The Rest of the Story

        In 1993, Gleb Botkin's daughter and her husband, as well as Marina and Dick Schweitzer, located tissue samples taken from Anna Anderson during an operation in 1979; since Anderson had been cremated, the tissue sample was an important find that allowed for the possibility of testing her DNA relatedness to the Romanov skeletons.

        In 1994, DNA was extracted from the possible Romanov skeletons and then compared with the DNA of known relatives of the missing royal family, which once and for all confirmed the identities of the skeletons as those of Czar Nicholas and most of his family. Shortly after the Romanov skeletons were confirmed, Gleb Botkin's daughter and her husband, Marina and Dick Schweitzer, hired Dr. Peter Gill and his associates -- the same team that tested the skeletons' DNA -- to run comparison tests of the Romanov family's DNA with three tissue samples known to have come from Anna Anderson. At the same time, Anna Anderson's DNA was further checked against the DNA of Carl Maucher, a great nephew of the missing Polish woman Franzisca Schanzkowska, to double-check the long standing theory that Anderson could be the missing Polish woman.

        The results came back months later, in 1995. The DNA testing proved conclusively that Anna Anderson was not related to Romanov royal family in any way... therefore, she was not Anastasia. It was further found that both Anderson and Maucher shared a rare genetic trait, and that when all corresponding matches in their DNA were considered, that there was only a one in three-hundred chance that the two people were not related. Due to the nature of the DNA, in fact, the researchers could show that Maucher was likely a maternal relative of Anderson, which would certainly be true if Anderson was the missing Schanzkowska... thus, after her death, Anna Anderson's true identity was announced to likely be that of Schanzkowska by the genetic researchers.

        The Schweitzers, who had requested the testing, simply did not believe the results that were reported to them, and other supporters of Anderson's claim reacted the same way; clearly, they had only requested the testing because they truly believed the results would be in their favor.

        But true believers of Anderson's claim to be Anastasia are no longer put off by this physical evidence, and have continued to put forward circumstantial evidence to prove Anderson could not have been Schanzkowska. Unable to directly dispute the DNA evidence that Anderson and Anastasia are not related, supporters instead have attempted to bring the tissue, hair, and blood samples that the genetic researchers attributed to Anderson under question by disproving her identity as Schanzkowska, and thus attempting to add doubt to all the DNA results. Still others have simply claimed that there must be in existence an international conspiracy to specifically bury the "fact" that Anderson was Anastasia. These efforts, however, either reflect a lack of knowledge of the actual DNA study and the published results, or a knowing attempt to take adavntage of the general public's lack of this knowledge. And, as each year passes and the publication of the DNA results fades into the past, the claim is once again being pressed forward on web sites devoted to denouncing the evidence... so Anderson's claim has now become a matter of faith, not science.

        This is, perhaps, appropriate; for, despite any evidence for or against Anderson's claim, there was one aspect of it that all had to agree on, and that was instrumental to the claim's extended existence despite controversy. No matter who she really was, there can be no doubt that Anna Anderson herself absolutely believed that she was Anastasia Romanov; which, if Anderson had originally been a suicidal Polish housewife, may have been a far more romantic fate than any memories of her actual past.

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