Wilhelm Filchner – Scientist and Author of Adventure
born: 13.9.1877 in Bayreuth
died: 7.5.1957 in Zurich
Wilhelm Filchner, a geographer and geodesist, undertook voyages of research that took him above all to the countries of Central Asia. He travelled in Pamir, Tibet, China and Nepal. He was primarily interested in measuring the Earth's magnetic field. In addition to these activities, he was leader of the Second German Expedition to the South Pole in 1911/12. In the course of the latter, Filchner discovered the eastern part of what is now called the "Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf". The western part was discovered in 1947 by an American expedition under the leadership of F. Ronne. The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in the Southern Weddell Sea is the second largest ice shelf in Antarctica. From 1982-1998 the Filchner Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute was operated there, a summer station used for studies in ice shelf dynamics. As the ice shelf broke in 1998, the station began to drift and had to be dismantled during the summer campaign of 1998/99.
In addition to scientific publications and map sets, Filchner wrote a large number of popular travelogues. Titles include "Through East Tibet", "Life of a Researcher" and "Hell and Fever in Nepal".