Rempel, Abraham A. (1903-1937?)
Abraham Abraham Rempel: church leader and preacher; born 16 October 1903 in Hochfeld, Yazykovo Mennonite Settlement, South Russia, to Abraham P. and Maria (Wiebe) Rempel. He was the third of nine children in the family. On 14 June 1931, Abraham married Anna Froese, daughter of Johann Froese of Schöneberg, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement. The couple had three children, two daughters and a son, all of whom survived childhood. He was arrested and released twice before being arrested again in 1937 and was likely executed a month later.
As a child, Abraham completed his studies at the local village school before attending the Zentralschule for a few years. He was baptized and joined the Mennonite Brethren Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher, as well as preaching on occasion. On 14 June 1931, he married Anna Froese, daughter of Johann Froese. Their first child, a daughter, was born just over a year later, and two other children followed. Abraham got a well-paying job in an office, but one day, he was called to visit the offices of the GPU (the secret police) and was asked to report on the activities at his workplace. When he refused to do so, even under intense pressure, he was brought in several more times and was finally put in jail. When he was released three days later, he was ordered to leave the district within two hours. The Rempels packed up a few belongings and took a train to the Caucasus region, where they lived among the local people.
After about two years of living in the Caucasus Mountains, Abraham and his family heard that the situation in their home village had improved. Hoping to regain their old life, the Rempels returned to Schöneberg, where Abraham once again obtained office work, but they were unable to get their old home back. The local Mennonite church had lost its minister, Bernhard Dyck of Hochfeld, who had been exiled; Abraham and another man were asked to serve, although they could not be ordained at that time.
In October 1936, Rempel was once again picked up by the secret police and jailed for several days. The authorities eventually released him, telling him that they would come again in three days, although they did not follow through on the threat. However, Abraham began to experience difficulties in his job, and when necessary, he worked as a hog farmer and a night watchman. During the night of 29 October 1937, Abraham and 16 other men were arrested and taken to a prison in Nikopol. Eventually, all of the men were thought to have been exiled, but subsequent information was that the whole group, likely including Abraham, was executed 25 November 1937 in Zaporizhia. Abraham’s wife and children eventually escaped to Paraguay.
Abraham Abraham Rempel was a dedicated church leader who endured in his faith despite severe trials. Through his willingness to serve the people in his community, he was an example of faithfulness for future generations.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2011: #26412, 26484.
Letkemann Notes, especially relating to Schöneberg, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement.
Rempel family information.
Toews, Aron A. Mennonitische Märtyrer: der jüngsten Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart, 2 vols. [Abbotsford, B.C.]: Selbstverlag der Verfassers, 1949-1954: v. 1, 258-261.
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MLA style: Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. "Rempel, Abraham A. (1903-1937?)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2011. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/rempel_abraham_abram_abraham.
APA style: Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. (March 2011). Rempel, Abraham A. (1903-1937?). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/rempel_abraham_abram_abraham.