Kruber, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich

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Kruber, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich

(b. Voskresensk [now Istra], Moiscow guberniya, Russia, 10 August 1871; d. Moscow, U.S.S.R., 15 December 1941)


Kruber’s father was a schoolteacher. From 1891 to 1896 Kruber studid in the natural science section of the physics and mathematics faculty of Moscow University. Upon graduation he was retained in the department of geography and ethnography. In 1897 he began teach geography and to lead field investigations, studying mainly lakes, swamplands, and karst phenomena in the territory of European Russia and the Caucasus. In 1915 he was 0awarded the degree of master of geography for his work “Karstovaya oblast gornogo Kryma” (“The Karstic Region of Mountainous Crimea”). In 1919 he occupied the newly created separate chair of geography and from 1923 to 1927 was director of the Moscow University Scientific Research Institute of Geography. Kruber was coeditor with Aunchin of the journal Zemlevedenie (“Geography”) from 1917 to 1923 and sole editor from 1923 to 1927. The result of a severe illness forced him to retire in 1927.

Kruber belonged to the Russian school of geography founded by Anuchin an distinguished by a “complexion” approach to the study of nature. This approach regarded the geographic field as a complex of interrelated phenomena, the result of diverse but interacting foces. Kuber’s Fiziko-geograficheskie oblasti Everopeyskoy Rosii (“Physiographic Regions of European Russia”; 1907) and Ocherki geografi Rossii (“Essays on the Geography of Rssia”.; 1910) are clear examples of this approach applied to the study of geographic regions. Kruber ascribed great significance to analysis of the interaction of distinct phenomena and processes on the earth’s surface and created and university text Obschchee zemlevedenie (“Gernal Geography”; 1912–1922) and many other works that played in important role in training Soviet geographers.

“The task of geography,” Kruber wrote, “has alsays been and remains the description of the earth’s surface and the interpreation of its peculiarities”(Obshchee zemlevedenie [1923], p. 31). In this regard he emphasized the study of land masses as natural, historical complexes and focused on all the foces that had participated in their creation.

Kruber was one of the founders of the scientific study of karstic pheniomena in Russia, which gained many followers among Soviet geographers. He gave the first summaery of karstic phenomena in European Russia (1900) and pesented a model study of the Karstic pahenomena of the mountainous Crimea. he also elucidated the question of water circulation in a karst (1913). Kurber approached the study of karstic relief forms from the evolutionary viewpoint, taking into account the diversity of physiogeographic conditions and processes. He considered corrosion (the dissolution of rock) tot he leading process in the creation of most karstic forms, with erosion also playing a significant role. Kruber’s papes on physiographic classification, anthropogegraphy, and demography are also of interest. His service4s in creating geography textbooks for secondary schools are also considerable.


I. Original Works. Kruber’s works include “K voprosu ob izuchenii bolot Evropeyskoy Rossii” (“On the Question of the Study of the Swampolands of european Russia”), in Zemlevedenia, 4 bks, 3–4 (1897), 99–115 “opyty razdelenia Evr9opeyskoy Rossii na rayony” (“Experiements in Regional Subdivision of European Russia”), ibid., 5 bks. 3–4 (1898), 175–184; “O karstovykh yavleniakh v Rossii” (“On Karstic Ohenomena in Russia”) ibid., 7 (1900), 1–34; and “I. Fiziko-geograficheskie oblasti Evropeskoy Rossi; II. Ocherki reliefa i priirody Evropeyskoy Rossii, Kavkaza i sibiri” (“I. Physiographic regions of European Russia; Ii. Essays on the Relief an dNature of European Russia, the Caucasus and Siberia”) in S. G. Grigoriev, A. S. Barkov, and S. V. Chefranov, Ocherki pe geografi Rossii (“Essaus on the Geography of Rissia”; Moscow, 1910).

See also Obschee zemlevedenie (“General Geography”), 3 pts. (Mosxow, 1912–1922); “Gidrografia karsta” (“The Hydrography of Karst”), in Sbornik v chest 70-letia D. N. Anuchina (“Collection Honoring the Seventieth Birthday of D. N. Anuchin”; Moscow, 1913), pp. 215–299; karstovaya oblast gornoga Kryma (“The Karstic Region of the Mountainous Crimea”; Moscow, 1915), issued as app. to zemlevedenie (1915); Kurs geografi Rossi (“A Course in the Geography of Russia”; Moscow, 1917); and Chelovecheskie rasy i ikh rasprostraneie (“Human Races and Their Distribution”; Moscow-Petrograd, 1923).

II. Seconday Literature.On Kruber and his owrk see A. S. Barkov, M. S. Bodnarsky, and S. V. Chefanov, “Pamyati A. A Krubera” (“In Memory of A. A. Kruber”), in Zemlevedenie, n.s. 2 (1948), 11–15; and N. A. Gvodetsky, “Vydayuschysya deyatel russkogo karstovbedenia” (“The Outstanding Figure in the Rusian Study of Karstic Phenomebna”) ibid., n. s. 4 (1957), 276–278; and “Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Kruber,” in Otechestvennye fiziko-geografy puteshestvennike (“National Physical Geographers and Travellers”; Moscow, 1959), pp. 619–625, which includes a bibliography.

Vasily A. Esakov