Posts tagged J. Otto Pohl

Premios Dardo Award = Best Blog Darts Thinker Award

premios_dardo_2008_best_blog_darts_thinkerI’ve been awarded the Best Blog Darts Thinker Award by a fellow blogger whom I highly respect.  Dr. J. Otto Pohl happens to live in neighboring Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and teaches political science in a westernized university, similar to mine in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  One of Otto’s research works was in a hardbound book which I had happily discovered in a Kyiv, Ukraine library while working on Holodomor and Ukraine’s deportation issues several years ago.  Otto is a prolific writer/researcher and highly respected by historians in the U.K. and U.S. perhaps elsewhere.  His great attention to detail has not gone unnoticed, his works have been cited by over 100 other publications already.  I could be putting many links to the above sentences but I have other links to deal with according to the rules of accepting this award.  I may use Otto’s same strategy, I’ll link him today and on subsequent days, I’ll link all the other blogs that I particularly like to read on any given day.

The Premio Dardos Award

The rules:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

3) Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So, the first of 15 other blogs that I think are worthy of nomination goes to Ukrainiac who got me started on blogging over two years ago.

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Two Worlds Have Come Together

Amazing what names of authors pop up while using the research databases such as J-Stor, EBSCOhost, et al. While helping my Ukrainian students with their research papers in Kyiv, Ukriane I ran across some very thorough writing about the Holodomor done by Dr. J. Otto Pohl.  Serendipitously, I met Otto last fall when I went to visit him and talk to his class in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  He teaches history at the very university I taught at 15 years ago, back then it was known as Kyrgyz American University Faculty. The university has gone through several name changes since. 

Now Ken and I are teaching in Almaty while Otto is in Bishkek which is about a three hour drive away (counting the arduous border crossing).  Several days ago Otto wrote the following in his blog which fits with what I’ve been writing about concerning Ron Vossler’s writings.  The two researcher/writers have not met yet but have written and reviewed each other’s work in the past. 

Funny how my two worlds have come together with the people I meet simply because of knowing about the tragic event of the Holodomor. Maybe there are so few of us who really know the impact on millions of peoples lives of such a terrible event that happened 75 years ago. May it never happen again!

Displacement, Diasporas, and Descendants

 

Lately I have been reading and thinking a lot about diasporas. In particular I have noticed that many diasporas are the result of multiple displacements and thus have multiple homelands. The connection to the “original” homeland thus becomes attenuated considerably. The Afro-Caribbean diaspora in the UK is an example of one such multiply displaced group as are the Sephardic Jews expelled from Iberia.

The ancestors of the Russian-Germans now in Germany originally left Hesse, Baden, Wurttemburg and other states in Central Europe to the Russian Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries. In between their initial settlement in the Russian Empire and the migration of their descendants to Germany in the 1990s these families often experienced as many as five or six displacements. For these people homeland has variously referred to not only Germany, but also to areas in the Russian Empire and USSR. These homelands have ranged in size from individual villages to the entire Russian Empire. For most of the Tsarist era the primary geographical identification of most Russian-Germans remained on the local level of the village. But, other larger geographical affiliations also developed and co-existed with this identification. On the largest scale, most Russian-Germans considered themselves loyal subjects of the Russian Empire and later loyal citizens of the USSR.

Exactly how various Russian-Germans have over the course of generations viewed themselves variously as villagers of Norka, Volga Germans, Soviet Germans, and Russian-Germans would be an interesting subject to research. The existence of multiple geographic identifications due to both the displacement and modernization of internal diaspora groups in the USSR would make a fascinating comparative study. How for instance do the Russian-Germans differ from the Russian-Koreans in their emotional connections to specific territories?

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