By David G. Rempel
In this brilliant and interesting research, David Rempel combines his first-hand account of lifestyles 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 cost - 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 many years: 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 conflict within which he persevered the complete horrors of the Makhnovshchina - the phobia of career of his village and residential through the bandit horde led through Nestor Makhno - and the typhus epidemic left of their wake.
Published posthumously, this booklet 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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Additional info for A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923
A likelier explanation is that Nieder Khortitsa lay on the settlement's frontier, across the river and slightly south of a one-time fort (and later city of Alexandrovsk), and near the broad plavni - thick wooded lowlands flanking the Dnieper and inhabited by numerous lawless elements in the early decades of the settlement. Consequently, Nieder Khortitsa's men were accustomed to defending themselves. Mennonites, as pacifists, did not own firearms, except for hunting. Therefore, they fought with their pocketknives.
He protested that, although being a Cherkauss, his knife did not have a broken tip, and he could prove it. With considerable flourish he groped in his jacket or vest pocket, produced the knife, and opened the blade. Invariably its tip was broken, and as expected, Father then teased his challenger on his home village's nickname. CHAPTER THREE The First Three Generations of Rempels Great, Great, Great Grandfather Gerhard sired two branches of the Rempel family that reunited a century later with the marriage of his great, great grandchildren, Gerhard and Maria Rempel (Figures 1 and 2*).
These eighteen villages comprised the Khortitsa Settlement until the eve of the Second World War. They appear on Map 1 (page 12), except for Kronsgarten, which was to the north of the area designated on this map. 12 A Mennonite Family in Russia and the Soviet Union Map 1 PART ONE Father's Ancestral Family: The Rempels This page intentionally left blank CHAPTER TWO Cherkessy with Broken-Tipped Knives: The Rempel Clan In Nieder Khortitsa the Rempel name, or Rampel, as it was pronounced in Plautdietsch or Low German, which was the Mennonite mother tongue, was as common as Petersen in a Danish village or Jones and Smith in an American town.
A Mennonite Family in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, 1789-1923 by David G. Rempel