Monday, November 15, 2010

Interviews with Russian-Germans in Kant

Yesterday I went with three research assistants to interview elderly Russian-Germans in the nearby town of Kant. We interviewed four women and one man. I thought the interview with the man was the most interesting. He was born in Crimea, then deported to the North Caucasus in August 1941, and then exiled to Kazakhstan in October 1941. The Stalin regime then mobilized him into the labor army in 1942. He worked in Bakalstroi and noted that he only survived because he was small and did not need much food. All the large men perished. After his release from the labor army in 1948 he returned to Kazakhstan, then went to Uzbekistan, and finally ended up in Kyrgyzstan. For a guy in his 80s he was remarkably energetic and sharp.

2 comments:

marc b. said...

have you read 'bloodlands-between hitler and stalin' and if so, do you have any commentary/criticism?

my mother is polish, and i have been trying to piece together a family history as best i can and compare personal recollections with historical accounts of the period. (apparently many of my mother's uncles 'volunteered' to fight in the red army. they were from a small village east of lublin.)

J. Otto Pohl said...

I have not yet read Bloodlands. The reviews so far, however, look interesting. If I get a chance in the next couple months I will try and read it and post a review.