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What happened to the Romanov Family? - Sources A and B give similar accounts. Does this mean they are reliable?

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Introduction

History Coursework: What happened to the Romanov Family? (A) Sources A and B give similar accounts. Does this mean they are reliable? Both Sources A and B are similar in that they all state that Nicholas Romanov, two royal servants and a maid were all murdered by the Reds in Ipatiev House in 1918. Both sources are different interpretations of the same information. Source A is an account of Judge Sergeyev's findings by an American newspaper, and Source B is a short extract from the report given to the British government by Sir Charles Elliot. Both sources were written in 1918, before Judge Sergeyev was sacked. Both America and Britain were strong opponents of the Bolshevik regime suspected of the murder of the Russian royal family and as such their dependability can be immediately questioned, they may have been biased against the Reds. Judge Sergeyev himself was a white supporter and as such his documented reports may be biased against the Bolsheviks by making them seem worse and more atrocious than they actually were, and therefore damaging them in a critical time of the Russian revolution. The Whites were the forces opposing communist Russia, composing many minority groups who were for some reason or other against the ideas that communism was founded upon. Foreign governments for example, and the aristocracy of Russia were whites. Both Britain and America opposed the Bolsheviks because they withdrew Russia from WWI by signing the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March of 1918. The fact that the governments of the authors of both sources were against the Reds would imply a bias on behalf of their authors, and as such would leave the reliability of both sources questionable. However, since source B is not a public document, and is instead addressed to the British government it seems unlikely that the author, Sir Charles Elliot, would have attempted to distort the truth. ...read more.

Middle

The extent to which D is reliable can also be tested by cross-referencing it with some of the other sources. In doing so the reliability of D is proved doubtable as by comparing the account D gives with those offered in sources A, B, E, I and J many dissimilarities present themselves, making it seem less likely that D is reliable. Sources A and B both disagree with D on who was actually killed by the Reds, source I also disagrees with D on who was actually executed, and source J - although it does not directly state it - advocates that perhaps not all the children were killed. Source D does however also agree with some sources on other aspects of the murders. For example, sources J and C both agree with D in that the corpses of the royal family were transported by lorry to a location for destruction. Source E in particular directly opposes a number of the details that are offered in source D. In source E Mevdevev's wife states that 'my husband fired (at the royal family) too', and the account also establishes that Mevdevev bragged to another guard of how he 'emptied two or three bullets into the Tsar.' which straightforwardly contests the statement that Mevdevev gives in source D of 'He (Mevdevev) walked out and heard the shots. Walking into the room he saw all the members of the Tsars family lying on the floor.' Mevdevev's account in source D implies that he had nothing to do with the killing of the royal family. Sources D and E are distinctly dissimilar, and complement each other in no way apart from that the Tsar was killed in the shooting. Source E does not even firmly ascertain who the other victims were. It is understandable however, that in source D Mevdevev would not have confessed to participating in the killings of the royal family (assuming that the statement Mevdevev's wife makes in source E is in fact correct), in view of the fact that his investigators were White Russians. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the leadership was not involved by the soviet of the Ural in such a politically important decision is what is most surprising about this source. In this source however it is implied that only the Tsar was killed on the order of the Ural soviet. 'His wife and son have been sent off to a secure place.' This contradicts many sources (Sources A and B as well as all other sources related to the investigation of Judge Sokolov) and makes the reliability of source E questionable. (F) How far does source J confirm what the other sources said about what happened to the Tsar and his family? Source J, in my opinion is the most important and reliable source for many reasons. Source J was a report from a British newspaper published in 1994. It states that "two of the imperial families five children were found missing when archaeologists opened a shallow burial pit near Ekaterinbourg". This tells the reader that it was true about the bodies being transported out of Ekaterinbourg. Source J is backed up by modern technology and is proved to be much more reliable than any of the other sources. Source J identifies exactly where and who the bodies are present. Source J is also supported by many other sources and the ones that do not support source J are most likely distorted. In conclusion, Source J, along with sources C and D, believe that the corpses were taken, in a lorry, to a mine, in an attempt to dispose of any evidence. Also, sources A and B agree with J that 5 people were killed. However other sources disagree with J on certain matters, such as how many were killed, as sources C and D believe they were all killed. I still believe that, considering it has DNA information and that it is a secondary source published 75 years after the alleged shootings and has had more time to gather evidence, source J is the most trustworthy source. Adeeb Elhag - 11TS ...read more.

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