Mennonite
Historical
Society

of Alberta

John J. Bergen fonds

John J. Bergen fonds. — 1923-2008. — 90 cm of textual records and other material

Administrative/Biographical History

John Jacob Bergen, 1922-    . was born in Neuendorf, Chortitza Colony, Ukraine. He emigrated with his parents Jakob and Maria Bergen in 1923, and settled at Graysville, Manitoba. He completed school at Gretna Mennonite Collegiate Institute in 1940. He taught school at Big Black River in northern Manitoba in 1940-1941, attended normal school in Winnipeg in 1941-1942, and taught at Hopeland School in 1942-1943. In 1943 his teaching certificate was revoked due to his refusal to sell war savings stamps through the school system. He volunteered for non-combatant service and served in the Dental Corps in 1944-1946. In 1946 his teaching certificate was reinstated, and again he taught in the public school system of Manitoba, becoming principal of Winkler School. In 1963 he moved to Edmonton to pursue graduate studies in educational administration, and was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Alberta in 1967, and taught in the Faculty of Education there until his retirement in 1987. In his retirement years he pursued studies in Mennonite theology and history, occasionally preaching in Mennonite churches and leading group tours in Russia and Germany.  In 1953 he married Hilda Lohrenz (d. 1998), daughter of Gerhard and Anne Lohrenz. They had five children, Paul, Eric, David, Ruth, and Karl.

Scope & Content

The fonds includes copies of the Bergen family immigration papers; John’s correspondence with his wife, his children, and his extended family; records of his wife’s family;  records of his education and military service; professional essays and articles; theological essays and sermons; and records of tour groups. Includes a few photographs (not separated). Arrangement by John J. Bergen was retained.

Source of Supplied Title

Title based on the contents of the fonds

Source of Acquisition

Gift by John J. Bergen, 2011

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access

Finding Aids

See Inventory

Related Materials

John J. Bergen’s autobiography is available in the MHSA Library: A slice of my life / John Jacob Bergen. – Edmonton : J. Bergen, 2006

Notes

Accession 2011.028
The material is primarily in English, with some correspondence and documents in German and Russian.
Inventory and description completed February 2012 – Jim Bowman

Inventory

 

1-1 Extended family. – [ca.  1967-ca. 2002]. – Personal documents, greeting cards, article, family reunion documents.
1-2 Genealogy. – [ca. 1963-ca. 2001]. – Pedigree charts, articles, etc.
1-3 Letters to Tina, Peter, Henry, Lena, Maria. – 1983-2008. — Correspondence with family members, greeting cards, articles.
1-4 Letters, Anne, Marie.  – [1962?]-2005. – Correspondence with family members.
1-5 Letters from Hilda, courtship. – 1952-1953. – Correspondence from Hilda Lohrenz.
1-6 Letters from Hilda. – 1953-1990.
1-7 Letters to Hilda. – 1952.
1-8 Letters to Hilda. – 1952-1953.
1-9 Letters to Hilda and others. – 1953-1986.
1-10 The end : Hilda’s papers. – 1939-2005. – Includes certificates, artwork, title page of her book, records of her declining health and death, funeral arrangements, eulogies, records of memorial gifts.
1-11 The end. – 1997-2001. – Correspondence, tributes to Hilda, John’s “Reflections on marriage, death and life”.
2-12 Family letters. – 1982-2003.
2-13 Family letters. – [photocopied ca. 2001 (originally created 1944-2001)].
2-14 Communicator. – 1976-2006. – Newsletter of First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, including items contributed by John and Hilda Bergen.
2-15 Letters to her Spirit. – 1963-2001. – Letters to Hilda, reflections on her illness and death, greeting cards.
2-16 Gary Harder’s tribute to Hilda. – 1953-1978. – Banns of marriage, silver anniversary tribute, eulogies, family photographs, greeting cards, John’s reminiscences on Mennonite Collegiate Institute.
2-17 John’s parents. – 1966-1991. – Records of 60th wedding anniversary of Jakob Bergen and Maria Peters Bergen, photocopy of family register, photographs, tribute in English and German by Peter Bergen.
2-18 John’s memories of his parents. – [ca. 1983-ca. 1991]. – Transcript of John’s interview with his parents, reminiscences.
2-19 Lohrenz letters. – 1964-1987. – Correspondence with Hilda’s father Gerhard Lohrenz.
2-20 Correspondence with Gerhard and Anne Lohrenz. – 1982-2000. – Correspondence, passport, tribute given by John Bergen at their 60th wedding anniversary.
2-21 Pertaining to the last will of G & A Lohrenz. – 1983-1991.
2-22 Letters. – 1960-1998. – Material pertaining to the Lohrenz family and their genealogy.
2-23 Life of G. Lohrenz. – 1925-1986. – Soviet passport, certificates, educational records, sermons, obituaries.
2-14 Life of G. Lohrenz. – [ca. 1930]-1996. – Anne Lohrenz’s commonplace book, sermons, articles, inventory of the Gerhard Lohrenz Collection at Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives in Winnipeg.
3-15 Ruth. – 1977-1991. – Correspondence. Ruth was John’s daughter.
3-16 Ruth. – 1988-2007. – Includes photocopies of birth certificate and university diploma.
3-17 Ruth. – 1963-2006. – Includes John’s 1963 income tax return.
3-18 Ruth. – 1985-2005.
3-19 Christmas letters. – 1965-2005.
3-20 Mennonite World Conference. – 1961-1989. – Articles by Bergen about Mennonites.
3-21 Mennonite World Conference. – 1946-2008. – Articles, correspondence about Mennonites in general. Includes records of exhibit, “The Mirror of the Martyrs” at Provincial Museum of Alberta.
3-22 Correspondence with Jacob Bergen (brother) and family. – 1954-2008. – Includes photographs.
3-23 Letters to Margaret (sister). – 1942-1994.
3-24 Letters to Margaret (sister). – 1995-2005. – Includes photocopies of her reminiscences.
4-25 Education. – 1931-1946. – School report cards, certificates, diaries (1938-1940), military certificates.
4-26 Education. – 1940-2000. – Teacher’s certificate, teacher’s contracts, diary (1940-1941), school reunion book (2000), University of Manitoba convocation records, correspondence.
4-27 Education. – 1956-2006. – Correspondence, photographs, memorabilia of post-graduate studies and university teaching career.
4-28 Professional life. – 1963-2007. – Correspondence, certificates.
4-29 Professional life. – 1974-2007. – Correspondence, certificates.
4-30 Curriculum vitae. – 1947-2000. – Includes copies of articles and term papers.
4-31 Curriculum vitae articles. – 1963-1991.
4-32 Symposium on Mennonites in Canada. – 1987. – Includes Bergen’s paper “Some inferences concerning the impact of World War II on education among Mennonites in Canada”.
4-33 Education papers : my years as C.O. – 1987-1990. – Includes photocopies of correspondence and documents related to Bergen’s wartime Conscientious Objector status (1941-1946).
4-34 Letters. – 1939-1998. – Photograph, poems, correspondence regarding Hilda Bergen’s illness and death.
4-35 Letters to my children. – 1942-2002. – Correspondence from Bergen’s father to his siblings, correspondence related to family reunions.
5-36 Germany tour. – 1949-1984. – Reminiscence of Christmas Eve in Germany (1949), program for tour (1984).
5-37 Tours of New Zealand and Mexico. – 1987-1989. – Reminiscences.
5-38 Tours. – 1989-1996. – Program for tour of Russia (1990), itinerary for tour of Spain and Portugal (1996), notes on tours of Manitoba and Maritimes (1989), Germany (1992).
5-39 U.S.S.R. – 1990. – Lecture notes, information for Russia tour.
5-40 Reflections on tours. – 1971-2003. – Brochures, correspondence, worship service programs, collected travel diaries.
5-41 Mennonite World Conference (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe). – 2003. – Reports by Bergen, programs, articles, map.
5-42 Sermons and theological essays. – 1948-1981. – By John Bergen.
5-43 Sermons and theological essays. – 1981-1989.
5-44 Sermons and theological essays. – 1990-2001.
5-45 Immigration documents. – 1923-2008. – Bergen family (mostly photocopies).

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