Judenplan (Kherson Oblast, Ukraine)
Judenplan was the name given by the Chortitza Mennonites to an agricultural Jewish settlement attempted by the Russian government in the Kherson province. In order to give the Jewish settlers thorough training in agriculture, German farmers, mostly Mennonites, were settled among them. The settlement comprised six villages: Novopodolsk, Novovitebsk, Kamenka, Izluchislaya, Novokovea, and Novo-Zhitomir.
The position of the master farmers in the Jewish villages was very unfavorable. They were usually in the minority in the ratio of 1 to 5, and were therefore completely subject to the arbitrary will of the village in cultivating the fields. The fields of the master farmers were scattered among those of the Jews. To the right and left of well-cultivated fields there were neglected fields. Furthermore, the Jews let the Russian peasants pasture their cattle on these uncultivated fields, and consequently the cultivated fields of the Mennonites were trampled. Not until 30 years later was the land of the Mennonites separated from the rest.
At the head of the Jewish settlement was a Mennonite superintendent; in 1851 Dietrich Epp, a young man of 32, took over this task. At his death, 3 April 1900, at the age of 80, the Jewish author Zinov described his work as follows in a graveside address: When Dietrich Davidovitch was appointed superintendent of the Jewish settlement he at once undertook to organize the settlement put in his care. The villages had just been established and the residents were completely inexperienced in agriculture. The superintendent spared no pains or energy in his benevolent instructions. While they were working on the steppes, he was continually riding from one to the other, directing the Jewish farmers by precept and example, showing them how to cultivate their land; he also taught them how to plant trees around their houses. His work received repeated grateful recognition from the government.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 439 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 125. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Epp, David H. "Judenplan (Kherson Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J841.html.
APA style: Epp, David H. (1957). Judenplan (Kherson Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J841.html.