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Russian Tsar’s daughter might have escaped 1918 execution

Leading Russian historian says there is evidence that Grad Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna might have escaped execution in 1918, lived up to 83 years and died in the US under the surname of Manahan
The Romanov royal family ITAR-TASS [Archive]
The Romanov royal family
© ITAR-TASS [Archive]

YEKATERINBURG, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Emperor Nicholas II’s youngest daughter, Grad Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, might have escaped execution in 1918, lived up to 83 years and died in the US under the surname of Manahan, previously known as Anastasia Tchaikovskaya and Anna Anderson. This is the version offered by a leading Russian historian, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Veniamin Alexeyev in his book “Who are you, Ms. Tchaikovskaya?” The study, together with the accompanying letters, references, photos and witnesses’ evidence, has been submitted for print to the Yekaterinburg publishing house Basco. It is expected to come out in March, Alexeyev told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The new book is based on documents of the Russian State Archive and is the first-ever publication of evidence of the imperial family’s confidants, opinions of the Romanov House members and doctors, who treated the woman and came to the conclusion “the patient's identification as the Grand Duchess is quite possible and even probable”.

“I do not assume presumptuously she was executed by the Bolsheviks, nor do I assume she remained alive. This is for the reader to decide,” says the historian. “On the basis of the archive documents discovered, and new Russian and foreign evidence I have seen since 1991 as a scientist, I have reasons to believe the royal family’s fate is not as certain as it has been believed for almost a hundred years.”

According to Alexeyev, Russia’s dominating version of the royal family's death is primarily based on the DNA testing of the remains discovered in the Porosyonkov log locality, near Yekaterinburg in the Urals. Meanwhile, he adds, archive documents that cast considerable doubt over this version are practically ignored.

“The interests of both the Bolsheviks and Kolchak [commander of the Imperial Russian Navy, one of the leaders of the White Guard Movement] under whose auspices the Yekaterinburg tragedy was investigated right in the aftermath in 1918, uniquely coincided in this case. The former needed an image of an uncompromising new government determined to wipe out the old world without a trace, and the latter - a Great Russia without an emperor,” said Alexeyev.

Alexeyev admits he touches upon a very delicate issue of whose remains were buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. But the academician hopes the 'i's will be dotted in 2018, when the term of secrecy of international relations between Soviet Russia and Germany expires. According to French scholar Marc Ferro, who worked with archive documents in Vatican, the papers say the wife of Nicholas II and the imperial couple’s daughters were saved.

“Why such mercy on the part of the Bolsheviks? After the leftist Social-Revolutionaries assassinated German Ambassador Mirbach, Wilhelm II could breach the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which would have ruined the Soviet regime. Therefore, they had to negotiate,” Alexeyev said.

“All over the world this issue has been degraded for decades by unpretentious stage productions, garbage literature and films. We need scientific clarity over this complicated issue. Therefore, I am only publishing the documents. Where the truth lies, is up to the readers to decide,” said Alexeyev.

Veniamin Alexeyev is a famous Soviet and Russia historian, Doctor of Historical Sciences, founder of the Institute of History and Archaeology of the RAS branch in the Urals and its Head in 1988-2013. In 2006 he was decorated with the Demidov Prize for scientists. In 1991-97 Alexeyev represented Russia in the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).