Professorship in Kyiv

In June, 1920 Pravdych-Neminsky was appointed assistant professor of physiology in Agricultural Department of Kyiv Polytechnics Institute (now Sikorsky University). Later he took a chair of physiology there. From the very beginning his teaching and research was troubled. He was under NKVD-OGPU (or JSPD, Joint State Political Directorate) observation as suspicious anti-Soviet element, member of ”old counterrevolutionary” university stuff. Educational authorities persuaded Pravdych-Neminsky to leave Kyiv to teach in other cities already in 1921 but somehow he stayed at Kyiv Polytechnics Institute. He had an apartment in KPI campus since 1920 till 1926.

In 1924 administration added a Communist student Edelstein to live in Neminskys’ flat. Later the student brought his girlfriend with him. According to Pravdych-Neminsky there were constant quarrels between to families and Edelstein girlfriend who by rumors was a secret NKVD agent called professor a “counterrevolutionary”. It was the most dangerous accusation in that time. Pravdych-Neminsky asked KPI administration to give him another flat and was moved to another house. Unfortunately, in 1926 Agricultural Department separates from KPI as Kyiv Agricultural Institute. So new administration made  Pravdych-Neminsky to leave with a legal act. He try to defend himself in the court but failed.

A house in Kyiv where Pravdych-Neminsky lived in 1926-29

On a rescue came Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In 1923 UAS stuff was shortened as of funding cuts. Whole research institutions were closed and to save scientific schools the best scholars were left in Academy to represent and coordinate research in concrete topics. These scholars were called “stuff research associate for special tasks” at one of three UAS divisions.  Pravdych-Neminsky was appointed to this position in physiology at Physics-Mathematics Division. Later in 1926 he won Mechnikov Award from UAS. Also he got a flat in an Academian house in Ovrutska street where other members of UAS lived, like academician Olena Pchilka, mother of famous Ukrainian poetess Lesia Ukrainka.

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This 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.

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