By David G. Rempel
In this brilliant and fascinating research, David Rempel combines his first-hand account of lifestyles in Russian Mennonite settlements throughout the landmark interval of 1900-1920, with a wealthy portrait of six generations of his ancestral kin from the root 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 conflict I and the specter of estate expropriation and exile, the 1917 Revolution, and the Civil conflict within which he continued the whole horrors of the Makhnovshchina - the fear of profession of his village and residential by means of the bandit horde led via Nestor Makhno - and the typhus epidemic left of their wake.
Published posthumously, this publication bargains a penetrating view of 1 of Tsarist and early Soviet Russia's smallest, but so much dynamic, ethno-religious minorities.
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Extra info for A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923
The document clearly reflected the Mennonites' understanding of the value they would add to their adopted country. As soon as Bartsch and Hoppner returned to Danzig, they related their findings before an assembly of Mennonites. Initially, they described the site, terms of settlement, and their meeting with Catherine the Great. Then Trappe produced two other documents for the excited audience, detailing a series of special privileges the government granted to Hoppner and Bartsch - extra land, free travel, as well as other allowances, plus the rights to operate flour mills, breweries, stores, and bakeries (see Appendix III).
Inland, on the hilly steppe, bisected by a stream bed and among burial mound landmarks of ancient steppe warrior-princes, lay communal pastures, watering ponds, and village plowlands. The latter were broken into fields, and these into family strips. Nieder Khortitsa's windmills, house-barn-garden-orchard plots, streets, streetscapes, schoolhouse, cemetery, and painted picket fences were all Mennonite Netherlandicstyle to the last detail. The addition of a handful of grain storage sheds, small flour mills, and shops gave Nieder Khortitsa a built-up form resembling that of most other Mennonite villages.
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. He concerned himself equally with its ups and downs, and he was as curious about its cameos as its vistas.
A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923 by David G. Rempel
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