Author Topic: Anna Anderson decoy?  (Read 56125 times)

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Offline charley

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Anna Anderson decoy?
« on: April 29, 2007, 09:10:09 PM »
Could Anna Anderson have been used as some sort of decoy?  Maybe the Russians used her to see how people would react to the survival of a Romanov.  I am sure at the time that she arrived on the scene, the Russians were not really sure that the Imperial family was all dead. (I.e. missing bodies, etc). Maybe by using her, they could have the world focus on her instead of looking for the truth about the Imperial family. They could have been the ones to beat her up. Maybe someone else used her.  Could she have been trained to be a decoy and maybe paid or promised payment if the plan worked?  Could one of the Romanov's have used her for some reason? This is just one of the those things I have wondered about.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 04:40:17 AM »
I have often wondered about that too! Anna Anderson may have been a disturbed woman who was "recruited" under duress, beaten up and instructed to pretend that she was a Grand Duchess, after which she received extensive coaching for the role. She could have been told that if she did not play her part well  she would be "liquidated". That would explain her clinging to her "new identity" until the end of her life. It is an interesting assumption, and for me it would explain how she appeared to "know" many details of court life, as in those far off days in the absence of mass media, I have never understood how a Polish factory worker (if that is who Anna Anderson really was) could know so many facts and play her role for so long, especially when one bears in mind that even actors and actresses have to be coached to assume certain historical roles on stage and screen. However, I suppose we will never know the real truth.

Offline charley

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2007, 05:24:45 AM »
Who knows, maybe there is a file on her somewhere that has yet to surface.  Wouldn't that be interesting?  I think there are probably several classified files sitting somewhere that I would love to see declassified.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2007, 08:19:23 AM »
Yes, it would be extremely interesting! However, I doubt if someone deliberately "planted" Anna Anderson that they would leave files lying around somewhere (even in a "secret" place) that would reveal their attempts at deception. At the risk of digressing, your suggestion reminds me of a book I read several years ago (unfortunately I cannot remember the title or the name of the author) which claimed that "the" Rudolf Hess who flew to Scotland during World War II and was later imprisoned in Spandau jail in Berlin was not the real person, but a double or look-alike. While as far as I can remember the book did not provide a plausible explanation as to what happened to the real Hess or why the Nazis sent a double to Scotland, the actual physical examinations of the prisoner in Spandau were interesting, insofar as a scar that the real Hess should have had as a result of an injury and subsequent operation during the First World War was missing, and the prisoner (then an elderly man) became very agitated when this was pointed out to him. Equally, from the time of his arrival in Scotland until his death in Spandau, the prisoner was deemed to be mentally instable...shades of Anna Anderson. At the Nuremberg trials some of his former party colleagues commented on his mental condition and also claimed that they could not communicate with him and that he had changed a great deal. The conclusion was that he had been forced by the Nazis to adopt the identity of Rudolf Hess for some reason. It was thought provoking, and made for interesting reading. Difficult to know how true it is.

Offline Pegschalet

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 09:26:38 AM »
The book on Hess sounds very interesting.  I often wondered about Anna Anderson.  I could never believe this unrefined catwoman could be a Grand Duchess but felt there was much more to her story then she was a Polish Factory worker.  My good friend is from VA and her Grandmother was a society lady who actually had Anna Anderson to one of her Garden Parties.  The local concensus was she was pretty looney.  It's interesting to hear things from people who were there.

I think towards the end of her life she tried to tell her story to both Peter Kurth and James Lowell but both seemed to blow off anything she mentioned that discounted her story.  It was something about how as her mind started to go she told "wild tales".  I think that would be worth exploring.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 01:36:22 PM »
Yes, Pegschalet, I could not agree more. While I too doubt that Anna Anderson was a Grand Duchess I feel there is much more to her story than meets the eye. She may well have been a Polish factory worker BUT one who received some form of special coaching in the art of pretending to be a Grand Duchess. I mean, lets assume you or I were the same height, build, and age as the late Princess Diana, and also had blond hair and blue eyes (or did Diana have grey eyes?) and suddenly decided to claim that Diana did not die in Paris and then announced "I am Diana"....well, the fraud would be obvious, we would have about as much chance as a snowball in hell, despite the fact that in this day and age we could spend hours studying Diana on video or DVD in order to imitate the way she walked, talked etc. an opportunity which was not available at the end of the first world war. Someone also mentioned that Franziska S, (The Polish factory worker) spent her time after her first nervous breakdown reading history books. History books in thse days were far "dryer" than they are today, and totally devoted to hard fact as opposed to more descriptive commentaries, thus one cannot assume that she gleaned much information there. In my humble opinion she must have received coaching from somewhere. It is a fascinating situation, but a mystery that seems very difficult to unravel. The decoy or plant idea would explain a great deal. What is also interesting is why nobody seems to have come up with the idea of a decoy or plant before....I have never noticed anything like that in the literature or in the forum...or have I missed something?

I'm a "Newbie" too, and it never fails to amaze me how some more seasoned members of the forum seem to become very angry and irritated when any Newbie wants to discuss the Anna Anderson issue. I wonder why? It seems rather unfair to me.

Offline Pegschalet

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2007, 02:30:42 PM »
I guess it's because they've rehashed it so many times and from what I can tell many of the posts got nasty and personal and off the subject.  I for one am enjoying the "newbie" posts with you and Charley.  Very interesting stuff.

I think the answer to Anna Anderson may have been there the whole time but no one persued it and now that she has passed away it is unlikely that we will ever know.

Offline charley

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2007, 02:48:33 PM »
I think the idea that she was a decoy is very believable. The story of Franziska Schanzkowska does not exclude the possibility of her being a decoy.  Could the Bolsheviks have used her to try and fool the Romanov survivors into believing that she was Anastasia?  Maybe then she would be able to find out about Romanov money, jewels, etc, which I am sure the Bolsheviks were interested in. Or another scenario: the bolsheviks were missing some family members when they tried to kill them. This means they would want to know what happened to them, maybe a decoy would help.
Some people on this site think that everything has been discussed thoroughly and there is nothing new, there is always something new, when new people come forward. So many books were written so long ago, some before the "Iron Curtain" fell. Then alot of newer books were written using the older books. I think even today new information is still coming out. I read in a history book about the Russians invading Poland, it said how the Poles reacted. Then recently I found a diary of a woman who lived through it and her account was very different than the history book.
I just watched a show on the Titanic. About 13 years ago they said, "this is what sank the Titanic, we found it, end of story".  Now some new scientists came up with a different theory and they went back to Titanic and lo and behold, they found a new piece of the Titanic that no one had ever seen before, and they came up with a new conclusion.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2007, 05:16:56 PM »
Pegschalet, it was those nasty, personal and off the subject posts I was referring to! I was quite horrified by some of them...indeed it almost put me off the forum altogether.

Charley, I agree with you. Apart from the scenario of the Bolsheviks using Franziska Schanzkowska to try and fool Romanov survivors in order to find out about Romanov money, jewels, etc, OR because they were missing some family members and hoped a decoy might help to flush them out as it were, another possibility is that the white forces might have though a surviving Grand Duchess would serve as a potent symbol or figurehead, or serve to flush out the Bolsheviks if they were still holding some of the Romanovs as prisoners and there are no doubt countless other possible scenarios. The show you just saw about the Titanic proves that new evidence CAN emerge after many years. Problem here is, how can we establish a link (better rephrase that "investigate the possibility of a link") between Franziska Schanzkowska and the Bolsheviks/Whites/Romanovs themselves/or a third party (perhaps a criminal element who imagined this might provide an opportunity to get their hands on some serious money, i.e. Romanov jewels) ???? Any ideas???

Offline charley

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2007, 07:33:55 PM »
 Maybe there are some clues in the books about her.  She did try to tell the man who was interviewing her some things and apparently he cut her off and then she stopped sharing info with him. I thought I had read that she was beat up by the Bolsheviks and then one of the Romanov relatives or Ladies in waiting (not Sophie B) said she was not the Tsars daughter and they let her go.  So maybe we could rule out the Bolsheviks.

Offline Pegschalet

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2007, 09:40:44 PM »
I'm not sure if I should reply.  I posted a reply to the Stanford article and the whole thread disappeared.  I hope I haven't been blacklisted for some reason.

I like the theory of Anna Anderson as a decoy.  Her story had quite a bit of detail to have been made up.  I have to remind myself she showed up before all kinds of things we have today that pass information rapidly.  I just have way too many questions.

ferrymansdaughter

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2007, 03:50:32 AM »
My problem with AA being a Bolshevik decoy is that surely they would choose someone reliable?  Franciszka (if that is who AA was, and I don't think so at all) was at best emotionally unstable.  I am sure these days she would not be classified as insane but suffering from depression or a nervous breakdown but that is hardly the kind of person to use as a decoy.  As well as being a tough person and no doubt committed to "the cause" and having  a physical resemblance to Anastasia, you would  also need someone who was very intelligent and had a fantastic memory (necessary to be a successful liar).  AA herself had definitely suffered head injuries at some time which do seem to have affected her memory (sources relate how she would literally forget how to do something if she hadn't done it for a while and this seemed to include languages too).  There was obviously some damage to that part of her brain.  They would also have chosen someone who was fluent in Russian and spoke it whenever required - just think of all the hoo-ha there is about whether or not AA could actually do so.  The Bolsheviks were a nasty bunch but they certainly weren't stupid.

Liz

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2007, 05:59:22 AM »
Hello Liz! While I agree with what you say it does rather depend on the reason for the decoy...if, for example, it was an attempt to further discredit the memory of the imperial family Anna Anderson (whoever she was) would have been an ideal choice. The fact that she was mentally/emotionally unstable would allow her "keepers" to excuse all "errors" on her part by claiming mental problems as a result of massive head injuries, thus further confusing the situation. I also think it was a short-term ploy. I'm sure no one ever intended it to go on for so long.

Before reading Charley's suggestion about a decoy my personal opinion was that Anna Anderson must have been a servant in one of the imperial residences who had some form of contact with and knowledge of the Imperial family.

There are so many questions and so many conflicting opinions (see some of the other threads!) I find it next to impossible to obtain a clear picture of the small amount of evidence that is available and to make any sort of objective judgement, which makes the topic (for me, at any rate) both fascinating and frustrating

Offline Lemur

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2007, 09:44:20 AM »
I'm not sure if I should reply.  I posted a reply to the Stanford article and the whole thread disappeared.  I hope I haven't been blacklisted for some reason.



It's nothing personal against you, it's just that the details mentioned in the article are old and have been discussed here before and have  been proven to be false. The FA here doesn't allow false info or rumors to stay on the forum because it confuses those who are trying to learn. We know you weren't aware the article was another wild goose chase, but now you do. Please continue to contribute and discuss with us!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2007, 09:46:06 AM by Lemur »

Offline Lemur

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Re: Anna Anderson decoy?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2007, 09:50:03 AM »

Before reading Charley's suggestion about a decoy my personal opinion was that Anna Anderson must have been a servant in one of the imperial residences who had some form of contact with and knowledge of the Imperial family.



If this was so, wouldn't one of the family or friends who met her have known this? Personally I think if there was a decoy, they'd have found someone who looked more like the real Anastasia. I don't think Franziska/Anna Anderson did. In these days of the internet and mass media, she'd have been exposed in a few days, but back then people weren't all that informed on the real Anastasia and were glad to follow an interesting story they wanted badly to believe.