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  #841  
Old 07-05-2008, 03:40 AM
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Elspeth please explain this to me (probably everyone else understands)
I am afraid I should read "DNA for Dummies" so what does this say, who is related (probably) to whom? Does this confirm that FA is not AA or what?
Thanks.
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  #842  
Old 07-05-2008, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Menarue View Post
Elspeth please explain this to me (probably everyone else understands)
I am afraid I should read "DNA for Dummies" so what does this say, who is related (probably) to whom? Does this confirm that FA is not AA or what?
Thanks.
Well, I'm not entirely sure myself, but the biggest thing here is that the DNA sequence of the blood sample said to have come from Anna Anderson in Germany in 1951 doesn't match the sequence of the intestine and hair samples in the USA.

The two American samples (intestine and hair) matched the samples from Karl Maucher and Margarete Ellerick; the German blood sample didn't. This means that the German and American samples weren't from the same person, or that one or other of them was contaminated. Since the two American samples were the same as each other, the greater likelihood is that the German sample is the one that has the problem.

Neither the American nor the German samples matched the sample from Prince Philip or the sample from Princess Sofia. Dr Ginther says the Philip and Sofia samples matched each other, but the sequences they give for the Sofia one look wrong (the nucleotides of the reference sequence aren't correct).

They tried to sequence samples from needles and other items but the DNA was too degraded to be useful. This means that they didn't have an independent sample to check the blood sample against. So although the chain of custody of the blood sample looks pretty good, there is the possibility, which Dr Ginther acknowledges, that it was contaminated. There's also the possibility that it wasn't from Anna Anderson in the first place, although I don't know how strong a possibility that is. For the American samples, they had the independent confirmation because the intestine sample and the hair sample, from different sources and sequenced in different labs, gave the same results.

It seems that Dr Ginther didn't publish his work. My guess is that the lack of independent confirmation, coupled with finding a different sequence from the ones obtained by the Gill and Stoneking groups, means that he couldn't be sure his results were correct.
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  #843  
Old 07-05-2008, 05:05 AM
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In other words, more confusion. Thanks Elspeth for explaining this for me, it is enough to make anyone´s head spin.
  #844  
Old 07-05-2008, 09:53 AM
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Oh, so that's what it was about! You had me scared for a minute! I've seen this addressed several times before (though not in so much detail) and really no one in the scientific community who did the other testing puts much value in it.

Interesting that Chat and others of his 'ilk' (as they like to call me and my 'ilk') will say with certainty that this was hers while calling the hair and intestine 'putative.' Well, speaking of 'putative', this 1951 blood sample is the one least likely to actually be hers. In addition to that, the chances of contamination due to time and not completely enclosed storage are much, much greater than they were with the intestine, which was sterile, airtight and sealed in parafin wax. So if anyone's going to start talking about problems with a sample, this is the place to start, not Martha Jefferson Hospital.

The same problems, age, likely contamination and less than pure storage conditions are also the likely issues with the Japanese sample that allegedly belonged to the Tsar. It was supposed to be a rag used to wipe his blood when he was hit by the sword in 1891, yet in reality, the first time another person touched it, or even breathed on it, all bets were off. Both it and the 'putative' blood sample were saved in times when no one had any idea that DNA testing would ever exist and what pure conditions would be required for obtaining an accurate result. Blood typing is one possibility, but for something as precise and delicate as DNA testing, more careful handling is required.

Honestly, of all the samples taken, the old blood sample, as well as the Japanese rag, are far, far more prone to outside contamination and therefore inaccurate results than the intestine. The intestine matching the hair, both matching Maucher and neither Prince Phillip is really too much to discount with anything. As you say too, the fact that he never published his results make it even more likely they are wrong, and that he considers this possibility to be high.
  #845  
Old 07-05-2008, 12:06 PM
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Interviews with Dr. Berenberg-Gossler and Prince Michael Romanov

Remembering Anna Anderson (Part II). In this, the second half of our special retrospective on Anna Anderson's legacy we have an exclusive interview with Dr. Gunther Von Berenberg-Gossler, the most prominent attorney to oppose Anderson during her marathon legal fights in Germany. Concluding with a special interview with Prince Michael Romanoff, who provides us his thoughts on a case which vexed his family for decades.
Dr. Gunther Von Berenberg-Gossler,
Few cases in the annals of legal history were as long or acrimonious as the petitions made by Anna Anderson in German Courts to gain official recognition as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II. Starting in 1928 and not concluding until the 1970's, costing the German Government and all involved vast sums of money.
No one living today involved in opposing Anna Anderson is better qualified to discus the case then Dr. Gunther Von Berenberg-Gossler, attorney appointed in 1955 to oppose Anderson's claims on behalf of the Swedish and British royal families with the financial backing of Lord Mountbatten.

Gunther Von Berenberg-Gossler was born 21 February 1911 in Freiburg/Schwarzwald in Germany, studying in Freiburg, Munich and Hamburg he earned a doctorate in law and soon established a reputation as one of Germany's finest jurists. Although his career is marked by achievements which have earned him international respect it's his involvement in the Anna Anderson case which will forever make him famous, a complex legal affair which kept him busy for over 12 years.

"From the very start of my involvement in the case it was clear to me Anna Anderson was Franziska Schanzkowska," says Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler in his Hamburg home, "her true identity was never in question to me, there was abundant evidence, including blood tests and testimony from her sister Gertrude Schanzkowska. So in 1994 when I received word DNA tests conducted in Britain and the United States had proven this I was pleased but not moved, it was old news to me."

Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler comes from an aristocratic family and having moved in the highest echelons of society since childhood he was more than qualified to sniff out an impostor, and is amazed by published claims Anna Anderson was considered a lady or had a regal aura.

"I first met Franziska Schanzkowska, or Anna Anderson as she is better known, with a judge of the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, at the City Hall of Unterlengenhard in the Black Forest." Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler recalls.

"She rejected the meeting however, regarding me as her enemy she wouldn't say a word in my presence. Thereupon the judge asked me to leave the room during his hearing in the mayors room, I left but hid discretely behind a large green tiled stove and observed.
My impression of her at the time, judging by her mannerisms, usage of language, etc, was she resembled a house maid, but not at all of royal blood, she had an unattractive peasant like face and reminded me of a charwoman (menial cleaning lady).

I stood quietly studying her until suddenly she discovered me and said: " who is that?" the judge answered, "that is Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler".
Thereupon she refused to speak again and sat like a statue, the judge asked me to leave and that was the only time I ever got to see the plaintiff personally.

Anna Anderson was a confidence trickster of great refinement, had an extraordinary psychological make up, besides being a pathologic liar she had a remarkably strong will which she was able to impress on those around her most uncannily."

Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler believes that although wishful thinking in Russian émigré circles played a part in the affair money was the principal motivation behind Anderson's claims, the supposed lost fortune of the tsar estimated at US$80.000.000.

"I believe it was at the beginning of the 1930's a corporation (Grandanor) came into existence," he says, "which sold certificates in proportion to tsarist gold roubles allegedly held by the Bank of England and redeemable if or when Anderson should "inherit" said funds. Naturally these papers were not worth anything, they served only to enrich the initiator".

During Anderson's German court cases the press were always more interested in reporting her side of the story then the opposing benches less glamorous perspective, editors often pulled journalists after reporting testimony delivered by her side and ignored the rebuttal, resulting in the public seldom getting a complete picture.

The case coincided with the release of Twentieth Century Fox's box office hit Anastasia staring Ingrid Bergman, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1956. The grossly inaccurate movie helped legitimize Anderson's claims in the court of public opinion and made the lives of the Von Berenberg-Gossler's difficult, the court case had a large following in German tabloids and many readers who saw the movie thought it was a true story. Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler received nasty letters even death threats, his wife reproached by acquaintances for his part in a perceived injustice. At the height of the court drama, after Von Berenberg-Gossler's victorious judgment before the Higher Regional Court, his worried son asked his mother to buy his father a bullet proof vest for Christmas just in case an irate Anderson fan took a shot at him.

"When the Berlin wall fell in 1989 and the east opened up the contents of certain secret archives were made known to historians all over the world," Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler reports, "proving that Lenin had been extraordinarily interested in dividing the tsarist emigration. This is why Lenin deliberately supported "Miss Unknown" as much as he could, financially and otherwise, after she was pulled from the canal in Berlin in the early 20's. Its been found Lenin had a complete file on the Anastasia case in Moscow. I had already assumed this was the case during the course of the legal procedure I was leading in this matter. I even shared my suppositions with the court; however, I was not in a position to prove them at the time."

"She is the last of her kind," Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler says, "the advent of DNA technology now makes it impossible for unscrupulous persons to make such fraudulent claims, the truth is a simple scientific procedure away. Had it been available earlier the world would never have heard of Franziska Schanzkowska, or the others who claimed to be Romanoff survivors".

In the years which followed the famous case in Hamburg Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler followed Anna Anderson's progress and is amazed she was able to keep up the act all those years, and although he believes she was an impostor cannot help but admire the strength of her nature. Overcoming, as she did, serious illness and numerous obstacles without giving up her adopted persona.

His association with the Anastasia affair continued; in 1991 Princess Margaret of Hesse-Darmstadt asked him to sift through and catalog the family's private papers, which included documents belonging to Anna Anderson's nemesis the Grand Duke Ernst Louis. Forty binders were sifted through with summaries written for important documents found, an archivist and student of history were assigned to assist with the arduous task. It took Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler three years to complete the work, the fruits of which can be found in Robert K. Massie's book; The Romanovs, the Final Chapter. On completion of his difficult task Princess Margaret of Hesse presented him with an ornate gilded egg, which had been presented to her ducal family in 1909 by Empress Alexandra as a baptism gift. Presented in thanks both for cataloging the family papers and in gratitude for successfully opposing Anna Anderson in court, whose claims did so much to tarnish the memory of Grand Duke Ernst.

Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler has been married for 62 years, has six children, 14 grand -children and 10 great grandchildren. He has practiced law for 60 years, specializing in corporate and labor law. Although 88 and retired from Wessing & Berenberg-Gossler, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious law firms with 200 partners and offices as far afield as Hong Kong and Shanghai, he still keeps legally active by delegating cases to attorneys in the company bearing his name.

He is presently working on his eagerly awaited memoirs, which will contain a detailed analysis of his most famous case and will be of immense interest both to historians and those interested in the Anna Anderson saga.
He watched the burial of the Imperial Family in Russia live via satellite and found it a profoundly moving experience, this combined with DNA results closing the book on the Anderson affair is regarded by him as the culmination of his career as an attorney.


source:

Remembering Anna Anderson (Part II)

note: sadly, he passed away before he published his memoirs, but Massie used parts of them in his "Final Chapter" book.
  #846  
Old 07-05-2008, 12:07 PM
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My commentary:

These interviews, from the late 90's, are very interesting and reveal info not usually seen or known about the AA case. I was very excited to find this new information and now want to share it with all of you to offer another perspective. If you wonder why we never knew these things before, the highlighted paragraph in the Berenberg-Gossler interview explains what happened, and it makes perfect sense. Another reason, as I have seen it, is that most of the people who write about AA's case are trying to prove her, not disprove her, therefore such things aren't going to be included, just as a defense attorney isn't going to reveal things that may incriminate their client even if they find them and know they are true.These two factors, the media's desire to advance sensationalize the 'lost princess' storyline because it was more interesting and sold better, combined with the pro Anderson views presented in most writings, have combined to give a slanted view of the story. I am posting these hoping they will help straighten it out, at least a little.
  #847  
Old 07-05-2008, 12:08 PM
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His Highness Michael Romanoff, Prince of Russia.

Michael Romanoff, Prince of Russia, was born in Versailles, France on 15 July 1920, son of HH Prince Andrew of Russia and Elisaveta Fabrizievna, daughter of the Duke of Sasso Ruffo. He is the grandson of the Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duke Alexander, great grandson of Tsar Alexander III and great nephew of Tsar Nicholas II.

An acknowledged heir to the imperial throne of Russia, 3rd in line of succession but not a claimant, he is the only member of the Russian imperial dynasty to live in Australia. Although born in France Prince Michael grew-up in Britain and spent much of his early life living at Frogmore Cottage, in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Which was given to the Grand Duchess Xenia and her immediate family as a residence in exile by King George V, he later moved with his grandmother to Wilderness House in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace where he lived until the war and enlisted in the Royal Navy.

"From the very beginning of the affair it was obvious to my family Anna Anderson was an impostor," recalls Prince Michael, "that there were dubious people and motives behind her claims, but few would listen to our protestations at the time.

We were a very closeknit family in exile and I remember as a youth listening to several conversations between my grandmother (Grand Duchess Xenia), relatives and friends. All were appalled by the claims being made by the hordes of impostors, there were just so many people claiming to be Ekaterinburg survivors. Several members of my family or representatives went to see Anna Anderson during the early days and dismissed her claims, were amazed anyone could seriously believe a woman unable to speak Russian or answer specific questions about the lives of the Imperial Family could be the daughter of Nicholas II.
My family looked upon Anderson and the three ringed circus which danced around her, creating books and movies, as a vulgar insult to the memory of the Imperial Family".

With a host of movies, books and newspaper articles promoting Anna Anderson's claims from the 1920's to the present day the Romanoff family found it increasingly difficult to escape the soap opera, for all the glories of a once magnificent imperial dynasty it was Anderson's claims most people wanted to talk about.

"Over the years friends and acquaintances who had seen the movies or read the books on Anderson would lecture me on why she was genuine," Prince Michael recalls, "few would listen to or accept the otherside of the argument. It was infuriating but after a while I just stopped arguing, what point was it?, how could I compete with the glamorous tales being created by the entertainment industry.

I remember the day I heard DNA tests had proven beyond conjecture Anna Anderson wasn't the Grand Duchess Anastasia, just another in a long and undistinguished like of fakes. Of course it came as no surprise!, it only validated what my family had been saying for 60 years and now people were finally paying attention.

But I suspect Romanoff impostors will always be with us in one form or another, while in St. Petersburg for the funeral of the Imperial Family in 1998 we were approached by a host of people claiming descent from one member or another of the very family we had just laid to rest. The world seems full of people making such claims, it's a burden we don't appreciate but have become accustomed to ignoring".

Prince Michael first came to Australia as an officer in the British Fleet Air Arm during World War II, fell in love with the place and stayed. A retired aviation engineer he has been married three times, has no children and lives quietly with wife Julia in Sydney's exclusive Double Bay where he granted this interview.
  #848  
Old 07-05-2008, 12:27 PM
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And when did his Highness Prince Michael Romanoff meet AA in order to make his decision? Seems like a lot of hearsay to me.
And Beerenberg-Gossler seems unable to prove anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna was Franziska View Post
During Anderson's German court cases the press were always more interested in reporting her side of the story then the opposing benches less glamorous perspective, editors often pulled journalists after reporting testimony delivered by her side and ignored the rebuttal, resulting in the public seldom getting a complete picture.
And could we please have the names of these editors and the papers they worked for?
  #849  
Old 07-05-2008, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Anna was Franziska View Post
,
"From the very start of my involvement in the case it was clear to me Anna Anderson was Franziska Schanzkowska," says Dr. Von Berenberg-Gossler in his Hamburg home, "her true identity was never in question to me, there was abundant evidence, including blood tests and testimony from her sister Gertrude Schanzkowska.
What testimony? Gertrude never signed an affidavit to the effect that AA was related to her.

Quote:
My impression of her at the time, judging by her mannerisms, usage of language, etc, was she resembled a house maid, but not at all of royal blood, she had an unattractive peasant like face and reminded me of a charwoman (menial cleaning lady).


"According to the impression which her nature and her remarks made upon me, I maintain that it is quite impossible that this woman has emerged from the lower orders. Her whole character was so distinctive, and, in spite of the narrow scope of her intellect, which, indeed, can only be accounted for by the enormous lacunæ in her memory, is so thoroughly cultivated that, even if nothing at all in known of her origin, she must be regarded as the offspring of an old, well-cultured, and, in my opinion, exteremely decadent family."
(signed) Dr. Saathof

"Whoever she is, she is a lady of high society"
Nina Chavchavadze

"Her high personal qualities, her noble nature, her pronounced thruthfulness in small as well as in large matters, the distinguished detachment of her personality - all these features, which she displayed to everyone right from the outset, force one to the conclusion that Mrs. Chaikovski from her earliest childhood had been brought up in the highest circles."
(Signed) Theodor Eitel, M.D.

"Her movements and bearing were those of a lady of the highest social rank in Russia. That was the impression which she created at the first glance."
Harriet von Rathlef Keilmann

"Never, even in her feverish fantasies, did she break any of the unwritten rules of our class"
Duke George of Leuchtenberg

"After living in the same house with her for months, I have reached the firm conviction that she must at least come from one of the very highest Russian families, and that it is quite probable she is of royal birth. For all her words and movements show such a regal attitude and sensitiveness that they could never have been picked up in later life.
(Signed) Inspector Grünberg

Seems to me that Berengberg-Gossler's credibility is slipping a bit....
  #850  
Old 07-05-2008, 02:23 PM
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Interesting that Chat and others of his 'ilk' (as they like to call me and my 'ilk') will say with certainty that this was hers while calling the hair and intestine 'putative.'
If my memory serves me right, the word "putative" came from Dr. Gill, not from me and my ilk.
  #851  
Old 07-05-2008, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ChatNoir View Post
And when did his Highness Prince Michael Romanoff meet AA in order to make his decision? Seems like a lot of hearsay to me.
It's reasonable to accept that Prince Michael would have a better inside knowledge of Romanov family attitudes to Anna Anderson than most people, but if you prefer to dismiss out of hand what he has to say that's your choice.
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  #852  
Old 07-05-2008, 03:21 PM
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It's reasonable to accept that Prince Michael would have a better inside knowledge of Romanov family attitudes to Anna Anderson than most people, but if you prefer to dismiss out of hand what he has to say that's your choice.
See my post about Alexander Nikititch Romanov, also a grandchild of Alexander and Xenia who actually MET AA.
  #853  
Old 07-05-2008, 03:42 PM
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Chat, I never expected you to approve of or accept anything said against AA, especially not by an opposing lawyer. I posted it for informational purposes for other members who might be interested and consider his remarks on a case he worked on for 12 years.

It's also reasonable to presume that, having been that heavily involved for that long, and as a lawyer having access to all sorts of records and other materials, he knew things we don't, and saw things we haven't. I hope one day his memoirs will be published so we can find out more. Until then it's not fair to disregard his statements. I accept them, you do not. I do not accept comments made by a lot of her supporters, and you do. In the end, it's all just a bunch of stuff people said, except the DNA.

for another perspective on AA 'regality', here's what Felix Yussoupov said of his meeting with her:(and he knew the real AN)

"I claim categorically that she is not Anastasia Nicolaievna, but just an adventuress, a hysteric and a frightful playactress...a wretched creature who could not possibly be the daughter of the Tsar... I simply cannot understand how anyone can be in doubt of this. These pretenders ought to be gathered up and sent to live in a house somewhere."
  #854  
Old 07-05-2008, 03:44 PM
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not from me and my ilk.
I've been called 'ilk' or 'you and your ilk' by a lot of AA supporters over a lot of toics, not just this.
  #855  
Old 07-05-2008, 04:58 PM
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I've been called 'ilk' or 'you and your ilk' by a lot of AA supporters over a lot of toics, not just this.
Somehow, I don't see how that pertains to the discussion.
  #856  
Old 07-05-2008, 04:59 PM
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And we are, of course, talking about the same Felix who was willing to accept her as AN against a part of the alleged fortune?
  #857  
Old 07-05-2008, 05:43 PM
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And we are, of course, talking about the same Felix who was willing to accept her as AN against a part of the alleged fortune?
That is only a rumor, but even if it were true it still doesn't mean he believed in AA, only that he wanted money (which also casts doubt on other 'testimonies' of those who 'accepted' her?) There was a lot of money allegedly at stake, and if it all panned out, she could well set up those who helped her get there. I am NOT alleging this or naming names, only suggesting the possibility- after all AA supporters so often use 'paid off' and 'greedy' as an excuse for why those who denied her to 'turn their backs', when in reality, the lure of easy money may well have been on the other side (at least in some cases)
  #858  
Old 07-05-2008, 05:45 PM
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Just pointing out it had nothing to do with Dr. Gill.
  #859  
Old 07-05-2008, 05:49 PM
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Just pointing out it had nothing to do with Dr. Gill.
???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  #860  
Old 07-05-2008, 05:55 PM
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The only supporters in her will, were the Botkins. And Gleb Botkin immediately made arrangements for any money coming his way to go to the American Red Cross. As usual, your speculations are just that. Speculations.
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