She was murdered with her family by a group of Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg on July 17, Persistent rumors of her possible escape circulated after her death, fueled by the fact that the location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule.
The abandoned mine serving as a mass grave near Yekaterinburg which held the acidified remains of the Tsar, his wife, and three of their daughters was revealed in These remains were put to rest at Peter and Paul Fortress in The bodies of Alexei Nikolaevich and the remaining daughter—either Anastasia or her older sister Maria—were discovered in Her possible survival has been conclusively disproved.
Scientific analysis including DNA testing confirmed that the remains are those of the imperial family , showing that all four grand duchesses were killed in Several women falsely claimed to have been Anastasia; the best known impostor is Anna Anderson. Anderson's body was cremated upon her death in , but DNA testing in on available pieces of Anderson's tissue and hair showed no relation to the Romanov family. When Anastasia was born, her parents and extended family were disappointed that she was a girl.
They had hoped for a son who would have become heir apparent to the throne. Tsar Nicholas II went for a long walk to compose himself before going to visit Tsarina Alexandra and the newborn Anastasia for the first time. Anastasia , known as "the breaker of chains"  because, in honor of her birth, her father pardoned and reinstated students who had been imprisoned for participating in riots in St.
Petersburg and Moscow the previous winter. Anastasia's title is most precisely translated as "Grand Princess". The Tsar's children were raised as simply as possible. They slept on hard camp cots without pillows, except when they were ill, took cold baths in the morning, and were expected to tidy their rooms and do needlework to be sold at various charity events when they were not otherwise occupied.
Most in the household, including the servants, generally called the Grand Duchess by her first name and patronym , "Anastasia Nikolaevna", and did not use her title or style. She was occasionally called by the French version of her name, "Anastasie", or by the Russian nicknames "Nastya", "Nastas", or "Nastenka".
Other family nicknames for Anastasia were "Malenkaya", meaning "little one " in Russian,  or "Schwipsig", meaning "merry little one"  or "little mischief"  in German. Young Anastasia was a vivacious and energetic child, described as short and inclined to be chubby, with blue eyes  and strawberry-blonde hair.
While often described as gifted and bright, she was never interested in the restrictions of the school room, according to her tutors Pierre Gilliard and Sydney Gibbes. Gibbes, Gilliard, and ladies-in-waiting Lili Dehn and Anna Vyrubova described Anastasia as lively, mischievous, and a gifted actress. Her sharp, witty remarks sometimes hit sensitive spots. Anastasia's daring occasionally exceeded the limits of acceptable behavior.
As a child, she would climb trees and refuse to come down. Once, during a snowball fight at the family's Polish estate, Anastasia rolled a rock into a snowball and threw it at her older sister Tatiana, knocking her to the ground. Hallie Erminie Rives , a best-selling American author and wife of an American diplomat, described how year-old Anastasia ate chocolates without bothering to remove her long, white opera gloves at the St. Petersburg opera house. Anastasia and her older sister Maria were known within the family as "The Little Pair".
The two girls shared a room, often wore variations of the same dress, and spent much of their time together. The four girls sometimes signed letters using the nickname OTMA , which derived from the first letters of their first names.
Despite her energy, Anastasia's physical health was sometimes poor. The Grand Duchess suffered from painful bunions , which affected both of her big toes. She hid under the bed or in a cupboard to put off the massage. The doctor performing the operation was so unnerved that he had to be ordered to continue by Maria's mother.
Olga Alexandrovna said she believed all four of her nieces bled more than was normal and believed they were carriers of the hemophilia gene, like their mother. Symptomatic carriers of the gene, while not hemophiliacs themselves, can have symptoms of hemophilia including a lower than normal blood-clotting factor that can lead to heavy bleeding. His mother and one sister, identified alternatively as Maria or Anastasia, were carriers. Therefore, had Anastasia lived to have children of her own, they might have been afflicted by the disease as well.
Her mother relied on the counsel of Grigori Rasputin , a Russian peasant and wandering starets or "holy man," and credited his prayers with saving the ailing Tsarevich on numerous occasions.
Anastasia and her siblings were taught to view Rasputin as "Our Friend" and to share confidences with him. Anastasia, her sisters and brother Alexei were all wearing their long white nightgowns. In February , Rasputin sent the imperial children a telegram, advising them to "Love the whole of God's nature, the whole of His creation in particular this earth. The Mother of God was always occupied with flowers and needlework. However, one of the girls' governesses, Sofia Ivanovna Tyutcheva, was horrified in that Rasputin was permitted access to the nursery when the four girls were in their nightgowns and wanted him barred.
Nicholas asked Rasputin to avoid going to the nurseries in the future. The children were aware of the tension and feared that their mother would be angered by Tyutcheva's actions. Tyutcheva was eventually fired. She took her story to other members of the family.
Tyutcheva told Nicholas's sister, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia , that Rasputin visited the girls, talked with them while they were getting ready for bed, and hugged and patted them. Tyutcheva said the children had been taught not to discuss Rasputin with her and were careful to hide his visits from the nursery staff. Xenia wrote on March 15, , that she couldn't understand " In the spring of , Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, a royal governess, claimed that Rasputin had raped her.
Vishnyakova said the empress refused to believe her account of the assault, and insisted that "everything Rasputin does is holy. However, rumors persisted and it was later whispered in society that Rasputin had seduced not only the Tsarina but also the four grand duchesses. You appeared to me today in a dream. I am always asking Mama when you will come I think of you always, my dear, because you are so good to me This was followed by circulation of pornographic cartoons , which depicted Rasputin having relations with the Empress, her four daughters and Anna Vyrubova.
Petersburg for a time, much to Alexandra's displeasure, and Rasputin went on a pilgrimage to Palestine. In his memoirs, A.
Mordvinov reported that the four grand duchesses appeared "cold and visibly terribly upset" by Rasputin's death, and sat "huddled up closely together" on a sofa in one of their bedrooms on the night they received the news. Mordvinov recalled that the young women were in a gloomy mood and seemed to sense the political upheaval that was about to be unleashed. She attended his funeral on December 21, , and her family planned to build a church over the site of Rasputin's grave. During World War I, Anastasia, along with her sister Maria, visited wounded soldiers at a private hospital in the grounds at Tsarskoye Selo.
The two teenagers, too young to become Red Cross nurses like their mother and elder sisters, played games of checkers and billiards with the soldiers and tried to lift their spirits. Felix Dassel, who was treated at the hospital and knew Anastasia, recalled that the grand duchess had a "laugh like a squirrel", and walked rapidly "as though she tripped along. The stress and uncertainty of captivity took their toll on Anastasia as well as her family. Ther e was a man who loved her without having seen her but k new her very well.
And she he a rd of him also. He never could tell her that he loved her, and now she was dead. But still he thought that when he and she will live [their] next life whenever it will be that At Tobolsk, she and her sisters sewed jewels into their clothing in hopes of hiding them from their captors, since Alexandra had written to warn them that she, Nicholas and Maria had been searched upon arriving in Yekaterinburg, and had items confiscated.
Their mother used predetermined code words "medicines" and "Sednev's belongings" for the jewels. Letters from Demidova to Tegleva gave the instructions. I tried to get out, but was roughly pushed back into the carriage by the sentry. I came back to the window. Tatiana Nikolayevna came last carrying her little dog and struggling to drag a heavy brown valise.
It was raining and I saw her feet sink into the mud at every step. Nagorny tried to come to her assistance; he was roughly pushed back by one of the commisars Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden told of her sad last glimpse of Anastasia:. According to the blouse the hand must have belonged either to the Grand Duchess Marie or Anastasia. They could not see me through their windows, and this was to be the last glimpse that I was to have of any of them!
However, even in the last months of her life, she found ways to enjoy herself. She and other members of the household performed plays for the enjoyment of their parents and others in the spring of Anastasia's performance made everyone howl with laughter, according to her tutor Sydney Gibbes. In a May 7, , letter from Tobolsk to her sister Maria in Yekaterinburg, Anastasia described a moment of joy despite her sadness and loneliness and worry for the sick Alexei:. I told the sisters about it so many times yesterday that they got quite fed up, but I could go on telling it masses of times What weather we've had!
One could simply shout with joy. In his memoirs, one of the guards at the Ipatiev House, Alexander Strekotin, remembered Anastasia as "very friendly and full of fun", while another guard said Anastasia was "a very charming devil! She was mischievous and, I think, rarely tired. She was lively, and was fond of performing comic mimes with the dogs, as though they were performing in a circus. In the summer, the privations of the captivity, including their closer confinement at the Ipatiev House negatively affected the family.
According to some accounts, at one point Anastasia became so upset about the locked, painted windows that she opened one to look outside and get fresh air. A sentry reportedly saw her and fired, narrowly missing her. She did not try again. They reported that Anastasia and her family, contrary to custom, fell on their knees during the prayer for the dead, and that the girls had become despondent and hopeless, and no longer sang the replies in the service.