In Memoriam

Aleksandr Chanis

1917 – 1938

Son of Agro-Joint Medical Director, Dnepropetrovsk

Aleksandr Chanis was a university student in Dnepropetrovsk and the son of Dr. Boris Chanis, Director of the Agro-Joint Medical Department in Dnepropetrovsk. In 1937, after his father was charged with being a “traitor to the Motherland,” Aleksandr was arrested by the NKVD. Charged with “anti-Soviet manifestations and intention of revenge,” he was executed in 1938. He was “rehabilitated” (his name was officially cleared) in 1958.

Extended Profile

Aleksandr Borisovich Chanis, born in 1917 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, was a student at the local Transport Institute. He was the son of Dr. Boris Chanis, Director of the Agro-Joint Medical Department in Dnepropetrovsk. Aleksandr was arrested on September 1, 1937 by the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs). He was sentenced to death on January 27, 1938, by the NKVD and the Prosecutor’s Office of the USSR, on the charge of “anti-Soviet manifestations and intention of revenge.” He was executed on February 8, 1938, under the order concerning family members of “traitors to the Motherland.” According to the official NKVD statement of January 1938, he was “repressed with all members of the family of executed enemy of the people — Chanis Boris, Agro-Joint representative in Dnepropetrovsk Region.” Aleksandr’s mother, Sima, a bacteriologist in the Dnepropetrovsk branch of the Kiev Research Institute, was sentenced to eight years in correctional labor camps. His younger brother Yuri was sent to an orphanage. On January 10, 1958, Aleksandr Chanis was “rehabilitated” (his name was officially cleared) by the Military Tribunal of the Kiev Military District.


GADO (State Archives of the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast).

Mitsel, Mikhail. “The Final Chapter: Agro-Joint Workers – Victims of the Great Terror in the USSR, 1937-1940.” Eastern European Jewish Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 1, April 2009.

Morrissey, Evelyn. Workers and Farmers in the Crimea and Ukraine. Privately printed, New York, 1937.