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Klassen, Abram A. (1885–1949)

Proper Title

Abram A. Klassen fonds

Dates of Creation

[ca. 1998]

Physical Description

1 folder of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Abram Klassen was born on June 8, 1885, in the village of Gnadenthal. At the age of seven he and his family moved to Novokovne where Abram began his schooling. His parents were farmers and rented land here. However, due to the rising cost of the land, they moved in 1898, to the Orenburg settlement. In the fall of 1906, he was required to leave for the alternative forestry service, which he began in March of 1907. He volunteered as a carpenter and built camps. In 1909, he finished his service and returned home. In 1910, he travelled to south Russia to marry the woman he had met in his time in the Alternative Service camp. Lise and Abram were married in March of 1910. The new couple settled in the new city of Slavgorod near his parents home and made their living as farmers. In total nine children were born to the couple, two of which died early.

The situation in Russia worsened after the revolution and Klassen wanted to emigrate to North America. In 1929, Klassen, his wife, and daughter began to get ready to emigrate. His son Peter and his wife remained in Russia. On September 14, 1929, the Abram Klassen family boarded a steam ship and sailed away from Russia. For the first while they stayed in Hamburg, Germany and then later moved to Paraguay. They were a farming family and later he began a small photography business.

Abram Klassen died on May 5, 1949.

Custodial History

This item was donated by the translator, Linda Matties, on March 14, 1998.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of one item. It is a translation of Abram Klassen’s diary including some letters written by Klassen to friends and relatives.


  • Volume 995
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz November 1, 1999
  • Accession nos. 1998-024

File List

Volume 995

  1. Abram Abram Klassen, “Lost Homeland: The Diary of a German Colonist”, Translated by Linda Matties. – [ca. 1998].
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