1. Tzarina Catherine the Great was in born to a German noble family, had French tutors for her formal education, and during her reign she brought over many German and French individuals into Russia.
2. On a few occasions I heard my grandfather speculate that his family had come over to Belarus from Germany.
For whatever that may be worth.
Ken Ryesky, Petach Tikva, Israel kenneth.ryesky@...
RAISKY/REISKY, ARONOV, SHKOLNIK(OV), AEROV; Gomel, Belarus
GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
BRODSKY, VASILESKY; Odessa, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)