Mennonites seek to come to terms with Nazi collaboration

German-speaking Mennonite refugees from the Soviet Union with indigenous neighbors near the Fernheim Colony in 1930 in northwest Paraguay. Photo courtesy of Archiv der Kolonie Fernheim (Filadelfia, Paraguay)

“…Interest for this dark chapter in Paraguayan Mennonite life comes at a time when the global church is beginning to uncover a larger history of Nazi collaboration.

In 2015, the first academic conference on the topic took place in the German city of Münster, site of the 1534 Münster Rebellion that was crucial to the founding of the Mennonite faith. Historians revealed substantial pro-Nazi movements among communities in Canada, the Netherlands, Paraguay and Brazil. By the height of Hitler’s power, one-fourth of all Mennonites worldwide lived in the Third Reich.”

Some interesting comments. Worth a read.

  • ntt1

    i remember seeing a movie or perhaps a documentary regarding the high number of german pows parolled to work in
    Canada during the war and how a goodly number married into the menonite sect on release . all I know about menonites is that they are a great source for high quality unmedicated poultry and other meats

    • They make good apple fritters too. The comments on the piece are interesting, especially noted the persecution experienced in the Soviet Union.

      • ntt1

        soviet marxism persecuted everybody that did not or would not fit the collectivist ideal. Exactly as the left is trying to pull off today. they seem to have succeeded in the campus’s. Even when attacked , thought criminals are blaming themselves. mao called it self criticism, and the condemned were allowed to do it before execution. why does progressivism look so much like totalitarian 20s and 30s?

    • andycanuck

      In the Six War Years oral history a local citizen provided an anecdote about some working German POWs stopping some drunken Canadian recruits from assaulting some young women. I think it was in the Prairies but I can’t recall where exactly.

      • ntt1

        Apart from the lack of total freedom I imagine life as a POW in Canada would be a step up from rationing and strict facistic policing. they were on a sort of day parol. worked in nearby farms hit by manpower shortages and returned to camp in the late afternoon.

        • canminuteman

          Certainly better than dying at Stalingrad.

  • andycanuck

    So. What are Moslem religious groups doing to make up for their forebears’ WW2 support for the Nazis?

  • Art Deco

    Not buying. The general disposition of anabaptist communities is one of withdrawal from public life. This sounds like embellishment by someone who needs to promote a novelty for professional advancement.

  • marty_p

    I grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake. My father was a fruit farmer. The population of the area was predominately Mennonite. They were rabidly anti-Semitic to the point that we heard that shortly after we moved to Toronto the local farmers held a get together to celebrate being “rid of the Juden”.