← Back to Personal Papers

Rempel, David G. (1899–1992)

Proper Title

David G. Rempel fonds

Dates of Creation

1865, 1967, [ca. 1980,1985], 1986,1987, [ca. 1993]

Physical Description

7 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

David G. Rempel was born on November 17, 1899 to Gerhard Rempel (1863–1919) and his second wife, Maria Pauls (1867–1920) in the village of Nieder Chortitza, south Russia. He, along with his siblings actively pursued education. After graduating from high school in 1917, David was sent to a commercial school in the hope of taking over the family business. With the worsening situation in the region, he returned home and attended Teachers’s Training School. The situation continued to worsen in the area and hit the Rempel family hard in 1919, and 1920, when David’s brother Heinrich, as well as his mother and father, died of typhus.

In 1920, David graduated from college and taught until 1922, when he was forced out by the Soviet authorities. In 1923, David and siblings, John and Jacob emigrated to Canada, later to be joined by their married sister, Maria Klassen. They settled in the Rosthern area of Saskatchewan where he began his English studies at the German-English academy. David continued his education by going to Blufton, Ohio to earn his AB in 1927, and an MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1930. While in Blufton, he met and in 1930, married Laura Kennel. Two daughters were born to this couple.

David took a teaching job in 1934, at San Mateo Junior College, California, a position where his responsibilities grew. He taught there until his retirement in 1964. He was Professor Emeritus of History at the College of San Mateo and spent a lifetime of research on Russian Mennonite history and affairs, emphasising economic history. He always insisted on telling the Russian Mennonite tale from the vantage points of the Russian civil authorities and the Russian peasants, as well as from within the Mennonite world. He was in a unique situation to do this through material he had access to at the Russian State Archives. He made important archival discoveries in the Soviet Union and in North America.

He died on June 27, 1992. He was predeceased by his wife in 1950.

Custodial History

The records in this collection contain material created and collected by historian David G. Rempel. The items have come to the archives at various times, the exact date not always known. The index is a listing of materials donated to Conrad Grebel College Waterloo, Ontario. The index came to the archives in 1986. Other items came in 1985 along with correspondence with the Centre.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists primarily of material written by David G. Rempel about Mennonites in Russia. Some material that Rempel collected and donated to the Centre also exist. An index of Rempel’s material housed at Conrad Grebel College and later at the University of Toronto is also in this collection. Most of the material is in English, some German and Russian material is also present.


  • Volume 1030.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz November 15, 1999.
  • Accession nos. 1986–027.

File List

Volume 1030

  1. David G. Rempel finding aid. – [ca. 1980].
  2. Nieder Chortitza Rempels. – [ca. 1985].
  3. David G. Rempel, “Aus Unserer Geschichte: Russlands Staatskirche. Ihr Monopol der Missionstaetigkeit und die Mennoniten.” – 1967.
  4. Correspondence, D.G. Rempel to Ken Reddig. – 1987.
  5. Copy of an article from Rempel to the Centre written by G.Z. Eliserer, March 3, 1865, published in Sovremennik regarding a study of Mennonite enterprise in the Molotschna.
  6. David Rempel, “Mennonite Medics in Russia During WWI.” – [ca.1993].
    Note: See also Journal of Mennonite Studies Volume 11, 1993.
  7. David G. Rempel, “In Grateful Memory of Uncle Bernhard Pauls (1877–1963) and Tante Sus Giesbrecht (1885–1980).” – 1986.
  8. “Die Insel Chortitza”. – [19-].
  9. David G. Rempel and John G. Rempel, “Of Things Remembered: Recollections of War, Revolution and Civil War 1914–1920.” – [198-].
← Back to Personal Papers