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Last edited by Jon Isaak
October 2, 2015 | History

Ambassador to his People: C.F. Klassen and the Russian Mennonite Refugees 1 edition

Cover of: Ambassador to his People | Herbert and Maureen Klassen
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About the Book

This book had to be written. At a time of diminishing respect for basic human values, C.F. Klassen embodied selflessness and integrity of character that should be an inspiration and model for many young people today.

In telling the story of CF, the authors are also telling the story of his time and conditions in Russia, the great depression in Canada, the spiritual vitality, or lack of it, in the Mennonite church. CF can only be understood if we understand the world in which he lived and acted.

All who knew him, knew that he loved his people, the Mennonites. Only those who knew him intimately also discovered how much he loved the Russian people. One reason why he was never bitter about them, in spite of the treatment Mennonites generally and he personally received at their hands, was because he understood their own sad history of suffering under the Czars and the communist dictators. They had never known freedom. They had never been allowed to stand up tall and straight. From being submissive serfs for centuries, they were finally cajoled or flogged into utter submission, voiceless and powerless to determine their own or their country's destiny. Knowing this helped him not only to accept them but also to respect them (especially for their patient suffering), grieve for them, and love them.

To me personally he was a wonderful colleague in the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a dear brother in the Lord, and my beloved brother-in-law.

~Peter J. Dyck (from the Foreword)

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Ambassador to his People
C.F. Klassen and the Russian Mennonite Refugees
by Herbert & Maureen Klassen

Published 1990 by Kindred Press in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Hillsboro, KS, USA .
Written in English.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter J. Dyck ix
Prefaces by authors xi
Introduction xv
I. RUSSIA 1894–1928
1. Beginnings 19
2. War and Revolution 33
3. Famine and Relief 47
4. Aftermath and Reconstruction 58
5. Emigration 67
II. CANADA 1928–1945
6. New Beginnings 82
7. Reiseschuld -- Travel Debt 88
8. Family Matters 102
9. War and Peace 112
III. EUROPE 1945–1954
10. "Seeking his Brethren" 119
11. Preparing for Emigration 133
12. The Volendam Story 143
13. Patience Tested 156
14. Paraguayan Trip 166
15. Changes at Home and Abroad 177
16. Peace Conference 184
17. A "Dark Valley" for Emigration 195
18. Homes for the Homeless 204
19. Celebrations 217
20. Uniting the Wider Mennonite Brotherhood 225
21. The Last Year 237
22. Home at Last 252
Notes about Sources 259


Dewey Decimal Class
289.7/092, B
Library of Congress
BX8143.K49 K57 1990

The Physical Object

Number of pages
8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches


  • Author
    Maureen Klassen

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LC Control Number
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October 2, 2015 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
October 2, 2015 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
October 2, 2015 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
October 2, 2015 Edited by Jon Isaak Added new cover
December 10, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page