Grünfeld (Schlachtin Mennonite Settlement, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine)
Grünfeld, a village in die district of Krivoy-Rog, Ukraine, with an area of 5,520 acres, founded in 1873 by Mennonites from the Chortitza settlement. The principal occupation was farming on 3,600 acres. The village also had a manufacturing plant for farm machinery, a mill, and a creamery, operated by an agricultural cooperative, and a grocery store. After the Revolution one fourth of the population emigrated to America. In 1928 there were 550 inhabitants. Grünfeld belonged to a compact group of Mennonite villages (Grünfeld, Neu-Chortitz, Gnadental, Steinfeld, and Hochfeld), and had a seven-class school with eight Mennonite teachers, and a Mennonite church. It was also the home of Jakob Rempel, the elder of the Neu-Chortitz Mennonite Church.
The collectivization of Grünfeld, which began in 1929, resulted in the exile of a great number of prosperous Mennonite farmers, beginning 25 February 1930. The families of K. Dyck, M. Schmidt, H. Friesen, H. Wiebe, D. Wiebe, P. Fröse, H. Martens, and J. Martens (unmarried) were sent to the Vologda region, and a great number were banished from their home district. In 1931 some were sent to the Ural Mountains. These banishments continued to occur until the Ukraine was occupied by the Germans in 1941. A total of 22 families, about 100 persons, were forced to leave Grünfeld. Among the exiled was Elder Jakob Rempel, who perished like many others. When the German army approached in 1941 some men were evacuated. The land of the collective was now divided among the remaining inhabitants.
The church, which had been used as a dormitory for school purposes and later as a granary, was again used for its original purpose. In 1942 at Pentecost the first baptismal service was conducted. There had been no public worship services since 1929. Peter Sawatzky and Abram Rempel were ordained as ministers, Elder Jakob Penner of Friedensfeld officiating. On 21 October 1943, the inhabitants of Grünfeld and the other villages were evacuated westward by freight trains, some of them being located temporarily in the Warthegau. Numerous Grünfeld persons were among those who were repatriated by the Russians. Eighty-eight reached Canada and 16 Paraguay.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 192.
Mennonite Encyclopedia questionnaire by Sara Kehler and Anna Rempel
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 604. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Löwen, Heinrich and Cornelius Krahn. "Grünfeld (Schlachtin Mennonite Settlement, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/grunfeld_schlachtin_mennonite_settlement.
APA style: Löwen, Heinrich and Cornelius Krahn. (1956). Grünfeld (Schlachtin Mennonite Settlement, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/grunfeld_schlachtin_mennonite_settlement.