So how exactly did Tsar Nicholas II and his family escape Ekaterinburg in 1918? Recall from yesterday’s blog entry how reporter Carl William Ackerman cast doubt on the supposed “mass execution” of July 16-17, 1918.
Lt. Colonel Michal Goleniewski of Poland was a top-ranking member of the “Heckenschuetze” network – one of the most important allies ever gained and lost by the United States and composed of many anti-Communist Russians. Goleniewski defected to the United States in 1961. Besides his rock-solid intelligence on the Soviets, he also revealed something astonishing: Goleniewski claimed to be the surviving Tsarevich Alexei Romanov! (Background: Secret Circle of Tsar Paul I, Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of August 15, 2014.)
Years after he had defected, Goleniewski told one of the alleged surviving Anastasia Romanovs, “I came with a lot of goodwill and I was received like a dog.”  Both Goleniewski (Alexei Romanov) and Eugenia Smith (Anastasia Romanov?) were apparently doing quite well, decades after the supposed “mass execution.”
Whether or not Goleniewski believed Eugenia Smith was his long-lost sister, she at least believed Michal Goleniewski was Alexei Romanov. 
Goleniewski’s version of what really happened on July 16-17, 1918 begins in April 1891, in Otsu, Japan. There, the 22-year-old Nicholas, not yet the Tsar, was the victim of an attempted assassination by one Tsuda Sanzō, a Japanese policeman. Tsuda Sanzō swung at the Tsesarevich’s face with a saber. Nicholas survived the attack, but thereafter carried a scar on his face.  Japan’s Emperor Mutsuhito considered the attack to have been a blot upon the national honor of Japan, because Tsuda Sanzō had been assigned as a guard for Nicholas. 
In 1918, the son of Emperor Mutsuhito, Emperor Yoshihito, saw a chance to remove the stain from Japan’s honor by helping Tsar Nicholas and his family escape imprisonment in Ekaterinburg. Recall from Mission to Siberia, the Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of August 20, 2014, how in 1918 Japan was part of an allied force, known as the Siberian Intervention, fighting the Bolsheviki east of the Ural Mountains. According to Goleniewski, the Emperor Yoshihito sent two secret agents to Ekaterinburg. These two agents made a deal with Commissar Yankel Yurovsky, in charge of guarding the prisoners. Bribe money may have been offered. Yurovsky contacted Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. A deal was made: a staged assassination would occur with all parties agreeing to remain silent about what really happened. 
So each side got what it wanted: the Bolsheviki could claim the Tsar was dead and there was no way to return to the previous government; the Romanovs would stay alive and be released from the Ipatiev house, their temporary prison.
On July 16-17, 1918, the Romanovs escaped in various disguises. The Tsarevich Alexei (Michal Goleniewski) was given a sleeping potion and smuggled out in a trunk. The sleeping Tsarevich was accompanied by the Tsar, Tsarina, and their daughter Maria, also disguised. The other three daughters, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia, left separately that same night. 
The escaped Romanovs were eventually reunited in Warsaw, Poland. A plan of concealment was arranged by Marshal Joseph Pilsudski, “founder of modern Poland.” At first, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia lived in Warsaw apart from the Tsar, Tsarina, Tsarevich and Maria. In 1922, Anastasia “left for the United States where she arrived under the name of Anastasia Turynska.” The Tsarina Alexandra died in 1924, in Poland. Tsar Nicholas II died in 1952, also in Poland. 
Here I must be honest and mention an apparent flaw in this story. Michal Goleniewski may have at first believed Eugenia Smith was his long-lost sister Anastasia. Or maybe he was just checking her out. The two did meet with each other a few times, but then became estranged.  As for Eugenia Smith/Anastasia, her version of what happened in Ekaterinburg on July 16-17, 1918 is vastly different from Goleniewski’s version.
On October 18, 1963, Life magazine printed a story, “The Case of a new Anastasia.” Here is the Eugenia Smith/Anastasia version of her escape from the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg:
July 16, 1918, afternoon. Guards asked Romanov family to write letters to friends and relatives saying they are in Sweden and happy.
10:30 pm: Guards outside the house given vodka, all they can drink.
11:30 pm: Yurovsky, commander of the guard, visits Tsar Nicholas II in his room. The Tsar tells the rest of his family to hurry and get ready to leave. A man with a lantern led the Romanovs out through the courtyard of the Ipatiev house, the place of the Romanov imprisonment. The family entered the execution chamber. The Tsar’s face was “ashen” and “an old scar on his forehead was red like fire.” Eugenia Smith recalled hearing screams. She became “only partly conscious.” Her lips were “freezing cold.” There was a “violent ringing” in her ears. She later came to and found herself on a cot “in a tiny cellar room underneath a peasant cottage.” An unknown woman tended to her wounds. After Smith had healed somewhat, she was taken by wagon to another village where she was handed over to “Alexander”, a former Russian officer.
This Alexander later explained what had happened: He had hidden in the back of a truck outside the Ipatiev house. “Imagine the shock when I felt warm, twitching bodies thrown next to me.” Fearful, Alexander stayed hidden. After the truck began to move, Alexander heard a moan coming from the bodies. He took a chance and tossed two of the bodies into some roadside bushes. Then he himself jumped from the truck and hid. After the trailing drunken guards, riding horseback, had passed by, Alexander checked on the two bodies. One was seemingly dead, but the other was alive. He wrapped the live one in his coat (in July?) and carried it to the first house he could find: the abovementioned peasant cottage.
——- Sources ——-
 The Hunt For the Czar, by Guy Richards. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1970
 “Ōtsu incident”, Wikipedia, August 21, 2014.
 Imperial Agent, by Guy Richards. New York: Devin-Adair, 1966