Because of war, lawlessness, and drought my people in southern Russia (now Ukraine) were starving in early 1900s. Their names were Penner, Fast, Rempel, Friesen, Gerbrandt, Klassen, or Unruh. Their normal diets were borscht, zwieback, summer sausage, plummemoos, verenike, paska, peppernuts, and New Year’s cookies; but now these were but a memory.
In desperation they wrote to their unknown brothers and sisters across the pond who had names like Bender, Miller, Schwartzentruber, Bontrager, Amstutz, Hess, Kauffman, Yoder, Stutzman, or Goering, Their normal diet was dumplings, sticky buns, Shoofly pie, apple butter, pickled beets, beef, pork, and chicken.
The cry for help from Russia was soon answered with the sending of 50 tractors to Russia in the summer of 1922 (exact replica in photo). This gift “In the Name of Christ” saved their lives, and the Mennonite Central Committee was founded the summer of 1920.
As a descendant of those Russian Mennonites, I humbly say Thank You for your service!
About the author
Erv is a husband, a father, a grandfather, a chemist, and a retired IU administrator.