The Romanov children identified

The bodies of the lost children of the Czar Nicholas II of Russia have been identified through DNA testing. They were found in 2007, and there was never any doubt that it was them, but now it’s confirmed.

Nicholas II, his wife the Czarina Alexandra, and their five children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei, were assassinated by Russian revolutionaries in 1918. Most of the bodies were located, but the youngest two, 17-year-old Anastasia and 13-year-old Alexei, were missing for nearly a century. I remember the day I heard the two children’s bodies had been found. I got very excited. I’m very interested in history in general and the Czar’s lost children are a famous historical mystery. One woman who called herself Anna Anderson popped up claiming she was Anastasia and had escaped the execution. She managed to convince a lot of people. I’ve seen pictures and the resemblance was striking, but I think mainly it was that people wanted Anastasia to have survived, because she was young and beautiful and innocent and they didn’t want to face the cold hard fact of her murder. (And also, it made for a terrific story.) After her death, DNA tests proved Anna Anderson wasn’t a Romanov.

Those children were killed simply because they happened to be born in the wrong family at the wrong time in history. I hope now they can be buried in a proper grave with their parents and sisters and will rest in peace.

I have a beautiful and haunting song called “Anastasia” which is about Anastasia Romanov, but parts of it could speak for the loved ones of all missing people:

I kept your room just how you left it
There’s not a toy out of place
Just in case the fates are kind and you come back someday
I don’t want to live without my little Anastasia

2 thoughts on “The Romanov children identified

  1. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 3:50 pm

    In regards the Voltaire lyrics cited above, perhaps the first incursion of Anastasia into pop culture was via the Rolling Stones and their song “Sympathy for the Devil,” from the 1968 ‘Beggars Banquet’ LP, viz.: “I stuck around St. Petersburg / When I decided it was time for a change. / Killed the czar and his ministers, / Anastasia screamed in vain…” Anyway, it was the first time I ever heard the beautiful name “Anastasia,” albeit occurring in a grotesque context. (Plus, I always thought Mick was singing “pain” as the ultimate word in that construct.)

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