Ernst Theodorovich Krenkel was the radio operator of the first Soviet drifting station “North Pole – 1”. He was born on December 9 (24), 1903 in the city of Bialystok, the Grodno province (now it is a part of Poland) in the family of an inspector of a commercial school. He was German. In 1910 together with his family he moved to Moscow. He studied at the private Reformed gymnasium at the Swiss Church in Moscow. During the First World War and the Civil War, he was forced to leave school and go to work: he worked as a handyman, a parcel packer, a poster sticker, an electrician’s assistant. In 1921 he completed with honors a one-year course of radiotelegraphists in Moscow. Since 1921 he worked at the Lyubertsy reception radio station. In 1924-1925 he worked as a radio operator at the first Soviet polar observatory Matochkin Shar (the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago). In 1925-1926 he served in the Red Army as a radio operator of the radiotelegraph battalion (Vladimir). After being discharged from the reserve in November 1926 and returning to Moscow, he did not find a job in his specialty, but took up amateur shortwave radio stations. Since 1927 he was the radio operator of the Matochkin Shar Polar Observatory again. During the winter of 1927-1928, for the first time in history, he conducted ultra-long-range short-wave radio communication sessions. In 1928 he was a radio operator on the hydrographic vessel “Taimyr”, on which he conducted a long expedition in the Barents Sea. From the end of 1928 he worked at the Central Research Institute of Communications. He participated in numerous Arctic expeditions: in 1929 – on the icebreaking steamer “Georgy Sedov”, in 1929-1930 – in wintering at the polar station Tikhaya Bay (the Franz Josef Land Archipelago), in 1931 – on the German airship “Graf Zeppelin”, in 1932 – on the steamship “Sibiryakov”, in 1933 – on the Soviet airship “B-3”. In 1933-1934 he was a participant in the voyage of the steamer “Chelyuskin”, after the sinking of the ship, he provided radio communication of the O.Y. Schmidt ice camp with the mainland. In 1935-1936 he was the head of the polar stations Cape Tin and Domashny Island in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. He set a world record for long-wave radio communication in 1930, and became one of the most famous Soviet polar explorers and radio operators. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated March 22, 1938, Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin for his heroism in fulfilling a government task. After the establishment of the badge of special distinction, he was awarded the Gold Star medal.
Address: Moscow, Chaplygina str., 1/12, p. 1