Froese, Heinrich Johann (1909-1937)

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Heinrich Johann Froese: bookkeeper; born 16 January 1909 to Johann and Anna (Bergen) Froese in Schöneberg, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia. He was the eighth of 11 children in the family. On 18 October 1931, he married Maria Enns, daughter of Heinrich and Maria Enns of Schöneberg in South Russia, and the couple had one son. Heinrich was arrested in 1932 and sent into exile but released about two years later. However, he was arrested again on 29 October 1937 and executed on 25 November in Zaporozhye.

Heinrich grew up with his family in Schöneberg. Four of his siblings died in infancy and another died at the age of ten. Heinrich’s father was shot and killed by Makhno bandits in Schöneberg, likely in 1918, and his mother married a man by the name of Krahn some time later. In 1931, Heinrich married Maria Enns. Heinrich worked as a bookkeeper at the local kolkhoz.

In 1932, after about one year of marriage, Froese was arrested because of his nonresistant stance and was exiled to a coal mine in Siberia. He almost starved to death, but food parcels from Maria eventually reached him. He returned from exile, likely in 1934, and his son Heinrich was born on 8 July 1935. On the night of 29 October 1937, Heinrich was arrested again, together with 16 other men from Schöneberg, and taken to Zaporozhye, where he and several others were executed on 25 November 1937. Maria and her son eventually escaped to Germany and then settled in the Neuland Colony, Paraguay, before moving to Canada, where they settled in Winnipeg.

Heinrich Johann Froese was one of many Mennonites who suffered and died for their faith during the Stalinist era. Through his commitment to the nonresistant stance of his church, he became an example of commitment for his family and community to follow.


Froese Family history, largely from son Henry Froese.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2011: #1025772.

Letkemann Notes; many pages.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Helmut T. Huebert
Date Published April 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. "Froese, Heinrich Johann (1909-1937)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2011. Web. 23 May 2018.,_Heinrich_Johann_(1909-1937)&oldid=81080.

APA style

Huebert, Susan and Helmut T. Huebert. (April 2011). Froese, Heinrich Johann (1909-1937). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2018, from,_Heinrich_Johann_(1909-1937)&oldid=81080.

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