July 31, 1918
More reports on the recent execution of Nicholas II are being published, Today, an op-editorial in the New York Times notes that Nicholas "was so poor a figure of a Czar, fickle. self-satisfied, ignorant, weak, henpecked, usually a dupe, brought up to believe himself a sort of Grand Lama and god on earth." The writer added that his "panegyrists have had to dwell on his domestic virtues," as he was "habitually led by the nose."
He was described as a "good son," and the "too obedient husband of a German wife."
Nicholas might have been a "happy father, a happy bourgeois, a happy snow shoveler," but was "cast for the wrong part." He played it "awkwardly and stupidly," but one hopes that he made his "final exist" with grace and courage.
In a recent story published in the Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger, which published an account of his final hours told to the paper by an unnamed "high Russian personage."
According to this report, Nicholas was "roused" at 5:00 a.m., "made to dress, lugged to a room where he was told of the decision of the Soviet," that his execution will take place in two hours. He "hears the sentenced with perfect calmness." He is returned to his bedroom where he collapses, perhaps from hunger, and "cannot stand up when the escort comes for him."
He fell down the stairs, so they have to "prop him against a post, log against log, to shoot him."
Nicholas' courage was questioned when he was the heir to the throne. At his best, he was a "neurotic quarter-wit, on the road to madness." But in his final hour, courage, the "elementary first virtue of Kings, should not have failed him."
His execution was murder. We can "hope that Nicholas Romanoff died like a man." Just like Louis XVI and Charles I.