A. Source A is a report from an American newspaper and it tells us that Judge Sergeyev investigated the murder of the Romanov family. However as Sergeyev was sacked perhaps he had not written his report biased enough so reliable information may be found in the source. The whites would have wanted it to seem like the whole Romanov family was brutally murdered but the report suggests otherwise. This source believes there was a murder, and it happened in the lower storey of the building.
Sergeyev believes that not all the members of the household were shot there, he believes “the Tsar, the family doctor, the two servants and the maid were all shot in the Ipatiev house”, however does believe that the “Empress, the Tsar’s son and four other children” were not shot there. It is important not to take this source too literally as this is not necessarily what Sergeyev himself said, but what the journalist concluded after speaking with him. Source B, however seems much more interesting, it is a report by Sir Charles Eliot to the British Government.
This source is very sceptical about the events; how Judge Sergeyev showed Sir Charles Elliot to the room that the murder was supposed to have taken place. “The position of the bullets indicates that the victims had been shot while kneeling and that other shots had been fired into them when they had fallen on the floor. ” This tells us that it was a controlled murder as they were on there knees. Sir Charles Elliot then admits, “There is no real evidence as to whom or how many victims there were”.
This leaves room for argument, as there is no evidence to support any conclusion. He then tells how many people were thought be dead (the Tsar, Dr Botkin, the Empress’s maid and two servants. ) Emphasizing that there was no evidence he continues, “No corpses were discovered, nor any trace of them being burnt” and on 17th July “a train left Ekaterinburg and it is believed that the surviving members of the royals were in it. ” This again proves that Sir Charles Elliot was not committing himself; instead, he was just reporting what people thought.
As Source B was reported by someone sent by the British government and the British only wished to find out the truth, not gain support so Sir Charles Eliot had no reason to lie. In this way the source is reliable. Also the lack of certainty in the report indicates its reliability. However the information from the report comes from the Sergeyev resulting in the report being influenced by the whites so the source may not be reliable. Source A and B are similar in that the information in both originate from Sergeyev. The sources are different in that Source B is more unbiased than Source A.
I think the sources are both reliable as both suggest that the entire Romanov family was not killed. Also Sergeyev was sacked and in source C his successor Sokolov stated that ‘Sergeyev, on handling the case to me, had no doubt about the fact that the entire Romanov family had been massacred in the Ipatiev house’. I believe that Sokolov lied about this because Sergeyevs reports were too truthful and not biased enough, again showing the reliability of the both sources. Both sources A and B allege that there were murders and that the murder scene can be narrowed down to the lower storey of the house.
Both sources also allege the Tsar, the family doctor (Dr Botkin), two servants and the maid were all shot in the Ipatiev house. Sources A and B are both interpretations of what Sergeyev said. It is not surprising that both sources give similar accounts since the source of information for both comes from the same person, (Judge Sergeyev. ) In conclusion, although source A and B give similar accounts this does not necessarily mean that they are reliable, as the source of information has to be taken into consideration. Both sources A and B ultimately come from Judge Sergeyev; therefore, of course they would have similar information.
However, by cross-referencing with other sources I can conclude that the majority of what is said in source A and B is confirmed with other sources. B. Sources A and B are similar to C in that they all say that people were killed in the basement of the Impatiev house. They also agree in that they both say the people were shot at by revolvers. Sources C and A are both biased towards whites. Sources A and B say that the Tsar and 4 others were shot in the house but the rest of the family were not. However source C says that the whole family was killed.
The facts that are similar in source A and C have not been changed as the people reviewing Sergeyevs and Sokolovs report would have been suspicious if the facts were changed. There are more differences than similarities between sources A, B and C. Source C is more biased against the reds. Source C portrays the reds as inhumane and heartless. Source C talks about the bodies being disposed of in graphic detail which is unnecessary to the report and unlikely to be true again showing the reds negatively. I think that source C is more different than similar to source A and B as it has many exaggerations and unnecessary opinions in it.
Source A and b are uncertain accounts whereas source C is certain of the outcome of the family (they were killed). Sergeyevs report was not biased enough (he was sacked because of it) and source B is unbiased whereas as source C is very biased and makes the reds look extremely bad. C. Judging from source D I believe that Medvedev is reliable, however only to a certain extent. Considering he is our only witness to the murder we have to trust him, however we can evaluate the possibilities into why he said the following “According to Medvedev he was told, “Go out to the street and see whether anyone’s there and if the shots will be heard’…. Walking into the room he saw all the members of the Tsar’s family lying on the floor. ”
I believe we must be cautious about this statement as Medvedev had a motive to try to distance him away from the killing thus in essence watching his won back.. However, after reading and analysing source E, I believe this source makes me trust Medvedev less as chances are that he and his wife were interviewed separately thus they didn’t talk over their stories in order for them to match. This source has come from Medvedev’s wife, considering that she was he’s wife I assume that she loved him and that she had no reason to lie.
Medvedev’s wife says, “My husband fired too. ” Medvedev told one of the other guards that he had “emptied two or three bullets into the Tsar. ” This would contradict what he had said in source D as he claimed he had been sent out whereas his wife claims that he was present and that he did participate in the murder of the Tsar and most likely his family. Therefore, this backs up my prediction of Medvedev trying to distance himself and thus he is less reliable. D. Source F is a photograph of the basement where the murders are claimed to have taken place.
Source F does help us understand what went on because it does confirm that murders took place and that it was a large-scale massacre, we can tell this from the damage and destruction left of the walls and the floor, It gives the location of the murder. Sources A, B, C, D and G all agree that the Romanov family were killed in the basement. However, on its own this source could not tell us exactly who was killed and how many people were killed. Nor can it give us an insight into what happened before the killing i. e. what was said etc.
I cannot tell us if there were any survivors and if any, where they went, also it does not show the rest of the room, as there is a possibility that the rest of the walls were in a similar state. I believe source G is useful to Historians as it is based on the investigation carried out by the whites i. e. Sergeyev. It shows the Tsar in the centre being shot, and Alexis in his arms appears to be dead. Although it shows us information, like all sources it has limits. It does not tell us exactly who else was killed and if there were any survivors.
Sources B, C, D and F all state that this [the basement] was the location of the murder(s) and that the Tsar was killed. This source can be useful to a historian as an example of propaganda sent out after the murder of the Tsar; they have exaggerated the events and made the murder look like a callous act, in the hope that they could get support against the reds both inside and outside of Russia. Source H is a diagram showing the positions of people in the basement. This source contradicts source D that says, “They were led into the corner of the room”.
Source H shows us that the Tsar, family, and servants were not in just a single corner of the room but instead they were spread out over half of the room. It also contradicts source D again as source D says. “Eleven men walked into the room. ” However, source H gives the impression that there were 12 guards instead of 11 guards; a possible answer is that the 12th body is Medvedev himself. I believe Judge Sokolov is not very reliable as he was influenced by the reds thus this could be a biased diagram.
This source can be useful to a historian as whilst it cannot be taken for granted it fits with enough broad evidence to support the idea of the victims being ’rounded up. ‘ In conclusion, each source is useful in different ways: Source F can be used to prove that some sort of killing had taken place. Source G can be useful as evidence of what type of ‘whites’ propaganda there was at that time In addition, Source H could be used as evidence of Sokolov’s version of events i. e. the placement of guards and the royals. E. This source is a very interesting source.
On the surface it would seem not to be particularly surprising, as we know the Whites were coming to Ekatinbourg and we actually knew they arrived because they carried out the investigation we were studying. We also know that the Soviets did shoot Nicholas Romanov, as his remains have been found (as mentioned in source J. ) However when we look further into this source it becomes very odd. First of all we know that the son of Nicholas Romanov were indeed dead as their remains were positively identified in 1991 using DNA testing, as mentioned in the Sunday Times, on the 11th December 1994.
However the most striking thing mentioned in this source is where the decision to shoot Romanov came from. It did not come as an order from the Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg, but from the head of the Bolshevik area around Ekatinbourg. This itself is amazingly odd, as such an important and politically important decision would not be carried out with the approval of Bolshevik officials, as they were the head of the government and so would have decided the best thing to do with the Tsar.
So this source suggests that the Bolshevik party themselves had not authorised the murder of Romanov, and so were innocent of any wrong doing associated with the killing. This could have acted as a failsafe for the Bolshevik party, as should the Whites win the battle and capture them they would not treat them as harshly if they believed they were innocent for the death of the Tsar. I also find it very strange that there seemed to be enough time to send his wife and son off to a secure place, and yet the Tsar had to be shot.
On the other hand we know that at least the Tsar’s wife was killed, as she was mentioned in source J, and was found dead in a burial pit with the Tsar and others. This seems to mention that not only did the Ural take such a high priority decision; they also lied to the Governing body in St. Petersburg about who was killed. This leads me to believe this message was intended to be intercepted, as a totalitarian party such as the Bolsheviks would never have allowed their ‘comrades’ to take such a great decision without them, and let alone lie about them.
So overall I believe this is a very surprising source, and is very suspicious as to why the killings would have been pre-meditated and carried out by the Presidium of the District Soviet. I believe it is the message itself that is more surprising than the content, as they are informing the Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg, and not asking for their permission. F. How far does source J confirm what the other sources said about what happened to the Tsar and his family? Source J is from a British newspaper report 1994 and is the most trustworthy source in the collection.
It starts with “Two of the imperial family’s children were missing… ” It then continues to explain that archaeologists discovered and “opened a shallow burial pit near Ekaterinburg in 1991. ” They matched the DNA tests along with the dental records; it positively identified “Nicholas II, his wife and three daughters. ” Marks on the skeleton of the girls showed they had to be killed or “finished off” with bayonets. The bodies were then driven to a mine and the mine blown up.
However, the mine did not collapse and the “next day the bodies were put back onto the lorry. ” The lorry then became stuck in a swamp travelling to there next destination and that is where it has remained. Source J does not specify how many bodies were found, but can positively identify five of the seven members of the royal family. The strange thing is that it does not mention Alexis being killed which I find strange as if they wanted to end the royal family reign, they need to the kill the Tsar and the heir i. e. Alexis.
Source A is an account from an American newspaper and believes “that the Tsar, the family doctor, two servants and the maid” were all murdered. Source J confirms that the Tsar was killed as his corpse was found and positively identified. However, it does not agree that the Tsarina and three of her daughters were shot. We can presume that there were only five corpses found which are listed above. Source A just states who Sergeyev thought was murdered, however doe not describe any ‘events’ that might have happened after the killing, thus it does not mention where the corpses were taken.
Source B is a report from Sir Charles Elliot, confirms there was a murder, and believes the people murdered were the same people mentioned in source A. This is not surprising as both sources were interpretations of what Sergeyev said. It disapproves source J as it says that only “the Tsar, Dr Botkin, the Empress’s maid and two servants” were killed, therefore it disagrees as it is saying that the Tsarina and three of her daughters were not killed, which is not true as there bodies were found.