By: R. Yahya
We all know the story of how the Bolshevik soviet Russians killed Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family in 1918. But did you know that rumours at the time suggested that not all of them were killed? The supposed survivor's name was Anastasia Romanov, Princess of the house of Romanov.
Born June 18 1901, in Petergof, Russia, she was described as a bubbly, funny, charming and wild girl by her private tutors and close relatives. Anastasia would often be seen playing with her brothers and male cousins rather than her sisters. When Grigori Rasputin gained the trust of her family, she did not trust him, as she knew that he had a sort of weird aura surrounding him. He would be seen with her and her sisters in the evening. Maids believed it was a perverted action and rumours spread that he raped one of her sisters. This made the Tsar lose trust in Rasputin, and later with a few more incidents and rumours, he was kicked out of Petrograd. When the Bolsheviks started to spread throughout Russia, the Romanovs would be later captured and imprisoned by the red army. Even in the hostile atmosphere and conditions, Anastasia Romanov kept her bubbly and humorous personality. As the civil war between the Red Army and the white army (soldiers and people loyal to the Tsar), was turning on the Red army, Vladimir Lenin realised that the only way communism could live was to kill the entire Romanov family. Rumour has it that when a guard was driving the car with their dead corpses to a ditch, he heard a small noise, stopped and looked to see that Anastasia was still alive. He then helped her escape to the German border.
In 1920, a girl named Anna Anderson was spotted in a hospital for the mentally ill. Doctors tried asking her who she was, and she replied that she didn’t know. In 1922, A Russian patient came to the hospital, and she knelt and told him she was the lost Russian Princess Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. Lots of the doctors agreed that this could be the lost princess. The surviving Royal Family and her tutors came to visit her, and she was invited to castles and the houses of former Romanovs. Most agreed that it was her, but her closest relatives like her tutors and cousins agreed that she lacked Anastasia’s humour and wit, instead, this woman was lady like and not witty. They concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to suggest that she was Anastasia, but some who still believed invited her to a lavish lifestyle in the United States and she ended up marrying a wealthy American. Eventually, after her death, Historians investigated and concluded that she was a Polish factory worker in World War One affected by a bomb that killed everyone, including her lost lover, but not her. Due to the bomb's damage, she lost her memory and thought she was a princess.
The real Anastasia Romanov was shot in the head and mutilated along with her young brother Nikolai Romanov in a forest, separated from the rest of her family. This rumour of the lost princess may have been fake, but it gave hope and joy to the despairing Russian people.