Anna Anderson-Manahan

Anna Anderson-Manahan

Original Name Franziska Schanzkowska
Death 12 Feb 1984 (aged 87)
Charlottesville, Charlottesville City, Virginia, USA
Burial Seeon-Seebruck, Landkreis Traunstein, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Memorial ID 8468 · View Source
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Folk figure. Fished from the Landwehr Canal in Berlin in 1920, refusing to speak, she was sent to a mental hospital as Fraulein Unbekannt (Miss Unknown). Several patients at the asylum noted her resemblance to the Grand Duchess Tatiana, daughter of the murdered last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. She later claimed to be not Tatiana, but the Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter. She claimed to have been rescued from the murder scene, gravely wounded, by a soldier named Alexander Tschaikovsky, whom she eventually married and lived with in Bucharest until his death, at which time she made her way to Berlin where, exhausted and shaken, she attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge. Calling herself Anna Anderson, she was visited and interviewed by many people who were intimate with the imperial family and by members of the Romanov family. Some immediately denounced her, others swore she was Anasatasia. Many of her detractors claimed she was in fact Franzizka Schanskowska, a Polish factory worker who had disappeared from Berlin around the time Fraulein Unbekannt was pulled from the canal. Anderson bore a striking resemblance to photos of Anastasia, and shared physical features, scars, and deformities. She also had intimate memories of the imperial family that family members verified. She began a suit in a German court in 1938 to prove her identity. The case dragged on until 1970, when the court decided that she had not proven herself to be Anastasia, but neither could it be proven she was not. In 1969, around age 70, she married an American genealogist and professor, John Manahan, 21 years her junior. She settled with him in Charlottesville, VA where she died. When the remains of the imperial family were discovered and examined, it was determined that there are two bodies missing - the young Tsarevitch and one daughter. In 1991 mitochondrial DNA tests were conducted using tissue and hair samples from Anderson, the remains of the imperial family, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh (a relative of the Tsarina), and a male relative of Franzizka Schanskowska. Anderson's DNA was not a match for the Romanovs or the Duke, but was a match for Schanskowska. For many, this closed the case. But there are also many who question the validity of the tests and continue to believe she was Anastasia. Her memorial plaque at Castle Seeon, where her ashes were scattered, reads "Anastasia Manahan 1901-1984."

Bio by: Kristen Conrad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 11 Feb 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8468
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Anna Anderson-Manahan (16 Dec 1896–12 Feb 1984), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8468, citing Seeon Abbey, Seeon-Seebruck, Landkreis Traunstein, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered.