Friday, June 30, 2006

My Blog Readership has expanded 25%

Well, I just got a very nice e-mail from Agnes of the Islands so I do indeed have a reader in Sweden. She pointed out that I had originally written her handle down wrongly as Anges and thus misidentified her as male. I am sorry for any problems this may have caused anybody. I think that this blog may have as many as half a dozen regular readers now. At one time I think it was down to my mother, father and other uncle. I doubt it will ever get up to the dozen or so regular readers it had at its height again. But, five or six regular readers would be respectable. Especially since it appears that a couple of them live in Europe.

New Link

I have a strict policy of reciprocity regarding blogroll links. If you link to me I will link to you. If you delink me I will respond in kind. I just found out that a blogger by the handle of Agnes of the Islands has me on her blogroll. The site can be found here. The site is mostly in Swedish so I can not read it very well. It does, however, have some posts in German which I can read.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Big Idea almost has enough presenters to work

I want to keep my one day conference small so I can manage it properly. Right now I have heard from nine people expressing an interest in venturing to Arivaca to present papers. That would work out to three panels with three papers each. Strangely, even though I expected alot of proposals on Latin American immigration into the US, I have only received one. I have gotten four proposals for topics related to immigration into the European Union. I just got two proposals from European universities this morning. I think I am going to cap the number of presentations at 15. I want there to be time to discuss all of them in a single day without too much of a rush.

One Week Left In California

I have one more week in California before I return to Paradise. I have managed to eat quite a bit of ethnic food not available in Arivaca in my month here so far. Among the cuisines I have availed myself to are Cajun, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese. I also found a nearby hookah lounge. The prices are reasonable and the furniture, pipes and tobacco are all first class. But, evidently California law prohibits the serving of hot beverages such as mint tea and Turkish coffee in smoking lounges. What type of stupid law bans mint tea in a shisha den? California liberals are almost uniquely stupid.

I have also taken advantage of the libraries here in Orange County. I checked out five books from the University of California, Irvine. So far I have finished reading three of them. I should finish the fourth either tonight or tommorrow. Out of the five books I checked out from UCI, three deal with the Russian-Germans during the years 1917 to 1920. Two of the books are on the Volga Germans and one is on the Mennonites. So I should be able to complete Catherine's Grandchildren without any problem now. The other two books are on the Kalmyks and Chechens. It is clear that the Stalinist deportation of all of these peoples has its roots in the 19th century. The Soviets like the Tsars failed to subordinate and assimilate these people through less radical means into the limited roles it had reserved for them in the empire. Hence the Stalin regime felt that only through the physical destruction of their traditional communities and cultural institutions could it fit them into the mosaic of "Soviet Peoples." Forcibly scattering them across Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia greatly diminished their numbers through excessive deaths and reduced birth rates. The survivors then experienced a greatly accelerated process of acculturation into a Russian speaking Soviet society. Thus the Soviet government deliberately decreased, dispersed and diluted these "politically incorrect" peoples.

I also checked out five books from the Mission Viejo Library. I have read about half of each of them, but have not finished any of them yet. I want to get the ones from UCI done first. Two of the books from MVL are on Pakistan, one is on Polish deportees to the USSR under Stalin, one is a general history of Russia in the 20th century and the last one is a history of the Russian Civil War. I will start plowing through them this weekend.

When I get back to Arizona I will start to get back into the swing of writing things other than blog posts. I am going to finish up Catherine's Grandchildren. I am also going to once again seriously pursue getting my Ph.D. dissertation published as a book. Finally, I am going to write a few academic journal articles just to keep my name out there. I do not think it will ever result in getting a lectureship, but I want the tenured pinkos in North American universities to know that I am still outpublishing them in refereed journals even without any research budget. I recently sent out a query to an English language journal in Italy about doing an article on the deportation of Romanian Volksdeutsche to Soviet labor camps at the end of World War II. That is enough writing projects for right now. The rest of my free time will be devoted to organizing the conference on international borders and migration I will be hosting.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Big Idea Keeps Growing

It looks like I now have seven people willing to come out all the way to Arivaca to deliver a paper for my conference on international borders and migration. The interested parties come from as far away as London and Tashkent. They are affiliated with such prestigious institutions as Princeton University, LSE and the University of Arizona. At this rate I think I can get all the preliminary organizing for the conference done before the end of the summer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brazil 3 Ghana 0

I really wanted Ghana to beat Brazil. I knew it was a near impossible task, but I have seen miracles before. The players from Ghana overall gave a very good showing in their first World Cup ever.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Italy 1 Australia 0

Italy won again only because of the bad call of a corrupt ref. They got an unearned penalty kick at the very end of the game. Clearly the Australians did nothing to justify such a penalty. This is the second suspicious win by Italy due to an obviously wrong call by the ref. I think an investigation is in order.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

65 Years Since the Rainiai Forest Massacre and still the perpetrators live in freedom

On 25-26 June 1941, the Soviet NKVD brutally tortured and murdered 74 Lithuanians in the Rainiai Forest. Two of the perpetrators of this crime are still alive and being protected from prosecution in Lithuania by foreign states. Israel has refused to extradite Nachman Dusanski to Lithuania to stand trial for this crime. In a similar fashion Russia has refused to hand over Petras Raslanas over for justice. The hypocritical actions of the Israeli and Russian governments regarding the issue of World War II crimes against humanity is truly revolting.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Big Idea is Rolling Along

It now looks like I have five presenters for my conference on migration and international borders. This is shaping up much faster than I expected. It is also shaping up much better than I expected. Among the topics that have been suggested and accepted by me are Albanian migrants in the European Union, illegal immigrants in Germany, Iranian refugees in Turkey and immigrants to post-Katrina New Orleans. This is turning out to be much easier to pull off than I ever imagined. I may be just one man with no money living in the desert, but it appears I can perform all the functions of a major university and do a better job at them. Some people should be really embarrassed.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Important World Cup News: Ghana Official New Team for US Futbol Fans

It seems that we the American people have spontaneously decided in the wake of our elimination from the World Cup yesterday to now back the team that defeated us. Us Yanks are rooting for Ghana. I say, "Go Ghana!"

What Happened to the Ethnic Chinese in the Soviet Far East?

Jon Chang left an interesting comment on my post "Big Idea: Step One Completed." It deals with the ethnic Chinese in the Soviet Far East. Unlike the ethnic Koreans the Soviet archives do not reveal much about their fate. This is especially true regarding population statistics. The 1926 Soviet census lists 50,183 Chinese in the Far East Krai. By the 1939 census this number had dropped by 90%. Of course the 1939 census did not count all Chinese in the Soviet Far East Krai. It only counted those with Soviet citizenship. It also does not count the 3,161 ethnic Chinese in Corrective Labor Camps on 1 January 1939. Nevertheless, the Chinese population dropped dramatically in the Soviet Far East during the 1930s.

The fate of Russian-Koreans in the Soviet Far East is well documented in the Soviet archives. There is a wealth of statistical data regarding the numbers deported and their geographical distribution over time. This is not the case with the ethnic Chinese. The only figures that exist for the number of Chinese in the Soviet Far East subject to "administrative exile" in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and arrest come from a single non-archival source. The head of the NKVD in the Soviet Far East, Genrikh Liushkov defected to the Japanese Empire on 13 June 1938. He had overseen the "Great Purges" in the region. He had also supervised the mass deportation of Russian-Koreans and ethnic Chinese to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. While living under Japanese rule Liushkov told the magazine Gekkan Roshia that during the deportation of the Russian-Koreans that the NKVD had also arrested 11,000 ethnic Chinese and exiled another 8,000 to the interior of the USSR. These are the only figures for the arrest and deportation of ethnic Chinese in the Soviet Far East that I have seen cited. The Japanese executed Liushkov before surrendering so he was unable to provide further insight into these numbers after the end of the war.

From other information it appears that the NKVD executed most of the arrested Chinese during 1937 and 1938. By the start of 1939, only a little over 3,000 remained alive in Corrective Labor Camps. The 8,000 Chinese exiles have not yet shown up in any Soviet archives to my knowledge. It is possible the Soviet government reclassified them as part of the much larger Korean population exiled to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Yet, the largest gap is between the number of Chinese in the Soviet Far East in 1926, over 50,000 and the number in 1939, only about 5,000. The 19,000 arrested and exiled Chinese noted by Liushkov fails to account for over 30,000 people. Research on this subject by people like Mark Sylte and Jonathan Bone point to a massive expulsion of ethnic Chinese across the Soviet borders into Manchuria during the months between December 1937 and May 1938. Thus the bulk of the decline in the Chinese population in the Soviet Far East during the 1930s can be attributed to their violent removal by the NKVD during 1937 and 1938.

This is my last post on the German Diaspora Conference

I received the following e-mail today from the conference organizer. I am posting it verbatium without any alteration. I will not be posting on the conference any more.

dear dr pohl,
i read the postings on your personal blogg regarding the conference
'diaspora experiences - german immigrants and their descendants. to say it
frankly at the beginning: i certainly do not share the political and
ideological persuasions which transpire in your postings, but i am
interested in hearing them expressed. however, i strongly object to you using
personal insults and ill-founded generalisations about a colleague in
academia. at a conference on history, linguistics and literature, i do
not expect any scholar to be familiar with the many different discources
in the various discplines and sub-disciplines, but i would hope that
everybody expresses their lack of familiarity with a particular discourse
in terms which others do not find insulting.
on a more general note: as somebody who recently received his phd, you
ought to be aware that conference presentations, in general and for
this conference in particular, are selected from a pool of submissions
through a careful vetting process which involves negotiated decisions by a
group of qualified people. if then an individual feels that certain
geographic areas and/or groups should be represented or other voices
should not be heard because they are not liked by this individual, then, i
can tell you from experience, this will neither increase the number of
paper submissions nor will it persuade the program committee to
reconsider its decisions.
best wishes
mathias schulze
conference program coordinator
'diaspora experiences - german immigrants and their descendants'

ps. i herewith give you permission to post the content of this e-mail
on your personal blogg (i was unable to post it there myself because i
am not a registered user.).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ghana 2 US 1

I knew Ghana was going to be a tough team. As a result of the ref robbing of us of a properly earned goal against Italy we will now not advance to round two of the World Cup. Ghana's next game is against Brazil. I hope they win it.

Another Book Review Excerpt

This is an excerpt from another review of my second book, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999). It was published in the Spring 2002 issue of European Studies Journal. It is written by Caroline Brooke, a lecturer of Modern European History at the University of London.

...Pohl presents a detailed account of the deportations, while at the same time trying to uncover the Stalin regime's motivations behind the deportations...a comprehensive account of Stalin's policy of deportation of ethnic minorities. Pohl paints a chilling picture of the resolve with which Soviet officials, above all Stalin and Beria, sought to remove any threat to Soviet security, either real or perceived, from the non-Russian population, and in some cases even to punish certain ethnic groups for alleged collaboration with enemies of the Soviet Union...Ethnic Cleansing will be invaluable to scholars of Soviet history, politics, and ethnography.

Book Review Excerpt

The following excerpt is from a review of my second book, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999). The review is in the April 2001 issue of Canadian Journal of History. The author of the review is A.B. Pernal a professor of Russian and Eastern European History at Brandon University in Canada.

Ethnic Cleansing is not a product of Pohl's personal research in the Russian archives; it is, rather, chiefly a synopsis of the accomplishments of the late Soviet and new Russian historiography since 1989. His book does contain certain deficiencies. Nevertheless, it still has to be considered a valuable addition to the English-language historiography relating to the terrible developments in the Soviet Union under Stalin. It is much more valuable than the two existing scholarly books devoted to this subject matter in English -- Robert Conquest's The Nation Killers (1970), and Aleksander Nekrich's The Punished People: The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities at the End of the Second World War (1979) - for neither of their authors had access to most relevant archival documents. Pohl's book should inform both the academic community and the general public about the true policy of the Stalinist regime toward the "Repressed People" in the Soviet Union.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hollywood Take 3

I met with my Hollywood film maker today. She was very nice. We looked at some of the raw film footage she has taken and discussed the project. It looks like it will cover the years 1928 to 1946. Right now she needs to organize the footage into a coherent narrative. This will require transcribing the tapes. This will take a while. After that we can more easily work on the documentary. I will get in touch with her again in a week or so and we will take it from there. She may come out to Arivaca to see me in connection with the project. It looks like it will be rolling into high gear soon.

Spain 3 Tunisia 1

Tunisia played very well for the first 70 minutes. They led for most of the game by 1 to zero. Then Spain scored three goals in the last twenty minutes. I was really pulling for Tunisia to beat Spain. It would have been the greatest upset of this World Cup.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It looks like some people do read my writing

I am currently waiting for my Hollywood contact to call me to tell me she is on her way down here. But, last night when I was surfing the internet I found two new scholarly citations of my work. The first one is really interesting. Unfortunately, I was only able to view an abstract. They want alot of pounds sterling to show me the actual journal article online. I will wait until I can get the article for free. At anyrate The European Journal of Public Health published out of Oxford University recently had an article by a group of medical scholars out of Germany with the intriguing title of "Mortality from External Causes among Ethnic German Immigrants from Former Soviet Union Countries in Germany." The article cites a paper I gave at the Association for the Study of Nationalites (ASN) conference at Columbia University in 2001. The title of my paper was "The Deportation and Destruction of the German Minority in the USSR." There is now medical proof that communism is bad for your health.

I also found an article in Ukrainian on the deportation of Crimean Tatars that cites my 2000 ASN paper, "The Deportation and Fate of the Crimean Tatars." I found it funny that the first footnote referencing the paper refers to me as "young" and "American." Now I can not get David Bowie's song, "Young Amercian" out of my head. I wonder what it would sound like in Ukrainian?

Finally, I got an e-mail from Professor Karin Bauer of McGill University, the author of the unreadable abstract "The Domestication of Radical Ideas and Colonial Spaces: The Case of Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche - Session: Gender Perspectives." She did not like my post describing her abstract as feminist gibberish. I always find it highly amusing when powerful people feel threatened by people like myself who have absolutely no power. She claimed that she did not get her job by writing leftist and feminist nonsense. I do not believe her. But, I felt great Schadenfreude at the fact that a professor at one of Canada's most prestigious universities would respond in such a defensive manner to anything written by an unemployed guy living out in the middle of the desert. I laughed for hours at the thought of the powerful and mighty getting worked up over the musings of a man armed with nothing more than a Tucson-Pima County Public Library card. I know that is not an enlightened attitude to take. But, it did make me feel very good. I still feel good about it. I must be doing something right.

Ukraine 4 Saudi Arabia 0

Ukraine smoked Saudi Arabia today. It was a great game and Ukraine proved itself in spades. It looks like Ukraine will be able to advance to round two despite their disasterous earlier loss to Spain.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

US 1 Italy 1

In reality the US won this game, but the corrupt ref took away our second goal. Despite being reduced to nine men and being robbed of a legitimate goal we still tied Italy. When Mussolini was alive the Italians won two World Cups. Now they are reduced to relying on bad calls by the ref to even tie the US. Our goal keeper, Keller, stood out in particular as an outstanding player. He blocked a number of goals and thus prevented us from losing the game. The US will probably now be able to advance to the next round. Our final round one game is against Ghana. It will not be an easy game. This morning Ghana defeated the Czechs by two to zero. Ghana is showing itself to be a much better team than anybody would have reasonably anticipated.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Estonian Deportation Website: No People, no problems

The link below has a plethora of information about the 14 June 1941 deportations from Estonia. It includes among other things a number of personal accounts by survivors of this trauma. It is well worth checking out. Thanks to Kristin for pointing this out to me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"A Simple Estonian Woman"

This post is part of my exploration of the question about whether historians can convey anything about past human suffering other than a basic factual outline. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn asked this same question in the Gulag Archipelago. He concluded that it was not possible to transfer the experience of the Gulag through the medium of words to people who had not been there. I am not convinced this is the case. While the knowledge absorbed by the reader is of course only a very pale imitation of the actual suffering, I believe some small amount of understanding can be transmitted. Since it is the 65th anniversary of the Baltic deportations I am using examples from Estonian survivors. Estonia is also a country which I have travelled through a couple of times. It is also small enough that one can get some sense of the nation as a whole. Finally, I know I have at least one reader in Estonia. My overall readership is quite small so Estonians in fact do make up a big portion of it.

The following quotation comes from a book called She Who Remembers Survives: Interpreting Estonian Women's Post-Soviet Life Stories. It has nine short memoir pieces by Estonian women. It is one of the more impressive life history projects that I have seen. Below I have quoted an excerpt from one of women regarding her memory of the 14 June 1941 deportation.

"Aino's Story: The Story of a Simple Estonian Woman"

...They took us by lorry to the station where we were loaded into boxcars. The train was surrounded by trees and a Russian soldier was positioned atop each tree, his rifle cocked, ready to shoot. The boxcar had one small barred window high up under the ceiling. Double bunks lined the walls and we were able to get one of the lower bunks. Everyone in our car was a Tapa resident except Ms. Maria Parmas with her five children, the youngest six weeks old. She was from Ambla, the wife of the town's constable and daughter of a schoolteacher. There were no men in our car. In some cars, however, there were men and they were pulled out by force. It was a dreadful sight to see. There was much crying when the men were separated from their families, perhaps never to see each other again. Noone knows where their bones finally ended up in the Siberian soil. The doors closed. The train started to move during the night (p. 227).

Here we have "a simple Estonian woman" providing more truth about the experience of communism than dozens of leftist university professors in the US who sought and in some cases still seek to justify, minimize and outright deny such crimes. The moral idiocy of the tenured faculty in the US is of course incurable. As my uncle says, "You can't fix dumb." But, most of the rest of the planet can understand the basic human truth articulated in the quotation above.

Historians and Human Suffering

Kristin, a native of Estonia left a very thoughtful comment on my post dealing with the 14 June 1941 deportations. It got me thinking again about the limits of a historian writing about such horrible events. No matter how much I learn about them it is impossible for me to fully know the trauma of these events. The human imagination does not allow people to feel the suffering of others in its full force. I have long been convinced that saints and other people who are more sensitive to the plight of their fellow men must be in constant overload at the world's pain. I think I feel a little bit of this suffering and that is what motivates me to write about it. But, I am a very unenlightened and unempathetic individual in the large scheme of things. At anyrate I try everyday to be a little bit better in this regard. In light of the 65th anniversary of the deportations from the Baltic states I am going to try and explore this issue further in the next couple of days. I will be focusing on Estonia since I have been there three times. Last time I was there I picked up an English translation of memoirs by Estonian women. It has some powerful first person accounts of the events. I will post some quotations from these writings. Maybe the ability of even the best historian to try and convey the essence of events like Stalin's deportation of people to Siberia is limited to just a skeletal framework of facts. But, maybe some of the human experience can be conveyed.

Deutschland 1 Polska 0

Deutschland won its second game today. They will no doubt also beat Ecuador and advance on to round two. I think despite the skeptics claims that Deutschland can take it all the way this year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I got a call from Hollywood last night

Yesterday I got a call from the Hollywood film producer who e-mailed me a couple months ago about working as a consultant on her current project. She is working on a documentary about the Crimean Tatars during World War II. She is going to drive down here to meet me on Monday. Then we will look at some of the film footage she has already shot and discuss the project. I believe that the project has great potential. If it goes well I am definitely going to try and do more historical consulting for film makers.

Saudi Arabia 2 Tunisia 2

This was a great game. Tunisia was strong in the first half. In the second half Saudi Arabia really poured on the offense and scored two goals. But, Tunisia came back at the last minute and headed in a goal to tie up the game. The European teams may play boring matches, but the Arab world can still put on a great game.

Descent of Terror Upon the Baltics: 14 June 1941

In August 1940, the USSR annexed the formerly independent states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Soviet occupation forces visited a brutal reign of terror upon the civilian population of these countries. Less than a year after annexing the Baltic nations, the Soviet Union undertook a massive deportation of individuals prominent in the political and economic life of these republics. Categories of people subject to deportation along with their families included members of nationalist parties, policemen, land owners, factory owners and civil servants. The NKVD had in fact already arrested many of these people and transported them to labor camps in the interior of the USSR. In the process the Soviet occupation regime confiscated their property, thus impoverishing their families. The NKVD then applied mass deportations to their families as a further form of collective punishment. On 14 June 1941, the NKVD rounded up and forcibly deported over 17,500 Lithuanians, 17,000 Latvians and 6,000 Estonians according to official Soviet records. The armed NKVD men gave these men, women and children only a short time to gather a few possessions into exile with them. The soldiers packed the deportees into overcrowded and unsanitary cattle cars headed eastward into the USSR. In a single day the NKVD expelled over 40,000 people from their homelands, many of them forever. The Stalin regime sent these deportees to Novosibirsk, Kazakhstan, Krasnoyarsk, Kirov and Komi. Here they lived under NKVD surveillance and severe legal restrictions. They could not leave their assigned places of exile and became subject to harsh administrative punishments for minor infractions. A lack of proper winter clothing, shoes, food, shelter and medical care resulted in massive mortality among the deportees. The crime of 14 June 1941 has become an important collective national memory among the people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It is commemorated every year both in the Baltic states and among their diasporas.

Brazil 1 Croatia 0

This was an excellent game. Croatia played very well, but just could not get the ball past the Brazilian goal keeper. I hope somebody can stop Brazil. Right now it does not look like it. Croatia played better than any other team except Brazil to date and still failed to tie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Old Hippies Never Die: Retro Radio Redux

I was listening to KLOS last night and I heard a voice from 20 years in the past. Jim Ladd is still spinning records at the home of dinosaur rock. I am pretty sure he was the model for Johnny Fever in WKRP in Cincinnati. He was practically mummified already in the mid-1980s. Yet, he is still the exact same as he was two decades ago. It is really good to know that some things never change.

Feminist gibberish in academic conference abstract

While there were quite a few abstracts for the German diaspora conference I would have rejected that got accepted, one stands out as particularly bad. The title of the paper is "The Domestication of Radical Ideas and Colonial Spaces: The Case of Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche - Session: Gender Perspectives." Immediately it is apparent that the paper does not deal with the topic of the conference and is written in language that is alien to everybody outside of the ivory tower. A diaspora is not a single immigrant. Diasporas require a transmission of identification with their imagined homeland to generations born abroad. They are also collective units. I was not an American diaspora during the years I lived in London. In fact the abstract does not even refer to the settlers of Nueva Germania in Paraguay in 1886 as a diaspora. Rather it identifies them as colonists. There are of course German diasporas in Paraguay including a Mennonite Russian-German one created by several waves of migration motivated by Tsarist and Soviet persecution. But, the 19th century German equivalent of Hayden Lake Idaho in the jungles of Paraguay falls far short of meeting the criteria of diaspora. It is just a compound. The concept of diaspora is not a difficult one to grasp.

Next there is the continued reference to "fascist Germany." I know this term which has Stalinist origins is used to avoid mentioning the Socialist part of National Socialist in Nazi. But, the fact is while National Socialism is not considered a socialist ideology like Social Democracy, Bolshevism, Labour Zionism, Trotskyism or Maoism it is not the same as fascism. Only one country officially had fascism and that was Italy. The differences between Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany are immense. This is especially true regarding the one aspect of "fascist Germany" that obsesses the abstract's author, anti-semitism. Anybody who thinks that Mussolini's policies towards Jews was the same as Hitler's is seriously misinformed. The term Nazi Germany and Nazism are perfectly acceptable for describing Hitler's regime and ideology as is the longer version of National Socialist. Fascist, however, is not an accurate term to describe Germany rather than Italy and carries with it some serious Stalinist baggage.

Finally there is the convoluted writing. I am still not sure what the abstract is about exactly. Only that it manages to use all the proper politically correct code words. I reproduce some of the more difficult to read sentences below.

"At issue in my exploration of colonialist activities is not to demonstrate female complicity with the colonial enterprise-as has been done by various explorations of colonialism-,but rather to turn Forster-Nietzsche into a case study for the female appropriation of it."

"While Forster-Nietzsche's duplicitous activities as the wife of the anti-Semite Forster reflect her political opportunism and the partial internalization of bourgeois moral codes pertaining to women, they also indicate her ambiguous stance toward and partial rebellion against the intellectual and social dependency implied by her role of female supporter of the enterprises of men."

"In domesticating her anti-Semitic husband's radical conservative and racist ideas in Paraguay, Forster-Nietzsche sets in motion a process of dispossession as she attempts to counteract her own subordination under the enterprises of men."

Can anybody translate any of the three sentences above into English?

Right now there is a lengthy ongoing discussion at Grant Jone's blog,
Dougout dealing with the left's abuse of language in this matter. I just found out today that you don't need to have any publications to get a univeristy teaching position in the US if you are a radical feminist. Given the quality of much of their output as demonstrated by the abstract described above prehaps it is best if they do not publish anything.

Italy 2 Ghana 0

Ghana played much better than I expected. If they play against the US as well as they did against Italy they might prove hard to beat. Even though Ghana does not have the reputation of either Czechia or Italy I do not think the US should underestimate them.

Czechia 3 US 0

Well the US did not do as well as I had hoped in its opening game of the 2006 World Cup. Our next game is against Ghana. I think we have a shot against them. This is Ghana's first world cup. After Ghana the US plays Italy. I do not think the US stands much of a chance against Italy. It does not look like we will be advancing to round two this year.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I have recently been doing some research on the Mennonites in the USSR. This religious minority among the Russian-Germans constitutes an absolutely fascinating ethno-confessional group. Although less than ten percent of the Russian-German population of the USSR there is a disproportionately large amount of material on the group both in German and in English. Much of this latter scholarship comes from Canada where many Mennonites from the Russian Empire and USSR settled. Other Russian-German Mennonite communities established themselves in the US and various Latin American countries. There are significant Russian-German Mennonite settlements for instance in Mexico and Paraguay. Their self imposed separation from their host societies has allowed them to maintain their unique culture and communal autonomy in many instances. Hence the Mennonite villages in Mexico and elsewhere still speak dialects of low German and maintain customs that have not changed in centuries. Few other diasporas have managed to retain so much of their original culture over such a long period of time.

The first Mennonite settlers in the Russian Empire came in 1789 from the region around Danzig. The next wave in 1803 also came from the Vistula. The Mennonites arriving in the Russian Empire established communities based upon their unique religion and way of life. Mennonite religious beliefs included a strong commitment to pacifism, voluntary adult baptism, a priesthood of all believers and living every day according to the example set by Christ. Their separate villages allowed them to maintain their religious based communities into the 20th century. Economically many of these settlements became relatively prosperous compared to the Russian and Ukrainian villages around them. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Russian-German Mennonite settlements spread from Ukraine and the Volga to North America, South America, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Mennonite settlements even appeared in the Khanate of Khiva, a protectorate of Tsarist Russia in Central Asia, during the late 19th century. The Mennonites established religious centered communities isolated from the surrounding population in all these new locations.

Due to their rejection of most interaction with the secular world including a refusal to serve in the military and swear oaths to the state, they came under particularly strong pressure from the Soviet government. Even more so than other confessional groups among the Russian-Germans, the Mennonites suffered horrible losses at the hands of the communists. As a result of the 1941 deportations, special settlement regime and labor army an excess of 250,000 Russian-Germans or about 20% of their population in the USSR perished during the 1940s. Other estimates put the number at 300,000 or 25%. There is general agreement that the Mennonites lost a greater portion of their population than other Russian-Germans due to these causes. Out of 100,000 Mennonites some 30,000 or 30% perished as a result. This is a loss equal on a per capita basis with that Hitler inflicted upon the world's Jewish population.

In the summer and fall of 1941, the Stalin regime forcibly deported some 28,000 Mennonites from Crimea, the Volga, Ukraine and Caucasus to special settlements in Kazakhstan and Siberia. Some 35,000 managed to avoid deportation due to the rapid advance of the German military. Another 27,000 Mennonites in the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia found themselves conscripted into the labor army. Out of the 35,000 that initially avoided deportation, the Allies forcibly repatriated 23,000 back to the Soviet Union. Only around 12,000 managed to avoid this fate. They later immigrated to Canada and Paraguay. The remainder of the Mennonite population of the USSR remained confined to its Asian regions.

In the post-Stalin period, the Mennonites remained subject to considerable persecution on the basis of both their religion and being German by nationality. The Mennonite Brethern remained an outlawed religious denomination until 1967. Even after legalization they continued to suffer from signficant restrictions on their religious practices. Continuing persecution convinced the Mennonites like it did all other Russian-Germans that they had no future in the Soviet Union. After 1987, most of the Mennonite population of the USSR left to settle in Germany. In this matter they did not differ from the Lutheran majority or the substantial Catholic minority among the Russian-Germans. The once self-contained Mennonite villages speaking Plautdiitsch in Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia have largely evaporated.

Portugal 1 Angola 0

This game was not as exciting as I anticipated. I had expected Angola to do better. A victory by a former colony over their previous overlords would have been good to see. Portugal played very poorly in the last World Cup in 2002 when we destroyed them to the surprise of lots of arrogant Europeans. They did a little bit better today. But, Angola unlike the US did not rise to take advantage of the opportunity.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Retro Radio Replays

Radio out of LA is alot more to my taste than the radio stations out of Tucson. Primarily because its music is more familiar. LA has a few stations that have not evolved since the 1980s. In contrast to Tucson where alot of stations strive to be current, "hip" and "alternative" with the result that they all sound the same. That is to say they all sound bad in the same way. KLOS which was a dinosaur rock station in the 1980s is still around and still playing the same playlist. Which is fine with me because Sabbath, Led Zepplin and AC/DC will never go out of style. I found another great station that calls itself "Jack" at 93.1 FM which seems to play almost all 80s music with a few songs from the 70s and 90s. It also has no stupid news, traffic reports or other chatter by brain dead announcers. Even the DJs behave themselves and just play music with their mouths shut. This is as God intended radio.

Argentina 2 Ivory Coast 1

This game was much more interesting than the one between Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago. Although I think Argentina like England and Sweden is playing alot worse than they did in their prime. Tomorrow Mexico plays Iran. Of the two reprehensible regimes, the Mexican one is a much greater immediate threat to me, my family and my dog. So I am less hostile towards Iran than I am to Mexico. After all the Iranian president is threatening Israel, not Arivaca. I think taking the presidents of Iran and Mexico and having a no rules cage match fight to the death would be the best solution. We could then shoot the winner.

Sweden 0 Trinidad and Tobago 0

This was a pretty boring game. Like most Americans I find the no scoring games to be sleep inducing. Sweden used to have a much better team. Like England I do not think they are doing their best playing in this World Cup.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

England 1 Paraguay 0

Well I caught the end of the England-Paraguay game this morning. Paraguay scored one goal against themselves. Other than that nobody scored. So far Deutschland has been doing alot better than England. In an hour Sweden plays Trinidad and Tobago. I predict Sweden will win.

Deutschland 4 Costa Rica 2

I just finished watching the opening game of the 2006 World Cup. Or because I can only get it on Unavision which is a Spanish language station, Copa Mundial 2006. I am pleased to note that Deutschland easily won their first game. I don't have too many expectations this World Cup. But, I would like to see the US do well, England lose to people they consider racially inferior like the US or Angolans and anybody except Brazil take first place. Other than that I intend to just watch and enjoy the games.

Southern Man Food

I went out to lunch today at a Memphis style BBQ joint with my mother, brother and sister in law. I had the pulled pork sandwich with spicy sauce, hush puppies and sweet peach tea. I have not had any of these foods since I moved from Virginia to Arizona ten months ago. The BBQ in Virginia is better than here, but it was still pretty good.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Racist Refusal to Recognize Germans as Victims

Another problem I have with the abstracts for the German diasporas conference is the fact that there are a disproportionate number of papers dealing with the Nazi persecution of Jews. I thought it was a conference on German diasporas not the Holocaust. Out of 66 papers 13 deal primarily with Nazi crimes against Jews. This is despite the fact that far from being participants in the Holocaust many members of German diaspora groups fought against the Nazis in Allied armies. In the USSR over 30,000 Russian-Germans fought in the Red Army against the Nazis from June to September 1941. In contrast in 1943, the total number of Russian-Germans fighting in military units organized by the Nazi occupation authorities only reached 20,000. Yet, the stereotype of all ethnic Germans being Nazis guilty of killing Jews is still perpetrated in the US, Canada, UK and elsewhere by people who claim not to be racists.

Far from consisting of perpetrators of crimes most German diasporas found themselves subjected to extreme repression during and after World War II due to their ethnicity. Even in the US nearly 11,000 German civilians including naturalized US citizens found themselves interned without due process. Unlike the internment of Japanese there has been no admission, apology or compensation from the US government for this injustice. Instead US textbooks, media and leftists professors consistently claim that only ethnic Japanese were interned without a solid basis in the US during World War II. This Germanophobia is still justified by the US intellectual elite even as interned and relocated Japanese and Italians have received public apologies.

In other countries the treatment of ethnic Germans during the 1940s consisted of ethnic cleansing and a complete denial of all human rights. I have already blogged alot on the plight of the Russian-Germans. The German diasporas of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia also met horrible fates. Between January and March 1945, the Stalin regime transported nearly 112,000 ethnic German civilians from Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia to forced labor camps in the USSR. Over 50,000 of these slave laborers were women. Additional levies of forced laborers from Upper Silesia, East Prussia and other areas of Germany during the first half of 1945 increased the number of "mobilized" and "interned" civilian Germans from outside the USSR to over 272,000. They served in the GUPVI (Main Administration for POWs and Internees) camps engaged in mining, construction, forestry and other heavy labor. During the five years the Stalin regime maintained these men and women in the USSR more than 66,500 perished from poor material conditions, overwork and physical abuse. Even today survivors of this crime against humanity remain banned by Russian law from seeking any restitution from the Russian Federation including a simple apology.

In addition to deportation to forced labor in the USSR the Ostdeutsche also suffered other forms of deadly persecution. Executions and deaths in concentration camps in Yugoslavia claimed the lives of over 50,000 Volksdeutsche between 1945 and 1948. Poles, Czechs, Hungarians and Russians forcibly expelled over 12 million ethnic Germans from east of the current German-Polish border westward. In the largest act of ethnic cleansing in modern history close to 2 million men, women and children perished. These victims usually do not even rate a footnote in the standard narrative of World War II put forward in English speaking countries. I took three German history courses as an undergraduate including one on World War II and only found out about the expulsions after I graduated.

The victimization of German diasporas in the USSR, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and even the US during and after World War II is impossible for anybody not blinded by Germanophobia to ignore. Yet, even at a conference on German diasporas there is barely mention of the fate of the Ostdeutsche. In contrast to the 13 papers on Nazi persecution of Jews there are only eight paper abstracts that even mention any of the above crimes against German diasporas. Only the Soviet deportation of Russian-Germans to Kazakhstan and the expulsion of the Sudetendeutsche receive what I would consider the minimally acceptable amount of coverage with two papers each.

World War II has been finished now for over 60 years. It is time to treat it as an historical event not a propaganda tool. A conference on German diasporas should deal with those diasporas in all their aspects including their mistreatment at the hands of Russians, Poles, Czechs, Yugoslavs and Americans. It should not instead focus on the crimes of the German state against Jews. There are plenty of other conferences where people can engage in such repetitive overkill.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

German Diasporas Conference

I will be blogging about the German Diasporas conference in Canada scheduled for late August just as I did about the Central Asian Cotton conference in London last November. I have already submitted my paper. The abstract was posted here at the end of last month. I have now printed out all the abstracts. I still have to read through all of them and decide which ones I will attend.

The first thing about the papers that bothers me is their unbalanced geographic coverage. The conference is heavily biased towards papers dealing with Canada, the US and other English speaking countries. There are papers dealing Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. Countries that all have historically had quite small German communities. The much larger German communities in Namibia and Mexico are not mentioned at all. But, the German communities in the US and Canada completely dominate the abstracts. There are ten papers specifically on the US and eleven on Canada. They make up almost a full third of the scheduled presentations.

In contrast the Ostdeutsche communities are largely neglected. Out of 66 scheduled papers only three deal with the Russian-Germans, a population that exceeded two million at its peak. In addition to my paper there is one other paper on Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan and one on "Re-Migration" to Germany between World War I and World War II. While I am happy that there is another paper on Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan, the absence of any papers on the Russian-Germans in Siberia is a serious omission. Their are also no papers dealing specifically with the large Russian-German communities that existed in the Volga, Ukraine and North Caucasus up until 1941. Nor are there any papers on the large diaspora that developed later in Kygyzstan. The Russian-German population of Kyrgyzstan exceeded 100,000 in 1989. But, compared to other parts of Eastern Europe, the former territories of the Russian Empire and USSR are fairly well represented. The history of the Russian-German diaspora only dates back to 1763 after all.

The much older and larger diasporas in Central Europe and the Balkans are so poorly represented that it baffles me. There are no papers on the important Baltic-German populations of Latvia and Estonia. This diaspora reached 180,000 people, about a tenth of the region's residents and dominated the local economy under Tsarist rule. Its roots reached back to the 13th century. There is only one paper on the Romanian-Germans from Transylvania, a diaspora dating back to the 12th century that reached nearly a quarter of a million by the start of World War II. There are no papers on the other German communities in Romania such as those in the Banat. Nor are there any papers on the Germans who used to live in the states that formerly constituted Yugoslavia. During the interwar period these communities numbered around a half a million people. There are only two papers specifically on the Sudetendeutsche, a community that numbered over three million people between World War I and World War II. Yet there is a paper on the small German emigre community in the Ottoman Empire, a paper on Austrians in modern Spain and other presentations on marginal and miniscule populations that can in no way be described as diasporas.

I will be blogging about my problems with the subject matter of many of the presentations in my next post dealing with the conference. Let us just say that many of the abstracts suffer from the methodological and ideological problems that have destroyed historical research in the US. Apparently Canada has followed the US model in this regard rather than the more traditional models of the UK and Central Europe.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why I Support an Academic Boycott of Israel

I notice alot of the usual suspects are jumping up and down screaming about proposed boycotts of Israel. I suspect that their arguments are all just special pleading. I don't recall any of these people protesting the boycott against South African academics. Of course Afrikaaners are a politically incorrect people and Israeli Jews are a politically correct people among the US liberal elite. Well I was never one to join the sheep mentality of the American intellectual elite. I do support an academic boycott of Israel. I am only one man in the desert, but I will not not cooperate with any Israeli academics until such time as the state meets a certain level of civilized behavior. For the record I am also boycotting Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and a number of other states. But in many ways Israel is worse than South Africa. The RSA for instance never harbored Stalinist war criminals.

The state of Israel currently harbors a number of Stalinist war criminals guilty of abusing, torturing and murdering innocent men, women and children in the Baltic States and Poland. Foremost among these criminals is Solomon Morel wanted for trial in Poland. Israel has twice rejected extradition requests from Poland. They claim that the statute of limitations has run out. No other country in the world has a statute of limitations on crimes against humanity and Israel does not apply this limit to Nazi crimes against Jews. Solomon Morel ran the Swietochlowice-Zgoda camp for ethnic Germans from February to November 1945. A recorded 1,538 inmates perished at his hands due solely to their German ancestry during these months. Most of them were women and children. Another Stalinist war criminal currently being harbored by Israel is Nachman Dusanski wanted by Lithuania for the Rainai Forest massacre. Dusanski helped oversee and participated in the brutal torture and murder of 74 Lithuanian high school students on 25-26 June 1941. Like in the case of Morel, the Israeli government has refused to extradite Dusanski to stand trial for this crime against humanity. The hypocrisy of Israel's harboring of Stalinist war criminals while insisting on a right to try people like Demjanjuk is truly breath taking.

Until the State of Israel turns over Morel, Dusanski and other UB and NKVD criminals I will be boycotting all cooperation with Israelis. If they meet this first basic demand I will consider lifting my boycott. But, I will not compromise on this first issue.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

One more reason we need to stop illegal immigration

I am currently away from Serenity Ranch visiting family in the OC. But, I do have a high speed internet connection here. So I try to keep up on news at home. Recently, illegal aliens blinded my friend Sandy's dog. The dog, Gobbler was in his kennel on Sandy's property when it happened. The criminals sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of a helpless animal just for "kicks." The dog is now blind. This story really upsets me. Blinding a man's dog should be a hanging offense. The full article can be found here. For all those people against taking strong measures against illegal immigrants, "Why do you hate puppy dogs?"

Big Idea: Hosting an Academic Conference

US universities long ago abandoned serious research in the humanities and social sciences and now only hire politically correct hacks. So I am taking it upon myself to make up some of the slack. It is true I have no institutional organizations. I am just one man with no money living in the desert. Nevertheless, I believe that I could organize a successful one day conference.

Arivaca has a great community center. It is part of the Pima County system. Barton Santello rented it earlier this year to host a film exposition. About 65 people attended the event. I do not anticipate quite so many people attending my conference. But, the conference will be open to the public, so anybody who can make it to Arivaca would be welcome to hear the presenters talk and ask them questions. I am going to keep the number of papers limited to a dozen so that we can get through them all in a day and have plenty of time for questions and discussions. I am also factoring in time for two coffee breaks and a sandwich lunch for the participants.

The topic of the conference would be international borders and migration in comparative perspective. Arivaca is right in the middle of one of the largest migration routes across an international border anywhere in the world. I am going to arrange for the conference presenters to go see the border crossing point at Sasabe. Just over the Mexican side of the border at Sasabe is one of the largest staging points for illegal immigrants into the US. Hence Arivaca far from being in the middle of nowhere is in the middle of one of the largest movements of humanity in modern times.

I am also going to try and get a representative from the Border Patrol to address the conference. I am not sure if they would be willing to do this, but I think it would be a good opportunity for them in terms of community outreach and public relations. A fifteen or twenty minute presentation with ten to fifteen minutes for questions by a member of the Border Patrol would really add to the event. It would put a human face on one aspect of the current migration situation on the border. The tendency for academics to reduce human problems to mere abstractions is a very real one and one I want to avoid at all costs.

In addition to papers on migration from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries in the Americas to the US, I would like to have experts speak on migration from Central Asia and the Caucasus to Russia and migration from North Africa to the European Union. I am seeking proposals from historians, sociologists, geographers, political scientists, economists and anthropologists. I have been to a couple of workshops and conferences dealing with borders and migration in Eurasia that definitely added to the sum of the world's published knowledge. I think by expanding the comparative framework that I can generate even more understanding of these historical trends.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide any financial assistance to any of the presenters. I will also have to charge a registration fee to cover the cost of renting the community center and providing lunch and coffee. I will definitely try and keep this fee under $100 a person. I am going to probably start organizing the conference in earnest in September of this year. Right now I am aiming for a fall 2007 date for the actual event. If anybody has any interest please let me know. You can e-mail me or leave a comment here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: The Labor Army

During World War II, the Stalin regime mobilized nearly 400,000 Soviet citizens belonging to suspect nationalities into forced labor detachments. The majority of these men and women, 220,000 in total, worked in corrective labor camps under conditions almost identical to Gulag inmates. The NKVD assigned the remaining 180,000 conscripts to civilian commissariats. This second category of workers lived in guarded barracks and worked under NKVD supervision. This system of work colonies and brigades received the appellation of labor army (trudarmiia) from the men and women involuntarily pressed into its ranks.

Unlike Gulag prisoners, forced laborers in the labor army received no trials or sentences. Their only crime consisted in being able-bodied members of nationalities declared unreliable by the Stalin regime. These nationalities included Russian-Germans, Russian-Finns, Russian-Koreans, Russian-Bulgarians, Russian-Greeks, Kalmyks and Crimean Tatars. The vast majority of the labor army consisted of Russian-Germans. The Soviet government mobilized an estimated 350,000 Russian-Germans into the labor army. The incomplete Soviet archival record shows more than 315,000 Russian-Germans, 14,000 Russian-Koreans and 5,000 Crimean Tatars conscripted to serve in the labor army. Over 182,000 of the Russian-German inductees performed their obligatory labor service in Gulag camps. The remaining 133,000 Russian-German draftees worked in civilian run mines, oil fields and factories. The labor army constituted a form of forced labor in the USSR uniquely reserved for certain stigmatized nationalities.

The Soviet government conscripted the men and women in the labor army in a manner similar to military induction. It then transported them by overcrowded cattle cars to their new living quarters nearby their assigned work sites. Labor army conscripts built factories, constructed hydro-electric stations, laid railways, felled timber, mined coal, extracted oil and manufactured munitions in the Urals, Kazakhstan and Siberia during the 1940s. They worked long hours in unsafe conditions, lived in unhygienic barracks and suffered severe shortages of food and winter clothing. These poor material conditions took a huge toll in lives among the men and women of the labor army. Disease, malnutrition, exposure and accidents killed a large portion of the labor army. Scholars estimate that the deaths among the Russian-Germans alone due to inhumane conditions in the labor army exceed 100,000 people. Starting in January 1946, the Soviet government began to disband the labor army and send its surviving members into internal exile. This process took some time. The last labor army conscripts left the confines of the Gulag camps only in 1958. Unlike soldiers in the Red Army, veterans of the labor army received no recognition or compensation for their wartime sacrifices until after the collapse of the USSR.

One Year Worth of Posts

This blog now has over 365 posts. That would be one year's worth if I had written one a day. However, this blog is much older than a year. It will be three years old in August. I like to think that quality is more important than quantity.

Redoing My Blogroll

Those of you who have been paying close attention to this blog will notice that I have been purging my blogroll. I have been removing blogs that have died, gone into extended inactivity or removed me from their blogrolls. I will continue this purge. Since the number of blogs linked to mine is quite small this will leave only a few blogs listed in the side bar. If you have a link to my blog and are not listed please let me know so I can add you. If you would like to be linked to my blog then add a link to mine first and let me know. I will then add you to my small blogroll. I really think I need to be firm on this issue. If you do not link to me I will not link to you.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Made it to California

I made it to California on Thursday. It took me ten hours to get from Arivaca to Orange County of which I only spent two flying. I went through Las Vegas airport and won $1.25 on the $1.00 I played on the slot machines. So I came out $0.25 ahead on the gambling front. However, I paid out $3.00 for two bottles of water and $3.00 to check my e-mail. So I was down a grand total of $5.75. Long gone are the days when everything in Las Vegas except the wagers were free.

Here in California I am visiting relatives and eating ethnic food. Today I am going to a Hawaiian BBQ eatery with my brother. I last saw him over six years ago. I have also seen my parents, two aunts and my grandmother. I went out to a Thai place with my parents and aunts on Thursday night. I have yet to plan my excursions to Little Saigon and Little Gaza. But, OC is alot more culturally diverse than when I was last here almost a decade ago.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vacation from Paradise - Thoughts about the Future

Tomorrow I am flying to California for a month. It will give me a chance to think about possible career options. It is quite clear that I will never get an interview to teach at a US university even as an adjunct no matter how many scholarly publications I produce. They only care about teaching experience. Selection committees do not consider research and publications at all. In fact US universities have just become overgrown high schools where kids can get drunk, have sex, smoke dope and learn nothing. So other than overseas positions and post-docs, both of which do not neccesarily require teaching experience, I am not going to bother to apply to any more academic jobs. I wasted a lot of time and energy this last year in that futile pursuit. I was very poorly advised about the reality of US higher education. I wish somebody had honestly said to me, "Books and other publications do not count in the selection process at any US university. All they care about is teaching experience." In California I am going to talk to some people about exploring avenues other than academia where I can engage in historical research and get paid. One of the possibilites is consulting on the production of history orientated films. I have so far certainly had more success in this realm than I have had in trying to get a teaching job.