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Froese, Gerhard P. (1867–1955)

Proper Title

Gerhard P. Froese fonds

Dates of Creation

1889–1890, 1943–1954

Physical Description

7 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Gerhard P. Froese was born in Andreasfeld, South Russia to Peter Kornelius Froese and Maria Bock on July 26, 1867. Gerhard attended school in the village until he went to the Central School in Halbstadt. After school he was called to Alternative service at the Anatoler Forstei camp where he worked for a year and a half. Upon return he married Anna Penner of Adelsheim on September 26, 1890. In total they had ten children.

In 1884 he built and operated a flourmill, which was expanded in 1904. In 1908, while attending a religious service he was arrested and imprisoned for 30 days along with Rev. Abraham H. Unruh. During the Russian revolution they lost all their property and decided to move to the Crimea to farm. In 1929 they fled Russia and immigrated to Canada via Germany. Upon arrival in Canada they settled in Winkler, Manitoba. Two of their daughters found employment in Winnipeg as domestics. In 1933 Gerhard and Anna moved to Winnipeg to be closer to their daughters. Here they became members of the South End Mennonite Brethren Church, in Winnipeg. The last of their daughters joined them in Canada in 1947 and 1948, after World War Two. Gerhard P. Froese died on June 29, 1955 and his wife Anna died three years later.

Custodial History

The materials in this collection were created by Gerhard P. Froese when he was in the Forestei, ca. 1889, and later in 1943 when he began to write his memoirs. These memoirs were transcribed by Edith E. Schmidt and translated by Bertha Toews, who then donated the originals and a copy of the translated memoirs to the archives. In 2004 Bertha Toews donated book 3 which was missing from her earlier donation as well as a translation of the foresti diary.

Scope and Content

The material in this fonds consists of a diary written by Gerhard P. Froese when he was in the Forestei (Alternative service forestry camp in Russia) and five books of memoirs, all written in German. A copy of the English translation of the memoirs entitled Memoirs by Gerhard P. Froese was also donated and placed in the archives’ library. The diary of his time in the forestry camp has also been translated and is with the collection.


  • Described by Conrad Stoesz January 22, 2001, updated by Conrad Stoesz February 12, 2004, July 7, 2004.
  • Accession nos. 2001-001, 2004-001.
  • Related material: What Is My House, Peter Kornelius Froese and Descendants, 1987.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Location: Personal papers, Gerhard P. Froese; Volume 956.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language: German and English.

File List

Volume 956

1. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 1, p. 1-241. – 1943-1954.
2. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 2, p. 242-421. – 1943-1954.
3. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 3, p. 421 1/2- 554. – 1943-1954.
4. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 4, p. 555-746. – 1943-1954.
5. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 5, p. 747-867. – 1943-1954.
6. Gerhard P. Froese memoirs, book 6, p. 868-985. – 1943-1954.
7. Gerhard P. Froese Forestei Diary. – 1889-1890.
8. Translation of the Forestei diary (#7) by William Schroeder (Fort Garry). – 2001.

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