Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Russian-German Bibliography

English Language Sources on Russian-Germans

Compiled by J. Otto Pohl

Alexeyeva, Ludmilla, Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious, and Human Rights (Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1985).

Bachmann, Berta, trans. Duin, Edgar, Memories of Kazakhstan: A Report on the Life Experience of a German Woman in Russia (Lincoln, NE: AHSGR, 1983).

Bender, Ida, trans., Anderson, Laurel, Anderson, Carl and Wiest, William, The Dark Abyss of Exile: The Story of Survival (Fargo, ND: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, 2000).

Brown, Kate, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2005).

Brown, Kate, “Gridded Lives: Why Kazakhstan and Montana are Nearly the Same Place,” American Historical Review, vol. 106, no. 1.

Conquest, Robert, The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities (New York, Macmillan, 1970).

Daes, Nelly, ed. trans. Holland, Nancy, Gone without a Trace: German-Russian Women In Exile (Lincoln, NE: AHSGR, 2001).

Dupper, Alexander, trans., “The Desperate Struggle of the Soviet Germans for their Human Rights and for Permission to Emigrate to Germany,” Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, vol. 6, no. 1 (Spring 1983).

Dyck, Johannes, “Revival as Church Restoration: Patterns of a Revival Among Ethnic Germans in Central Asia after World War II,” Transformation, vol. 21, no. 3 (July 2004).

Fleischhauer, Ingeborg and Pinkus, Benjamin, The Soviet Germans: Past and Present (London: C. Hurst and Company, 1986).

Isakov, Konstantin, "1941-Other Germans," New Times, no. 17, 1990.

Karklins, Rasma, Ethnic Relations in the USSR: The Perspective from Below (Boston, MA: Allen & Unwin, 1986).

Kloberdanz, Timothy and Rosalinda, Thunder on the Steppe: Volga German Folklife in Changing Russia (Lincoln, NE: AHSGR, 1993).

Koch, Fred, The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977).

Lohr, Eric, Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens During World War I (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

Long, James, “The Volga Germans and the Famine of 1921,” The Russian Review, Vol. 51, October 1992.

Long, James, From Privileged to Dispossessed: The Volga Germans, 1860-1917 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1988).

Martin, Terry, “Stalinist Forced Relocation Policies: Patterns, Causes, Consequences,” in Weiner, Myron and Russell, Sharon Stanton, eds., Demography and National Security (New York: Berghahn Books, 2002).

Mukomel, Vladimir and Pain, Emil, "Deported Peoples in Central Asia," in Naumkin, Vitaly, ed., State, Religion and Society in Central Asia: A Post-Soviet Critique (Reading, UK: Ithaca Press, 1993).

Overy, Richard, The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia (London: Allen Lane, 2004).

Pohl, J. Otto, “Stalin’s Genocide Against the ‘Repressed Peoples,’” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 2, no. 2 (June 2000).

Pohl, J. Otto, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999).

Pohl, J. Otto, The Stalinist Penal System: A Statistical History of Soviet Repression and Terror, 1930-1953 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997).

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

Schmaltz, Eric J., An Expanded Bibliography and Reference Guide for the Former Soviet Union’s Ethnic Germans: Issues of Ethnic Autonomy, Group Repression, Cultural Assimilation, and Mass Migration in the Twentieth Century and Beyond (Fargo, ND: GRHC, NDSU Libraries, 2002).

Schmaltz, Eric and Sinner, Samuel, “’You Will Die Under Ruins and Snow’: The Soviet Repression of Russian Germans as a Case Study of Successful Genocide,” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 4, no. 3 (September 2002).

Sheehy, Ann and Nahaylo, Bohdan, The Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans and Meskhetians: Soviet Treatment of some National Minorities (London: Minority Rights Group, 1986).

Simon, Gerhard, trans. Karen and Oswald Forster, Nationalism and Policy Toward the Nationalities in the Soviet Union: From Totalitarian Dictatorship to Post-Stalinist Society (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991).

Sinner, Samuel D., The Open Wound: The Genocide of German Ethnic Minorities in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1915-1949 and Beyond (Fargo, ND: GRHC, NDSU Libraries, 2000).

Stricker, Gerd, “Ethnic Germans in Russia and the Former Soviet Union, “ in Wolff, Stefan, ed., German Minorities in Europe: Identity and Cultural Belonging (NY: Berghahn Books, 2000).

Toews, John B., Journeys: Mennonite Stories of Faith and Survival in Stalin’s Russia (Winnipeg, MAN: Kindred Productions, 1998).

Vossler, Ronald, We’ll Meet in Heavan: Germans in the Soviet Union Write Their American Relatives: 1917-1937 (Fargo, ND: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University, 2001).

Willems, Joachim, “Russian German Lutheran ‘Brotherhoods’ in the Soviet Union and in the CIS: Comments on their Confessional Identity and on their Position in ELCROS,” Religion, State & Society, vol. 30, no. 3 (2002).

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

German Diaspora Conference Abstract


Suffering in a Province of Asia: The Russian-German Diaspora in Kazakhstan

Diaspora Experiences: German-Speaking Immigrants and their Descendants
Waterloo Centre for German Studies, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
24-27 August 2006

By 1989, nearly a million Russian-Germans lived in Kazakhstan. They constituted the third largest nationality in the territory after Russians and Kazakhs. At almost 6% of the population, the Russian-Germans formed the largest and most important diaspora nationality in the Kazakh SSR. The Russian-Germans played an important role in Kazakhstan’s economic development in the years after World War II.

The origins of the Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan are mixed. Russian-German colonists from other regions of the Russian Empire first settled there in 1882. By 1926, Kazakhstan had over 50,000 Russian-Germans. Deportations during the collectivization of agriculture in 1930-1931 further increased this population. In 1936, the Soviet government exiled the Russian-German population near the Polish border to Kazakhstan. On the eve of World War II the Russian German population numbered over 90,000 due to these deportations and natural growth. The events of 1941 increased this number by a factor of five. By 1942, over half a million Russian-Germans found themselves confined to Kazakhstan.

The vast majority of Russian-Germans from Kazakhstan are the descendents of deportees during World War II. During the fall of 1941, the Stalin regime deported more than 850,000 Russian-Germans eastward. Close to 400,000 of these deportees ended up in Kazakhstan. Here the Soviet government subjected them to inhumane living conditions of severe material poverty and denial of basic human rights. Only in the mid-1950s, after Stalin’s death, did their status improve significantly.

Despite these improvements, the Russian-Germans continued to suffer from official discrimination. They could not return to their former places of residence, they only had access to a few token German language publications and they remained largely excluded from receiving higher education and white collar jobs. This discrimination made it impossible for the Russian-Germans to adopt Kazakhstan as a new homeland. It continued to be a land of involuntary exile and suffering.

I intend to submit a paper on the history of the Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan. The paper covers the various waves of migration to Kazakhstan with a special emphasis on the mass forced resettlements during World War II. It then deals with the legal and material conditions endured by the Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan during the 1940s and 1950s. Finally, it addresses the problems of acculturation, continued discrimination, lack of cultural autonomy and the desire to immigrate to Germany that concerned the diaspora in subsequent decades. The paper draws upon a large variety of published primary source material from the archives in Moscow and Almaty. It also makes use of recently published memoirs written by Russian-Germans from Kazakhstan now living in Germany. The paper seeks to synthesize these sources to provide a more thorough historical account of the diaspora than previously possible.

Busy few days

I have been busy recently. I just finished editing my paper for the conference on German diasporas that will take place this August in Canada. I will post the abstract later today. Getting the format of the paper, especially the footnotes right is always the hardest part of any piece of writing. Everything else is easy in comparison. Thursday I fly to California. I got my ticket confirmation in my e-mail today. This weekend I made a bold attempt to read the four very thick library books I had checked out. I got one done and will finish another one before I leave. The other two I have returned without finishing. I still have to clean up my office and pack.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everybody who chances to read this blog has a Happy Memorial Day. I will be grilling up hamburgers for the holiday. I have not grilled burgers in a while.

Next week I will be going to California for about a month to take care of a few things. I am not sure if I will be able to write any long scholarly posts during that time. But, I will certainly post a few updates from there.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The German Family One Year On: "Gott ist mit uns"

When I first received an e-mail message from Vladimir German asking for my assistance in his family’s asylum case I agreed to help them free of charge. Despite seeking to do everything in my limited power to prevent the deportation of the Germans back to Kazakhstan I was not optimistic. The same Germanophobia that motivated Stalin’s brutal deportation of the Russian-Germans had also infected the US during World War II. The hatred of all Germans including women and children took deep roots in the US. This extended even to the Russian-Germans who had overwhelmingly been loyal Soviet citizens opposed to Nazi Germany. Yet like in the USSR the US government and intellectual leadership considered all people of German nationality to be tainted by Naziism, a prejudice that still continues today.

The Soviet government itself publicly admitted that its charges of treason against its citizens of German descent had been false on 29 August 1964. This admission is still not well known and even many people among the US intellectual elite still believe the libel that the Russian-Germans were traitors to the USSR. Over 30,000 Russian-Germans fought in the Red Army in defense of the USSR before being removed to forced labor camps by the Stalin regime. Nearly half of them perished due to this inhumane treatment. Many Russian-Germans died fighting to defend Brest against the Nazis. One young soldier and Komsomol member, Heinrich Hoffmann died under extreme torture rather than betray the Soviet Union. Despite such acts of heroism the Soviet government considered all Russian-Germans to be disloyal and punished them accordingly.

The US to its great shame cooperated with Stalin in this punishment. Between 1945 and 1946, the US along with the UK and France forcibly repatriated most of the nearly 300,000 Russian-Germans they found in their occupation zones back to the USSR. The NKVD recorded receiving over 200,000 repatriated Russian-Germans including nearly 70,000 children during these two years. The US armed forces often used violent force against these defenseless refugees in order to compel them into Soviet custody. The NKVD sent all surviving repatriated Russian-Germans to engage in forced labor under special settlement restrictions in the Urals, Siberia, the Soviet Far East and Tajikistan. Here they worked in mines, shipyards, heavy industry and cotton farms. Russian-German repatriates in Kurgan-Tyube, Tajikistan had almost no food, soap or linen in January 1946 according to one report from the Peoples Commissariat for Health. As a result they suffered from massive starvation and death. By October 1948, nearly 50,000 Russian-German repatriates worked in Gulag camps including over 28,000 in the Kolyma camps, 4,700 in the Norlisk camps and 1,500 in the Vorkuta camps. All of these mining camps lay north of the Arctic Circle. The only crime committed by these tens of thousands of men and women was their German ancestry.

The US government has never publicly acknowledged yet alone apologized and offered compensation to the survivors of the forced repatriations to the USSR. Instead the myth that US forces never engaged in atrocities during World War II and that the Germans were a uniquely evil people deserving of no quarter even for women and children continues to have currency in America. This Germanophobia still has a strong legal basis in US immigration law with regards to the Russian-Germans. The Lautenberg Amendment is the primary law that governs the acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers from the former Soviet states into the US. It deliberately excludes Russian-Germans from the categories eligible for either status. As a result it is extremely difficult for persecuted individuals of Russian-German heritage from places like Kazakhstan to receive asylum in the US. In most cases they have to prove that they will be killed, tortured or suffer other bodily harm from their government for their political opinions, religious beliefs or ethnicity. Systematic denial of employment and education as a result of ones nationality is generally not considered sufficient grounds for asylum in the US. Thus I remained extremely pessimistic about the Germans’ chances of winning their appeal in Seattle after the Department of Homeland Security denied their initial petition filed almost 13 years earlier.

While waiting over 12 years for the US government to decide on their asylum petition the Germans worked hard, paid their taxes, purchased a house and learned fluent English. The two children Pavel and Oksana had gone almost all the way through US high schools. Oksana who maintained a 4.0 will be starting university this fall. I knew that if she was deported back to Kazakhstan that she would never have an opportunity to go to college. Honestly, I am quite sure that I would have been haunted by this fact for my entire life. I felt that my government was going to commit a horrible injustice against these people just as it had against their ethnic kin in 1945 and 1946.

Thus when I got a message from Vladimir’s attorney telling me that they had won I felt great joy. Despite the continued existence of a widespread and deep-rooted Germanophobia among the US elite, the judge had done what was morally right. The influence of a Germanophobia that is every bit as irrational as Nazi anti-Semitism is so prevalent among the ruling class of the US that I only have one explanation for the Germans’ victory. It was a miracle from God. Sometimes the saying “Gott ist mit uns” really is true.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I did not get the job

Well I did not get the foreign job I have been waiting over a month to hear on. They finally wrote me back after I e-mailed them every week for the last three weeks reminding them. They claimed they were waiting to hear if the two people they wanted more than me wanted to take the job. Why they did not write back earlier and tell me this can only be explained by rudeness. I seriously doubt the two people they hired instead of me have two books, several book chapters and half a dozen journal articles published each. Especially since the job only pays $500 a month with no benefits. That is correct the job pays less than US minimum wage. It also requires a Ph.D. from a western university. How many people applying for such a job have as many academic publications as me? I will bet $100 that none do. Their country is never going to develop with such policies.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Process of Writing

I corrected my proofs for the article this morning. Now I need to mail them. They did a really good job on the proofs. Alot of academic journals create far more errors in the proofs than existed in the original draft. The published articles then end up with still even more errors. But, the editor at Human Rights Review has been very good.

Catherine's Grandchildren is now up to 125 pages. It is going to turn out to be a little bit longer than I originally anticipated. I found some new materials and have been incorporating them. Recently I have been writing about the feeding of Volga Germans by the American Relief Administration in the early 1920s, the fate of Volga German orphans during the same years and the incredible decline in the education level of Russian-Germans relative to other Soviet nationalities between 1926 and 1989. In regards to this last topic the Russian-Germans fell from number two, second only to Jews, to number 18 and below Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Mordvins, Kalmyks and 12 other nationalities. In Kazakhstan less than 6% of Russian-Germans in 1989 had ever attended post-secondary educational institutes. More so than almost any other nationality in the USSR, the Russian-Germans suffered from severe discrimination in the realm of education from 1941 on.

Speaking of Russian-Germans, not all is bad news. This Friday the German family in Walla Walla will be celebrating the one year anniversary of winning their political asylum appeal. I am very glad to hear that Vladimir, Katya, Pavel and Oksana have had a very good year since that victory. I hope they have many more great years here in the US. I will have a special post dedicated to the German family on Friday.

New Publication Next Month

Today I got my proofs for an article that will appear in Human Rights Review next month. The journal is published by the philosophy department of Loyola University in New Orleans. The title of the article is "Socialist Racism: Ethnic Cleansing and Racial Exclusion in the USSR and Israel." The abstract of the article is below.

During the 1970s, both the Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks in Soviet Central Asia compared their plight to that of the Palestinians. The Stalin regime deported both the Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks from their homelands to dispersed settlements in Central Asia. The similarities between the Soviet policies of expelling and permanently excluding the Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks from their homelands and similar Israeli policies towards the Palestinians are not entirely coincidental. The Zionists based their mass expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948 and subsequent prohibition on allowing them to return to their homes in part on the Soviet model. The similarities between the two instances of ethnic cleansing are due in large part to this conscious emulation of Stalin's methods by the Zionists.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Books on Crimean Tatars

Crimean Tatar Bibliography

English Language Books

Alexeyeva, Ludmilla, Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious and Human Rights (Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1985).

Allworth, Edward, ed., The Tatars of Crimea: Return to the Homeland (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998).

Amnesty International, Chronicle of Current Events no. 31, 17 May 1974 (Amnesty International, 1975).

Conquest, Robert, The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities (NY: Macmillan, 1970).

Fisher, Alan W., The Crimean Tatars (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 1978).

The Forced Migration Projects of the Open Society Institute, Crimean Tatars: Repatriation and Conflict Prevention (NY: The Open Society Institute, 1996).

Naimark, Norman, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth Century Europe, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Nekrich, Aleksandr, trans. Saunders, George, The Punished Peoples: The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities at the End of the Second World War (NY: W.W. Norton, 1979).

Pohl, J. Otto, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999).

Pohl, J. Otto, The Stalinist Penal System: A Statistical History of Soviet Repression and Terror, 1930-1953 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997).

Polian, Pavel, Against Their Will (Budapest, Central European University, 2004).

Reddaway, Peter, ed., Uncensored Russia: The Human Rights Movement in the Soviet Union (London: Cape, 1972).

Saunders, George, trans., Samizdat: Voices of the Soviet Opposition (NY: Monad Press, 1974).

Sheehy, Anne and Nahaylo, Bohdan, The Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans and Meskhetians: Soviet Treatment of Some National Minorities (London: Minority Rights Group, 1986).

Uehling, Greta, Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatars’ Deportation and Return (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

Williams, Brian, The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation (Leiden, NL: Brill, 2001).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Happy Armed Forces Day

Usually my Get Fuzzy calender has holidays listed for Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the UK. Today it had a US one. My calender did not have VE day a couple weeks ago. I find that surprising because all of the countries listed above plus the former Soviet states participated in the victory. At any rate my uncle who served in the Marines in between the Korean and Vietnam wars put up the flag again today in honor of the occasion.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stalin's Ethnic Cleansing of the Crimean Tatars: 18 May 1944

In the early hours of 18 May 1944 some 32,000 members of the NKVD and NKGB began the systematic round up of the entire Crimean Tatar population. These armed units went from house to house and rousted the still sleeping victims and informed them that the Stalin regime had decreed that they were traitors to the Soviet Motherland. This false and slanderous accusation carried a sentence of permanent banishment from Crimea to Uzbekistan as special settlers. Evicted from their homes the Crimean Tatars had only a short time to gather a few possessions with them into exile. The NKVD men then escorted them to cars and trucks and drove them to rail stations for deportation from their homeland. They rapidly stuffed the Crimean Tatar deportees into train wagons meant for the transportation of livestock. An average of 50 people found themselves crowded into each of the small wooden boxes. Thousands of families became separated during this process as the soldiers placed mothers and children in separate wagons. In a period of three days the NKVD had completed loading the vast majority of the Crimean Tatar population into cattle cars.

In total the NKVD herded over 180,000 people on train echelons bound for Uzbekistan. Women and children constituted over 80% of these deportees. Some 25,000 Crimean Tatar men had earlier gone to the front to fight in the Red Army against Nazi Germany. Eight of them had even received the title Hero of the Soviet Union for their valor in this struggle. The survivors of this conflict later found themselves stripped of their arms and sent to special settlements in Uzbekistan to join the rest of the Crimean Tatar population. The Soviet government forcibly mobilized another 11,000 Crimean Tatar men into forced labor battalions during the deportations and sent them to various sites in Russia and Kazakhstan. In total the Stalin regime forcibly resettled nearly 200,000 Crimean Tatars.

The day after completing this task, the NKVD diverted over 30,000 Crimean Tatar deportees from their journey to Uzbekistan to the Urals. These special settlers worked in lumber preparation and cellulose and paper factories. The cold and wet climate here combined with poor housing, lack of warm clothing and insufficient nourishment led to poor health. Numerous outbreaks of dysentery, mange and eczema plagued the Crimean Tatar exiles in the Urals. Only the most limited and primitive medical care existed to treat such ailments. As a result uncounted thousands perished here.

The remaining 150,000 plus Crimean Tatars continued on to Uzbekistan. They traveled for weeks in extremely unsanitary conditions. Each wagon had only a hole or bucket to serve as a toilet. The deportees had very little water for either drinking or washing. The train wagons thus quickly became infested with lice. Outbreaks of typhus and other diseases afflicted the exiles in transit. A lack of sufficient food exacerbated their ill health. Official Soviet records show an average of only 340 grams of food issued a day for each deportee while on the trains, a ration guaranteed to bring death sooner rather than later. Since the journey to Uzbekistan took an average of three weeks and those sent to Mari-El did not arrive until July many Crimean Tatars died along the way. The NKVD threw those that perished by the side of the railway tracks thus depriving them of a proper burial. The difference in the number of Crimean Tatars deported and those arriving in their assigned places of exile exceeded 6,000 people.

The Stalin regime sent the Crimean Tatars to Uzbekistan during a known malaria epidemic despite the fact that the USSR had no extra drugs to fight the disease at the time. Their immune systems weakened by malnutrition and hunger the deportees died in droves from this illness during their first years of exile. The NKVD registered over 26,000 deaths among Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan in less than a year and a half. Most of these people died in agony from malaria.

The Soviet government placed the Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan under special settlement restrictions and used them for hard labor in construction, mining, manufacturing and agriculture. The special settlement restrictions saddled the deportees with an onerous set of legal liabilities. They could not leave their assigned settlement without special permission from their local NKVD commandant and had to report to this commandant and register on a regular basis. These NKVD commandants administered a separate legal system over the Crimean Tatars and denied them equal rights with most other Soviet citizens. To enforce this legal inferiority the Crimean Tatars had to carry special identification documents noting their unequal status on the basis of their nationality.

The Soviet government did not remove the special settlement restrictions from the Crimean Tatars until 28 April 1956, over three years after Stalin’s death. Even then it did not lift the false accusation of treason against all Crimean Tatars until 5 September 1967. The ban on the vast majority of Crimean Tatars from returning home to Crimea remained effective into the late 1980s. For decades the Crimean Tatars engaged in peaceful demonstrations, petitions and other forms of protests against this ban. Only after 1987, however, could large numbers of Crimean Tatars again live in Crimea without being expelled back to Uzbekistan by the Soviet authorities. Today over half of the Crimean Tatar population of the former USSR lives in Crimea where they are engaged in a peaceful struggle to achieve full national, civil and political rights.


Since I have arrived in Arivaca I have been reading alot more than at any time in life except when I did the MA at SOAS. I actually found the MA harder than the Ph.D. The one year MA required that I read about a book a day and most of the material was completely new to me. The doctorate by contrast only required me to write about a half a page a day and I was already very familiar with the subject matter. In the last week I have finished reading Charles Allen's Soldier Sahibs and Tom Bissell's Chasing the Sea. The Allen book is on the British military exploits in the 19th Century in the Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Province. Chasing the Sea is a travel book by a former Peace Corp Volunteer in Uzbekistan that manages to incorporate a lot of Central Asian history and do it well. I have been reading alot of popular history and travel literature dealing with Central Asia, Afghanistan and Siberia recently. Almost all of it is better written and more informative than most of the English language academic literature recently published on the history of these regions.

I have not got anything written in the last couple days on the book project. But, I did find some stuff on the Volga Germans from 1917 to 1920 thanks to Viktor Krieger's Russian language website. It might be enough to get a rough draft of Catherine's Grandchildren finished. At anyrate it will help considerably. I also found some interesting stuff on his website regarding the demography of the Russian-Germans under Soviet rule and the 1979 riots by ethnic Kazakhs against creating a German Autonomous Oblast in Kazakhstan. These last events are a pretty minor part of my chapter on the 1970s. They are never the less an interesting example of just how messed up Soviet nationality policies really were in practice.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Other Stuff

Well I still have not heard anything on the job. I wrote an e-mail to the last person who interviewed me today asking about my status. I think they are deliberately ignoring me at this point. I wish academics were not such cowards. If they are not going to give me the job they should tell me.

I voted for the first time in Arivaca today. It was for two county bond issues. Neither of which fund anything remotely close to our community. Instead it is more pork for Tucson. I of course voted against both measures.

I made some progress this last couple of days on Catherine's Grandchildren. It is now up to 120 pages. I definitely need to do a little remedial research on the years 1917 to 1920 to finish it properly. But, other than those three years I have a pretty complete narrative of Russian-German history in the USSR from 1921 to 1987. As far as I know it is the first work on the subject in English for a general audience that makes use of the vast array of Russian and German language sources published since 1991. It also makes use of some archival research I did in Tartu Estonia.

Reviving the Blog

I think I am going to try and revive this blog from some of its current morbidity. I am going to start posting at least one serious historical post a week. Thursday the 18th is the 62nd anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars so I will put up a special post in memory of this crime against humanity on that day. I will also resume my Human Cost of Communism series. I am going to try and entice an audience from people interested in these subjects who do not normally read blogs.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Writing Life

Recently, I have slowed down a bit on writing Catherine's Grandchildren. It has not progressed past 118 pages yet. I hope to rectify that soon. The basic narrative text is almost finished. It is just the years of the Bolshevik Revolution and Civil War that still have big gaps. I may have to wait until I can get somewhere with more library resources before I can do a really satisfactory job on the years 1917 to 1920. I will try and get what I can finished here first. Then I can get it into better shape when I visit my parents in California and can visit some of the libraries near them.

I am thinking that my next writing project dealing with deported peoples will probably be on the Kalmyks. Two of the last three graduate students that contacted me for assistance were researching the group. So I know there is some interest out there.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

It is now officially Hot in Arivaca

The weather forecast predicts that today's high will break 100 degrees for the first time this year in southern Arizona. I made the walk back to Serenity Ranch in 97 degree heat yesterday without any discomfort. So I do not think 100 should present any problems.

I still have not heard anything about the job overseas. I did, however, get an e-mail from a friend in Alexandria, Virginia today. Any day that I get e-mail actually addressed to me personally is a good day. I am lucky if I average one real e-mail for every 20 listserve announcements.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Still Waiting, Writing and Walking

I still have yet to hear about the job. It has now been 18 days since the last interview. Since the job is in a country on a different continent it is important that I hear soon. If they wait to tell me in July that only gives me a month to make all the preparations for leaving the US for two years. If they are not going to give me the job they should tell me soon as well. I am currently having to postpone finishing other plans while I wait.

Catherine's Grandchildren is up to 118 pages now. I am currently writing about the events that led to the declaration of the Volga German Workers' Commune by Lenin on 19 October 1918. It was the first autonomous national territory in Soviet Russia.

It has gotten up into the 90s, but I am still walking a little over five miles a day. It is not too bad now that I am used to the unpaved roads and heat. Walking in Arivaca gives me plenty of time to think about my future.

Today's Update

Well I still have not heard about the job despite sending an e-mail asking about my status yesterday. That is probably not a good sign. If I do not hear anything by next Tuesday I will e-mail them again.

Catherine's Grandchildren is still rolling along. It is now up to 117 pages. This morning I started writing about the numerous massacres of Mennonites in Ukraine by Nestor Makhno's anarchist followers during the fall of 1919. I should be able to complete a rough draft of the entire manuscript before the end of the month.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy VE Day Everybody

In honor of Victory in Europe Day I will be starting up the grill for the first time this year. I am grilling hot dogs tonight. The weather has decided to cooperate with these plans. It is not too hot and there is a slight breeze to wave the US flag.

In other news I am still waiting to hear on the job that interviewed me. I sent them an e-mail today. I hope to hear one way or the other by the end of the week. If I get the job I will take it for at least two years, probably longer. If they do not hire me I still need to know soon so I can get on with the rest of my life. If I do not get this job I do not think I will be wasting any more postage trying to get a position at a US university. I got a rejection today in the mail from a job I applied to long ago telling me they had hired a woman who has not even finished her Ph.D. yet. When an ABD at a US university trumps the fastest recorded Ph.D. at SOAS and multiple publications I have to conclude it is a hopeless cause I embraced.

I am writing a couple pages of real work a day now. Usually before 8 AM. I have now written 116 pages of Catherine's Grandchildren: A Short History of the Russian-Germans under Soviet Rule. I really only have the years 1917, 1918 and 1919 to finish. I finished up the chapter on the 1980s. Compared to the 1970s the first half of the 1980s was a much less active time period for the group. There was one well publicized demonstration in Moscow's Red Square on 31 March 1980 demanding the right to emigrate. Other than that there was not much protest activity. It was also a pretty short chapter since I only went up to 1987. In that year the Soviet government decided to allow unlimited emigration out of the USSR. Most of the Russian-Germans left for Germany in the next 15 years. The 1989 Soviet census counted just over 2 million Russian-Germans. During the 1990s over 1.5 million Russian-Germans settled in Germany. This trend has continued at a slower pace into the current decade. The 1987 removal of the restrictions on emigration out of the Soviet Union essentially announced the end of any significant Russian-German population in Russia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

I got a couple e-mails from the graduate student I helped right before Christmas recently. He has sent me another graduate student at a different institution to help. As always Guru Pohl welcomes all seekers of knowledge.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Worthwhile Writing While I Wait

I still have not heard from the job. I am going to send them an e-mail if I still do not know by Tuesday. Other than waiting I am just about finished with the manuscript for Catherine's Grandchildren: A Short History of the Russian-Germans under Soviet Rule. I am aiming for 125 pages. Currently it is at 109 pages. I have only the sections on 1917-1920 and the 1980s to finish. I finally started writing the portion on the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War this week. I am not sure what I am going to do with the manuscript. It is too short for a book and too long for an article. It is targeted at a general rather than an academic audience. If anybody would like to review the work with this in mind send me an e-mail and I will consider sending you a copy.