By Gijsbert-Paul Berk
This story originally appeared in VeloceToday on April 15th, 2014.
Alexis Kow was born in 1900 near St. Petersburg in Russia as Alexis Kojewnikow, sometimes spelled Kogeynikow. His grandfather was a famous neurologist who discovered a treatment for a rare form of epilepsy, today still known as the Kogeynikow Syndrome. In 1915, his father, a writer, journalist and globetrotter, who spoke seven languages, became so worried about the political situation in his homeland that he decided to send young Alexis to a boarding school in Lausanne to learn French and other foreign languages.