Konrad, Abraham A. (1898-1943)
Abraham Abraham Konrad: elder and farmer; born 6 June 1898 in Alexanderkrone, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia, to Abraham J. and Katharina (Braun) Konrad. He was the fourth of 12 children in the family but the youngest child of his father’s first wife. In 1922, he married Eva Epp, daughter of Johann Epp of Suvorovka Mennonite Settlement. The couple had eight children, five of whom survived childhood. He was arrested in 1929 and sentenced to three years of exile but was eventually able to bring his family to live with him. In 1937, he was arrested again and sent into exile, where he was reported to have died on 27 December 1943.
Abraham grew up and went to school in Alexanderkrone, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement. His mother died in about 1900, but his father later remarried. In 1914, the family moved to the village of Kalantarovka in the northern Caucasus region, where Abraham’s father bought some land. In 1918, at the age of 20, Abraham was baptized and joined the Mennonite Brethren Church, where he was soon actively involved in many of its programs.
In 1922, Abraham married Eva Epp, daughter of Johann and Eva (Penner) Epp of Suvorovka. The couple had eight children, the youngest of whom was born in 1937. In 1925, the Konrads moved to a farm in Fürstental, Suvorovka. They became involved in the local church, where Abraham was elected to the ministry and ordained as elder in 1927.
In 1929, when many Mennonites were going to Moscow, trying to obtain exit visas for Canada, Konrad also traveled there. When he tried to return to get his family, he was arrested by the secret police at his home train station and taken to the jail at Pyatigorsk. Several months later, he was sentenced to three years of exile and was sent to an island in the White Sea of northern Russia, near Murmansk. Two years into the sentence, he was allowed to relocate farther south to work on a collective farm near the city of Saratov, and he was even able to bring his family to join him.
Finally, at the end of Abraham’s sentence in 1933, the family moved to the village of Neu-Hoffnung, in the Konosavod Settlement in the North Caucasus region. Abraham was assigned a job running a combine, but even with all of his and Eva’s hard work, the family was unable to find enough food. However, the situation began to improve in 1934, and Abraham and Eva were allowed to build an earth hut for themselves and their children. By 1935, the Konrads had enough work and were able to obtain enough food for the family, although they worried about the lack of religious training for their children. One day in 1937, the police came onto the yard and arrested Abraham. He was taken away and sent into exile, where he was reported to have died on 27 December 1943.
Abraham Abraham Konrad was a dedicated church worker and farmer whose participation in church activities helped strengthen his congregation. Despite the tragic end to his life, he was an example of faithfulness for his family and the community to follow.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2011: #109368.
Obituary. "Katharina Janzen." Mennonitische Rundschau (1 April 1987): 29.
Toews, Aron A. Mennonitische Märtyrer: der jüngsten Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart, 2 vols. [Abbotsford, B.C.]: Selbstverlag des Verfassers, 1949-1954: v. II, 146-148.
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MLA style: Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. "Konrad, Abraham A. (1898-1943)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2011. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/konrad_abraham_abraham_1898_1943.
APA style: Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. (April 2011). Konrad, Abraham A. (1898-1943). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/konrad_abraham_abraham_1898_1943.