Ex Libris Kirkland

Ex Libris Kirkland is my self-centered way to keep track of what I read, what I like, and what I want to remember.


Recently Quoted

  • Uruguay: The settlement of Mennonites in Uruguay began in 1948 with the coming of 750 immigrants from Danzig and Poland. Together with all their coreligionists they had been forced to leave these homelands in the closing days of World War II in 1945. Upon arriving in Uruguay they immediately found employment and by 1950 were able to purchase El Ombu, a 2,900-acre ranch northwest of Montevideo, with the help of the Mennonite Central Committee. [MK: this is where Erika's mom grew up] In October, 1951, a second group of 431 came to join them, locating on an even larger ranch near Tres Bocas, and which they named Gartental. A third colony was established in 1955 on 3,600 acres some sixty miles northwest of Montevideo and named Delta after their Vistula Delta homeland in Prussia. All three of the colonies are primarily agricultural, growing wheat, peanuts, corn, potatoes, and other crops, as well as raising cattle and giving great effort to the establishing of a dairy industry. Except for help in purchasing land, most of the settlers were self-supporting from the beginning due to their energetic spirit and the rich economy of the country. Though some returned to Germany, the Mennonite census has grown to approximately 1,500 by 1964, of which total nearly 1000 were church members. Most of these had affiliated with the General Conference Mennonite Church, a small group belonging to the Mennonite Brethren Church.

    an excerpt from An Introduction to Mennonite History, written by C J Dyck in 1967

  • A third wave of immigrants came to Paraguay from Russia after World War II, establishing colony Neueland in the Chaco and colony Volendam near Friesland in East Paraguay. Having fled eastward before the advancing Russian armies, thousands of Mennonites from Russia had been crowded into Berlin and West German refugee camps awaiting resettlement. When emigration to North America seemed impossible, large numbers of them decided to go to Latin America. Consequently 2314 persons in 641 family units, of which 253 were without father or husband, came to establish Neuland Colony between 1947 and 1950. During the same period 1,810 persons in 441 families founded the Volendam Colony, so named after the Dutch ship which brought them to the New World. Though the help of the pervious immigrants made life much more bearable for later groups than they themselves had experienced, many of the Neuland and Volendam settlers left at the first opportunity, some going to Canada and others returning to Germany. Consequently the number of persons in Neuland was about the same in 1964 as when they first arrived in 1947-8, while Volendam counted approximately 750 in 1964.

    an excerpt from An Introduction to Mennonite History, written by C J Dyck in 1967

  • [Part of a 3 or 4 page overview of Amish belief and practice; the author gives a very reasonable explanation here; it's pretty sympathetic!]
    The Amish feel that it would be a tragedy to give up the German language. It would have a disruptive influence on their church life; they are comfortably familiar with their beloved German Bivel (Bible), and they would not wish to hear God's Word in any other language, least of all the worldly English around them!

    an excerpt from An Introduction to Mennonite History, written by C J Dyck in 1967

Recently Noted

  • It's great to read the later sections on Mennonites settling in South America. Erika's grandparents emigrated; they lived in a refugee camp in Denmark for a few years, then took the Volendam towards South America for Paraguayan colonies in 1948. (Erika's mom was born just a few weeks after they landed; she easily could have been born on board the ship!) The Paraguayan Civil War temporarily halted immigration, so Erika's family instead settled in Uruguay. We have a painting of the Volendam (the Dutch-registered ship) painted by Erika's grandfather, hanging in our library. They settled in El Ombu, a colony that still exists in Uruguay today. Erika still has extended family that lives there, although we've never visited! Here's a good article about what El Ombu is like today.

    an note about An Introduction to Mennonite History, written by C J Dyck in 1967

  • I don't understand exactly what this book is, or what it's trying to do. It's like a long cliffs notes, with a scattering of intermingled theorizing. Or like an overlong summary review that spends most of its time summarizing the plot. Maybe 'a reading' is really the most appropriate descriptor, I don't know.

    BUT - after reading Kristin Lavransdatter and having no one around to talk about it with, I was eager to read this and have some kind of discourse about Undset's work.

    an note about Kristin, written by Andrew Lytle in 1992

  • I'm married to a Mennonite, and even though she hasn't been a part of a Mennonite congregation for about 20 years she still considers this a core part of her identity. I've been on the outside of this, but I have a ton of respect for their principles. But mostly I have a ton of respect for their consistent practices of peacemaking and real, serious, salt-of-the-earth community support. I, on other hand, can't even write 'salt of the earth' without sounding like I'm teasing someone, or intending it pejoratively.

    SO: An Introduction to Mennonite History for me! This is a fairly academic view, but still full of fascinating tidbits. Like any protestant group that originated during the Reformation, there's a fair bit of craziness and darkness at the edges of the growing movement. But that got ironed out fairly quickly, and they turned into an amazing group of Christians.

    an note about An Introduction to Mennonite History, written by C J Dyck in 1967

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Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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