#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The scientist took part in organizing the first expeditions of Alliluev and Urvantsev to study the Norilsk deposits. Fedorovsky founded and headed the All-Union Institute of Mineral Raw Materials.
Despite the fact that Nikolay Fedorovsky had been a member of the revolutionary movement since 1902 and a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, in 1937 he was arrested ‘for participation in an anti-Soviet organization’. He served his sentence in Vorkutlag, and since 1945 – in Norilsk.
In the well-known memoirs of Efrosinya Kersnovskaya, a Norillag prisoner, there is a story that she and Fedorovsky sailed to Dudinka on the same ship, and Efrosinya rescued the professor from the criminals who mocked him:
“I know that no one asked me for help, but I just felt that someone needed my help, and rushed into the depths of the cabin, where some kind of fuss was taking place: either a brawl, or a game. And, my God, what did I see! The bandits had fun. The subject of that entertainment was an elderly, intelligent-looking man with a beard – professor Fedorovsky. Those sitting on the upper tier held him by the legs and swung him in the aisle between the rows of wagons. He flew through the air like a volleyball, and the pack around him, men and women, cackling with delight, from time to time kicked him higher. The old man didn’t cry. Maybe he just suffocated, hanging upside down, or maybe he realized that it was useless. “Cowards! Shame on you?!” with an indignant cry, I rushed to rescue the old man. Only a miracle (and partly my intervention) helped him get to Dudinka, and not continue his journey along another river – the Styx … I lost professor Fedorovsky. Only two or three years later, having found out where I was, he sent me a very touching, grateful letter”.
From 1945 to 1954 Fedorovsky lived in Norilsk. Here the scientist worked with a pick and a shovel, then taught mineralogy at the Mining and Metallurgical College, prepared the sixth edition of his textbook Course of Mineralogy. In 1954, Fedorovsky was rehabilitated, but as soon as he found it out, he had a stroke.
Nikolay Fedorovsky is the author of more than 150 scientific papers. In Norilsk, he wrote Mineralogical Sketches in verse. A street in the Talnah district, the mineral Fedorovskite, is named after Fedorovsky, memorial plaques to him are placed on the building of the All-Union Institute of Mineral Resources in Moscow, Polar State University in Norilsk and on residential building No. 1 on Fedorovsky street.
In the History Spot photo project previous publication we told that in the beginning Norilsk coal was as highly valuable as Norilsk ore.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive