Oral history

Dublin Core


Oral history


In 1976 Mennonite Central Committee Canada provided a grant to the Institute of Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel College for an oral history project to interview Mennonites who immigrated to Canada from Russia in the 1920s. The project was conducted under the direction of Walter Klaassen. Henry Paetkau and Stan Dueck conducted the interviews from 1976-1978. In all, 82 interviews were conducted. Transcriptions for some interviews are available on this site.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario




Stan Dueck, Henry Paetkau (interviewers). Interviewees: Cornelius Martens, David Thiessen, Cornelius Nickel, Alex Classen, Gerhard Peters, Helen Peters, Were Neufeld, Olga Neufeld, Alice Neufeld, Jacob P. Dick, Cornelius Unruh, Katherina Klassen, Herb Enns, Marie Enns, Jacob C. Fast, Herman Koop, Woldemar Schroeder, Maria Toews, Henry Poetker, David Wiebe, Gerhard Braun, Johann Bergen, Mrs. Johann Bergen, Henry Goertz, Maria Klassen, Nikolai Isaak, Henry Huebert, Clara Huebert, William Andres, Frank Steingart, Abram A. Wall, Johann J. Wichert, Abram H. Heinrichs, Nickolas J. Fehderau, Abram Dick, Henry P. Rempel, Henry Tiessen, Jacob J. Klassen, Henry Hiebert, Dietrich Klassen, Henry J. Reimer, Gertruda Reimer, John Mathies, Abram P. Klassen, Abram P. Regier, Nick Fransen, Gerhard J. Enns, Henry Dueck, J. J. Rempel, David Hamm, John Weier, Susan Weier, Jacob Enns, Gerhard Toews, Agatha Rempel, Sara Braun, Maria Berg, Cornelius Andrews, Anna Andrews, N .N. Driedger, Jac. D. Janzen, H. J. Dueck, Renate Wuerffel, John Mathies, Paul Wallman, John Peters, Jacob P. Penner, Jac. D. Janzen, J.P. Driedger, Gerhard Thiessen, John Fast, Abram Barg, Alex Fischer, Henry Pauls, Mrs. Henry Pauls, N.N. Driedger, Jacob Epp, John Enns, Johanna Thiessen, Justine Thiessen, Peter J. Sawatzky, Aaron Baerg, Gertrude Baerg, Henry Regehr, W. J. Wiebe, H. H. Epp, Peter A. Vogt, Jacob Penner, Aganetha Penner, Franz Guenther, Abram Bestvater, Gerhard G. Dueck, Franz Peter Froese, Anna Rempel


In 1979 the Multicultural History Society of Ontario provided a grant for an oral history project administered by Conrad Grebel College to interview Mennonite senior citizens living at Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge, Ontario. These were Mennonites of Swiss-south German origin.

Most interviewees were asked if they had experience hosting the Mennonites who immigrated from Russia in the 1920s.


English, German, Low German


Audio recordings, text



Collection Items

Interview, Cornelius Nickel (1902- ) and Agatha Nickel (1904- )
The Nickels were interviewed in Waterloo, Ontario. Two files are available:A transcript of the entire interview A clip (1 min, 25 sec) of Cornelius Nickel discussing his reaction to the Russian Revolution as a young student

Interview, Alex Classen (1898-1976)
Alex Classen was interviewed in Kitchener, Ontario

Interview, Jacob C. Fast (1901-)
Jacob C. Fast was interviewed in Waterloo, Ontario

Interview, Herman Koop (1898-)
Herman Koop was interviewed in Waterloo, Ontario

Interview, David Wiebe (1901-)
David Wiebe was interviewed in Kitchener, Ontario. Note that a transcript is only available for the July 30 interview.

Biographies and summaries,  Russian Mennonite Immigrants oral history project
Brief biographies and interview summaries for all of the interviewees in the Russian Mennonite Immigrants oral history project

Interview, Henry Goertz (1898-)
Henry Goertz was interviewed in St. Catharines, Ontario

Interview, Frank Steingart (1898-)
Frank Steingart was interviewed in St. Catharines, Ontario

Interview, Nickolas J. Fehderau (1904-)
Nickolas Fehderau was interviewed in Kitchener, Ontario

Interview, Henry Hiebert (1896-)
Henry Hiebert was interviewed in Kitchener, Ontario
View all 13 items