Author Topic: Re: So who WAS she, then?  (Read 96452 times)

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Dashkova

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2004, 06:52:51 PM »
Well, AGRBear, guess who shares your belief/interest that Lenin set up the AA character?  Someone who is so deluded that he thinks he's the next king of Russia.

Ah, excellent company to be in, indeed.  ;D


rskkiya

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2004, 06:56:48 PM »
Previet Dashkova Dearest!
Do you mean jonC or rodger?
love
Rskkiya

Offline AGRBear

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2004, 07:00:04 PM »
Quote
Let's assume -- for the sake of this thread alone -- that Fraulein Unbekannt (FU) was neither Grand Duchess Anastasia (GDA) nor Franziska Schanzkowska (FS).

Who was she?


Please note that Penny Wilson started this thread and is serious about finding the truth.

So, to a few,  let me give a little reminder about the subject:  Who was she?

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

rskkiya

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2004, 07:04:38 PM »
agrebear


I am still looking for any good books on this topic! What do you suggest?

Rskkiya

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2004, 07:13:12 PM »
Quote
agrebear
I am still looking for any good books on this topic! What do you suggest?

Rskkiya


This isn't my topic nor do I know of a book on this topic.

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Dashkova

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2004, 07:27:48 PM »
Ok, one point and a suggestion, and gotta go...

1.  Ryskkiya, darling, you might want to check out Peter Kurth's very nice and clever website:  www.peterkurth.com  Scroll down to where you see photos of AA and ANR and there is a link you can click on where Kurth discusses the FS connection to the case.  As always, very well written and eminently readable.

2.  I think that AA was:  a young woman who came from the lower classes but went to work in the house of a *middle* class family (the middle class are always the most pretentious and aspiring to better themselves) where she attained some cultivation and learned and read and heard talk about the tsar and family.  She left that home and position to make her fortune (and overcome perhaps her social status. This was and is done by many young people in many countries) in the city (which one? have no idea, Berlin?) but things did not work out so well.  
Just my most recent theory.

rskkiya

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2004, 01:39:02 PM »
Spasibah Dashkova!

r

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2004, 07:32:31 PM »
Quote
PLEASE someone who believes that peasants were in ANY way devoted to the worthless tsar, PLEASE post some quotes from peasants who expressed these views.

Quotes from nobility/aristocracy (unless said individuals were actually *living* among the peasants, and yes there were a few) won't do.


Dashkova,

IMO, many of the peasants and workers who had any faith and loyalty to the Tsar pretty much lost it after the Bloody Sunday of 1905. The Tsar lost many "fans" on that day, even thought technically, it wasn't his doing...

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2004, 07:52:21 PM »
The 100th anniversary of which [Bloody Sunday] will occur either right before or right after my upcoming visit in Jan. 2005 !! [depending on which calendar one uses]
That does not sound "cheery" at all, to say the least !!!
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2004, 08:20:12 PM »
Quote
Let's assume -- for the sake of this thread alone -- that Fraulein Unbekannt (FU) was neither Grand Duchess Anastasia (GDA) nor Franziska Schanzkowska (FS).

Who was she?

I realize we might not come up with any specific names -- but then again, we might.  It was almost universally recognized by those who met her that FU was "someone."  The Duke of Leuchtenberg did not believe that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia, but he DID believe that she was someone "from my own class."  Do we know of any other young women of royal or highly noble birth who went missing in the Revolutions/Great War?

If we can't come up with any specific and named candidates to actually be FU, what list can we make of known and agreed upon physical and character traits belonging to FU?  Such a list could be useful not only in discussions here, but also for identifying likely candidates if/when they appear.

N.B. If you don't believe that FU was GDA please don't dismiss this question as unimportant.  It could be very important indeed in disproving that FU was GDA.


Hi Penny,

I came across an article that addresses this issue about AA, and the author ferociously argues that she was FS, bringing in all kinds of reasons why he thinks so. I have no way of knowing if the info he provides in this article is factual or exaggerated. I think you probably know more than anyone else here about the subject of AA, so maybe you can respond to this author's comments in this article. I particularly would like you to address the comments I bolded, as these are the questions I have had about this case.
I will try to post the article but probably have to do it in parts because of truncation. So stay tuned.  Thanks in advance!

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

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2004, 08:21:06 PM »
Here is the article:

Remembering Anna Anderson
John Godl
No pretender in the modern history of monarchy has created as much controversy as Anna Anderson, born Franziska Schanzkowska in Pomerania in 1896. The unstable 24 year old factory worker abruptly disappeared in 1920. Until pulled from the Landwehr Canal in Berlin shortly afterwards in a failed suicide attempt, and committed to the Dalldorf Asylum she refused to tell authorities her identity until 18 months later when she declared herself the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
The resultant controversy wasn't indisputably resolved until a portion of (the now deceased and cremated) Anna Anderson's preserved intestine was discovered at the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, a pathology specimen from an operation she had undergone in 1979. DNA testing in 1994 proved beyond doubt she wasn't a daughter of Nicholas II. Subsequent comparisons with DNA samples provided by Schanzkowska's great nephew Karl Maucher proved German newspaper reports of the 1920's identifying her as Franziska Schanzkowska had been correct all along.
When Anderson first came to notoriety Germany was racked by political instability, depression and uncertainty. People were anxious to escape the harshness around them and were irresistibly drawn to the tragic romance of a lost princess found, a real life Cinderella story that would enthrall the world.
Newspapers and their readers wanted to believe and allowed themselves to be led by her opportunistic supporters, credulously disregarding inconsistencies in her story and absence of tangible evidence. At the time no one knew for certain what fate had befallen the tsar and his family. Without going into detail the Bolshevik authorities announced they had shot the tsar and moved the family.
Sensational reports of their survival were published around the world, Russia's exile communities were abuzz with rumour for decades. Even after White Russian investigator Nicholas Sokolov officially reported the entire family had been murdered, findings supported by no less an authority than Trotsky himself, many still held out for a miracle.

Grand Duchess Anastasia

Most members of Russia's former ruling class were lucky to escape the Bolsheviks with their lives, few were fortunate to escape into exile with their wealth. In the years following the revolution Europe was
awash with poverty-stricken aristocrats, court officials, tsarist bureaucrats and servants. For many it was a humiliating change of circumstances, some being forced to drive cabs, wash dishes, wait on tables or other menial jobs to survive.
Rumours the tsar had transferred vast amounts of Russian gold out of the country during the revolution to sustain a government in exile, combined with the likelihood the Imperial Family kept personal wealth in foreign bank accounts, attracted the attention and speculation of the impoverished émigré community.
Franziska Schanzkowska (Anna Anderson) was the right person, at the right place, at the right time. When word circulated of an articulate young woman in Berlin claiming to be Anastasia the opportunity was seized by people with differing objectives, financial and political.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2004, 08:21:46 PM »
Article continued:

The Russian Refugee Office in Berlin, presided over by Serge Botkin, represented the interests of exiles in Germany and came to the aid of Anderson (then calling herself Mrs Tschaikovsky). The organization was basically a monarchist support group and the suicidally depressed woman soon found herself embraced by sympathetic exiles, many sending or bringing her flowers, sweets and letters of encouragement.
As the months passed they won her confidence and when released from the asylum she moved in with the first of a long line of supporters, who fed her information and encouraged her delusions. In time an impressive entourage formed around her, at first credulous exiles seeking a sizeable finders fee from the Dowager Empress before yielding to opportunists with sights set on imperial bank accounts. In the years ahead there were constant power struggles, clashes of egos, firing and rehiring, every dispute among them short of murder.
Few of Anna Anderson's supporters were more cunning, knowledgeable or influential than Gleb Botkin; nephew of Serge Botkin and son of the Imperial Family's personal physician Dr Eugene Botkin who perished with his royal patients in the Ipatiev House in 1918.
Gleb Botkin had an intimate knowledge of palace life, having spent much of his youth near the Imperial Family. As such it's impossible he was deceived by Anderson, he must have known she was a fraud and used her for his own aims. Botkin was one of many sources of obscure information Anderson would recount as "memories" to astound friend and foe alike. Beside abundant Russian émigrés another source were dissolute members of the German aristocracy, most having lost their wealth and power with the fall of the Kaiser.
Like most Russian exiles few expected communism to last, the Kronstadt uprising and growing discontentment with Soviet centralism made it seem a counter revolution was inevitable. When it came, as it surely must, who better to restore the old order then the martyred tsar's only surviving child, and who better to counsel her then those with years of political experience? Even if a counter-revolution failed to eventuate, Anderson being acknowledged by courts as the daughter and heir of Nicholas II would undoubtedly have resulted in her being hailed Russia's Empress in exile, regardless of strict imperial laws of succession.
With legal status and power sufficient for her supporters to raise the necessary funds to establish an Imperial Court and Government in exile, opening a politically disastrous can of worms Hitler almost certainly would have commandeered to divide Russia and intended installing as a subservient replacement to the Soviet Union when conquered.
When Anderson was questioned by Romanoff family representatives on specific events of her alleged youth she would frequently change subjects, attempt to bluff her way through or feign an emotional or physical breakdown to gain sympathy and extricate herself.
The fact she couldn't speak or read Russian, English or French at the time like all the tsar's daughters, was sufficient proof for former court tutor Pierre Gilliard she was an impostor, the fact she was unable to remember defining events of "her" life but could rattle off specific details of family bank accounts (including secret passwords) the real Anastasia would never have been told convinced even the most gullible.
Most "memories" she recited are inadmissible as evidence; the colour of palace rooms or furnishings, inane conversations overheard, family routine and other tidbits of trivia were easily obtained from former courtiers and servants among her entourage of expatriate disciples.
Gleb Botkin was a novelist and illustrator by profession and used his talents to almost triumphant effect, writing numerous articles and a book on the validity of Anderson's claims. He also created the prevailing myth the Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga (sisters of Nicholas II) tried to bribe Anderson to renounce her claim with the offer of a house anywhere in the world and a generous annuity, an impossibility considering their precarious financial situations.
Neither were of independent means and were forced to live as guests of Crowned Heads in Grace & Favour accommodation, Olga later moved to Canada and died in a small apartment above a barber shop while Xenia lived her life in exile as a guest of the British Crown. Neither had the money or will to reward Anderson for being a nuisance, and were outraged the son of heroic Dr Botkin would defame his father's memory and that of the Imperial Family by inventing outlandish stories and attempting to pass a vile impostor off as their dead niece.
Anderson's supporters were also responsible for her childhood "memory" of Alexandra's brother, the Grand Duke of Hesse, visiting Russia during the First World War. Undoubtedly fiction, the allegation tantamount to treason was revenge for his family's intense criticism and opposition to their activities. It spiced up the story and laid the groundwork for conspiracy theories should their legal bids fail, deflecting attention away from their ridiculous case to sinister forces.
Anna Anderson made a good, if not inconstant, living out of being Anastasia. Her entourage perpetually solicited donations from well-heeled Russian expatriates and others, who gave generously. She toured Europe and America, attended fashion shows, was mobbed by the press and feted as a celebrity wherever she went. Living at other peoples' expense in fashionable hotels, Park Avenue apartments and private estates where she socialized with fashionable notables of the day who flocked to parties to see and be seen with her.
Her image was carefully managed like any celebrity and owes a great deal to the literary efforts of devotee Harriet Von Rathlef, whose 1928 portrait "Anastasia, A Woman's Fate as a Mirror of the World Catastrophe" was serialized in a Berlin newspaper which assisted future 'witness identification' by plastering city billboards with photographs of Anderson to promote the series.
In general, journalists took sides, frequently ignoring opposing perspectives which didn't sell newspapers.
Spawning an industry as books, an Oscar winning movie, plays and songs were produced to cash in on Anderson's fame and legitimize the legend. Which even in her reclusive latter years was sufficiently accepted for the then US citizen to receive an invitation from the White House to attend the inauguration of Richard Nixon, which she declined.
From the outset money was the principal objective, and Gleb Botkin became increasingly obsessed with tracing and claiming tsarist assets.
When paranoid legitimate claimants would beat them he urged legal action be taken to have Anderson recognized Nicholas II's heir.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2004, 08:22:42 PM »
Article continued:

To fund the extremely expensive treasure hunt their legal advisor Edward Fallows created an investment company called The Grandanor Corporation, investors being promised a relative percentage of any millions she eventually inherited. Fallows himself stood to collect $400.000, then 10% of all other assets inherited for his troubles Squabbling and litigation dragged out over a considerable part of the century, straddled World War II and outlived Botkin and Fallows.
Anderson's legal teams (like their opposition) were articulate and well organized. German Courts heard an almost endless procession of handwriting experts, historians and forensic scientists scrutinizing photographs and documents usually contradicting opposing depositions.
Anderson's team tried to influence courts with hints of conspiracies, dubious evidence and expert testimony, pre-empting the O.J. Simpsonstyle of legal deflection. That it would fail was inevitable, their last major legal defeat was in 1970, 50 years after Schanzkowska became Anastasia. By then most of her original supporters had given up and moved on with their lives, or died of old age waiting for a miracle.
Before she became Anastasia, Franziska Schanzkowska was mentally unstable. Incarcerated in two mental hospitals before disappearing in 1920, tantrums and breakdowns were regular occurrences and her most devoted supporters considered her impossible to live with.
Her psychiatric problems may have been caused or exacerbated by the serious head injuries suffered in 1916 from a hand grenade explosion, scares and injuries supporters attributed to Bolshevik brutality.
During a visit to the United States in 1930 she suffered a breakdown and was certified "dangerous to herself and others" and committed to a mental hospital, not the first or last such incarceration.
During the 1920's she was almost constantly in and out of one German hospital or another, mental or general. We can only speculate whether during any of these frequent spells away from prying eyes if Anderson underwent cosmetic surgery of some sort, to create or enhance features and flaws to match those of the real Anastasia.
Her being a lost Grand Duchess was, not surprisingly, suggested by another mental patient (Clara Peuthert) during her incarceration at the Dalldorf Asylum who suggested she was the Grand Duchess Tatiana. At first she accepted her identity, however the realisation she was considerably shorter was a factor in her switch to Anastasia.
I do not believe it can be discounted that before the pivotal events of her life Franziska Schanzkowska may have been a royal enthusiast, perhaps even aspired to one day move in such glamorous circles. The only surviving photograph of Schanzkowska was taken at the age of 16 and shows an attractive, bright eyed, obviously intelligent young woman not an uncouth peasant. Her childhood friends remembered her as pretentious, putting on airs and graces. She probably taught herself etiquette and deportment, like socially ambitious girls of her class and generation - however fate intervened with Pygmalion scale success.
Like others of her day she may have been an admirer of Nicholas II and his tragic court, enchanted by the majestic opulence of imperial Russiawith all its intrigues and mourned its passing.
While in the Dalldorf Asylum she is known to have read publications containing photographs and articles on Russia's last Imperial Family. According to nurses they included a copy of the 23 October 1921 edition of "Berlin Illustrated" which detailed the Imperial Family's executionand the belief the tsar's youngest daughter (Anastasia) escaped the carnage.
It and similar reports resulted in eight serious Anastasia claimants surfacing around the world, including one in Berlin's Dalldorf Asylum, where Schanzkowska's self destructive mind was rejecting its painfulpast, and embracing the glamorous identity of a lost Grand Duchess.
Pierre Gilliard's denunciation of her being "a cunning psychopath" was, although somewhat cruel, close to the mark.
Although no immediate relation of Nicholas II believed Anderson's claims, the soap opera was for many salt rubbed in an open wound.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2004, 08:24:03 PM »
Article concluded:

The Dowager Empress lost numerous family members, including her beloved sons and five grandchildren, she bore that pain every day of her life and took it to the grave.
The heartless, vitriolic attacks on the sisters of Nicholas II and Romanoff family in general by Gleb Botkin and accomplices deserves nothing but utter contempt.
Although they tried to attribute sinister or avaricious motives to the Grand Duke of Hesse and Lord Mountbatten pursuing them through the
German Courts their motives were elementary; the upholding of family honour. They could not allow a low impostor to gain legal recognition as their cousin and profit from a family tragedy.
The only positive outcome of the Anna Anderson saga has been the fact it inadvertently kept the memory of Nicholas II and his family in the modern consciousness, which otherwise may not have been the case. Their horrendous murders were a continual reminder and reproach to the brutality of communism, and the fate which befell millions of others in Russia during and after its revolution.
John Godl

Additional Notes.

Not everyone who acknowledged Anderson had a sinister or vested interest, some high profile supporters were simply gullible and accepted information which sounded impressive on the surface - failing to consider alternative origins, as few newspapers scrutinized those manipulating events.
The Imperial Family were so reclusive and isolated from Russian society many of their relatives and senior bureaucrats hardly saw them, seldom if ever spent significant quality time with the children. The positive identification of anyone, especially young adults, after such a passage of time was speculative at best, credulous at worst. Although some prominent German high nobleman acknowledged and assisted Anderson, it should be noted it frequently divided their families passionately, with the views of the head not necessarily representing those of the whole.
Slander Note: In the period following the establishment of the Weimar Republic many "progressive" politicians communists/socialists) spread malicious rumors about their former rulers, although the Kaiser had gone into exile there was still hope of a constitutional restoration among his loyal aristocracy and former subjects.
The prospect was bitterly opposed by republicans who wanted to keep power to themselves, and they initiated a nasty propaganda campaigns to discredit the old order. Blaming past rulers for all the nations ills including wartime defeat, spreading lies about treasonous conduct during hostilities to ruin reputations. Anna Andersons "memory" of the Grand Duke of Hesse and Darmstadt visiting Russia during the war may have been born this way, his being a high nobleman and brother of the late Empress of Russia made him a prime target for such allegations, as did his lobbying for a restoration. There has never been proof; travel documents, photographs or any tangible evidence to support the allegation. The only evidence ever produced were witness testimony solicited by Andersons legal teams, which was rightly dismissed as unsubstantiated hearsay by courts - John Godl


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

Dashkova

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Re: So who WAS she, then?
« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2004, 10:11:26 PM »
Quote

Dashkova,

IMO, many of the peasants and workers who had any faith and loyalty to the Tsar pretty much lost it after the Bloody Sunday of 1905. The Tsar lost many "fans" on that day, even thought technically, it wasn't his doing...

Yes, Bloody Sunday was rather a death knell, but it was more of a finality than a sudden retreat from tsar worship/admiration.
The point I think is important to make is that it's not that the peasants *hated* or *loved* the tsar, they just frankly didn't think about him at all!  It's so easy for people today, living lives of comfort, cozy in armchairs looking at pretty picture books of the romanovs, to say: oh my, how the people must have loved their tsar!

Well, people were too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads, a little bit of food on the table, worried about their future, their kids' health, frankly, a lot of despair.  The tsar and his family were overall irrelevant to the average Russian. I have a couple of family members who were born just after the revolution, but who remember well their parent's thoughts (as well as, in one case, their older spouse) about life and how people regarded the tsar, prior to the revolution.  They're both in their 80s but they still have their minds.  Their first response when I pose the question about love for the tsar is a slightly derisive laugh. Again, it's not that he was either hated or loved, he just...well, he just didn't figure into the average person's life.  These oldsters, after they laugh, go on to say mockingly, things like:  "Oh yes, every day my parents sighed and thought about how wonderful the tsar was."  That he was regarded as some sort of father figure is something both these young-at-heart ladies adamantly deny.