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Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel
Born (1903-12-24)24 December 1903
Died 8 December 1971(1971-12-08) (aged 67)
Occupation Geographer, explorer
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin

E. Krenkel as Polar radio operator on the cover of Radiofront magazine. 1937

Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel (Russian: Эрнст Теодо́рович Кре́нкель) (24 December [O.S. 11 December] 1903 in Bialystok[1] – 8 December 1971 in Moscow) was a Soviet Arctic explorer, radio operator, doctor of geographical sciences (1938), and Hero of the Soviet Union (1938). Amateur radio callsigns: U3AA, UA3AA, RAEM.

Early life[]

Krenkel was born in Białystok,[citation needed] now Poland, to a German family.


Ernst Krenkel was a radioman on polar stations

  • Matochkin Shar (1924–1925, 1927–1928),
  • Tikhaya Bay (1929–1930),
  • Cape Olovyanniy (1935–1936), and
  • Domashniy Island (1936).

He took part in Arctic expeditions on the Graf Zeppelin airship (1931), icebreaker Sibiryakov, steamship SS Chelyuskin (1933–1934, callsign RAEM). He was also a radioman on the first drifting ice station North Pole-1 (1937-1938, callsign UPOL).[2] He is known to have set a world record by establishing a long-distance radio communication between Franz Josef Land and Antarctica.

In 1938, Krenkel went on to work for Glavsevmorput. Later in his life he was employed in the radio industry. In 1951, he was hired by the scientific research institute of hydrometeorological instrument-making, becoming its director in 1969.

Ernst Krenkel was deputy of Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (1937—1946), chairman of Radio Sport Federation of the Soviet Union, chairman of Philately Society of the Soviet Union.


He wrote a book of memoirs entitled My Callsign is RAEM (Russian: RAEM - мои позывные).


Ernst died in 1971 and was interred at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

Awards and honours[]

  • Ernst Krenkel was awarded two Orders of Lenin, three other orders and several medals.
  • Krenkel Bay in Severnaya Zemlya is named after him.
  • Ernst Krenkel Observatory located on Heiss Island, Franz Josef Land is named after him.
  • A street in Moscow bears Krenkel's name.

Popular culture[]

  • Mikhail Veller wrote about him in his collection of novels 'Legendy Nevskogo Prospecta', 1994

See also[]

  • Awards of the Soviet Union


  1. Кренкель Э. Т. RAEM — мои позывные. — Moscow: Советская Россия, 1973
  2. "North Pole Drifting Stations (1930s-1980s)". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 

This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.

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