Zanders Ivan Andreevich (Janis)

(1867 - 13.03.1914)

Sailor, Latvian, expedition member G.Ya. Sedov.

Born in Olaine parish in a large family of the blacksmith Andrei Zanders. My father Janis learned blacksmithing, but the main place in his life was occupied by the sea. At the beginning of the 20th century, Janis went to Arkhangelsk, because, according to his daughter, he believed that "the German spirit reigned in Riga, and the native Latvian could not achieve substantial success in anything". For several years, Sanders was a mechanic for the steamer “John the Theologian”, and later entered the steamer “Mary”. When its owner sold his ship in 1912, Zanders lost his job. It was at this time G.Ya. Sedov urgently sought out mechanics for the "Holy Foka." Novinsky, Head of the Port of Arkhangelsk, recommended the position of the first mechanic Sanders as a decent person and a good specialist known to the port authorities from the best side. And soon, with the steamer Dvina, Martins Zanders arrived in Arkhangelsk. Janis convinced his younger brother to take the place of the second mechanic on the “Saint Fock”. It is known from the memories of Sedov's wife Vera that Janis’s wife asked her to convince Sedov not to take her husband on an expedition, since they had just bought a house, they would have to think about their daughters marriage, and I want to live in old age. But Sedov did not want to hear, to leave the ship without a good mechanic, and Janis insisted on his own, he simply could not sit at home. He came to the ship to the very departure in one jacket.

Janis Zanders was not destined to return home. He died on an expedition from scurvy in March 1914, he was buried in the very jacket in which he came to the ship. In August, “Saint Foka” returned to Arkhangelsk. Among those present was the 17-year-old daughter of Sanders Otilia Sandera. But instead of a joyful meeting, sad news waited for her.

She characterizes her father as an honest and strong person, with a great sense of duty, very demanding of herself and others. He was a physically very strong and healthy person, brave, honest, with a good sense of humor. He was interested not only in the opportunity to earn good money promised by Sedov, but also in the idea itself - to reach the North Pole.

In his memoirs, N. V. Pinegin writes about mechanics: “He spent his whole life at sea and in the most difficult situations on Saint Fock always remained calm. Four months of illness and great suffering did not break Ya. Zanders. No one heard complaints from him. He met his death with dignity and was buried on Hooker Island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, in the site of the second wintering expedition.

From the memories of N.V. Pinegin; “They buried Ivan Andreevich, stitched the body into a bag of tarpaulin (there were no six boards on the coffin suitable for the coffin), carried Zander to the deck and carried him to the grave. Howling blizzard. The wind ruffled the clothes harnessed to the sleigh, rustling over the stones. The body was lowered into the grave and they made something like a crypt, - its arch replaced the door from the cabin. Filled with a layer of earth in a dozen centimeters, and on top laid a large pile of stones. Here it is, the polar grave, the first on this island”.  Near the tomb is the astronomical sign of the expedition of Sedov.

When on June 30 the ship headed back, the flag was lowered to the middle of the mast - so the team gave the last salute to their first mechanic”.

Stones (Brothers Zander) east of the islands Gorbovy. Named  by G.Ya. Sedov in 1913.

Ice dome on the island of George Land of the archipelago Franz-Josef Land. Named in the 1950s by Soviet cartographers.


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