Thursday, June 24, 2010

Second half of Interview up at Moon Brothers

The second half of the interview with me is now up at the Moon Brothers' blog.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update on Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek is still safe. But, there have been reports of ethnic clashes in Talas and Tokmok as well as Osh and Jalabad. The official toll of dead in Osh given by the government is over 2000. The UN estimates that some 400,000 people have been displaced from their homes by the recent events. This is definitely the worst violence Kyrgyzstan has seen in many decades.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Heat Wave

It has been really hot in Bishkek the last week. It has also been very humid. I do not mind the heat itself, but the humidity is very uncomfortable.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Moon Brothers Interview of me

A couple of months ago the Moon Brothers conducted an interview with me by e-mail about the history of the Russian-Germans. The interview is meant to provide historical background to their forthcoming movie Under Jakob's Ladder. The interview can be found here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trouble in Osh

Other than what I see on the news and read on the Internet I do not have much information on the recent events in Osh. But, it looks very bad. This is certainly the worst ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan since 1990 and may end up being worse. Already the news is reporting that more people have been killed in Osh in the last few day than were killed in Bishkek on April 7th. So far Bishkek has not been too badly effected. Prices are going up noticeably, but other than that things still seem fairly normal. That could all change if we start getting waves of internally displaced peoples fleeing the violence in Osh.

What little information I do have that I have gotten from sources other than the news or Internet is that the attacks on Uzbeks were motivated by the rumor that a gang of Uzbeks raped and mutilated some Kyrgyz girls. I am sceptical of the veracity of this claim since it sounds like the justification for a lot of lynchings and pogroms. But, even if it does contain a kernel of truth the racist ascription of these criminal acts to Uzbeks in general by some Kyrgyz and the subsequent violence is truly disturbing.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Thank You to all my Supporters

I would like to thank everybody who has written or is planning to write to incoming AUCA president, Andrew B. Wachtel on my behalf. I believe your letters have had a positive effect. At least Dr. Wachtel now knows that there are people out there that do respect my scholarship and teaching. For those of you familiar with my scholarship and teaching that have not yet written Dr. Wachtel I am again reproducing his e-mail below. Type in the information between the brackets. If I do not include the brackets it will be a live link and subject to spiders and robots sent by spammers. I only want real people writing to Dr. Wachtel.


If you have written on my behalf already and have not received a personal thank you from me, please send me an e-mail so I can express my gratitude. Some of you have shared the letters you have sent to Dr. Wachtel with me and I have been very touched. Your words mean a lot to me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

It has been over three years since I left Arivaca

I have now lived in Kyrgyzstan for a year longer than I lived in Arivaca. Yet it seems that I lived in Arivaca for much longer. There are a lot of things I miss about Arivaca. But, being treated with respect by everybody there is close to the top. The AUCA administration's complete lack of respect for me as a human being, scholar and teacher has really been galling. I wish they would at least stop lying to me and take responsibility for their actions.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Vefa Center is Open Again

Vefa center is open again, but it is not the same. Only some of the stores have reopened and they have a lot less inventory than they used to carry. The old Vefa center could have fit nicely in the ritzy areas of Orange County. Now it looks like it belongs in a run down section of Fresno.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

New Publication Coming Soon

It has taken a while to get into print, but the book chapter based upon the paper I gave at Tartu Univeristy in 2005 for the Border Changes in 20th Century Europe: International Conference in Honor of the 85th Anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty is going to be published soon. It will be the following chapter in the book below. That makes eight scholarly publications since I started working at AUCA. Nobody else in the department even has a Ph.D. yet alone that many publications.

J. Otto Pohl, “Ethnic Erasure: The Role of Border Changes in Soviet Ethnic Cleansing and Return Migration” in Eero Medijainen and Olaf Mertelsmann, eds., Border Changes in 20th Century Europe, vol. 1 Tartu Studies in Contemporary History (Hamburg, Germany: Lit-Verlag, 2010), pp. 217-236.