Thursday, February 28, 2013

Russian-German Labor Army Conscripts from Central Asia

The Soviet government mobilized about 9,000 men or about two thirds of the adult male Russian-German population of the four Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan into the labor army in early 1942 as a result of GKO Order 1281ss. They were sent out of the region to construct rail ways. As a result of this mobilization for forced labor in other parts of the USSR the Russian-German population in Central Asia plummeted. Between 1939 and 1942 the Russian-German population in Uzbekistan shrank by 2,805 (28%), Turkmenistan 1,424 (43%), Kyrgyzstan 3,305 (28%), and Tajikistan 1,076 (53%). In October 1942, the Stalin regime mobilized more Russian-Germans with GKO Order 2383ss. During this second mobilization the NKVD unmasked 1,165 "anti-Soviet elements" among the Russian-Germans living in Central Asia. This number included 456 in Uzbekistan (6.3% of their total population), 76 in Turkmenistan (4%), 431 in Kyrgyzstan (5.1%), and 202 in Tajikistan (21.3%!). A large number of these men and women were arrested, tried,  and transferred to corrective labor camps to serve sentences as prisoners. Despite their small population, many thousands of Russian-Germans from Central Asia worked as forced laborers during and after World War II in various regions of the USSR.


A.A. German and D. Inojatowa, "Deutsche Trudarmeisten in Mittelasien" in A.A. German and O. Silantjewa, (Hrsg.), "...In Arbeitskolonnen fur die gesamte Zeit des Krieges". Zeitzeugen und Forscher berichten uber die Deutschen in der Trudarmee (Moscow: IVDK-Medien, 2012), p. 280.

A.A. German and D. Inoyatova, "Nemtsy-Trudarmeisty v srednei Azii" in  A.A. German and O. IU. Silant'evoi (eds.), "...V rabochie kolonny na vse vremya voinny". Ochevidtsy i issledovateli o nemtsakh v trudovoi armii (Moscow: MSNK-Press, 2012),  p. 281.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Reading about the Oscar's on blogs makes me feel like the US has become some sort of alien planet. I have no idea whats so ever what they are talking about. But, I am glad that I did not waste any time watching it. What passes for important discourse among my fellow Americans is truly both bizarre and trivial.

Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia

While Tito is often praised by American "liberals" as representing a humane alternative socialism to Stalinism, his regime was extremely brutal from 1945 to 1948. The ethnic German citizens of Yugoslavia were singled out for special persecution by Tito's partisans after the end of World War II. In the 1990s a census of losses from ethnic German villages during the early years of the Tito regime confirmed the shooting of 7,199 and the death in concentration camps of 48,447 ethnic German civilians in Yugoslavia. In total 16.8% of the ethnic Germans of Yugoslavia died at the hands of Tito's new regime either in front of firing squads or in camps (Prauser and Sretenovic, p.57). In addition to those interned in Yugoslavia, the new communist regime also shipped 12,364 ethnic Germans to the USSR from January to March 1945 (Polian, p. 260). The horrors of the brutal internment of the ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia is best documented in the film series Millions Cried...No One Listened by Ann Morrison.


Pavel Polian, Against their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2004).

Steffen Prauser and Stanislav Sretenovic, "The 'Expulsion' of the German Speaking Minority from Yugoslavia" in Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees, eds., The Expulsion of the 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of Second World War (Florence, Italy: European University Institute, 2004), pp. 47-58.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Unsurprising Silence

My good friend Walt Richmond has noted that the only article in English he could find on the Internet regarding the 69th anniversary of the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush was the one I posted on this blog. There was nothing else by anybody. None of the "anti-racist" blogs by "liberals", "progressives", or "radicals" had anything to say about the racially motivated forced removal of half a million people to desolate wastelands where a quarter of them died. This goes back to a theme that I have noted before. The US liberal media and academics despite all their claims to support diversity and champion the disadvantaged are in fact extremely parochial and in fact outright racist in their worldviews. Steven Salaita nails it regarding the "radicals", "progressives" and liberals that dominate academia and the media. They are largely posers when it comes to their supposed anti-racist positions. Or as he more articulately puts it, "We should therefore do away with the notion that liberalism automatically equates to tolerance or that liberals are dedicated anti-racists. Liberals are, and long have been, part of the same system that created the racism under discussion in this essay." (p. 19). Sure they like to condemn the alleged racism of their domestic opponents in the US. But, at the same time you have big name tenured professors like Francine Hirsch adamantly denying that the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush in 1944 constituted an act of racial discrimination. The assorted "radicals" and "progressives" with blogs like Claire Potter, Ann Little, Timothy Burke, the socialists at Crooked Timber, and others never blog about politically incorrect people like the Chechens and Ingush. Their plight does not concern them. The "anti-racist" stance of American academic "radicals" is purely a show to demonstrate their supposed moral superiority to registered Republicans in the US. It does not now and has not for a very long time had any real connection with the vast majority of people in the world. The people that Frantz Fanon called the "Wretched of the Earth" do not exist as real humans for academic liberals. At least the old colonial style racism had the honesty of its convictions. There is nothing redeeming about the far more prevalent liberal racism that dominates US academia.

Source: Steven Salaita, The Uncultured Wars: Arab, Muslims, and the Poverty of Liberal Thought - New Essays, (London: Zed Books, 2008).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Coup of 24 February 1966

Tomorrow marks the 47th anniversary of the military coup that overthrew Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah. The coup led to a period of malaise and darkness in Ghanaian history that only decisively ended under the leadership of Rawlings many years later in the 1980s. There can be little doubt that during the nine years he was in power that Nkrumah accomplished more good for Ghana and Africa as a whole than almost any other leader. He built the dam, the harbor, and much of the other infrastructure that Ghana still relies upon today. He successfully asserted Ghana's independence as a non-aligned leader in Africa. He put Ghana on the map as a modern state. Even today most people outside of Ghana know of only three Ghanaians: Kwame Nkrumah, Kofi Annan, and Azumah Nelson.

So given the positive contributions of Kwame Nkrumah to both Ghana and to Africa as a whole why was he overthrown? It appears that the military junta that toppled Nkrumah from power while he was in China on his way to North Vietnam did so with the backing and at the behest of the UK and especially the US governments. The documentation released from the LBJ Presidential Library so far seems to be pretty conclusive that the liberal administration of Johnson helped orchestrate the coup. An African leader capable of advocating for real independence is the last thing any US liberal wants.

Source: Socialist Forum of Ghana, The Great Deception: The Role of the CIA in the Overthrow of Nkrumah (Accra, 2005).

Sixty Nine Years Ago Today - The Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush

Today is generally called Defenders Day in the former Soviet states, but it used to be Red Army Day and commemorated the foundation of the Soviet military by Leon Trotsky. Of course Trotsky himself was airbrushed out of the holiday long before his murder in 1940. But, while most people in Russia and Central Asia celebrate on 23 February each year, the Chechens and Ingush do not. On Red Army Day in 1944, the Stalin regime celebrated the occasion by forcibly deporting virtually the entire indigenous population of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Within less than a week the NKVD forcibly removed close to half a million people from their ancestral homeland. Beria the head of the NKVD kept Stalin informed daily of the operation's progress. This massive act of ethnic cleansing had striking similarities with other instances of genocide such as the US government's forced relocation of the Navajos. The Stalin regime placed the Chechens and Ingush under special settlement restrictions and on 26 November 1948 declared their exile from the Caucasus permanent. In the years after Stalin's death in 1953, however, the Soviet government freed the deported peoples from the special settlement regime and allowed many of them to return home. Only the Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars, and Meskhetian Turks remained permanently exiled. The Chechens and Ingush managed to return in large numbers to a restored Chechen-Ingush ASSR after 1957. Nevertheless the deportation and years in exile had a traumatic and still lingering effect on the Chechens and Ingush.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Who elected the IMF and World Bank the Emperors of Ghana?

Prices are already going up. Laundry was nine cedis today instead of seven last week. I am hearing predictions that across the board that prices might increase 20%. That means most everybody's purchasing power in Ghana declines by one fifth thanks to a completely arbitrary and ideologically motivated decision by the the IMF and World Bank. African politicians need to learn to just say no to IFIs.

Reduction of Fuel Subsidies in Ghana and National Sovereignty

I am hoping that the recent removal of fuel subsidies imposed upon Ghana by the IMF and World Bank does not result in a chain reaction of price increases for everything else. The fact that almost all economic policies in African states are not in fact controlled by Africans, but by completely unaccountable IFIs representing US and European interests makes democracy on the continent rather lacking in content. What good is electing a leader if he only has symbolic sovereignty over the state while all the important decisions are made by the IMF and World Bank?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Blogging will probably continue to be slow. First, things have been busy around here. Teaching a graduate course in addition to my undergraduate courses eats up a lot of time. Second, I don't really have anything to blog about. Right now I am not doing much of anything other than things related to teaching and stuff needed to stay alive like eating, sleeping, and drinking water. Since Monday the only thing of note I have done is see a presentation on the history of African football players in Portugal.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This day in history

Most people celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th. But, it is also a day that commemorates a lot of other anniversaries. Some like the birth of the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the granting of statehood to Arizona can be viewed in a positive light. Others like GKO Order 1281ss and the firebombing of Dresden belong in the big book of man's inhumanity to man.

In 1818 Frederick Douglass was born.

In 1912 Arizona officially became the 48th state in the United States.

In 1942 Stalin issued GKO Order 1281ss ordering the mobilization of Russian-German men living in eastern areas of the USSR into the labor army.

In 1945 the Allies firebombed the city of Dresden.

Clair Potter - The Tenured Radical is a Liar

Clair Potter is a liar. I suppose such moral character flaws are necessary to achieve tenure at universities in the US. She is certainly representative of a strand of dominant leftists feminist historians who have an allergy to the truth and these people completely and totally dominate US academia. It is because of extremist liars like her that people like me are banned from ever even getting interviews to work in US academia. Fortunately, Africans have higher moral standards. Potter has consistently claimed that she never wrote about BDS before 2013. This is a lie. On her blog there is a post from 23 February 2009 2:06 pm on the subject.  This link will take you directly to the article unless she decides to take it down after seeing this post in order to try and cover up the fact she is a bald face liar. The url is also below.  I am sure if the post is erased somebody with more computer skills than me can recover the post from the ether. Unfortunately she is tenured so she can freely lie about anything she wants without any type of job sanction, but nobody in the world should from now on take anything she says seriously. If the state of US academia declines any further we won't have to make any improvements in Africa to overcome them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I have now finished grading. Although I am still getting complaints on a regular basis from last year's students that I should have given them all As instead of the B+ which seems to be the most common grade of those that are the most insistent that I gave them a horrible grade. If I give any student a grade less than an A they will complain that they deserved an A. When I was in college nobody ever complained to the lecturer about a B+. They may have wanted an A, but there was not an expectation that their work was automatically A level and anything less was a horrible injustice inflicted by the professor. I am now thinking about telling students with above average grades who complain that they really got an A and I graded them wrong that they can go file a complaint with the Chancellor of the University, Kofi Annan.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I am a "Reactionary" and not a "Radical."

I see that the Tenured Radical has again officially defined the position of "radical" US academics on Palestine by writing another attack on peaceful resistance to Israeli apartheid and colonization. This is why I am a "reactionary" and not a "radical." I do not support Israel just because it calls itself a social democracy and a Jewish State.  I am not a "progressive." I am a hard line right winger and as such I support the national and human rights of the Palestinians. I believe they have the right to use not only boycotts, but also armed struggle to achieve their liberation. Of course that makes me politically incorrect and beyond the pale to all the leftists in US academia like Potter. But, so what? I live in Africa. Here there are still people alive that did fight for freedom and not all of that struggle was peaceful.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Rehabilitation of Stalin and the Moral Responsibility of Intellectuals

The rehabilitation of Stalin has progressed from merely ignoring or denying his crimes and concentrating on his accomplishments in defeating Nazi Germany and industrializing the USSR to actively praising his repression against various internal enemy classes and especially domestic enemy nationalities. The recent celebration of the founding of the Usol'lag corrective labor camp by its former wardens is a case in point of this phenomenon. While American and European leftists have spent a great amount of time and effort to discredit the very small fringe groups that have attempted to deny, but not praise the crimes of Hitler, they have done almost nothing to oppose the political rehabilitation of Stalin. Indeed a great many of them especially in US universities have actively dismissed attempts to remember the victims of Stalin with dignity as something frivolous like Duran Duran albums and big hair and have instead portrayed communism as a "Progressive movement like Civil Rights and feminism." Indeed Stalinism was a "progressive movement" in that it sought to completely annihilate traditional peoples and their cultures in the name of modernity. Colonialism and genocide were also "progressive movements" in this sense.  But, material progress at any cost is not a value I support as politically incorrect as my "reactionary" position may be. I believe that human dignity is more important. I know that I am a member of very tiny minority of people holding both a PhD and a US passport to think that Stalin's violent repression of his perceived enemies had no possible moral justification regardless of the Soviet government's position on segregation in the US South, but so be it. Twentieth century communism did not further civil rights or feminism for that matter in the USSR or any of the other countries where it actually ruled. Indeed the Stalin regime eliminated the civil rights of a large number of racialized ethnic groups and placed them under apartheid like restrictions. These stigmatized nationalities are still politically incorrect peoples so the US left has no problem dismissing their historical plight as having no more seriousness than Duran Duran albums and big hair. But, one can only  imagine the reaction of the left if people on the right were to do the same thing to politically correct victims like the Jews under Naziism, Blacks in the US South, or women anywhere and anytime.


Recently former guards of the Usol'lag Corrective Labor Camp in the Urals celebrated the 75th anniversary of the camp's founding. During WWII Stalin sent thousands of Russian-Germans to this camp as conscripts in the labor army without any criminal charges or trial. Their "crime" for which they were condemned to forced labor was their ethnic German ancestry. By April 1942 the Stalin regime had sent 4,940 Russian-Germans to Usol'lag. This number had increased to 6,004 by January 1944. Material conditions in this logging camp were awful and large numbers of those sent there died from malnutrition, disease, and exhaustion. The Memory Book for the Russian-German labor army conscripts sent to Usol'lag confirms the death of 3,508 individuals. Can you imagine if former guards of Buchenwald in Germany held a party to celebrate the founding of that camp anytime after 1945? Yet Stalinist crimes not only get a free pass, but are openly celebrated today in Russia with no protests what so ever from Western intellectuals.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Soviet apartheid article no. 2 progress report

Last night I looked over the second Soviet apartheid article I was working on last year and had put away for a while to accomplish other things. It does not appear to be as great a mess as I remember it being in 2012. It of course still needs a lot of work, but it does appear to be a solid first draft that could be made to work with enough editing. It is about 6,700 words right now and does have an introduction, a thesis, a middle, and a conclusion. As soon as I get all of the grading and class prep for this week squared away I am going to return to working on it in earnest. If anybody would like to volunteer to look over it and provide constructive criticism please let me know. Although the comparison of Soviet nationality policies to South African apartheid has been around since the 1970s when dissidents in the USSR used it as a way of noting official discrimination against groups like the Meskehtian Turks and Crimean Tatars, it has gotten little scholarly attention.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

City Campus

Yesterday I spent most of the day at City Campus in Accra. Formerly known as the Workers' College, it was modeled after Birkbeck in London, but has far fewer resources. Something that is quite evident from the condition of the physical infrastructure, particularly the Old Block. At any rate I had a 200 level class followed by a long break during which I graded 14 exams and caught the first half of the Mali-Nigeria football match. I then had a 400 level class. There were three new students who were not in the antecedent class last semester. But, most of the 14 students from the last semester were also missing. I found out that one of them had been killed in a traffic accident during the break. I suppose that given the number of students I teach and the very high rate of motor related fatalities in Ghana that the event was not statistically that improbable. However, it still shocked me and it is always sad when young people die.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

One Negative Effect of the War in Mali

One thing the recent military intervention in Mali does is legitimize the French military and security presence in Africa and its role in keeping dictators in power in neo-colonial states like Chad and Togo who participated in the "liberation" of Timbuktu. This is not a good long term trend. The French supported dictatorships in Chad, Togo, Gabon and other places have been far more brutal to far more people for far longer than the Islamists were in northern Mali. Providing them with enhanced international political legitimacy is a disservice to the people laboring under these repressive regimes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What I do during the day (Ghanaian brain cultivation and other activities)

Yesterday it seems I spent the whole day running around campus. I went to the IT people three time to get my anti-virus software updated, the laundromat twice, the electrical division of the physical plant twice (I still don't have working lights in my room), as well as the bank and the library. So other than prepare for and teach one class I did not get much done on Monday. I think I may have graded one exam. Today I did considerably better on the exams, but still had a three hour graduate course and a two hour meeting eat up a big chunk of time. It also took over ten hours to download the updates for my new anti-virus software today. Tomorrow I have to go to Accra for six and a half hours to teach. But, Thursday I have completely free so I can probably finish up grading this week. The deadline is 22 February 2013. I will definitely be finished before then.

Friday, February 01, 2013


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More Third World Problems

This week has been busy.  I taught three classes including my first graduate class. It is on ethnicity and race. I am also still finishing up grading. I hope to finish that soon. I also had some other things to do and not having power most of Monday and Tuesday made working in my office miserable. The department needs a generator as well as more printers and a scanner.

Today they fumigated our offices. So we had to leave before noon. I wish they had given us more than a one day notice. On top of that they were late. They said they would arrive at 10:00 and did not get there until 11:30. To me that is unprofessional, but what do I know.

Other than that things are going okay.

Why do US academic "progressives" lie about BDS?

I keep seeing the false claim by "progressive" North American academics on very high traffic blogs that the PACBI requires the boycott of individual Israeli scholars. This is simply not true. It is a deliberate and malicious lie spread to hamper the implementation of BDS by academics. The PACBI instead targets Israeli academic institutions not individuals. It does not differ at all from the earlier academic boycott of South Africa which all of these same "progressives" supported.