← Back to Personal Papers

Schroeder, Wilhelm W. (1894–1975)

Proper Title

Wilhelm W. Schroeder fonds

Dates of Creation

1912, 1930, 1932, 1973–1975, 1997, 1998; predominantly 1973–1975, 1997, 1998

Physical Description

10 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Wilhelm Schroeder was born on July 31, 1894, in Petershagen, Molotschna, south Russia as the oldest child of Wilhelm Schroeder and Sara Peters. He attended the village school and later the Zentralschule in Halbstadt. During the First World War he served in the forestry units.

On October 31, 1923, he married Sara Doerksen (1896–1973), daughter of Gerhard (1866–1930) and Sara Peters (1875–1930). They experienced the cold, hunger, and fear during the Russian Revolution and decided to immigrate to Canada in 1925.

They first settled in Meadows-Pigeon Lake-Headingly area and after five years moved to Rosengard near Steinbach, Manitoba. In 1928, he was baptized and became a member of the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church in 1934.

Wilhelm was very involved in the life of the church. Wilhelm and Sara had a number of children, one of whom was named William. He was born in 1927, and married Hildegard Enns, daughter of Gertruda (Pankratz) Enns.

Wilhelm W. Schroeder died on March 10, 1975 at the age of 80.

Custodial History

The material in this collection has been collected and donated by William Schroeder and his wife Hildegard. Much of the material came to the Centre in 1982. The English translation of Schroeder’s Memoirs came in 1997 and the article about Schoenfeld and Molotschna came in 1998 and was added to the collection.

In 2016, Hildegard (Enns) Schroeder donated some 30 letters (Acc. no. 2016-38), written in German, from Sara (Schroeder) Dueck (1905-1989) living in Paraguay at the time, written to Sara's brother Wilhlelm W. Schroeder in Steinbach, dated from 1946 to 1968. In 1975, Sara was able to immigrate to Canada (Steinbach). And in 1977, she was reunited with her husband Jacob Dueck in Canada, whom she had married in 1938. He had been "taken" by Soviet authorities. They were separated for 36 years.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection deals primarily with the life stories of Wilhelm Schroeder, but also includes Gertruda Pankratz, and Gertrude Enns’ stories. The women are the mother (Pankratz) and sister (Enns) to Hildegard (Enns) Schroeder. Wilhelm Schroeder is the father to William Schroeder. The items donated are transcriptions, translations, or copies of original documents. One item dated 1998 is a report by William Schroeder regarding the Mennonite church in Petershagen, Ukraine and the project to restore the building. Most of the material is in English, however a portion is also in German.


  • Volume 1049.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz November 18, 1999.
  • Accession nos. 1982–019, 2000-003, 2016-38.

File List

Volume 1049

Folder #1

  1. Correspondence and copies of obituaries, and photographs. -- 1912, 1930, 1932, 1998.
  2. Wilhelm Schroeder, “Appendix: Schoenfeld and Molotschna Revisited, 1995.” -- 1997.
  3. “Memoirs of the late Wilhelm W. Schroeder...” -- 1969, 1975.
  4. “Annotated translation of Memoirs of Wilhelm W. Schroeder, 1894–1975.” -- 1997.
  5. “Memoirs of the late Gertrude Pankratz, 1874 and of her Daughter, Gertrude Enns, 1960s and 1970s.” -- 1974.
  6. Notes jotted down of Wilhelm Schroeder’s recollections by son William Schroeder. -- 1973.
  7. Family tree of Wilhelm Schroeder (1761–1827) and Helena Penner (1789–1829). -- 2002.

Folder #2

  1. Letters from Sara (Schroeder) Dueck to Wilhelm W. Schroeder. -- 1946–1968.
← Back to Personal Papers