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Overwintering in "Eismitte". German Greenland Expedition 1930-31

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Citation:
Rack, U. (2005): Overwintering in "Eismitte". German Greenland Expedition 1930-31 , 2nd International Alfred Wegener Symposium, 30.Oct.-2.Nov., Bremerhaven, Germany. .
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Abstract:

The research into the history of polar exploration is mainly focused on the evolution of science and its institutionalisation. Social conditions of the members of German polar expeditions have not been the subject of scholarly research . In the official records of the expeditions one can rarely find references to social factors. Such comments were often deliberately avoided.My PhD-Project is based on sources such as unpublished logbooks, diaries and letters. The dissertation also considers the question of how social conditions contributed to the success or failure of an expedition - or if they were not that crucial at all. References to foreign expeditions shall supply additional material for comparative studies.The poster deals only with one aspect of this dissertation with: the Deutsche Grönlandexpedition Alfred Wegener 1929/31. 1930 three bases were established: Weststation Eismitte Oststation. The mission of this expedition was to execute a huge geophysical program:- to collect meteorological data for one yearand- to record the influence of the ice of the interior of Greenland on the meteorology of the North Atlantic.The main source of this investigation are the diaries written by J. Georgi, E. Sorge and F. Loewe. These three men remained in Eismitte in a cave of perpetual snow through the winter.Because of several problems the base Eismitte was technically very poorly equipped and suffered from the lack of necessary scientific instruments and equipment. The same was true for the provisions.According to the diaries the social live of the three scientists was basically harmonious although the conditions of the hibernation were extremely bad. The import of vermin, the insufficient food supply and the low fuel rations were, however, kept under control.

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