Kruger Hans Kurt Erik 
(24.06.1886–1930)


German geologist, arctic explorer. 
Born in Prussia near Posen (Poznan) in the family of a factory manager. He graduated from elementary school near Dresden and entered the gymnasium in Nuremberg, from which he graduated in 1905. At the insistence of his father, Kruger, for almost two years from autumn 1905 to summer 1907, studied law in Jena, and at the same time attended a number of lectures on natural sciences. He was also interested in art, literature, he even tried to start a career as a writer and literary critic, but Kruger was especially attracted to reports and reports on polar research. 
In 1907, the family moved from Dresden to Frankenthal, and Kruger continued his education at the University of Göttingen. But suddenly he was abandoned by the desire to make an academic career, and he went to South-West Africa, where he spent 14 full adventurous years, going from worker to mine manager and leader of large exploration expeditions in the Kalahari and Namib deserts. The practical geological knowledge acquired by Kruger during this period was very useful to him in the future. 
Upon returning from Africa, Kruger intended to take part in an expedition through the Northwest Passage, then on an Antarctic expedition, but neither of these projects was possible. 
During World War I, Kruger served in the South-West African colonial forces, but then, at the request of the German government, became a partisan leader who fought against Britain. He was taken prisoner, sentenced to death, escaped, was captured again, but finally pardoned. 
After the end of the war, Kruger returned to Germany and entered as a freelance assistant at the Geological Institute of the Darmstadt Technical High School. His restless soul did not allow him a long time to do desk work. Now he was attracted not by the hot Africa, but by the icy icy Arctic. 
Initially, Kruger conceived a five-year expedition, whose plans included a survey of the Mackenzie Delta, the islands of Victoria, Melville, and the search for unknown land north-west of Fr. Ellef Ringnes and the return to the Bering Strait. Then his plans changed. He decided to start an expedition from Greenland and spend a year among the Eskimos to learn from them the way of life and hunting skills, to live on Ellesmere Island for the second year to consolidate their acquired skills, and in subsequent years to search for the suspected Lands of Croker and Bradley. The implementation of Kruger’s plans faced a lot of diplomatic and bureaucratic delays by the Canadian government. Receipt of work permits within Canadian territories was delayed, and Kruger decided to conduct a preparatory expedition to Western Greenland. At the end of July 1925, he and Professor F. Klute left Copenhagen on the Danish steamer Hans Egede. The vessel made a difficult transition to Gothob, and then moved north along the coast. During some camps, scientists were able to make walking excursions. Arriving in the area of Disco and Svartenhoek, Kruger and Klute for the first time crossed on foot the Nugsuak Peninsula, which was considered inaccessible. At the end of November, they returned to Copenhagen on the same “Hans Egede”. 
In Germany, Kruger continued work at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy. He published a number of written works on the geology of Western Greenland, published a description of his Arctic geological research in German and English, and also wrote several articles on economic prospects, demographic and racial problems in South Africa and an article on Angola, prepared his dissertation "On the geology of Western Greenland , Which was subsequently published. 
November 19, 1928 he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Geographical Society. 
Only in 1929, Kruger was able to undertake the second expedition, which became his last. With the participation of Dr. Drescher and Dr. Niland in the summer, he explored the Disco Area and visited Svartenhoek. In the fall, both Kruger satellites returned, and he, along with the hunter Danish AR Biare, traveled further north to the Canadian steamer and spent the winter at the Eskimos near Nerke in the north of Greenland. At the beginning of 1930, Kruger made a training sledding trip along the northern coast of Greenland, and in February with several Eskimos left through the frozen Smith Strait to the Canadian government post on the Bach Peninsula on the east coast of Ellesmere Island, from where he intended to go to the north. They arrived at the post on March 12th. Eyewitnesses claim that Kruger suffered from violent convulsions and vomiting, but attributed these symptoms to poisoning, which he had received the previous fall. 
Leaving a note requesting replenishment, March 19, Kruger with Biara and local hunter Akyoka headed west. On April 11, the pair of sleds accompanying them returned to the police post and two days later went home. It turned out that the path that the Kruger party was covering was very difficult due to bad weather conditions and a large amount of heavy equipment. The returnees also noted that Kruger and Biare were in very poor physical condition: Biare froze his toes, and Kruger spat blood, climbing the hill. It was assumed that Kruger had planned to go around the island of Axel-Heiberg and return either to the police post on the Bach Peninsula or in the south of the island of Ellesmere. 
They began to worry after information about Kruger did not appear by the beginning of winter. In the spring of 1931, the search party of the sleigh tried to reach Axel-Heiberg island from the Beich Peninsula, but was unable to do so due to the lack of snow. We went south to the police post in the south of Ellesmere Island, but no traces of Kruger were found. 
In the summer of 1931 the fruitless search for the Kruger group in the southern part of Fr. Ellesmere led a patrol on the Biotic ship under the direction of Major L.T.Burvasha. 
The German government refused to finance the search, and in 1932 Canada conducted them again. Two ground search groups were organized: one under the leadership of Stolowerty, the second - Hamilton. They started west at the end of March from Beich Peninsula and crossed Ellesmere Island. The Stolowerti group headed north and reached the northern end of Axel-Heiberg through the Nansen Strait. Here, on the cape of Thomas Hubbard, rescuers in Guria, left in 1906 by R. Pirie, found a Kruger note written in German: “The German Arctic Expedition reached this cairn on April 24, 1930 and found messages from Piri and Mac-Millan here. Copies were made. We come from Lands Locke and head to the island of Mien”.  
Stolowery was inspired by his discovery - now a specific goal has become apparent - the island of Mien. However, the rescuers could not get there, although the island was perfectly visible through the strait which was packed with ice covered with ice. Sverdrup. They ran out of supplies of dog food, which could not be replenished on the island of Mien. The patrol moved south, examined the southern part of Fr. Axel-Heiberg, then to the northeast and east, losing exhausted dogs. Having spent 65 days in hikes and having overcome a total of 2,250 km, the patrol returned to the Beich Peninsula. 
Hamilton, after parting with Stolowerty, headed south. His group explored the southern part of Axel-Heiberg and Cornwall, and on the way back Bjorn Peninsula in the south-west of Ellesmere Island. In just 49 days, this patrol traveled 1,510 km, not finding any traces of the Kruger group. In their reports, the leaders noted that it would have been impossible to survive in such difficult conditions with so little game, and suggested that the Kruger expedition, being not well prepared, died approximately in the winter of 1930-1931. 
In this search virtually were terminated. It seems strange that no one tried to reach the island of Mien, which was indicated in the Kruger note. 
Until 1954 there was no new information about the missing expedition. That year R.J. Christie and J. Hattars on the westernmost cape of Ellesmere Island in Guria, built in 1906 by R. Pirie, discovered a Kruger note dated two days earlier than the note found by Stalworth in 1932. It read: “The German Arctic Expedition, going from Nerke in Northern Greenland towards the Bay Fjord, reached this pyramid, built by Peary, on April 22, 1930. No messages found. We are heading towards the northern edge of the island of Geyberg. One sleigh, 17 dogs and 3 people, all in good condition. " 
Finally, in the spring of 1957, Dr. R. Thorsteinsson of the Geological Survey of Canada, conducting a geological survey, found the Kruger message, dated May 6, 1930, at Cape Anderson on Mien Island. It read: 
“The German Arctic Expedition, which began its journey from the northern end of the island of Geyberg, reached this point on May 5, 1930 and discovered a note from Stephansson. It was impossible to make a copy of it, since the message was in such a bad condition that it was not subject to reading and collapsed during the first attempt to deploy it. We continue our journey to Cape Sverre on Amund Ringness Island”.  
May 6, 1930 
Age Rose Rose, G.K.E. Kruger, Chief of Acuoc. 

Returning to the base, Thorsteinsson immediately wrote to Stephensson about his find. He replied: "In my opinion, you have dispelled the secret of the Kruger expedition ....". 
On August 17, 1958, Torsteynsson landed on Cape Sverre and thoroughly investigated the territory in search of Kruger’s tracks, but did not find any evidence that he reached Amund Ringness Island. 
Thorsteynsson made two assumptions about the fate of the Kruger expedition. The most likely he believed the version that all three researchers died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning inside a snowy home somewhere between the islands of Mien and Amund Ringnes. The second assumption was that the Kruger expedition fell through thin ice and sank. 
Stefansson considered the version of carbon monoxide poisoning the most likely. 
In 1963, geologist K. Amold, engaged in field work on the island of Mien, found two places that could be associated with the Kruger expedition. The first one is the traces of the camp in the northern part of the island, the second is a small sandstone pyramid at the southern end of the island. However, inside the pyramid there was no message from Kruger, and nothing directly connected the traces of the camp with him. 
An island west of the northwestern part of Ellesmere Island at the northern entrance to the Nansen Strait. Named in 1955 at the suggestion of J. Hattars. 
Mountains in the west of. 
Ellesmere in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The river on the island of Mien. 
Also, at the suggestion of Hattars, the Strait between Ellesmere Island and Claybolt Peninsula and the bay in the south-west of Mien Island is named after Biare. Theglacier dome on the island of Axel-Heiberg and a cape in the eastern part of Biare Bay is named after Acuoka. 
Name Stoluerti named the northernmost cape of the island of Axel-Heiberg.

 

Return to the main page