Family and Early Years

Prawdzic/Pravdych coat of arms. Author:Bastianow (Bastian) [CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Neminsky or as he called himself in Soviet times, Prawdych-Neminsky, was born in July 1879 in Kyiv. His family Neminsky (Niemiński) belonged to nobility of Polish origin. This branch of the family had coat of arms Prawdzic which depicts a golden lion with a ring above a red brick fortress wall. This coat of arms belonged to many noble families in Poland and Ukraine. Mostly Polish branches of the family living in Ukraine were assimilated.

His father Volodymyr Stanislavovych had a rank of Active state councilor (the 6th class in Russian Table of Ranks). He owned 309 dessiatins (appr. 320 hectares or 850 acres) of farmland in Ivashkivtsi village in Podolia Governorate. In the beginning of XX century he lent it to local farmers. Little is known of Volodymyr Stanislavovych origin. There was an officer called Stanislav Neminsky (born 1809) in Russian Caucasian army in 1849 but it is unknown whether he is of any relation to Volodymyr. In 1901-1911 Volodymyr Stanislavovych worked as an officer in a chancery of Kiev Land Bank. In 1899 he owned a house at Mykhailivska 17. Later in 1909-1911 his address moved to Prozorivska 6 (now Esplanadna, the building was demolished). Family also owned a country-side house in Kyiv suburb Pushcha-Vodytsia.

House where Neminsky family lived before Volodymyr entered Kazan University, a modern view. Architect Nikolaiev, author:AMY-81 [CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

Volodymyr Stanislavovych also had a brother, Nikolai, who was also accountant officer in Kiev Land Bank. He was a member of Russian nationalist organization in Kyiv called Russian People’s Union. While Bolsheviks occupied Kyiv in 1919 he was executed by “Cheka” on May, 25. Possibly to avoid connotation with his uncle Volodymyr Jr. change his surname to “Prawdych-Neminsky”.

Mother of Volodymyr Volodymyrovych was Anna Iuhymivna, who owned a house in Kyiv downtown at Malopidvalna 17 (the building was demolished), close to Mykhailivska 17.

There were another son in the family, Pavlo, of whom nothing is known except he was missing during the Russian-Ukrainian war.

First Kyiv Gimnasium in 1900s on a postcard

Volodymyr was attending First Kyiv Emperor Gymnasium. It was the most prestigious high school in Kyiv in that time. He graduated from it in 1900 and entered medical department of Kazan University a year later. In 1902 he moved to natural sciences section of physics and mathematics department to improve his knowledge in chemistry and biology. Volodymyr twice took part in students’ demonstrations and twice was repressed for it so finished his course late.

In 1903 he came back to Kyiv to enter natural sciences section of physics and mathematics department of Kyiv University which he was graduated from in 1907 with I grade diploma in chemistry. In 1907 Volodymyr studied physical chemistry in lab of Kyiv Polytechnics Institute (now Sikorsky University) in laboratory of Volodymyr Tymofeiev and Volodymyr Plotnykov. With the later he made friends and their friendship lasted for many years. He authored one chapter in Plotnikov’s doctoral thesis and had a publication on electrolysis of aluminum bromide compounds with toluene and benzene. These chemistry studies improved Neminsky’s knowledge of chemical processes which he widely used in further research.

Sometime being in the University Volodymyr married Alexandra Ludwigovna. They had two daughters.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis page is created as a part of European History of Neuroscience Online Projects and funded by FENS History Online Project 2016 grant. Author: Oleksii Boldyriev. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.