Bröskerfelde (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)
Bröskerfelde, a part of the village of Bröske (Brescky, Broeske; Polish: Brzózki), district of Marienburg, West Prussia, became important in Mennonite history by the establishment of a patrons' school (Vereinsschule) founded on Christian principles in 1836 and its successful conduct for 30 years. A missionary society was formed in the 1830s among the members of the Mennonite churches in Ladekopp and the vicinity, which was a branch of the Danzig Missionary Society, whose center was located in the old city of Danzig, where the society held its annual missionary festival in the Marienkirche, which was also attended by representatives of the Bröskerfeide Hilfsverein (branch society).
On the governing board of the Danzig Missionary Society, in addition to the pastors Karmann, Blech, Kniewel, and others was also Jakob Mannhardt, pastor of the Danzig Mennonite Church from 1836 to 1885, and founder of the Mennonitische Blätter. In addition to the newly awakened missionary spirit, the local society also recognized the necessity for offering Mennonite youth a Christian education; this led to the establishment of the school mentioned above. Of these endeavors Johann Töws, the widely known and respected preacher and elder of the Ladekopp congregation, is properly considered the soul and inspiration; he donated the site for the school as well as for the grounds. The first teacher was Friedrich Wilhelm Lange of the Brenkenhoffswalde Mennonite congregation, who later became very well known in Mennonite circles. Under his intelligent direction the school quickly became a center for implanting genuine Christianity. Students from far and near in the churches of West Prussia attended his sterling instruction. Unfortunately after two years Lange went to the Molotschna in South Russia. He was succeeded in 1838 or 1839 by Karl Gottlieb Roller, a teacher in Bütow, Pomerania, who faithfully devoted himself to his task for nearly 20 years. The seed scattered here bore much fruit; for a considerable number of his pupils later became consecrated preachers. The curriculum, with the exception of the daily classes in religion and Bible study, resembled that of a German higher elementary school. When Roller resigned for reasons of health, a young Reich of Danzig was appointed to succeed him; but he instead went to the teachers' seminary in Marienburg in 1862. In the same year Johannes Claassen, who had studied at the university of Berlin for several years, was employed as teacher. He served until the spring of 1866. During his term the school enjoyed another period of prosperity, with an enrollment of 60. As long as Claassen was teacher the monthly missionary meetings were held in the school. After the older generation, who had been deeply concerned in matters pertaining to the kingdom of God, had emigrated to Russia or America, the school gradually died out, presumably for lack of interest. The building was temporarily rented out and about 1880 sold and torn down.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 274.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 438. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Enns, John. "Bröskerfelde (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B7667.html.
APA style: Enns, John. (1953). Bröskerfelde (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B7667.html.