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Anastasia Romanov: Finding The Lost Princess

Anastasia Romanov: Finding The Lost Princess

During the Bolshevik revolution, the Romanov
dynasty was killed after over a hundred-year reign in Russia. The bodies of the parents and all five children
were laid on the ground. But when the corpses were later moved and
given a proper burial, the bodies of the son, Alexei, and the princess Anastasia were missing. This gave the Russian people hope that at
least two of these innocent children managed to play dead long enough to escape. Several years later, a young woman was admitted
to a mental hospital in Germany. There were scars all over her body, and she
clearly suffered some traumatic event, but her mind had blocked out the painful memories. She couldn’t even remember her own name. The only clue about where she came from was
the fact that she spoke with a Russian accent. Months later, a Russian patient was admitted
to that same hospital, and she immediately began to kneel in front of this young girl. She claimed that she recognized her as the
missing Princess Anastasia. But who was this young woman? Was she really the long-lost princess, or
would this go down as one of the biggest frauds in history? The Young Life of Anastasia
Anastasia Romanov was born in 1901 to Tsar Nicholas II, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra
Feodorovna. Her proper title was “Grand Duchess”,
but no one ever addressed the young girl with this proper title in her daily life. She had three older sisters- Olga, Maria,
and Tatiana. Her younger brother, Alexei, was meant to
ascend the throne someday. The Romanov children were the first royals
to have such an extensive collection of family photographs. There are hundreds of pictures and videos
of their family vacations, and playing games on the palace grounds. It was easy to see that they lived a carefree
life. Their pictures were publicized all over Russia,
and they were became the darlings of the country. Anastasia was an extremely energetic toddler
who had a bubbly personality. She was very intelligent, so she grew bored
of her tutor’s lessons very quickly. She was a tomboy, and she enjoyed playing
outside far more than doing lady-like activities with her sisters. She was described as clumsy, and she was always
climbing on something or running around. She seemed to have an endless amount of energy. According to some of her cousins and ladies-in-waiting,
Anastasia’s boredom manifested in some terrible ways. She would entertainment herself by playing
pranks on people, and her cousins called her “evil”, and one of the servants called
her a “terrorist”. She tripped her servants in the hallway, climbed
up trees and refusing to come down, and hid rocks inside of snowballs. She would often cheat during games, and she
lied a lot to get herself out of trouble. At one point, a monk named Grigori Rasputin
became the spiritual advisor of the Romanov family. Tsarina Alexandra wholeheartedly believed
that he had magical powers that healed her son, Alexei, who was suffering from hemophilia. Rasputin was able to heal him on the brink
of death. Because of this, she listened to his advice,
and gave him free reign in the royal palace. Anastasia may or may not have realized it,
but her father, Nicholas, had a problem with drugs. In one of his diary entries, he wrote about
waking up with a stuffy nose, and planning to fix it by snorting cocaine. Back then, cocaine was actually prescribed
by doctors as a medication, so it didn’t hold the stigma that it does today. While she did not take recreational drugs,
Tsarina Alexandra was described as being anxious and high-strung. Anastasia commented that her mother barely
ever indulged in coffee or wine, because she had a bad stomach. She was also incredibly spiritual, and often
went to mystics to help her make decisions about her day-to-day life. Rasputin was also known for using morphine,
cocaine, and opium on a regular basis. Some historians believe that the closer he
got to the Tsar and Tsarina, the more the couple became dependent on the drugs and guidance
through fanatical religion that Rasputin was introducing them to. After witnessing the terrible things that
drugs did to the adults in her life, Anastasia became obsessed with clean eating and natural
remedies. She spoke against drug use, and became a vegetarian. Every time she was sick, she would throw a
fit, refusing to take any medicine, because she didn’t want to be like Rasputin and
her father. Servants noted that Rasputin was given a little
too much access to the children. In 1910, one of the nannies, a woman named
Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, was particularly disturbed about the fact that the monk often
witnessed the four girls when they were in their nightgowns. He had the freedom to enter the children’s
nursery whenever he wanted. That same year, one of the other governesses,
Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, claimed that Rasputin raped her. She tried to tell the Tsarina. Sadly, she was so brainwashed by Rasputin,
that she refused to believe the governess. The girls were growing older- the eldest daughters
were already teenagers, and Anastasia was 9 years old. Tyutcheva knew of Rasputin’s reputation,
and she believed Vishnyakova’s story about the rape. Their parents were far too preoccupied with
their own issues, so this nanny tried to keep Rasputin away from the children. The girls were very naive, and did not see
any issue with him coming to visit them at night. They called him a “friend”, and when they
told Tsarina Alexandra that the nanny was trying to keep him out of the nursery at night,
she was fired. According to the children, Rasputin was simply
visiting to tell them bedtime stories and help them say their prayers. Back in his hometown, Rasputin actually did
have children of his own. So it’s always possible that he was acting
on fatherly instinct, but his reputation of a sexual deviant would be enough for anyone
to be worried. After Tyutcheva was fired, she told everyone
she knew about the story. This sparked a rumor that Rasputin had free
reign to visit the princesses at night- in a sexual way. There is no evidence that Rasputin ever actually
abused the Romanov children- but, of course, we will never really know what went on behind
closed doors. However, it was around this time that Tsar
Nicholas ordered Rasputin to leave St. Petersburg. When World War I first began, Anastasia was
only 13 years old. Her mother and sisters were old enough to
volunteer as nurses for The Red Cross. She did her duty by playing pool and chess
with the soldiers, and entertained people with her wild energy and laughter. As a teenager, Anastasia used her acting talents
for good. What seemed like mean-spirited pranks she
played in her childhood actually ended up being a love for comedy. Her family and members of the staff would
often put on their own plays and performances. According to witnesses, Anastasia was naturally
hilarious, and had everyone laughing so hard, they had tears in their eyes. Sometimes, she would bust out funny faces
when the camera was trying to capture a candid moment of her and her sisters. In every difficult situation, Anastasia was
always the one trying to fix it, and make everyone around her smile. After the war, Russia was suffering a terrible
depression. People were starving. Men had died during the war, and people desperately
needed help. Many people viewed the royal family as part
of the problem. Their reputation for bad decision-making with
Rasputin didn’t help, either. It was time for Communism to take hold. By the time Anastasia turned 16, the Romanov
Family was placed under house arrest by the Bolsheviks. The Last Days Of The Romonovs
The Romanov family were ordered to leave their castle, and were put under house arrest. They were moved from place to place, and their
last residence was at a place called Ipatiev House. Even in these dark moments, Anastasia was
still trying to make everyone laugh and smile. It was noted that she adjusted the best to
their new life in captivity. One of the guards told a story of Anastasia
trying to open a window for some fresh air, and they shot at her, to stop her from trying
to escape. She turned to the guard and stuck her tongue
out, slammed the window shut, and walked away. Even in this awful situation, she was fearless. At first, Lenin wrote that the family was
in captivity, and promised that they were still alive. However, he soon realized that as long as
the royal bloodline still existed, there would always be a chance that soldiers loyal to
the Romonovs would try to overthrow him. He decided that the only way for Communism
to exist was to execute the entire family. The family was made to walk down to a basement,
where a group of men were ordered to shoot at them. During the execution, they gunmen realized
that the daughters were still alive, even after being shot multiple times in the chest. It turns out that they were all wearing corsets
that had been lined with the royal gem stones, and this acted like a bulletproof vest. After this, each of the family members received
a shot to the head to ensure that they actually did die. However, some believe that these gem-lined
corsets would have been enough for the gunmen to hesitate to kill the two youngest members
of the family, Alexei and Anastasia. At this point, all of the older daughters
were full-grown women, but Anastasia and Alexei were only 13 and 16 years old. They were innocent children, and they didn’t
deserve to die. Many hoped that the guards would have taken
pity on them. One of the men in the firing squad, Rudolf
Lacher, was originally from Austria, and he was staying in Russia as a prisoner of war. As a foreigner, he had no loyalty to the imperial
family, and was ordered to serve the Bolsheviks. He claimed that he pulled over the truck when
it got stuck in the mud. He could hear a rustling in the back, and
when he went to check on the bodies, he discovered that Anastasia was still alive, and he helped
her escape. However, there were other quotes from Lacher
that indicated the total opposite was true. He was once quoted saying that he didn’t
care about killing the Romanov family. They weren’t relatives of his, and he was
doing his duty for the Bolsheviks. But this confession was enough to spark the
rumors that Anastasia had actually escaped. Anna Anderson
In 1920, a young woman in Berlin, Germany attempted to jump off a bridge to commit suicide. Nearby police officers saved her life, and
brought her to a mental hospital for treatment. She was beautiful, and spoke with a thick
Russian accent. When the doctors asked her who she was, she
replied that she didn’t know. There were scars all over her body, including
a triangle-shaped indentation in her foot, and deep lacerations on her back. It was clear that she had survived some sort
of horrific trauma, and her brain had shut down. Every night, she would wake up screaming to
her nightmares. The memories were too painful for her to recall
when she was awake. The doctors gave her the nickname “Miss
Unknown.” Two years later, Miss Unknown was still living
in a mental hospital in Germany, when a Russian woman was admitted as a patient. The woman was shocked, and immediately kneeled
in front of the young woman. She said that this was the missing Princess
Anastasia. Miss Unknown didn’t confirm or deny this
statement. She had no idea who she actually was, and
becoming a princess sounded just fine. To the doctors, this actually made a lot of
sense. Miss Unknown had clearly endured something
horrific, and it was the answer to a mystery they had long been trying to solve. Comparing photos of both Miss Unknown and
Anastasia next to one another, it is easy to see why so many people believed this to
be true. They have the same ears, nose, and eyes. Miss Unknown was also the same age. In 1922, newspapers began to claim that the
princess had been found, and her photo was published. Friends and family of the Romanovs came from
all over the world to visit her. They would ask her questions that only Anastasia
would know, and yet somehow, this woman knew many of the answers. The opinion of the friends and family was
divided 50/50. While her case was under investigation, she
was invited to stay in castles with Romanov cousins, and several people sent her money
to help pay for her expenses. Anastasia’s tutor, Sydney Gibbes, was one
of the most outspoken critics. He vividly remembered his student’s personality. No matter how much they looked the same, this
woman lacked Anastasia’s wit and sense of humor. Another tutor, Pierre Guillard, agreed that
they found the true princess, at first. However, once he spent more time around this
woman, he agreed that they were not the same person. She was soft-spoken and lady-like. For relatives who only saw her when she was
on her best behavior, it was easier to imagine that she could be Anastasia. But for people who knew what she was really
like, this was an entirely different person. The surviving members of the royal family
met up to discuss whether or not this woman deserved to receive the inheritance of the
Romanov family. In the end, they came to a vote, and decided
that there was not enough evidence to prove that she was the real Anastasia. Her supporters were shocked, because they
felt that she was clearly the true princess. Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, sister of
Tsar Nicholas II and Anastasia’s aunt, wrote that she was outraged by this decision, and
that the remaining family was just greedy. For the friends and family who believed her,
they felt very sorry for this disowned princess, and wanted to whatever they could to help
her. She lived a life of luxury, and she was given
anything she would ever want. She eventually moved to New York with a woman
named Annie Burr Jennings, where she was able to live in a gorgeous penthouse. She changed her name to Anna Anderson. She met a man named Jack Manahan, who was
a history teacher in Virginia. They lived out a very happy life together
in the United States. Ms. Anderson went to her grave claiming that
she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia. DNA Evidence
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians searched for the bodies of the
Romanov family. After confirming their identities through
DNA tests with surviving relatives, they were given a proper burial at the St. Peter and
Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, and canonized as saints in 1998. However, the bodies of Alexei and Anastasia
were missing. This was enough to fuel the fire of the debate. Was Anna Anderson actually Anastasia, after
all? This inspired several movies and plays, including
the 1997 animated movie Anastasia. In 2007, the bones of two human bodies were
found buried in the middle of the woods Siberia. One was a male, and the other was female. The bones showed signs of being doused with
acid and burned by fire, as well. It was finally confirmed through DNA testing
that these were the missing bodies of Anastasia and Alexei. According to records and forensic evidence,
scientists and historians now believe that the men who killed the Romanovs attempted
to burn the bodies, but started off with the two smallest- Alexi and Anastasia. They covered the bones in sulfuric acid, and
then set them on fire. When they discovered that this did not completely
destroy the evidence, they decided to move along and bury the rest of the bodies elsewhere. This is why the two children had been separated
from the rest of their family. As for Anna Anderson, she was dead years before
the truth of her identity was revealed. It turns out that she was a Polish factory
worker. She was married, and worked together with
her husband. One day, a grenade was tossed into the factory,
and exploded. She had to witness the love of her life and
several co-workers dying around her, before receiving a serious head injury. Her body was scarred from the shrapnel of
the explosion. After recovering from her wounds, she had
no family or friends to help her home. She somehow made her way to Germany, which
is where the police found her, and the rest is history. After revealing the truth of her identity,
many people began to call Anna Anderson a “fraud” and a liar. Since she was able to live a life of luxury,
many consider her to be a skilled con-woman. However, it’s very possible that in her
mental state, she may have actually believed she really was Anastasia. Before she was discovered in the mental hospital,
she was a young woman who had nothing left to live for. She was ready to take her own life. But becoming Anastasia gave her an identity,
a purpose, and a family who loved her. For the people who desperately needed to regain
their faith in humanity, they needed to believe the innocent children had survived the slaughter. In her own way, Anna Anderson gave them a
reason to believe in miracles. From what we know about the real Anastasia,
she lived to make people smile. If she knew that her memory and even the mere
possibility of her being alive brought so much hope and joy to so many people, she would
surely be proud.

Reader Comments

  1. Hello everyone. We've been experimenting with a bit of a podcast (a few people were asking for audio versions so they can get Biographics while doing other things)! Fair warning: none of these are new biographies, but rather me having a bit more of a free form chat around the script. I'd love to know what you think, if these are useful, wanted etc :). Thanks, Simon.

    Trolled people:

  2. I feel bad for Anastasia, and her family. But i'm happy for Anna. I'm glad her life turned around. It wasn't caused by corruption, but a misunderstanding.

  3. I had read something that King George V wanted to rescue the Romanovs but PM David Lloyd George vetoed the plan.

    A great what if of history, had the Romanovs been saved; they could have lead the White Russians in the Russian Civil War

  4. No problems with your pronunciation, but I do remember from high school and the Romanov Dynasty had recently celebrated 300 years as the Royal House of Russia when World War One broke out…

  5. OMG, you must be the worst fact checker on YouTube – the Romanov family famously attended the tercentenary of it's rule. How on earth did they rule for 100 years then? Your research is actually pathetic as this is school history stuff. I don't know what you do for a job but let's hope it doesn't involve any kind of factual information

  6. As a Russian Orthodox, born and raised in the US, I always admired them. They had problems and yes, drugs were one of them. As he says, it didn't carry the stigma as it does today and everything they used was prescribed by doctors but they both had addiction issues. This makes me feel even closer to them. They had problems, but they died for Russia and their hearts were full of love for each other and for their nation and church. It's a tragedy we lost them but all they wanted was to rest together and now they do. Thank you for this video.

  7. The true killers of this young lady wasn't the Bolsheviks or the people who pulled the trigger, it was her incompetent drug addicted father who starved and killed millions of his own people, and her religious lunatic mother.
    Who knows?! maybe if Anastasia and her family didn't die, she might've turned as immoral and deranged as her entire family.

    I hate when some idiots in our time think that some royal life is more valuable than the life's of millions of the common people.

  8. I Pray today for the Romanov Family the Descendants because it is a great loss of Family. I HOPE they know that not everyone thinks the last Czar was so terrible. MAYBE, just removed from the PEOPLE. This man is not so guilty. MAY GOD BLESS THIS FAMILY AND RUSSIA. I HOPE I AM NOT ARRESTED, BUT THE DEATH OF ANYONE IN A WAR SITUATION IS TERRIBLE. I BEG ALL THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD TO EMBRACE PEACE IN THE NAME OF OUR LADY JESUS CHRISTS MOTHER. I AM A RETIRED SOLDIER FROM ARMERICA. PLEASE MAY WE HAVE PEACE…………

  9. The picture at 1:05 isn’t Anastasia, it’s Anastasia Petrovic-Njegos Romanov, who is a distant cousin. Not the same girl.

  10. What about the Romanov link to Queen Victoria bloodline? And what happened with Rasputin after the Bolshaviks had seized the family? Was he merely an informant for the Bolshaviks?

  11. Their family's story is the saddest thing. I truly feel for them and the role they have in history.

  12. Realistically. Anna Anderson May have just been so harmed and so mentally scarred that she forgot everything and may have just believed everyone else that said she was Anastasia. Not a con woman or anything like that. She went through a VERY Traumatic event and that’s enough to Destroy someone’s mental state.

  13. For sure anna anderson wasnt a fraud. She was not anastasia but maria. And the dna testing was manipulated. Who would want to give her the riches that the state and her other family members already have?

    Just a theory though… But wouldnt it be more comfortable to just deny the truth rather undergo the scrupulous way of really accepting an inconvenient fact

  14. Clean eating? Veg? Sources? Nicky was a bad Czar but not a drug addict…please read the primary sources ..Alas Anastasia has grown quite fat…Alix's diary..

  15. Okay okay, where IN THE WORLD, did you hear that Anastasia was against drug use and didn't use medicines??
    I've NEVER heard of that and I'm a huge Romanov history buff.

  16. No one knows which daughter(s) were still living outside of the basement. Most believe that Maria and Anastasia died outside at least, and when the bone fragments were found in 2007, since no DNA profiles exist for each Romanov sister, we have NO idea which daughter was truly found with Alexei. Depending on who you talk to (The Russians or the Americans) the answer is different. Some even believed that Tatiana was the missing daughter, but we'll never know, but all we know is that all eleven people died that night and we are still awaiting for Maria/Anastasia's and Alexei's bones to be put to rest.

  17. its Anastasia Romanova, Romanov is the masculine form of the family name
    but the feminine is Romanova.

  18. The Romanov dynasty lasted 300 years, not just 100, and the bodies of family where never "laid out" any where, but buried in secret. It took many years of many people searching to find the bodies and then at last they where interred the church in Moscow with relatives.

  19. Perfect that this came across my feed! I'm watching The Last Czars on Netflix and this helps put more light on the tragic family.

  20. I would say, do one on Charles XII (Karl XII) of Sweden. Or Gustav III who was like the original Lincoln. A King killed in a theather by a conspirascy of revelutionaries.

  21. Here's an interesting fact for you. The Tsarina's elder sister was Prince Philip's maternal grandmother. Prince Philip's DNA was used to help identify the remains of the Romanovs.

  22. I do not for a single second think that this "Miss Unknown" is basically at the time the surviving "Miss Romanov", but let me tell you, due to the deliberate destruction of the conscience of their own forces that the Reds engaged in readily and happily, I'd not be surprised that her mind had shut down, as being a prisoner of the Reds would be extremely traumatic at gentlest.

  23. Simon I believe this was one of my favorites. What a beautiful way to look at this story. Well done sir. Well done indeed.

  24. The real story is why the Romanovs English ( they were all speaking German at the time) cousins didn't try to save them.

  25. I feel for this young girl! I don't believe she commited fraud. I'm glad she ended up with caring people and f a husband to love her.

  26. they ruled for three hundred years, not a hundred years, and all those beautiful family photos were never publicized in Imperial Russia. In fact, they were estranged and closed and really bad at PR

  27. Nicolas II's family never was idolized by the people. The revolutionist Idea was already spreading long before Nicolas ascended the throne. His poor decisions also increased negative feelings towards his family

  28. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Nobelprize winner and himself victim of the Bolshevikparty in Gulag.

    “You must understand, the leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred, they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media in the hands of the perpetrators.”

    “We cannot state that all Jews are Bolsheviks. But without Jews, there would never have been Bolshevism. For a Jew, nothing is more insulting than the truth. The blood maddened Jewish terrorists have murdered sixty-six million in Russia from 1918 to 1957.”
    – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    Putins statement: 80-85% of the Bolshevik-party were jews.
    Quote from the jew Leon Trotsky and the founder of the red army.

    Leon Trotsky intentionally drove Europeans to "cannibalism"
    In 1921 messengers representing starving peasants asked Trotsky för help he said this:
    "You are starving? This is not famine yet, when your women eat their children then you may come and say we are starving."
    For example Almost all media, banking, and influencial bransches of the world is owned by jews. Is that not very risky knowing from the Talmud that the jews secretly hate: 1. Christians 2. Whites 3. All non-jews. 4. Want world domination.

    All MY statements can you find in the Talmud.

    Have a good day!

  29. the princess Anastasia and Rasputin are filmstars of the western movies, in a real Russian story they have no value, zero

  30. A cascade of catastrophic decisions done by Nicholas caused the downfall of the Russian monarchy just like with Louis XV of France. Monarchs cause their own downfall.

  31. Pretty reasoning in the end. Anastasia would be happy learning that her identity makes a poor girl's life better.

  32. I remember they were distant relatives of the House of Winsor, and to the current Queen of England. In a documentary it shows how they would sometimes visit a summer cottage in England. However, when the Romanov's needed them most, they were not allowed to visit or were turned away. The rest is history as they say…

  33. I could only watch a minute of this from not only because of the use of "princess" but also the fact that whoever made this video couldn't choose the right photographs. When Alexei and Anastasia are brought up they show a picture of Alexei but use Anastasia Mikhailovna instead of Anastasia Nikolaevna. I don't want to waste brain cells watching the whole thing.

  34. So just literally how many channels do you own/host Simon? VisualPolitk, Biographics, Today I found out, Top Tenz……

  35. That Anastasia at 13:48 was not Anastasia daughter of Nicholas, but grand duchess Anastasia Michailovna, a first cousin once removed of Nicholas.

  36. Sometimes, I find myself asking where Russia would be without the revolution or if  the Bolsheviks lost. I wonder how would it effect the ending of ww1 and more importantly ww2 and the years after. I wonder where it would be without stalins boldness to throw waves of soviet soldiers at the germans. or better yet, would they even be involved at all or even developed fascim over communism and even been allied with the axis. its weird to think about how a revolution in a country, albeit a very large country effected the next 100 years of world history. This and the American revolutions has impacted the world drastically.

  37. Questions… 1) How are the Romanovs looked upon in Russia today? 2) wasn’t the overthrow of the family a good thing? I mean the communists had a new messages filled with hope and it wasn’t like the Czars were doing a swell job

  38. Miss Unknown's mouth & nose were too thick…Anastasia's features were more delicate looking. Ms U's chin was pointy and Anastasia's was square. Quite different.

  39. just fyi: "tsarina" is not a russian word (i think it's ukranian), you mean "tsaritsa" (meaning the wife of the zsar) or "tsarevna" (meaning the daughter of the tsar)

  40. i would prefer a factual presentation (not a suspensful emotionally coloured tale… especially about what a person about who we know very little wanted to do with her life)

  41. Anastasia is listed in Peter and Paul's as buried with two sisters. Maria and Alexi are not buried yet ( found later).
    I was there a couple weeks ago.

  42. The bodies of the Romanovs and servants were not "laid out"! The mastermind Yarovlev hacked the bodies to pieces, tried to burn them and then used Sulfuric acid on them. Specifically so they'd never be recognized. Alexei and Maria were put in a different grave. Although genetically it's proven they are Alexei and Maria, the Russian Orthodox Church refuses to bury them and their bones sit in a lab.

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