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A Mennonite in Russia

A Mennonite in Russia: The Diaries of Jacob D. Epp, 1851-1880

Translated and edited, with an Introduction and Analysis, by Harvey L. Dyck
Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 492
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  • Book Info
    A Mennonite in Russia
    Book Description:

    Epp's writings reveal a skilled and honest diarist of deep feelings, and tell a human story that no conventional historical account could hope to equal.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6772-3
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Maps
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Introduction and Analysis
    (pp. 3-74)

    ‘Out there you’ll find only God’s blue sky and Epps.’ ‘Out there’ is Eigenheim, a crossroads on a flat prairie six miles west of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada. Established in the 1890s as a pioneering Mennonite community in what was then the Northwest Territories, Eigenheim is today not even on the local travel pamphlet maps.¹ But its church, the ‘pearl’ of Eigenheim, is there. Despite renovations one can still recognize its 1902 shape.² Off to one side of the white, clapboard church, separated from grain fields by a mature windbreak of trees, lies the graveyard.

    I have come here with Wilmer...

  6. BOOK I, 1851–1853 Old Colony Teacher and Judenplan Settler
    (pp. 75-130)

    I was born on December 26, 1820, at 5:30 in the morning, and received holy baptism from the Reverend Elder Jacob Dyck in 1838. On November 18, 1841, I was joined in marriage with Maria Klassen, who was born on August 29, 1822. We lived in my parents’ home until the spring of 1842 when we moved to my father’s rented sheep-fold, which belonged to the estate owner Kromida. Here we spent a year in tranquil happiness. After the sheep-fold was dissolved in 1843, we returned to Khortitsa and rented the back room of Jacob Tows’s house.

    On May 15...

  7. Colour illustrations
    (pp. None)
  8. BOOK II, 1860–1866 Family and Village Life on the Judenplan
    (pp. 131-222)

    January 3 At the service in Novopodolsk, I preached that salvation can be found only through Jesus Christ. Text, Acts 4:12. Merciful Saviour, grant that my own heart might be certain of thy wondrous grace.

    January 4 We visited my brother Diedrich, who was back from Khortitsa with the information regarding births and deaths [in the Khortitsa church] in 1859. Of those born during the last century, who are therefore 60 years of age or older, 7 men and 5 women died and 139 men and 130 women are living. Of those born this century, and joined to the church...

  9. BOOK III, 1867–1870 Contending with Change
    (pp. 223-308)

    January 4 Around noon, the Jewish Desiatnik made his rounds, summoning the Germans to a meeting at the communal office. He invited me also, but I did not go. Later my German neighbours told me that the Jewish community wanted to limit our freedoms. They had claimed that I did not own any land but simply occupied a Jewish homestead. I am convinced, however, that my homestead was confirmed as conclusively by the Guardianship Committee as have been those of the other Germans. I would be happy to move if my duty to the church did not keep me here....

  10. Black-and-white illustrations
    (pp. None)
  11. BOOK IV, 1871–1880 Balancing the Old and the New
    (pp. 309-416)

    January 3 The Andreses and their father returned from the Khortitsa colonies with a letter from my brother Heinrich (among other documents and papers) containing a frightening story. After describing various of his sermons and trips and the collection for the building of [new] churches in Neuendorf and Neuosterwick, my brother writes: ‘A terrible accident occurred in Kronsweide yesterday. One boy has killed another in a terrible and frivolous game. The dead boy is David Löwen, son of David Löwen of Kronsweide, and the perpetrator Cornelius Friesen, an apprentice watchmaker with our brother-in-law Hildebrand.

    ‘The Friesen boy received a gun...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 417-440)
  13. Glossary
    (pp. 441-441)
    (pp. 442-444)
  15. Index
    (pp. 445-456)