Anna Demidova

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For the professional dancer, see Anna Demidova (dancer).
Anna Stepanovna Demidova
Anna Demidova.jpg
Anna Demidova
Born 1878
Russian Empire
Died July 17, 1918(1918-07-17)
(age 40)
Ekaterinburg, Russian SFSR
Occupation Chambermaid
Parents Stepan Demidov, father.

Anna Stepanovna Demidova (1878 - July 17, 1918) was a maid in the service of Tsarina Alexandra of Russia, who was murdered alongside her employer in 1918.

She shared the Romanov family's exile at Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and was murdered with them on July 17, 1918. Like them, she was canonized as a martyr by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1991 as a victim of Soviet oppression.

Life[edit]

Demidova, whose nickname was "Nyuta," was described as a "tall, statuesque blonde."[1] She was the daughter of Stepan Demidov, a well-off merchant from Cherepovets. Demidova graduated from the Yaroslavl Institute for Maids with a teaching certificate.[2]

She was a good friend of Elizaveta Ersberg, a parlormaid at the court, and was once engaged to Ersberg's brother Nikolai. About 1905 Ersberg secured her friend a position at the court as a parlormaid.[3] In his memoirs, the Romanov children's English tutor, Charles Sydney Gibbes described Demidova as "of a singularly timid and shrinking disposition."[1]

Exile and death[edit]

A forensic facial reconstruction of Anna Demidova by S.A. Nikitin, 1994.

Demidova accompanied Tsarina Alexandra, Tsar Nicholas II, and Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia when they were transferred to Ekaterinburg from Tobolsk in April 1918. The remaining Romanov children and other members of the group stayed behind in Tobolsk for a month because the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia was ill. As the group left, Demidova told Gibbes, "I am so frightened of the Bolsheviks, Mr. Gibbes. I don't know what they will do to us."[4]

On the night of the murder, the family was awakened and told to dress. Demidova carried two pillows into which gems had been sewn. After the first volley of fire by the killers, Demidova, who had fainted after being wounded, revived and, finding herself still alive, exclaimed "Thank God! God has saved me!" Hearing her, the assassins turned on her. Screaming and crying, she attempted to defend herself, but was eventually stabbed to death with bayonets.[5]

Funeral[edit]

Demidova's great-niece, Natalie Demidova, attended the funeral held on July 17, 1998 in Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg for Demidova, the Romanov family, and other victims killed by the Bolsheviks eighty years earlier.[6]

In literature and drama[edit]

Anna Demidova features as a character in the play, Ekaterinburg about the time in captivity of the Romanovs and their retainers inside the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b King, Greg, and Wilson, Penny, The Fate of the Romanovs, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003, ISBN 0-471-20768-3, pp. 63-64
  2. ^ ""Anna Stepanovna Demidova," a thread at Alexanderpalace.org". alexanderpalace.org. Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  3. ^ Radzinsky, Edvard. The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II, p.116, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011, ISBN 9780307754622
  4. ^ King and Wilson, p. 87
  5. ^ King and Wilson, p. 311
  6. ^ "17 July 1998: The funeral of Tsar Nicholas II". romanovfundforrussia.org. 1998. Archived from the original on December 29, 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2007. 
  7. ^ Logan, D., Ekaterinburg: A Play (2013) ISBN 978-0-9873296-9-1

See also[edit]