To the Reader

 

 

Dmitry Belanovsky

In September 2010, I returned from America to Moscow with  a heavy suitcase containing the family papers of my relatives, who at different times and in different ways had emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States. Back at home, while sorting out the Kogevin brothers’ papers, I realized that I must put on paper the amazing story of my discovering these papers, and write about the people who had managed to flee Stalin’s Russia. I penned a small article and offered it to several periodicals, which, as I supposed, might take interest in this story. But none of these editions even took pains to reply. So I applied to His Majesty the Internet who has no censorship and space restrictions (at least to date). 

 

As I developed this web-site , its structure and contents were gradually beginning to take shape. Apart from the emigrant papers, especially important for me were additional pieces of the Kogevins' archive which I received from my father (diaries of Nina Breshko-Breshkovskaya and Vladimir Kogevin, in the first place) and from my cousin Irina Kogevin in St. Petersburg. In effect, the Internet allowed me to put together  on one web-site the family archives from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Miami and New York. 

 

My web-site is entitled “The Kogevins. Two emigrations, six fates.” I intentionally gave up the idea of describing the fates of all members of the Kogevin family. I primarily focused on the stories of two families, in which, as in a drop of water, are reflected the tragic events of the twentieth century Russia – the First World War and two revolutions, the Russian civil war and communist terror, the Soviet war against Hitler’s Germany… A separate aspect of Soviet history is the fates of people who had to flee Soviet Russia, such as brothers Constantin and Eugene Kogevin and their wives, the midget actors, Alexis Delden, Dimitri Sherugin and many others. The twists and turns of their lives could well serve as a plot for a thrilling fiction story or feature movie. 

 

The Kogevins were lucky. Almost all of them lived a long life and made professional careers; none of them was arrested or died on the front or in the rear, while two of the four Kogevin brothers could successfully emigrate from the Soviet Union. But each of them had to go through own life's trials and tribulations. The most dramatic ones were having to make a deadly choice between the Nazi and communist regimes and suffering from eternal separation from the loved ones who remained behind the “Iron Curtain.” 

 

This is what I wanted to say on my web-site. 

 

Welcome to my virtual exhibit! 

 

Dmitry Belanovsky

 

Moscow, November, 2012