Author Topic: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence  (Read 96560 times)

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Offline ISteinke

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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.




















« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by ISteinke »

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2004, 03:18:38 PM »
When we PM'ed eachother ealier today we came to a conclusion that this AN/AA/FS topic will never really be solved through discussion. Since both sides believe in their side we'll just end up arguing to death over the subject and get nothing completed.

I was really dissapointed when it seemed like my thread got turned into another AA Vs. AN Vs. FS. I got to the point where I don't read it anymore because it seems like it's just that battle.

I'm not saying that we should stop debating the issue, but it's really getting tiring of reading how people are going at eachothers throats on the matter  :-[

Offline Merrique

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2004, 04:14:30 PM »
As has been said on other threads,the DNA evidence proves beyond a doubt that Anna Anderson WAS NOT Anastasia Nikolaevna PERIOD!

It doesn't matter if there was a so called resemblence between the two,that doesn't matter since everyones perceptions of this so called rememblence is different.Everyone sees what they want to see when comparing the 2.Anna may have had some astonishing physical similarities,but obviously those similarities weren't numberous enough to convince everyone,especially her family.
The recognitions by people who knew AN isn't really convincing enough since her family didn't recognise her.I just can't believe her family would reject her if she was Anastasia.They would have welcomed her with open arms.
Ultimately this huge mass of evidence is meaningless.
DNA proved Anna WAS NOT Anastasia.
It makes no logical sense to me why some people still feel the need to grasp at straws.
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Offline ISteinke

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2004, 04:46:57 PM »
Merrique has just proved my point. Thank you, Merrique.

Offline Merrique

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2004, 06:27:32 PM »
I'm sure your point is just to start another thread where sarcastic comments and arguements thrive,and another thread is locked because of it.I'm sorry but I will not be dragged into this kind of crap.It is a total waste of everyones time.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2004, 06:28:10 PM »
Quote
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.

.... every last piece of evidence except the DNA would indicate that this individual is one person, while the DNA indicates that she is another.



ISteinke,

Ok, I am going to try this one last time, and then I will give up. I understand what you are trying to say here, but the problem with what you are saying is that all the evidence that you are invoking is subjective evidence, while DNA is objective evidence. You cannot compare the two, as you are continuously trying to do. For example, the issue of AA's appearance is very subjective, and this is clearly demonstrated on this very forum: just look at the difference of opinion about her looks among everyone here: we range from "she looks like an AN clone" to "she couldn't look any less like AN". So obviously this kind of evidence is out because it's too subjective and based too much on individual perception.

If you can present "objective" evidence here, something that is comparable to the DNA evidence, in favor of AA being AN, then I am willing to toy with your theory, otherwise we are comparing "apples and oranges" here.

So far, I have not seen any evidence that even comes close to the DNA evidence as far as objectivity and conclusiveness goes, therefore it cannot be accepted on the same level as DNA. The ear analysis, the handwriting analysis, the body markings, the recognitions - most of that stuff is subjective, depending on whom you talk to, and this is the problem with it. This is why the German courts, that you like to bring up once in a while, could not make their decision based on all that evidence - because all this evidence is inconclusive which means it can have other explanations. Just because we don't know what these explanations are, it doesn't mean that this evidence should be accepted. On the other hand, the DNA evidence is conclusive, there is no other explanation for these results, they are factual, and had the German courts had this DNA evidence back then, they would have immediately decided against AA, regardless of all the other evidence that was presented. In other words, the German court s would do the exact same thing that the so-called anti-AA people, as you call them, are doing. Any court would have done it. And I am not saying this because I want it to be so, I am saying this because it is so, this is the way it works with evidence.

This is why some criminals are getting their sentences reversed now, because of DNA evidence alone. Many of them were convicted in courts beyond a reasonable doubt back when DNA evidence was not available, and many actually had a lot of evidence against them, similar evidence as AA had in her case.

However, once the 'Innocence Project' (http://www.innocenceproject.org/about/index.php) started presenting their DNA evidence it exonerated  wrongly convicted individuals, because this was considered to be much more compelling evidence than any other evidence they had before, prior to DNA. They may have had a mountain of evidence against them before, but it was circumstantial evidence, which is what AA evidence is, and all they needed was this one DNA result in order to reverse this person's sentence. And I should add, many of these cases included eyewitnesses who positively identified these suspects, which was often what convicted them. But eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable, even though they themselves may be convinced they know what they are talking about. This is why I say that testimonies from people regarding AA are not to be compared to DNA evidence - there is no comparison here! So in these legal cases, no matter how many eyewitnesses there were and how much other evidence, once the courts saw that the DNA did not match, these cases were overturned. This is how powerful DNA evidence is considered to be in the legal system. And this is why I for one, keep saying that this is all we need here, regardless of other evidence.

I am sorry you don't buy into this, ISteinke, but I realize that it is only because you don't understand the enormity of this evidence as compared to everything else. This is the way it is. Just to make my point once again: if you had to assign points to each piece of evidence, let's say that all the evidence that AA had to support her case would add up to say 50 points, then compared to that, the DNA evidence would add up to 1,000 points. This is the kind of difference there is. So this is why we can disregard the other evidence. Do yourself a favor, and I know I have said this before, but try to learn more about scientific and legal evidence, that way you can debate this kind of stuff more effectively.

And BTW, as I said once before, I don't consider myself "anti-AA", as I have nothing against the poor woman, what I am is "pro-scientific evidence", which in this case means not being able to support AA's case. That's all.

Helen
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2004, 06:51:54 PM »
IST

   You have made some rather outlandish claims (in other AA- AN posts) about the Queeen of England somehow "fixing" or "controlling"  the DNA results...

   Will you please elucidate us on any evidence that you have for this comment?

rskkiya

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2004, 08:02:57 PM »
I think the problem, and source of frustration is this. Mr. Steinke believes that the DNA evidence is either unrealiable, or of the same evidentiary weight as the subjective evidence (ear shape, languages, posture, et al.)

Helen A, Merrique, and frankly myself, understand the nature of mtDNA, and the un-changeable FACT that DNA is what it is. the DNA evidence is frankly totally conclusive on the issue of AA NOT being AN, period (and I myself was open to the possibility that she might have been UNTIL the DNA tests). UNLESS you can show for certain that the samples tested were not what they were supposed to be, or far more unlikely, some vast conspiricy to supplant the results.

This statement IS NOT any attempt to thwart supporters of AA, frankly I have given that subject free reign here. This statement is FACT, no different than Newton's first law of thermodynamics, or Copernicus' postulate of the earth revolving around the sun, or the idea that a 10 ton hunk of metal can fly 10,000 miles across the planet.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Offline Annie

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2004, 10:11:02 PM »
Quote


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?


Botkins- IMO, looking for a good story as Gleb was a journalist. We will never know for sure but the more I think about it the more I feel stupid not seeing this real possibility years ago!

Kaiser Wilhelm- Since when?? I never heard he was a supporter!

Olga- I disagree she claimed and then denied her. As someone recently posted, she knew from the first time she met her the bond was not there. I think she gave her every chance because she wanted her to be her so bad, but she wasn't.

Maria Rasputin- was never in that close of contact with the family, and honestly, sorry, by the time she took up with AA later in life she was just as wacky in the noodle.

Felix Dassel- only met her a few times as a volunteer nurse in a hospital. I doubt I could accurately identify any nurse I'd had in the hospital years later. This holds nothing for me.

Lili Dehn, to put it kindly, she was mistaken


Quote
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.


Oh, I beg to differ strongly! Are you saying that besides the DNA everything else points to her being AN? Not from what I see! Even without the DNA it is most unrealistic. Once again, from another thread, the reasons I don't believe, and I will even leave out the DNA!

Reasons why I don't believe in AA anymore:

She did not make a claim until someone at the asylum gave her the idea with a book

She first claimed to be Tatiana

Her story of escape is unbelievable and cannot be proven or verified. There is no evidence Alexander Tchiakovsky ever existed, and it sounds like a conveniently invented name (common first name, famous last name)

It is very unlikely anyone survived the brutal massacre, and if they did, could not possibly have lasted for long, traveling miles in a cart, with no medical attention. If they didn't bleed to death they'd succumb to infection later. It's what, almost 1,000 miles from Ekaterinburg to Romania? How many weeks is that by cart in the mud, hiding from populated areas? It's not realistic.


She doesn't look like Anastasia- fuller lips, wider mouth, wider set eyes, different shaped chin

Any of her 'memories' could be explained as being told to her, intentionally or inadvertently, by Russian emigres'

Even with these 'memories' much of what she said was inaccurate

The Romanov and Hesse families rejected her, and I don't believe they'd have been so cold if she were genuine

The Schanskowska family first accepted, then denied her, and later there is evidence they did so to avoid responsibility for a troublesome sister and as not to spoil her 'career' as 'Anastasia'

Many other acquaitences of the family rejected her as false. When she met some, she hid part of her face or stayed behind a screen so they couldn't get a good look.

with all the rumors of money and vast fortunes (which later proved false) there was the potential for 'gold digging' and 'supporters'  backing her in hopes of a huge payoff if she could win

There are too many different stories and conflicting reports of things like her height, scars, what languages she spoke, and when she spoke them. Most of these stories are from only one source, often unnamed or unverified, and many contradict each other.  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2004, 11:15:44 PM »
It seems that people are upset again over the subject that we know disscussion will not solve.
I've never stated if I believe or diss-beleive A.Anderson because I don't think it matters anymore. It seems that we can't have a logical discussion without getting emotionally upset.  :(

Offline Annie

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2004, 07:35:35 AM »
I don't see anyone emotionally upset. If someone makes a case, someone will make a counterpoint. That's how it goes. That's all.

The reason I posted what I did is because despite all the other contrary evidence, there are 2 or 3 individuals here who continue to claim that we who do not support AA are going by DNA alone and ignoring everything else, so I thought it important to point out that is not my only reason. For some, that's all they need, and if that's good enough for them that's fine. But since it seems that is not enough to satisfy some people, so I simply wanted to give them more reasons besides the DNA.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Olga

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2004, 07:36:39 AM »
That is where the trouble lies; getting emotionally involved.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2004, 07:38:46 AM »
Quote
It seems that people are upset again over the subject that we know disscussion will not solve.
I've never stated if I believe or diss-beleive A.Anderson because I don't think it matters anymore. It seems that we can't have a logical discussion without getting emotionally upset.  :(


Laura,

I don't think anyone is upset here, people are just once again going over things that have been already discussed in depth and should by now be obvious to everyone, so they may sound somewhat exasperated. But just because someone continues to express a different opinion and tries to point out inconsistencies in someone else's argument, that doesn't mean they are upset or that the conversation is not logical.

The way it's supposed to go now, is that Mr Steinke, who initiated this topic, will read all the responses to his post, and then post his own counter-argument (without getting upset of course).

I think that we actually are discussing this logically and like adults this time (at least so far). I am not sure exactly what you mean by a "logical discussion", do you mean that we should all just agree and not argue? But of course that will never happen, nor should it. But if we each are able to present our arguments in a logical manner without attacking anyone, and then counter argue, then what's wrong with that? And this is what we have done on this thread so far, IMO.    

Offline Alice

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2004, 08:01:07 AM »
Quote

ISteinke,

Ok, I am going to try this one last time, and then I will give up. I understand what you are trying to say here, but the problem with what you are saying is that all the evidence that you are invoking is subjective evidence, while DNA is objective evidence. You cannot compare the two, as you are continuously trying to do. For example, the issue of AA's appearance is very subjective, and this is clearly demonstrated on this very forum: just look at the difference of opinion about her looks among everyone here: we range from "she looks like an AN clone" to "she couldn't look any less like AN". So obviously this kind of evidence is out because it's too subjective and based too much on individual perception.

If you can present "objective" evidence here, something that is comparable to the DNA evidence, in favor of AA being AN, then I am willing to toy with your theory, otherwise we are comparing "apples and oranges" here.

So far, I have not seen any evidence that even comes close to the DNA evidence as far as objectivity and conclusiveness goes, therefore it cannot be accepted on the same level as DNA. The ear analysis, the handwriting analysis, the body markings, the recognitions - most of that stuff is subjective, depending on whom you talk to, and this is the problem with it. This is why the German courts, that you like to bring up once in a while, could not make their decision based on all that evidence - because all this evidence is inconclusive which means it can have other explanations. Just because we don't know what these explanations are, it doesn't mean that this evidence should be accepted. On the other hand, the DNA evidence is conclusive, there is no other explanation for these results, they are factual, and had the German courts had this DNA evidence back then, they would have immediately decided against AA, regardless of all the other evidence that was presented. In other words, the German court s would do the exact same thing that the so-called anti-AA people, as you call them, are doing. Any court would have done it. And I am not saying this because I want it to be so, I am saying this because it is so, this is the way it works with evidence.

This is why some criminals are getting their sentences reversed now, because of DNA evidence alone. Many of them were convicted in courts beyond a reasonable doubt back when DNA evidence was not available, and many actually had a lot of evidence against them, similar evidence as AA had in her case. However, once Project Innocence started presenting DNA evidence, this was considered to be much more compelling evidence than any other evidence they had before, prior to DNA. They may have had a mountain of evidence, circumstantial evidence, which is what AA evidence is, and all they needed was this one DNA result in order to reverse this person's sentence. This is how powerful DNA evidence is considered to be. I am sorry you don't buy into it, but it is only because you don't understand the enormity of this evidence as compared to everything else. This is the way it is. Just to make my point: if you had to assign points to each piece of evidence, let's say that all the evidence that AA had to support her case would add up to say 50 points, then compared to that, the DNA evidence would add up to 1,000 points. This is the kind of difference there is. So this is why we can disregard the other evidence. Do yourself a favor, and I know I have said this before, but try to learn more about scientific and legal evidence, that way you can debate this kind of stuff more effectively.

And BTW, as I said once before, I don't consider myself "anti-AA", as I have nothing against the poor woman, what I am is "pro-scientific evidence", which in this case means not being able to support AA's case. That's all.

Helen


Thankyou, Helen. This is another post from you that echoes my thoughts exactly.

Offline Annie

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Re: Anna Anderson Discussion of Evidence
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2004, 08:07:58 AM »
Quote

Laura,

I don't think anyone is upset here, people are just once again going over things that have been already discussed in depth and should by now be obvious to everyone, so they may sound somewhat exasperated. But just because someone continues to express a different opinion and tries to point out inconsistencies in someone else's argument, that doesn't mean they are upset or that the conversation is not logical.

The way it's supposed to go now, is that Mr Steinke, who initiated this topic, will read all the responses to his post, and then post his own counter-argument (without getting upset of course).

I think that we actually are discussing this logically and like adults this time (at least so far). I am not sure exactly what you mean by a "logical discussion", do you mean that we should all just agree and not argue? But of course that will never happen, nor should it. But if we each are able to present our arguments in a logical manner without attacking anyone, and then counter argue, then what's wrong with that? And this is what we have done on this thread so far, IMO.    



THANK YOU for putting it so eloquently and perfectly! This is exactly right!