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Otto Schmidt
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Scientist
    (September 30, 1891-September 7, 1956)
    Born in Mogilev, Belarus
    German from his father’s side and Latvian from his mother’s side
    Worked as professor at Moscow State University
    Chief editor of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1924-41)
    Led a joint Soviet-German expedition in the Pamir mountains (1928)
    Led an expedition to Franz Josef Land (1928-30)
    Head of the Arctic Institute (1930-32)
    Led two expeditions to navigate Russia’s northeastern passage from west to east (1932, 1933)
    Theorized that the Solar System was formed when the Sun passed through a rotating cloud of dust and gas, which condensed together to form planets as they emerged from a hot molten state
    Died in Moscow
    He was a firm supporter of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
    He brought women and children during his second expedition navigating Russia’s northeastern passage.
    Worse, his icebreaker got stuck on ice during said expedition.
    Apparently, some hardcore Communist parents named their children Oyushminald (an acronym of the phrase ‘Otto Schmidt on the ice floe’ in Russian), in reference to his Arctic expedition.
    He managed to get an excellent education despite his family’s poverty.
    He suffered from tuberculosis since he was a child.
    He wrote many of the articles of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
    He opposed Josef Stalin’s policies, yet managed to survive his dictatorship.
    During his membership at the USSR Academy of Sciences, he evacuated and reestablished many academic institutions during World War II.
    The people involved in his second expedition around the northeastern passage managed to get rescued, and he was subsequently celebrated as a hero to the point that girls hung portraits of him in their rooms.
    His theory on the planets’ formation sounds more reasonable than the earlier hypothesis that the planets were once cold solid bodies.
    He was awarded the title ‘Hero of the Soviet Union.' (June 27, 1937)

Credit: Big Lenny


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