Register of the George Zechanowitsch papers

Finding aid prepared by Michael Herrick
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
© 2009, 2017

Title: George Zechanowitsch papers
Date (inclusive): 1867-1994
Collection Number: 98065
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: Russian, Polish, German, English, and Lithuanian
Physical Description: 1 manuscript box (0.4 linear feet)
Abstract: Identification, school, military, and legal documents, as well as photographs, relating to Russian émigré life in Poland and Germany, and to displaced persons following World War II. Includes documents of other family members of George Zechanowitsch, primarily relating to pre-Revolutionary Russia and inter-war Vilnius.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Zechanowitsch, George, 1918-1994.


Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Zechanowitsch papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1998.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical Note

George Zechanowitsch, a Russian émigré in Poland, Austria, and subsequently Canada, was born in Petrograd in 1918 into a Polish-Russian family. His father, Peter Stanislaus Ciechanowicz, served in the Imperial Russian army and then General Pilsudki's forces. He owned an estate in Piaski, near Lublin, and died in Auschwitz in 1941 without ever having met his only son.
His mother, Olga Sawicki/Savitzky, was born to a Russified Polish father, Aleksei Iakovlevich Savitskii, who has an Imperial military service record included in this collection covering the years 1885-1902. Her mother, Anna Sawicki (born Geysler/Hausler), was of Baltic German origins and the daughter of Egor Geisler, who has an Imperial service record included in this collection covering the years 1856-1869.
George grew up in inter-war Vilnius, his maternal grandmother’s family home, attending a Russian school there after which he attended the Polish university in Vilnius before World War II. He was raised largely by his maternal grandmother and the two of them were able to resettle in Austria after the Molotov-Ribentropp pact. His grandmother lived in Linz while George was able to continue his studies in Vienna and Graz before ending up in a DP camp on the American side of the Danube in Linz after the war. He emigrated to Canada in 1948.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of George Zechanowitsch include identification, school, military, and legal documents, as well as photographs, relating to Russian émigré life in Vilnius in the inter-war years, Austria during the war, and to displaced persons following World War II. Also included are photographs, identification, military or Russian Imperial government service records, Russian Orthodox birth and death records and property documents of other family members. The collection reflects the legal circumstances of an upper class man, of multi-ethnic heritage, coming of age in shifting geopolitical circumstances.
In addition to the materials documenting George Zechanowitsch's (Georgii Stanislavovich TSekhanovich, Георгий Станиславович Цеханович, Georgij Ciechanowicz, Jurgis Ciechanovic) life in Petrograd, Vilnius and Austria in the first half of the 20th century, there are materials of his ancestors, mostly related to Russia and inter-war Vilnius. These are largely from his maternal grandmother, Anna Savitskaia (Анна Савицкая, Anna Sawicka, Ona Savickiene), née Geisler (Гейслер, Geysler, Häusler) and her family. There are a few documents relating to his mother, Olga Alekseevna Savitskaia (Ольга Алексеевна Савицкая), and father, Peter Stanislaus Ciechanowicz (Petr Stanislav Adolfovich Tsekhanovich, Петр Станислав Адольфович Цеханович).
The names appearing in the other family documents and photographs include: Egor Geisler (Eгор Гейслер), Aleksei Iakovlevich Savitskii (Алексей Яковлевич Савицкий), Mikhail Georgievich Geisler (Михаил Георгиевич Гейслер), Vladimir Savitskii (Владимир Савицкий), Zinaida Savitskaia (Зинаида Савицкая), and Boris Bliss.
The exact connection of each family member to George Zechanowitsch can be found in a 24-page biography, located in the first folder, which was written by his wife, Aimi Zechanowitsch. Her order of, and titles for, the materials have been maintained for the most part.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945--Refugees.
Russia--Emigration and immigration.


Biographical File

Box/Folder 1 : 1

George Zechanowitsch biography and Ciechanowicz/Sawicki family history, 1994-1998

Box/Folder 1 : 2

Birth certificate and Vilnius documents, 1918-1940

Box/Folder 1 : 3

Uniwersytet Stefana Batorego, 1937-1939

Box/Folder 1 : 4

Vienna, Graz, 1942-1944

Scope and Contents note

Austrian Fremdenpass, student ID for Technische Hochshcule Graz, Meldebuch and other documents from Technische Hochschule in Wien.
Box/Folder 1 : 5

Linz, 1945-1946

Scope and Contents note

Police registration, marriage certificate, displaced person registration-certificate/Registrierungsbescheinigung, United Nations DP identification card, employment verifications.
Box/Folder 1 : 6

Canada, 1948-1994

Scope and Contents note

Immigration identification card, Department of Labour form, article off-print, copy of death certificate.

Family Biographical File

Box/Folder 1 : 7

Maternal grandmother, 1867-1945

Scope and Contents note

Documents relating to the life of Anna Savitskaia (Анна Савицкая, Anna Sawicka, Ona Savickiene), née Geisler (Гейслер, Geysler, Häusler), born a Baltic German but a resident of St. Petersburg until the Revolution. Birth certificate, 1867; affidavit of 1890 marriage, 1927; certification of widow status, 1909; document from the Russian Orthodoxy eparchy of Lithuania, 1922; Polish Vilnius residency certificate, 1922; Lithuanian Vilnius identity card and residency certificate, 1940-1941; testament handwritten in Russian with certified German translation, 1943; German identity and residency documents; death certificate, 1945.
Box/Folder 1 : 8

Maternal grandmother, property, 1923-1942

Scope and Contents note

Documents related to Anna Savitskaia's property in Lithuania, which supported her and George Zechanowitsch during the inter-war years.
Box/Folder 1 : 9

Mother and father, 1890-1942

Scope and Contents note

Birth, high school diploma, and marriage certificates of George Zechanowitch's mother, Olga Alekseevna Savitskaia (Ольга Алексеевна Савицкая). Information about the death in 1941 of his father, Peter Stanislaus Ciechanowicz (Petr Stanislav Adolfovich Tsekhanovich, Петр Станислав Адольфович Цеханович) in Auschwitz.
Box/Folder 1 : 10

Other family, 1869-1917

Scope and Contents note

Documents relating to the St. Petersburg/Petrograd life of members of George Zechanowitsch's mother's family: full service record of Egor Geisler (Eгор Гейслер); birth certificate and full military record of Aleksei Iakovlevich Savitskii (Алексей Яковлевич Савицкий); marriage certificate of godfather Mikhail Georgievich Geisler (Михаил Георгиевич Гейслер), 1915; certification of parish records reflecting birth and christening in Vilnius in 1892 and death in Petrograd of aunt Zinaida Savitskaia (Зинаида Савицкая), 1917.


Box/Folder 1 : 11

George, father's family, mother, 1890-1990

Scope and Contents note

George Zechanowitsch at age 7, in university (with friends) in Vilnius, and in 1993; Ciechanowicz family portrait, including Peter Stanislaus Ciechanowicz's mother, father and grandmother, circa 1900?; Olga Alekseevna Savitskaia at 2, as an adolescent, and with her mother-in-law in Vilnius, 1914.
Box/Folder 1 : 12

Maternal grandmother, mother's family, 1867-1940

Scope and Contents note

Anna Geysler at 2 and as a young girl, young woman, young mother (Anna Savitskaia), and middle-aged woman; unidentified portrait of a Geysler taken in Libau; Zinaida Savitskaia (Зинаида Савицкая) as a student and young woman; Vladimir Savitskii; Boris Bliss.