Mennonite
Historical
Society

of Alberta

Henry Goerzen’s collection on conscientious objectors

Title and Physical Description

Henry Goerzen’s collection on conscientious objectors. — [ca. 1939]-2005. — 16 cm of textual records. — ca. 300 photographs

Administrative/Biographical History

Henry D. Goerzen was born in Didsbury, Alberta. With his family, he maintains a grain farm in the Didsbury area. He is a lifelong member of Bergthal Mennonite Church and is active in Mennonite denominational activities. He is an historian and collector of historical materials. For over twenty-five years he was the Archivist of the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (now Mennonite Church Alberta). In the 1990s he participated in a project to interview and collect the reminiscences of Mennonite men who had been conscientious objectors (C.O.’s) during the Second World War. Many of the stories were published in: Alternative service for peace in Canada during World War II, 1941-1946 / edited by A.J. Klassen. – Abbotsford, B.C. : Mennonite Central Committee (B.C.) Seniors for Peace, 1998.

Scope & Content

The collection consists of of several overlapping files of research notes, interviews and photographs of conscientous objectors, lists of Conscientious Objectors in various camps, records of reunions and conferences, essays by or about Cosncientious Objectors, and photographs.

Source of Supplied Title

Title based on the name of the collector and the contents of the collection

Source of Acquisition

Gift by Henry D. Goerzen, 2011

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access

Finding Aids

See File Inventory

Notes

Accession 2002-031 (filed with 2011.018), 2011.018
Last updated August 2014 – Jim Bowman

File Inventory

File 1   File containing Interviews and Research Notes.  This file includes background research material and also copies of interview reports written later.  It provides some more detailed information about individual Conscientious Objectors than the later written reports.  The file includes a numbered list.  The numbers, however, are incomplete and based on numbers assigned in the later written reports.  This file includes the following:
-Introduction by Henry Goerzen entitled “Canada and its involvement in W. W. II.  Copies are also included in other files.  There is considerable duplication of material in the first three files
#5 Jake Neufeld
#7 Aron Friesen
#9 George Schmidt
#10 Isaac Wittenberg
#11 Dave (John) Heidebrecht
#13 Frank Bergen
#14 Cornie Friesen
#16 Elmer Burkholder (told by Willard Burkholder)
#19 John Gossen
#21 Jacob Wiens
#22 John Siemens and “The Last of the Mennonite Coal Mines Durmheller Area”
#23 Dave Ratzlaff
#24 Claude Klassen
#25 Daniel Loewen
#26 Carl Henry Brown
#27 George Brown
#28 Edward Regehr
#29 Peter Klassen
#30 Jacob J. Doerksen
#31 Harry Stauffer “World War Years II Sept 1, 1939-May 1945”
#32 John Esau
#33 Norman Levi Weber
#34 Peter Heidebrecht
#35 Peter Unger
#36 Joseph Wayne Kauffman
#38 Ernest Neufeld
#39 Nina Neufeld
#40 C. J. Ramer
#41 Agatha Hiebert

File 2. File containing Interview Reports, written originally in coil bound scribblers.  A list is provided but not all items are included.
#1A “Canada and W. W. II,” listed but not included in this file.  It was apparently the same document as the first item in the previous file.
#1 Gordon Dyck
#2 John and Beth Siemens (missing)
#3 Alfred Toews (missing)
#4 Peter Wiens
#5 Jake Neufeld
#6 Dave Schmidt
#7 Aaron Friesen
#8 Reuben Ratzlaff
#9 George Schmidt
#10 Isaac Wittenberg
#11 David John Heidebrecht
#12 David Goerzen
#13 Frank Baergen
#14 Cornie Thiessen
#15 Jake Willms
#16 Elmer Burkholder
#17 Dietrich Dyck
#18 John F. Dyck
#18b Isaak “Ike” Neufeld (poem and story by Henry Goerzen)
#19 John Gossen
#20 John Wiebe
#21 Jacob  Wiens
#22 John Siemens, “The last of the Mennonite Coal Mines in Drumheller Valley”
#23 Dave Ratzlaff
#24 Claude Klassen
#25 Daniel Loewen
#26 Carl Henry Brown
#27 George Brown
#28 Edward Regehr
#29 Peter Klassen
#30 Jacob J. Doerksen
#31 Ernest Neufeld, Mina Neufeld

File 3. This file contains xerox copies of much of the material in File 2, but with the addition of photographs and a selection of docouments pertaining to conscientious objectors.
#1A Canada and its involvement in W. W. II.
#1 Gordon Dyck
#2 John Siemens (missing)
#3 Alfred Toews (missing
#4 Peter Wiens
#5 Jake Neufeld
#6 Dave Schmidt
#7 Aaron Friesen
#8 Rueben Ratzlaff
#9 George Schmidt
#10 Isaac Wittenburg
#11 David John Heidebrecht
#12 David Goerzen
#13 Frank Baergen
#14 Cornie Friesen
#15 Jake Willms
#16 Elmer Burkholder
#17 Dietrich Dyck
#18 John F. Dyck
#18b Isaac Neufeld (interfiled material)
#19 John Goosen
#20 John Wiebe
#21 Jake Wiens
#22 John Siemens
#23 Dave Ratzlaff
#24 Clalude Klassen
#25 Daniel Loewen
#26 Carl Henry Brown
# 27 George Brown
#28 Edward Regehr
#29 Peter Klassen
#30 Jacob J. Doerksen
–Unnumbered interspersed Interview with Ernest Neufeld
–Unnumbered interspersed Interview with Mina Good and Ernie Neufeld
#31 Harry Stauffer
#32 John Esau
#33 Norman Levi Weber
#34 Peter Heidebrecht
#35 Peter Unger
#36 Joseph Wayne Kauffman
–Interview with C. J. Ramer by Leonard Gross
–This file also contains xerox copies of numerous photographs of conscientious objectors and conscientious objector camps.  These are copies of  a larger collection of 142 photographs which are filed separately (accession 1011-018) with the photographs and have also been included in the MAID program.  This file contains information not available elsewhere about some of the photographs.
–This file also contains copies of twelve documents related to consientious objectors.

File 4 Negatives and xerox copies of Conscientious Objector camp photos with some identifying information.  This is the same collection of photos as in File 3.

File 5   List of men in camps. – 1942-1943.

File 6. The Beacon. Newsletter published in work Camps in British Columbia, 1943, Vol 2, No. 2 and Vol 2, No. 7.

File 7. The Beacon, , 1943, Vol. 1, Vol. 2, No. 4 and Vol. 2, No. 8, donated by Pual Heidebrecht (Accession 2003.005

File 8  Correspondence, Jake Kreuger to C.O. Book Project Committee. – 1994.

File 9  Henry Goerzen’s notes. – 1990-1995. – Information from C.O.’s.

File 10 Reunions of C.O.’s. – 1990-1991. – Includes identified group portrait of Camp Geikie Reunion, 1991. For photos of 1995 Conscientious Objector Celebration, Campbell River, BC, 1995, see accession 2002.020 in Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta fonds.

File 11  Conference ” Remembering and Celebrating Alternative Service in World War II”. – 1995.

File 12   Material collected by Daniel Loewen. – 1940-1946. – Correspondence with Department of War Services.

File 13   Material from Harry Stauffer. – 1942-1946. – Correspondence with National Selective Service.

File 14   Material from Harold Lauber – National War Services. – 1942-1946.

File 15 Reminiscences. “The Last of the Drumheller coal miners.  The Story of Jacob J. Hiebert.

File 16   Reminiscences. “The Life of Peter Heidebrecht.”

File 17, Reminiscences.  A. A. Wiens, “Anfang des Mennonitischen Selbstschutz.”

File 18  Essay by Andrew Friesen, “Encountering Canadian Society.  The Second World War Consientious Objectors of Alberta.”

File 19 Essay by Menno Klassen, “Canadian Conscientious Objectors in the Second World War.”

File 20 Essay by Royden Loewen.  “A People of Peace in a World at War.”

File 21   Henry Goerzen’s article “Women and Peace”. – [ca. 1995].

File 22   Membership in Mennonite churches and membership in the military / Helmut Harder. – 1996.

File 23 Project Ploughshares. – 1982-1985.

File 24  Project Habbakuk. – 1943-2005.

File 25 Sam Martin – Remember conscientious objectors [handbill]. – 1987.

File 26 Peter Goetz “Western Art” pen and paper sketches by a conscientious oobjector.

File 27 A mixed collection of news clippings about conscientious objectors, collected by Henry Goerzen.

General Queries/Comments: Contact MHSA