Neufeldt-Fast, Arnold. “A New Examination of the ‘Great Terror’ in Molotschna, 1937–38.” Mennonite Quarterly Review 95, no. 4 (October 2021): 415-458
Drawing on newly-available arrest, trial, and execution files of the repression of Mennonites in Ukraine from 1937 and 1938, this essay reconstructs a picture of Mennonite life in this context and documents with greater clarity the procedures and experiences of victims and perpetrators from arrest to execution. While much has been written about Stalin’s “Great Terror” of 1937 and 1938, most literature in the West from this period has been limited to selectively leaked and very partial witness accounts, or highly unreliable reports from the Soviet state. This essay presents a new set of detailed stories drawn primarily from the NKVD (The People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) secret police files and adds to the scholarly examination of these materials. The essay closes with some reflections on the theological category of “martyrdom” and what it means to “be church” in extremely violent, post-Christendom environments.
Mennonite Historical Society, Goshen College, and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Copyright, Mennonite Historical Society, Goshen College, and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. All rights reserved.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License