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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 (75)

My great grand mother had amnesia and never knew of her past. She had a Russian accent and shackle scars on her wrists and ankles. She turned up around the time Anastasia went missing. We have always suspected that she could in fact have been Anastasia. If interested you can contact me at
Michelle Kortis, Canada
24/01/2018 23:57
Marigold, Anna Anderson was not a Polish factory worker, she was a German woman from West Prussia who happened to work some time in the AEG factory like so many women did during the war. She knew nothing about the life of the Imperial Family apart from what she picked up from books and the press. Many of her so-called memories were pure imagination.
ChatNoir, USA
31/12/2017 07:00
I think the Russians just wanted to put the whole thing to rest otherwise it would just drag on.Anna Anderson knew too much about life in the Russian Royal Family for a allegedly Polish factory worker there was a question of money as well Anastasia means Resurrection very symbolic if you think about it. Her return was most likely an embarrassment to the relatives after all they got out and the Tsars family were abandoned to their fate A question of conscience? Nobody, including King George 5th did anything to try and save them
marigold white, london UK
27/11/2017 07:38
When my grandmother was a live she use to do our genealogy and it went back from years and years ago and she claimed that Anastasia was one of our ancestors and that was years before anything ever came out about her on TVs or Unsolved Mysteries or so on and so forth plus we are also carriers of haemophilia do to it. I also have always been told that if I had any questions about our ancestors or want to know more about genealogy to go to work Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints a couple of towns away
Nichole, Everett USA
30/10/2017 06:28
Try to check with a Filipina trying to trace the roots of their "Grandmama Tasia". The pictures of their Grandmama Tasia may interest you and the stories that their Grandmama told them. DNA may prove it all.
Manila Boy, Philippines
22/10/2017 21:19
Whatever the truth is about Anna Anderson, there is considerable doubt about the official account by the Bolsheviks. Truth and propaganda merge into myth.
Mark Ivan Crane, Minster England
21/08/2017 06:43
Anna Anderson's 2 DNA samples didn't match with each other! Some underhandedness there. All the grand duchesses were in Perm after the 'assasination', the one in which Yakob stood IN FRONT OF THE FIRING SQUAD AND SAID FIRE...
Piotr Dietrick, Douglas, Isle of Man
10/07/2017 20:33
Yes, her blood type, that is on a need to know, if you don't know it's none of your business. She was not around Notre Dame. That would be a fake, and probably a dangerous one at that. Anna Anderson was not Anastasia.
02/06/2017 12:27
Can you handle the truth? Anastasia fled across Siberia, through China, later to the Philippines, Australia and finally to New Paris Indiana USA, where she was often seen in the enclaves of Notre Dame University.
She has left her mark on generations. Would you like to know more? Check out:
Uncle Moe, Los Angels, CA
13/04/2017 11:19
I am sure that Anna Anderson was Anastasia - she knew minute detail of historical life at court which an imposter could not have known. She was recognized by many of Anastasia's family and former acquaintances - who clearly recognized her and testified to the fact in court. She had the same deformity of the feet, was the same height with the same scars and moles. She even had the same mannerisms - walked, smiled and laughed in the same way - this is what friends of Anastasia said. An imposter would not have known how to mimic these details! The people who discredited her may have done so for selfish reasons - for money, power, guilt, who knows?
Janna, England
27/03/2017 19:56
The genetic test information was not solid because the chain of possession of the Anna Anderson tissue and hair samples was broken. No one can say for sure that something was not substituted along the way. It is utter nonsense to assume a genetic result is correct when the chain of possession of the samples was not secure.
Aritria, Oymyakon
14/03/2017 00:40
In my class we watched a 2 hour video about this, it showed DNA and BLOOD TESTS and Anna Anderson was not Anastasia, But she was Maria, blood test and DNA test proved and this doesn't really have anything to do with it but She went and was buried in South Africa In secret!
Zack, United States Of America
01/03/2017 01:04
I do believe that Anna Anderson was the genuine Anastasia. She posses to much knowledge of the Romanov's and Anastasia's life. I have many speculations of the last Grand Duchess, Anastasia. Realitives, and associate's of the Romanov's knew that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, but regected her, to inherent the Romanov's wealth.

Ida Black, Gilbert, AZ
21/02/2017 20:33
What is the exhuming of graves all about? I hear a DNA test was done by someone residing in Alaska. Where is that one at and what is the government so afraid of? Crimes committed are a century long now...
Benedict , United States
19/12/2016 07:35
Tasia, Philippines
11/11/2016 12:51

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