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Redekopp, Selma (1887–1975)

Proper Title

Selma Redekopp fonds

Dates of Creation

1918–1975

Physical Description

29 cm of described textual materials, 210 cm of undescribed textual materials

Biographical Sketch

Selma Redekopp (nee Martens) was born in September 15, 1887, to Franz Martens (Mar. 10, 1862-Aug. 24, 1917) and Helene Friesen (Dec. 7, 1865-1916) in Grossfürstental, Suvorovka, South Russia. She was married to Wilhelm Redekopp (May 5, 1872-Jul 16, 1946), son of Gerhard Redekopp (Feb. 15, 1834-Oct. 11, 1888) and Maria Funk (Feb. 13, 1836-Dec. 24, 1904) on July 29, 1915. Wilhelm Redekopp was a widower with six children and was previously married to Katharina Klassen (Jan. 27, 1880-May 7, 1915), who died in pregnancy. After her marriage to Wilhelm, Selma became a stepmother to these six children at the age of 28.

Not long after their marriage, the Revolution of 1917 shook Russia. Along with the violence and fear came economic difficulties, and in 1920, Wilhelm moved the family to Wohldemfürst, in the Kuban, hoping to create a fresh start. Despite the move, the family continued to be plagued by famine and the aftermath of the Revolution.  By 1923, Wilhelm decided he had had enough of the unrest in Russia, and began to make plans for the family to immigrate to Canada. In the fall of 1924, the family landed in Canada and settled in Osterwick, an area near Winkler, Manitoba.

In 1934, Selma's life was altered forever. While among the flowers in her garden, Selma heard God speak to her. In one of her many diaries, she writes that God reminded her of the promise she had made in 1921, during the years of turmoil in Russia. Afraid of war and famine, Selma had promised the Lord that if He would relieve her of these difficulties, she would live the rest of her life for Him.  Feeling called to honor this promise, Selma decided to spend the remainder of her life in the Lord's service. It was at this time that Selma began to write down her thoughts and revelations in journals that she made by hand. She also began openly speaking to others about the Lord, whether it was a reprimand of behavior or a prophecy. Family members remember Selma approaching strangers about the Lord, or writing letters to magazines and periodicals, prophesying the Lord's return. On multiple occasions, Selma would prophesy that the Lord was returning on Christmas eve. Each year, she was disappointed when her prophecy did not come true.

In 1946, after the death of her husband, Selma felt called to move to British Columbia. Her erratic behavior continued, causing her step-children to intervene on several occasions. Her flamboyant need to speak her prophecies disrupted the peace in her home church, Yarrow Mennonite Brethren. At this point, her stepson, Henry Redekopp, suggested that his mother move back to Winnipeg, where he could take care of her. One of his stipulations for the move was that Selma would sign a contract, stating that she would not speak to others about her prophecies or concerns, and that she would not speak in church services without an invitation. Selma was compelled to sign this contract after she moved back to Winnipeg in September of 1948.

Henry bought Selma a house  in North Kildonan, where she continued to write in her journals and collect various newspaper clippings. On July 14, 1975, at the age of 88, Selma died peacefully, leaving close to 17 full boxes of written material as her legacy.

Custodial History

In the early 1980s, multiple boxes of Selma's journals and scrapbooks were brought to the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies by Selma's son, Henry Redekopp. These materials were processed by Ken Reddig, director of the Centre at this time. The materials were used by biographer, Mary M. Enns, who wrote a book on Selma's life called, Selma Redekopp: An Unusual Woman. This book was published in 1990. In January, 2014, the Centre decided to create a "sampling" of Selma's materials, which would include a descriptive file list. The 17 boxes of Selma's materials were reprocessed and reorganized. The materials that are not included in the sampling are stored separately in the archival vault, according to date. This box list can be viewed under the file list below.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of journals, notebooks, correspondence and scrapbooks created by Selma Redekopp throughout her lifetime. Due to the large volume of materials, a sample was made of Selma's collection. This sample provides insight into the life of Selma Redekopp, beginning with legal documents pertaining to the family's immigration in 1924. Correspondence, as well as key journals and scrapbooks, were chosen from the multitude to portray Selma's life, prophecies and thoughts. The materials also provide newspaper documents about world events, such as World War II and the crowning of Queen Elizabeth. To view more of Selma's writings, please view the box list for the materials that are not described underneath the file list below.

Notes

  • Volumes 1383–1385.
  • Title based on contents of the fond.
  • Described by Kate Woltmann, March 24, 2014.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restrictions to access.
  • Language: German and English.

File List

Volume 1383

  1. Addressen – Address book. – [193-].
  2. Anschreibebuch fürs Jahr 1959 – accounts book, correspondence tracking. – 1959.
  3. Ein Wort an alle! – Visions, prophecies and writings. – 1942.
  4. Accounts book and correspondence tracking. – 1958.
  5. Im Auftrage Des Herrn – Visions, prophecies and writings. – 1940.
  6. Bibellesetafel für junge Mädchen und Frauen auf das jahr 1927 – devotional book. – 1927.
  7. Die 2 Tiere – Book of prophecy on the 2 beasts in Revelation.  – 1945.
  8. Die Brüder-Gemeine – writings, theological opinions on the Mennonite Brethren. – 1935.
  9. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1945.
  10. Was können wir tun für Den Herrn Jesus – writings. – [1943-1944].
  11. Der Krieg – World events journal, prophecies and writings. – 1956-1958, [1962].
  12. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben und Zeitungs-Berichte – visions, prophecies and writings, including letters written to various newspapers. – 1953.
  13. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben an alle Menschen – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1948-1950.
  14. Nikita’s first days in U.S. – World events journal, prophecies, writings and newspaper clippings. – 1959-1960.
  15. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben an alle lieben Menschen in Englisch und Deutscher Sprache – prophecies, visions and writings. – 1940.
  16. Writings, theology on youth and the present day, journal. – [1961].
  17. Die Sehnsucht des Ostens – a letter written by Jakob Kroker and rewritten by Selma Redekopp. – 1951.
  18. Die Mennoniten Brüdergemeine – writings, visions and prophecies. – 1966.
  19. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu – writings, prophecies and visions, newspaper clippings regarding Therese Neumann. – 1960.
  20. Schreiben Nummer 1 – writings, prophecies and visions. – 1935.
  21. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1951-1969.
  22. Brief Nummer 24 – writings, prophecies and visions. – 1927, 1935, 1943-1944, [1948].
  23. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben – visions, prophecies and writings; reason for starting her written collection. – 1950-1958.
  24. Ein Brief vom Herrn Jesus an alle Menschen – writings, prophecies and visions. – [193?].

Volume 1384

  1.  Heft Nummer 5, Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1938.
  2. Mein Tagebuch – personal journal. – 1941.
  3. 2 Briefen – writings in German and English regarding the book of Revelation and the 2 beasts. – 1938.
  4. Daily journal of events, visions and interpretations. – 1960-1962.
  5. Schreiben – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1945.
  6. Heft Number 8 – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1935-1938.
  7. Im auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben an alle Menschen – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1939.
  8. Mein Tagebuch – journal. – 1940.
  9. Buch Nummer 1 – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1948. 1967-1968.
  10. Heft Nummer 3 – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1938-1939.
  11. Tagebuch – journal of visions, prophecies and daily occurances. – 1965-1968.
  12. Schreiben Nummer 2 – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1936-1937.
  13. Im auftrage Des Herrn Jesu hier gesammelt gutes und Böses welches Menschen taten… - World events journal, newspaper and devotional clippings. – 1944, 1949, 1951 – 1954, 1958.
  14. Tagebuch – significant personal diary. – 1948-1951.
  15. Schreiben – visions, prophecies and writings. – 1935-1937, 1945.
  16. Erfüllte Weissagungen – fulfilled prophecies. – 1951.
  17. Schreiben welche ich im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu geschrieben – visions, prophecies and writings; an accounting of the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II. – 1943-1943, 1953.
  18. Briefen vom Herrn Jesus an alle Kinder – writings for children. – [193?].
  19. Im Auftrage Des Herrn Jesu etliches abgeschrieben aus Pastor Dahlmeiers Buch – notes on a book by Pastor Dahlmeier. – [193?].
  20. Letters received from various newspapers, correspondence. – 1936-1939.
  21. Letters from Jesus to all men and certain individuals. – [193?].
  22. Predigten über Radio – notes on radio sermons. – 1955.
  23. Predigten auf Gottes Wort für die Sunde der Verfluchung – catalog of daily calendar devotions. – 1937.
  24. Personal Writings. – [1948].
  25. Correspondence and personal writings. – [193?].
  26. Scrapbook – various newspaper clippings. – 1956.
  27. Schreiben Nummer 29 – visions, prophecies, writings and curriculum from Winkler Bible School. – 1939.
  28. Scrapbook – various newspaper clippings regarding Hitler and World War II. – 1933-1938, 1950-1952.
  29. Family tree – includes birth, marriage, baptism and death. – [1918].

Volume 1385

  1. Selma Redekopp biographical sketch and original file list. – [198-], 2000.
  2. Selma Redekopp: An Unusual Woman, by Mary Enns – 1st Edition. – [1990].
  3. Personal Correspondence. – 1928-1929, 1938-1947.
  4. Correspondence to sister – “Liebe Geschwister.” – [193-] – [195-].
  5. Immigration documents and government forms. – 1922, 1924-1925, 1928-1933, 1936-1937.
  6. Family History and Genealogy. – [192?], [19--].
  7. Legal documents, land transactions. – 1924, 1930-1933, 1935, 1940-1945, 1948.
  8. Correspondence. – 1948-1949, 1951-1959, 1962-1972.
  9. Letters to newspapers – “Zeitungs-Berichte.” – 1952.
  10. Notes on Radio semons. – 1952.
  11. Tagebuch. – 1958.
  12. "Dass Er Sie ernähre in der Teurung: Ein Brief von einer Deutsch-russlischen Flüchtlingsfrau in Kanada," article written by Selma Redekopp in "Licht und Leben" [GMD]: May 18, 1930. -- Photocopied in 2013.
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