of Alberta

Heinrich D. Friesen collection

Accession 2017.025 and 2020.003 filed with 2017.025

Heinrich D. Friesen collection.- [ca. 1940-1962, 2020]. – 10 cm of textual records

Administrative /Biographical history

Heinrich D. Friesen, often called “Dichter Friesen” (poet Friesen), was the son of Heinrich and Elizabeth Friesen.  He was born 19 February 1880 in Orloff, southern Russian and married Katharina Kornelsen in 1906.  Together they had 10 children.
In 1903 the family moved to Orenburg, Russia, and from there to Canada in 1912.  They lived in Manitoba and Saskatchewan before moving to Coaldale. Alberta.  Katharina died in 1944.
Heinrich Friesen enjoyed writing poetry, usually on religious or Mennonite cultural themes.  He also wrote autobiographical material which was translated into English by his grandson, Ed Friesen, who also wrote a biographical preface.
In his poems and autobiographical writings, Heinrich Friesen focused strongly on  some of his religious experiences and convictions.  He reproduced and circulated his writings locally.  Some were also published in German language Mennonite periodicals.
Heinrich Friesen often lived in difficult financial circumstances.  He duplicated his poetry and autobiographical writing on a small Gestetner duplicator, and sold or distributed them for small amounts of money.  He died in 1964 in Alberta.
In 1960 Heinrich Friesen prepared photocopies of his poems and bound them in hard cover books.  Two volumes of these hard cover bound volumes were received as accession 2020.003 from H. D. Friesen’s grand daughter, Margaret Friesen.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Heinrich Friesen’s autobiographical writing, with translations and a preface by his grandson, Ed Friesen, numerous small booklets of poems, folders of loose printed copies of poems and two bound hard cover volumes of photocopied poems by Heinrich Friesen received separately.

Source of Acquisition

Donation by Ed Friesen, supplemented by a folder of poems received from Rudy Kornelsen, Edmonton, and another quite large folder of poems from the estate of Liese (Dick) Wall who left them to her sister Mary (Dick) Regehr who gave them to her son, Ted Regehr.

Finding Aid

1, Autobiographic writing by Heinrich Friesen, entitled “Goetliche Gnadenerweisungen auf meinem Lebensweg,” together with English translation, “Revelatons of God’s Grace in my Life’s Journey”, 1954, and a preface, by Heinrich Friesen’s grandson, Ed Friesen, {ca 2020]

2. Four small booklets of poems entitled “Blumen und Blueten,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine, 1960.

3. Small printed booklet of “Blumen und Blueten” [ca 1940]

4. Small booklet of poems entitled “Mennogesang.  Schicksal der Mennoniten in Holland, Deutschland und Russland,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine, 1957.

5. Small booklet of poems entitled “Menno Amerika.  Auswanderung nach Amerika und ihr Schicksal im neuen Lande,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine, 1957.

6. Small booklet of poems entitled “Gedichte Ut de Depreschen-Tit en Kanada.  Muttagedichti en aundri,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine, 1953.

7. Small booklet of poems entitled, “Orenburg. Eine poetische Verfassung von Orenburg, einer Mennonitischen Ansiedlung in Russland, in Angelegenheit des Treffens der Orenburger im Jahre 1946,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine.

8 Small booklet of poems entitled “Das Lied von der Seele,” run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine. [ca 1957].

9. Small untitled booklet of poems, run off on a Gestetner duplicating machine,  [ca 1960]

10. Five promotional circulars or letters sent to readers, duplicated on a Gestetner, [ca 1946-1949].

11. Folder of 42 printed or Gestetner duplicated poems and short writings by Heinrich Friesen which were part of Liese (Dick) Wall’s legacy. [ca 1909-1849].

12.Folder of 3 pages of Gestetner duplicated poems by Heinrich Friesen, received from Rudy Kornelsen, [ca 1946-1961].

Accession 2020.003, filed with Accession 2017.025

13. Book I. Hard cover bound copy of ollected poems; includes Blumen und Blueten, Heft 1 to 4 (complete 192 poems), Mennogesang, Menno Amerika, Lied von der Seele, Gedichti ut de Deppreschen Tit, Orenburg, BC British Columbia and additional poems, [ca 1962]
14. Book 2. Hard cover bound copy of collected poems: as above, except does not include Blumen und Blueten. Heft 1 (poems 1-50), [ca 1962]

Source of acqusition

Gift by Margaret Friesen, 1200-1350 Broughton St., Vancouver, BC.


GRANDMA #749710