In the regional center of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Karaganda in the Academy “Bolashaq” is implemented an international historical, educational, research and charitable project “Karlag: Memory for the Future”, engaged in the study of political repression (1930-1950s). The author and scientific director of the project is Corresponding Member of the NAS RK, Doctor of Law, Professor N.O. Dulatbekov.
Historical and educational center “Karlag” for several years cooperates with Karaganda Regional Museum of Fine Arts (KRMFA), which has a collection of works of art of repressed artists. The first joint work in the framework of cooperation was the collection “Creativity in Captivity” (2009), dedicated to the works of repressed artists. The next material of the joint study was the album “Black Pencil of Karlag” (2015) with reproductions of paintings, short biographies of the repressed artists and using some materials provided by the international historical-educational, human rights and charity society “Memorial” in Moscow. Since then, the result of close cooperation has been no book and no article, and the list of joint works is expanding. One of the interesting moments of the joint work was the study of life activities of the great scientist Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky.
A.L.Chizhevsky (07.02.1897-20.12.1964) – Soviet scientist, biophysicist, one of the founders of cosmic natural science, aerionization, electrohemodynamics, philosopher, musician, poet, inventor, artist. This list of achievements of the great scientist can be continued more and more, and it becomes clear why in 1939 at the International Congress of scientists in biophysics in New York a full member of the academies of sciences in 18 countries of the world A.L.Chizhevsky was named Leonardo da Vinci of the XX century. In the oldest university of Europe Sorbonne in Paris among the bas-reliefs of the great scientists is Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky.
In 2018, the center for a wide range of readers published a book (Fig. 1) Karaganda area researcher Yu.G. Popov “Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky: in Karlag, Steplag and Karaganda”. The publication is of special interest for researchers of the theme of Karaganda labor camp (Karlag): scientists, undergraduates, students, as well as for all those interested in the history of the city and the great personalities who lived in it. For Karaganda, the name of Professor Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky has always been significant and remains so to this day. Not only because A.L.Chizhevsky lived in Karaganda after his imprisonment in one of his largest camps – Karlaga, but also because he left an indelible mark among Karaganda residents as a great scientist and as a Man with a capital letter.
At the beginning of 2019, which is a jubilee, 85 years since the status of the city of Karaganda, in order to perpetuate the memory of A.L.Chizhevsky, the administration of the Academy “Bolashaq” initiated the idea of installing a memorial plaque on the wall of the house number 17 on Lenin Street, where he lived in apartment number 8, being in Karaganda at the free settlement from 1950 to 1958.
The fact of establishment of the exact address of the scholar’s residence in Karaganda was confirmed by KRMFA, thanks to the materials and documents which are kept at the museum in the scientific and auxiliary fund. Karaganda Regional Museum of Fine Arts has an interesting material collected during the research work. Museum workers research and promote the heritage of the scientist, artist and poet by holding thematic meetings, round tables, lectures, organizing exhibitions of the scientist’s works and publishing articles about him.
One of the first, who responded to the initiative to establish the board, was the Regional Blood Center of Karaganda Region Health Department, as it was in Karaganda that A.L.Chizhevsky was engaged in research of blood and blood bodies behavior in space conditions.
Local executive bodies, public and city residents supported this initiative. On the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression and Famine in the Republic of Kazakhstan on May 31, 2019 there was a solemn opening of the memorial plaque in memory of the famous scientist (fig. 2). The author of bas-relief with the portrait of A.L. Chizhevsky is a Karaganda artist, member of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan Victor Arent.
At the opening of the memorial plaque of the KRMFA, an exhibition of paintings by A.L. Chizhevsky from the museum fund was organized, which aroused great interest among those present. The museum staff conducted a tour for all comers.
Preservation of historical memory about A.L.Chizhevskiy in the Republic of Kazakhstan and propaganda of his activity is carried out through joint efforts of scientists of the Academy “Bolashaq”, local historians, employees of archive and regional museum of fine arts of Karaganda.
The name of A.L.Chizhevsky lives till nowadays. The citizens of Karaganda honor and preserve the memory of him, the evidence of which is the street of his name in the center of Karaganda, as well as the memorial plaque installed in 2019 on the facade of the house in which lived the scientist who surpassed his time.
Omarova A.S., researcher at KRMFA
Aupenova A.U., Director of “Rukhaniyat”.