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Warkentin, Aron (1903–1987)

Proper Title

Aron Warkentin fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

4 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Aron Warkentin was born on October 28, 1903 in Nikolaifeld, a village in the Suvorovka Mennonite settlement in the North Caucasus region. He received a good education here and also met the love of his life, Anna, whom he later married. He became a church leader in his village, and also fulfilled on top of his farming and family responsibilities. Being a rising star in the community was almost a death sentence during the late 1920s and 1930s. The new Russian government sought to establish an iron grip on the marionette like laws that aimed to control the movements, thoughts, and aspirations of its citizens. Aron Warkentin was imprisoned and sentenced to hard labor in the Russian Gulag. He survived to tell the story of his survival after he made his way to Germany where he died in 1987. A portion of his story is reccounted in John B. Toews’ book, Journeys: Mennonite Stories of Faith and Survival in Stalin’s Russia, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Kindred Press, 1998, pp. 139–223.

Custodial History

The material in this collection was copied from the original and slightly edited in Russia in 1977. The manuscript then came into the hands of Johannes Reimer, who then donated it to the Centre in May 1999. The original manuscript has found its way to the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Fresno, California. The manuscript was published in 1999 or early 2000 by the German publisher Logos.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of photocopies of Aron Warkentin’s diaries, a total of 710 pages, in seven books. The diary documents his growing up years, World War I, the Russian Revolution, his imprisonment and release. The material is handwritten in German.


  • Volume 1111.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz March 9, 2000.
  • Accession nos. 1999–055.

File List

Volume 1111

  1. Copy of Aron Warkentin memoirs, books 1–3. – 1967–1977.
  2. Copy of Aron Warkentin memoirs, books 4–7. – 1967–1977.
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