Eleonora Kruger

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Eleonora Albertova Krüger (Nora) (Bulgarian: Елеонора Албертова Крюгер; Russian: Элеонора Альбертовна Крюгер; 1901-20 July 1954) was a Bulgarian woman who lived in the village of Gabarevo, Bulgaria. According to Blagoy Emanuilov, retired Bulgarian senior magistrate, have speculated that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.


Krüger arrived in the village of Gabarevo in the summer of 1922, and was welcomed by a small group of Russian immigrants who had already settled there. They registered at the city hall as Doctor Peter Alexandrovich Alexiev, Matvei Pavlovich Kolishev, Sergei Maximovich Kuzmich, and Iakov Simeonovich Latvinov. Eleonora Kruger was welcomed by Dr. Peter Alexiev in his house. According to his information that he provided when he first came to Gabarevo Dr. Alexiev was born on 15 January 1884 in Smolensk, Russia. When Eleonora first came to the village she was registered as a Russian; she subsequently changed her nationality to Polish. She would tell the people that she was the daughter of a Russian nobleman and Polish countess; however, she would never reveal their names.

The other Russians were employed by Dr. Alexiev and Eleonora Kruger, and cooked and cleaned their house. They were soon joined by a young Russian named George Pavlovich Zhudin, who ended up living in the same house as Dr. Alexiev and Eleonora. George was described as a tall and slim man with a pale face, and it was told that George was sick with tuberculosis - the symptoms for tuberculosis and hemophilia can be similar (Anastasia's younger brother, Alexei, suffered from hemophilia). It was widely speculated that Nora and George were sister and brother, although they themselves never confirmed this.

George died on 27 December 1930, and was buried in the village of Gabarevo. Nora would often visit his grave and is said to have planted two trees there. After her death, she was buried on his right side, a tradition for Russian people related by blood. Additionally, when their graves were excavated in the 1990s, a ladanka was found in George's grave — a small icon of Christ customarily left inside the graves of high-profile Russian aristocrats.

The living arrangements between Dr. Alexiev and Nora made the people of Gabarevo uneasy. Rumors began to spread; eventually this would force Dr. Alexiev and Nora to marry. The marriage took place on 26 September 1924 – at the time of the marriage he was 40 and she was 25.

Nora loved and had many dogs; one of her dogs was named "Maron", which is a very unusual name for Bulgaria. The name is also an anagram for "Roman", short for Romanov. More simply, the meaning of "marron" in French is "brown", which is not unusual for the dog of a French teacher. The names of her other dogs were Rex, Tangra, Beba, Jimmy and Johnny.

Nora Krueger was a teacher of French, English and Latin, and also did the props for the amateur local theater productions. To many of her students she would hint at various things: that she had lived in a royal palace, bathed in a golden tub, maids dressed her, brushed her hair and cut her nails. She made a painting of flowers, presented by her to Stefanka Nestorova, which was interpreted by people obsessed with her mystery: The poppy would represent Maria, the oats, Olga, the gentian, Tatyana, the scilla ("vasilyok") would represent the Tsarevich, and finally chamomile ("romashka") would represent the Romanovs.

Neither Eleonora nor Georgi ever actually claimed to be Russian royalty. However, they both seemed to have an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia and Alexei.

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