Otto Iul'evich Schmidt

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Belarus 406

     In 1934 Otto Iul'evich Schmidt (1891-1956) let an expedition to the Arctic on the icebreaker Cheliuskin. The ship was trapped by the ice and finally crushed. 104 crew members escaped onto the ice, and survived for two months before being rescued by planes.
     The minisheet issued by Belarus in 2001 features the Arctic ice sheet with a red line marking the course of the Cheliuskin to its grave, pictures of the members of the crew and expedition who had to leave the ship, and, at the bottom of the sheet, the plane which rescued them. At the top of the sheet next to the middle perforations are three islands rising out of the Polar ice cap. I believe that they represent the Severnaya Zemlya.
     On the stamp is a picture of Schmidt, a number of books which represent the books he published, and on the left side of the stamp a small map of the Severnaya Zemlya with a red arrow pointing to "Ostrov Schmidt" (Schmidt Island), which was designated to honor the explorer.
     The aerial rescue of the Cheliuskin crew and expedition is also commemorated on Russia C59.

SCN 406

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