A Bloody Revolution
By Jin Zhong
The Bolsheviks launched the October Revolution to seize power over the Russian Empire in 1917. On Lenin’s orders, Tsar Nicholas II and his immediate family, together with four servants, were killed in Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. The full details of this episode of history shocked the world when they were finally revealed after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Even more surprising was the revelation that on the same day that the Tsar and his family were murdered, another group from the Romanov family, totaling eight people, suffered the same fate. However, their remains were moved and buried in China, according to the report from Moscow published in this issue.
The Communist Revolution that began in Russia has yet to end. Its essence was to build a Communist “paradise” on blood and death. The martyrdom of the Romanov family served as an epic symbol of the great massacre committed by the Communists. A solemn funeral was held marking the 80th anniversary of the last Tsar’s murder in Russia in 1998. President Boris Yeltsin delivered a short but immortal speech of some 500 words at the memorial. He said, “For many years we kept quiet about this monstrous crime, but the truth has to be spoken. We cannot lie to ourselves, rationalizing senseless cruelty with political goals.” He continued, “The funeral for the remains of the victims of the Yekaterinburg tragedy is first and foremost an act of human justice. It symbolizes the unity of the people and atonement for our common guilt. We all have an obligation before the historical memory of the people.”
Boris Yeltsin emphasized that the lesson of this tragedy was that “any attempt to change a way of life by means of violence is doomed.” He concluded his speech by saying, “We are obliged to draw an end to this century, which for Russia became a century of blood and lawlessness, repentance and reconciliation, irrespective of political views, religion and nationality. This is our historic chance. On the threshold of the third millennium, we must do this for the sake of current and future generations. Let us remember those who became innocent victims of hatred and violence. May they rest in peace.”
Today his bitter and thought-provoking words continue to resound in our hearts, as if the prayers of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, who was pushed into a mineshaft, were in our ears: "Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Russian academics demonstrated how the Communist Revolution was the trampling of barbarians on civilization. They deceived the public by speaking ill of the Tsar’s rule, but in the 80 years from the Decembrist revolt until 1905, only 894 political prisoners were executed, while in just the first month of the October Revolution, tens of thousands of people were killed for political reasons. In the 80 years following the murder of the Tsar, many more millions of people died under the CPSU’s dictatorship. Anastas Mikoyan mentioned in his memoirs that seven million people were killed in the Great Purge of the 1930s alone.
China’s Communist Revolution surpassed that of Russia. Three decades after the death of the mass murderer Mao Zedong, the Communists still dominate political power in today’s China, and have never expressed regret for Mao’s evil deeds. Even though they have redressed some cases of injustice, they still owe a blood debt to countless innocent victims of the revolution, the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the suppression of Falun Gong. When will they repent and atone for their sins? Charter 08 made a mild appeal for historic cases to be processed through “transitional justice.” Russia serves as a role model, replacing violence with reflection, repentance and redemption. When Russian opposition leader Boris Yeltsin became the first popularly elected president in 1991, the tricolor flag of the Tsar was adopted as the national flag again, and was raised in Russia in 1993.
30 April 2009, in Hong Kong
(Translated by Isabella Lam)