The Great Terror
During the Stalin purges of the 1930's Krawtchouk was accused of being anti soviet and a member of a Ukranian Trotsky Separatist Group
After his arrest in February 1938 Krawtchouk was imprisoned and interogated by the NKVD before being sent to the notorious Siberian Kolyma Gulag where he died in March 1942. He would have been there at the same time as Korolev.
Krawtchouk wrote in his appeal to the Supreme Procurator of the USSR in1940:
'They demanded from me, first of all, to give a written confession of
being a member of this organization. They also demanded from me to
name the upper leadership of this organization and persons who
recruited me and whom I recruited, and who instructed me and whom
I instructed on the matters of the organization within the Academy of
Sciences. They demanded to describe the evolution of my counterrevolutionary
convictions, my counter-revolutionary work,
participation in the White Armies, my counter-revolutionary agitation
among students, creation of insurgent detachments by the members of
the organization, my spying activity,.....' etc
Krawtchouk summarized methods used by the NKVD investigators in his case as follows::
' I was devastated by these wild accusations, physically broken by the
night interrogations, in particular, by complete sleep deprivation for
11 days and nights, worsening of my heart disease, and means of
direct physical force. They were coercing me morally by screams and
moans of the people being tortured in the neighboring rooms.'
The NKVD frequently used such methods of interrogation to force political prisoners to confess
(See Conquest, 1990, Weissberg, 1951).
In addition to beatings and psychological intimidation, Krawtchouk described a torture method called "conveyer." It involved constant interrogation of political prisoners by NKVD interrogators and deliberate sleep deprivation that could last up to several weeks. While prisoners were not allowed to rest or sleep, the interrogators rotated daily.
Contacts from outside Soviet Russia contributed to the evidence used by the NKVD secret police to arrest prominent Soviet leaders.
Many of whom were later charged with counter revolutionary activities.
The arrest of Tukhachevski the leader of the Soviet rocket group and Mykhail Krawtchouk the Ukranian mathematician responsable for the theory from which US computers are developed. Can both be linked to suspicion created following contact by foriegners.
' In 1932, for example, Rolf Engel, a German
specialist in rocketry and communist party member or sympathizer, was
referred to Tukhachevski. According to biographical notes he had worked
in German astronomy and as a member of the Verein fur Raumschiffart
(Association for Space Travel) at its test firing range outside Berlin.
Engel volunteered a report on developments in rocketry in Germany and abroad,
emphasizing the breadth and depth of German developments. He also proposed
to bring a group of specialists to the Soviet Union to collaborate with
An extract from
A SOVIET QUASI-MARKET FOR
INVENTIONS: JET PROPULSION,
In 1937 John Astanasoff correspondance with Mykhail Krawtchouk during 1937 from the US, could have contributed to his arrest by the NVKD in February 1938.
History of The Computer
Mind Map by John Gwynn All right reserved 2007
Mykhaile Krawtchouk 1938>1942 Kolyma Gulag
Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski 1934 >1939
Max Newman UK Sept 1942 > 1953......
1931- 1936 Kings C ollege Cambridge University
US Princeton1936 > 1938 Electro mechanical Computer
Turing's 1936 paper 'On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem'
Definition of the Universal Turing machine.
Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Series 2, 42 (1936-37): 230-265
Turing US Nov 1942 > March 1943
John Von Neumann Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University 1936
US Princeton 1936 > 1938
Church US Princeton 1936 > 1938
Flowers digital high speed telephone switching using 3>4000vacuum thyristor valves 1934 GPO. To replace electro-mechanical relays
John Atanasoff Krawtchouk papers 1937>1938 Sept 1939 Navy Dept Washington DC > 1945
Iowa State Univ
Max Newman / F C Williams
Antikythera Mechanism second century BC
Charles Babbage 1822 Mechanical computer
Polish Bomba 3 Rotor 1934 Polish BS4
Turing Enigma Code Bomb 5 Rotor 1939
UK Bletchley Park
US Navy 110 Bomb for German and Japanese navy codes
Turing US Nov 1942 > March 1943
'Heath Robinson ' Prototype Sept 1942
Colossus 1 Geheimschereiber Code Tommy Flowers UK Feb 1943 > Dec 1943
Colossus 2 Tommy Flowers UK June 1944
ABC 1939-1942 John Atanasoff and Berry 300vacuum tubes
Digital machine for solving linear algebraic equations
ENIVAC 1946 J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly. Mathematician Goldstine
EDVAC 1951 John Von Neumann, Goldstien, Eckert and Mauchly.
Manchester Mk1 Max Newman June 1948 First fully programmable computer
Transistor version of the MMk1 ran in November 1953.
Among the Mark I team were mathematicians Conway Berners-Lee and Mary Lee Woods, who would later marry; their son,
Tim Berners-Lee, is acknowledged as the inventor of the World Wide Web.
Pilot ACE NPL Turing Detailed proposalOct > Dec1945
Full size ACE 1 1958
IAS John Van Neumann Princeton 1946 > 1952
Used the cathode ray tube memory developed at Manchester by F C Williams
From the start of World War 2, Von Neumann worked as a consultant to the military. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee at the Ballistic Research Laboratories at the US Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland US , from 1940 onwards; a member of the Navy Bureau of Ordnance from 1941 to 1955; a consultant to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory from 1943 to 1955; and a member of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in Washington, D.C., from 1950 to 1955.
As a member of the Navy Bureau of Ordnance from 1941 to 1955 Von Neumann would certainly have influenced John Atanasoff and introduced him to the ideas of Turing, Church and himself.
Alan Turing is known to have been involved with Von Neumann on several of his projects.
Alan Turing Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker by Christof Teuscher