Saturday, July 04, 2015
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Herring under a fur coat
Tomato and cucumber salad
While American based blogs seem completely obsessed with demonizing the CSA as more evil than Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler combined, those based in other countries have recently posted more interesting material. In particular the latest post from the British based music blog The Day After the Sabbath on rock bands from Yugoslavia during the 1970s is absolutely fantastic. I have found a treasure trove of great bands from Belgrade during that decade thanks to that post. Rich always does fantastic work, but this post was particularly awesome. Sometimes I toy with converting this blog into a music blog. But, I could never put together the type of superbly researched posts on the subject that Rich does at The Day After the Sabbath.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
article on the GULag looking for citations of my publications. It is the introduction to a special topic issue on the GULag. This particular article cites my article "Colonialism in One Country: The Deported Peoples of the USSR as an Example of Internal Colonialism" published in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion last year. Feel free to comment on anything linked above here.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan 1882-1992
Asian Studies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects of a New Axis of Intellectual Interactions
Association of Asian Studies in Africa Inaugural Conference
University of Ghana, Legon 24-26 September 2015
J. Otto Pohl
University of Ghana, Legon
The first ethnic Germans to settle in Kyrgyzstan were Mennonites in 1882 from colonies further west in the Russian Empire in Tavrida along the Black Sea Coast and Samara in the Volga region. Further settlement of Mennonites in Kyrgyzstan from other areas of the Russian Empire took place in 1907-1909. By 1912 their population had increased to almost 1,600. The German speaking population of the territory became both larger and more diverse as Lutherans arrived from the Volga and Kazakhstan during the Soviet era. The 1926 Soviet census showed 4,291 Germans in Kyrgyzstan. By 1939 the population had increased to 11,741. During the 1940s the Soviet government subjected part of this population, about 3,300 people to forced labor. After the end of the Second World War in 1945 until the end of 1955, the Soviet government imposed a special regime upon the population subjecting them to severe restrictions on their freedom of movement and placing them under police surveillance. Even after the removal of these legal restrictions in December 1955, ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan and other regions of the USSR continued to suffer from various forms of discrimination, particularly with regards to admission to institutions of higher education. During the next couple of decades migration from Kazakhstan and Siberia greatly increased the ethnic German population of Kyrgyzstan. The 1979 Soviet census counted 101,057 ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan or 2.9% of the total population up from 39,915 in 1959. After the collapse of the USSR, the vast majority of ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan emigrated to Germany. This paper will examine the historical change in the status of the ethnic Germans in Kyrgystan under Soviet rule from one of several diaspora nationalities with guaranteed equal rights to second class citizens with restricted civil rights and finally their subsequent partial rehabilitation. It will make use of archives both from Moscow and Bishkek as well as interviews conducted with ethnic Germans and their family members in Kant and Ivanovka, Kyrgyzstan.
inaugural conference of the Association of Asian Studies in Africa which will take place at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) on the campus of the University of Ghana. LECIAD is just a short walk from my office at the History Department. The conference has scheduled over 80 panels and round tables on various aspects of Asian and African history and their intersection. I organized a panel on Ethnic Germans in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. I will be giving a paper on ethnic Germans in Kyrgyzstan from 1882 when they first settled the region until 1992 when massive emigration started to seriously reduce their numerical presence in the wake of the break up of the USSR. The other two presenters on the panel are Eric Schmaltz and Brent Mai from the US. Eric Schmaltz of Northwestern Oklahoma State University will be giving a paper on the aborted attempt to create a German autonomous oblast in Kazakhstan in the late 1970s. Brent Mai from Concordia University in Portland Oregon will present a paper on Volga German settlements in Siberia. The panel will be chaired by my colleague Nana Yaw B. Sapong. The study of Asia including Central Asia is a growing scholarly field in Africa and this is the first large conference in Africa to deal with the subject. I will have more to report on the conference later.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Kyrgyz proposal to ban gay propaganda along the lines of the 2013 Russian law just got a step closer to passing today. The Jorgorku Kenesh passed the bill today 90 to 2 in the second reading. The first was in October when it passed 79 to 7. If passed into law the bill would ban any type of advocacy or support of homosexuality. Violators of the law could receive as much as a year in prison.