Baratov Mennonite Settlement (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine)
The Baratov Mennonite settlement, district of Verknedneprovsk, province of Ekaterinoslav (now (Dnipropetrovsk), was established in 1871 by 74 Mennonite families of the Chortitza Mennonite settlement. They established the villages Neu-(Novo) Chortitza and Gnadental on 9,800 acres of land. In 1874 the villages Grünfeld and Steinfeld were added. In 1905 the total population was 2,569. All Mennonites belonged to the Neu-Chortitza Mennonite Church.
During the confusion following World War I the 50th anniversary of its founding was observed. The progress of the first 50 years was gratifying. But the war and the ensuing revolution destroyed much, and the prospects for the future were gloomy, because the victorious Communists were intent upon the forcible execution of their regime. For the progressive Mennonite farmers the new order was a backward step.
The school system of the Baratov settlement was on a relatively high plane. Two well-trained teachers were employed in each village; they were adequately supported by the parents of the pupils. Attendance was satisfactory. In Gnadental there was for a time also a secondary school (Fortbildungsschule) with a special teacher; the school was intended for boys who wished to prepare for higher schools. These who continued their education farther attended the Zentralschule in Chortitza. Particular attention was given religious instruction, and some Mennonite history was taught. The term lasted eight or nine months, and the course eight or nine years. At the conclusion of the course of study the pupils were examined in the subjects they had studied in the Russian language as well as in German and in religion. Those who passed were given two certificates; the one for German and religion was issued by the community leaders and the teacher. For the improvement of instruction, the teachers of the Mennonite villages met in conference about once a month in one of the schools.
Since Communism aimed to exterminate religion and since the Mennonite farmers were opposed to compulsory collectivization, a large part of the Baratov settlement emigrated to Canada in 1923 where they found a good home.
Those who remained had to undergo much suffering: many of them, especially the more prosperous farmers, perished in exile; church life was violently prevented; in 1929 thousands of Mennonites took flight to emigrate via Moscow, among whom were Baratov settlers. No definite figures are available concerning those that came to Paraguay and Canada.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 124.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 231-232. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Rempel, P. A. "Baratov Mennonite Settlement (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B37112.html.
APA style: Rempel, P. A. (1953). Baratov Mennonite Settlement (Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B37112.html.