Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Mystery of Anastasia Romanov

I watched a television program about the Grand Duchess Anastasia.  She was a princess in Russia in the 1900s.  Her parents were the Tsar and Tsarina.  Their names were Nicolas and Alexandra.  She had three older sisters and a younger brother.  They lived in Russia in a palace.  It was huge.  Her brother had hemophilia, a health condition where the blood does not clot normally.

Anastasia loved the outdoors.

Russia was fighting in World War 1 (1914 -1918).  Even though Russia had a huge army, they didn't have modern guns like other countries had. Tsar Nicolas took charge of the Army and he went to the frontlines in 1915 and fought with the army.   Anastasia missed him so much.  She wrote him letters often.

Not everyone liked Nicolas.  The War was really hard on the Russians because most of the farmers were at war.  All of food they had went to soldiers.  People at home were very hungry and began to blame all of their problems on Nicolas.  They started a revolution.  Nicolas resigned as Tsar.  He didn't want his country to fall apart.

After the Tsar resigned his family was under house arrest.  They lived that way for a year.  The Bolsheviks did not like Anastasia and her family. In the middle of the night in July of 1918 soldiers told Anastasia and her family to get dressed for a photograph.  But then the guards said, "you have been sentenced to death,"  In seconds the room was filled with smoke from the guns.  The entire was killed.

Now the mystery part kicks in.  A few years later a woman showed up in the hospital.  She wouldn't tell them anything about herself, including her name.  She was covered in cuts and bruises.  Doctors gave her a name.  It was Anna Anderson.  About a year after that, she began to say she was Princess Anastasia.  Some people didn't take her seriously.  But others did.  The believed that she could be Anastasia, because she had a scar on her forehead just like Anastasia and the same problem with her foot that Anastasia had.  She also seemed to know things that only the REAL princess could know.

For many years there was a rumor going around that one of the Romanov girls had escaped from the basement where the family had been shot.  People claimed it had to be Anastasia.  Anastasia was a great prankster. She had a vest that she always wore inside her jacket.  People think that she hid the families jewels inside the vest in her jacket and that when the bullets hit her they ricocheted off the jewelry sparing her her life.  No one  was sure that Anastasia's family was killed because they had a hard time finding the bodies.  It took them over 70 years to find the bodies.  But two of the bodies were missing.  They weren't sure if one of the missing bodies was Anastasia or one of her sisters.  But in 2007 another grave was found.  DNA tests proved it was Alexi and Marie (Anastasia's brother and sister).

But, who was Anna Anderson?  If she wasn't Anastasia who was she?  People think she was a polish factory worker pretending to be the royal princess.  She swore she was Anastasia until the day she died.  DNA tests after her death proved she was not Anastasia.  But they are pretty sure she was the polish factory worker.

People wanted to believe that Anna Anderson was really Anastasia because it is a sad story knowing that a bunch of people died because someone hated their father.  They had no right to kill anyone  I wanted to believe the story.  I really want to believe it because if Anastasia has survived I would have been really happy.  And that is why I think other people wanted to believe it too.


  1. Max: You always amaze me with your grasp of and feeling for the bit of history that you are learning about. I am, like you, a person who likes to think that there would have been a happy ending to this terrible tragedy. Who knows, maybe she did survive and lived a quiet life in some obsure place keeping her secret until the day she died.
    Keep on blogging. I love to read your views of historical events.
    Grandma "J"

  2. What a captivating story from a young lady with an inquisitive mind. You should be very proud of your writing. Keep it up!
    - Judy Marshall
    (An old friend and next-door neighbor of your dad's)

  3. This is an incredibly intriguing part of history and very sad for the family and especially the peasants. I can't imagine living under such conditions. I too really enjoyed reading about the Romanov family. You probably saw pictures of the British Royal Family from the same period. Tsar Nicholas and Price Edward look like brothers! So many royal families are descended from Queen Victoria it's no wonder they look alike.
    Keep up the good work!

    Jenny Weed (from Borders)

  4. Me too, how i wished Anastasia or any of the Romanovs really survived so they could tell us the whole story or perhaps find justice for their family. This piece of history really fascinated me and left me thinking about the Romanov family.