Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Secret Ingredients

I have now cooked about a half dozen different variations of fried rice. Two ingredients that greatly add to the dish are fresh serrano chilis and sultanas. I like the flavor and extra heat of the serranos better than jalapenos. The sultanas give the rice a really good sweetness.

The Big Idea Is Moving Along

I have gotten three abstracts for my Conference on International Borders and Migration since Saturday. Two of these abstracts came from overseas. So it looks like the conference will have some speakers besides myself after all. Despite the fact that the conference is taking place on the US-Mexican border in Arivaca it appears that most of the papers will deal with illegal immigration into Europe.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What I did today

Today I found another two scholastic books that cite me. My verified citation index is now up to 66 separate books and articles. When it gets to 75 I will write a special diamond jubilee post about it. I honestly do not believe that anybody with fewer citations than me should be allowed to work at a university. The citation index is one of the few semi-objective measures of the worth of research in the humanities. How is it that people who are cited once or twice have tenure track jobs and people like myself cited dozens of times are unemployed?

I also sent out a reminder to all of the people who expressed an interest in my Conference on International Borders and Migration that their abstracts are due 1 November 2006. So far I have only gotten one abstract. If I do not get some more by the middle of next week it might just be the two of us. Even I think that might be an awful long and agonizing eight hours.

The rest of the day was less productive. I walked into town, checked my e-mail, drank some coffee and otherwise wasted time. It is days like this I wish I could go someplace else other than Arivaca for a few hours. But, since I do not know how to drive even going to Tucson (36 miles) is an impossible dream. It has now been over two months since I have been out of Arivaca. It will probably be many more months before I leave again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Citation in Lituanus

I have now verified 64 citations of my work in various scholarly books and academic journal articles. I find on average about one to two a week. Most often the journal articles that cite my work are not available for public viewing without paying outrageous fees. Recently, however, I found an article citing me that is available on the internet for free. The article is L. Latkovskis, "Baltic Prisoners in the Gulag Revolts of 1953," Lituanus, vol. 51, no. 3 (fall 2005). It says very good things about my first book, The Stalinist Penal System, in the footnotes. Go here to read the article. It is quite good.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fun with Fried Rice

Last night I think I made one of my best dinners ever. I cooked fried rice influenced by a variety of Asian cuisines. Using my wok I fried cooked brown rice in olive oil with onion, apple, carrot, chili peppers, chicken and soy sauce. It was very easy to make and tasted outstanding. As a result of last night's dinner I am going to start experimenting with different variations on the fried rice theme. You can basically add any vegetable, meat or even fruit to the rice. I like sweet and spicy dishes so I am going to be playing with various fruit and chili combinations.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is there a world outside of Arivaca?

Recently I have gotten no confirmation that I exist to the world outside of Arivaca. Or indeed that there is a world outside of Arivaca. I have a dim memory of leaving Arivaca a couple months ago but, surely with North Korea having nuclear weapons, the outside world could have ceased to exist in that time. I have gotten no personal e-mails, phone calls or letters to disprove the idea that the rest of the world no longer exists. I have not even gotten any comments on my blog. It is like being in an episode of the Twillight Zone. This must be how remote areas like Arivaca always felt in the old days before rapid communication became possible.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Other Germans

I have written quite a bit on this blog about the plight of the Russian-Germans during World War II. A number of ethnic German civilians from outside the USSR also found themselves deported to various areas of the USSR to perform forced labor. Over a quarter of a million German men and women endured this fate. More than 66,000 of them perished in less than five years as a result.

According to Pavel Polian, Against their Will (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2004) the Soviet archives show the following figures.

Number of regisration cards of interned and mobilized civilians in GUPVI (Main Administration of POW Camps and Internees)

344, 671 (p. 267).

Mobilized German civilians sent to USSR Jan.-Mar.1945. (p. 266).

77,741 from Upper Silesia and East Prussia

67,332 from Romania

31,920 from Hungary

12,579 from Yugoslavia

189,572 subtotal

Added after filtration through NKVD camps 18,667.

208,239 Total

Arrested and interned foreigners in GUPVI (includes Poles and Japanese) March-May 1945 - 94,601. (p. 266).

These two catagories total a little over 300,000. But, not all of them were ethnic Germans. Out of those mobilized 10,983 ethnic Poles were repatriated by 1 Oct. 1946. Another 15,597 arrested Poles were repatriated by Feb. 1946.

As of 20 Dec. 1949 the Soviets still held 5,554 civilian Japanese and 7,448 Poles in GUPVI camps and had repatriated 3,968 Japanese and 6,942 Poles since 1945. (Polian table 1.7, p. 293).

Polian thus gives the number of ethnic German civilians sent to forced labor camps in the USSR as forced laborers as 272,000. (p. 293).

The number of recorded deaths among these internees by1949 was 66,468. (p.295). Thus about a quarter of the German civilians shipped from Central Europe and the Balkans to the USSR died in four years.

Interestingly enough no rehabilitation can legally be granted by the Russian government to people repressed outside the USSR. In all cases the point of deportation is considered the legal location of such acts not the destination within the USSR. (Polian, p.297).

The glacier melts a little bit

Today is much better than yesterday. The wind is still pretty strong, but I think it blew all the pollen in Pima County over into Sonora Mexico. Unlike yesterday, I did not spend all day today sneezing. As a result of this improved health I was able to accomplish something today. I finally finished and mailed off the post-doc application due next month. I had forgotten how much work these things require. This one wanted four course descriptions as well as a research proposal. That seems like a lot of teaching for a one year post-doc position.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Moving at the speed of a glacier

Things are still moving slowly here in southern Arizona. I intend to finish and mail off the post-doc application this week. Other than that I have not done much productive in the last couple of days. Today the wind is horrible and my allergies have almost incapacitated me. I hope it lets up soon.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Quick Update

My life is moving pretty slow right now. I have an application for a post-doc position due next month which I still have to complete. Other than that I do not have any pressing deadlines. I recently got asked to peer review another article. I e-mailed them back and told them I would do it and asked when my evaluation was due. I have yet to hear back on the due date. My current writing project is moving ahead slowly. Catherine's Grandchildren is now up to 145 pages. I hope to finish up the first draft soon. I had one person drop out of my Conference on International Borders and Migration. But, I think enough presenters will still show up to make the conference viable. I will have a better idea about the number of participants after 1 November 2006. By then I should have all the abstracts of the presenters.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Return of the Toads

Yesterday I finished filling in all the trenches containing our newly fixed powerlines. I had to move a lot of dirt from big piles by wheelbarrow and build a couple of berms to protect the pipes containing the wires. The mounds of dirt I moved had a lot of little toads burrowing in them. I think they were getting ready to hibernate. Elsewhere on the ranch I have also noticed the return of the toads. I had to expel one clever toad from my bedroom twice. I have no idea how he got up the stairs to the second floor. I think maybe he caught a ride on the dog. I was worried that with the monsoons being so late that we were not going to get many toads this year. Like everybody else in Arivaca they just showed up late. Which is a lot better than never.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Very Perceptive Comment

I got this comment recently on one of my older posts. It was on the 1 August 2006 post providing a timeline of the Soviet deportation of the Russian-Germans. I thought it was worth putting it up front where it would enjoy a larger readership. I have reproduced the comment below.

Dear Otto, Viktor and Carla,thank you very much for your articles about the history of Russian Germans.

This tragic event in the History of WWII is hardly mentioned in Mainstream media. Most left-wing ideologists still believe that there was no racism or ethnic cleansing under the communist dictatorship and that the only victims of the Soviet Regime were the Jewish "Refusniki", persecuted in Brezhnev period of Soviet history. When it comes to the history of Russian Germans and their sufferings under the Soviet Regime most people would say: "Hey, they were Germans and the Soviet Union fought a war against Germans. Germans were the "bad guys" and got what they deserved". This logic is very schizophrenic. On the one hand these modern ideologists say that Communists were not racists and that makes the difference between Communism and Nazism. On the other hand they talk about a war between Russians and Germans (not between Communism and Nazism). Ilja Ehrenburg talked abut "Killing the Germans" (not the Nazis). Well, some events in human history are really very schizophrenic and it is nice to know that there are people who tell the truth.



Big Idea Update

Last week I sent out a reminder to those people who expressed interest in the Conference on International Borders and Migration I will be hosting on 10 March 2007 that their abstracts are due 1 November 2006. Today another scholar expressed interest in attending. I was quite pleased to note that his proposed paper deals with migration from Central Asia to Russia. I look forward to reading his abstract and hope he can attend the conference.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Labor Situation at the Serenity Ranch Dirt Mine

I have not gotten much work done on Catherine's Grandchildren done in the last few days because I have been moving a lot of dirt around the ranch. Digging trenches and filling them back up again is very low on my list of possible careers I would like to pursue. There is a reason regimes like those of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot forced intellectuals to dig trenches as a form of punishment.

On the other hand I did some more immigration work this week and it did not involve any sore muscles. It was nothing so exciting as another political asylum case. This case was just a work visa extension. All it involved was translating a letter from German to English. But, I did get paid for it. I have yet to see any checks for any of the articles I have written for peer reviewed academic journals.