Topic: Grand Dukes
Julia Demidenko, Deputy Director for Research of the State Museum of St. Petersburg reported last week that the company that won the tender to carry out the excavations on the site of execution and burial of victims of the Red Terror has been selected. They will launch an investigation and begin new excavations near the Golovkin Bastion in the Peter and Paul Fortress later this month.
During the first years of Bolshevik rule, the Peter and Paul fortress was used to jail “enemies of the Revolution” with many being the first victims of the Red Terror, including four members of the Romanov dynasty who were executed on the grounds of the Fortress, their bodies thrown into unmarked mass graves.
In December 2009, a mass grave was discovered while laying the road to the car park near the Kronverkskaya wall of the Fortress. In 2010, excavation work began in the area between the Golovkin Bastion and the Kronverkskaya ducts. The Museum of the History of St. Petersburg who administers the Peter and Paul Fortress, conducted the first excavations at their own expense. By 2010-2011, a third of the territory excavated had unearthed a total of 112 human remains in nine unmarked mass graves.
The Museum of the History of St. Petersburg recently received further funding in the amount of 2 million Rubles from the city budget which will allow them to continue with the excavations. The museum is hoping to receive further funding to assist with the identification of the remains, including costly DNA analysis.
In the early morning hours of January 28, 1919, four Romanov grand dukes were murdered by a Bolshevik firing squad, they included the youngest son of Emperor Alexander II, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich; the grandson of Emperor Nicholas I and the brother of the poet, KR, Grand Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich; the grandson of Nicholas I, a distinguished historian, Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich; and his brother, Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich.
I have been following this discovery since 2009, and have posted numerous articles on the subject in both Royal Russia News and my blog. To review them, please refer to the following links:
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 September, 2013