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DEPOSITIONS OF EYE-WITNESSES
EXAMINATION OF M. GILLIARD
[M. Gilliard was attached to the imperial household in the capacity of French tutor to the grand duchesses and the czarevitch. He was with the family at Czarskoe-Selo at the outbreak of the revolution, and like most of the other members of the household, he elected to remain under arrest. M. Gilliard especially mentions the emperor’s love for his country and his bitterness of heart after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and he insists that the attitude of the emperor and the empress towards Germany was one of hatred and contempt.
M. Gilliard’s deposition is important inasmuch as it includes a conversation which he had with Tchemodouroff in the latter part of August, 1918. Tchemodouroff then believed that the imperial family had not been murdered, but had been removed to an unknown destination. M. Gilliard did not, however, place much reliance in this statement. He describes his visit to Ipatieff’s house and relates a curious superstition of the empress, who seems to have placed credence in the efficacy of two Egyptian symbols as luck-bringers.—Editor’s Note.]
On March 5, 1919, the Investigating Magistrate for cases of special importance of the Omsk District Court, in conformity with Paragraph 443 of the Criminal Code Procedure, questioned the man named below in the capacity of a witness, notifying him
that during the investigation he might be interrogated under oath.
Replying to the questions that were put to him, the witness gave his name as: Peter Andreievitch Gilliard, and said:
Since 1905 I have been giving French lessons to the daughters of his majesty. From 1912 I began to teach French to the Grand Duke Alexis. I started my instructions in Spala, but very shortly afterwards they were interrupted, as the grand duke met with an accident. I heard about it from other people who were attached to the emperor’s family. I heard that the Grand Duke Alexis, while swimming in a pool, fell and hurt his stomach. The result of this accident caused his foot to be temporarily paralysed. He was ill a very long time, consequently all studies were interrupted. They were, however, resumed in 1913, at the time when I became assistant tutor to the grand duke.
After that I moved to the palace, where I occupied the rooms next to the czarevitch. In 1913 we went to Crimea and later came to Czarskoe-Selo. In the spring of 1913 we went to Crimea, Constance and Finland. From Finland we returned to Peterhoff, in order to meet the President of France, M. Poincaré. It was in Peterhoff that the imperial family resided at the beginning of the war.
In 1915 we lived at Czarskoe-Selo up to the time when the emperor assumed supreme command of the army. During this time I often went with the
czarevitch to the Stavka (general army headquarters), to the front, and generally to every place that the emperor took his son.
At the outbreak of the revolution the emperor was at the Stavka and his family lived in Czarskoe-Selo. The imperial family passed through many alarming moments during this period. All the children had the measles. At first the czarevitch got it and later all the grand duchesses in succession. Everybody was worried by the uncertainty of the situation and ignorance of the fate of the emperor. There was unrest amongst the Guards Rifles quartered in Czarskoe-Selo. One night was particularly alarming. Fortunately the commotion amongst the soldiers was calmed down by the officers.
The emperor’s abdication in behalf of the czarevitch was learned of by the imperial family from the general in command of the Svodny guard regiment. Later the Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovitch came to the palace and officially announced to her majesty the news of the abdication of the emperor.
General Korniloff also came to the palace and informed the empress that she must consider herself under arrest. After General Korniloff’s arrival her majesty instructed me to say that everyone must leave the palace except those who would like to stay of their own free will, and who would consequently have to submit to the routine of those who were arrested. Nearly everybody elected to stay in the palace, and so did I. During this time the
Grand Duchess Maria Nicholaevna was taken ill with inflammation of the lungs. After some time the emperor arrived at Czarskoe-Selo.
The restrictions imposed upon the imperial family consisted of a certain limitation of their freedom. The palace was surrounded by sentries. They were allowed to leave the palace to walk in the park only during a fixed time and always accompanied by a sentry. All the mail went through the hands of the commandant of the palace. Kotsebue was the first commandant. He was replaced by Korovitchenko and the latter was replaced by Kobylinsky who was formerly in command of the garrison.
Kerensky came to Czarskoe-Selo on several occasions. He visited us in the capacity of the head of the new government to observe the conditions of our life. His manners and attitude towards the emperor were cold and official. His behaviour towards him gave me the impression of the treatment of the accused by a judge who is convinced of his guilt. It looked as if Kerensky believed the emperor was guilty of something and therefore treated him coldly. Nevertheless, I must state that Kerensky was always perfectly correct in his manner. When addressing the emperor he called him His Majesty, Nicholas Alexandrovitch. At the same time I must say that during this period Kerensky, as well as everybody else, avoided calling the emperor by his name, as though it were embarrassing to them to address him as Nicholas Alexandrovitch.
On one occasion Kerensky arrived at the palace in the company of Korovitchenko and Kobylinsky and confiscated all the emperor’s private papers. It seemed to me that after Kerensky was through with those papers he understood that the emperor had done no wrong to his country and he immediately changed his attitude and manners towards him.
During the stay of the imperial family in Czarskoe-Selo several disagreeable incidents took place. The first was the confiscation of a toy rifle from the Czarevitch, which was done on the request of the soldiers. The second incident was the refusal of the soldiers to answer the emperor’s greeting. The emperor always addressed the soldiers with words of greeting. After the abdication the soldiers used to answer: “Sdrávstvouyte Gospodín Polkóvnik” (Good-day, Colonel). On one occasion, after being addressed by the emperor, the soldiers remained silent. It appears, however, that this took place not on account of their own decision but by orders of some assistant commandant of the palace, whose name I do not remember.
There were days when the imperial family had to wait a considerable time in the semicircular hall where everybody used to assemble before taking the walk in the park. It was always the guards who were late and who kept everybody else waiting.
However, all these incidents were mere trifles in comparison to the sufferings that were later inflicted on the imperial family.
In the middle of July it became known, I cannot tell how, that the emperor and imperial family had to change their residence from Czarskoe-Selo to some other place. At first it was rumoured that it was to be a voyage to the south, but later it transpired that we were to proceed to Tobolsk.
The reason that we had to move was due to the fears of the government for the safety of the imperial family. During this time the government intended to take a firm course in handling the affairs of the nation. At the same time it feared that such a policy would create some outburst amongst the population which would have to be checked by armed force. Thinking that in the course of the struggle we might also be injured, the government made up its mind to send the imperial family to a quieter place than the vicinity of Petrograd. All this I relate to you from the words of her majesty, who was informed through Kerensky, as to the decision of the government.
I remember that the following persons moved to Tobolsk with the imperial family: Prince Dolgoruky, M. Tatischeff, Dr. Botkin, Miss Schneider and myself. Later we were joined in Tobolsk by Derevenko, Mr. Gibbes and Baroness Buxhoevden, who volunteered to stay with the imperial family.
The imperial family was placed in Tobolsk in the house of the governor. I lived with the imperial family. All the other people were placed in a house belonging to M. Korniloff, opposite the
governor’s house. The life in Tobolsk was very much as it had been in Czarskoe-Selo. The same restrictions were imposed.
Our guards were composed of soldiers who were formerly in the Czarskoe-Selo sharpshooter regiments. Kobylinsky was, as previously, the commandant of the house. We were accompanied during our journey to Tobolsk by representatives of the government, Makaroff and Vershinin (the latter being a member of the Duma). They spent a few days in Tobolsk and then departed. Their attitude towards the imperial family was quite correct, and even kindly disposed—this was particularly true of Makaroff, and especially so in his manner towards the children.
In the middle of October there arrived one Pankratoff, a commissar of the government, accompanied by his assistant, Nikolsky. They were to supervise our life and Kobylinsky was subordinate to them. These two men did not wilfully interfere with the welfare of the imperial family, but a great deal of harm was done by them unknowingly by their behaviour towards the guards and they demoralised the morale of the soldiers.
As far as we could judge, being prisoners, the inhabitants of Tobolsk were well disposed towards the imperial family. Now and then they sent us bon bons, cakes and various sweets. When they passed by the house and noticed any members of the imperial family, they bowed.
The Rifles, who composed our guards, were en masse rather benevolent. There were some good men among the soldiers, but some of them were very bad. Until the Bolshevist revolution the latter kept quiet.
The Bolsheviki brought misfortune to the imperial family as well as to the whole of Russia. The Bolshevist revolution immediately reflected on the minds of the soldiers and those that were bad and evilly disposed became rough in their ways.
On January 25th the soldiers turned out Pankratoff and Nikolsky and made up their minds to ask for a Bolshevik commissar from Moscow. The soldiers forbade the Baroness Buxhoevden to live in Korniloff’s house.
The worst came after the Brest-Litovsk treaty. The soldiers began to behave in a disgraceful manner. On one occasion the Czarevitch noticed on the board of the swing on which the Grand Duchesses liked to pass the time, some inscriptions. He did not have time to read them. When the emperor noticed them he asked Dolgoruky to remove the board. Vulgar, disgraceful, cynical and stupid words were cut on this board by soldiers’ bayonets.
The imperial family was forbidden by the soldiers to visit church. They were allowed to go to church only on Dvounadesiaty holidays (very important feast-days in the Orthodox religion). The soldiers insisted that the emperor should remove the shoulder straps from his uniform. Twice he refused, but
finally, after Kobylinsky informed the emperor that his refusal might result in serious trouble for himself and his family, the emperor had to submit to this demand.
A little hill was made in the garden for the amusement of the children. Once the emperor and the empress viewed from the top of this small hill the departure of a large number of the soldiers (at that time many soldiers left on account of the demobilisation of the army); but afterward the remaining soldiers levelled the hill to the ground.
Things became worse and worse. It was especially severe after all sources of revenue were confiscated from the imperial family. This occurred on February 12th. That day a wire from Moscow was received. I can not tell you who sent it. In this wire a new order of life for the imperial family was prescribed. Up to this time the imperial family had been maintained by the government treasury. Their life was quite appropriate and fitting for them and ran along in the same way that the former emperor and his family had been accustomed to.
By the order of the Bolshevist authorities, lodging, heating and lighting were to be provided for the imperial family, everything else had to be obtained at the expense of the family or of those persons connected with them. We were also restricted in earning of money. I wanted to earn some by giving private lessons in the town, but the soldiers would not allow me to do so, and told me I was to leave
the house altogether in the event that I could not adapt myself to conditions as they were.
By Bolshevist orders the imperial family could not spend for themselves and their servants more than four thousand, two hundred roubles per month. This state of affairs affected life very detrimentally. Coffee, butter and cream disappeared from the table. Scarcity of sugar was felt very seriously, as sugar was distributed in the quantity of half a pound per person for each month. Dinner consisted of two courses, and for those who were accustomed from the time of their birth to entirely different conditions of life, it was far more difficult to bear the situation than it was for those who were not familiar with the luxuries that the imperial family had always enjoyed.
The lack of resources and the necessity of economising made it impossible to continue to pay the church chorus for their singing during the divine services held at home. The church choristers volunteered to sing free of charge. After that a small fee was still paid to them.
The number of servants was considerably reduced and ten of their staff were discharged.
Finally the attitude of the soldiers became so menacing that Kobylinsky, after losing all hope of retaining or regaining control, declared to the emperor that he desired to resign from his present position. The emperor asked him to stay, and Kobylinsky yielded to his request.
In order to make life a little more cheerful, playlets were staged, in which the children took an active part. The emperor tried to find forgetfulness in physical labour. He sawed wood with Tatischeff and Dolgoruky, the daughters or myself. He also attended to the lessons of the czarevitch and personally instructed him in history and geography.
But all the efforts made by the emperor to conceal his feelings could not hide from any observant person his terrible sufferings. Especially after the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty a very marked change was noticed in him that indicated his mood and mental suffering. I could say that his majesty was affected by this treaty with an overwhelming grief.
During this time the emperor on several occasions spoke of politics to me—a thing he had never allowed himself to do before. It seemed as if his soul was yearning for the companionship of another soul, hoping by such companionship to find relief from the intensity of his grief. I could not relate everything he told me, but the central idea of his words and thoughts was that up to the moment of the Brest-Litovsk treaty he believed in the future prosperity of Russia—after that treaty he lost all faith.
During this time he criticised Kerensky and Goutchkoff in sharp terms, considering them to be the most guilty for the collapse of the army. The emperor thought that by their weakness and incapacity the army disintegrated, and the result was that it opened the way for the Germans to corrupt Rus
sia. He regarded the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as a disgrace and as treason on the part of Russia towards her Allies. He said: “And those who dared to accuse her majesty of treason have in the end turned out to be the real traitors.”
The emperor looked upon Lenin and Trotzky, the leaders of the Bolshevist movement, as German agents who had sold Russia for a large sum of money.
After the Brest-Litovsk treaty a profound disdain was felt by the emperor and empress towards the German government and Emperor Wilhelm. They both felt deeply that the German government and Emperor Wilhelm had lowered themselves by dealing with the Bolsheviki and by resorting to such outrageous methods of warfare.
Such was the tenor of our life during February and March. On March 30th a delegate, previously sent to Moscow by the committee of our soldiers, returned to Tobolsk. He brought a written order to Kobylinsky which stated that our life from this time on must be more severely supervised. We were all to live in the governor’s house and a new plenipotentiary commissar had been ordered to Tobolsk for the purpose of enforcing new restrictions. On April 9th this commissar arrived. His name was Iakovleff. On April 10th he came to our house for the first time and was received by the emperor. On the same day he visited the czarevitch who at that time was sick. He returned shortly
after his departure with an assistant (whose name I do not remember). They both visited the czarevitch. On the same day Iakovleff was received by the empress. Iakovleff made quite a favourable impression on the emperor, who told me that he thought Iakovleff not so bad, and that he believed him to be quite straight.
The reason for Iakovleff’s arrival was quite a puzzle to us. This puzzle was solved on April 12th. On that date Iakovleff went to the emperor and announced that he had orders to take him away from Tobolsk. The emperor replied that he would not leave Tobolsk, as he could not be separated from his son who was so ill (the czarevitch during this period suffered from the same affliction he had in Spala in 1912, with the difference that this time the bruise involved paralysis of the right foot), and that he did not intend to leave his family. Iakovleff answered that he was merely fulfilling his instructions, and as the emperor refused to leave Tobolsk, a choice of two decisions had to be made: Either Iakovleff must refuse to obey the orders, in which case another commissar with fewer scruples would be sent; or he must employ force in imposing the order. At the same time Iakovleff told the emperor that he might be accompanied by any other persons he desired. The only thing that could be done was for the emperor to submit to Iakovleff’s demands. Everything that I have told in this connection I know from the words of her majesty.
Nobody knew where the emperor was to be taken. His majesty inquired of Iakovleff in advance, but the latter answered in a way that did not make the matter clear. Kobylinsky told us that Iakovleff at first informed him the destination was to be Moscow, but that he later said he did not know where the emperor was going to be taken.
All this sort of thing was intensely painful and humiliating for the imperial family, all of whom suffered most acutely. Her majesty was greatly tortured by having to decide whether to accompany the emperor or stay with the czarevitch.
She made up her mind that she would go with the emperor and it was decided that the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholaevna should accompany them. The rest of the family was to stay in Tobolsk until the recovery of the czarevitch.
Iakovleff fixed the time of departure for four o’clock in the morning of April 13th. The evening before we all had tea together. The emperor and empress wished us farewell and thanked us all for our services.
At three o’clock in the morning the carts arrived at the door. They were wretched looking vehicles with plated bodies and had no seats and no springs. One had to sit on the bottom, stretching out the feet. Only one telega (peasant cart) had a “capot” (hood). In this cart we decided to place her majesty. There was hardly anything on the bottom of the carriages. We went to the court yard where
an employé by the name of Kirpitchnikoff kept his pigs. There was some straw in stock. This straw we used for covering the bottom of the cart that was supplied with a hood and, I think, we put some straw also on the bottoms of some other carts. In the covered cart we also put a mattress. The emperor desired to go with her majesty and Maria Nicholaevna. Iakovleff insisted that the emperor should ride in the same cart as he did. They all left on April 13th shortly after four o’clock in the morning.
At this time the following persons departed from Tobolsk: The emperor and empress, Grand Duchess Maria Nicholaevna, Botkin, Dolgoruky, Tchemodouroff, Sedneff and Demidova. They were accompanied by six Rifles men and two officers—Matveieff and Nabokoff, as well as by soldiers of Iakovleff’s detachment.
Some time after the departure one of the coachmen brought us a short note from Maria Nicholaevna. She said in her note that the conditions of travelling were extremely hard, that the road was bad and the carriage was awful.
Later Kobylinsky received a wire from Nabokoff announcing the arrival of the party at Tumen. Greatly to the surprise of everybody Kobylinsky suddenly received a telegram from Matveieff stating that the emperor and all the persons in his party were held up in Yekaterinburg. This was quite unexpected, as we all thought that the emperor was to be taken to Moscow.
On April 24th a letter came from the empress. She wrote that they had all been placed in two rooms of the Ipatieff house, that they felt very much crowded, and that the only place where they could walk was a small garden that was very dusty. She wrote also that all their belongings had been searched, even “medicines.” In the same letter in very discreet language she made us understand that we should take from Tobolsk all our precious things. As previously agreed, she used in her letter the word “medicines” instead of “jewels.” Later Tegleva received a letter from Demidova, undoubtedly written by order of her majesty. In this letter we were instructed how to deal with jewels, instead of which she used the expression “Sedneff’s belongings.”
On April 25th two officers, as well as five soldiers who escorted the emperor, returned to Tobolsk and told us the following story: Iakovleff took the emperor to Omsk. About one hundred versts before arriving at Omsk he took the train and proceeded to Omsk alone. After that he came back and turned the train towards Yekaterinburg. The commissars in Yekaterinburg held up the train. Dolgoruky was arrested and taken to prison directly from the station. All the officers and men were also put under arrest in some cellar, where they were kept for two days, and let free only on the third day and after some protest was made. The general idea to be gathered from their narrative was that the detention of the train and the party was unexpected
by Iakovleff. They told us that he was hustling around all over the place, but was unable to accomplish anything. It was also told us that later, Iakovleff proceeded independently from Moscow and wired to Kobylinsky and Hohriakoff (the Chairman of the Tobolsk Soviet), that he resigned from his mission of commissar to the imperial family.
We started with the preparations for our trip. On April 25th the chairman of the local soviet, Hohriakoff, visited our house for the first time. After that he called on us frequently, urging us and hurrying our departure. I remember that on May 6th, the birthday of the emperor, the grand duchesses wanted to have divine service. Hohriakoff forbade it, saying that no time should be wasted. On May 7th, at eleven o’clock in the morning, we moved to the steamer Russ and about three or four o’clock that day departed from Tobolsk. We were escorted by a detachment commanded by Rodionoff, which was composed chiefly of Letts. Rodionoff did not behave well; he locked the cabin door, in which were the czarevitch and Nagorny. All the other cabins, including those of the Grand Duchesses, were locked also, by his order.
On May 9th we reached Tumen and the same day took a train. We arrived at Yekaterinburg on May 10th at two a. m. During the whole night we were switching from one station to another and being transferred from one track to another. Approximately at nine o’clock the train was stopped
between two stations. It was muddy and there was a continuous drizzling rain. Five isvostchiks (cabs) were awaiting us at the station. Rodionoff, with some commissars, approached the car where the children were placed. The grand duchesses walked out of the car. Tatiana Nicholaevna carried in one hand her pet dog and in the other a hand bag, the latter with great difficulty, dragging it on the pavement. Nagorny wanted to help her, but was roughly pushed aside. I noticed that Nagorny went in the same cab as the czarevitch. I remember that in every one of the other cabs there was a commissar or some other Bolshevik agent. I wanted to leave the car and wish them good-bye, but I was held up by a sentry. I never thought at that moment that I was seeing all of them for the last time; and I did not even know that I was then already discharged from the service of the imperial family.
At last our train came into the station. About three hours later I saw Tatischeff, Hendrikova and Schneider being taken out of the train and escorted by soldiers. A little later Haritonoff, the little Sedneff, Volkoff and Troupp were also taken away. I had almost forgotten to say that the children were accompanied by Dr. Derevenko. In a little while Rodionoff came and announced to us that: we “were not wanted,” and that we were “free.” The Baroness Buxhoevden was then transferred to our car.
In about three days we received an order from the Soviet to leave the Perm district and return to
Tobolsk. We could not fulfil the order as the way was cut off by the advancing Czechs, so we stayed in Yekaterinburg. During this time I visited the town and had a look at the Ipatieff house.
On the 14th or 15th of May I witnessed the following: I was walking on the streets of Yekaterinburg with Derevenko and Mr. Gibbes. While we were passing Ipatieff’s house we noticed that Sedneff was sitting in a cab surrounded by soldiers who carried rifles with fixed bayonets; in another cab Nagorny was seated. When the latter looked up he saw us and looked at us for quite a long time but did not make a single movement that could betray to the people surrounding him that he knew us.
The cabs, surrounded by horsemen, quickly drove to the centre of the town. We followed them as fast as we could and finally saw them disappearing in the direction of the prison.
Our party consisted of eighteen persons and we proceeded to Tumen. At Kamishlov the soviet did not allow us to go any further. We stayed there for ten days. It was dirty and the whole place was infected by disease. Finally we were attached to a train full of Serbs and we arrived at Tumen.
We suffered very severely, but at present I do not want to speak about my personal suffering.
In the latter part of August I was visited by Tchemodouroff. His first words were: “Thank God, the emperor, her majesty and the children are
alive—all the others are killed.” He told me also that he was in the rooms of the Ipatieff house where “Botkin and others” were shot. He told me that he had seen the bodies of Sedneff and Nagorny, whom he recognised by their clothes and that their bodies were put in a coffin and buried. He told me that all the others were obliged to dress themselves in soldiers’ uniforms and had been taken away. It was difficult for me to understand Tchemodouroff, as he talked very wildly.
Tchemodouroff also told me that the life of the imperial family in Yekaterinburg was terrible, that all of them were very badly treated and that they had their meals together with the servants. The commandant, Avdeieff, had his meals also with the imperial family; he was often drunk and sometimes came into the room where the imperial family was without his tunic.
Tchemodouroff also told me that Avdeieff often behaved towards the emperor in an indecent and insulting manner. For example, during the meals, when he wanted to help himself from the dish, he stretched his hands before the emperor and her majesty and in doing so touched the emperor’s face with his elbow.
The grand duchesses after their arrival at Yekaterinburg slept on the floor. The Bolsheviki took away from her majesty a little bag which she used to hold in her hand, and also a gold chain that supported the holy images by the czarevitch’s bed.
After Tchemodouroff’s arrival Mr. Gibbes and myself went to Yekaterinburg for the purpose of giving assistance to Sergeeff, a member of the court. Tchemodouroff told us that Sergeeff was in charge of the investigation of the fate of the imperial family. Together with Sergeeff we visited the Ipatieff house and inspected the room that had the bullet holes on the wall and on the floor. In this house I found two “Egyptian signs” which the empress had the habit of drawing on various things for good luck. One of these signs I noticed on the wall paper of her majesty’s room, the other on the side of the window in a room where, under the Egyptian sign, the date was written in pencil: 17/30 April—the date of the arrival of her majesty in Yekaterinburg. My attention was also attracted to the stoves; they were all full of various burned articles. I recognised a considerable number of burned things such as tooth- and hair-brushes, pins and a number of small things bearing the initials: “A. F.” [Alexandra Feodorovna.]
I got the impression that if the imperial family had been taken away from Yekaterinburg, they must have been taken as they were, without any of their belongings. All the things they might have taken with them were burned. Nevertheless, at the time I left the house I could not believe that the imperial family had perished. It seemed to me that there was such a small number of bullet holes in the room I had inspected that everybody could not have been
executed. When, a considerable time later, I returned from Yekaterinburg to Tumen, Volkoff called on me. I did not recognise him at first, as I had read in the newspapers that after the attempt on the life of Lenin, Hendrikova, Schneider and Volkoff were shot.
Volkoff told me that he was taken directly from the train and put in the Yekaterinburg prison. From this prison he, Hendrikova and Schneider were transferred to a prison at Perm. Tatischeff was also in prison in Yekaterinburg. He was once taken out of prison but was never put back. I could hardly understand from Volkoff’s words what happened to Tatischeff. Volkoff told me that he had seen in Tatischeff’s hands a written Bolshevik order commanding him to leave the Perm district. In the prison Volkoff was put in the same cell with the valet of the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch. The valet said that when the grand duke resided in Perm, four armed men called on him late at night. One of them aimed his pistol at the valet and ordered him to stand still. The others told the grand duke that he had to follow them. The grand duke refused to obey their orders unless he were asked to do so by a member of the soviet personally known to him. In reply one of the armed men went up to the grand duke, took him by the collar and grumbled: “Here is one more of the Romanoffs.”
On one occasion Volkoff, Hendrikova, Schneider and some other people were taken out of prison to
the woods. Volkoff understood they were all going to be shot, so he started running. After he got out of danger and stopped, he heard the sounds of volleys from the place where the others had been left. He believes that Hendrikova and the rest were murdered. He thinks that the Bolsheviki considered him dead, because they were firing at him when he was running, and when he accidentally fell, he heard a voice say: “He’s done for.”
About the fate of the Grand Duke Michael, Volkoff related the following: The grand duke had to submit to force and followed the armed men. One of these men remained with the valet to prevent him from calling for help. When this man left the valet ran to the soviet and told everything that had happened. A tumult started in the soviet, but nevertheless, the members of the soviet were in no hurry to start a pursuit. About an hour later they began looking for the grand duke. It was very hard to get any definite information from Volkoff about the fate of the Grand Duke Michael.
I recall another detail of Volkoff’s narrative: When the grand duke followed the strangers the valet said to him: “Your highness, don’t forget to take your medicine from the stove shelf.”
I have nothing more to declare. My statement has been read to me and it is correctly written.
“ N. Sokoloff.