Srul Moishevich (Aleksandr Dmitrievich) Blank

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Srul Moishevich (Aleksandr Dmitrievich) Blank

Russian: Александр (Сруль, Израиль) Дмитриевич Бланк
Also Known As: "Aleksandr Dmitrievich Blank", "Srul Moishevich Blank", "Israel Moishevich Blank", "Сруль Мошевич Бланк", "Александр Дмитриевич Бланк"
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Starokostiantyniv, Ukraine
Death: July 17, 1870 (67-75)
Kokuschkino, Kazan, Russia
Place of Burial: Cheremyshevo, Pestrechinsky, Tatarstan, Russia
Immediate Family:

Son of Moshko Itskovich Blank and Mariam Blank
Husband of Анна Бланк
Partner of Katharina Eleonore (Ekaterina Ivanovna) Essen
Father of Дмитрий Бланк; Любовь Ардашева, Пономарева; Екатерина Бланк; Анна Веретенникова; Мария Ульянова and 7 others
Brother of Abel Moiseevich Blank; Anna Blank; Catherine Blank; Maria Blank and Катерина Бланк

Occupation: Physician-surgeon & obstetrician
Managed by: Olav Linno Poëll
Last Updated:

About Srul Moishevich (Aleksandr Dmitrievich) Blank

Бланк, Сруль Мошевич — Blank, Srul Moishevich

  • * c. 1799/1801/1802/1804, various sources
  • ~ 1820-07-10. Бланк, Александр Дмитриевич — Blank, Aleksandr Dmitrievich
  • Ioo c. 1828
  • o-o 1842
  • † 1870-06-17, alt. 1870-07-29

― ‘I'd like to arise from my grave in about a hundred years and have a look at how people will be living then.’ Lenin's grandfather, Dr Alexander Blank (Service 2000, 11).

Note: this person is somewhat contested. Alternative theories presented below.

Both Srul and his brother Abel went to Saint Petersburg and were baptized into the Orthodox Christianity, hence Srul Moishevich Blank became Aleksandr Dmitrievich Blank. The baptism took place in the Samson Cathedral, in Saint Petersburg's Vyborg district. The godfathers were senator Dmitry Baranov and the privy councillor, count Aleksandr Ivanovich Apraksin. From the former they also got their new patronymic. This circumstance allowed them into the Saint Petersburg Medico-Surgical Academy in 1820, from which they graduated four years later. Aleksandr graduated 1824-07-19 and received final confirmation 1826-01-29.

Some alternatives to the mainstream theory exist. Apparently, there were at the time two different and unrelated "Aleksandr Dmitrievich Blank's" who both studied at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Medical Surgeons. Accordingly, both had remarkably similar intersts both professionaly and in social life etc., one of them, the converted Jew commoner, the other an ethnic German and nobility. According to this theory, Lenin's grandfather was fittingly enough the latter Aleksandr Blank, so Lenin did not have "Jewish blood" after all. Whatever the contemporary reasons and arguments, this tends to be a "hotspot" that is often spotlighted and contested.

―‘And in 1965, all archival documents relating to Lenin's Jewish grandfather were ordered ‘removed without leaving any copies.’

                      (Slezkine 2004, 338).

With a diploma as surgeon-obstetrician, he worked in the town of Porechye, Smolensk Governorate. Soon, he returned to Saint Petersburg and worked as a police medical doctor, then in the Naval Department; in 1837, he started to work in Mariinsky Hospital. In 1842, he moved to Perm, then Zlatoust. In 1847, he retired from the practice of medicine and bought the estate of Kokushkino or Yañasala, now Lenino-Kokushkino, in Tatarstan—allegedly with 39 male serfs—where he lived until his death in 1870. In 1887-1888, Vladimir Lenin was exiled to his grandfather's estate.

At times he was a doctor for the Ukrainian poet Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko. In 1837, in Saint Petersburg, he reportedly saved Shevchenko—then a young pupil of artist Shiryayev—from a dangerous illness. Later, in 1850s, during his exile to Nizhny Novgorod, Shevchenko was afflicted with an "indecent illness out of his romance with actress Pekunova", most likely a sort of a sexually transmitted disease. Shevchenko sent for the retired doctor Aleksandr Blank who was able to cure him.

Aleksandr married once, but tried twice. His first wife was Anna Ivanovna Grosschopff (Анна Ивановна Гроссхопф). They had one son, Dmitry, who committed suicide at the age of 19 possibly because of a gambling debt and five daughters: Anna, Lyubov, Yekaterina, Maria and Sofia. Each of the five daughters married a school teacher and left five to ten children. The fourth daughter, Maria married Ilya Ulyanov and became mother of Vladimir Lenin.

Anna Grosschopf's ancestors came from Northern Germany and that branch of the family produced many notable Germans that were discovered to be blood relatives of Vladimir Lenin. Among them are Nazi field marshal Otto Moritz Walter Model, German archeologist Ernst Curtius, President of Germany Richard von Weizsäcker and many others.

In 1838, Anna Grosschopff died and Aleksandr courted the widow of a government official of XII class, Catherine von Essen in 1842. This partnership was childless.

In May 1842, Aleksandr, along with his children and his "wife", Catherine von Essen, moved to Perm. It was illegal to marry ones deceased wife's sister. Alexander applied for permisson to marry―without disclosing the sisters birth names to the authorities―but was still denied. However, it did not stop the couple from staying under the same roof until Yekaterina's death in 1863.

"Alexander Blank took early retirement in 1847 and, in respect of his standing in the medical hierarchy, was granted hereditary nobility some years later. Just before his retirement he bought the estate of Kokushkino near Kazan. Blank’s social standing was enhanced considerably by this purchase, as he now entered the ranks of the landowning aristocracy and had become the owner of serfs, the traditional mark of wealth and substance in Russia. Unlike many landowners, however, Blank treated the peasants on his estate with compassion and consideration, holding clinics for them in the manor house." (White 2001: 17)



  • Arutyunov, Akim Armenakovich. Досье Ленина без ретуши. Документы. Факты. Свидетельства. [Dossier of Lenin without retouch. Documents. Facts. Testimonies.] [in Russian] Moscow: Вече (Veche), 1999. ISBN 5-7838-0530-0
  • Kruse, Günter. ”Die Familie des fränkischen Dichters und Sprachwissenschaftlers Friedrich Rückert und Ahnengemeinschaften mit Lenin.” [The family of the Franconian poet and linguist Friedrich Rückert and the ancestral ties with Lenin.] [in German] Archiv für Familiengeschichtsforschung no. 4 (2006), quoted in Renner, Manfred. ”Lenins Parchimer Vorfahren.” (2008). (accessed January 14, 2011).
  • ———. "Vorfahren Lenins in Mecklenburg" [Lenin's ancestors in Mecklenburg]. Verein für mecklenburgische Familien- und Personengescheiste e. V. (2007).
  • Melamed, Efim. “Отректись иудейской веры: Новонайденные документы о еврейских предках Ленина.“ [Renounced Judaism: Newly discovered documents about the ancestors of Lenin.] [in Russian] “Vestnik : The Journal of Russian and Asian Studies” 332, no. 21 (October 2003).
  • ———. “О еврейских предках Ленина“ [On Lenin’s Jewish Ancestry] [in Russian] Sem40: Sem40-Panorama. (October 2003).
  • Rodovid, s.v. “ruЗапись:291195” (accessed January 19, 2011).
  • Service, Robert. Lenin: a biography. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-674-00828-6
  • Slezkine, Yuri. The Jewish Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-691-11995-3
  • Stein, Michael G. Ульяновы и Ленины. семейные тайны. [Ulyanov & Lenin. Family Secrets] [in Russian] St. Petersburg: Neva, 2004. ISBN 5-7654-3608-0
  • White, James D. Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution (European History in Perspective). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN 0333721578
  • Wikipedia, s.v. “Blank Family,” en ru (accessed January 14, 2011).
  • Zenkovich, Nikolaj A. Самые секретные родственники. [The most secret relatives] [in Russian] Moscow: OLMA-Press, 2005. ISBN 5948504085



  • Srul — is the Yiddish form of Israel (Russian: Израиль).
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Srul Moishevich (Aleksandr Dmitrievich) Blank's Timeline

Starokostiantyniv, Ukraine
May 25, 1820
Age 21
Saint Petersburg, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
September 9, 1830
Age 31
September 9, 1830
Age 31
Age 33
Age 33
Cheremyshevo, Pestrechinsky District, Tatarstan, Russia
Age 34
Age 34
Age 34