History Book Group: "The Last Tsar"
Join the Decorah Public Library History Book Group to discuss Edvard Radzinsky’s “The Last Tsar” at 6:30 p.m. Thurs. April 20 on the 2nd floor of the library. Call the library at 382-3717 to reserve a copy of the book. The group is open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend.
Historians have long believed that Lenin personally ordered the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in July 1918; this contradicts the official Soviet version, in which Siberian Bolsheviks ordered the executions without Moscow's clearance.
Radzinsky, a Russian playwright, adds many valuable pieces to the jigsaw puzzle in an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the slaying, based on royal diaries and newly uncovered eyewitness accounts from the executioners.
The author unearthed the testimony of Lenin's bodyguard, who said that Lenin had ordered him to destroy a secret telegram (and its transmittal ribbon), which contained the top Bolshevik's order to carry out the executions. Oral testimony by a soldier who participated in the killings, given decades later to an informant whom Radzinsky interviewed, alleges that two bodies were missing from the truck that took the executed royal family to an unmarked grave; this will fuel speculation that Anastasia and Alexei, heir to the throne, survived the fatal night.
Using the diaries of Czar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra, Radzinsky also presents a fragmentary account of Romanov family life, their kidnapping and the abortive plots to save them.
Call the library at 382-3717 for more information.