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His whole life was spent in a great love for geography

Jacob Samoilovich Edelstein is a Russian geologist and geographer. An outstanding scientist, one of the universal specialists in the field of earth science. Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, Scientific Secretary of the All-Union Geographical Society (USSR) (1930-38). Honored Scientist of Russia (1936). Professor of Leningrad State University (since 1925).

Jacob Edelstein was born in the city of Balakley, the former Kharkov province, in the family of a small servant. He graduated from high school in 1889 with a gold medal and entered the natural department of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Kharkov University. As a student, Jacob Samoilovich participated in excursions in the Caucasus with the famous geographer Professor A. N. Krasnov. In 1894 he graduated from the university with a diploma of I degree.

From 1896 to 1903 he worked in the Far East on the instructions of the Russian Gold Mining Company. At Sikhote-Alin, he discovered a new gold-bearing area in the Tumnin River basin. The results of the research were presented in a number of publications and for the research conducted by J. S. Edelstein was awarded a gold medal by the Russian Geographical Society.

From 1904 to 1907, Jacob Samoilovich was a member of the Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on whose instructions and with the assistance of the Russian Geographical and Mineralogical Societies, he studied the geology of Mountain Bukhara. According to the results of research, the scientist was awarded in 1912 by the Russian Geographical Society of the N.M. Przewalski medal.

Since 1907, Jakob Samoylovich became a geologist (from 1912 - senior geologist) of the Russian Geological Committee, where he was with short intervals until 1949.

Jacob Edelstein did a lot to introduce geomorphological studies into the work of the Geological Committee, as well as methods for studying quaternary deposits.

During the Second World War, while being evacuated in Yekaterinburg, Jakob Samoilovich headed major works on the compilation of a geomorphological map of the Urals, uniting many geomorphologists and geologists around him.

The merit of J. S. Edelstein as the author of the first course of geomorphology in Russian is great. He withstood several publications and (according to some scholars) is still the best in Russia. According to this textbook, several generations of geomorphologists have grown up in Russia.

The activity of Jakob Samoilovich as the first chairman of the Geomorphological Commission of the Geographical Society of the Soviet Union is very important.

J .S. Edelstein's successes in science and high prestige among others were promoted by his personal qualities: sharp mind, curiosity and breadth of vision, excellent memory, hard work, thoroughness in work, caution in conclusions.

In 1949, geological scientists who worked on the study of mineral resources in the Krasnoyarsk Territory were arrested. They were accused of allegedly hiding uranium ore found here, that is, of sabotage in favor of foreign states. Among them, according to a denunciation, Prof. J. S. Edelstein was arrested on March 31, 1949.

Sentenced to 25 years of correctional labor in a concentration camp. He died in a prison hospital in Leningrad on January 21, 1952. The finding of the grave is unknown. Rehabilitated March 31, 1954.

In 2006, the Geoclub was named after Y.S. Edelstein, who still works at the Kin-Top development center in Düsseldorf (Germany).

Аlexej Potupin