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Warkentin, Isaac (1885–1971)

Proper Title

Isaac Warkentin fonds

Dates of Creation

1913–1918, 1973

Physical Description

57 items, 5 photographs

Biographical Sketch

Isaac Warkentin (Grandma #209445) was born on November 27, 1885 to Johann Warkentin (Sept. 17, 1859 - May 18, 1948) and Sara Loewen (Aug. 19, 1860 - June 27, 1930) in Hoffnungsfeld, West Reserve, Manitoba. Isaac went to school in Winkler and Gretna and then attended the University of Manitoba in 1908-1912 to study education. In 1913, Isaac went to Leipzig, Germany in order to study Pedagogy.

On July 28, 1914, World War One broke out. Isaac was still in Germany at this time and the outbreak of war prevented him from returning home to Canada. On September 15, 1914, Isaac was arrested and placed in a Leipzig prison due to his enemy citizenship. After spending ten days in solitary confinement and sixteen days in communal prison, Isaac was released. After his release, Isaac was prohibited from leaving Leipzig without consent and had to report to the police station twice a week. Given his status as a citizen of an enemy country, he was also no longer allowed to attend classes at the University.

Luckily, Isaac had close friends in the German Christian Student Union. These friends provided him with a place to live until December 6, 1914, when Leipzig ordered the expulsion of all inhabitants with enemy citizenship. Having been expelled from Leipzig, Isaac went to live with another friend, Pastor Bohne, in Etzdorf, Germany. He stayed in Etzdorf for several months until March 1915, when he was imprisoned in the Ruhleben Civilian Prisoners Camp ten miles from Berlin. Isaac would remain in prison until the end of WWI, only returning home shortly before Christmas, 1918.

Isaac lived the rest of his life in Manitoba. He married Maria Warkentin (March 24, 1899 - Nov. 3, 1970) on August 3, 1924 and spent 40 years teaching in various Manitoba high schools before he retired in June 1955. Even in his retirement, Isaac continued to teach Grade 12 chemistry and mathematics. Isaac and Helen raised four children: Helen, Johann Heinrich Cornelius, Bernhard Alfred Waldemar, and Frances Winnifred Agnes. He died on October 6, 1971.

 

Custodial History

This material was kept by Helen Rempel, daughter of Isaac Warkentin.  Helen transcribed many of the letters.  In 2012, Helen had Lawrence Klippenstein view the many boxes of pedagogical books Warkentin had collected.  At this time, Klippenstein  also secured the letters of Isaac Warkentin, which he gave to the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.

Scope and Content

This fonds contains the letters written by Isaac Warkentin during his time in Germany between 1913–1918. Most of the letters are written in German, with a few written in English. Some of these  letters have been translated from the German by Walter Regehr (see volume 1386, file 9). The letters describe Isaac's experience at school in Germany, the events following the outbreak of WWI, and his time spent in the Ruhleben Civilian's Prison camp. The fonds also contains several photographs, a letter dated 1973 from Pastor Bohne to Isaac's daughter, Helen Rempel (nee. Warkentin), letters received by Isaac while in Germany and a newspaper clipping.

Notes

  • Volume 1386.
  • Photograph Collection: NP205-01: 01-05.
  • Accession: 2012-15.
  • Title based on contents of the fonds.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list, item list and photograph list.
  • Item list is labelled according to location and date of correspondence.
  • Description created by Kate Woltmann, July 2014.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Languages: German and English.

File List

Volume 1386

  1. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - Items 1-7. -- 1913-1914.
  2. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - items 8-15. -- 1914-1915.
  3. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - items 16-24. -- 1916.
  4. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - items 25-29. -- 1917.
  5. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - items 30-34. -- 1917.
  6. Isaac Warkentin Correspondence - items 35-44. -- 1916, 1918.
  7. Correspondence to Isaac Wakentin - items 45-54. -- 1913-1917.
  8. Correspondence and newspaper clippings - items 55-57. -- 1960, 1973.
  9. English translations for file 1, items 1-5. -- 2014.

Item List

  1. Leipzig, Nov. 4, 1913.
  2. Leipzig, Nov. 17, 1913.
  3. Leipzig, Dec. 1, 1913.
  4. Leipzig, Apr. 22, 1914.
  5. Leipzig, May 3, 1914.
  6. Leipzig, June 18, 1914.
  7. Leipzig, Oct. 15, 1915.
  8. Leipzig, Oct. 19, 1914.
  9. Leipzig, Dec. 1, 1914.
  10. Etzdorf, Dec. 6, 1914.
  11. Etzdorf, Dec. 23, 1914.
  12. Etzdorf, Feb. 5, 1915.
  13. Etzdorf, Feb. 17, 1915.
  14. Etzdorf, Feb. 25, 1915.
  15. Ruhleben, Mar. 25, 1915.
  16. 16. Ruhleben, Feb. 8, 1916.
  17. Ruhleben, Aug. 24, 1916.
  18. Ruhleben, Sept. 23, 1916.
  19. Ruhleben, Oct. 6, 1915.
  20. Ruhleben, Oct. 21, 1916.
  21. Ruhleben, Nov. 5, 1916.
  22. Ruhleben, Dec. 2, 1916.
  23. Ruhleben, Dec. 10, 1916.
  24. Ruhleben, Dec. 22, 1916.
  25. Ruhleben, Jan. 6, 1917.
  26. Ruhleben, Jan. 20, 1917.
  27. Ruhleben, Feb. 4, 1917.
  28. Ruhleben, Feb. 24, 1917.
  29. Ruhleben, Mar. 3, 1917.
  30. Ruhleben, Mar. 17, 1917.
  31. Ruhleben, Mar. 24, 1917.
  32. Ruhleben, Apr. 20, 1917.
  33. Ruhleben, Apr. 27, 1917.
  34. Ruhleben, May 11, 1917.
  35. Ruhleben, Mar. 11, 1918.
  36. Ruhleben, Apr. 30, 1918.
  37. Ruhleben, May 12, 1918.
  38. Ruhleben, July 16, 1916.
  39. Ruhleben, July 30, 1918.
  40. Ruhleben, Aug. 14, 1918.
  41. Ruhleben, Aug. 27, 1918.
  42. Ruhleben, Sept. 1, 1918.
  43. Ruhleben, Oct. 15, 1918.
  44. Ruhleben, Nov. 6, 1918.
  45. Leipzig, Nov. 5, 1913.
  46. Leipzig, Dec. 13, 1914.
  47. Leipzig, Feb. 24, 1914.
  48. Leipzig, Apr. 28, 1914.
  49. Ruhleben, Feb. 4, 1916.
  50. Ruhleben, Dec. 16, 1917.
  51. Ruhleben, [1915-1918].
  52. Ruhleben, July 27, 1917.
  53. Ruhleben, Dec. 18, 1916.
  54. Ruhleben, [1915-1918].
  55. Correspondence from Herr Bohne to Isaac's daughter, Helen Rempel. -- 1973.
  56. Transcription of obituary from "The Star" (Steinbach Bible Institute). -- 1960.
  57. Newspaper clipping. -- 1973.

Photograph Collection

NP205-01-01: Portrait of Isaac Warkentin.
NP205-01-02: Woman with flowers (Maria Voth Warkentin?).
NP205-01-03: Young man studying.
NP205-01-04: Woman with a baby.
NP205-01-05: Young man seated outside (brother of Isaac?).

 

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