Virtual Exhibitions 2013, no. 2

The Wegener Diaries: Scientific Expeditions into the Eternal Ice

by Christian Kehrt

This virtual exhibition sheds light on Alfred Wegener's expeditions to Greenland between 1906 and 1931. Its main focus is on the diaries Wegener wrote during his explorations, which offer unique insights into the manifold challenges man and material faced in Greenland's extreme environments. You may choose to read the diaries in their original state, or browse the expeditions individually and read transcribed and translated excerpts by clicking on the tabs below.


Source: Alfred Wegener, Tagebücher, June 1906 – August 1908. DMA NL 001/005.

[116] Kreuz des Anemometers zu orientieren. Dies missglückte aber, da die 4 Schrauben zu schwer gehen und man keine Handhabe an den glatten Stöcken zum Drehen hat. Ich werde wohl eine andere Methode ersinnen müssen, um das Kreuz festzusetzen. Ebenso bin ich mit dem Feilen der Nuten in dem magnet. Statif noch nicht weiter gekommen. Heute Mittag 2 Uhr habe ich nun mit dem 24-Stundentermin begonnen. So bekommt man Gelegenheit, alle die 100 Kleinigkeiten, die sich nach und nach angesammelt haben, in Ordnung zu bringen, weil man an Bord sein muß. Die Nächte sind jetzt schon sehr dunkel, man sieht die Sterne, und kann die Instrumente im Freien um 12 Uhr noch mit besonderen Kniffen ablesen. Die Nacht ist deswegen unangenehm, weil man so sehr kalte Füße bekommt. Ich habe mir schon deswegen meine

[116] position the anemometer cross. This was unsuccessful, however, since the 4 bolts were too difficult to screw in and there was no grip on the slippery posts. I suppose I will have to think of another way to attach the cross. I was also unable to make any progress filing the seams on the magnetic stand. This afternoon at 2 I started the 24-hour shift. Here, one suddenly has the opportunity to deal with the 100 little tasks which have gradually accumulated, since one has no choice but to be on board. The nights are already very dark, one can see the stars, and at 12 the instruments outside can only be read using special tricks. The nights are uncomfortable because one gets such cold feet. I have already started wearing my

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Scanned diary: Used by permission of the Archives of the Deutsches Museum
Diary translation: Creative Commons License 2013 Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society