Retovsky Leonid Ottovich

(01.04.1904 – after 1937)

Soviet hydrobiologist.

Born in Petersburg. He graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Department of Leningrad State University.

Information about the life of Retovsky is extremely scarce and fragmentary. From 1923 he worked at the Northern Scientific and Commercial Expedition, transformed in 1925 into the Institute for the Study of the North, and in 1930 into the All-Union Arctic Institute. In 1928 he held the position of research assistant, and since 1936 the head of the hydrobiological sector. He took part in the Arctic expeditions, in particular, in 1930 was part of the expedition on the icebreaker steamer "G. Sedov”, and in 1932 as a hydrobiologist - as a member of the participants of a historic voyage on the icebreaker steamer “Sibiryakov”, which for the first time carried out through navigation by the North-East passage in one navigation.

Retovsky wrote the book “Through a Blizzard and Against the Waves”, published in 1933, about rescuing the crew of the German minesweeper “Johannes Thode” by the staff of the polar station that had crashed in the winter near the Murmansk coast. One of the rescuers was the author of the book.

The last entry in his registration card, dated October 5, 1937, reads: "Expelled from the lists of the Institute". Such a record usually appeared in the event of a person’s death, but then it was stated “in connection with death”. In this case, given the year of deduction, we can confidently say that Retovsky was arrested. At almost the same time, namely, on September 10, 1937, Irina Retovskaya was fired at her own will, born in 1907. Most likely, it was his wife.

Information about Otto Ottovich Retovsky was found on the Internet: “Born in 1902 in St. Petersburg. Russian, incomplete higher education. Anarchist. Four times we are convicted of counterrevolutionary activity under art. 58-10, 58-11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. Exile in Minusinsk. No specific occupation. Arrested on 11/06/1937, 6 people were involved in the case. Charge to KRA, TD. 11.04.1938 convicted three UNKVD KK to VMN. He was shot 04/05/1938 in the city of Minusinsk. On June 22, 1989, the prosecutor's office of the CC (P-17610) was rehabilitated”.  Is he the brother of Leon Ottovich?


Retovskiy Lake

(photo by EA Korago)


A lake in the south of the Russian Harbor Bay on the western shore of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Called by the expedition to the icebreaker steamer "G. Sedov" in 1930.


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