By David G. Rempel
In this bright and interesting examine, 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 kinfolk 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 subsequent many years: the 1905 revolution, the quasi-stability wrought from Stolypin reforms, international conflict I and the specter of estate expropriation and exile, the 1917 Revolution, and the Civil struggle in which he persisted the whole horrors of the Makhnovshchina - the phobia of career of his village and residential by means of the bandit horde led through 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 resources for A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923
Those of my mother's more genteel people appear in Section Two. The final three sections describe life as I experienced it through the turbulent first two Two Russian Mennonite Families 5 decades of the twentieth century. 1 The Founding of Khortitsa Two hundred and twenty-eight Mennonite families left their homes in Danzig and its environs in 1789 and journeyed towards Southern Russia. Their plan was to settle near Berislav where they hoped to establish prosperous farms and enjoy freedom of religion.
Bartsch and Hoppner scoured numerous sites on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River and a large part of Crimea before selecting the choice Berislav tract, which was not far from Kherson. The site replicated Danzig's lowland topography and climate and was thus ideally suited for transplanting their current farming endeavours - growing crops and raising livestock. Furthermore, the location on the Dnieper would furnish good fisheries and a source of transportation to supplement the nearby road, which was the main route to Crimea.
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.