of Alberta

Frieda Claassen fonds

Accession 2023.010

Title and Physical Description

Frieda Claassen fonds. – 1949. – 1 cm. – songbook snd explanatory note

Administrative/Biographical History

Frieda (Prochnau) Claassen was born in Deutsch Wymyschle, Poland, the daughter of Daniel Prochnau and Wanda (Penner) Prochnau.  Together with other family members, Frieda, fled to Germany in 1945 as refugees.  In 1948-49 they lived in a refugee camp at Schuetzenhoff, Gronau, Westfalen, West Germany.  Worship services, including a choir, were organized and multiple sheets of music were prepared, using number notations rather than notes.  Frieda collected some of these and her father bound them together using material from an old suitcase for the covers.
The Prochnau family emigrated to Canada in 1949 where Frieda married Hans Claassen in 1952.  They lived in Edmonton.  Frieda donated the song-book, together, with an explanatory note, to the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society in 2023.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a bound volume of sheets of religious songs with numerical notations,  together with a brief explanatory note on Frieda’s experiences and the creation and use of the songbook in the refugee camp.

Source of Acquisition

Donation to the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta by Frieda Claassen