Before I even get to my question, let me state FTR, that I believe Princess Ananstasia died with her family, and not Anna Anderson or anyone else is the “real” Romanov princess.
I recently read an article about the bodies that were discovered in Russia a few years ago, examined by forensic pathologists, DNA matched to Prince Phillip of Britain, and finally determined to be the bodies of the Romanov family.
I am aware that two bodies were missing, probably Anastasia and Prince Alexei.
I am also aware that during Stalin’s administration, an affidavit came to light, signed by someone (whose name eludes me, and I can’t find the article) claiming to have been one of the people who removed the bodies from the room where they were shot, and disposed of them.
His story goes something like this: the bodies were loaded on a wagon, and were to be taken to a spot already chosen, covered in quicklime and buried. For some reason (I believe he thought he was being pursued), he stopped short of the site, unloaded, and burned the bodies. But they didn’t burn as easily as he anticipated, so he reloaded them, and continued onto the original site. There, the bodies were hacked up, thrown in the pit, and covered with quicklime.
However, after the burning, two of the bodies were pretty effectively destroyed, and these two were left at the first site. The witness had said that the maid, who had been killed with the family, was one of the bodies left at the first site, and the other was Prince Alexei. However, the maid’s body turned up at the second site. It seems pretty obvious that this means Anastasia was one of the bodies left at the first site.
The first site has not been found and excavated.
The forensic evidence backs up the affidavit to the letter, with the exception of the maid/Anastasia thing. The affidavit was unknown at the beginning of the forensic exam, because Stalin had suppressed it.
Here’s my question: Why did Stalin suppress the affidavit? Rumors of Anastasia’s survival had been around for a generation, and several claimants had attracted a lot of media attention. If Stalin had made the affidavit public, I would think he could have toned down a lot of the rumblings of restoration.
I can think of two reasons Stalin may have suppressed the affidavit: 1) he didn’t want the burial site venerated (venerating bodies is a big part of Orthodox Christianity). 2) The author of the affidavit was someone who was active and important in the government. Stalin had always taken the line that the Romanovs were murdered by rogues who did not represent the mainline of the Soviet government.
Does anyone know anything else?
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny