeal’s research is meticulous in her book. She also exercises scholarly caution, so much so that one has to draw one’s own conclusions as to the fate of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. What follows is Conspiracy Nation’s (now Ersjdamoo’s Blog) interpretation of events centered in the years 1917-1918, based mostly on McNeal’s The Secret Plot To Save The Tsar:
In 1917, “The Great War”, World War I, was occurring. Germany, Austria, and Turkey battled the Allies, which included Great Britain and Russia. The royalty of Britain, Germany, and Russia, ironically, were all relatives of each other. Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra were both first cousins of King George V of Britain. The Tsar and Tsarina were also blood relations of Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, as was the British House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. (In 1917, to hide the awkward circumstance of the British royals being related to the German royals, the nomenclature was changed from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor: same family, new name.)
In Russia, revolution was being stirred up, most obviously by German secret agents as part of Germany’s war effort. If the Russian monarchy could be overthrown, the new rulers of Russia might reach a separate peace with Germany. Thereby Germany could concentrate its war machinery in one place, instead of fighting a two-front war as it was then doing. Also stirring up trouble in Russia were some Jewish activists: Tsar Nicholas II had condoned extreme anti-Semitism during his reign; and thus the Tsar was hated by many Jews throughout the world. Some of these Jews, such as Jacob Schiff of the financial firm Kuhn and Loeb, supported Bolshevik efforts to topple the Tsar. This does not mean that these Jewish activists were Communists, but rather that their sympathies for suffering fellow Jews in Russia led these activists into an unusual alliance with the Bolsheviks. Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Upon Tsar Nicholas being forced to abdicate in 1917, a new Russian government was put in place. The first head of the provisional government was Prince George Lvov. He tried to get permission for the Romanovs to move to Britain. During the time of the Great War, this would have focused unwanted attention upon British royal family links to Kaiser Wilhelm, however. (Recall that the British royals had just changed their name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.) The Romanovs themselves were reluctant to leave Russia at that time since they feared if they willingly left this would lessen any future claim to the throne.
Prince Lvov did not remain as head of the provisional government for long. He was replaced by Alexander Kerensky. Kerensky sent the Romanovs east, to Siberia, “to protect them from the first surges of the revolution.”
After Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. Yes, the Bolsheviks would have wanted the Romanovs executed so as to terminate any threat of the monarchy regaining the throne. However other forces were secretly at work, attempting to save the imperial family. The Tsar was the titular head of the Russian Orthodox Church and it worked covertly to assist the Romanovs. Also working frantically behind-the-scenes (as overwhelmingly shown in McNeal’s book) was the power of the British crown. Publicly, the newly-named House of Windsor had to feign disinterest; privately they sent secret agents such as Sidney Reilly, the “Ace of Spies” (image above, hopefully), on missions to Moscow and elsewhere.
A “two track” banking scheme was set up, with operatives gaining control of Siberian banks. Since the Bolsheviks had dared to repudiate enormous debts owed to the west, the surface of the banking scheme funded anti-Bolshevik groups. Beneath the surface (the hidden track), the banking scheme funneled bribes to Lenin and helped fund a Romanov rescue. The position of Lenin and the Bolsheviks was precarious: on the one hand, if they executed the Romanovs, they risked the wrath of powerful relatives of the Romanovs; on the other hand, if they did not execute the Tsar and his family, Lenin and his gang would be in danger of a return of the monarchy. Lenin used the captive Romanovs as a bargaining chip with the west. Through the two-track banking scheme, Lenin was paid 1,000,000 British pounds sterling. A few days after Lenin got his money, the Bolsheviks signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, one of whose stipulations being that no harm was to come to the Romanovs. (“U.S. Aided Rescue of Czar Nicholas, British Hint.” UPI, Dec. 13, 1970. Story published in early edition(s) of the Chicago Tribune, Dec. 14, 1970. Acknowledgement to Sherman Skolnick for preserving the article.)
The preliminary escape direction for the Russian imperial family was from Ekaterinburg towards the north. Brought into play to assist the Romanovs was the Hudson’s Bay Company which was paid by the British to oversee construction of a “safe house” in Murmansk for the endangered imperial family. When “Ace of Spies” Sidney Reilly went to Russia early in 1918, he went by way of “Romanov-on-the-Murman” (Murmansk). The Brotherhood of St. John of Tobolsk, founded to rescue the Romanovs, had their own secret network meant to hide the Tsar and his family in Russia, probably in the far north. The brotherhood’s secret symbol was the reverse swastika, a Tibetan good luck symbol. Sidney Reilly, one of whose roles was agent for the Metropolitan-Vickers Company, may have been influential in arranging to berth a British torpedo boat at a river near Tobolsk. Planned was that the boat would go far north with its passengers, past the Arctic Circle. Thus, several planned escape routes were being formed.
Were the above planned escape routes just false trails being set up to confuse pursuit? The waters are deep here. The true escape route used by the Romanovs may have led further eastward, through Tibet, as will be shown.
Until early July of 1918, the Romanovs were guarded at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg by radical, loose cannon, Ekaterinburg Soviet personnel. They favored murdering the imperial family. Suddenly, on July 4, 1918, about two weeks before the “execution” of July 17th, Moscow ordered a change of guards. The often inebriated Ekaterinburg Soviet guards were replaced by an elite group controlled by Moscow. The new guards would not be likely to panic and take the initiative of executing the Romanovs, given the approaching circumstance of White Russian troops still loyal to the imperial family.
Late at night during the evening of July 17/18, 1918, British intelligence agent Charles James Fox emerged from a secret tunnel which connected the Ipatiev House of Special Purpose with the British consulate across the street. Entering the House of Special Purpose, Fox encountered the Romanovs, then led them into the secret tunnel. It is at this point that the Russian imperial family effectively disappeared from the world. Soon thereafter, the elite group guarding the Tsar and his family were stunned to discover that their prisoners had vanished into thin air. Listening from inside the tunnel, Fox described what he heard: “…a sullen voice saying, ‘Now I order you to explain the whereabouts of the prisoners! What did he do with the bodies!” Dreadfully afraid of Lenin and Moscow, a false story was concocted to explain how the prisoners had been lost: it was resolved that the prisoners had been taken away and shot.
Scratched on the wall of the Ipatiev House cellar from which the Romanovs had escaped was a reverse swastika, symbol of the mysterious Brotherhood of St. John of Tobolsk. The imperial family stayed hidden in the tunnel for a few days, then were perhaps moved to northern Russia. They were then smuggled to Turkistan, travelled through Tibet with assistance from the Dalai Lama, and reached Shanghai. Early in 1919, a British warship, the HMS Kent, secretly transported the Russian royal family to Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Russia “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” suggested Winston Churchill. Rather than be shown outsmarted by Capitalist intelligence, Lenin and his comrades may have favored clinging to the story of an Ekaterinburg execution of the Romanovs and disappearing bodies. Then too, dead Romanovs are not “risky” to the Russian people as a possible hope of a returned monarchy. Beneath the surface, though, within the privileged hierarchy of Communist Party power, a desperate worldwide seek-and-destroy mission against the Russian imperial family may have been ongoing. The identities of Allied intelligence agents involved in the Romanov rescue have been kept secret for decades, for their personal safety. How much moreso would be the need to protect the Romanovs against the long arm of the Red terror! For that reason, the Russian imperial family has never officially surfaced. Cases such as that of Anna Andersen, who credibly claimed to be the princess Anastasia for decades, are hard to discern. Might the numerous claimants who have arisen be part of a smokescreen, designed to hide the true Romanovs within a “House of Mirrors”? Or suppose a “true” heir of the Romanovs were to be officially acknowledged? Might it be a means of restoring Mother Russia to Her original dignity amongst the nations? Or might it be just another Western plot?
(A version of the above first appeared at my old Conspiracy Nation web site circa January 2003.)