Bräul, Johann J. (1854-1916)
Johann J. Bräul (Braeul), born 8 July 1854, died 1 November 1916, and son of Johann Bräul, was an early teacher of the village school in Orloff, South Russia. The father was an advocate of progressive methods in a period of transition in Mennonite education in Russia and the son absorbed these ideas. He attended the Halbstadt Zentralschule with Kornelius Unruh, and continued his education in Moscow and Odessa (1873-1875) with him and with P. M. Friesen. He was the first Mennonite of the Molotschna to acquire a state license for teaching elementary schools in the city. In 1874-1875 he was the zemstvo teacher in the two-class Orloff elementary school. In August 1875 he was engaged to teach the Russian language and Russian history and physics at the noted Ohrloff Zentralschule. To him a whole generation of Mennonite leaders owed the foundation of their intellectual and religious stamp. J. J. Bräul impressed upon all his students, Mennonite or non-Mennonite, a deep understanding of Russia's people, history, and culture. In 1884 while he was teaching at the Zentralschule, he passed with distinction the teacher's examination in Russian language, history, and geography. During the period of extreme tensions between the Russian school boards and the national minorities, which were to be degraded to an inferior position, Bräul rendered the Mennonite colonies a real service by his conciliatory mediation. He was accused of pro-Russian sympathies; but his deathbed declarations made it clear that he had at heart remained true to the brotherhood and its Christian confession of faith. His oldest son was J. J. Bräul, a graduate engineer, who settled in the Warthegau (western Poland near Posen) with the Mennonite settlers who were removed from Russia by the German army in the latter part of World War II.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 406. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Unruh, Benjamin H. "Bräul, Johann J. (1854-1916)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B7399.html.
APA style: Unruh, Benjamin H. (1953). Bräul, Johann J. (1854-1916). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B7399.html.