On 24th December 2018, a memorial plaque bearing the name of Nikolai Alekseevich Sokolov (1882-1924) was unveiled on the facade of the administration building in the Russian village of Mokshan, situated in the Penza Region. It was here more than 100 years ago that Moksha District Court was located, where Sokolov, a native of Mokshan worked as an judicial investigator, investigating corruption cases, from 1908 to 1910.
“I am very glad that you all came here today, because this plaque was opened for you, so that you will know, remember not only the history of your area, but also the history of Russia,” commented Penza State Television and Radio Company Professor Victor Kondrashin.
In February 1919, Nikolai Sokolov, on the orders of Admiral Kolchak, conducted an investigation into the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. He fled Bolshevik Russia with substantial material evidence, through Harbin to France, where he continued to collect evidence until his untimely death on 23rd November 1924 in Salbris, France. In 1925, his book The Murder of the Tsar’s Family was published.
Local historian, Olga Yuryevna Kamenskaya, has been researching archives for information on the life of her fellow countryman. Sokolov was born in a house on Sadovaya Street. His father was a merchant of the second guild, his mother was a peasant. Records of the records of their marriage and the baptism of their son have been preserved in the Church of the Epiphany.
During the Soviet years, little was known about Nikolai Sokolov. A participant in the white movement, a monarchist, was enough for his name to be banned during 20th century Soviet history. Only in the years of perestroika, did post-Soviet Russians learn of the important role he played in one of the nation’s most notorious crimes. Olga Kamenskaya decided to restore historical justice and appealed to Metropolitan Seraphim for help.
“I knew about the investigator Sokolov, who was investigating the royal case, but did not know that he was a native of Mokshan. Local historians came to me and said that we should perpetuate the name of our great countryman. At first, I had doubts, but started to do my own research,”said Metropolitan of Penza and Nizhnelomovsky Seraphim.
After the solemn ceremony, fresh flowers were laid at the base of the plaque. The plaque is the first memorial dedicated to Nikolai Sokolov in the Penza region.
The following article ‘Investigator Sokolov: The Suffering of the Tsar is the Suffering of Russia‘ will be published in Sovereign No. 10 Spring 2019.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 December 2018