Janz, Heinrich Tobias (b. 1887)
Heinrich Tobias Janz, Elder of the Landskrone Mennonite Church in the Molotschna settlement, Taurida, South Russia, was born 17 January 1887 at Landskrone, the son of Tobias Benjamin and Margarethe (Enns) Janz. In January 1912 he married Katharina Reimer (1893-1923) in Schonau, Zagradovka. Six children were born to them. In 1923 he married Kathe Ediger, to whom were born three children. Janz was educated in the Zentralschule at Gnadenfeld and the normal school at Halbstadt, and devotedly served his home village as a teacher from 1913 to 1922, when the Soviet government made this work impossible. Janz was a member of the Margenau-Landskrone Mennonite congregation. He was chosen as minister in 1922, and as elder in 1926. Janz was a clear thinker, an exceptional teacher, and a good leader. For a time he served on the executive committee of the Association of Citizens of Dutch Extraction (Verein Bürger holldändischer Herkunft). His work as elder was fruitful, particularly during the periods of the great famine, when revivals were taking place in the congregations. But this activity was unfortunately of short duration. Janz performed his last baptism in 1931. He had baptized 56 young people. In 1932 he was banished with his family from the village; two years later he was compelled to flee to Caucasia, and spent the rest of his life homeless. In 1935 he was arrested there and after a long trial sentenced to death as a political criminal. For 99 days he awaited his execution in the death cell. Then came pardon and a review of his case. His son Heinrich was present when Janz and other Mennonite preachers were led out. Janz, though only a shadow of his former self, was the only one to defend his faith and religious work. He was then sentenced to ten years of hard labor in Siberia. The last word received from him came in 1940, saying that he was partially paralyzed by a cerebral hemorrhage and was facing death by starvation in a camp in the North. The date of his death is not known.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 95. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Thiessen, J. J. "Janz, Heinrich Tobias (b. 1887)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/janz_heinrich_tobias_b._1887.
APA style: Thiessen, J. J. (1957). Janz, Heinrich Tobias (b. 1887). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/janz_heinrich_tobias_b._1887.