- About the book
DetailsThis monograph provides a detailed yet concise narrative of the history of the ethnic Germans in the Russian Empire and USSR. It starts with the settlement in the Russian Empire by German colonists in the Volga, Black Sea, and other regions in 1764, tracing their development and Tsarist state policies towards them up until 1917. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet policy towards its ethnic Germans varied. It shifted from a generally favorable policy in the 1920s to a much more oppressive one in the 1930s, i.e. already before the Soviet-German war. J. Otto Pohl traces the development of Soviet repression of ethnic Germans. In particular, he focuses on the years 1941 to 1955 during which this oppression reached its peak. These years became known as “the Years of Great Silence” (“die Jahre des grossen Schweigens”). In fact, until the era of glasnost (transparency) and perestroika (rebuilding) in the late 1980s, the events that defined these years for the Soviet Germans could not be legally researched, written about, or even publicly spoken about, within the USSR.
- The author
About the authorThe author:
Dr. J. Otto Pohl received his PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has taught at the American University Iraq Sulaimani, University of Ghana, and American University of Central Asia. He is the author of Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937–1949 (Greenwood, 1999) and The Stalinist Penal System (McFarland & Co., 1997). His articles have appeared in, among other journals, The Russian Review, Journal of Genocide Research, Human Rights Review, and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.
Reviews“J. Otto Pohl has encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Germans in Russia and that knowledge is on display in The Years of Great Silence. This was an important time of profound disruption in the lives of Russia’s German population. In addition to providing detailed information about this tragic period, Dr. Pohl gives a master class on the evaluation and use of historical resources. His use of sources is critical toward producing this meaningful and insightful work. This is essential reading for scholars interested in the German experience in Russia.”—Michael Brown, Emeritus Professor of Communication and Journalism, University of Wyoming
- Additional Information