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Anastasia (1997 film)

Anastasia is a 1997 American animated film produced by 20th Century Fox, which also released the earlier film of the same name. This film was produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman at Fox Animation Studios, and was released on November 14, 1997 by 20th Century Fox. The idea for the film originates from Fox's 1956 live-action film version of the same name. The plot is based around the urban legend that Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last monarch of imperial Russia, in fact survived the execution of her family, and thus takes various liberties with historical fact. Executives at Fox gave Bluth and Goldman the choice of creating an animated adaptation of either the 1956 film or the musical My Fair Lady.

In 1916, Czar Nicholas II hosts a grand ball at the royal palace celebrating the 300th anniversary of Romanov rule. During this celebration, his mother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Angela Lansbury), gives her favorite granddaughter, 8-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia (Kirsten Dunst), a music box and a necklace reading "Together in Paris", which serves as its key. The ball is interrupted by the arrival of the megalomanic Grigori Rasputin, (Christopher Lloyd), a staretz who sold his soul to gain the power of sorcery. Rasputin plans to gain his revenge through a curse to destroy the Romanov family that sparks the Russian Revolution. During the storming of the palace, a servant boy named Dimitri, distracts the invading Bolsheviks and is knocked unconscious, but his action helps Anastasia and her grandmother escape the palace, however Anastasia loses her music box in the process. Dimitri saves the music box in hopes of remembering the royal family. Rasputin attempts to kill Anastasia himself, but falls through the ice in the river and drowns. Anastasia and her grandmother eventually reach a moving train, but only she is able to get on as Anastasia trips and hits her head on the station platform, forcing her grandmother to leave her behind. Ten years later, in 1926, Russia is now under Communist rule; Anastasia's grandmother, now back in Paris, has offered a monetary reward for anyone who can return Anastasia to her. Two Russian con men living in Leningrad, Dimitri (John Cusack) and Vladimir (Kelsey Grammer), decide to find a young girl to pass off as Anastasia. Elsewhere, an amnesiac 18-year-old orphan girl named Anya (Meg Ryan) who owns the same necklace as Anastasia, has just left her orphanage and has decided to learn about her past, because she has no recollection of the first eight years of her life. Accompanied by Pooka, a stray puppy, she heads to Saint Petersburg, and soon encounters Dimitri and Vladimir, who recruit her as their "fake" Anastasia. During the trip to Paris, the two men teach Anya how to behave like Anastasia and Anya and Dimitri realize a mutual attraction. In Dimitri's baggage is Anastasia's music box. Anya recalls some small facts that she remembers from her past, though nobody realizes it. Meanwhile, Rasputin is revealed to still be alive, but trapped in limbo as a living corpse: unable to die because Anastasia had not been killed. Bartok, his bat servant, reveals that Anastasia is still alive and in St Petersburg. He unwittingly brings Rasputin his magical reliquary, thus restoring his old powers. Rasputin summons a legion of demons to kill Anya and complete his revenge, resulting in two failed attempts. This includes a narrow escape from a separated train that Anya, Vladmir, and Dimitri jump off to avoid falling to their deaths, and a nightmare aboard a ship en route to Paris from Germany, where Anya nearly sleepwalks overboard until Dimitri rescues her, alerted by Pooka. These failures make Rasputin realize he must kill her in person. The trio eventually arrive in Paris and meet Sophie (Bernadette Peters), Marie's lady-in-waiting and first cousin, who is in charge of interviewing the Anastasia lookalikes. However, Marie, tired of heartbreak, has declared not to hold any more interviews. Despite this, Sophie sees Anya as a favor to Vladimir; Anya plays her part well, but when Sophie asks how she escaped the palace, Anya dimly recalls a servant boy opening a secret door, surprising both Dimitri and Vladimir when this was one fact they failed to teach her. Dimitri later reveals to Vladimir that he was the servant boy in her memory, meaning that Anya is the real Anastasia and has found her home and family; nonetheless, he is saddened by this truth, because, although he loves her, he knows that "princesses don't marry kitchen boys," (which he says to Vladimir outside the opera house). Sophie then arranges for Anya to encounter Marie at the Russian ballet. After the event, Dimitri attempts to introduce Anya, but the empress refuses to listen to him, having heard of Dimitri and his initial plans to con her. Anya eavesdrops on their argument and thus learns that she is a part of a con. Angered, she begins to leave and is confronted by Dimitri, who begs her to believe that his intentions have changed.

She does not accept this, and leaves, intending to get out of their plot. Dimitri, determined to right the situation and reunite the two women, kidnaps Marie in her car and furiously drives back to the mansion where Anya is packing her things. Then he convinces the empress to meet with Anya by presenting her the lost music box. Upon meeting Anya at first, Marie remains guarded until the girl suddenly begins to remember personal childhood moments. Anya then inserts the end of her necklace into the side of the music box and winds it up, causing it to begin playing. As they sing the lullaby the music box plays, Marie finally realizes the truth, and the two reunite at long last. Marie rewards Dimitri the money, plus her gratitude. Although Dimitri accepts her gratitude, he refuses the reward money revealing that he cared more about Anastasia than the reward and leaves. Marie eventually tells Anastasia of Dimitri's actions at the ball, making her realize her error. When Pooka suddenly bounds for the garden maze, Anastasia runs after him and is trapped. Rasputin finally reveals himself to her and tries to kill her on the Alexander Bridge over an icy Seine River. Dimitri returns to save her, but is injured and knocked unconscious. Anastasia manages to destroy Rasputin's reliquary by crushing it under her foot, causing him to disintegrate into dust, his soul awaiting eternal damnation with his hunger for revenge unfulfilled. Afterwards, Dimitri and Anastasia reconcile, sending a farewell letter to Marie and Sophie, telling them that they have eloped, but will see them again in Paris. Anastasia and Dimitri then sail away on a boat with Pooka, before sharing a passionate kiss. Meanwhile, Bartok finds a beautiful female bat and they share a kiss as well.

[edit] Cast

Meg Ryan/Liz Callaway (singing) as the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova (Anya), the protagonist. At the beginning of the film, Anastasia escapes the siege of the palace with her grandmother, only to be knocked unconscious on the railroad. Ten years later, she sets out to re-discover her lost identity and embarks on an adventure to Paris with the help of the con artists Dimitri and Vladimir. Kirsten Dunst/Lacey Chabert (singing) as young Anastasia John Cusack/Jonathan Dokuchitz (singing) as Dimitri, a con artist. He hopes to fool Anastasia's grandmother into giving him the ten million rubles with a fake Anastasia, but when he discovers that he has found the real Anastasia (Anya), he becomes determined to reunite Anastasia with her grandmother and ultimately gives up the money because he loves her. Kelsey Grammer as Vladimir, Dimitri's partner and friend. He was once a high-ranking courtier to Anastasia's father. Christopher Lloyd/Jim Cummings (singing) as Rasputin, the antagonist. He was once known throughout Russia as a great mystic, but when he was banished by the tsar, he had a curse cast on the Romanovs as revenge. However, when he discovers that Anastasia has escaped his curse, Rasputin tails her on the road to Paris in the hopes of fulfilling his curse. Anastasia eventually defeats him by destroying his reliquary. Hank Azaria as Bartok, Rasputin's sidekick. He is a timid, neurotic bat. He is also the star of Bartok the Magnificent, a direct-to-video spin-off to Anastasia. Angela Lansbury as the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, Anastasia's grandmother. She is offering a reward of ten million rubles for the safe return of her granddaughter. Bernadette Peters as Sophie, Marie Feodorovna's first cousin. She interviews the fake Anastasias and seems to be Vladimir's love interest.

[edit] Production
[edit] Music See also: Anastasia (soundtrack)

The musical score for the film was composed by David Newman, and the songs were written by Newman, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The film's soundtrack was released in CD and audio cassette format on October 28, 1997.

[edit] Release
The film opened in New York City on November 14, 1997, the same date as the reissue of Disney's The Little Mermaid. The film debuted at #36 and peaked at #2 at the North American box office and grossed over US $58,406,000. The worldwide gross totaled $139,804,348,[1] making it Don Bluth's highest grossing film to date. Anastasia was Don Bluth's first successful film since All Dogs Go to Heaven and last after Titan A.E. failed. It was also the first major hit for Fox with their three previously-released animated features, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Once Upon a Forest, and The Pagemaster, ranging from modest success to failure.

[edit] Reception

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars describing it as "...entertaining and sometimes exciting!".[2] The movie also currently stands with a 85% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Carol Buckland of CNN Interactive praised John Cusack for bringing "an interesting edge to Dimitri, making him more appealing than the usual animated hero" and stated that Angela Lansbury gave the film "vocal class", but described the film as "OK entertainment" and that "it never reaches a level of emotional magic."[4] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that the film "has the Disney house style down cold", but that the film feels "a touch depersonalized".[5]
[edit] Box office

The film opened in limited release with $120,541 to November 16, 1997, debuting at #36. The next week, November 23, 1997, Anastasia soared to the #2 spot and had received $14,242,807. In the US alone, the film had scraped $58,406,347 and $139,804,348 worldwide.[6]
[edit] Awards

Anastasia was nominated for two Academy Awards in the categories of "Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score" and "Best Music, Original Song" for "Journey to the Past". At the awards ceremony, "Journey to the Past" was performed by R&B singer Aaliyah, who recorded the pop single version of the song. This song was recorded into Spanish for the Spanish version of the film by Thala, and it went on to be a hit across Central and South America. Another song which gained recognition is the ballad "Once Upon a December"; its pop single version was recorded and produced by Deana Carter. The song that plays with the credits at the end of the film is "At the Beginning" sung by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis.

[edit] Spin-offs
Due to Anastasia's success, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment created a direct-to-video spin-off called Bartok the Magnificent (1999), featuring Rasputin's albino bat crony. It also featured Kelsey Grammer, who voiced Vladimir in Anastasia, as Zozi the Bear.
[edit] Video game

A video game based on the film, titled Anastasia: Adventures with Pooka and Bartok, was released by Fox Interactive in 1997.

Anastasia (1956 film)

Anastasia is a 1956 20th Century Fox historical drama film directed by Anatole Litvak. The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, and Helen Hayes. Supporting players include Akim Tamiroff (who earlier worked with Ingrid Bergman in the film For Whom the Bell Tolls), Martita Hunt (who provides comic relief as a fluttering lady-inwaiting), and, in a small role, Natalie Schafer (familiar to television audiences from her later role on Gilligan's Island). The film tells the story of a young, confused woman in 1920s France (Ingrid Bergman), who is picked up and influenced by a group of Russian expatriates, led by Yul Brynner, into passing herself off as Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the daughter of the murdered Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. However, the ultimate test for her is to convince the Dowager Empress, Maria Feodorovna (Helen Hayes), of her authenticity.

The film was loosely based on the true story of a former inmate in a German asylum who became known as 'Anna Anderson' and whose story made headlines for decades. However, the Russian monarchist movement never backed Ms. Anderson, nor did she ever meet with the Dowager Empress, played by Hayes. The script plays with the question of Anna/Anastasia's identity. Ten years of turmoil have passed since the teenage Anastasia and her sisters and brother were presumably killed. Does the refugee Anna who has turned up in Paris have the bearing, speech, and intimate knowledge of the imperial family that the real grand duchess would have? Or is she merely an apt pupil of General Bounine (Brynner), a recovering amnesiac with a striking resemblance who has been cleverly groomed by the migr general to stake a

claim to 10 million pounds left by the Tsar in an English bank? In a series of encounters with former familiars and members of the imperial court, Anna begins to display a confidence and style that astonish her skeptical interlocutors, yet retains our sympathy by seeming more interested in recovering her own identity than the imperial bank account. In a tour de force climactic meeting with the Empress in Copenhagen, Bergman and Hayes take the measure of each other, alternately projecting imperial self-possession and the anguish of family longing. Meanwhile Bounine has become increasingly jealous of the attentions the fortune-hunting Prince Paul pays to Anna. At a grand ball at which her engagement with Paul is to be announced, the Empress has a private word with Anna/Anastasia, who subsequently elopes with Bounine. While the film does not reveal whether Anna really is the Romanov princess, a series of subtle hints throughout appear to suggest that she is. The gradual realisation of her true identity is juxtaposed upon the romantic interest that develops within Bounine, who in one of his speeches declares to Anna / Anastasia that he cares for who she is and not what her name is. Hayes summons all her stage experience to deliver the celebrated last line, summing up the film's poignant exploration of identity and role-playing. Asked how she will explain the vanishing of her supposed granddaughter to a ballroom full of expectant guests, she declares, "I will tell them that the play is over, go home!" The film closes with the regal figure of the Dowager Empress on the arm of Prince Paul, descending the grand staircase.

[edit] Production
The movie was adapted by Guy Bolton and Arthur Laurents from the play by Marcelle Maurette. The structure of the play can still be detected in the static settings and theatrical "scenes" of the cinematic version, which has additional, essentially decorative ball scenes. It was directed by Anatole Litvak. The film marked Bergman's return to Hollywood after several years working with her then-husband, Roberto Rossellini, in Italy. Anastasia won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, the second of three Oscars she would receive. The musical score from the film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score and was popular after the film's release.

[edit] Animated feature

An animated musical version of Anastasia was made in 1997 by Fox Animation Studios. See: Anastasia (1997 film).

Anna Anderson
Anna Anderson (16 December 1896 12 February 1984) was the best known of several impostors who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.[2][3] The real Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia, Nicholas II and Alexandra, was killed with her parents and siblings on 17 July 1918 by Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg, Russia; but the location of her body was unknown until 2008. In 1920, Anderson was institutionalized in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt in Berlin. At first, she went by the name Frulein Unbekannt (German for Miss Unknown) as she refused to reveal her identity. Later she used the name Tschaikovsky and then Anderson. In March 1922, claims that Anderson was a Russian grand duchess first received public attention. Most members of Grand Duchess Anastasia's family and those who had known her, including court tutor Pierre Gilliard, said Anderson was an impostor but others were convinced she was Anastasia. In 1927, a private investigation funded by the Tsarina's brother, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, identified Anderson as Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with a history of mental illness. After a lawsuit lasting many years, the German courts ruled that Anderson had failed to prove she was Anastasia, but through media coverage, her claim gained notoriety.[4] Between 1922 and 1968, Anderson lived in Germany and the United States with various supporters and in sanatoria and nursing homes, including at least one asylum. She emigrated to the United States in 1968, and shortly before the expiry of her visa married Jack Manahan, a Virginia history professor who was later characterized as "probably Charlottesville's best-loved eccentric".[1] Upon her death in 1984, Anderson's body was cremated, and her ashes were buried in the churchyard at Castle Seeon, Germany. After the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, the locations of the bodies of the Tsar, Tsarina, and all five of their children were revealed and multiple laboratories in different countries confirmed their identity through DNA testing.[2][5] DNA tests on a lock of Anderson's hair and surviving medical samples of her tissue showed that Anderson's DNA did not match that of the Romanov remains nor that of any living relatives of the Romanovs.[6][7] Instead, Anderson's mitochondrial DNA matched that of Karl

Maucher, a great-nephew of Franziska Schanzkowska.[7] Scientists, historians and journalists accept that Anderson was Schanzkowska.

[edit] Dalldorf asylum (19201922)

On 27 February 1920,[12] a young woman attempted to take her own life in Berlin by jumping off the Bendlerbrcke into the Landwehrkanal. She was rescued by a police sergeant and was admitted to the Elisabeth Hospital on Ltzowstrasse.[12] As she was without papers and refused to identify herself, she was admitted as Frulein Unbekannt (Miss Unknown) to a mental hospital in Dalldorf (now Wittenau, in Reinickendorf), where she remained for the next two years.[13] She had scars on her abdomen and head,[14] and spoke German with an accent described as "Russian" by medical staff.[15] In early 1922, Clara Peuthert, a fellow psychiatric patient, claimed that the unknown woman was the Grand Duchess Tatiana of Russia, one of the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia: Tatiana, Olga, Maria and Anastasia.[16] On her release, Peuthert told Russian migr Captain Nicholas von Schwabe, that she had seen Tatiana at Dalldorf.[17] Schwabe visited the asylum and accepted the woman as Tatiana.[18] Schwabe persuaded other migrs to visit the unknown woman, including Zinaida Tolstoy, a friend of the Tsarina Alexandra. Eventually Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden, a former lady-in-waiting to the Tsarina, visited the asylum with Tolstoy. On seeing the woman, Buxhoeveden declared "She's too short for Tatiana,"[19] and left convinced the woman was not a Russian grand duchess.[20] A few days later, the unknown woman noted, "I did not say I was Tatiana."[21] A nurse at Dalldorf, Thea Malinovsky, claimed years after the patient's release from the asylum that the woman had told her she was Anastasia in the autumn of 1921.[22] However, the patient herself could not recall the incident.[23] Her biographers either ignore Malinovsky's claim,[24] or weave it into their narrative.[14]
[edit] Germany and Switzerland (19221927)

By May 1922 the woman was believed by Peuthert, Schwabe and Tolstoy to be Anastasia. Buxhoeveden said there was no resemblance.[25] Nevertheless, the woman was taken out of the asylum and hosted at the Berlin home of Baron Arthur von Kleist, a Russian migr who had been a police chief in Russian Poland before the fall of the Tsar. The Berlin policeman who handled the case, Detective Inspector Franz Grnberg, thought Kleist "may have had ulterior motives, as was hinted at in migr circles: if the old conditions should ever be restored in Russia, he hoped for great advancement from having looked after the young woman."[26] She began calling herself Anna Tschaikovsky,[27][28] though Peuthert "described her everywhere as Anastasia".[29] Tschaikovsky stayed in the houses of acquaintances, including Kleist, Peuthert, a poor working-class family called Bachmann, and Inspector Grnberg's estate at Funkenmhle, near Zossen.[30] At Funkenmhle, Grnberg arranged for the Tsarina's sister, Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, to meet Tschaikovsky but Irene did not recognize her.[31] Grnberg also arranged a visit from Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, but Tschaikovsky refused to speak to her, and Cecilie was left perplexed by the encounter.[32] Later, in the 1950s, Cecilie signed a declaration that Tschaikovsky was Anastasia,[33] but Cecilie's family disputed her statement and implied that she was suffering from dementia.[34] By 1925, Tschaikovsky had developed a tuberculous infection of her arm, and she was placed in a succession of hospitals for treatment. Sick and near death, she suffered significant loss of weight.[35] She was visited by the Tsarina's groom of the chamber Alexei Volkov; Anastasia's tutor Pierre Gilliard; his wife, Shura, who had been Anastasia's nursemaid; and the Tsar's sister Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia. Though they expressed sympathy, if only for Tschaikovsky's illness, and made no immediate public declaration, eventually they all denied she was Anastasia.[36] In March 1926, she convalesced in Lugano with Harriet von Rathlef at the expense of Grand Duchess Anastasia's great-uncle, Prince Valdemar of Denmark. Valdemar was willing to offer Tschaikovsky material assistance, through the Danish ambassador to Germany, Herluf Zahle, while her identity was investigated.[37] To allow her to travel, the Berlin Aliens Office issued her with a temporary certificate of identity as "Anastasia Tschaikovsky", with Grand Duchess Anastasia's personal details.[38] After a quarrel with von Rathlef, Tschaikovsky was moved to the Stillachhaus Sanatorium at Oberstdorf in the Bavarian Alps in June 1926, and von Rathlef returned to Berlin.[39] At Oberstdorf, Tschaikovsky was visited by Tatiana Melnik, ne Botkin. Melnik was the niece of Serge Botkin, the head of the Russian Refugee office in Berlin, and the daughter of the imperial family's personal physician, Dr. Eugene Botkin, who had been murdered by the communists alongside the Tsar's family in 1918. Tatiana Melnik had met Grand Duchess Anastasia as a child, and had last spoken to her in February 1917.[40] To Melnik, Tschaikovsky looked like Anastasia even though "the mouth has changed and coarsened noticeably, and because the face is so lean, her nose looks bigger than it was."[41] In a letter, Melnik wrote: "Her attitude is childlike, and altogether she cannot be reckoned with as a responsible adult, but must be led and directed like a child. She has not only forgotten languages, but has in general lost the power of accurate narration ... even the simplest stories she tells incoherently and

incorrectly; they are really only words strung together in impossibly ungrammatical German ... Her defect is obviously in her memory and eyesight."[42] Melnik declared that Tschaikovsky was Anastasia, and supposed that any inability on her part to remember events and her refusal to speak Russian was caused by her impaired physical and psychological state.[43] Either inadvertently through a sincere desire to "aid the patient's weak memory"[44] or as part of a deliberate charade,[3] Melnik coached Tschaikovsky with details of life in the imperial family.
[edit] Castle Seeon (1927)

In 1927, under pressure from his family, Valdemar decided against providing Tschaikovsky any further financial support, and the funds from Denmark were cut off.[45] Duke George of Leuchtenberg, a distant relative of the Tsar, gave her a home at Castle Seeon.[46] The Tsarina's brother, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, hired a private detective, Martin Knopf, to investigate the claims that Tschaikovsky was Anastasia.[47] During her stay at Castle Seeon, Knopf reported that Tschaikovsky was actually a Polish factory worker called Franziska Schanzkowska. [48] Schanzkowska had worked in a munitions factory during World War I when, shortly after her fianc had been killed at the front, a grenade fell out of her hand and exploded. She was injured in the head, and a foreman was killed in front of her.[49] She became apathetic and depressed, was declared insane on 19 September 1916,[50] and spent time in two lunatic asylums.[51] In early 1920, she was reported missing from her Berlin lodgings, and since then had not been seen or heard from by her family.[52] In May 1927, Franziska's brother, Felix Schanzkowski, was introduced to Tschaikovsky at a local inn in Wasserburg near Castle Seeon. Leuchtenberg's son, Dmitri, was completely certain Tschaikovsky was an impostor and that she was recognized by Felix as his sister,[53] but Leuchtenberg's daughter, Natalie, remained convinced of Tschaikovsky's authenticity.[54] Leuchtenberg himself was ambivalent.[55] According to one account, initially Felix declared that she was his sister Franziska,[56] but the affidavit he signed spoke only of "strong resemblance", highlighted physical differences, and said Tschaikovsky did not recognize him.[57] Years later, Felix's daughter said in interviews for which she was paid that her father knew the woman was his sister, but he had chosen to leave her to her new life, which was far more comfortable than any alternative.[58] Visitors to Seeon included Prince Felix Yusupov, husband of Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia, who wrote, "I claim categorically that she is not Anastasia Nicolaievna, but just an adventuress, a sick hysteric and a frightful playactress. I simply cannot understand how anyone can be in doubt of this. If you had seen her, I am convinced that you would recoil in horror at the thought that this frightful creature could be a daughter of our Tsar."[59] Other visitors, however, such as Felix Dassel, an officer whom Anastasia had visited in hospital during 1916, and Gleb Botkin, who had known Anastasia as a child and was Tatiana Melnik's brother, were convinced that Tschaikovsky was genuine.[60]
[edit] United States (19281931)

By 1928, Tschaikovsky's claim had received interest and attention in the United States, where Gleb Botkin had published articles in support of her cause.[3][61] Botkin's publicity caught the attention of a childhood friend of Anastasia's, Xenia Leeds, a former Russian princess who had married a wealthy American industrialist.[62] Botkin and Leeds arranged for Tschaikovsky to travel to the United States onboard the liner Berengaria at Leeds' expense.[63] On the journey from Seeon to the States, Tschaikovsky stopped at Paris, where she met Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia, the Tsar's cousin, who believed her to be Anastasia.[64] For six months Tschaikovsky lived at the Oyster Bay, New York estate of the Leeds family. As the tenth anniversary of the Tsar's assassination approached in July 1928, Botkin retained a lawyer, Edward Fallows, to oversee legal moves to obtain any of the Tsar's estate outside of the Soviet Union. As the death of the Tsar had never been proven, the estate could only be released to relatives 10 years after the supposed date of his death.[66] Fallows set up a company, called the Grandanor Corporation (an acronym of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia), which sought to raise funds by selling shares in any prospective estate.[67] Tschaikovsky claimed that the Tsar had deposited money abroad, which fed unsubstantiated rumors of a large Romanov fortune in England.[68] The surviving relatives of the Romanovs accused Botkin and Fallows of fortune hunting, and Botkin accused them of trying to defraud "Anastasia" out of her inheritance.[69] Except for a relatively small deposit in Germany, distributed to the Tsar's recognized relations, no money was ever found.[70] After a quarrel, possibly over Tschaikovsky's claim to the estate (but not over her claim to be Anastasia),[71] Tschaikovsky moved out of the Leeds' mansion, and the pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff arranged for her to live at the Garden City Hotel in Hempstead, New York, and later in a small cottage. To avoid the press, she was booked in as Mrs. Anderson, the name by which she was subsequently known.[72] In October 1928, after the death of the Tsar's mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, the 12 nearest relations of the Tsar met at Marie's funeral and signed a declaration that denounced Anderson as an impostor.[73] The Copenhagen Statement, as it would come to be known, explained: "Our sense of duty compels us to state that the story is only a fairy tale. The memory of our dear departed would be tarnished if we allowed this fantastic story to spread and gain any credence."[74] Gleb Botkin answered with a public letter to Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, which referred to the family as "greedy and unscrupulous" and claimed they were only denouncing Anderson for money. [75] From early 1929 Anderson lived with Annie B. Jennings, a wealthy Park Avenue spinster happy to host someone she supposed to be a daughter of the Tsar.[76] For 18 months Anderson was the toast of New York society.[77] Then a

pattern of self-destructive behavior began that culminated in her throwing tantrums, killing her pet parakeet,[78] and on one occasion running around naked on the roof.[79] On 24 July 1930, Judge Peter Schmuck of the New York Supreme Court signed an order committing her to a mental hospital.[80] Before she could be taken away, Anderson locked herself in her room, and the door was broken in with an axe. She was forcibly taken to the Four Winds Sanatorium in Westchester County, New York, where she remained for slightly over a year.[81] In August 1932, Anderson returned to Germany accompanied by a private nurse in a locked cabin on the liner Deutschland.[82] Jennings paid for the voyage, the stay at the Westchester sanatorium, and an additional six months' cure in the psychiatric wing of a nursing home at Ilten near Hanover.[83] On arrival at Ilten, Anderson was assessed as sane,[84] but as the room was prepaid, and she had nowhere else to go, she stayed on in a suite in the sanatorium grounds.[85]
[edit] Germany (19311968)

Anderson's return to Germany generated press interest, and drew more members of the German aristocracy to her cause.[86] She again lived itinerantly as a guest of her well-wishers.[87] In 1932, the British tabloid News of the World published a sensational story accusing her of being a Romanian actress who was perpetrating a fraud. [88] Her lawyer, Fallows, filed suit for libel, but the lengthy case continued until the outbreak of World War II, at which time the case was dismissed because Anderson was living in Germany, and German residents could not sue in enemy countries.[86] From 1938, lawyers acting for Anderson in Germany contested the distribution of the Tsar's estate to his recognized relations, and they in turn contested her identity.[89] The litigation continued intermittently without resolution for decades; Lord Mountbatten footed some of his German relations' legal bills against Anderson.[90] The protracted proceedings became the longest-running civil lawsuit in German history.[91] Anderson had a final meeting with the Schanzkowski family in 1938. Gertrude Schanzkowska was insistent that Anderson was her sister, Franziska,[92] but the Nazi government had arranged the meeting to determine Anderson's identity, and if accepted as Schanzkowska she would be imprisoned.[93] The Schanzkowski family refused to sign affidavits against her, and no further action was taken.[93] In 1940, Edward Fallows died virtually destitute after wasting all his own money on trying to obtain the Tsar's non-existent fortune for the Grandanor Corporation.[94] Towards the end of the war Anderson lived at Schloss Winterstein with Louise of Saxe-Meiningen, in what became the Soviet occupation zone. In 1946, Prince Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg helped her across the border to Bad Liebenzell in the French occupation zone.[95] Prince Frederick settled Anderson in a former army barracks in the small village of Unterlengenhardt, on the edge of the Black Forest, where she became a sort of tourist attraction.[96] Lili Dehn, a friend of Tsarina Alexandra, visited her and acknowledged her as Anastasia,[97] but when Charles Sydney Gibbes, English tutor to the imperial children, met Anderson he denounced her as a fraud.[98] In an affidavit, he swore "She in no way resembles the true Grand Duchess Anastasia that I had known ... I am quite satisfied that she is an impostor."[99] She became a recluse, surrounded by cats, and her house began to decay.[100] In May 1968, Anderson was taken to hospital at Neuenbrg after being discovered semi-conscious in her cottage. In her absence, Prince Frederick cleaned up the property by order of the local board of health.[101] Her Irish Wolfhound and 60 cats were put to death.[102] Horrified by this, Anderson accepted her long-term supporter Gleb Botkin's offer to move to the United States.[103]
[edit] Final years (19681984)

Botkin was living in the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and a local friend of his, history professor and genealogist John Eacott Manahan, paid for Anderson's journey to the United States.[104] She entered the country on a six-month visitors' visa, and shortly before it was due to expire, Anderson married Manahan, who was 20 years her junior, in a civil ceremony on 23 December 1968. Botkin was best man.[105] Jack Manahan enjoyed this marriage of convenience,[106] and described himself as "Grand Duke-in-Waiting"[107] or "son-in-law to the Tsar".[108] The couple lived in separate bedrooms in a house on University Circle in Charlottesville, and also owned a farm near Scottsville.[109] Botkin died in December 1969.[110] In February of the following year, the lawsuits finally came to an end; neither side could establish Anderson's identity.[111] Jack and Anderson, now legally called Anastasia Manahan,[105] became well known in the Charlottesville area as eccentrics.[1][112] Though Jack Manahan was wealthy, they lived in squalor with large numbers of dogs and cats, and piles of garbage.[1][113] On 20 August 1979, Anderson was taken to Charlottesville's Martha Jefferson Hospital with an intestinal obstruction. A gangrenous tumor and a length of intestine were removed by Dr. Richard Shrum.[114] With both Jack and Anderson in failing health, in November 1983, Anderson was institutionalized, and an attorney, William Preston, was appointed as her guardian by the local circuit court.[115] A few days later, Manahan "kidnapped"[116] Anderson from the hospital, and for three days they drove around Virginia eating out of convenience stores. After a 13-state police alarm, they were found and Anderson was returned to a care facility.[117] In January she may have had a stroke, and on 12 February 1984, she died of pneumonia.[118] She was cremated the same day, and her ashes were buried in the churchyard at Castle Seeon on 18 June 1984.[117]

[edit] DNA evidence

In 1991, the bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of their daughters were exhumed from a mass grave near Ekaterinburg. They were identified on the basis of both skeletal analysis and DNA testing.[119] For example, mitochondrial DNA was used to match maternal relations, and mitochondrial DNA from the female bones matched that of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose maternal grandmother Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine was a sister of Alexandra.[119] The bodies of Tsarevich Alexei and the remaining daughter were discovered in 2007. Repeated and independent DNA tests confirmed that the remains were the seven members of the Romanov family, and proved that none of the Tsar's four daughters survived the shooting of the Romanov family.[2][5][120] A sample of Anderson's tissue, part of her intestine removed during her operation in 1979, had been stored at Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia. Anderson's mitochondrial DNA was extracted from the sample and compared with that of the Romanovs and their relatives. It did not match that of the Duke of Edinburgh or that of the bones, confirming that Anderson was not Anastasia. However, the sample matched DNA provided by Karl Maucher, a grandson of Franziska Schanzkowska's sister, Gertrude (Schanzkowska) Ellerik, indicating that Karl Maucher and Anna Anderson were maternally related and that Anderson was Schanzkowska.[3][7] Five years after the original testing was done, Dr. Terry Melton of the Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, stated that the DNA sequence tying Anderson to the Schanzkowska family was "still unique", though the database of DNA patterns at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory had grown much larger, leading to "increased confidence that Anderson was indeed Franziska Schanzkowska".[121] Similarly, several strands of Anderson's hair, found inside an envelope in a book that had belonged to Anderson's husband, Jack Manahan, were also tested. Mitochondrial DNA from the hair matched Anderson's hospital sample and that of Schanzkowska's relative Karl Maucher but not the Romanov remains or living relatives of the Romanovs.[7][122]

[edit] Assessment
Though in July 1918 communists had killed the entire imperial Romanov family, including 17-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia, for years afterwards communist disinformation fed rumors that members of the Tsar's family had survived.[123] The conflicting rumors about the fate of the family allowed impostors to make spurious claims that they were a surviving Romanov.[124] Most impostors were dismissed; however, Anderson's claim persisted.[125] Books and pamphlets supporting her claims included Harriet von Rathlef-Keilmann's book Anastasia, ein Frauenschicksal als Spiegel der Weltkatastrophe (Anastasia, A Woman's Fate as a Mirror of the World Catastrophe), which was published in Germany and Switzerland in 1928, though it was serialized by the tabloid newspaper Berliner Nachtausgabe in 1927. It was countered by works such as La Fausse Anastasie (The False Anastasia) by Pierre Gilliard and Constantin Savitch, published by Payot of Paris in 1929.[126] Conflicting testimonies and physical evidence, such as comparisons of facial characteristics, which alternately supported and contradicted Anderson's claim, were used to either bolster or counter the belief that she was Anastasia.[127] In the absence of any direct documentary proof or solid physical evidence, the question of whether Anderson was Anastasia was for many "a matter of personal belief".[128] As Anderson herself said in her own idiomatic English, "You either believe it or you don't believe it. It doesn't matter. In no anyway whatsoever."[129] The German courts were unable to decide her claim one way or another, and eventually, after 40 years of deliberation, ruled that her claim was "neither established nor refuted".[130] Dr. Gnter von BerenbergGossler, attorney for Anderson's opponents in the later years of the legal case, explained that during the German trials "the press were always more interested in reporting her side of the story than the opposing bench's less glamorous perspective; editors often pulled journalists after reporting testimony delivered by her side and ignored the rebuttal, resulting in the public seldom getting a complete picture."[131] In 1957, a version of Anderson's story, pieced together by her supporters and interspersed with commentary by Roland Krug von Nidda, was published in Germany under the title Ich, Anastasia, Erzhle (I, Anastasia, an autobiography).[132] The book included the "fantastic tale"[133] that Anastasia escaped Russia on a farm cart with a man called Alexander Tschaikovsky, whom she married and had a child by, before he was shot dead in a Bucharest street and the child, Alexei, disappeared into an orphanage. Even Anderson's supporters admitted that the details of the supposed escape "might seem bold inventions even for a dramatist",[134] while her detractors considered "this barely credible story as a piece of far-fetched romance".[134] Other works based on the premise that Anderson was Anastasia, written before the DNA tests, include biographies by Peter Kurth and James Blair Lovell. More recent biographies by John Klier, Robert Massie and Frances Welch that describe her as an impostor were written after the DNA tests proved she was not Anastasia.[citation needed] Assessments vary as to whether she was a deliberate fraud, a young woman traumatized into adopting a new identity, or used by her supporters for their own ends. Pierre Gilliard denounced Anderson as "a cunning psychopath".[3][135] Writer Michael Thornton thought, "Somewhere along the way she lost and rejected Schanzkowska. She lost that person totally and accepted completely she was this new person. I think it happened by accident and she was swept

along on a wave of euphoria."[136] Lord Mountbatten, a first cousin of the Romanov children, thought her supporters "simply get rich on the royalties of further books, magazine articles, plays etc."[137] Prince Michael Romanov, a grandson of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, stated the Romanov family always knew Anderson was a fraud, and that the family looked upon her and "the three-ringed circus which danced around her, creating books and movies, as a vulgar insult to the memory of the Imperial Family."[131]
[edit] Fictional portrayals

Since the 1920s, many fictional works have been inspired by Anderson's claim to be Anastasia. In 1928, the silent film Clothes Make the Woman was based very loosely on her story. In 1953, Marcelle Maurette wrote a play based on Rathlef's and Gilliard's books called Anastasia,[139] which toured Europe and America with Viveca Lindfors in the title role. The play was so successful that in 1956 an English adaptation by Guy Bolton was made into a film, Anastasia.[140] The plot revolves around a group of swindlers who attempt to raise money among Russian migrs by pretending that Grand Duchess Anastasia is still alive. A suitable amnesiac, "Anna", is groomed by the swindlers to impersonate Anastasia. Anna's origins are unknown and as the play progresses hints are dropped that she could be the real Anastasia, who has lost her memory. The viewer is left to decide for themselves whether Anna really is Anastasia.[141] The film was released at the same time as Is Anna Anderson Anastasia? starring Lili Palmer, which covers much the same ground, but the central character is "perhaps even more lost, mad and pathetic, but she, too, has moments when she is a woman of presence and dignity".[141] Playwright Royce Ryton wrote I Am Who I Am about Anna Anderson in 1978. Like the earlier plays, it depicts Anderson as "a person of intrinsic worth victimized by the greed and fears of others" and did not attempt to decide her real identity.[142] Kenneth Macmillan's ballet Anastasia, first performed in 1967, used I, Anastasia, an autobiography as inspiration and "is a dramatic fantasy about Anna Anderson, the woman who believes herself to be Anastasia ... Either in memory or imagination, she experiences episodes from Anastasia's past ... The structure is a kind of free-wheeling nightmare, held together by the central figure of the heroine, played by Lynn Seymour".[143] A contemporary reviewer thought Seymour's "tense, tormented portrait of the desperate Anna Anderson is quite extraordinary and really impressive".[144] Anna Anderson was also used as a narrative device in Youri Vmos' 1992 ballet for Theater Basel, Sleeping Beauty Last Daughter of the Czar, based on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.[145] NBC ran a two-part fictionalized mini-series in December 1986 titled Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna which starred Amy Irving and won her a Golden Globe nomination. In the words of Hal Erickson, "Irving plays the leading character in a lady-or-the-tiger fashion, so that we never know if she truly swallows her own tale or if she's merely a clever charlatan."[146] The 1997 animated fantasy Anastasia depicts the central character ("Anastasia" or "Anya") as Grand Duchess Anastasia, even though the film was released after DNA tests proved that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia. The film is an entirely fictional musical entertainment, and in the words of one reviewer, "historical facts are treated with particular contempt".

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova), (Russian: ) (June 18 [O.S. June 5] 1901 July 17, 1918), was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna. Anastasia was a younger sister of Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana and Grand Duchess Maria, and was an elder sister of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. She was murdered with her family on July 17, 1918 by forces of the Bolshevik secret police. Persistent rumors of her possible escape have circulated since her death, fueled by the fact that the location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule. The mass grave near Ekaterinburg which held the remains of the Tsar, his wife, and three daughters was revealed in 1991, but the bodies of Alexei Nikolaevich and one of his sisters either Anastasia or her older sister Maria were not discovered there. Her possible survival has been entirely disproven. In January 2008, Russian scientists announced that the charred remains of a young boy and a young woman found near Ekaterinburg in August 2007 were most likely those of the thirteen-year-old Tsarevich and one of the four Romanov grand duchesses. Russian forensic scientists confirmed on April 30, 2008 that the remains were those of the Tsarevich Alexei and one of his four sisters.[1] In March 2009, the final results of the DNA testing were published by Dr. Michael Coble of the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, proving once and for all that the remains of all four Grand Duchesses have now been accounted for, and no one escaped.[2]

Several women have falsely claimed to have been Anastasia, the most notorious of whom was Anna Anderson. Anderson's body was cremated upon her death in 1984, but DNA testing in 1994 on available pieces of Anderson's tissue and hair showed no relation to DNA of the Imperial family.[3]

[edit] Life and childhood

When Anastasia was born, her parents and extended family were disappointed to have a fourth daughter, because they wanted a son who would be heir to the throne. Tsar Nicholas II went for a long walk to compose himself before going to visit Tsarina Alexandra and the newborn Anastasia for the first time.[4] One meaning of her name is "the breaker of chains" or "the prison opener." The fourth grand duchess received her name because, in honor of her birth, her father pardoned and reinstated students who had been imprisoned for participating in riots in St. Petersburg and Moscow the previous winter.[5] Another meaning of the name is "of the resurrection," a fact often alluded to later in stories about her rumored survival. Anastasia's title is most precisely translated as "Grand Princess," meaning that Anastasia, as an "Imperial Highness" was higher in rank than other Princesses in Europe who were "Royal Highnesses." "Grand Duchess" became the most widely used translation of the title into English from Russian.[6] The Tsar's children were raised as simply as possible. They slept on hard camp cots without pillows, except when they were ill, took cold baths in the morning, and were expected to tidy their rooms and do needlework to be sold at various charity events when they were not otherwise occupied. Most in the household, including the servants, generally called the Grand Duchess by her first name and patronym, Anastasia Nikolaevna, and did not use her title or "Her Imperial Highness." She was occasionally called by the French version of her name, "Anastasie," or by the Russian nicknames "Nastya," "Nastas," or "Nastenka." Other family nicknames for Anastasia were "Malenkaya," meaning "little (one),"[7] or "shvibzik," the Russian word for "imp." Anastasia also had a deformity of her left foot, as did famous imposter, Anna Anderson. Living up to her nicknames, young Anastasia grew into a vivacious and energetic child, described as short and inclined to be chubby, with blue eyes[8] and strawberry-blonde hair.[9] Margaretta Eagar, a governess to the four Grand Duchesses, said one person commented that the toddler Anastasia had the greatest personal charm of any child he had ever seen.[5] While often described as gifted and bright, she was never interested in the restrictions of the school room, according to her tutors Pierre Gilliard and Sydney Gibbes. Gibbes, Gilliard, and ladies-in-waiting Lili Dehn and Anna Vyrubova described Anastasia as lively, mischievous, and a gifted actress. Her sharp, witty remarks sometimes hit sensitive spots.
Anastasia's daring occasionally exceeded the limits of acceptable behavior. "She undoubtedly held the record for punishable deeds in her family, for in naughtiness she was a true genius," said Gleb Botkin, son of the court physician Yevgeny Botkin, who later died with the family at Ekaterinburg.[12] Anastasia sometimes tripped the servants and played pranks on her tutors. As a child, she would climb trees and refuse to come down. Once, during a snowball fight at the family's Polish estate, Anastasia rolled a rock into a snowball and threw it at her older sister Tatiana, knocking her to the ground.[9] A distant cousin, Princess Nina Georgievna, recalled that "Anastasia was nasty to the point of being evil," and would cheat, kick and scratch her playmates during games; she was affronted because the younger Nina was taller than she was.[13] She was also less concerned about her appearance than her sisters. Hallie Erminie Rives, a best-selling American author and wife of an American diplomat, described how 10-year-old Anastasia ate chocolates without bothering to remove her long, white opera gloves at the St. Petersburg opera house.

Anastasia and her older sister Maria were known within the family as "The Little Pair." The two girls shared a room, often wore variations of the same dress, and spent much of their time together. Their older sisters Olga and Tatiana also shared a room and were known as "The Big Pair." The four girls sometimes signed letters using the nickname, OTMA, which was derived from the first letters of their first names.[15] Despite her energy, Anastasia's physical health was sometimes poor. The Grand Duchess suffered from the painful condition hallux valgus (bunions), which affected both of her big toes.[16] Anastasia had a weak muscle in her back and was prescribed twice-weekly massage. She hid under the bed or in a cupboard to put off the massage.[17] Anastasia's older sister, Maria, reportedly hemorrhaged in December 1914 during an operation to remove her tonsils, according to her paternal aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, who was interviewed later in her life. The doctor performing the operation was so unnerved that he had to be ordered to continue by Maria's mother, Tsarina Alexandra. Olga Alexandrovna said she believed all four of her nieces bled more than was normal and believed they were carriers of the hemophilia gene, like their mother.[18] Symptomatic carriers of the gene, while not hemophiliacs themselves, can have symptoms of hemophilia including a lower than normal blood clotting factor that can lead to heavy bleeding.[19] DNA testing on the remains of the royal family proved conclusively in 2009 that

Alexei suffered from Hemophilia B, a rarer form of the disease. His mother and one of his sisters, identified by the Russians as Anastasia and by Americans as Maria, were carriers. Anastasia potentially would have passed on the disease if she had lived to have children.[20] Anastasia, like all her family, doted on the long-awaited heir Tsarevich Alexei, or "Baby," who suffered frequent attacks of hemophilia and nearly died several times.
[edit] Association with Grigori Rasputin

Her mother relied on the counsel of Grigori Rasputin, a Russian peasant and wandering starets or "holy man," and credited his prayers with saving the ailing Tsarevich on numerous occasions. Anastasia and her siblings were taught to view Rasputin as "Our Friend" and to share confidences with him. In the autumn of 1907, Anastasia's aunt Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia was escorted to the nursery by the Tsar to meet Rasputin. Anastasia, her sisters and brother Alexei were all wearing their long white nightgowns. "All the children seemed to like him," Olga Alexandrovna recalled. "They were completely at ease with him."[21] Rasputin's friendship with the Imperial children was evident in some of the messages he sent to them. In February 1909, Rasputin sent the imperial children a telegram, advising them to "Love the whole of God's nature, the whole of His creation in particular this earth. The Mother of God was always occupied with flowers and needlework."[22] However, one of the girls' governesses, Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, was horrified in 1910 that Rasputin was permitted access to the nursery when the four girls were in their nightgowns and wanted him barred. Nicholas asked Rasputin to avoid going to the nurseries in the future. The children were aware of the tension and feared that their mother would be angered by Tyutcheva's actions. "I am so afr(aid) that S.I. (governess Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva) can speak...about our friend something bad," Anastasia's twelve-year-old sister Tatiana wrote to their mother on March 8, 1910. "I hope our nurse will be nice to our friend now."[23] Alexandra eventually had Tyutcheva fired. Tyutcheva took her story to other members of the family.[24] While Rasputin's visits to the children were, by all accounts, completely innocent in nature, the family was scandalized. Tyutcheva told Nicholas's sister, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, that Rasputin visited the girls, talked with them while they were getting ready for bed, and hugged and patted them. Tyutcheva said the children had been taught not to discuss Rasputin with her and were careful to hide his visits from the nursery staff. Xenia wrote on March 15, 1910 that she couldn't understand "...the attitude of Alix and the children to that sinister Grigory (whom they consider to be almost a saint, when in fact he's only a khlyst!)"[23] In the spring of 1910, Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, a royal governess, claimed that Rasputin had raped her. Vishnyakova said the empress refused to believe her account of the assault, and insisted that "everything Rasputin does is holy."[25] Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was told that Vishnyakova's claim had been immediately investigated, but instead "they caught the young woman in bed with a Cossack of the Imperial Guard." Vishnyakova was kept from seeing Rasputin after she made her accusation and was eventually dismissed from her post in 1913.[26] However, rumours persisted and it was later whispered in society that Rasputin had seduced not only the Tsarina but also the four grand duchesses.[27] The gossip was fueled by ardent, yet by all accounts innocent, letters written to Rasputin by the Tsarina and the four grand duchesses which were released by Rasputin and which circulated throughout society. "My dear, precious, only friend," wrote Anastasia. "How much I should like to see you again. You appeared to me today in a dream. I am always asking Mama when you will come...I think of you always, my dear, because you are so good to me ..."[28] This was followed by circulation of pornographic cartoons, which depicted Rasputin having relations with the Empress, her four daughters and Anna Vyrubova.[29] After the scandal, Nicholas ordered Rasputin to leave St. Petersburg for a time, much to Alexandra's displeasure, and Rasputin went on a pilgrimage to Palestine.[30] Despite the rumors, the imperial family's association with Rasputin continued until his murder on December 17, 1916. "Our Friend is so contented with our girlies, says they have gone through heavy 'courses' for their age and their souls have much developed," Alexandra wrote to Nicholas on December 6, 1916.[31] In his memoirs, A.A. Mordvinov reported that the four Grand Duchesses appeared "cold and visibly terribly upset" by Rasputin's death, and sat "huddled up closely together" on a sofa in one of their bedrooms on the night they received the news. Mordvinov recalled that the young women were in a gloomy mood and seemed to sense the political upheaval that was about to be unleashed.[32] Rasputin was buried with an icon signed on its reverse by Anastasia, her mother and her sisters. She attended his funeral on December 21, 1916, and her family planned to build a church over the site of Rasputin's grave.[33] After they were killed by the Bolsheviks, it was discovered Anastasia and her sisters were all wearing amulets bearing Rasputin's picture and a prayer.[34]

[edit] World War I and revolution

During World War I Anastasia, along with her sister Maria, visited wounded soldiers at a private hospital on the grounds at Tsarskoye Selo. The two teenagers, too young to become Red Cross nurses like their mother and elder sisters, played games of checkers and billiards with the soldiers and tried to uplift their spirits. Felix Dassel, who was treated at the hospital and knew Anastasia, recalled that the grand duchess had a "laugh like a squirrel," and walked rapidly "as though she tripped along."[35] In February 1917, Nicholas II abdicated the throne and Anastasia and her family were placed under house arrest at the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo during the Russian Revolution. As the Bolsheviks approached, Alexander Kerensky of the Provisional Government had them moved to Tobolsk, Siberia.[36] After the Bolsheviks seized majority control of Russia, Anastasia and her family were moved to the Ipatiev House, or House of Special Purpose, at Yekaterinburg.[37] The stress and uncertainty of captivity took their toll on Anastasia as well as her family. "Goodby," she wrote to a friend in the winter of 1917. "Don't forget us."[38] At Tobolsk, she wrote a melancholy theme for her English tutor, filled with spelling mistakes, about Evelyn Hope, a poem by Robert Browning about a young girl: "When she died she was only sixteen years old," Anastasia wrote. "Ther(e) was a man who loved her without having seen her but (k)new her very well. And she he(a)rd of him also. He never could tell her that he loved her, and now she was dead. But still he thought that when he and she will live [their] next life whenever it will be that ..." At Tobolsk, she and her sisters sewed jewels into their clothing in hopes of hiding them from their captors, since Alexandra had written to warn them that she, Nicholas and Maria had been searched upon arriving in Ekaterinburg, and had items confiscated. Their mother used predetermined code words "medicines" and "Sednev's belongings" for the jewels. Letters from Demidova to Tegleva gave the instructions.[39] Pierre Gilliard recalled his last sight of the children at Yekaterinburg: "The sailor Nagorny, who attended to Alexei Nikolaevitch, passed my window carrying the sick boy in his arms, behind him came the Grand Duchesses loaded with valises and small personal belongings. I tried to get out, but was roughly pushed back into the carriage by the sentry. I came back to the window. Tatiana Nikolayevna came last carrying her little dog and struggling to drag a heavy brown valise. It was raining and I saw her feet sink into the mud at every step. Nagorny tried to come to her assistance; he was roughly pushed back by one of the commisars ..."[40] Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden told of her sad last glimpse of Anastasia: "Once, standing on some steps at the door of a house close by, I saw a hand and a pink-sleeved arm opening the topmost pane. According to the blouse the hand must have belonged either to the Grand Duchess Marie or Anastasia. They could not see me through their windows, and this was to be the last glimpse that I was to have of any of them!"[41] However, even in the last months of her life, she found ways to enjoy herself. She and other members of the household performed plays for the enjoyment of their parents and others in the spring of 1918. Anastasia's performance made everyone howl with laughter, according to her tutor Sydney Gibbes.[42] In a May 7, 1918 letter from Tobolsk to her sister Maria in Yekaterinburg, Anastasia described a moment of joy despite her sadness and loneliness and worry for the sick Alexei: "We played on the swing, that was when I roared with laughter, the fall was so wonderful! Indeed! I told the sisters about it so many times yesterday that they got quite fed up, but I could go on telling it masses of times ... What weather we've had! One could simply shout with joy."[43] In his memoirs, one of the guards at the Ipatiev House, Alexander Strekotin, remembered Anastasia as "very friendly and full of fun," while another guard said Anastasia was "a very charming devil! She was mischievous and, I think, rarely tired. She was lively, and was fond of performing comic mimes with the dogs, as though they were performing in a circus."[12] Yet another of the guards, however, called the youngest grand duchess "offensive and a terrorist" and complained that her occasionally provocative comments sometimes caused tension in the ranks.[44] Anastasia and her sisters learned how to do their own laundry and assisted the cook in making bread while they were in captivity at the Ipatiev House. In the summer, the privations of the captivity, including their closer confinement at the Ipatiev House negatively affected the family. According to some accounts, at one point Anastasia became so upset about the locked, painted windows that she burst one open to look outside and get fresh air. A sentry reportedly saw her and fired, narrowly missing her. She did not try again.[45] On July 14, 1918, local priests at Yekaterinburg conducted a private church service for the family. They reported that Anastasia and her family, contrary to custom, fell on their knees during the prayer for the dead, and that the girls had become despondent, hopeless, and no longer sang the replies in his service. Noticing this dramatic change in their demeanor since his last visit, one priest told the other, "Something has happened to them in there." [46] But the next day, on July 15, 1918, Anastasia and her sisters appeared in good spirits as they joked and helped move the beds in their shared bedroom so that cleaning women could clean the floors. They helped the women scrub the floors and whispered to them when the guards weren't watching. Anastasia stuck her tongue out at Yakov Yurovsky, the head of the detachment, when he momentarily turned his back and left the room.[47] Anastasia was executed along with her family by a firing squad in the early morning of July 17, 1918. The execution was carried out by forces of the Bolshevik secret police under the command of Yurovsky.

[edit] Captivity and execution

After the Bolshevik revolution in October 1917, Russia quickly disintegrated into civil war. Negotiations for the release of the Romanovs between their Bolshevik (commonly referred to as 'Reds') captors and their extended family, many of whom were prominent members of the Royal Houses of Europe, stalled.[48] As the Whites (loyalists still faithful to the Tsar and the principles of autocracy) advanced toward Yekaterinburg the Reds were in a precarious situation. The Reds knew Yekaterinburg would fall to the better manned and equipped White Army. When the Whites reached Yekaterinburg, the Imperial Family had simply disappeared. The most widely accepted account was that the family had been executed. This was due to an investigation by White Army Investigator Nicholas Sokolov, who came to the conclusion based on items that had belonged to the family being found thrown down a mine shaft at Ganina Yama. The "Yurovsky Note," an account of the event filed by Yurovsky to his Bolshevik superiors following the execution, was found in 1989 and detailed in Edvard Radzinsky's 1992 book The Last Tsar. According to the note, on the night of the murders the family was awakened and told to dress. They were told they were being moved to a new location to ensure their safety in anticipation of the violence that might ensue when the White Army reached Yekaterinburg. Once dressed, the family and the small circle of servants who had remained with them were herded into a small room in the house's sub-basement and told to wait. Alexandra and Alexei sat in chairs provided by guards at the empress' request. After several minutes, the executioners entered the room, led by Yurovsky. Yurovsky quickly informed the Tsar and his family that they were to be executed. The Tsar had time to say only "What?" and turn to his family before he was killed by several bullets to the chest (not, as is commonly stated, to the head; his skull, recovered in 1991, bears no bullet wounds). The Tsar, the empress and two menservants were killed in the first episode of gunfire; Marie, Dr Botkin and the empress' maid Demidova were wounded. Thick smoke had filled the room from so many weapons being fired at close quarters, as well as from plaster dust released from the walls by bullets. To allow the haze to clear, the gunmen left the room for some minutes, leaving all the victims behind. When the gunman returned, Dr Botkin was shot and the Tsarevich Alexei was slaughtered, one gunman repeatedly trying to shoot or stab the boy in the torso. The jewels sewn in his clothes protected him, and finally another gunman fired two shots into his head. Tatiana and Olga were then killed by single bullets to the head. The last victims, Maria, Anastasia and the maid Demidova, were on the floor beneath the room's one window. As the gunman approached, Maria stood and struggled with Ermakov as he tried to stab her. The jewels in her clothing shielded her, and Ermakov claimed that he killed her with a shot to the head. Ermakov then struggled with Anastasia, failed to stab her, and said he killed her, too, with a shot to the head. Maria's skull shows no trace of bullet wounds and it is unclear how she died. Ermakov was quite drunk during the murders and possibly his shot only creased Maria's scalp, knocking her unconscious and producing considerable blood flow, but not killing her. Then, as the bodies were taken out of the cellar room, two of the grand duchesses showed signs of life. One sat up and screamed, throwing her arm over her head, while the other, bleeding from the mouth, moaned and moved slightly. Since the head wounds inflicted on Olga and Tatiana were instantly fatal, it is likely that Marie, perhaps only unconscious, was the sister who screamed, while Anastasia may still have been able to move and moan. Although Ermakov's archived statement does not say so, he told his wife that Anastasia was finished off with bayonets, while Yurovsky wrote that as the bodies were carried out, one or more of the girls cried out and were clubbed on the back of the head. But again, the back of Maria's skull shows no traces of violence, and Anastasia's burned and fragmented remains, identified in 2009, offer no clues to the cause of her death.[49]

[edit] False reports of survival and identification of Romanov remains

Anastasia's supposed survival was one of the celebrated mysteries of the 20th century. Anna Anderson, the most notorious Anastasia impostor, first surfaced publicly between 1920 and 1922. She contended that she had feigned death amongst the bodies of her family members and servants, and was able to make her escape with the help of a compassionate guard who rescued her from amongst the corpses after noticing that she was still alive.[50] Her legal battle for recognition from 1938 to 1970 continued a lifelong controversy and was the longest running case ever heard by the German courts where it was officially filed. The final decision of the court was that Anderson had not provided sufficient proof to claim the identity of the grand duchess. Anderson died in 1984 and her body was cremated. DNA tests were conducted in 1994 on a tissue sample from Anderson located in a hospital and the blood of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a grandnephew of Empress Alexandra. According to Dr. Gill who conducted the tests, "If you accept that these samples came from Anna Anderson, then Anna Anderson could not be related to Tsar Nicholas or Tsarina Alexandra." Anderson's mitochondrial DNA was a match with a great-nephew of Franziska Schanzkowska, a missing Polish factory worker.[3] Some supporters of Anderson's claim acknowledged that the DNA tests proving she could not have been the Grand Duchess had "won the day."[51][52] Anna Anderson was one of at least ten women who claimed to be Anastasia. Some other lesser known claimants were Nadezhda Ivanovna Vasilyeva[53] and Eugenia Smith.[54] Two young women claiming to be Anastasia and her sister Maria were taken in by a priest in the Ural Mountains in 1919 where they lived as nuns until their deaths in 1964. They were buried under the names Anastasia and Maria Nikolaevna.

Rumors of Anastasia's survival were embellished with various contemporary reports of trains and houses being searched for 'Anastasia Romanov' by Bolshevik soldiers and secret police.[56] When she was briefly imprisoned at Perm in 1918, Princess Helena Petrovna, the wife of Anastasia's distant cousin, Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia, reported that a guard brought a girl who called herself Anastasia Romanova to her cell and asked if the girl was the daughter of the Tsar. Helena Petrovna said she did not recognize the girl and the guard took her away.[57] Although other witnesses in Perm later reported that they saw Anastasia, her mother Alexandra Fyodorovna and sisters in Perm after the murder, that story is now widely discredited as nothing more than a rumor.[57] Ironically, it now appears that rumors started to hide the fact that the family was dead actually fueled the rumors they were alive. A few days after they had been executed, the German government sent several telegrams to Russia demanding 'the safety of the princesses of German blood'. Russia had recently signed a peace treaty with the Germans, and did not want to upset them by letting them know the women were dead, so they told them they had been moved to a safer location.[58] This may well be the source of the 'Perm' stories. In another incident, eight witnesses reported the recapture of a young woman after an apparent escape attempt in September 1918 at a railway station at Siding 37, northwest of Perm. These witnesses were Maxim Grigoyev, Tatiana Sitnikova and her son Fyodor Sitnikov, Ivan Kuklin and Matrina Kuklina, Vassily Ryabov, Ustinya Varankina, and Dr. Pavel Utkin, a physician who treated the girl after the incident.[59] Some of the witnesses identified the girl as Anastasia when they were shown photographs of the grand duchess by White Russian Army investigators. Utkin also told the White Russian Army investigators that the injured girl, whom he treated at Cheka headquarters in Perm, told him, "I am the daughter of the ruler, Anastasia." Utkin obtained a prescription from a pharmacy for a patient named "N" at the orders of the secret police. White Army investigators later independently located records for the prescription.[60] During the same time period in mid-1918 there were several reports of young people in Russia passing themselves off as Romanov escapees. Boris Soloviev, the husband of Rasputin's daughter Maria, defrauded prominent Russian families by asking for money for a Romanov impostor to escape to China. Soloviev also found young women willing to masquerade as one of the grand duchesses to assist in deceiving the families he had defrauded.[60] Some biographer' accounts speculated that the opportunity for one or more of the guards to rescue a survivor existed. Yakov Yurovsky demanded that the guards come to his office and turn over items they had stolen following the murder. There was reportedly a span of time when the bodies of the victims were left largely unattended in the truck, in the basement and in the corridor of the house. Some guards who had not participated in the murders and had been sympathetic to the grand duchesses were reportedly left in the basement with the bodies.[61] There were also reports from Bulgaria of the survival of Anastasia and her younger brother Tsarevich Alexei. In 1953, Peter Zamiatkin, who was reportedly a member of the guard of the Russian Imperial Family, told a 16-year-old fellow hospital patient that he had taken Anastasia and Alexei to his birth village near Odessa at the request of the Tsar. After the assassination of the rest of the royal family, Zamiatkin reportedly escaped with the children via ship, sailing from Odessa to Alexandria. The alleged survivors, "Anastasia" and "Alexei," reportedly lived out their lives under assumed names in the Bulgarian town of Gabarevo near Kazanlak. The Bulgarian Anastasia claimant called herself Eleonora Albertovna Kruger and died in 1954.[62]

[edit] Romanov graves

In 1991, the presumed burial site of the Imperial family and their servants was excavated in the woods outside Yekaterinburg. The grave had been found nearly a decade earlier, but was kept hidden by its discoverers from the Communists who still ruled Russia when the grave was originally found. The grave only held nine of the expected eleven sets of remains. DNA and skeletal analysis matched these remains to Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of the four Grand Duchesses (Olga, Tatiana and Maria). The other remains, with unrelated DNA, correspond to the family's doctor (Yevgeny Botkin), their valet (Alexei Trupp), their cook (Ivan Kharitonov) and Alexandra's maid (Anna Demidova). The late forensic expert Dr. William Maples decided that the Tsarevitch Alexei and Anastasia's bodies were missing from the family's grave. Russian scientists contested this conclusion, however, claiming that it was the body of Maria that was missing. The Russians identified Anastasia by using a computer program to compare photos of the youngest grand duchess with the skulls of the victims from the mass grave. They estimated the height and width of the skulls where pieces of bone were missing. American scientists found this method inexact.[63] American scientists thought the missing body to be Anastasia because none of the female skeletons showed the evidence of immaturity, such as an immature collarbone, undescended wisdom teeth, or immature vertebrae in the back, that they would have expected to find in a seventeen year old. In 1998, when the remains of the Imperial Family were finally interred, a body measuring approximately 5'7" was buried under the name of Anastasia. Photographs taken of her standing beside her three sisters up until six months before the murders demonstrate that Anastasia was several inches shorter than all of them. The account of the "Yurovsky Note" indicated that two of the bodies were removed from the main grave and cremated at an undisclosed area in order to further disguise the burials of the Tsar and his retinue, if the remains were

discovered by the Whites, since the body count would not be correct. Searches of the area in subsequent years failed to turn up a cremation site or the remains of the two missing Romanov children.[64] However, on August 23, 2007, a Russian archaeologist announced the discovery of two burned, partial skeletons at a bonfire site near Yekaterinburg that appeared to match the site described in Yurovsky's memoirs. The archaeologists said the bones are from a boy who was roughly between the ages of ten and thirteen years at the time of his death and of a young woman who was roughly between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years old. Anastasia was seventeen years, and one month old at the time of the assassination, while her sister Maria was nineteen years, one month old and her brother Alexei was two weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday. Anastasia's elder sisters Olga and Tatiana were twenty-two and twenty-one years old at the time of the assassination. Along with the remains of the two bodies, archaeologists found "shards of a container of sulfuric acid, nails, metal strips from a wooden box, and bullets of various caliber." The bones were found using metal detectors and metal rods as probes.[65] DNA testing by multiple international laboratories such as the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory and Innsbruck Medical University confirmed that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters, proving once and for all that every member of the family, including Anastasia, died in 1918. The parents and all five children are now accounted for, and each has his or her own unique DNA profile.[66][67]

[edit] Sainthood
For more information, see Canonization of the Romanovs

In 2000, Anastasia and her family were canonized as passion bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church. The family had previously been canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as holy martyrs. The bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and three of their daughters were finally interred in the St. Catherine Chapel at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg on July 17, 1998, eighty years after they were murdered.[68]

[edit] Influence on culture

The purported survival of Anastasia has been the subject of both theatrical and made-for-television films. The earliest, made in 1928, was called Clothes Make the Woman. The story followed a woman who turns up to play the part of a rescued Anastasia for a Hollywood film, and ends up being recognized by the Russian soldier who originally rescued her from her would-be assassins. The most famous is probably the highly fictionalized 1956 Anastasia starring Ingrid Bergman as Anna Anderson, Yul Brynner as General Bounine (a fictional character based on several actual men), and Helen Hayes as the Dowager Empress Marie, Anastasia's paternal grandmother. The film tells the story of a woman from an asylum who appears in Paris in 1928 and is captured by several Russian migrs who feed her information so that they can fool Anastasia's grandmother into thinking Anderson actually is her granddaughter in order to obtain a Tsarist fortune. As time goes by they begin to suspect that this "Madame A. Anderson" really is the missing Grand Duchess. The story served as the basis for the short-lived 1965 musical Anya. In 1986, NBC broadcast a mini-series loosely based on a book published in 1983 by Peter Kurth called Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson. The movie, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna was a two-part series which began with the young Anastasia Nicholaievna and her family being sent to Yekaterinburg, where they are executed by Bolshevik soldiers. The story then moves to 1923, and while taking great liberties, fictitiously follows the claims of the woman known as Anna Anderson. Amy Irving portrays the adult Anna Anderson. The most recent film is 1997's Anastasia, an animated musical adaptation of the story of Anastasia's fictional escape from Russia and her subsequent quest for recognition. The film took greater liberties with historical fact than the 1956 film of the same name. In The Romanov Prophecy, a 2004 novel by Steve Berry, the wounded Anastasia and Alexei are rescued by guards and spirited away to the United States, where they live under assumed names with a family of loyalists paid by Felix Yusupov. In the novel, both children died of illnesses in the 1920s, but not before Alexei married and fathered a son.

House of Romanov
The House of Romanov (Russian: , pronounced [rmanf]) was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution abolished the crown in 1917. The later history of the Imperial House is sometimes referred to informally as the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.

The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, who was himself descended from a junior branch of the Oldenburgs, wedded into the Romanov family in the mid-eighteenth century. Though officially known as the House of Romanov, these descendants of the Romanov and Oldenburg Houses are sometimes referred to as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.[1]

The Romanovs share their origin with two dozen other Russian noble families. Their earliest common ancestor is one Andrei Kobyla, attested as a boyar in the service of Semyon I of Moscow. Later generations assigned to Kobyla the most illustrious pedigrees. An 18th century genealogy book claimed that he was the son of the Prussian prince Glanda Kambila, who came to Russia in the second half of the 13th century, fleeing the invading Germans. Indeed, one of the leaders of the Prussian rebellion of 1260-1274 against the Teutonic order was named Glande. Possibly, Kobyla's origins were less spectacular. Not only is Kobyla Russian for mare, but some of his relatives were also nicknamed after horses and other house animals, thus perhaps suggesting descent from one of the royal equerries. One of Kobyla's sons, Feodor, a boyar in the boyar duma of Dmitri Donskoi, was nicknamed Koshka (cat). His descendants took the surname Koshkin, then changed it to Zakharin, which family later split into two branches: Zakharin-Yakovlev and Zakharin-Yuriev. During the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the former family became known as Yakovlev (Alexander Herzen being the most illustrious of them), whereas grandchildren of Roman Zakharin-Yuriev changed their name to Romanov.

[edit] Rise to power

The family fortunes soared when Roman's daughter, Anastasia Zakharyina, married Ivan IV Muscovit in February 1547. When her husband assumed the title of tsar, which literally means Caesar, she was crowned the very first Tsarina. Their marriage was an exceedingly happy one, but her untimely and mysterious death in 1560 changed Ivan's character for the worse. Suspecting the boyars of having poisoned his beloved, the tsar started a reign of terror against them. Among his children by Anastasia, the elder (Ivan) was murdered by the tsar in a quarrel; the younger Feodor, a pious and lethargic prince, inherited the throne upon his father's death. Throughout Feodor's reign, the Russian government was contested between his brother-in-law, Boris Godunov, and his Romanov cousins. Upon the death of childless Feodor, the 700-year-old line of Moscow Ruriks came to an end. After a long struggle, the party of Boris Godunov prevailed over the Romanovs, and the former was elected new Tsar. Godunov's revenge on the Romanovs was terrible: all the family and its relatives were deported to remote corners of the Russian North and Ural, where most of them died of hunger or in chains. The family's leader, Feodor Nikitich Romanov, was exiled to the Antoniev Siysky Monastery and forced to take monastic vows with the name Filaret. The Romanovs' fortunes again changed dramatically with the fall of the Godunov dynasty in 1606. As a former leader of the anti-Godunov party and cousin of the last legitimate Tsar, Filaret Romanov was valued by several impostors who attempted to claim the Rurik legacy and throne during the Time of Troubles. False Dmitriy I made him a metropolitan, and False Dmitriy II raised him to the dignity of patriarch. Upon expulsion of Poles from Moscow in 1612, the Assembly of the Land offered the Russian crown to several Rurik and Gedimin princes, but all of them declined the honour of it. On being offered the Russian crown, Filaret's 16-year-old son Mikhail Romanov, then living at the Ipatiev Monastery of Kostroma, burst into tears of fear and despair. He was finally persuaded to accept the throne by his mother Kseniya Ivanovna Shestova, who blessed him with the holy image of Our Lady of St. Theodore. Feeling how insecure his throne was, Mikhail attempted to stress his ties with the last Rurik tsars and sought advice from the Assembly of the Land on every important issue. This strategy proved successful. The early Romanovs were generally loved by the population as in-laws of Ivan the Terrible and innocent martyrs of Godunov's wrath.

[edit] The era of dynastic crises

Mikhail was succeeded by his only son Alexei, who steered the country quietly through numerous troubles. Upon his death, there was a period of dynastic struggles between his children by his first wife (Feodor III, Sofia Alexeevna, Ivan V) and his son by his second wife, Nataliya Kyrillovna Naryshkina, the future Peter the Great. New dynastic struggles followed the death of Peter, who had his only son Alexei executed and never named another heir. The Romanov male line ended with the death of Peter II.

[edit] The Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Dynasty

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(February 2009)

The Holstein-Gottorps of Russia retained the Romanov surname and sought to emphasize their matrilineal descent from Peter the Great, through Anna Petrovna (Peter I's elder daughter by his second wife). Paul I was particularly proud to be great-grandson of the illustrious Russian monarch, although his German-born mother, Catherine II (of the House of Anhalt-Zerbst), insinuated in her memoirs that Paul's real father had been her lover Serge Saltykov. Painfully aware of the hazards resulting from battles of succession, Paul established the house law of the Romanovs-one of the strictest in Europe--basing the succession to agnatic primogeniture and requiring Orthodox faith from the monarch, the dynasts, the consort of the emperor and from those of first heirs in line. Later, Alexander I, facing prospect of a morganatic alliance of his brother and heir, added the requirement that consorts of Russian dynasts had to be of equal birth (i.e., born to a royal or sovereign house). Paul I was murdered in his palace in Saint Petersburg. Alexander I succeeded him on the throne and later died without leaving a male heir. His brother, crowned Nicholas I, succeeded him on the throne. Nicholas I fathered four sons and provided for each for the prospects of ruling Russia and successfully leading in military conflict by providing for them an excellent education. Alexander II, son of Nicholas I, became the next Russian emperor. Alexander was an educated, intelligent man, who held that his task was to keep peace in Europe and Russia. However, he believed only a country with a strong army could keep the peace. By paying attention to the army, giving much freedom to Finland, and freeing the serfs in 1861, he gained much popular support (Finns still dearly remember him). His family life was not so happy; his beloved wife Maria Alexandrovna had serious problems with her lungs, which led to her death and to the dissolution of the closeknit family due to his quick morganatic marriage to his long time mistress, Princess Catherine Dolgoruki. His legitimization of his children by Catherine, and rumors that he was about to crown his new wife Empress, ending the morganatic status of his second marriage, caused great tension with the entire extended Romanov family. In particular, the Grand Duchesses were scandalized at the thought of being made permanently subordinate to Catherine Dolgoruki, since as an Empress she would retain precedence over all of them even after her husband's death. She would even have precedence over the future Empress, as Empresses Dowager were ranked higher than Empresses Consort in the Russian system of protocol. On March 13, 1881, Alexander was killed after returning from a military parade. Slavic patriotism, cultural revival, and Panslavist ideas grew in importance in the latter half of this century, drawing the dynasty to look more 'Russian'. Yet tighter commitment to orthodox faith was required of Romanovs. Several marriages were contracted with princesses from other Slavic monarchies and other orthodox kingdoms, and even a couple of cadet-line princesses were allowed to marry Russian high noblemen - when until 1850s, practically all marriages had been with German princelings.

Wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna.

Alexander II was succeeded by his son Alexander III. Alexander III, the second-to-last Romanov tsar, was responsible for conservative reforms in Russia. Never meant to be emperor, he was educated in matters of state only after the death of his older brother, Nikolai. This lack of extensive education may have influenced his politics as well as those of his son, Nicholas II. Alexander III cut an impressive figure. Not only was he tall (6'4 according to some sources), but his physique was proportionately large. Rumors spread about his incredible strength a strength that was the size of his temper. In addition, the beard he wore hearkened back to the likeness of tsars of old, contributing to the aura of authority with which he carried himself. Alexander, fearful of the fate which had befallen his father, strengthened autocratic rule in Russia. Many of the reforms the more liberal Alexander II had pushed through were reversed. Alexander, at his brother's death, not only inherited the throne, but also a betrothed - Danish princess Maria Fyodorovna. Despite contrasting natures and size, the pair got on famously, was the first time a Tsar didn't have a mistress, and produced six children.

The former Royal Family Hall at the main train station in Nizhny Novgorod

The eldest, Nicholas, became Tsar upon his father's sudden death (due to kidney disease) at age 49. Unready to inherit the throne, Nicholas reputedly said, "I am not ready to be Tsar...." Though an intelligent and kind-hearted man, lacking any preparation to rule, he continued his father's harsh polices. His Tsarina, the loving German princess Alexandra Fyodorovna, was also a liability. Like the Tsar, she was not a ruler. When the Tsar took control of the army in the front lines during World War I, he left his wife in charge of Russia for he trusted only her. Like Nicholas, she failed at ruling. She was indecisive and did not trust anyone's advice. She was not intuitive in the ways of politics and not competent in this area. The fact that she was a German also lessened the Russian people's faith in her. Constantine Pavlovich and Michael Alexandrovich, although sometimes counted among Russian monarchs, were not crowned and never reigned. They both married morganatically, as did Alexander II with his second wife. Six crowned representatives of the Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov line include: Paul (1796-1801), Alexander I (1801-1825), Nicholas I (1825-55), Alexander II (1855-81), Alexander III (1881-94), and Nicholas II (1894-1917).

[edit] Downfall
Further information: Shooting of the Romanov family and Canonization of the Romanovs

One of the imperial Faberg eggs presented by Nicholas II to his wife.

All these emperors (except Alexander III) had German-born consorts, a circumstance that cost the Romanovs their popularity during World War I. Nicholas's wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, although devoutly Orthodox, was particularly hated by the populace, largely because of her German origins. Alexandra Fyodorovna had inherited a mutation gene from her grandmother, Queen Victoria. The gene causes hemophilia. Her son, the long-awaited heir to the throne, Alexei inherited this hemophilia gene. Nicholas and Alexandra also had four daughters (Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia). When the Romanov family celebrated the tercentenary of its rule, in 1913, the solemnities were clouded by numerous bad omens. The face of Our Lady of St. Theodore, the patron icon of the family, became badly blackened. Grigori Rasputin predicted that the Romanov's power would not last two years after his death if a Romanov caused his death. (This has since been proven to be a forgery). Rasputin was murdered by a group of nobles, including Nicholas II's nephew by marriage (Felix Yussupov) and a cousin (Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich), on 16 December 1916. Two

months later, the February Revolution of 1917 resulted in abdication of Nicholas II in favor of his brother Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. The latter declined to accept the throne, terminating the Romanov dynasty's rule over Russia. (Though to many it is believed that the throne had not technically passed to Michael, as after his father, Nicholas II, Alexei would have ascended the throne. Because Alexei would have been the only one to give away his seat as tsar, Michael would not have had the throne to abdicate, and the throne would still be in the Romanov name.) After the February Revolution, Nicholas II and his family were placed under house arrest in the Alexander Palace. Several members of the Imperial Family, including Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia, managed to establish good relations with the interim government and eventually fled the country during the October Revolution.

Yekaterinburg's "Church on the Blood," built on the spot where the last Tsar and his family were killed.

On July 16, 1918, Bolshevik authorities, led by Yakov Yurovsky, shot Nicholas II, his immediate family, and four servants in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The family was told that they would be photographed to prove to the people that they were still alive. The family members were arranged appropriately and left alone for several minutes. Soon the very people that were protecting them entered and shot them. At first, the girls did not die because of the jewels sewn into their corsets. These jewels were for protection but also so that the family could have some money for when they fled the country. The shooters were horrified at how the girls were able to withstand the bullets and feared that the family really was in power due to Divine right[citation needed]. To solve that problem, the shooters tried to stab them with bayonets. That failed, too, because of the jewels, so then, they were shot in the head at close range. Ironically, the Ipatiev House has the same name as the Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma, where Mikhail Romanov had been offered the Russian Crown in 1613. The spot where the Ipatiev House once stood has recently been commemorated by a magnificent cathedral "on the blood." After years of controversy, Nicholas II and his family were proclaimed passion-bearers by the Russian Orthodox church in 2000. (In orthodoxy, a passionbearer is a saint who was not killed because of his faith like a martyr but died in faith at the hand of murderers.) In 1991, the bodies of Nicholas II and his wife, along with three of their five children and four of their servants, were exhumed (although some questioned the authenticity of these bones despite DNA testing). Because two bodies were not present, many people believed that two Romanov children escaped the killings. There was much debate as to which two children's bodies were missing. A Russian scientist made photographic superimpositions and determined that Marie and Alexei were not accounted for. Later, an American scientist concluded from dental, vertebral, and other remnants that it was Anastasia and Alexei that were missing. Much mystery surrounded Anastasia's fate. Several films have been produced, including the full length animated feature Anastasia by Twentieth Century Fox, suggesting that she lived on. After the bodies were exhumed in June, 1991, they sat in laboratories until 1998, while there was a debate as to whether they should be reburied in Yekaterinburg or St. Petersburg. A commission eventually chose St. Petersburg, so they (along with several loyal servants who died with them) were interred in a special chapel in the Peter and Paul Cathedral near the tombs of their ancestors. In September 2006, Empress Marie Fedorovna, the consort of Alexander III, was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral beside her husband. Having fled Russia at the time of the Revolution, she had spent her remaining years in exile in her native Denmark, where she was initially buried in Roskilde Cathedral. The transfer of her remains was accompanied by elaborate ceremonies, including at St. Isaac's officiated by the Patriarch. For monarchists, the reburial of the Empress in the former Imperial Capital, so many years after her death, further underscored the downfall of the dynasty. Princes Dmitri and Nicholas Romanov were present at the ceremony, along with Princess Catherine Ioanovna of Russia, daughter of Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia,Prince Nikita Kepta Romanoff, son of Kristina Tasha Romanova. Other members of the Imperial Family present included the descendants of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna including Prince Michael Andreevich of Russia the senior direct male

descendant. Princess Catherine who was 90 years old at the time, and passed away in Montevideo Uruguay the following year, was the last member of the Imperial Family to be born before the fall of the dynasty, and was ultimately to become the last surviving uncontested dynast of the Imperial House of Russia. On August 23, 2007, a Russian archaeologist announced the discovery of two burned, partial skeletons at a bonfire site near Yekaterinburg that appeared to match the site described in Yurovsky's memoirs. The archaeologists said the bones are from a boy who was roughly between the ages of ten and thirteen years at the time of his death and of a young woman who was roughly between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years old. Anastasia was seventeen years, one month old at the time of the assassination, while Maria was nineteen years and one month old. Alexei would have been fourteen in two weeks time. Alexei's elder sisters Olga and Tatiana were twenty-two and twenty-one years old at the time of the assassination. Along with the remains of the two bodies, archaeologists found "shards of a container of sulfuric acid, nails, metal strips from a wooden box, and bullets of various caliber." The bones were found using metal detectors and metal rods as probes. Also, striped material was found that appeared to have been from a blue-and-white striped cloth; Alexei commonly wore a blue-and-white striped undershirt. On April 30, 2008, Russian forensic scientists announced that DNA testing proves that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters. DNA information, made public in July 2008, that has been obtained from Ekaterinburg and repeatedly subject to independent testing by laboratories such as the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA, and reveals that the final two missing Romanov remains are indeed authentic and that the entire Romanov family housed in the Ipatiev House, Ekaterinburg were executed in the early hours of July 17, 1918. Details relating to the forthcoming burial procedure will have to be discussed by a Russian State commission and by the Moscow Patriarchate. On August 28, 2009, a Swedish public news outlet reported that Romanov family jewelry, found in 2008 in the archives of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was returned. The jewelry was allegedly turned over to the Swedish embassy in St. Petersburg in November 1918 by Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin to keep it safe. The jewelry's worth was estimated to 20 million SEK(about 2.6 million US dollars).[2]

[edit] Contemporary Romanovs

There have been many theories regarding the possible survival of members of Nicholas II's family. However, recent research shows that all of the Romanovs, including Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Anastasia who had been thought to have escaped the Bolshevik attack, were in reality killed.[3]

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