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Messages - ISteinke

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rsskiya wrote:

LOTR is a work of fantasy - brilliant and thoughtful as it is - nevertheless I don't quite see any comparison between a fictional epic, and the need to declare some monarchies to be "upstart' while others are not. This is not Middle Earth.  

LOTR is work of fiction that was written by Tolkien as a major statement of the very traditional European values that he cherished. He was one of the greatest scholars of European and Medieval history who ever lived.

If we are to exclude the work of Tolkien from these discussions, then we might just as easily exclude the Aeneid from discussion of Roman values. Tolkien's works are profoundly relevant when speaking of European values and poltics.

Do a little bit of source criticism of Tolkien and you will understand what I mean.

(By the way, Tolkien hated no-one in the world as much as he hated Adolph Hitler, but for very interesting and different reasons. Tolkien is reliably quoted as havng said that Hitler, by his racism, was making forever accursed the very Nordic and European values that Tolkien [in LOTR] was trying to enshrine)

Maybe I'm blind, but I just don't see the importance of restoring these upstart eastern european monarchies.

In the Lord of the Rings Pippin Took asked Gandalf if the Steward of Gondor was the king? Gandalf replied that in some countries the steward might eventually become king, but not in Gondor, even if 100 generations might pass. The line of kings in Gondor was immeasurably sacred.

England and her monarchy could be compared to that of Gondor, as could that of Russia, and that of Austria. The Royal Family of Savoy and Sardinia (later kings of Italy) could also be said to have this longstanding, sacred position. However, the monarchies of Romania and Bulgaria have no standing except as minor branches of German royalty. If there is to be a monarchy in either of these countries it needs to be raised up from the people of these nations themselves.

My father is German, and I deeply love the royal family- revere the memory of  Kaiser Wilhelm. However, I don't think that there is any legitimate reason to restore the Hohenzollerns to a country in which they are entirely foreigners.

Who would be the present pretender to the throne of Sweden, the "Jacobite" if you will, from Prince Vasa?

Thank you, everyone, for your great answers to my question (about the Bernadottes and the House of Vasa).

Now, here is another question. In nearly every encyclopedia article that I have ever read (about Swedish history) it says that the Swedish Royal House became extinct with Carl XIII, thus the justification for bringing the Bernadottes to the throne. However if KIng Gustav IV had a son the royal family was therefore not extinct. It seems that this Prince Vasa should have been the rightful king.

My question is, "When there was a legitimate male heir to the crown from the line of King Gustav, why was he passed over for an upstart from France (with no royal blood to speak of)?"

Here are a couple of questions that I have wondered about for a long time-

Are there any living descendants in collateral branches of the actual, legitimate Swedish royal house?

Secondly, if they exist have any of them ever legally challenged the Bernadotte claim to the throne?

The Final Chapter / Re: Rescued by the HMS Marlborough
« on: December 06, 2004, 07:08:06 AM »
After falling out with both her sister and nephew MF went to live at Villa Hvidore, her summer home in Denmark. However, there was no "winter-time" heating system, and she nearly froze. Part of the reason for her death had to do with the severe chills in that house. It seems strange- a former empress becoming sick from the cold.

I have to say that I think it is ridiculous that people on the "forum" are now discussing me, instead of Anastasia, and criticizing me for not responding more to what people say.
    For Heaven's sake. I've got finals next week, and at the moment I simply don't have time to reply as I would like.  
    I wish that you folks didn't take this Anastasia thing SOOOO SERIOUSLY. I think it's fun and interesting, but it doesn't control my life or make me lose sleep at night. For one thing, even if Anastasia and Anna Anderson were the same person [you know what I think], she's dead now. So, what does it matter? Does it really matter whether she died in 1918 or 1985? Not really. I'm not offended by anybody's DNA evidence, and I don't have a dogmatic viewpoint that says all of you are wrong. Like I said, it's just interesting to investigate all of the similarities between them.  

    I don't understand why people think this is such a MAJOR, MASSIVE, IMPORTANT issue. I mean, Anastasia was only important, historically, as the daughter of the Tsar. Anna Anderson, whoever she was, however well known she was, was not important historically. She was an anecdote on the pages of history.

    All I'm saying is that I wish everyone would just lighten up. I don't take this silly issue half as seriously as it seems most of you do. If I did take it that seriously I would hope that someone would just tell me to go and get a life.

    I want to rationally respond to Annie's post, point by point.
    First of all, Anna Anderson, in her previous existance as Fraulein Unbekaant, never made claims on her own behalf. In fact, from reports made when she first entered Dalldorf Asylum, she was hysterical, and nearly mute. Because of her physical appearance rumors spread around Berlin that one of the Grand Ducchesses was alive and living at Dalldorf. People in the emigre community came to see her, and the conclusion spread that she was Tatiana.

    Secondly, she never claimed to be Tatiana. As mentioned above it was the emigre community who identified her as such.

    She was first identified as Anastasia not by herself, but by Princess Martha of Sweden, before anyone else had even considered the idea. When it was rumored that one of the Grand Duchesses was alive, the King of Denmark asked Herluf Zahle to look into the case. Princess Martha asked if she might be able to see her. Ambassador Zahle replied that she was shy, and didn't like to be gawked at. However, he told her, there was a certain time, every day, when she [AA] appeared on a balcony. They would drive by at that time.

    When Zahle and Princess Martha drove by she exclaimed [as if it was the most obvious, second-nature thing in the world], "That's not Tatiana. That's Anastasia." The nature of the remark was to effect of, "These silly stupid people! Yes! That is one of the Grand Duchesses, but I knew them, and I know which one that she is. It isn't Tatiana. It's Anastasia."

    As far as her story of escape is concerned- The adress that she gave in old Bucharest was the same address as the Imperial German Embassy. Doesn't it seem strange that Franziska Schanskowska knew the adress of the Imperial German Embassy, and claimed to have stayed there? I think there are alot of things that we don't know about the escape from Russia. Think about it. She was seriously ill, probably in and out of consciousness, in shock from the murder of her family. There was probably a much more plausible story, but she was unable to tell about it. Also, why do you suppose that the family and military staff of Kaiser Wilhelm were so unhesitant about accepting her?

    Of course the story of the cross-country trek in a cart is stupid. However, that probably isn't what happened anyway.

    In addition the idea that there had to be evidence of an individual named Alexander Tsaikovsky existing, in backward, primitive Russia, nearly 100 years ago. How many Russians named AT do you think lived and died without ever having had written records of their lives?

    Plus, just because his name is common doesn't mean he doesn't exist. If I have an American friend named John Smith, should I tell him that any information about his existance is invalid, based on his name?

    As far as her lips, mouth, eyes, and chin- You didn't know Anastasia. You've only seen pictures. Lili Dehn did know Anastasia. Lili Dehn certainly believed these to be the same lips, mouth, eyes, and chin.

    As far as her memories- No Russian emigre could have told her to splash perfume on Shura, or to break out in uncontrollable grief when Zinaida Tolstoy played an obscure, unpublished song on the piano. No Russian emigre could have told her the correct answers to Felix Dassel's mistakes [at the Castle of the Duke of Leuchtenberg]. How many people knew the exact nature of the gifts that she had given to an obscure army officer at Christmas, 1916?

    As far as inaccuracies- What she said was not inaccurate. There was an article published in National Geographic [and other magazines in Europe] shortly after the end of the Russian Civil War, titled First Pictures Out of Soviet Russia.
In this article were pictures of each of the private rooms in the Alexander Palace. A nurse at Dalldorf Asylum cut away the captions from the pictures, then cut the pictures out and rearranged them. Then she took them to AA. AA blushed and became upset, and even embarassed. Her response was, "That's my father's bathroom!" She went on to identify every last one of those pictures in minute detail, exactly as they were in the magazine, without flaws in memory.

The Romanov and Hesse families did not universally reject her. The Hesse's are a better bet on this one, but the Romanovs- well,

Of all the pre-revolutionary generation of Romanovs, only Olga, Andrei, Xenia, Nina, and Vera Konstantinovna ever met her. As far as the others are concerned- How can you make a judgement call on the identity of someone you have never met? The testimony of people who never met is completely invalid. Now, let's look at the testimony of those who did meet her

Olga- first recognized her and then later publicly recanted, after going back to the home of her mother- Is known to have referred to AA in private, throughout her life, as "my niece."

Andrei- accepted her unconditionally

Xenia- Accepted her unconditionally

Vera K.- said that she was the same nasty little girl that she always was.

Nina- said that she may not have been Anastasia, but was definitely a high-born lady

As for the Hesses- they lived way off in Germany and nearly never saw Anastasia. They did not know her. Also, she revealed a potentially damaging political fact. Is it outside the bounds of human nature to reject a relative if it is damaging to your own selfish ends to do otherwise?

Also, if you really look at the nature of relationships between the Romanovs, they ARE an exceptionally cold and heartless and disfunctional family. [Silent in seven languages] Just the facts concerning their pre-revolutionary behaviour [towards one another] should prove this.

"Father, why don't we go see Uncle Nikita?"
"Why? I already know him." [Quoted from Robert Massie- Romanovs the Final Chapter]

Well, this is getting long. I will respond to the rest of your points in a later e-mail, in a couple of hours.  ISteinke

I wasn't trying to create new controversy or more upset feelings. All I was trying to do was to bring real, true objectivity to the discussion, from a scholarly standpoint

I admit. The DNA evidence seems extremely damning. It has caused me, over time, to do a great deal of thinking. I first read about it in Massie's Book The Romanovs, The Final Chapter. When I did I was thrown for a loop, honestly and truly. This does seem inexplainable.

Trust me. I am not in the category of a doctrinaire Anastasia supporter. As far as my own philosophical foundations are concerned I probably have much more in common with those persons who are against the idea that Anna Anderson and Anastasia Romanov were the same person. As a graduate school student I am very well aware that this is all about objective evidence.

The pro-Anna people, I believe, have made a huge philosophical mistake. If she was Anastasia, it isn't a mystery. It isn't a beautiful story. If she was, indeed, Anastasia, the memories that she had were not amazing. They were ordinary. We do have to remove the romance from this whole issue.

However, if she was not Anastasia, as the DNA tests SEEM to show, then there are real, true, serious mysteries and even spooky issues that have to be dealt with. You can't just write off the recognitions, memories, and astonishing physical similarities [I quote from Robert Massie, certainly no supporter of AA]. As writers, intellectuals, and scholars, you have to be willing to objectively, fearlessly deal with these things. You can't just say that they are stupid or "not as compelling as they seem."

It seems that the DNA results are being used to justify the complete exclusion of the traditional canon of evidence in this case. You [anyone] cannot do that. It is unscholarly. It is ignorant. It is tunnel-visioned. It represents a viewpoint that seems [at least in this case] to cherish freedom from education.

This year in graduate school we have been discussing the difference between critical thinkers and non-critical thinkers. Both sides in this controversy seem to be operating as non-critical thinkers. One side only considers the DNA. The other side only considers the Karlsruhe evidence. Both sides are wrong.

Pro-Anna people need to be willing to seriously, fearlessly, objectively study DNA, and explain in a plausible manner how the tests could be incorrect.

Anti-Anna people need to be willing to really look at the traditional canon of evidence, and to come up with more than a half-baked way of explaining it away. DNA or no, this woman seemed to have the spiritual, emotional, and mental identity of Anastasia Romanov dwelling inside of her. If she was not Anastasia then her very existance is just plain bizarre. Rather than saying that she did not have the memories or scars that she had, the anti-Anna people [please forgive term] need to be able to accept the evidence, and explain why this woman did have these "uniquely Anastasian characteristics."

Even Grand Duke Alexander (Sandro), a vociferous opponent of Anna Anderson, was floored by this conundrum. Sandro once said that "either she is Grand Duchess Anastasia, or the spirit of Anastasia has come back to Earth to dwell in this woman's body."

Rather than presenting a mantra of three letter combination [DNA, DNA, DNA, etc., etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum] I wish that the anti-AA people could find some way to be open minded and deal with the traditional canon of evidence, in order to find a plausible way of explaining it, rather than just pretending that it doesn't exist.

That's it. I don't care whether Anna Anderson was AA or not. I just wish that you guys would be scholarly, rather than using DNA as an excuse to be dogmatic, fundamentalist "anti-AA's."

Please accept this in a spirit of friendship and academic comradery.

Merrique has just proved my point. Thank you, Merrique.

The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« on: November 20, 2004, 02:50:24 PM »
OK, It seems that [on this forum] the subject of AA-AN has been going round and round for months, with no real progress made in the discussion. I want to make an observation, an observation that I really hope people take seriously.

As I have said before, if I thought that the case was absolutely closed [objectively] against Anna Anderson being one and the same as Anastasia Romanov I would have no problem accepting her as Franziska. Ultimately [to use an expression that is often employed in fundamentalist churches] it isn't going to affect anyone's eternal destiny. Frankly, from an emotional standpoint I don't care who she was.

There is an issue, however, that needs to be dealt with, from an academic standpoint.

Over the period of the many years of Anna Anderson's lifetime a monumental corpus of evidence was amassed in favor of AA being Grand Duchess Anastasia- from uncanny memories, to astonishing physical similarities, recognitions by people who knew AN, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. This isn't just hearsay or silliness. It is real evidence, evidence that the opponents of Mrs. Manahan (Anna Anderson) did not ever like or feel comfortable with.

Often the supporters of AA are accused of believing in delusional conspiracy theories. However, opponents of AA have developed a canon of conspiratorial ideas of their own. Do you honestly think that Tatiana Botkin, Gleb Botkin, Maria Rasputin, Lili Dehn, Grand Duke Andrei, Alexandra Gilliard, Princess Xenia of Russia, Zinaida Tolstoy, Felix Dassel, and Kaiser Wilhelm (just to name a few) were all in league with each other? What about the initial recognition from Grand Duchess Olga (albeit later retracted)? Was she originally in on it, as well?

My problem with the anti-Anna people is this. As I mentioned above, there was this huge mass of evidence collected, which would really lead one to believe that AA was one and the same as Anastasia.

Then the DNA tests came out.

After the DNA tests came out the opponents of AA decided that this was convenient justification to writeoff/ignore/ridicule/dismiss out of hand all of the previous evidence. I'm sorry, but regardless of what the DNA tests appear to demonstrate, you CANNOT just dismiss all of the other evidence.

Part of the problem with these threads is this. I will admit, for the sake of this discussion, that the DNA evidence looks pretty damning, and often the pro-Anna people just dismiss it. To do so without a good explanation is incorrect, from a scholarly standpoint. HOWEVER, it is just as incorrect for the anti-Anna people to refuse to deal with the mass of evidence in her favor. It exists, whether you like it or not.

As I see it, the real problem with the DNA is this. THERE IS A VERY REAL PARADOX HERE, which no one seems willing to fearlessly deal with, at least the anti-Anna people. We do, with Anna Anderson, have a strange situation in which every last piece of evidence except the DNA would indicate that this individual is one person, while the DNA indicates that she is another.

It isn't enough, in this case, to simply say that the evidence in her favour wasn't really as good as we thought. That evidence was compelling, and damning, and, logically speaking, the DNA tests do not alter what I would refer to as "the Karlsruhe evidence."

All that I ask of the anti-Anna people is that you be willing to actually deal with all of the evidence, rather than dismissing it out of hand, and pretending that it doesn't exist.

There is something profoundly wierd, unexplainable, and conundrical  about this case, and the opponents need to recognize that. DNA does not take away the conundrum.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alix' ghost?
« on: November 19, 2004, 10:53:37 AM »
I don't think it's correct to portray Alix as a "spiritually troubled" person.

One thing we cannot do on this forum, regardless of our own spiritual beliefs, is to discount, Alix's own religious perspective. She was not a spiritist. She was not a reincarnationist...

... AND, regardless of how emotionally troubled she was she was most definitely not spiritually troubled. It's like the difference between happiness and joy. She may not have had happiness, but she had joy. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

    In short, Alix was a tremendously commited, fervent Christian, whose whole hope and foundation was in God. The last words that she ever spoke to Lili Dehn and Anna Vyrubova [as she pointed up to Heaven] were, "Remember, there we are always together."

    On October 17, 1917 she wrote to a friend, "After the rain the sun.  We need only be patient and have faith. God is merciful. He will not abandone HIS own. You will see better days..."- this written from captivity.

    The idea of Empress Alexandra as a troubled spirit, unable to find rest, wandering the halls of the palace, is simply inconsistant, extremely inconsistant, and even absurd, in light of who she was, spiritually, as a person.

The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Passionate Beliefs
« on: November 19, 2004, 10:43:22 AM »
Hello, Here I am-
   Yes, like it or not, I am back, at least for "group therapy."
   Philosophically, I am not in the camp that "wants to believe" that AA was Anastasia. If she were to really be proved to be Franziska [or someone else for that matter] I would have no difficulty accepting it, whatsoever. I have never met her. She wasn't my personal friend. I have no emotional stake in this issue whatsoever.

    That being said, what has perturbed me about the anti-AA crowd is simply this. On a dusty bookshelf in Karlruhe, Germany there are 30 volumes of bound testimony which originated in the longest running court case in history. The German legal system is not made up of emotional purveyors of fairy tales. It is made up of trained, objective jurists. If this case were all pure, moronic stupidity [which is really what, in my opinion, these DNA-obcessed posters are saying] don't you think that the German legal system would have simply disposed itself of the case? One of the judges, after the last trial, explained to an AA supporter [I believe it was Frederick of Saxe-Altenburg] that they could just as easily have ruled in her favour. They ruled as they did, in part, because they realized that, regardless of their ruling the royal families of Europe were not just going to recant and accept her. i.e. they wanted to put it to rest, for her sake.
     Then there's the Berlin police, way back in the 1920s. The Berlin police were very well aware of the Schanskowska dissapearance, and they were very well aware of the "Fraulein Unbekaant" case. Yet, they nevertheless came to the verdict that in all likelihood, based on preliminary inquiries, FU and AN were one and the same.
     Were all of these trained legal officers and jurists simply stupid?
      Grand Duke Andrei was a distinguished jurist, trained at the military law academy in Petrograd, and he, upon examination of evidence, accepted her.
      In summary, what really has me torqued  is the idea that all of these trained jurists were stupid and uninformed, and that those 8000 pages of legal testimony are nothing but a ridiculous fairy-tale.
      I would believe all of your stuff about the DNA if it weren't for the fact that there is a mind-boggling ammount of legal evidence stacked against your position. You folks have made me angry, because of your refusal to deal with the objective evidence in her favor.
      These forums were not meant to be a continually repeated mantra of people meditating the words, DNA, DNA, DNA, DNA.
       I don't know why the DNA evidence came out the way it did. However, there absolutely has to be some explanation for it.
       Here's my opinion. If you ignore or discount every other part of this post, pay attention to what I am about to say. Instead of fruitlessly arguing over DNA and conspiracies, I believe that this forum should be a springboard for an ambitious, scholarly research project, something which would actually make the AA-AN-FS case something worth talking about [from an intellectual standpoint]. I like Peter Kurth, and I admire him, and I agree with him. HOWEVER, his work is often refuted, to large degree, I believe, because it an abstraction of the facts, rather than a primary source. In other words, it is his interpretation of the issue.
        That was the opinion. Now the proposal. In order that we might be able to really, truly, from a scholarly standpoint, discuss the issue, through primary sources, I would propose to all of you that a scholar or team of scholars go over to Germany and undertake to translate the entire corpus of the Anastasia case into English. Then, it should offered for sale as a scholarly SET to researchers.

      That is what all of us should be doing. We should each have a set of The Anastasia Trial sitting on our desks, from which to refer. Until we are all versed in that corpus of literature I don't think that anyone, including myself, has any right to speak.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories. I simply believe that the Queen said, "NO."

I am now going to be leaving this forum entirely. What I am finding is this. The anti-Anna party is so completely stubborn, closed-minded, bigoted, prejudiced, self-righteous, judgemental, condescending, and incomprehensibly sceptical, that it is useless to discuss any issues whatsoever. All of you ignore the vast mass of evidence in favor of Anna in favor of your own stupid mantras

She's not Anastasia because of course she can't be Anastasia

Face it she's not Anastasia

DNA DNA DNA DNA DNA DNA DNA DNA, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I'm sick of all of this idiocy.  Goodbye.

Here's a significant, quote, followed bymore of my thoughts on the issue. This quote is from one of the websites concerning AA.

"These lines were sent to me by a friend in 1995, not long after the British Home Office's Forensic Sciences Service announced that mitochondrial DNA testing of the remains of “Anna Anderson” had proved conclusively that she was not Anastasia of Russia, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. According to the British genetics team at Aldermaston, headed by Dr. Peter..."

Here is all the answer that is needed as regards the DNA issue. Until I read this quote I did not realize that the forensic science service of the British Home Office was involved with all of this. To me that invalidates all of our knowledge of these DNA results.

The sovereign of Great Britain may no longer hold great political power, but in issues dealing with his/her own family the power of the crown is still ABSOLUTE. If the queen wants privacy on this kind of family issue SHE WILL GET IT, PERIOD. In matters regarding her own family the home office is bound to do what Queen and Elizabeth and/or Prince Phillip want them to do.

Don't you see? These researchers are expressing results that the royal family wants expressed. If you [I mean "you" in a general sense- i.e. anyone] believe anything else you are being incorrigibly naive.

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