History is re-discovered and re-written from time to time as it should be when historians and investigators make discoveries that question accepted facts. Could the true fate of the last Romanov Tsar and his family be one of them?
A few days ago an article was published mentioning the profound interest that President Putin has shown in the re-investigation of the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas II ‘s and his family. His government created a new commission of experts and former President Dimitri Medvedev hand picked the historians and scientist that would work together with members of the Orthodox Church in the supposedly final investigation. They have worked for over a year with no results yet, at least not announced. But why would this new investigation be necessary? Why all the doubts after they announced in 1994 that the remains had been properly identified using DNA from royal relatives? Those remains were buried at the Cathedral of Peter and Paul and many members of the Romanov Family attended the ceremony. Then, what is wrong in this case?
According to a Facebook page with thousands of followers from around the world, the true fate of the last Imperial Family of Russia was very different to what has been accepted for almost a century.
The page of The Russian Imperial Family Historical Society (RIFHS) http://www.facebook.com/RUSSIAN-IMPERIAL-FAMILY-HISTORICAL-SOCIETY-281626701958649/ is visited every day by hundreds of Romanov fans; some attracted by the romantic stories of the family, others with real historical interest because they believe that there are many facts that have not been revealed yet.
After the disappearance of the Romanovs in July of 1918, several articles in prominent newspapers outside of Russia reported them as “alive and in hiding”. Even the mother of the Tsar, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, repeatedly affirmed till the last day of her life in 1928 the her son and his family were alive, living in hiding and surrounded by loyalists. She never went into mourning and remained in high spirits during the months following the alleged murder. The “official version” of the murders was published by investigator Sokolov in 1924, and from that moment on it was accepted as the truth, although serious historians, forensic experts and Romanov scholars have contested his findings and disputed his shallow arguments.
In 1992, after the discovery of some putative bones of the Romanovs was announced, the Orthodox Church inside Russia raised their concerns, and so did a group of scholars and amateur historians from twelve different countries that have continued investigating this case in depth, visiting public and private archives, and gathering documents, letters, photos and testimonies in different languages and from truth worthy people.
In 1998, the Russian government announced the burial of the bones that had been identified as those of Nicholas II and four members of his family. Two skeletons were missing. When the state funeral of the so called “Romanov remains” took place, the Orthodox Church refused to participate. Alexei II, then Patriarch of Russia did not attend the ceremony and a few days before appeared on national television explaining the reasons why him and his group of investigators did not believe those bones belonged to the Imperial Family. During seventeen years they continued asking for a new investigation, especially after the surface of forty four bone fragments that were discovered and also identified as those of the missing skeletons.
Finally, in 2015 the Russian government ordered the re-opening of the investigation. The director of the State Archive A. Mironenko agrees that is necessary to take into account all the historical documents. This is the same claim that a group of dedicated historians in Ekaterinburg, led by Professor Veniamin Alekseev, have made since many years.
But there has also been keen interest in the west. In 2010 I became aware of the existence of several historians in Europe and in the USA that firmly believe that the truth about the fate of the Romanovs has not been told, yet. They are very excited about this new chance to scrutinize what has been told and written and reveal to the world the other story that has been banned to the public.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to discover the truth and set the record straight. Scientific proof is highly important. I believe DNA tests are crucial and must be taken into account; but also historical documents and lots of circumstantial evidence should be examined”. Said Marie Stravlo, an investigative journalist, author and translator that is now leading the RIFHS. I met her in Spain several years ago during one of her many research trips .
She started her own investigation in 1998 after receiving privileged information about the true fate of the Romanovs by a member of the Imperial Family of Germany, whose parents had strong blood ties with the Romanovs. Since January of 2009 Stravlo has been completely devoted to a full time investigation with amazing but controversial results. That same year she met other investigators that shared information and documents, and joined the Russian Imperial Family Historical Society. After traveling to nine countries on several occasions, and interviewing members of royal houses, other Romanov scholars, historians, authors and people with amazing knowledge of the story, she is absolutely convinced that there is ” another story, the real story”, that has never been told with regard to this case. During seven years she gathered not only stories about the members of Nicholas and Alexandra’s family that were never told before, but also photos, documents, testimonies and letters, hundreds of letters that could expose a different fate of the Imperial Family.
I have always had a core believe, from when I was a teenager, that Anastasia Manahan was Grand Duchess Anastasia and the story has always fascinated me. When I met Marie Stravlo and she kindly shared some of her findings, I was so impressed that I wanted to write a historical novel. She agreed to cooperate and allowed me to use the story about a lost Romanov Icon that belonged to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, daughter of Tsar Paul I. The book, published in 2012 under the titled THE LOST ROMANOV ICON AND THE ENIGMA OF ANASTASIA,
http://www.thelostromanovicon.com/ refers to the religious relic, but also to the case of Anna Anderson, providing information and documents which prove that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia. It is also an eye opener to all this case.
Marie Stravlo has published three books related to the topic. Another is ready to be published in 2017 and is working around the clock on a new biography of the Romanov women that will surprise the world.
I am very pleased because she agreed to work with me on the sequel to The Lost Romanov Icon.
It is very possible that President Vladimir Putin knows the truth. As a former KGB agent he might have had access to classified information from the Cheka, the acting secret police when the Romanovs disappeared. Cheka files are still classified, despite the many years that have passed and the requests by historians to read their content. President Putin is waiting for the final conclusion of the team of investigators appointed by the government, to prove one version or the other, and close the case forever.
“I believe that the people of Russia deserve to know the truth. It’s Russia’s past. It’s Russia’s history. But also the rest of the world needs and wants to know what happened in Ekaterinburg, at the Ipatiev House, during the night of July 16-17, 1918, once and for all”. Said Marie Stravlo when I met her, and I fully agree with her.
If the Romanovs were rescued and survived, what happened to them? I have had lengthy talks with Marie Stravlo and I think she will soon have most of the answers which I trust she will reveal in her future publications; or perhaps we all will have to wait until the Russian government and the Orthodox Church announce their findings and close this fascinating case forever.
I personally have concluded that the Imperial Family did survive and I trust that this fact will be finally revealed and history re.written.
For further info on Marie Stravlo https://www.facebook.com/Marie-Stravlo-AuthorEscritora-369513416415351/?fref=ts
Interesting Facebook page on Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaievna https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=anastasia%20romanov%20manahan%20historical%20society