Facts About Anastasia
Please read this explanation carefully.
Born June 18th 1901 - Anastasia Romanov.
Her father was the Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, her mother was Alexandra, grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain.
She had three elder sisters, Olga, Tatiana and Maria, and a younger brother Alexei.
Alexei suffered from a disease called hemophilia which stops the blood from clotting. If he cut or bruised himself he could bleed to death.
The Russian people did not know that Alexei was sick.
Anastasia was a bit of a tom-boy and loved practical jokes.
She was also gentle and spent time with her dogs and her brother who was not allowed outdoors.
She shared a room with her sister Maria and slept on an army camp bed. Anastasia spoke English and Russian.
Anastasia's Russian was childish because she had no contact with the outside world.
Anastasia's mother was desperate to find some way to cure her son.
She heard that a Holy man called Rasputin could help and contacted him.
Rasputin did not act like a Holy man, he was often drunk.
The Russian people were suspicious of Alexandra's involvement with Rasputin.
A group of Russians who were critical of the Royal family decided to kill Rasputin. They poisoned him, shot him then tied him up and threw him in the river.
In 1917 there were riots in Petrograd and Moscow. Nicholas was forced to abdicate (give up the throne).
Anastasia and her family were taken prisoner.
Anastasia and her family were later moved to Siberia where the girls were not allowed to be alone. Guards even followed them into the bathroom.
On July 16 1918 the family were woken up and taken to a cellar. They were arranged into a group and believed they were to be photographed.
Suddenly armed men burst into the room and began firing. Anastasia's parents and her sister, Olga, their doctor (Dr Botkin) and two servants died instantly.
The family's diamonds had been sewn into the girl's dresses and the bullets bounced off these around the room. The soldiers were amazed at this 'miracle' but kept on firing.
Alexei was lying on the floor groaning, a soldier shot him through the head.
It was chaotic inside the cellar. The room was filled with smoke.
Tatiana and Maria eventually died.
Anastasia was last seen huddled against the wall with her arms over her head.
Some accounts of the murder say that Anastasia was bayoneted several times.
There is much confusion about how Anastasia died. Some people believe she did not die at all.
The bodies of the royal family were thrown into a pit in the woods.
The pit was found two years later. Two bodies were missing!
Anna Anderson 1
As you read through the facts about Anna Anderson, fill in your table with evidence that shows that she was an imposter and evidence that shows she was Anastasia.
On February 17th 1920, a young woman jumped off a bridge in Berlin.
She was rescued and taken to a hospital.
She had no ID on her.
She was put in a mental hospital where another inmate said that she looked like Nicholas II's daughter, Tatiana. Anna Anderson made no comment but later claimed that she was Anastasia.
Anna Anderson eventually explained how a soldier had seen her move and had rescued her. She had married him and had a baby. He was later killed in a fight and she placed the baby in an orphanage.
Anastasia's aunt thought that she was very similar to Anastasia.
Princess Cecille, a relative of Anastasia, believed that Anderson was Anastasia.
A ballerina who had been Nicholas II's mistress before he married, believed that Anna had Nicholas's eyes.
Grand Duke Alexander spent two days with her and believed her to be Anastasia.
Gleb Botkin, son of the family doctor believed her story.
Anderson had knowledge about Anastasia's uncle, Ernst of Hess, that only a member of the family could have known.
Anna Anderson often acted like a mad woman, but her supporters said that this was not surprising after watching her whole family murdered.
Anna Anderson understood Russian but refused to speak it on the grounds that it was the language of those who had killed her family.
Some people thought she was a Polish factory worker. However, she spoke good English, French and German - unusual for a Polish factory worker.
Anna Anderson had scars on her body that she claimed had come from the gun shots and bayonet wounds. Anderson had a foot deformity - so did Anastasia.
Anna Anderson 2
You should have managed to fill in quite a lot of your table from the previous page. Read through the information below which gives another set of facts about Anna Anderson and see if you can find more information for your table.
Anna Anderson was really Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker, born in 1896, who disappeared suddenly in 1920.
After she was pulled from the canal in Berlin she was put in a mental hospital. One of the other inmates told her that she looked like Nicholas II's daughter, Tatiana.
Eighteen months later Anna Anderson claimed that she was Anastasia.
At the time Anna made her claim the people of Germany were living a harsh life and were drawn to this tragic story of a princess who was thought to be dead but had now been found.
She gained support from people who thought that they could benefit from the discovery.
The Russian authorities at this time had not said what had actually happened to the royal family.
Anna Anderson was in the right place at the right time.
Anna Anderson's main supporter, Gleb Botkin, was the nephew of the doctor who had been killed with the royal family. He had a good knowledge of Russian palace life.
When Anderson was questioned by members of the Romanoff family, she would often change the subject or break down and cry.
Anna Anderson could not read Russian, English or French.
She could not remember details of her life, but did know the details of the family bank accounts. (it is highly unlikely that Anastasia would have had this information.)
Franziska Schanzkowska had been in and out of mental institutions all her life.
She had scars on her body that came from being involved in a grenade explosion.
While in the mental hospitals, she is known to have read many magazines about the Russian royal family, including one which told of the execution of the royal family and that Anastasia may have survived.
Anna Anderson made a good living out of being Anastasia, she toured Europe and attended fashion shows.
The real Anastasia's cousin and his wife did not believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia.
Anastasia's aunt did not believe Anna was Anastasia, although she did say that she looked similar.
One of Anastasia's aunts met Anna several times but eventually decided that she was not Anastasia.
Anastasia's former tutor said that Anna Anderson was a 'first rate actress.'
Who Was Anna Anderson?
You have looked at the evidence and by now have probably decided whether you think Anna Anderson was Anastasia or an imposter.
But there is more information to this story.
In 1938 Anna Anderson asked a German court to try her case and prove that she was Anastasia. This would allow her access to the Romanov fortune.
The case dragged on.
In 1964, after closely examining photographs of both Anastasia and Anderson a German doctor stated that she was Anastasia.
A handwriting expert also believed that Anderson was Anastasia.
In 1970 the German court finally reached a decision that there was not enough evidence to prove that Anderson was Anastasia.
In 1977 a forensic expert identified that Anderson was Anastasia.
Anderson died in America in 1984.
Shortly after her death, using DNA testing that had not been available before, it was decided that Anderson was not Anastasia but Polish factory worker Franzisca Schanzkowska.
However, Anderson's supporters, believe that the tissue tested was not Anderson's.
It seems that the case of Anna Anderson will remain one of History's mysteries.