Title and Description
Peter Wiebe autobiography, c. 1962, 5 cm.
Peter Wiebe (named Isaac at birth but renamed Peter later) was the son of Jacob Wiebe and Mararetha Braun. He was born on 12 January 1883 in Neuendorf, southern Russia. The family moved several times, eventually settling in the Sagradovka Mennonite colony. After completing his village school training Peter Wiebe received some private instruction in more advanced evening classes. He was conscripted in 1906 for alternative service in the forestry service (Forsteidienst). After his release, in 1908, he married Anna Bergen, took further classes and became a bookkeeper and later also a business administrator. During World War I he served in the medical service (Sanitaetsdienst) and after the war, briefly, as a teacher. An attempt to emigrate to Canada in 1929 failed, and he became a bookkeeper and administrator in a collective farm. He narrowly escaped evacuation eastward by retreating Russian forces in 1941. After the German defeat at Stalingrad he and his family, with many others, were evacuated westward by the retreating German forces. The family hoped to emigrate to Canada. When that was not possible they emigrated, under arrangements made by the Mennonite Central Committee, to Paraguay where they spent almost 10 economically very difficult years. Then, in 1956, first a daugher and her family, and then Peter and Anna, were able to emigrate to Canada, settling in Winnipeg.
Scope and Content
Photocopy of a 190-page manuscript simply titled “Erinnerungen.” The manuscript is not dated, but 1962 is the last date specifically mentioned.
Source of Acquisition
Donated by Anna Willms