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Respected historian suggests 'lost' Russian princess Anastasia fled to America

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 February 2014

Tsar's daughter may, after all, have escaped the execution which wiped out the royal family, says new book.

Anna Anderson is known as 'the best of of several impostors who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia'. Picture: The Age, Australia  

DNA evidence seemed to have put an end to the the claims of American Anna Anderson and others to be the lost princess. Now a new book to be published in Yekaterinburg, scene of the slaying of the Russian royals, will challenge the view that all the Romanovs were shot in a dank cellar in July 1918. 

Anastasia - the youngest of the tsar's four daughters  - was 17 when she was supposedly killed in 1918. 

What makes the theory even more intriguing is that the author is leading Russian historian Veniamin Alekseyev, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences who was a member of the Russian government commission which investigated the authenticity of bones purporting to the those of the royals. He became convinced Nicholas II's remains had been found, but he is far less certain about Grand Duchess Anastasia's, whose bone remnants are - officially - interred in St Petersburg. 

'I do not assume presumptuously she was executed by the Bolsheviks, nor do I assume she remained alive', he said, reported Itar-Tass. 'This is for the reader to decide. On the basis of the archive documents discovered, and new Russian and foreign evidence I have seen since 1991 as a scientist, I have reasons to believe the royal family's fate is not as certain as it has been believed for almost 100 years'.

The mysterious Anna Anderson - also known at various times by the family names Tschaikovsky and Manahan - was for years during the Cold War seen as a possible Anastasia, though her claim was rejected by a number of relatives and servants of the royal family after they met her. Later DNA tests after her death in 1984 were seen to establish her real identity as Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with a history of mental illness.  A lock of her hair and medical samples showed no link to the Romanovs, according to scientists. 

Yet the author of the new book - 'Who are you, Ms Tchaikovskaya?' - is concerned that she has been labelled an imposter too easily. 

Respected historian suggests 'lost' Russian princess Anastasia fled to America

Respected historian suggests 'lost' Russian princess Anastasia fled to America

Veniamin Alekseyev, pictures: Ural Institute for the Humanities and Natalya Zhigareva, 'Uralskiy Rabochiy' newspaper 

Alekseyev has unearthed documentary evidence from the Russian State Archive and elsewhere to produce 'the first-ever publication of evidence of the imperial family's confidantes, opinions of Romanov House members and doctors, who treated the woman and came to the conclusion 'the patient's identification as the Grand Duchess is quite possible and even probable'.'

He argues against the sole reliance on DNA testing of remains discovered in the Porosyonkov log locality, near Yekaterinburg. Historians have ignored archive documents that cast considerable doubt over this version, he said.

'The interests of both the Bolsheviks and Kolchak (leader of the White Guard Movement which opposed Communism) under whose auspices the Yekaterinburg tragedy was investigated in 1918, uniquely coincided in this case. The former needed an image of an uncompromising new government determined to wipe out the old world without a trace, and the latter - a Great Russia without an emperor,' said Alekseyev.

Alekseyev admits he touches on a very delicate issue regarding whose remains were buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St Petersburg. He hopes for new insights when documents pertaining to the royal family are released in 2018. These evidently concern secret diplomatic contacts between Germany and the Soviet Union over the German born tsarina Alexandra and her daughters, and a possible secret exchange in the First World War. 

Respected historian suggests 'lost' Russian princess Anastasia fled to America

Respected historian suggests 'lost' Russian princess Anastasia fled to America

Romanov family pictured in their exile in Tobolsk, September 1917-April 1918. Pictures: Zlatoust City Museum 

Leading French historian Marc Ferro has long argued that the wife of Nicholas II and the imperial couple's daughters were saved. Documents in Vatican archives are said to support this. 

'Why such mercy on the part of the Bolsheviks? After the leftist Social-Revolutionaries assassinated German Ambassador Mirbach, Wilhelm II could breach the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which would have ruined the Soviet regime. Therefore, they had to negotiate,' said Alekseyev. 'All over the world this issue has been degraded for decades by unpretentious stage productions, garbage literature and films. 

'We need scientific clarity over this complicated issue. Therefore, I am only publishing the documents. Where the truth lies, is up to the readers to decide.'

In 1995 Alekseyev discovered a document in the Siberian town of Tobolsk which convinced him the tsar's bones had been discovered. 

'Before I got my hands on these documents six months ago I had strong doubts that the remains were those of the Tsar. But today my doubts have vanished,' he said at the time.

One of Alekseyev's documents belonged to a dentist, Maria Rendel, who examined Nicholas from late 1917 until mid-1918. Rendel wrote that the Tsar had 'a mouthful of rotten teeth'. Decades later a medical expert studying what was thought to be the Tsar's skull said it showed signs of the dental disease paradontosis.

The historian has long argued that evidence hidden in Russian archives, and those of European royal families, can hold clues as to the fate of the Russian royals. Following Anderson's appearance, the Soviet Foreign Minister Georgi Chicherin said: 'The fate of the young daughters of the czar is at present unknown to me. I have read in the press that they are now in America'.

Ferro pointed to testimony from Gleb Botkin, who identified the tormented Anderson as the grand duchess.

'Being the son of Dr. Botkin, the tsar's physician who was murdered with him at Yekaterinburg, (Gleb) knew the sisters well and was their playmate for several years, right down to their incarceration at Yekaterinburg. He recognised her at once as Anastasia,' said Ferro.

Anderson appeared in Berlin in 1920. Originally she was labelled Fraulein Unbekannt - Miss Unknown - after refusing to give her identity. Later she used the name Tschaikovsky. An investigation by the tsarina's brother concluded she was Franziska Schanzkowska, though she remained a focus of media attention. 

She emigrated to the United States in 1968, marrying Virginia history professor Jack Manahan. 

The Russian Orthodox Church has long expressed reservations over the authenticity of the bones.  DNA tests conducted in several Western countries were said to match the bones to a number of royal relatives, including Philip, the husband of the British Queen, Elizabeth II.

Comments (19)

Susannah asks whether there are 'actual living descendents'. Is she perhaps alluding to siblings in Australia and Transylvania. And if she is aware of an australian connection and knows of no offspring from that side, is she searching for the 'open window'.
RAY, East Sussex, UK
12/01/2015 20:45
This is stupid.
Okay, so 9 bodies were found. 2 were missing. There was a total of 12 to be found.
Out of the 9 bodies there was one female, it cannot be said if it is Maria or Anastasia.
But alas, in 2009 another female body and a male body were found not to far off from where the other 9 bodies were found. One was a girl and in a DNA analysis it was confirmed the body was either Maria's or Anastasia's. The other body was Anastasias body. So you see, whether or not it was Anastasia, both Maria and Anastasias bodies were found, and DNA does not lie. Thus, Anastasia died. A truly tragic death it was, but its a reality that she didn't survive.
Mrs. P, Texas
12/12/2014 00:42
I love u Anastasia
anastazia, iran
10/12/2014 21:45
I only have one comment. Maria Romanova supposedly survived and married a 'Prince Dolgoruky'. That is interesting since there is a photo of a 'Prince Dolgoruky' in a book I have called 'The House of Special Purpose', The paragraph near it says he was taken away to prison when the Regional Soviet took charge of Nicholas and Alexandra, and never seen again. Was this the Prince who married Maria?
Elizabeth Paese, Williamsville, USA
27/11/2014 01:37
I believe Annastasia did survive , and lived a quiet happy life , x
Jane , Great Britain
20/11/2014 06:40
Verification of identification via a repeat analysis of Prince Philip's mtdna, to resolve apparent discrepancies between his genotype and those of the remains of the empress and her children, has not been conducted. Thus writer Michael Kirk (Great Britain) in 1998 put forward the version that Prince Philip wasn't the son of his putative mother (Princess Andrew of Greece), so mtdna couldn't be used in the comparative analysis for identification of the remains of Aleksandra Fiodorovna and her children. Some experts suggest analysis of other relatives in the female line, in particular of the Spanish Queen Sofia or her brother, the deposed King Constantine II of Greece.[8] As the repeated analysis of blood from Prince Philip wasn't carried out, there is a difference, and, so while repeated or other analysis on Prince Philip won't be carried out, legal identification of the remains of the Tsarina and her children will not be complete.

Wiki Romanovs
Ivanov, Russia
26/09/2014 18:24
Grand Duchess Anastasia was left handed, she spoke Russian, she has " Galus Vaglus" and could not were normal lady-shoos, she has small teeth, she were's her pearl collier, she was not tinny girl, she has on the right hand by the pink visible bon (in fact is on the 4-th finger), she has not only mtDNA of queen Victoria who never nobody tested, but also X-chromosome with " Royal disorder". This is " haemophilia " gene, or F8 and F9, which is IMPORTANT FOR BLOOD CLOTTING. Ukraine was still 1918 residence of Germany Hesse-Darmstadt, even mother of tsar stayed in KIEV after revolution. We did our DNA AFTER we found "killed" brother of tsar ( Mikhail, who body was never found) on the same photo with our grandmother. Semenov life Guard of tsar was in Ural's who know ALL TUNNELS UNDER GROUND, and my grandfather's cousin was commandant of Kremlin...

No ONE of this bones/remains could be of tsar, because living descendent's of " bones" are looking VIETNAMSE AND ARMENIAN, sorry, Phillip...
Grand Duchess Anastasia ( Victoria Malkova/DNA), Netherlands ( born Ukraine)
10/07/2014 07:05
Franzisca Schanzkowska did not know much about the life of the Imperial Family when she first came out as "Anastasia", only what she had read in the illustrated magazines at Dalldorf. Later, she was fed information from Zinaida Tolstoy who first accepted her as Tatiana, then as Anastasia. In the coming years, she picked up much information from other people, from books and articles in the newspapers. But in spite of all this available information, she made up a heap of "memories" that later were picked apart from those with the proper knowledge. In professor Bischoff''s report, the photos clearly show that the ears of the two women were very different. The findings of Moritz Furtmayr are pure garbage, he used Franzisca's right ear to compare against Anastasia's left ear. He was also totally discredited after the scandal when he misidentified a dead female tourist with a member of the Baader Meinhof gang. As for the foot deformity, Anastasia's was so severe that she had to have shoes especially made for her. See the photos from the tennis court where everybody is wearing tennis shoes, while Anastasia wears white socks and sandals. Franzisca, however, always traipsed around in high heels since she found it most comfortable. The DNA results from Franzisca's intestine sample, her hair and the bones found in Siberia have long ago solved the mystery. But some people just cannot let go of their fantasies.
ChatNoir, Los Angeles
21/05/2014 01:34
Does anyone find it strange that a Polish factory worker would know ANYTHING about the Russian Royal family as Anna Anderson seemed to know? And isn't it a weird coincidence that the "imposter" had the same ear print and the same hammer toes as the real Anastasia? I have always felt that the DNA testing was fraudulent but for whatever reason, I know not.
Brooke Tucker, Bremerton, Wa., USA
20/05/2014 23:57
The autobiography of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna has never been published. What was published, was a made up story by an impostor who went by the name of Marga Boodts. She was arrested and expelled from France in the 30's for falsely pretending to be a Russian Grand Duchess, and nobody really took her seriously apart from Prince Sigisemund, who also endorsed Franzisca Schanzkowska as Grand Duchess Anastasia. Marga Boodts wrote her fantasies in German, a language that none of the Russian Grand Duchesses spoke. Seems they all forgot their Russian and English in "exile",
ChatNoir, Los Angeles
20/05/2014 06:46
There are tens of thousands of documents and photographs in Europe (many countries) that attest to the survival of the family. Many are relatives of the Imperial family writing to them. Why did Yeltsin destroy the Ipatiev house? Why does the ROC not recognize the bones of the interred remains? Why did members of the IF object to ROCOR the canonization? Xenia Leeds and Olga Kulikovsky were well aware of the families survival. There are letter's written from Tikhon Kulikovsky to the grandson of Maria Romanov Dolgoruky, as "Dear Cousin". The secretary of the Royal House of Roumanie (King Mihai of Roumanie) addressed the "cousin" as Your Imperial Highness in his letter. I observe that you have absolutely no idea of any of these facts. Further, the autobiography of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna was published by Planeta in Madrid in September 2012. Originally is was presented for publication in 1956, however, The Vatican intervened and requested that it be withdrawn.

Harry Blanton Binkow, The United States of America
19/05/2014 21:10
If Anna Anderson really WAS Anastasia, I would like for someone to answer me these questions: Why did she speak fluent German, a language that Anastasia did not speak? Why did she speak no Russian or English when found? Why did nobody that was close to Anastasia recognize her, and why did she not recognize them? Why did she make a heap of mistakes when relating her "memories", and how could she possibly forget that her father had a big tattoo on his right arm? How come she does not look like Anastasia in photos? Why was she recognized in 1927 as Franzisca Schanzkowska and then again found to have the same DNA as the Schankowskis? Give me satisfactory answers to these questions, and I will reconsider my beliefs.
ChatNoir, Los Angeles, USA
22/04/2014 00:37
I wonder if somehow there are actual living descendants from the family line which prove that one or more escaped for a time, allowing a window in time for a baby to be born. This then might explain things. I wonder if in May this year, 2014, things will become even more apparent.
Susannah, Australia
01/04/2014 09:32
For one, The Russian orthodox church where they were buried believes they are NOT the bones. For two anastasias nurses said it was her body had the same moles deformities and scars and flat feet and the same bullet holes the killers said they inflicted.For two franzizkas photos were altered to look like anna a court official and two court experts proved it.Also anna Anderson appeared in berlin on febuary 17 1920 however franzizka did not disappear until march that year. How could anna be in an asylum and be there elsewhere?she aswell knew her own secret bank account code senior Romanovs did not know. Ambassador zahle proved it exsisted. They said they did dna on anna in 1984, the first dna forensics tools were not developed till that year and not commercialized till 1986, also the first conviction took place in 1987, and sense her tissue could only be identifiable for a couple of months it would have been impossible to identify.Not to mention her "DNA" was labeled "putative" aka commonly assumed or believed to be. it also disappeared for awhile, suspicious not? the british family also cared so little about them they wouldn't even let the Romanovs flee to live with them and they turned them down. she also knew of her uncles secret trip to Russia hence saying this is a catastrophe and trying to find a person she could be. not to mention GD Xenia accepted her. and many others. But you're right, totally not Anastasia! I mean, that'd be impossible.If you want to see more facts and a comparison of how alike they looked, http://fav.me/d78s3aj I think all of those facts show anyone who believes it was not her is being ignorant. What with the church saying they weren't the bones, the faulty in the supposed "DNA tests" and everything else that is just so obvious.
Anastasia, Town
12/03/2014 23:25
1.Had the same foot deformity as Anastasia on both feet and a bayonet scar.

2.one of Germany's most respected forensic experts concluded anna Anderson was Anastasia based on his P.I.K method which is accepted in german courts as positive proof, their ears identical in 17 anatomical points and tissue formations five more than the dozen points usually accepted to establish an identity. 3.same bullet wounds the killers said they gave Anastasia. 3.knowing the bank account code to her own bank account not even senior romanoves knew which was proved to had exsisted. 4. olga alexandrovna DID accept her and wrote many endearing letters to her and scarves.6. recognized her cousin just hearing his voice. 6. her doctors and nurses said they knew anastas body aswell as their own and it had the same moles, deformities, and scars gained as a child. the "DNA" tests done by her were labeled Putative Anna Anderson Samples, meaning assumed to be. and it disappeared for a long period of time.
12/03/2014 23:16

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