I am un decided if she herself knew this or did actually believe she was AN thus showing some mental problems.
From all I've seen on her, I think it was both. It does seem like she knew early on she was acting, and that's why she was so afraid of being caught, hiding under the covers and refusing to see some people.There are clues and incidents I've read of that lead me to believe she knew exactly what she was doing and who she really was. I even think she knew she was pretending at least up until the time the trial started. I do think she did eventually came to believe it due to her mental problems but I'm not sure exactly when that happened, was it in the Black Forest seclusion of the 40's, or later? It does seem like by the time she came to VA and married Manahan in the late 60's that she was so far gone she probably believed it.
Also we forget that many of us wished, hoped and prayed that someone had survived the cellar of blood that night
Yes, we really do, and if there were a real Anastasia who got away, it would be a happy thing. Sadly that didn't happen.
but of course Anna Anderson did such a lot of damage to others reputations, from what I read here, that it is only now we can sort out the mess and try to restore to those who should have their reputations restored and consider who should perhaps lose theirs now?
This is one of the things that bothers me about it, she did hurt the reputations of others in order to advance her cause, and now they should be exonerated. I especially feel bad for Olga A., who suffered so many years with people accusing her of betraying her 'niece'- but in the end she was right, because AA wasn't AN. I also feel sorry for Sophie B. being accused of 'betraying' the family when she never did, it was just made up by her supporters to back up AA's path of lies.
Although the story of her life after the canal is just fascinating and in it's self would make a great movie.
Yes indeed, I would love to get away from the 'who was she' argument- we know the answer- and go ahead and explore this story from the side that she was FS, how she did it, etc. The story of FS is also very interesting. What luck, to be a poverty stricken, insane loser and luck into being paraded around as a 'princess'! She must have been very relieved she didn't die that night after all, for while she metaphorically killed off FS, she lived on in another life as an actress. How fortunate for her, how sad for the real Anastasia whose poor mutilated body lay in the Siberian mud while this person achieved fame from stealing her identity.