Friday, April 14, 2006

The execution of the last imperial family

I heard a great and disturbing story the other day. It's about the last Tsar, Nicholas, and his family. They were being held captive after the revolution, and then finally someone decided they ought to be killed. Knowing what was coming, Nicholas and the imperial family sewed a bunch of jewels and diamonds into the corsets of his daughters-- both to hide the riches and to protect the girls' lives. It ended up being a really bad idea, though. A group of men came into the chamber and started shooting the imperial family. Everyone fell down, but the daughters weren't dead. The gunmen kept shooting, but the daughters kept on not dying. They tried bayonets, but that didn't do the trick either. Finally they had to resort to shooting them in the head (I swear I'm not making this up-- read a first-hand account to get even more details. While you're at it, watch this movie too, and you'll realize that this wasn't so very long ago and that these are real people we're talking about. Plus it has some cool music).

What a great story. I mean, I can't imagine the pain the daughters must have been in. And I can't imagine how freaked out the executioners must have been when they couldn't seem to kill the daughters. And of course there's a lot one could say, if one felt like it, about the symbolism of those precious diamonds and jewels. And it's so cool the gunmen tried so hard to not have to ruin their victims' good looks, even though as it turns out they were gonna go dump the bodies down a well somewhere anyway (again, it's all here). I guess I'm just blown away because it's so much better than any story anyone could ever make up about the death of the last imperial family. It seems like someone should make a movie with this scene in it. Wait, maybe they already did. I'll have to check that one out and get back to you.