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Uzbek Historian Dies In Germany

PRAGUE, November 1, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports that Uzbek historian Boymirza Hayit died in his German home city of Cologne on October 31 at the age of 89.

He was the author of more than 15 books on Turkestan and Turkestani national movements that were banned in the Soviet Union and remain unpublished in his native Uzbekistan.

Hayit was born in the city of Namagan in 1916.

He was drafted into the Soviet Army during World War II and was taken prisoner by Nazi troops before joining Germany's anti-Bolshevik Turkestan Legion. He remained in West Germany after the war.

Historian Qakhramon Rajabov, a member of Uzbekistan's Academy of Sciences, says that despite a wartime past that earned Hayit the epithet of "traitor" in the official Soviet press, he never got any form of official recognition in post-Soviet Uzbekistan.

"It is a pity that not a single of his books has even been published in his Uzbekistan since independence," said Rajabov. "Yet everyone knows very well the accusations that were brought against him during the Soviet period."

In 1992, Hayit went on a visit to his native country. But Uzbek authorities asked him to leave after a few days, citing protests made by World War II veterans.

Hayit will be buried in Cologne on November 7.
In Tune With Central Asia

Music On Film, Film On Music

CENTRAL EUROPE MEETS CENTRAL ASIA: A Prague-based festival featuring nearly 100 films about music from around the world placed a spotlight on the musical culture of Central Asia -- still one of the world's best-kept secrets. Films gave a glimpse into the lives of musicians in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was on hand for a live musical performance.


View a short RFE/RL video presentation of the event (about 90 seconds). RealVideo