History Podcasts

Anna Anderson

Anna Anderson

When the bodies of the Russian royal family were discovered it was noted that two bodies were missing. A woman known as Anna Anderson later claimed that she was Anastasia.

Read the following account which gives details about Anna Anderson and her claim:

On February 17, 1920, a woman jumped off a bridge in Berlin. She had no ID on her and when asked, she refused to give her name. She was taken to a mental asylum where someone recognised her as Tatiana Romanov. She did not deny this, but later claimed that she was Anastasia. She was visited by one of Alexandra's former ladies-in-waiting who called her an imposter when she hid under a blanket. When she was released from the asylum in 1922 she lived on the charity of those who believed her claim to be Anastasia. She was known as Anna Anderson.

Although she did not speak of the past for some time she eventually described how she had escaped the massacre. She admitted that she had been bayoneted, but said that the wound had not killed her because the sword was blunt. She claimed that a soldier named Tschaikovsky saw that she was still alive and rescued her. He took her to Romania where she stayed with him until he was killed in a fight. She gave birth to his son who she placed in an orphanage.

She claimed that she had walked from Romania to Berlin to find her relatives. However, when she reached Berlin she thought that no one would recognise her and decided to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge.

In order to decide whether Anna Anderson was Anastasia or whether she was an imposter, we need to look at the evidence. However, sometimes evidence is biased (one-sided).

Over the next two pages you will see two sets of evidence, the first offering proof that Anderson was Anastasia, the second that she was an imposter. As you read through the evidence fill in the Word table that you will open on your computer. This will give you the evidence from both sides and will help you to make up your own mind.

Open the word document by clicking here.