Kazakh Muslims in the Red Army, 1939-1945


Kazakh Muslims in the Red Army is the first study of the WWII experience of Soviet Kazakhs. Based on indigenous-language sources, it focuses on the wartime experiences of Kazakh conscripts and the home front as expressed in correspondence. The study emphasizes how Kazakh social structure, religion, and patriotism were expressed and mobilized during the war years.
By focusing on indigenous forms of private correspondence, the book presents an alternative to previous studies focusing on narratives and documentation derived from the Soviet state. It offers an entirely new basis for examining the wartime experiences of Soviet citizens and Soviet Muslims.

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Allen J. Frank, Ph.D. (1994), Indiana University, Bloomington, is an independent scholar. He has published extensively on the Islamic history of Russia and Central Asia, including Gulag Miracles: Sufis and Stalinist Repression in Kazakhstan (Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2019).

 Kazakh Society and Literature

Part 1: Kazakh Society and Literature before the Second World War

1 Kazakhs on the Eve of World War II: A Devastated Society
 1 Kinship and Cultural Revolution: The Assault on the Family and Tradition
 2 The Kazakh Auïl Community
 3 Collectivization, Sedentarization and Famine
 4 Islam in Kazakh Society and the Anti-religious Campaigns

2 Collective Violence and Military Service in Kazakh Imagination and Experience Before World War II
 1 Kazakhs and Conscription

3 The Sources: Kazakh Letter-Poems in Their Literary and Social Contexts
 1 Verse Genres and Their Social Functions
 2 The Evolution of the Letter-Poem as a Wartime Compositional Genre
 3 Letter-Poems and Conscription
 4 A Kazakh Letter-Poem Treatise from the Russo-Japanese War
 5 Muslim Narrative Poems of the First World War
 6 World War II Letter-Poems as Literary and Social Phenomena

Part 2: The Kazakh War Experience through the Lens of the Letter-Poem

4 Stages and Events of the War Experience
 1 Conscription and Leaving Home
 2 Foreign Lands and Landscapes
 3 At the Front
 4 Battle
 5 Advance and Retreat
 6 Weapons
 7 The Deaths of Comrades
 8 Rations

5 Wounds and the Hospital
 1 Being Wounded
 2 Recovery in the Hospital
 3 Coping with Permanent Injury

6 Kazakh and Muslim in the Red Army
 1 Being Kazakh in the Red Army
 2 Islamic Thought and Soviet Materialism
 3 Sufism
 4 Sources of Muslim Heroism

7 The Home Front: Separation, Kinship, and Unity
 1 Lineage and Kinship in Letter-Poems
 2 The Bonds between the Front and Rear
 3 Addressing Personal and Social Distress

8 Political Dimensions and Meaning
 1 Kazakhs and Patriotism
 2 The Foe: Hitler and the Germans
 3 Prisoner of War Camps and the Gulag
 4 Political Evaluations

Specialists and those interested in Central Eurasian and Islamic studies, as well as a larger readership interest in Second World War history.
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