Author Topic: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA  (Read 120372 times)

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helenazar

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #240 on: February 28, 2005, 03:00:45 PM »
I have to admit that, even though I don't think it should be used as definitive proof one way or another, when I first heard AA speak on TV, I thought the same thing - there is no way that this lady's accent is Russian. I am not an expert on accents, and I couldn't really tell what kind of an accent she had (I don't even want to speculate) but I have grown up around many Russian people with Russian accents. I posted a comment about this on another thread a few days ago - about her accent (and again I want to stress that I don't feel that this can be used as definitive evidence), but AA's accent does not sound like any Russian person I ever heard speaking - and I have heard many, including members of my own family.  

In reply to that post on the other thread, I think Penny said that some language/accent experts evaluated AA's accent and said that it was Russian. Very hard for me to believe that they would think that she had a Russian accent, but I guess there were some experts who thought so. I can't find which thread it was...

Mgmstl

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #241 on: February 28, 2005, 03:01:45 PM »
I am not concerned about what a present day Russian considers or thinks.  I am interested in the testimony, affadavits & oaths of those who were involved in the AA case.

I for one believed AA was AN UNTIL the DNA Tests.

Yes we don't know what part of Russia Erna Bucholz came from, personally her testimony is the most important, she was a person who knew AA or Fraulein Unbekannt, before she became this media persona.

She & the others at Dalldorf had unfettered access to the patient for almost 2 years.  She had no financial or material interest in the case and could be considered a prime or first line source, someone who was in contact with FU before, Clara, Harriet, Gleb, and all the others were involved, and the tons of Russian Emigres rushing in and out of this hopsital feeding her information according to Annie.  

Regardless of WHERE she comes from in Russia, here is a Russian native speaking to another person in Russian, and obviously trying to find out information about this person, and the patient speaks fluent, conversive Russian like a native, in the opinion of another Russian.

That is a very important fact.  That seems to get constantly brushed aside in this discussion, and I refuse to let it be again.

Mgmstl

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #242 on: February 28, 2005, 03:06:28 PM »
Also remember the person you are hearing speak on TV had lived in Germany for 40 plus years, plus spent time in America.   While not trained in Russian dialects, I can certainly say that once people spend time in a certain area, their speech takes on the accent and pattern of the area.

For example a friend of mine who has a sharp eastern accent, moved to West VA.  within 3 mos he was speaking with a slight southern accent, within 6 months it was hard to tell him from a native.

So the Anna Anderson WE HEARD speak in the 1960's and 1970's MAY not have the same dialect, accent or speech pattern as she did in 1920.  Remember she spent most if not all of her time in Germany.  She would have a distinct lower German accent/tone to her speech.

Mgmstl

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #243 on: February 28, 2005, 03:08:50 PM »
Denise & all, why don't we start again by listing the differences, the PHYSICAL differences in the descriptions of AA & FS... Then we can talk about other issues.


Denise

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #244 on: February 28, 2005, 03:09:15 PM »
Quote
I am not concerned about what a present day Russian considers or thinks.  I am interested in the testimony, affadavits & oaths of those who were involved in the AA case.

I for one believed AA was AN UNTIL the DNA Tests.

Yes we don't know what part of Russia Erna Bucholz came from, personally her testimony is the most important, she was a person who knew AA or Fraulein Unbekannt, before she became this media persona.

She & the others at Dalldorf had unfettered access to the patient for almost 2 years.  She had no financial or material interest in the case and could be considered a prime or first line source, someone who was in contact with FU before, Clara, Harriet, Gleb, and all the others were involved, and the tons of Russian Emigres rushing in and out of this hopsital feeding her information according to Annie.  

Regardless of WHERE she comes from in Russia, here is a Russian native speaking to another person in Russian, and obviously trying to find out information about this person, and the patient speaks fluent, conversive Russian like a native, in the opinion of another Russian.

That is a very important fact.  That seems to get constantly brushed aside in this discussion, and I refuse to let it be again.


Michael raises an important point.  Language changes over time.  The only linguistic testimony valid in this case is that of AA's contemporaries.  

Also, Russia is a huge country, with, I am sure, a disparity of accents.  The US is similar in this aspect.  Who is to say that AA's Russian accent was not that of a little known dialect?  Something which may no longer be in as common use today, or which has changed.  

Look at the difference in English over a hundred years--we went from the language of Chaucer to that of Shakespeare.  England was a small country influenced by a dozen language.  To this day you can travel 75 miles and here a new language dialect there, especially in the North.

helenazar

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #245 on: February 28, 2005, 03:10:32 PM »
Was Erna Bucholz a Russian native, or did she just live in Russia for a time? Her name doesn't sound Russian, it sounds German... But then again, there were many Germans living in Russia.

Another thing about the Russian issue is the fact that GD Olga Alexandrovna, in her biography, specifically stated that when she met AA, she did not seem to speak Russian at all, and insisted on speaking German the whole time (which Anastasia supposedly knew very little of). According to Olga, AA even asked someone in German, "is this the aunt?" when Olga first came in to see her in the room... Sounds kind of odd, unless Olga was confused or was lying.  

Denise

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #246 on: February 28, 2005, 03:12:53 PM »
Quote
Denise & all, why don't we start again by listing the differences, the PHYSICAL differences in the descriptions of AA & FS... Then we can talk about other issues.



Works for me.  We started listing sources (above) for the descriptions.  I was able to ascertain height and weight for AA but there are no unbiased sources for FS.  

WE know that in March 1920 at her exam in Dalldorf AA was just under 5'2" and weighed about 110 pounds.  And that she had many scars and was not a virgin.  

Anyone have any info on FS?  The course, big boned, blackened tooth stumps info was from Doris Wingender, so am not sure how accurate it is.  It certainly does not match our only known photo of FS, does it?

Elisabeth

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #247 on: February 28, 2005, 03:13:43 PM »
I think it's significant that this nurse had a German name: it probably indicates that she was from the Baltic states, not from the area of Russia proper.

Russians themselves are very attuned to differences in regional accents, as well as accents associated with social class and age. Long ago I had a very old Russian teacher who spoke the 19th, early 20th-century Russian of the Muscovite nobility: that of Tolstoy and his contemporaries. I guess it has since died out, but at the time everybody commented on how "beautiful" and "pure" it was. They said it was like hearing a voice from before the Revolution.

Likewise, Putin, despite his lower-class origins, is often praised by Russians for having very good, St. Petersburg Russian - "the first Russian leader since Nicholas II," one Russian told me, "actually to speak good Russian."

I think we should pay attention to the opinions of Russians when it comes to judging Russian accents - to do otherwise is to be a tad rude!

helenazar

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #248 on: February 28, 2005, 03:14:52 PM »
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Also remember the person you are hearing speak on TV had lived in Germany for 40 plus years, plus spent time in America.   While not trained in Russian dialects, I can certainly say that once people spend time in a certain area, their speech takes on the accent and pattern of the area.


Michael, the people I am talking about, with the Russian accents, also spent most of their life in America, about 40 years in fact. They still had pretty much the same Russian accents as the people I spoke to in Russia (and the Ukraine as well), who were able to speak English, there was maybe very slight difference, almost undetectable. AA did not sound like any of them at all or any other person whose native language was Russian, from many different parts of Russia that I had encountered. But again, we shouldn't really use that as conclusive evidence one way or another, so it doesn't matter.

jolie

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #249 on: February 28, 2005, 03:15:33 PM »
Accents are a wierd phenomenom.  We lived in TX for 11 years and didn't pick up any discernable accent.    The other odd thing:  My kids friends in TX had NO ACCENT but yet thier parents had STRONG THICK TX accents.    We could never figure that one out.   Usually, kids speak like the parents.  

One thing I've noticed:  when speaking with someone who has an accent, it's easy to talk like them in the moment.  When SPEAKING with my TX friends, I tend to talk like them.......especially a southern accent makes one want to drawl right along!!
btw, we are Yankee's with a strong northern accent.

am I making sense??  :)

Denise

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #250 on: February 28, 2005, 03:15:51 PM »
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According to Olga, AA even asked someone in German, "is this the aunt?" when Olga first came in to see her in the room... Sounds kind of odd, unless Olga was confused or was lying.  


Is it possible AA had spoken German as it was the language spoken most by the nurses?  If that is what she was exposed to daily, even AN would have picked up German through immersion.  I no longer think AA was AN, but I believe this is a plausible explanation.  After all, how long had AA been in the asylum and exposed to German on a regular basis before the arrival of Olga Alexandrovna?

Denise

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #251 on: February 28, 2005, 03:18:10 PM »
Quote
One thing I've noticed:  when speaking with someone who has an accent, it's easy to talk like them in the moment.  When SPEAKING with my TX friends, I tend to talk like them.......especially a southern accent makes one want to drawl right along!!
btw, we are Yankee's with a strong northern accent.

am I making sense??  :)


I do the exact same thing.  I grew up down south and moved back to Michigan when I was 10.  I had a thick drawl.  I now talk like the yankee I am, but after talking to southerners for 15 minutes, I start hearing bits of that drawl coming back to my speech.  

So, yes, it is possible to pick up the language you are immersed in, as well as the accent of those around you.  

helenazar

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #252 on: February 28, 2005, 03:26:52 PM »
Quote


So, yes, it is possible to pick up the language you are immersed in, as well as the accent of those around you.  


Yes, it is true that AA had lived for many years around people who did not speak Russian and she did not use Russian for a long time. The people whom I have heard speaking all spoke Russian all along and were around other Russians the whole time. So yes, it is possible that AA's accent could have changed, I suppose.

But this is why I said that the accent doesn't really prove anything one way or another, since scenarios like this are possible...

Mgmstl

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #253 on: February 28, 2005, 03:27:22 PM »
I may not speak the English (American) that my grandfather spoke...It is all relative to time.  To say that language doesn't change is totally incorrect.  To say that we have to pay attention to what the Russians think about her accent or otherwise it would seem rude is somewhat ludicrous IMO.

We should be paying careful attention the details and affadavits of those people who knew her before the media feeding frenzy began, it is good chance to look at AA, in sort of pure light, if you get what I am saying, not in the light of biases thrown about by the different factions that have different agendas, in regards to the case.

That is why I am again stating that these affadavits are probably IMO, the most important.  

If a French native came up to me and I said I was fluent in French, then regardless of whether they came from Grenoble, Paris, Normandy, Marseille, we should be able to converse in French, that is IF I could speak French, if I couldn't then I would make monosyllabic responses, or make excuses for my faulty language skills.  Hopefully a Russian native would have the same ability to discern this regardless of the area of Russia, Moscow, Petersburg, Kiev, Minsk, Pinsk. that they came from.

helenazar

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Re: Anna Anderson - Physical Evidence and DNA
« Reply #254 on: February 28, 2005, 03:32:37 PM »
When were the affidavits given by the nurses? Was it at the time of the trial or were they given earlier and closer to 1920? If it was at the time of the trial, when a significant amount of time already passed since when they first encountered AA, then I am not so sure how unbiased anyone's testimony would be. Whether deliberately or subconsciously these people could have been influenced during all the time in between. What is the earliest testmimony we have, when was it?