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A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, by David G. Rempel

By David G. Rempel

In this vibrant and fascinating research, David Rempel combines his first-hand account of existence in Russian Mennonite settlements through the landmark interval of 1900-1920, with a wealthy portrait of six generations of his ancestral family members from the basis of the 1st colony - the Khortitsa payment - in 1789 to the country's cataclysmic civil war.

Born in 1899 within the Mennonite village of Nieder Khortitsa at the Dnieper River, the writer witnessed the upheaval of the following a long time: the 1905 revolution, the quasi-stability wrought from Stolypin reforms, global struggle I and the specter of estate expropriation and exile, the 1917 Revolution, and the Civil battle within which he persevered the total horrors of the Makhnovshchina - the fear of career of his village and residential by means of the bandit horde led by means of Nestor Makhno - and the typhus epidemic left of their wake.

Published posthumously, this publication deals a penetrating view of 1 of Tsarist and early Soviet Russia's smallest, but such a lot dynamic, ethno-religious minorities.

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Additional resources for A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923

Sample text

Certainly, the young wife could have no illusions about her position, despite her legal status. Tradition reports nothing about any financial settlement made by Old Jeat for Helena, nor whether she resented her relegation to the position of glorified maid. At her age she could bide her time. 20 Father's Ancestral Family The event that thrust Helena to the forefront of family gossip occurred right after Old Jeat died. Within two days of the funeral, she married her old beau, Jacob Lowen. The two had been engaged while still teenagers, and for reasons unknown, Helena had broken the engagement and married Old Jeat instead.

He did so as a meticulous professional himself, writing about larger regional and imperial contexts, major roots of change, and generational and socioeconomic fault-lines within Mennonite society. Rempel was especially keen on uncovering and understanding the deeper wellsprings of the violence he had experienced firsthand during the long civil war occupation of his community by Ukrainian peasant insurgents and terrorists. From the start of his academic career, David Rempel, along with other Mennonite scholars,10 became passionately engaged in every aspect of helping to recover, record, and explain all sides of the Mennonite story.

Their lack of capital was bound to make their early years in a new homeland difficult, even if conditions had been more favourable. 2 Those who owned wagons travelled overland, while the Russian government transported the remainder by boats and wagons. Reaching Riga, each family received the first 100-ruble payment, as promised. They rested there briefly, then continued to Dubrovna, a small town on the Upper Dnieper and one of Potemkin's numerous estates. The authorities treated the immigrants well on arrival at Dubrovna, but difficulties arose immediately.

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