Dürksen, Heinrich (1910-2001)

From GAMEO
Revision as of 19:07, 23 June 2018 by AlfRedekopp (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Heinrich Dürksen was born 31 May 1910 in the Terek region of the Caucasus of Russia to Johann and Katharina Heinrichs Duerksen. Heinrich Dürksen spent his youth in the village of Menlertschik, Crimea, where he was baptized upon confession of faith in 1928. In 1929 he and his family fled to Kiel, Germany. From there they immigrated to the Chaco of Paraguay, arriving in 1930. The family located in the village of Schonwiese, Fernheim Colony. Heinrich was elected a minister in the Mennonite church (GCM). On 25 October 1932 he married Sara Kibler. They became the parents of 10 children.

From 1941 to 1944 Heinrich served as administrator of the mission station Yalve Sanga (Licht den Indianem). In 1946 he was elected to the administrative council of Fernheim Colony; in 1949 he became Oberschulze (executive officer) for the colony. He served in the latter capacity for 20 years, 1949-1957, 1962-1970, and 1977-1979. In 1953 Dürksen traveled to North America together with Kornelius Walde to secure credits for colony development, which led to the development of a creamery, other industrial developments, and the purchase of the first tractors for the Chaco. Heinrich Dürksen's interest was concentrated on the development and stabilizing of the economic life of the colony and the furthering of missionary activity (Chaco mission). Following his retirement as administrator he served on the board of Licht den Indianem (Light to the Indians). He died on 29 August 2001 in Filadelfia.


Author(s) Peter Wiens
Date Published 2013


Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiens, Peter. "Dürksen, Heinrich (1910-2001)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2013. Web. 18 Jun 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=D%C3%BCrksen,_Heinrich_(1910-2001)&oldid=160946.

APA style

Wiens, Peter. (2013). Dürksen, Heinrich (1910-2001). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=D%C3%BCrksen,_Heinrich_(1910-2001)&oldid=160946.




Hpbuttns.png

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 249. All rights reserved.


©1996-2019 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.

Heinrich Dürksen, 1910-2001

Heinrich Dürksen was the chief mayor (Oberschulze) of the Fernheim Colony, Paraguay, from 1949-1958, 1962-1971, 1977-1979. He was also a leader in missions to the indigenous people of Paraguay, and a supporter of church unity among the three Mennonite conferences there.

Dürksen was born on 18 May 1910, in Emiljanowka, a Caucasian estate, near the Terek Colony, owned by Herman Neufeld, 1850-1913, and managed by his father, Johann Dürksen, 1870-1941. His mother was Katharina Heinrichs, 1878-1949. Both his parents died in the Fernheim Colony. He had 5 siblings who survived to have descendants. With his parents and siblings, they were part of the Moscow refugees who emigrated to Germany in 1929 and to Paraguay in 1930. In Paraguay, Fernheirm Colony, he married Sara Kroeker, 1912-2000, on 25 October 1932. They had 10 children, the oldest, Willy, died in childhood in Fernheim. The others were Peter, Harry, Hans, Heinz, Sylvia, Artur, Eleonore, Rudolf, and Elisabeth.

Dürksen grew up on the Caucasian estate. With the civil war and banditry, the family fled and ended up in Minlertschik, Crimea, 1918-1929. Here he was baptized upon his confession of faith in 1928. From there they fled to Moscow in 1929, then Germany, and 1930-2001, when he died, they lived in Fernheim Colony, Paraguay, first in Waldesruh, 1930-1971, and then Filadelfia, 1972-2001.

Dürksen had a village education, but soon had to work to help the family survive. He had two older brothers and one older sister. The pioneer life in Paraguay was challenging. He started his own family within a few years of settlement there, and worked his land to at a subsistence level until they learned how to adapt to a southern hemisphere climate and soil conditions. There allotted land was in Waldesruh, Fernheim Colony. He served as a missions administrator in Yalve Sanga, a settlement set up for the indigenous people, Chulupis, 1941-1944. Then back to the farm in Waldesruh. Then he served as a colony committee member, 1949-1949, when he was elected chief mayor of the Fernheim, 1949, and served until 1979, with some intervals. During this time he led in the development of the co-operative structure for agriculture, education, and medical services. He continued his interests in missions and church work, serving on a number of boards.

Two of his great concerns became the economic survival of the colony – and with that its very own existence – and solidifying the educational system in the colony.

He personally embarked on a tour of Canada and the US in 1953 with Kornelius Walde to raise funds through loans to invest in the system of production for the colony, including the purchase of machinery and industrial equipment. He was the driving force behind the risky initiative that sent out young people overseas to get a quality higher education, with the goal of them returning to the colony to build up a quality education system for the younger generation. This move was not understood, nor supported by all, but it eventually gave Fernheim an edge on education in the central Chaco region. It created a solid foundation for future development in all areas of colony life.

His work kept him from giving his desired attention to his family. This was a sacrifice that he wished he could have overcome.

He died in Fernheim on 29 August 2001. He was a civic leader during the development years of the Mennonites who had fled the Soviet Union to an inhospitable desert climate which was unknown to them. He led the formation of a structure that helped the Mennonites adapt and thrive in this environment, both economically and socially.


Author(s) Peter Wiens
Bert Friesen
Rudolf Duerksen
Date Published June 2018



Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiens, Peter, Bert Friesen and Rudolf Duerksen. "Dürksen, Heinrich (1910-2001)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2018. Web. 18 Jun 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=D%C3%BCrksen,_Heinrich_(1910-2001)&oldid=160946.

APA style

Wiens, Peter, Bert Friesen and Rudolf Duerksen. (June 2018). Dürksen, Heinrich (1910-2001). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=D%C3%BCrksen,_Heinrich_(1910-2001)&oldid=160946.




Hpbuttns.png

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 249. All rights reserved.


©1996-2019 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.