The Lost Czar Essay, Research Paper
The dynasty of Romanov started in February 1613 and lasted precisely 304 years. Nicholas II ascended the throne of Russia with his new wife Alexandra Feodorovna in 1894; the new Czar and Czarina were 26 and 22. Most European nations had developed their technology slowly; and consequently, the people had time to adjust to it. Russia enjoyed no such breathing space. A backward and ignorant people were faced with twentieth century opportunities and problems without the means to cope with them. A working class was suddenly created. While thousands of jobs were created, the necessary and safe conditions – did not exist. This resulted in worker unrest, and with it, the revolution would follow.
A World War had begun in 1914: St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd, Nicholas and Alexei moved to Army Headquarters in Mogilev. Czarina began working as a Red Cross nurse with her two eldest daughters Olga and Tatiana. On March 15, 1917, Nicholas was forced to abdicate. He and his family were placed in the Ipatiev house. Here the realities of imprisonment were clearly shown. The guards were often drunk and disorderly, and made every day a living hell. Many of these guards had criminal records and would do many things to persecute their prisoners. The windows of the Ipatiev house were locked and whitewashed, while men with machine guns patrolled the outside. The Imperial family ate whatever had been left over by the Bolsheviks the previous day, and on some days, the food did not arrive at all. As Nicholas wrote:
“Life here is nothing – eternity is everything and what we
are doing is preparing our souls for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thus nothing, after all is terrible, and if they do take everything
from us they cannot take our souls … Have patience, and these
days of suffering will end … I cannot write all that fills
my soul … we live here on earth be we are already half
gone to the next world.” – Alix
Did the Russian dynasty end in the basement of the Ipatiev house? Are the people, who claim that the family had escaped, really telling the truth or are they just looking for publicity? The recently discovered documents prove that the family did have a life after the WW II and that a member of the family was a victim of the circumstances and could not claim the title back. This paper will examine the documents that were found in the foreign archives which prove that the family did not die, but survived and continued their living in the other countries. These documents are called – The Chivers papers
According to these Chivers papers the code name for the messages none of the Imperial Family was murdered in that bullet-riddled basement room of Ipatiev house. The walls and floor were deliberately splashed with blood. These papers contain more than one hundred descriptive pages that came directly from the agent that was on the scene and they contradict historians in almost all points. It has been discovered that at least three Naval officers acting as secret agents could have had a major role in the rescue of Romanov and escorting them to Odessa. Those officers were Newton A. McCully, Sergius M.Riis and Hugo W. Koehler. All of them received outstanding awards after their mission succeeded. Four countries were involved in the rescue. Each one of them had a good reason to do so. For British Nicholas was their king s first cousin, for the French he was a guarantee of Franco-Russian Alliance, established in 1894. Japanese owned the Romanov a debt of honor and American president Wilson thought that having a czar in his corner would be good to resolve the indifferences of Whites and Reds in Russia.
It was also discovered that in the National Archives of the Department of State of the US that there was a file that contained all the information on the rescue of the Romanov family, and the name to this file was – Romanov File . The existence of this file was confirmed by the former head of the Russian section of State Robert F. Kelley. He stated: If I wrote Romanov File there, as I obviously did, you can bet there was a Romanov File.
One of the most respected newspapers of soviet Russia Zvezda published out a little propaganda the net effect of which was to rebury the Romanovs deeper then ever. But why, if, according to Russian government, Romanov were killed and their graves were undisturbed, Russian government made this extra effort? The explanation is that it came to the government s attention that the Chevers papers were about to be released. The proof of the survival of Royal Family would be embarrassing to Lenin and Trotsky. It would show that the Russian government has constantly been lying about what happened in the Ipatiev house, and the most of all it will highly incriminate the Orthodox Church, because they were praying for seven undeceived saints .
The Chivers papers cover the period from July 10, 1918 until February 17, 1919. The whole operation began on July 10, 1918 when according to the papers, the family was aroused at 2 am and escorted to the truck, which was checked by an engineer and parked outside the door. The extract from the files quotes:
No member of the retinue will go with His M and his family,
and two have volunteered for the camouflage plan. His M is
much disturbed for them and greatly moved by such devoted service.
The journey will last about one hour or perhaps a little longer. The
road will be clear and guards posted. The curfew does not end until 6 am.
It is clearly shown here that volunteers took Czar s place. Because the guards were severely drunk that night, they could not notice whom they were shooting. It could be anybody who resembled the czar for at least a bit. The successful beginning of the plan was dated July 18, 1918 in the papers and said:
The plan worked well. At the hour of 2 the guard aroused his M
and His M aroused her M and Each of the Duchesses. They all
walked to the ground floor to meet the waiting guard. The engine
started in two turns and the truck was away turning to the right
and there its journey started.
This message shows us that the escape had a good start. It is also said in the papers that two volunteers were transferred into two corpses, via the guard wretched task . It is said further that Nicholas and his family were in good condition and the truck engine did not fail. It is the whole book of stories about the cars that were used to transfer the Royal Family over the 1800 miles of Russian primitive roads. The trail of the Romanovs in the Chevers papers ends in Odessa and gets picked up by another document The Lord Hardinge letter . Lord Hardinge was a great favorite of Edward VII and a close confidant of the Royal Family. His letter defines the escape route from Odessa and synchronizes in time and place with the Civers Papers.
According to the letter, only four of the seven Romanovs made the trip from Constantinople to Breslau. Alexandra and Alexei were both in delicate health at that time, as well as Anastasia. It can be only guessed that they were left in a hospital somewhere in Romania or Bulgaria.
After July 1918, Romanovs were never officially seen alive again. From the official evidence that has been compiled over the years following their disappearance, it is generally believed that the entire Imperial Family and their servants were murdered by the Bolsheviks. The stories that told of the survival of at least one member of the Imperial family had been heard by the remainder of the Romanovs in Europe. The family had also heard of a woman who called herself Anna Anderson and claimed to be the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II. They were skeptical of Anna from the beginning because she was a patient in an insane institute in Germany. The Romanovs sent Madame Tolstoy, a friend of the late Tsarina Alexandra’s, to identify the young woman. The first thing Madame Tolstoy commented on Anna’s brilliant blue eyes, a color unique to the Russian Royal family. Anna was very ill at the time of the visit and refused to answer any questions about herself, but even so, Madame Tolstoy recommended that someone else go to see the woman, because she resembled the Grand Duchess to a great extent.
The next person sent to see Anna was Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden, who had been the Tsarina’s lady-in-waiting. The family could not have made a worse choice. Years earlier, the Baroness had switched to the Bolshevik s side and betrayed the family and therefore she proclaimed Anna Anderson to be an imposter.
Anna was released from the insane institute late in 1922 and stayed with the Kleist family. They secretly invited Princess Irene, Anastasia’s aunt, to come visit and possibly identify Anna. When Princess Irene came, Anna recognized her immediately as her “Aunt Nini.” Betrayed and hurt that her aunt had had to test her, sensitive Anna ran from the room and refused to speak with Irene. The princess said she could not be sure if Anna was Anastasia because she had not seen her niece for ten years; however, she did say that Anna’s hair, forehead, and eyes were identical to Anastasia’s.
Shortly after this incident, Anna expressed a wish to see her uncle, Grand Duke Ernest Ludwig of Hesse, with whom she had been close as a child. One of Anna’s friends contacted the Grand Duke, who showed an interest in meeting Anna and wished that she would be recognized. He changed his tune when she innocently mentioned that she remembered that he had visited Russia during World War I to negotiate a separate peace between Russia and Germany. The Grand Duke knew that if Anna’s statement were ever proven true, that he had visited the enemy during war and tried to bargain for peace, he would never regain his political power. This, and the fact that he was next in line to throne of Russia if Anna was not Anastasia, caused him to deny Anna.
Anna’s next visitor was Shura Gilliard, Anastasia’s nursemaid. Anna, again seriously ill, refused to see her, but Shura uncovered Anna’s feet and stared. She remarked that Anna had a deformity on her feet identical to Anastasia’s. She checked Anna’s body for the scars Anastasia had had and found them. When she had finished, Anna took some cologne, placed it in Shura’s hand, and asked her to moisten her forehead. Shura recognized the strange request as a ritual that she and the Grand Duchess used to do before bedtime. Shura then left her and returned with Grand Duchess Olga, the Tsar’s sister. With two people in the room besides Shura, Olga openly recognized Anna as Anastasia. She left after a short visit and promised to write; Olga wrote to Anna three times before she, too, turned against the young woman. Olga’s betrayal of Anna sadly resulted from something Anna herself had said. During one of their conversations about the Romanov wealth, Anna had told her not to worry because Nicholas II had deposited millions of dollars into an English bank for his daughters. She further explained that as soon as she was legally recognized, they could retrieve the money. Olga, whose financial situation was not at all promising, digested this information and decided to deny her title, so that she, Olga, could inherit the money left in the bank after Anna s death. There are reports, however, that before she died, she paced back and forth in a panic, shouting, “What have I done to my niece”
Although the Romans rejected her, some of Anastasia’s childhood friends came to meet with Anna and judge for themselves about who she really was. Gleb and Tatiana Botkin, children of the Imperial family’s physician, were among the first to recognize her and not change their minds about it. Gleb was convinced she was an imposter until she asked him if he had brought any of his animals with him. Gleb was in shock; he realized that she was referring to the animal sketches he used to make for Anastasia as a child and that nobody knew about the pictures except for the Grand Duchess. Tatiana noticed that when Anna was angry, she broke out in red blotches all over her skin, something both the young Anastasia and the Tsarina Alexandra had done. The two Botkins convinced she was genuine, set out to prove it. Gleb urged Anna to file a lawsuit in Germany to settle the question of who she was and to secure financial stability for herself. Anna agreed to the court case but refused to testify on her own behalf. However, she decided to undergo the physical and mental examinations required to gather evidence to strengthen her case. Anna made a grave mistake by bringing her case to court. Up until this point, many influential Russians had been openly trying to help her achieve recognition. But these people also felt that publicly defying the monarchy was not good for their reputation, so they withdrew their support, although a few did continue to help her secretly. Nevertheless, Gleb was determined to get Anna her identity, so the court case went on as scheduled. Hundreds of witnesses testified on both sides. The matter of Anastasia’s education was brought up. The Grand Duchess had spoken Russian, English, French, and German. Anna Anderson displayed an outstanding knowledge of each language, except for Russian. She refused to speak it, saying it brought back painful memories. The prosecution used this against her: how could the Grand Duchess Anastasia not speak Russian? However, when the defense asked her a question in Russian, she answered in German. She understood the Russian language perfectly well.
Photography and beauty experts were called to examine her. One of them exclaimed, “What, are they crazy? Can’t they see it is the same ear? The same face? You’d have to be blind”. Baron Von Eikstadt and W. Klenke of the University of Mainz, after studying hundreds of photographs, said that Anna Anderson could only be Anastasia Romanov. Dr. Minna Becker, the woman who had proved the originality of Anne Frank’s diary, compared samples of Anna’s handwriting with the handwriting found in Anastasia’s school notebooks. Dr. Becker concluded, “no two scripts could be so identical and written by two different hands”. Anastasia’s dentist could not make a positive identification, but he would not testify against her, either. Despite the mounting evidence and testimonies in her favor, the German court ruled that she had not provided enough information to prove that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia. After several ineffective appeals, Anna Anderson settled herself to living in injustice for the rest of her days.
In 1977, Dr. Moritz Furtmayer, a forensic expert, used a modern device for identifying people called a P.I.K. Headprint. Using photographs of Anastasia and Anna Anderson, he identified seventeen identical tissue formation points in the ears of Anna and the Grand Duchess. Twelve points of tissue formation in common with the subject are all that is required by German law to establish a person’s identity. Still, the family would neither accept nor believe her.
Anna Anderson died in 1984. She was never recognized by the Romanovs as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, a name and title that rightfully belonged to her. Anna Anderson was no imposter: she never once answered a question about the Imperial family incorrectly. If she had been a fake, it seems likely that she would have slipped at least once, or she would have been asked a question she could not answer. That never happened simply because she was who she said she was. She had every single one of Anastasia’s childhood scars and congenital defects. Anna looked like her, talked like her, and wrote like her. Anastasia’s friends and a few members of the Romanov family, like Princess Irene, recognized her. Each one of the royal families who denied her would benefit in some way if Anastasia did not exist. Some, like Grand Duke Ernest, had a chance to be the next tsar if Anastasia was not around. Others, like the Grand Duchesses Olga, hoped to gain wealth from Anastasia’s misfortune. Nevertheless, those who had no political or material gain recognized the truth: Anna Anderson was the Grand Duchess Anastasia. And though the last czar is officially dead for the people of Russia, there is much more evidence to proof otherwise. Some say that the DNA of the discovered bodies confirmed their Royal nature, but those bones were send to America for the test. Americans would not want to expose their belonging to the rescue on confirmed that bones are royal . The Russian government would not want to expose the truth as well because it would discriminate them. But the fact is that at least one bank in Paris, London and New-York still holds undisturbed funds in the account of Czar Nicholas 2. A very interesting event occurred with Nicholas and his wife; A small chest was kept at Gatchina Palace, locked and sealed. Inside was something put there by the widow of the murdered Emperor Paul I, Maria Feodorovna, who had instructed that the chest be opened by the Emperor who ruled Russia one hundred years after her husband’s murder. That day came in 1901. The Czar and Czarina – at the time still very young people – prepared for their journey to retrieve the chest as if it were an amusing outing, but they returned, according to a lady in waiting, “extremely thoughtful and sad … after that, I heard that the sovereign had mentioned 1918 as a fateful year for him and the dynasty.” This may be merely and ingenious legend. Nevertheless: there was something fateful in their last year – 1918.
THE LOST CZAR
Richardson, Guy. The Rescue of the Romanovs. 1975
Summers, Antony and Tom Mangold. The File on the Tsar. London: Victor Gollancz LTD. 1976
Kurth, Peter. Tsar. First edition. Toronto. 1995.