Tarasenko SERHIY DONICH (1900–1958): THE FATE OF EGYPTOLOGIST IN SOVIET UKRAINE
SERHIY DONICH (1900–1958): THE FATE OF EGYPTOLOGIST IN SOVIET UKRAINE
M. O. Tarasenko
DSc (History) A. Yu. Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS of Ukraine 4, Hrushevskoho Str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine email@example.com
In 2020, it was 120 years anniversary of Serhiy Donich, the only Egyptologist in Soviet Ukraine in the second quarter of the 20th century. He was born in 1900 at Dzegam of Yelisavetgrad province (Tavluz district, Azerbaijan). In 1921 he entered the University of Kamyanets-Podilsky and at the same time worked at the astronomical Observatory. In the summer of 1923 he moved to Odessa. Here, working at the Odessa University Observatory, he began to study Oriental and African languages, and Egyptology became the main subject of his interest. The second half of the 1920s and 1930s was the time of his most productive research activity. At this time he established contacts with other Soviet and Western Egyptologists. In 1929 he became a member of the Egyptological Section at Leningrad University and underwent an internship at the State Hermitage Museum. From 1927 to 1945 Donich worked as the head of the Department of “Ancient Egypt” at the Odessa Historical and Archaeological Museum (Odessa Archaeological Museum now). During this time he processed the Egyptian collection, made its inventory and created a card catalog of identifications of more than 600 artifacts, created the new exhibitions, conducted tours, participated in archaeological expeditions, published articles in three languages in Odessa, Moscow, and Leningrad. With the beginning of World War II, Donich was drafted to the Red Army in 1941, but was taken prisoner soon, escaped, and returned to Odessa, where he returned to work at the museum. In 1945, S. Donich was arrested and unjustifiably sentenced to 10 years for allegedly assisting the Romanian administration in removing cultural property from the Historical and Archaeological Museum. His criminal case was soon reconsidered, and in 1946 he was released under an amnesty. Later, the scholar worked in a number of Odessa libraries, and in the last years of his life he returned to work at the Observatory. After a long break, in 1958 his Egyptological article was published in Moscow, which gave hope for the resumption of research activity, but at that time the scholar was already terminally ill. He died on December 26, 1958. Serhiy Donich was rehabilitated in 1997.
Keywords: Serhiy V. Donich, Odessa, Egyptology, Oriental Studies, Odessa Archaeological Museum, Soviet Period
Preislamic Near East 2021, (2):147-180
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