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Academic year: 2022



Повний текст
















English publication edited by Stanley J. Kays and Pierre Tchakhotine

Kiev 2015


3 UDC 579-051 ((47+57)-89)(092)

Posudin, Yuriy. Sergei Chakhotin – His Contributions to Social Psycho- logy and Biophysics. Kiev, 2015. Artmedia print.–115 p.

This book is a biographical critique of the life and the scientific and public contributions of Sergei Chakhotin, an outstanding biophysicist, tireless innovator, an expert in crowd psychology and political propaganda.

He was the first to use focused ultraviolet radiation to alter a living cell and developed a series of unique methods and tools for microscopic operations on test objects.

Chakhotin found himself in the midst of political, military and social events in Europe during his life. While watching the emergence of totali- tarian regimes, Chakhotin studied the problems of social psychology fo- cusing upon human instinct and conditioned reflexes, particularly with regard to the behaviour of masses, and to elucidate the mechanism of transformating a large segment of the population such that it could be governed by leaders by means of political propaganda.

Sergei Chakhotin concluded that freedom, peace, and clemency should be an integral part of human nature, those responses are fixed deeply in every human being. The achievement of this goal is possible in accordance with the Pavlov’s theory through the formation of a reasonable form of corresponding conditioned reflexes, propaganda, and especially education.

ISBN 978-966-97453-1-6

© Yuriy Posudin, 1995, 2005, 2015 © Pierre Tchakhotine for the photos







The rapid development of science, which marked the beginning of the twentieth century, stimulated the emergence of new experimental and methodological approaches to the study of biological objects. The discovery of radioactivity, the nature of X-ray radiation, the development of quantum theory ‒ have allowed new approaches to the exploration of the vital processes of living organisms.

In light of these advances in science, especially at the intersection of different disciplines, the life and scientific contributions of Sergei Stepanovich Chakhotin ‒ an outstanding biophysicist, tireless innovator, and the first to use focused ultraviolet radiation to affect a cell, developed a series of unique devices to investigate micro-objects and laid the foundation for a number of new experimental techniques in cytology, embryology, and physiology. His name is associated with advances in modern biophysics, especially in the areas of laser photobiology, radiobiology, and electrophysiology.

Albert Einstein wrote: “I know personally Professor Chakhotin as a very serious scholar who pursued his academic goals with energy and undismayed, despite the very large external interference”. Unfortunately, the activity of S. Chakhotin has not been adequately reflected in our scientific and social literature. That’s why the emergence of the research of Yuriy Posudin which is dedicated to the lighting the main stages of the life and creative activity of Sergei Chakhotin can only be welcomed.


Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences

1 Posudin Yu. I. 1995. Biophysicist Sergei Chakhotin. Agr.Univ.Publ., Kiev (In Russian).



In 1979-1980 I was fortunate enough to obtain advanced scientific train- ing at the Institute of Biophysics CNR, Pisa, Italy where I participated in research activities such as in vivo laser microspectrofluorometry of the photopigments in the alga Euglena gracilis.2 This alga exhibits motor responses that are modulated by changes in ambient lighting. A specific organelle, called a paraflagellar body (PFB), plays a special role in re- sponsing to external light, acting as a photoreceptor. Since the PFB is fairly small (~1×0.3×0.4 mm), the isolation and identification of its pig- ments is not a simple task. As a consequence, laser spectrofluorometer was used to identify the pigments in the PFB of E. gracilis. The device consists of a tunable dye laser, fluorescence microscope and recording system. This allowed determining the laser-induced excitation spectrum of fluorescence of the PFB establishing its flavin composition.

Naturally as a young intern I began with an intense bibliographic search of the literature on the subject. Among a number of authors associ- ated with the technique of microirradiation of a cell, I repeatedly came across the name of Sergei Chakhotin3. Upon returning to Kiev, I tried to find additional information about Chakhotin’s contributions to science, but was surprised to find in the Soviet literature virtually no information.

Later I realized that the political activity of the scientist did not always coincide with the ideological concepts of the Soviet regime and his name had been banned. This naturally greatly stimulated my interest in Chak- hotin resulting in a quest to learn everything I could about him.

As a lecturer, I appealed for help from my students with this endeavor.

Since students are generally not keen on doing something for nothing, I proposed that those that could find information on S. Chakhotin would receive extra credit. It worked and after a while I had a copy of a newspa- per article, with the names and entities associated with Chakhotin, which greatly facilitated the search.

I learned that A.S. Danilov whom lived in Alma-Ata (now Kazakh- stan), was a unique person who collected information on all outstanding

2 The author is grateful to Professor G. Lenci and Dr. G. Colombetti (Institute of Biophysics CNR, Pisa) for stimulating his interest in the photomovement of algae.

3 You can find such variants of scientist’s surname in the literature as Tchak- hotine, Tschakhotin, Chakotin, Chakhotin, Ciacotin, Tchakhotin, Chacotine.



scientists. This was well before the Internet so he did it by hand, mak- ing catalogs of information. I wrote to him and he kindly provided me the address of the Institute of Cytology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Leningrad), where S. Chakhotin worked after returning from abroad.

I immediately sent a letter to this Institute. After some time, the Chief of Staff of the Institute sent a copy of Chakhotin’s personal file with his biographical information and a list of publications. The information made it possible to establish the main stages of his life, and the social and scien- tific contributions of this remarkable scientist ‒ biophysicist, physiologist, and microbiologist ‒ Sergei Stepanovich Chakhotin. The information available became progressively richer with the advent of the Internet.

As a result, the book “Biophysicist Sergei Chakhotin” (Kiev, Nat. Agr.

Univ., 1995) and its electronic version (Electronic publishing “Analytical Microscopy”, Prof. A.Yu. Budantsev, ed., Pushchino, 2005) were pub- lished. In this edition, I would like to pay greater attention to the social contributions of Sergei Stepanovich Chakhotin who was deeply interested in the problems of social psychology, observations of the behavior of large numbers of people, clarifying the mechanisms of transforming and controlling large groups of people and their management by leaders by means of political propaganda. As a consequence, the title of the second edition of the book has been changed from “Biophysicist Sergei Chak- hotin” to “Sergei Chakhotin – His Contributions to Social Psychology and Biophysics”.

The photographs in this book are provided courtesy of S. Chakhotin’s family; drawings in Section III were taken from original works by

S. Chakhotin.

Yuriy Posudin

Professor Yuriy Ivanovich Posudin was the first author to publish a book (in Russian) about Sergei Chakhotin, whom the scientific world considers to be the first scientist-biophysicist at the dawn of the twentieth century.

The book combines detailed biographical information with the scientific contributions of my Father. I express my great appreciation to the author of the book who has provided an very accurate critique of his work and I am convinced that it will stimulate considerable interest among those who will read the book.

Pierre Tchakhotine


To twist a screw of brass, so that, in the water‟s droplets, the world would radiantly appear minute – that is what occupied my day.

I‟m fond of the serene alignment of green laboratory lamps, the motley of the complex tables, the magic gleam of instruments.

And from descending all day long into the microscope‟s dark well you did not hinder me at all”.

Vladimir Nabokov,

“The University Poem“, 1927


Sergej Stepanowitsch Chakhotin4 was born on 13(26)5 September 1883 in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the family of the Russian dragoman (secretary-translator) Stepan Ivanovich Chakhotin.

His parents took him to Odessa when he was 10 years old where he studied in the Тhird Odessa Gimnasium. From 1899 to 1900 he resided in Italy due to an illness. After graduating from the Gymnasium with a gold medal, he entered the Faculty of Medicine of Moscow University in 1901.

A year later, he was arrested for participating in student protests.

Chahotin describes this period in the preface to the book of L.V.

Bobrov ”Shadows of Invisible Light” (Moscow, Atomizdat, 1964):

“Expelled from Moscow University, I have chosed on the advice of A.F.

Ioffe to continue my studies at the University of Munich, where the glory of Roentgen radiated even 6 years after his discovery of X-rays. A huge auditorium was always crowded for his lectures”.

4You can find such variants of scientist surname in the literature as Chakhotin, Tschachotin, Tchakhotine, Tchakhotin, Chacotine, Chakotin, Ciacotin, Čachotin

5 Dates correspond to the Gregorian (in brackets - Julian) calendar



A.F. Ioffe (October 29, 1880 ‒ October 14, 1960) was a Russian and Soviet physicist. Institu- tions: State Institute of Roentgenology and Radio logy; Leningrad Physico-Technical Institute. The founder of the Leningrad Physico-Technical and Agrophysical Institutions. An outstanding expert in the field of electromagnetism, radiology, the physics of crystals, and thermo- and photoelectricity

The case filed by the police

department on S. Chakhotin in connection with his participation in a student meeting on February 10, 1902, and the petition to Emperor Nicholas II for commutation of sentence [Sorokina, 2007].


And further: “I am obliged namely to Roentgen in that research spirit which prevailed in his lab, excited in me as a biologist an interest in physics that have led me to the discovery of the principle and development of methods using an ultraviolet microbeam as a means for doing micro- scopic operations on cells”.

W. Roentgen according to Chakhotin “... was, one might say, the most honest, the most irreproachable man ...”.

Chakhotin subsequently continued his studies in various medical and science faculties in Berlin, Munich, and Heidelberg, specializing in phys- ics, chemistry, zoology, and physiology.

Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich - a higher education institu- tion in Germany, with which Nobel laureates as Wilhelm Röntgen, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and Otto Hahn were associated.

Wilhelm Röntgen (March 27, 1845 – February 10, 1923) was an outstanding German physicist, who produced and detected X-rays that came to bear his name “Röntgen Rays”.

Roentgen was awarded the first Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1901.



Among Chakhotin’s teachers were the chemist A. Bayer who’s exper- tise included the synthesis of indigo, the chemistry uric acid and acetylene, the stability of various cyclic carbon compounds and the properties of unsaturated compounds (Bayer was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1905); the biochemist A. Kossel, who discovered histidine in 1896 and conducted research on protamines and histones (awarded the Nobel prise in 1910);

the Hertwig brothers, Oscar ‒ a biologist, author of works on the mor- phology of invertebrates, cytology and embryology, who used new ex- perimental methods in embryology, and Richard ‒ a zoologist and embry- ologist, who formulated the laws of volumetric ratios of nucleus and pro- toplasm; and T. Engelmann who studied the physiology of the nervous and muscular systems, vision, and the heart. These scientists used innova- tive methods in their work that undoubtedly influenced the formation of Chakhotin’s scientific outlook.

Chakhotin married Emma Haas in 1906 and they traveled to Corsica on their honeymoon.

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer (October 31, 1835 – August 20, 1917) was a German chemist who synthesized indigo and was the 1905 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Albrecht Kossel (September 16, 1853 ‒ July 5, 1927) was a German biochemist and physiologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medi- cine in 1910 for his investigation of cell biology, chemical composition of cell nucleus and his work in determining and describing the nucleic acids.


Richard Hertwig (September 23, 1850 – October 3, 1937) was a German zoologist. He was the first to described zygote formation as the fusing of the spermatozoa inside the membrane of the egg cell during fertilization. His later research focused on protists, as well as developmental physiology of sea urchins and frogs.

Oskar Hertwig (April 24, 1849 – Octo- ber 25, 1922) was a German zoologist and founder and director of the Anatomical Insti- tute at Berlin University (1888-1921). He was a specialist in the fields of invertebrate morphology, cytology and embryology and was the first to apply experimental methods in embryology.

Theodor Wilhelm Engelmann (November 14, 1843 ‒ May 20, 1909) was a German botanist, physiologist and microbiologist. His research was characterized by highly ingenious and elegant staged experiments, and pre- cise and clear descriptions of the results obtained. Engelman invented and perfected many devices utilized in physiological research and described the experimental methods for these studies (e.g., experimental protocol for microspectrophotometry).



Chakhotin graduated from the Heidelberg University in 1907 with highest honors (“summa cum laude”). His thesis “Die Statocyste der Heterepoden”, involved the study of the structure and physiology of bal- ance in Heteropoda. The author was awarded the academic degree of Doc- tor of Philosophy for this work.

A special interest of Chakhotin, as well as other Russian scientists, was the Russian Zoological Station at the Bay of Villefranche (Fr.

Villefranche-sur-Mer, It. Villafranca Marittima) on the French Riviera due to the exceptional diversity of zooplankton. The Russian Zoological Sta-

The years of Chakhotin’s student study centered around the city of Heidelberg where he graduated with highest honors (”summa cum laude”) from Heidelberg University. Here he studied zoological prob- lems with Prof. Otto Bütschli and oncology with Prof. Vincenz Czerny. In 1930-1933, Chakhotin was engaged in research at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Re- search


tion was created [Dolan, 2014]6 and used by Russian, French and American biologists.

The Russian scientist Sergey Fokin from St. Petersburg State Univer- sity, describes the history of the zoological station in Villafranca, Italy [Fokin, 2008]:

In the 1850–1870s, both Western European and Russian naturalists privately conducted zoological investigations at sites along the Mediterranean Sea (Messina, Naples, La Spezia, Villefranche-sur-Mer–

Villafranca, Marseille, Banyuls-sur-Mer) as well as at some other marine locations.”

There were among the Russian visitors not only students and magistrants but experienced zoologists such as A.O. Kowalevsky, W.A.

Wagner, W.W.Salensky, M.A. Menzbir, K.S. Mereschkowsky, V.N. L‟voff, A.N. Severtzov, W.M. Schimkevitsch, D.D. Pedashenko, M.N. Rymsky-

6 The history of the Russian Zoological Station, located near Nice, is intertwined with Italy and France. In 1860 it was transferred to France under the treaty between the two countries. Russia created a naval base and Oceanographic Laboratory by the end of the 19th century at what originally had been an old quarantine station.

Zoological Station, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, that was repeatedly visited by Sergei Chakhotin {https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Виллафранкская_




Korsakov, E.A. Bihner, N.A. Ivantzoff, N.V. Nasonov, A.K.

Mordvilko, V.V. Redikortzev, P.P. Sushkin, B.V. Sukatscheff, A.A.

Ostroumoff, B.A. Svartschevsky, J.N. Wagner, N.K. Koltzoff, N.A. Livanow, S.A. Zernow, M.M. Novikoff, S.S. Tschachotin, and others [Davidoff and Spitschakoff, 1911]”.

Chakhotin visited the Russian Zoological Station several times (first as a student in 1904, 1905 and 1906.). From 1904 to 1938, Chakhotin also conducted studies at marine biological stations in Trieste, Naples, Helgo- land, Monaco and others.

In 1907, the 24-year-old Sergei Chakhotin arrived with his family in Messina, Sicily at the invitation of the Italian Professor Alberico Benedi- chenti, who was studying multicellular marine organisms living in the Gulf of Messina.

In early in the morning (5:20‒5:21 AM) of December 28th, 1908, a massive earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter scale took place in Messina. The main shock lasted 30-40 seconds and caused tremendous destruction within a 300-kilometer (186 mile) zone.

A subsequent 12-meter (39-foot) tsunami wave caused even more devastation. About 91% of the buildings were destroyed and some 70,000 residents were killed [The Messina 1908 earthquake. http://www.grifasi- sicilia.com/messina_terremoto _1908_gbr.html].

Messina was almost completely destroyed in 1908


Russian sailors from the ships of squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral V. Litvinov, that were on an educational cruise in that area of the Mediterranean, came to the help of the residents of Messina.

During the earthquake, Chakhotin was buried alive under the rubble of his house, where he spent 12 hours. He described the situation as “be- ing on the brink of life and death” in his memoirs, “Under the Ruins of Messina”:

“I crawl, pressing, clinging, pulling myself, more air around, the chaos of debris, planks with protruding nails, straw, roof, broken split, tiles, rusty iron sheets, everything just frozen in some wild whirlwind.

Here, now close ... close ... I got out ... I‟m on the roof.”

The original text (in Russian) was kept for a long time in the family archives, until it was presented for publication by the son of the scientist Peter Chakhotin (Pierre Tchakhotine). The book was first published in Italy a centenary after the Messinian disaster [Sergej Tchakhotine: Sotto le macerie di Messina. Racconto di un sopravvissuto al terremoto del 1908. Intilla editore Messina, 2008].

Russian sailors came to help the residents of Messina



The presentation of the book was held in Messina in 2008, and subsequently in Russia in 2010 at the Solzhenitsyn’s Russian Abroad House in Moscow.

The presentation was attended by Marina Sorokina, a science histo- rian; Professor Alexander Nikonov, the Institute of Physics of the Earth;

Dr. John Biggart, a historian from the UK, and Pierre Tchakhotine, the son of Sergei Chakhotin.

After returning to Russia, Chakhotin left his family (two young sons and pregnant wife Emma) in Odessa and worked briefly at the University of Kazan, and then returned to Heidelberg, where he collaborated with colleagues on Zoological (Prof. O. Bütschli) and Oncology (Prof. V.


) problems. Here he created in 1912 his famous Zeiss device for operating on cells using an ultraviolet microbeam.

In 1912, Chakotin, as a young scientist, was invited by I. Pavlov, the famous physiologist known for both his theoretical analysis and experi- mental activitiy. Pavlov had recently created a scientific school for his students and followers. Pavlov wrote: “... If I excited, directed and focused our common work, I was at the same time under influence of observation and ideology of my co-workers ...”. While working as an assistant at the


Institute of Physiology from I912 to 1918, Chakhotin reorganized the physiology laboratory.

Otto Bütschli (May 3, 1848 ‒ February 3, 1920) was a German zoologist, considered an expert in the field of cytology and protistology. He investigated the development of inver- tebrates and insects and first described many of the groups of protozoa.

Vincenz Czerny (November 19, 1842

‒ October 3, 1916) was a German sur- geon, famous for his significant contri- butions to oncological and gynecologi- cal surgery. He described the dissection of tissue by means of electric current in 1910.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (September 26, 1849 ‒ February 27, 1936) was a Russian physiologist and the founder of the science of higher nervous activity. He is known mainly for his development of the concept of the conditioned reflex. In 1870 Pavlov entered the Physics and Mathematics Fac- ulty of St. Petersburg University, in order to attend a course on science. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904.



The First World War was largely centered in Europe and over its duration (July 1914 until November 1918) resulted in over 37 million military and civilian deaths. The principal causes of World War I were political, territorial, and economic conflicts among the great European powers that were assembled into two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Empire) and the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were expanded to include such countries as Italy, Japan and the United States that joined the Allies, and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria that supported the Central Powers.

The First World War had a tremendous impact on the economy and political life of Russia and caused the emergence of new state and public bodies, whose activities are aimed at maintaining the country’s defense.

As the First World War began, a committee of military-technical as- sistance was created to study the mineral resources and ore needs of in- dustry. It was headed by A.V. Fersman, an outstanding expert in geo- chemistry and mineralogy. Chakhotin actively participated in the work of the committee.

During this period, the scientist was adjacent to G.V. Plekhanov who organized the Russian Social-Democratic organization in 1914. With the beginning of World War I, disagreements between Plekhanov and Uly- anov (Lenin) concerning the positions of the committee on the war dif- fered so much that Plekhanov formed its own social-democratic group in 1914. Plekhanov’s group supported the war to the victorious end and were against a socialist Russia. The ideology of the group was reflected in the newspaper “Edinstvo” (Unity). The October Revolution was greeted by the group with hostility, and in 1918 the group disbanded.

Chakhotin organised the Committee of Military-Technical Assistance (KOVOTEP) in 1915-1916 to mobilize the scientific community for mili tary purposes.

The Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and German empires ceased to exist in their prewar form as a result of the war. The Russian monarchy collapsed and a struggle for power between the Provisional Government and the national network of Soviets, led by socialists, occurred.

The conflict lasted between the years 1917- 1923 and ended with the victory of the Bolsheviks. The Provisional Government intended to continue the war with Germany while the socialists (especially the Bolsheviks, “Majority”) were opposed to the continuation of the conflict.


As a result, civil war broke out between the “Reds” (Bolsheviks) and “White” (anti-socialist faction).

The main weapons of the Bolsheviks before their seizure of power were deception and populism. They proclaimed freedom, the end of the war for soldiers and factory workers, land for the peasants, universal prosperity for everyone. With the start of land seizure from the wealthy, they initiated the use of intimidation and violence.

The overwhelming majority of the Russian intelligentsia had taken a neutral stance, refraining from any action. The fact of the violent coup d'etat and the government policies that fundamentally differed from the ideals of liberalism and democracy gave rise to anti-Bolshevik sentiments among the intelligentsia.

After the October 1917 revolution, the Russian writer Maxim Gorky wrote in his newspaper Novaia Zhizn: “Lenin and Trotsky and their followers already have been poisoned by the rotten venom of power. The proof of this is their attitude toward freedom of speech and of people and toward all the ideals for which democracy was fighting”. Some days later he wrote again: “Lenin and Trotsky and all who follow them … are dishonoring the revolution, and the working class…Imagining themselves Napoleons of socialism, the Leninists are completing the destruction of Russia”!

The first steps of Soviet power infringed all the rights of the intelli- gentsia as non-proletarian social groups. This was especially true for the representatives of science and education such as high school teachers, professors and scientists. A fierce fight broke out with anyone who might be suspected of sympathizing with the ousted ranks, who had the misfor- tune to be born into wealthy families, who received a tolerable education and acquired the right to call themselves Russian intellectuals. The fate of intellectuals and scientists became tragic in these circumstances.

After the February Revolution, Chakhotin created the Committee of Social and Political Enlightenment under the Provisional Government in June 1917. Its tasks were the organization of political and cultural activities to support the Provisional Government (it ceased its activities after October 25, 1917).

Then he organized the Soviets of Deputies of the working intelligen- tsia [Sorokina, 2007]. The Soviets were elected by the population for a certain period as a collegial representative bodies of public authority. The whole system of the Soviets in 1917 was characterized by significantly chaos: in addition to the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and



Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies the following structures could also exist e.g., Soviets of Sailors and Officers’ Deputies, Soviets of Cossack’

Deputies, Soviets of Students’ Deputies, Soviets of Working Intellectuals’

Deputies, etc.

The Soviets of Working Intellectuals’ Deputies opposed the Bolshevik seizure of power. The response of the Bolsheviks was rapid and Chakhotin was forced to flee to the Don in 1918 to avoid arrest.

The Russian Civil War in the Don region of southern Russia took place between the Don Cossacks allied with the White movement and the Bolsheviks from November 1917 untill the spring of 1920. White movement used the Volunteer Army during this period. Here Chakhotin worked first in the Don Government and then in the political administra- tion of the Volunteer Army, where he headed the Department of Propaganda “OSVAG” (OSVedomitelnoye AGenstvo).

OSVAG was the information and propaganda agency of the Voluntary Army during the Russian Civil War that was created by General Denikin in 1918. The primary objectives of OSVAG were to inform the public about the White movement and its objectives; the dissemination of infor- mation about the crimes of the Bolsheviks; perpetuating the memory of the heroes of the White movement; providing information about the cur- rent state of affairs; and counter Bolshevik propaganda.

Examples of the Russian intelligentsia that assisted the OSVAG were the writers I.A. Bunin and E.N. Chirikov, philosopher and jurist E.N.

Troubetzkoy, artists I.Ya. Bilibin and E.E. Lancer, the poet S.A. Sokolov and S.S. Chakhotin.

Overall, the White Movement was nationalistic [Kenez, 1980] and rejected ethnic particularism and separatism [Lazarski, 1992]. The White Movement generally believed in a united multinational Russia, and opposed separatists who wanted to create independent states instead of the Tsarist Russian Empire. Amongst White Army members, anti-Semitism was widespread.

Disappointed in the White movement and unable to return to scientific work in Russia, Chakhotin went to Paris in 1919. From that moment, his longest period of scientific exile began, which lasted almost forty years.

Chakhotin eventually returned to his research activities in Paris.

Thanks to the support of French scientists, he received a subsidy from the Prince of Monaco, Albert I to conduct research at the Oceanographic Mu- seum in Monaco. The facility (Fr. Musée océanographique de Monaco) consisted of the Museum and the Oceanographic Institute. The Oceano-


graphic Museum was founded in 1889, and the Oceanographic Insti- tute was opened in 1906. Here Chakhotin studied ultraviolet micro- irradiation of sea urchins’ eggs, the results of which were published in the Proceedings of the Paris Academy of Sciences and the Journal of the Bio- logical Society.

During this period, he became one of the members of the social- political movement “Smena vekh” (translated “Change of Signposts”).

This movement among the Russian émigré community supported cooperation with the Soviet government in the hope that the Soviet state would evolve back into a “bourgeois state”.

A collection of essays entitled “Smena vekh” (Prague, 1921) became a political manifesto of the movement.

Among the authors of the collec- tion were Yu.V. Klyuchnikov, N.V. Ustrialov (initiator of the movement), S.S. Lukyanov, A.V. Bobrischev-Pushkin, S. Chakhotin and Yu.N. Po- tekhin. The movement “Smena vekh” can be explained by the nostalgia of patriotic emigrants for the homeland.

In his article, “To Canossa!”, which was intended for the collection

“Smena vekh”, Chakhotin tried to give his political assessment of the role of the Russian intelligentsia in the current events [Chakhotin, 1921]:

Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.



“… We are not afraid to say now: “We are going to Canossa7!” We were wrong, we were mistaken. Do not be afraid to recognize this openly and for ourselves and for others”.

“This recognition will not humiliate us, will not break our spirit. We have struggled honestly so far, since we considered that it was our duty.

Events have shown us that we were wrong, that our way was in the wrong direction. And realizing this, seeing what the interests of the homeland require us, we are ready to admit our mistake and change our way. Will we become the Bolsheviks or the Communists, as some people think? Of course not. Communism as a practical doctrine in contemporary sur- roundings remains for us the same utopia as earlier, but it can and must be changed one way or another if it wants to become part of everyday life;

and in many respects we, intellectuals, can assist this process”.

The main ideas of the movement “Smena vekh” were reflected also in the homonymous journal (Paris, 1921-1922), in the newspaper “Na- kanune” (Berlin, 1922-1924) and in the journal "Novaya Rossia” (Mos- cow, 1922-1926).

Thus, the newspaper “Nakanune” continued the ideological line of the collection “Smena vekh”. But the editorial board of the newspaper paid special attention to the idea of regeneration of the Bolshevik dictatorship into the “labor state”. Special hopes are pinned on the “working intelli- gentsia” as an active force capable to carry out the revival of Russia [Big- gart, 2012]. A dialogue between the the emigrant and the Soviet intellec- tuals took place on the pages of this newspaper, which was allowed to be distributed in Soviet Russia. The newspaper published outstanding writers such as M. Bulgakov, V. Kataev, E. Petrov, K. Fedin, V. Lidin, O. Man- delshtam. S.Chakhotin was included in the editorial board, A. Tolstoi edited the literary supplement.

7To go to Canossa” means in an allegorical sense to come with a confession head to the triumphant enemy, to admit mistakes, to repent of them and ask for forgiveness. Canossa is an ancient castle southwest of Reggio nell’Emilia in Italy.

The historical events in 1076 that occurred were associated with the castle when Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) cursed and excommunicated the German Emperor Henry IV (1050-1106), who declared that the Pope was deposed. The Emperor, once realizing he had lost, bowed to the Pope wearing clothing of a repentant sinner and was made to wait for three days on his knees until the head of the Catholic Church accepted him and absolved his sins.


It is not difficult to imagine what would have happened to Chakhotin who considered communism utopia if he, supporting the idea of “home-coming” (“vozvraschenchestvo” in Russian), returned to Soviet Russia. Five members of the “Smena vekh” movement were shot after their return from exile.

In 1920 Chakhotin worked at the Institute of General Pathology in Zagreb, Croatia. A year later he becomed a professor at the local univer- sity


The complexity of his situation with regard to immigration to Russia forced him to move to Italy for a year. There he participated in the Genoa Conference, highlighting its contribution in the newspaper “Nakanune”.

At the conference Chakhotin met G.V. Chicherin, L.B. Krasin, and V.V.

Vorovskiy who represented the Soviet state during the discussion of eco- nomic and financial issues. During this period, L.B. Krasin invited Chak- hotin to participate in the organization of the Soviet trade mission in Ber- lin. In 1922 Chakhotin received his Soviet citizenship, but left the Soviet trade mission in 1925 due to disagreements with the leadership.

Chakhotin was not totally confined to his scientific work during these years. He wrote concerning the scientific organization of labor in “Or- ganization, Principles and Methods of Industry, Commerce, General Ad- ministration and Policy” (Mocow, 1923), “European Literature on the Scientific Labor Organization” (Moscow, 1924), “The Rational Organiza- tion of Scientific Research” (Paris, 1938), and others. A Russia’s revival program based on neotaylorism principles was presented in these studies.

Taylorism is the theory of management and scientific organization of la- bor, developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, to increase economic effi- ciency and productivity. Details of Chakhotin’s ideas on the formation of

“groups laboring intelligentsia” and the construction of socialism, based on the application of the Taylor system can be found in the work of J. Biggart (2012).

Chakhotin went to Genoa in 1927, where he worked in the Pharma- cological Institute of the University, dealing with the oncology problems.

In 1930, at the suggestion of Albert Einstein, he was awarded a prize by the Research Corporation. In the same year he returned to Heidelberg Institute in Germany to work at the Medical Research.



The economic crisis in Europe after the First World War was a major cause of the emergence of fascism in the 1920s. While in Italy, Chakhotin observed the National Fascist Party march on Rome in 1922, which re- sulted in the King of Italy handling over power to Mussolini on October 26, 1922. Mussolini was appointed the Italian Prime Minister. The Na- tional Fascist Party became the ruling party. The word “fascism” derives from the Italian “fascio” (union) (for example, the name of the political organization of the radical Mussolini sounds like “Fascio di combatti- mento” (League of Struggle). This word, in turn, comes from the Latin

“fascis” (bunch) which, in particular, represented a symbol of power in the era of the Roman Republic. The success of the march of Mussolini’s troops on Rome stimulated the activity of the German right-wing radicals.

As early as the early 1930’s the leadership of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has been criticized by functionaries of Party for conservatism and bureaucratic hibernation, ossification of the party lead- ers, and boring and ineffective propaganda, which clearly lost out to Nazi propaganda’s appeals to the feelings and emotions of the people.

Sergei Chakhotin. Copenhagen. 1934.


The Iron Front (Ger. Eiserne Front) was founded by Sergei Chakhotin, Carl Mirendorfom and other anti-fascists on December 16, 1931 to publicize the Nazi danger. During this period Chakhotin created an emblem for the Iron Front - three arrows that were directed against the enemies of Social-Democracy ‒ National Socialism and its leader Adolf Hitler.


In March 1932, Chakhotin, being an expert in crowd psychology and the organization of mass demonstrations, became the head of the election campaign in several cities in the German state of Hesssen and used his method of active political propaganda to try and stop the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis.

Chakhotin used three arrows as a dynamic and aggressive symbol, similar to lightning; the triple repetition of arrow enhanced the action as- sociated with collectivism. With regard to the worker’s movement, this symbol can be associated with economic (trade unions), political and cul- tural (the party) and physical (selfdefense and sports) of the working class [Chakhotin 1933. Interview].



In Denmark Chakhotin organized in 1935 a translation of his book

“Three Arrows Against the Swastika” from German (“Dreipfeil gegen Hakenkreuz”) to Danish (“Trepil mod Hagekors”). Here he was popular among Dutch youth. At the same time he felt the opposition of Danish leaders of the Socialist Party, who supported the leaders of the Social Democratic Party, in particular, Otto Wels who was in exile in Prague.

Chakhotin was skeptical of the Social Democratic Party bonze, who tried to cope with the wave of fascism with old “Marxist” dogmas, boring chatter, tearful complaints and pathetic declamations [Chakhotin 1933].

Faced with the opposition of Danish leaders, Chakhotin decided to move to Paris in early 1934 [Neil MacMaster, unpublished].

Propaganda materials with the emblem of Iron Front.


There he was engaged with research activity in the Institute Evolution, the Prophylactic Institute, a research laboratory at the Hospital “Leopold Bellan”, and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Biology. The micro- irradiation of individual cells, the study of conditioned reflexes by Pavlov in unicellular organisms, and the etiology of cancer were the primary ar- eas of his research focus.

The academicians L.A. Orbeli (founder of Evolutionary Physiology), A.A. Bogomolets (pathophysiology) and M.P. Konchalovsky (therapist) visited S. Chakhotin during this period and showed a keen interest in his new methods of research.

As a scientist Chakhotin worked very hard, speaking at numerous conferences on physiology, cytology, and oncology. He presented invited scientific reports to the Sorbonne (Paris) and the Faraday Society (Lon- don). His scientific successes were awarded prizes by the French Acad- emy of Sciences (1936) and the Paris Academy of Medicine (1938).

During the period of 1930-1936, France was encumbered by the world economic crisis, which resulted not only in a decline in industrial production and a rise in unemployment, but also political instability.

Right-wing parties and fascist organizations intensified their activity. The beginning of February (1934) was marked by riots in Paris. The leader of the fascist organization “Croix-de-Feu” de La Roque organized a march by the far right to the residence of the National Assembly Bourbon Palace,

The cover of the German edition of Chakhotin’s book “Three Arrows Against the Swastika,” 1935.



and the 20,000th rally. The right-wing leaders openly demanded power.

French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français, PCF) and the French Section of the Workers’ International (Section Française de l’Internationale Ouvrière, SFIO) have deduced on a 25,000th meeting.

Parisians in response to the actions of the right-wing. The confronta- tions and victims caused by these actions resulted in the resignation of the Daladier government.

In July 1934, both parties (PCF and SFIO) signed an agreement to unify their actions that created the prerequisites for the organization of the Popular Front (fr. Front populaire) as a coalition of political parties. The principal aim of the Popular Front was to protect the democratic forms of government in the state and to counter fascism which was a potential threat.

At this time, Chakhotin made contact with Jean Zyromski, the Secretary of the Commission for propaganda of SFIO and proposed to him a detailed plan for the modernization of socialist propaganda, rejecting the traditional French Socialist Strategy that focused entirely on achieving economic objectives. Chakhotin’s plan was based on the scientific theory that he developed in Heidelberg. It envisaged a modern system of scientific labor organization in the field of agitation and propa- ganda, based on the ideas of Taylor, who proposed the modern methods of vocational training and production organization. Such a system would be able to display and analyze the “political weather map” (“Métérologie Politique”) of the separate classes and regions, while decreasing total ef- forts, saving time and money.

Differences in position on foreign policy (for example, on the Spanish Civil War) led to a split within the Popular Front. The conservative posi- tion of the leadership of the Socialist Party of France disappointed Chakhotin.

At that time Chakhotin had been thinking about the relationship be- tween the masses and political leaders, and trying to classify the instincts of crowds to explain how their support for dictators was conditioned by a specific historical period.

Investigation of the principles of mass psychology by sociologists and psychologists such as Gustave Lebon, William McDougall, Jean Gabriel Tarde, and Sigmund Freud and other observations were preceded by ob- servations of Chakhotin. Lebon published his fundamental work “The Psychology of Peoples” (Fr. "Les Lois psychologiques de l’evolution des


peoples”) in 1894 and “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind” (Fr.

“La psychologie des foules”) in 1895, in which he gave a detailed analysis of the psychology of masses and considered the specific characteristics of the crowd. The people represent, according to the author, the human total- ity with its mental community and not a simple accumulation of people in a particular place. Lebon describes some of the characteristics of a crowd as: impulsivity; irritability; inability to make reasonable judgments; lack of common sense and a critical spirit; and excessive emotionality. An important provision of Lebon is the requirement for the crowd to have a leader who can affect the crowd by suggestion, using all possible means of propaganda.

The works of Lebon were subsequently used by politicians and scien- tists, among which were G. Plekhanov, J.E. Sorel, V. Lenin, G. Hanotaux, and S. Freud. Lebon’s work “The Psychology of Peoples” has become a kind of manual for leaders of totalitarian regimes such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, who studied the methods of influencing a crowd.

The psychologist William McDougall was the first who introduced the concept of “social psychology” in 1908.

Analyzing the psychology of a crowd, the French sociologist and so- cial psychologist G. Tarde described the unconscious elemental crowd as clamorous and unable to control itself and is driven by dark destructive

Gustave Lebon (1841-1931) was a French psychologist, soci- ologist, anthropologist and histo- rian. He had predicted the impor- tant role of crowds during this period of history and described the methods of influencing dif- ferent types of crowds.



instincts. In contrast, the conscious public consists of intelligent social groups. Physical contact between people, their concentration in one place, and the unification for one action are requsites for the formation of a crowd. Tarde was engaged in the public psychology as a purely spiritual totality, as a group of individuals, physically separated and connected by a purely mental bond.

The famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud recognized that he relied heavily on the ideas of Lebon and McDougall. He noted that in a large mass of people or a crowd, some individuals immediately lose their moral principles, giving way to the most primitive and sordid mental state. Freud also emphasized the tendency of people to be divided into leaders versus followers.

Chakhotin appeared at the center of political, military and social de- velopments in Europe, where he observed the emergence of totalitarian regimes. As a scientist, he was trying to understand the nature and mecha- nisms that influence the masses, turning them into a crowd with the help of propaganda. He put his observations, analysis and conclusions in the fundamental book “Le Viol des foules par la propagande politique”, that was published in Paris in 1939 and republished in English (“The Rape of the Masses: The Psychology of Totalitarian Political Propaganda”) in London and New York in 1940.

Serge Tchakhotine (syn. S.

Chakhotin) Le Viol des foules par la propagande politique.

Gallimard, Paris, 1939.

Serge Chakhotin. The Rape of the Masses. The Labour Book Ser- vice, London, 1940.


To Chakhotin the purpose of the book was to increase our under- standing of the mechanism of psychic oppression that was utilized by the leaders of the masses and at the same time, providing an effective weapon in the hands of those who are ready to make any sacrifice to liberate hu- manity.

Serge Tchakhotine (Serge Chakhotin).

Le Viol des foules par la propagande politique. Gallimard, Paris, 1992.

Serghej Ciacotin (Serge Chakhotin). Tecnica della propaganda politica. Sugar, Milano. 1964.

Serge Tchakhotine (Serge Chakhotin). A Mistificação das Massas dela Propaganda Política. Civilização Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro. 1967

Serge Chakotin. The Rape of the Masses. Alliance Book Corporation, New York, 1940




ideas presented in Chakhotin’s books were based on the teachings of Pavlov who established the theory of conditioned re- flexes as the response of an organism to external influences. Pavlov separated reflexes into unconditioned congenital reflexes and condi- tioned acquired reflexes. Conditioned reflexes occur under certain conditions and disappear in the absence of those conditions. For example i

f you allow a dog to sniff a piece of meat, it produces saliva which indicates the apearance of an unconditioned reflex. If the meat is accompanied by the ringing of an electric bell at the same time, the dog will associate ringing of the bell with meat and salivation will begin even if you do not оffer the meat, indicating the apearance of a conditioned reflex.

Chakhotin began his observations of conditioned reflexes with proto- zoa. He studied the behavior of paramecium (Lat. Paramecium) which is a ciliate protozoan, whose body is covered with cilia.

Demonstration of a conditioned reflex in a Paramecium cell: i ‒ infusoria; tr ‒ the trajectory of the cells; bu ‒ micro-barrier that is generated by ultraviolet radiation; p ‒ the place corresponding to the previous expo- sure; ab ‒ the cell floats at the periphery of the drop; c ‒ the cell faced with space radiation; d ‒ the cell feels a shock and changes the trajectory; e ‒ the cell “recognizes” the place of exposure and goes around it (a conditioned reflex is created); f ‒ micro-barrier is removed, but the cell continues to bend around the dangerous place; g ‒ the cell gradually enters the danger zone, indicating a loss of memory (conditioned reflex disappears) [Tchakhotine, 1939; syn. Chakhotin]


Cilia beating allows the cell to move in the aquatic environment. In the absence of external stimuli, the ciliates move along a closed path within a drop of medium in the field of view of the microscope. Chakhotin used a beam of ultraviolet radiation focused through a microscope as the external stimulus. The cell exhibited a shock reaction (i.e., a photophobic reaction [Posudin et al., 2010]) due to its interaction with the ultraviolet radiation. This reaction results in a sharp change the cell’s direction of movement in response to the stimulus. When you remove the stimulus, the cell continues to avoid the location that was previously irradiated due to the ciliate having developed a conditioned reflex. With the disappearance of the conditioned reflex, after an interval of time the infusoria renews its motion along a closed path.

Similarily certain external signals or stimuli are able to induce a re- sponse in large masses of people (a crowd) led by leaders. This is how the slogans and symbols of totalitarian regimes act on people. Well-chosen marches, hymns and songs, parades, rituals, easily understandable sym- bolism, gestures, and uniforms, all of which act as an external stimulus for a crowd. Such forms of propaganda generate reflexes and, as a conse- quence, the subordination of the crowd to its leaders. A special role in the management of the crowd is played by a leader who is seen as a man of action and is endowed with a strong will.

In his book, Chakhotin analyzed the reasons for the success of Hitler as a speaker. It should be noted that the rhythm of a speech before an au- dience ‒ starts quietly, using a strictly calculated rhythm with a pace of 45-72 words per minute, climaxes with an explosion of anger, rage or hysterics that is accompanied with gesticulation ‒ all this leads the audi- ence into a state of ecstasy.

Chakhotin notes the special role of political propaganda, pointing out that it was important not what Hitler (or to be precise, his assistant, Propaganda Minister Dr. Goebbels) said and did, but how it was said ‒ here is the clue [Chakhotin, Interview. 1933].

Based on Pavlov’s research on conditioned reflexes, Chakhotin showed that all forms of life are struggling to survive with the help of four instincts that should be considered as complex unconditioned reflexes which interact with the environment. Among these instincts, numbered in



descending order of biological activity, are8: 1) struggle (combative); 2) nutrition (alimentaire); 3) sexuality (sexuelle); 4) maternity (parentale).

The struggle instinct is the most important because every living creature is struggling for survival, against the threat of death.

Chakhotin concluded that the theory of conditioned reflexes and in- stincts, is the basis of objective psychology and is based on general bio- logical laws. The theory can explain all complex forms of human behavior, including current phenomena of social life and political activity. Thus, the main periods of human civilization are based on certain instincts: Christi- anity ‒ on the maternal instinct (“love thy neighbour”); capitalist society ‒ on the instinct of nutrition (economic objectives); socialist society ‒ on the instinct of struggle (opposition to the political systems).

Chakhotin warned of the possible deployment of the final struggle between two political systems, each of which is based on instincts of struggle. One of them is fascism which is a totalitarian, pseudo-socialist system; another is a socialist system which occupies the position of de- mocracy.

Chakhotin also based his views of political propaganda on the concept of instincts. He distinguishes two forms of propaganda. The first (ratio- propaganda) uses persuasion, argumentation; the second (senso- propaganda) implements an appeal to feelings, enthusiasm, ecstasy. The first involves ordinary political instructions that are covered by the media at meetings and in the process of discussions. We can assume that since this type of propaganda reflects economic interests, it is based on the in- stinct of nutrition. The second type of propaganda uses symbols, flags, banners, uniforms, demonstrations, and noisy gatherings and thus it uses basically the instinct of struggle.

Strictly speaking the presence of a hierarchy among the instincts ex- plains the greater efficiency of Nazi propaganda, that used the more pow- erful instincts of fear and aggression compared with the social-democratic propaganda that appealed to the civilized and humane themes of peace and harmony [Tchakhotine (syn. Chakhotin), 1939].

8 The translations of terms in French are given in parentheses in accordance with the edition of 1939.


Chakhotin concluded that the ideas of freedom, peace, and clem- ency should become an integral part of our nature and reflexes that are fixed deeply in every human being. Achievement of this goal is possi- ble in accordance with Pavlov’s teaching through a reasonable forma- tion of corresponding conditioned reflexes, propaganda, and especially education.

The Nazis that occupied Paris could not ignore the political activity of Chakhotin. He was arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp at Compiegne as a Soviet citizen, where he had spent seven months in 1941.

Only the intervention of German scientists who knew Chakhotin allowed him to acquire freedom.

After the liberation of Paris in 1944, Chakhotin lectured at the courses

“Soviet Patriot” for immigrants. In addition, he organized a scientific and Illustration from Chakhotin’s book “The Rape of the Masses.

The Psychology of Totalitarian Poliyical Propaganda”.



political society “Science-Action- Liberation”, presided over the French Confederation of Cultural Forces (COFORCES). The main task of these progressive movements was to spread correct, unbiased information about the Soviet Union and the fight against the threat of a third world war and resurgent fascism.

In 1939, Albert Einstein with the help of the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard warned U.S. President Roosevelt that Nazi Germany was conduct- ing active research in the field of nuclear physics, which could lead to the creation of an atomic bomb. In 1945, L. Szilard and A. Einstein turned again to Roosevelt to try and stop the production of the atomic bomb in the United States.

Chakhotin organized an emotive (causing strong emotions for or against something) propaganda campaign against nuclear explosions and missiles [Chakhotin. Memorandum]. With inherent enthusiasm and thor- oughness he proposed outdoor pictorial posters (for example, the atomic bomb with a large inscription “NO!”) or small leaflets with short slogans.

Special attention is paid to graphic sym- bols, directed against the nuclear danger, to which Chakhotin required the following: the symbol must be simple, eye-catching, clear at first sight, easily recognizable and repro- ducible, reveals the principle of force and creates a sense of fear, struggle and, if nec- essary, even aggression.

The symbol to the right meets these requirements. Chakhotin used a schematized image of the atomic bomb, that is disected by two crossed lines indicating NO!

During his work at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Biology, Chakhotin was actively involved in the organization of the First Interna- tional Congress for Peace in 1949 (Paris). The idea formed the basis of the work of organizations such as SAL (“Science-Action-Liberation” ‒ a sci- entific and political society organized by S. Chakhotin in 1944) and COFORCES (French Confederation of Cultural Forces). Chakhotin was the General Secretary of these organizations whose primary purpose was to fight against the threat of a third world war.

In 1955 Chakhotin moved to Italy, first to Genoa (Pharmacological Institute of the University), and then to Rome (Pharmacological Institute,


at the Higher Institute of Health and the Institute of General Physiology) where he worked until 1958.

A characteristic feature of Russian immigrants was that they were always against the current political regime in their home country, but always passionately loved their homeland and dreamed to go back there.

Chahotin expressed his desire to return to the USSR with his family for the first time in 1946 and again in 1952. Since there was no response from the Soviet authorities, he once again appealed to the Soviet Embassy in France in 1954 and received a positive response.

However, when the Soviet Foreign Ministry appealed to the Chief Scientific Secretary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (A.V. Top- chiev) asking about using S. Chakhotin in the institutions of the Academy of Sciences, the scientist was refused, citing the lack of research in the field of experimental cytology. It was a bureaucratic formal reply.

The fact is that the leadership of the Department of Biological Sci- ences was under the influence of obscurantist investigations of Olga Lepeshinskaya, a protégé of Trofim Lysenko, who rejected genetics and defended the theory of spontaneous generation of life from inanimate matter. Of course in this situation the academic leadership refused Chak- hotin, so it was not until 1958 that he able to return home.

In front of me a copy of the order

№ 49 at the Institute of Cytology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Leningrad) on April 18, 1958:

“Chakhotin Sergei Stepanovich is credited with a senior researcher posi- tion in the Laboratory of Cytological Bases of Reproduction and Develop- ment from 18 April of this year. Justi- fication: Order of the Presidium of the USSR № 2-2865 on 24 December 1957” (Acting Director Professor Yu.I.

Polyansky). The order of the Presid- ium of the USSR was signed by the chief scientific secretary, academician A.V. Topchiev.

At the same time there was a question about the possibility of award- ing Chakhotin with the degree of Doctor of Biological Sciences based on his scientific work (without defending a dissertation). Three reviewers (S.

Institute of Cytology Russian Academy of Science



Romanov, I. Sokolov and B. Paribok) gave a brilliant characterization of the scientist. Chahotin was awarded the degree of Doctor of Biological Sciences in accordance with the decision of Higher Attestation Commis- sion dated May 28, 1960.

The decision of the Higher Attestation Commission of the USSR on awarding S. Chakhotin the degree of Doctor of Biological Sciences

Chakhotin continued to work in the field of ultraviolet irradiation of individual cells. He delivered reports at the Institute of Cytology, Institute of Microbiology, Institute of Cytology and Zoology (Leningrad), Mor- phology of Animals (Moscow), Moscow State University, Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy (Sukhumi), All-Union Congress of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology in Kiev (1958), the Congress of Physiologists in Minsk (1959), and the Society of Physiologists in Lenin- grad (1959). Chakhotin demonstrated his methods and equipment at the International Symposium on Radiobiology (Moscow, 1960).

Chahotin was transferred to the Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences to Moscow, according to the order of the Institute of Cytology of the USSR Academy on October 29, I960, the where he worked until 1967.

On September 16, 1967, Chahotin was assigned to the Institute of Developmental Biology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, where he worked as a researcher and then as scientific consultant from July 1, 1970 until his death on December 24, 1973.



Father: Stepan Ivanovich (1857-1920), a diplomat. Mother: Alexan- drina Nikolaevna (eq. Umissa-Motzo von Gogenburg (1861-1942)).

Brothers, Ivan (1884, Constantinople10-1938, Odessa), Nicholai (1885, Constantinople-1972, Paris); Stepan (1888, Constantinople-1931, Odessa), artist and poet.

Wives: in the first marriage ‒ Emma Vilgelmovna (eq. Haas, 1881- 1942), sons: Sergei (1906-1976), Vladimir (1909-1943), Igor (1911-1993).

In the second marriage ‒ Seraphima Nikitichna (eq. Omelaeva, 1885- 1978), sons: Benjamin (1917-2014), Eugene (b. 1922).

In the third marriage Anna Markovna (eq. Svenchanskaya, 1907- 1984), sons Andrew (b. 1939), Peter (b. 1943), an artist.

A brother of Chakhotin’s, Stepan Stepanovich Chakhotin became the first victim in the family of repression; he was shot in 1931. His nephew, Peter Chakhotin, writes in his book “Stepan Chakhotin. Life in Pictures and Letters to his Mother”: “The life of a talented, intelligent, warm hearted, sympathetic person was forcibly cut short, as well as many other innocent citizens of our country” [P. Chakhotin, 2015].

Irina Barancheeva reports in her work “Having emerged from beneath the ruins of Messina” that Vladimir died in the Vorkuta camp in 1943.

Igor was arrested in 1941 and spent fifteen years in the Siberian prison camps. Sergei (a son of S. Chakhotin) fought during the sieged of Lenin- grad and he narrowly escaped the arrest by leaving as a volunteer in Sibe- ria in 1948. Their mother, Emma Haas, a German by birth, was arrested and executed in 1942 in Novosibirsk.

“This was the fate of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Rus- sian families destroyed by those who had usurped power in 1917”.

9 This information was kindly provided by Pierre Tchakhotine.

10The name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul on March 28, 1930.



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