Sunday, July 20, 2008

Appointment in Ekaterinburg

90 years ago this week, a middle-aged man, his invalid wife, their four daughters, and their hemophiliac son were shot in a basement in a small city in the Ural mountains of Russia.

What makes their death so ominous, to me, is not simply that the man was the Tsar of all the Russias, his wife the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and their children, surely, blameless of any crime, but that it somehow foreshadowed all of the senselessness that marked so much of the rest of the twentieth century.

They were an awfully handsome family.

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