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The First Selfie: The Autobiography of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia
by Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
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Picture the scene: The White Army, loyal to the Tsar of Russia, is moving in on Ekaterinburg, where the Tsar and his family are being held under house arrest. The central Bolshevik Government in St. Petersburg does not know whether to execute the Imperial Family or to hold a show trial. It is trying very hard to pull a massive, tumultuous country together while most of it is being controlled in reality by fiercely independent regional Soviets. The Ekaterinburg Soviet discusses with the central Bolshevik Government what to do, but there is very little time because the White Army is poised to take Ekaterinburg. They decide to execute the Imperial Family but it all has to happen in extreme haste, so the chief executioner, Yakov Yurovsky, decides to shoot them by firing squad in the basement of the Ipatiev House in the very early morning of July 17, 1918. Seven members of the Imperial Family are to be shot – the Tsar and Tsarina, their four daughters and their son, the Tsarevich. Four retainers will also be killed alongside them. They are taken down into a basement and the firing squad lets rip. Immediately this small room is blanketed in smoke, blinding the firing squad with acrid gunpowder fumes. Bullets are ricocheting around. The victims who are still left standing are bayoneted against the back wall. The ones on the floor are assumed to be dead. All the bodies are carried out and laid in a cart for burial. But not all the bodies are dead – at least one is still alive, but unconscious, and is thrown out of the cart to make space for a soldier detailed to bury the bodies. The body was that of Grand Duchess Anastasia, fourth daughter of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. This story seems far-fetched, except that it is known for a fact that afterward soldiers frantically searched nearby houses, and that Yakov Yurovsky, by his own admission, had two bodies missing. He claimed to have cremated them, but that was physically impossible under the circumstances. For decades, Grand Duchess Anastasia watched as a total impostor – Anna Anderson – claimed to be her. She feared to announce her existence because Joseph Stalin was still in power in Russia, but by the early 1960s the political climate in Russia had changed and she could finally announce who she really was, passing a whole series of polygraph tests to prove it. Whatever else can be said about her account, her knowledge of every aspect of Russian imperial life is encyclopedic. It would be more astonishing if this story had been written by an impostor than by the woman she claimed to be. Nobody could have known so much about the Russian Imperial Family at the time the account was written – most of this information was not known publicly until the 1990s. She did indeed survive that early morning bloodbath in Ekaterinburg, and she survived to tell the tale.


Details:
rank:
price: $3.89
bound: 450 pages
publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 26, 2017)
lang: English
asin:
isbn: 1546734945, 978-1546734949,
weight: 1.4 pounds (
filesize:



The First Selfie: The Autobiography of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
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