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The Romanovs had been the rulers of Russia from 1613 until the World War I and the Russian Revolution, in 1917. The Romanovs acquired their name from Roman Yurev, when his grandson took his name to honor him. When Fyodor I died, the last member of the Rurik dynasty, Russia entered on the Time of Troubles. It ended when Roman Yurev's great-grandson was elected, Michael Romanov, as the new czar. They followed the Rurik's succession pattern, they give their throne to the eldest son, or if he doesn't have one, to the closest male relative. Until 1696, when Peter was the ruler he elaborated a law of succession, that the monarch could choose his successor. But in 1797, Paul I changed it, because in some moment, the czar wasn't a Romanov, it was from another house. He established that the successors had to be from the Romanov family. Nicholas II became emperor in 1894, the last Romanov to rule Russia.
Nicholas II had five children with Alexandra Feodorovna, four daughters (Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia) and one son (Alexis). Olga was the older one; she was the most alike to Nicholas. She and Tatiana were very close to each other. She was the "splendid child". She was aware of the dislike of the people toward her family. During the World War I, she, Tatiana and her mother helped the soldiers that were hurt. Tatiana was the second; she was the favorite of Alexandra. She was the prettiest, too. Maria was the third daughter of the czar. She was the favorite of Nicholas and was the angel of the family. She was very caring and warm. Alexei was the youngest of the five and the only boy, and as he was male he was the heir to the throne. He was sick, he had hemophilia, they wanted to keep this as a secret because they didn't want people to lose faith in the Imperial regime, but this made unpopularity grew faster among Russians. Another reason of their unpopularity was Rasputin, he was introduced in the court to heal Alexei, but people didn't like it. And Anastasia, the fourth daughter, she was the clown of the family; she had a lot of energy and enthusiasm. All of them changed physical or mentally after being held during the revolution.
People said that Nicholas was a good person and very easy to treat, but he was also weak. Nicholas was not ready to rule; he couldn't make people happy when they were asking for changes. In 1905 the Russian Revolution broke out as the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War. The Revolution ended when Nicholas approved the "Duma" and promises constitutional reforms. Soon, the czar dissolved this agreement and more people began supporting the Bolsheviks and the revolution. In 1914, Nicholas II led Russia to the World War I, but Russia wasn't ready for another war, they were weak. At the beginning people were happy, but Russia was being defeated by Germany several times, that unhappiness grew faster.
People hated the way of Nicholas and Alexandra way of government, and Rasputin, their mysterious monk, who was the principal adviser of Nicholas. They were sick of the war that had cost million of Russian lives. They were suffering from food and fuel shortage. During the revolution of February of 1917, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate the throne and a provisional government was set up instead of him. He tried to succeed the throne to his brother, but two days later he refused. The provisional government did a little better than Nicholas did. During the war, for a few days, Russia was victorious until Germany attacked again. This was the end of the Russian army. And for the revolution of October, communist revolutionaries led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the provisional government. Some days later, Lenin announced the peace to Germany.
Nicholas and his family were sent to Siberia to be under house arrest, and later to Ekaterinburg. Nicholas, Alexandra and Maria were separated from the rest of the family; they went to Moscow, to the Ipatiev House. Later, the rest of the family joined together, but during the time they spent away from each other, the mother sent letters to the other children to hide the jewelry, so they won't be confiscated. The girls hid the jewelry in their clothing. Alexei was sick, but when he got healthier, he and his sisters went reunited with their parents and Maria. Their life in Etakerinburg was boring; the family was all the time under vigilance. Anastasia was so upset that she, once, opened a window and a guard saw her and fired her, and she never tried it again.
In June 1918, the Civil War began. And in July the anti Bolshevik "White" Russian forces went to Ekaterinburg, where the royal family was. Authorities asked to rescue the Romanovs, and after a meeting, the imperial family was sentence to death. The night of July 16, in Eketerinburg, Nicholas and his family were ordered to dress and go to the basement of the house, with the pretext that they would be relocated and they had to take some family pictures, in order to demonstrate that they were alive, they never suspected of anything. Suddenly, a dozen armed men entered to the room and began to shoot everywhere, killing them. Nicholas was the first to die, then Alexandra. Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia didn't die in the first hail of bullets, they were wearing diamonds and accessories in the clothes, so they were protected, but they were killed with bayonets. Alexei was shot near the ear. Their bodies were wrapped into bed sheets and buried in Ganina Yama. Nicholas was 50 years old when he died, Alexandra 46, Olga 23, Tatiana 21, Maria 19, Anastasia 17 and Alexei 13.
The responsables of the murderer of the Romanovs wanted to keep it as a secret. But this was kind of impossible, because the place where they wanted to buried the bodies was near a road. Some people saw how the bodies were buries, so the red army pursued them and threatened them for not saying anything.
In 1991, the remains of Nicholas, Alexandra, his wife, and three of their children were found, and two years later their bodies were positively identified as them. But Alexei's and Anastasia's bodies weren't found with the rest of their family. It was said that Anastasia, the youngest daughter, could be still alive.
Anastasia was born in 1901. She and her siblings had a very strict schedule. They weren't spoiled, as many thought. The Romanovs were very close, every night they enjoy an evening together. The kids were taken to young balls, so they could accustom to the real ones later in their live. Anastasia wasn't a great student, she hated classes. Anastasia was a very sociable girl, she liked to play games with her sisters and has masculine habits; and she was a good actress. She liked to play pranks to everybody, but his dad didn't like much of this. Anastasia liked to read, and loved animals. When the war began, she and Olga started to smoke. During the World War I, Maria and she were too young to do what Olga and Tatiana do, so they entertain the men in the hospital. Anastasia liked to help the soldiers, but it was tough because sometimes she had to see them die, or their stories were so sad.
Some people said that Anastasia survive from the massacre, and a soldier took pity on her and help her escape. Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia, said that she pretended to be dead. For example, Nadezhda Ivanovna Vasilyeva and Eugina Smith said that they were Anastasia and her sister Maria, that were found by a priest. They lived as nuns until they died in 1964. This could be possible because there were rumors that some registers from soldiers and policies from the Bolchevique society where looking for Anastasia Romanov. Some people said that they saw Anastasia, her mother and her sister after the tragedy, but these were only rumors because it didn't have evidence.
There were 8 witnesses saw Anastasia trying to she tried to escape from a train station of Perm on September 1918. Some of this witnesses recognized Anastasia as the girl. She talked to an officer of the Perm station and told him that she was Anastasia. Some theories said that there could be more than one guard that could have help some survivor to escape. They said that the bodies were without monitoring in the truck and in the room. Even some soldiers actually showed empathy to the Romanovs and they weren't involved in the shooting that stayed with the bodies.
There were a lot of women claiming to be Anastasia, but no one was as believable as Anna Anderson. Anna Anderson was discovered when she tried to jump from a bridge, but a man stopped her. She was crazy and was hospitalized into a psychiatric clinic. After two years she said that she was Anastasia Romanov. Anna Anderson was the most believable because she knew things that not any person could know. Some relatives said that she might have been Anastasia and some others said that it was a lie. Anderson even wrote a book telling supposed stories, she as a Romanov. Anna, until the last of her days stayed that she was Anastasia.
Anna Anderson created the myth and made famous the legend of Anastasia. The case was taken to the court, but finally, Anna didn't have proves enough to convince that she was Anastasia. In 1984, Anderson died, and in 1994 with a tissue of her found in the hospital was made a test of DNA with the blood of a Romanov far relative. But the test was negative, she wasn't related to the czar Nicholas, actually it was found that she was Franziska Schanzkowska, from Poland. She lost the memory working in Berlin. When she was found in a bridge ready to jump, she assumed the story that her husband told her about Anastasia as hers, because his husband was a soldier which participated in the massacre. But in 1994, the face of Anastasia and Anna were compared and was established that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, this published in a British program. In 2007, the body remains from Alexis and Anastasia were found. The DNA of Anna was compared to the Romanovs' and their relatives; the conclusion was that Anderson wasn't Anastasia. But their test matched with Carl Maucher's DNA, nephew of Franziska Schanzkowska, and was established that Anderson was probably a Schanzkowska. There were more testes that lead to the same conclusion.
The mystery was solve, everyone that was in the house during the massacre died together. No one could escape.
Find out about the Romanovs last days.
Explain what was believed happened to young Anastasia.
Did she survive?
Who claimed to be the Grand Duchess?
Was her story believable?
Was this mystery solved? How?