I was wondering, would you happen to know how tall the girls were?
Olga - 5’5”
Tatiana - 5’8”
Maria - 5’7”
Anastasia - 5’2”
And yet they still can’t seem to tell Maria and Anastasia’s skeletons apart…..admittedly their heights may have been a little different in the end due to growth spurts (I’ve read books claiming Maria was the tallest in the end and I kind of agree with that), but still- I find it hard to believe they can’t differentiate arguably the tallest sister from the shortest sister.
I don’t really buy the growth spurt theory. Baroness Buxhoeveden saw the girls on the way from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg and nowhere in her memoirs does she remark that Anastasia had grown any taller. The Baroness had known the girls basically their entire lives so I would think that she would have noticed. She mentions other things like Olga being thin and depressed, so why would she not mention a notable difference in height? The idea that Anastasia could have grown 5 inches in a month and a half is absolutely absurd. Furthermore, most girls stop growing about 3 years after the onset of menstruation. Assuming that “M. Becker” began visiting around age 12, the girls should have been done growing around 15.
As for not being able to tell definitively which skeleton belongs to which girl, the remains discovered in 2007 (Anastasia and Alexei) were badly fragmented. The scientists used the girls’ long bones to determine height and there may not have been a complete one in the second grave. However, based on the heights of the three girls in the mass grave, I think that the evidence pretty definitively points to Anastasia being the absent Grand Duchess. All three young females in the mass grave were far too tall.
I am absolutely not a scientist, but that is my assessment based on the evidence available.
The Ipatiev House after the murder of the Imperial family: 1919. In the last photo, the steeple of the church that gave the Imperial family comfort during their first weeks in Ekaterinburg can be seen.
Items belonging to the Imperial family found at Ekaterinburg: 1919.
The courtyard at the Ipatiev House that the Imperial family passed through to the cellar. The gallery was added in the 1930s.
An ikon of the Mother of God belonging to Empress Alexandra, found at Ekaterinburg in 1919.
Items belonging to the Imperial family later found by the White Army at the Ipatiev House: 1918/1919.
96 years ago Emperor Nicholas II, his family and their four servants were brutally murdered in the cellar of the Ipatiev House.
Through their suffering in exile, the Imperial family maintained their love of one another and their faith in God.
Today they are revered as Passion Bearers in the Russian Orthodox Church. The Emperor, Empress, three of their daughters and their four servants rest together in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg. The remains of the two youngest children have yet to receive a state burial.
Rest in peace.
"The Grand Duchesses were fast leaving childhood behind them and blossoming into charming girls; they did not greatly resemble one another, each was a type apart, but all were equally lovely in disposition. I cannot believe that any men so inhuman existed as those who, it is said, shot and stabbed those defenseless creatures in the house of death at Ekaterinburg. Apart from their beauty, their sweetness should have pleaded for them, but, if it is true that they have ‘passed,’ then surely no better epitaph could be theirs than the immortal words, "Lovely and pleasant were they in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."
Lili Dehn, “The Real Tsaritsa”
The last letter from Grand Duchess Tatiana to Valentina Ivanova Chebotareva: May 1/14, 1918-
"How did you spend the [Easter] holidays? They were sad for us, since we were without Father and Mother. You have probably already heard that they were taken away from us. It was so sad to separate ourselves from them. You are sure to understand. Maria went with them and we stayed with my brother, who is sick. Of course we were not told where to and for what purpose they were being taken- neither did they know anything. Almost a week after their departure we learned that they had arrived in Ekaterinburg. We receive letters from them. It is such a joy for us- Mother’s heart is hurting very much as a consequence of the awful road to Tyumen- they had to travel over 200 versts [140 miles] by horses along a horrible road. They spent nights in villages. Now they live in three rooms. Before their windows is a huge fence, so one sees only the top of a church. We are now expecting to leave shortly, as soon as brother fully recovers…"
In honor of the beginning of Lent, here are the ikons of the Grand Duchesses at the Church on the Blood in Honor of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land on the site of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.