Russia is launching an investigation into whether Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed by Jews as part of a ‘ritual murder’ in a move that has infuriated anti-Semitism campaigners.
Father Tikhon Shevkunov, the Orthodox bishop heading an investigatory panel, is among hardcore members of the church who claim the final Russian emperor was murdered in a Jewish ritual.
Tsar Nicholas was shot with his wife and five children by Communist Bolsheviks in 1918 after Vladimir Lenin came to power, and wild rumours about the circumstances surrounding his death have circulated ever since.
Chief spokesman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Rabbi Boruch Gorin told Interfax that he and his co-believers were shocked by the statements made by representatives of the Investigative Committee and the Russian Orthodox Church.
He noted that the representatives of the Committee and the Church have not connected the Romanov family’s killing with Jews in their statements. However, any educated person who knows the history of these accusations would understand that they mean the theory that the killing was a Kabbalah ritual organized by Jewish members of the Bolshevik Party.
“We, as a Jewish community are shocked not only because of the absurdity of such assumptions. The myths about the existence of ritual killings relate to various cults and religions, but in Russia … this has become a typical anti-Semitic myth, used by anti-Semitic propaganda for several decades,” Gorin said. “In our view, the absurdity of this theory is evident, because it’s obvious that the murder was committed by complete atheists – people who had rejected any faith in any powers apart from what can be done with their own hands.”