139. Walter Quiring, 1893-1983


               I.            Introduction


The papers of Walter Quiring were acquired for the MLA by Cornelius Krahn in 1971 or 1972. Most were purchased from Quiring himself. (Further details of these transactions may be found in the Krahn manuscript collection and in the MLA office files.) The collection occupies 4 legal-size archive boxes. No special restrictions apply.


Processing notes: Processed by John D. Thiesen in June 1989. There is some material to add.

Volume: 2 cu. ft.

     II.     Biographical Sketch


1893 Jakob Quiring born in the village of Friedensliebe, Ukraine

1921 fled Soviet Union to Germany with wife Maria Friesen and son Manfred

1928 Ph. D. dissertation "Die Mundart von Chortitza in Südrussland", University of Munich

1927-34 Professor at the Schlossschule at Salem am Bodensee, sometime during this period he changed his name from the Jewish-sounding Jakob to the more German-sounding Walter

1934-36 research trip to Mennonite colonies in Paraguay und Brazil

1936 publication of Deutsche erschliessen den Chaco

1938 publication of Russlanddeutsche such eine Heimat

1936-41 department manager (Abteilungsleiter) in the Deutsche Auslandinstitut in Stuttgart

1941 drafted into the German army as a translator and journalist, ended the war in a British prison

1950 emigrated to Canada

1950-53 editor of Mennonitische Welt

1953 publication of Im Schweisse deines Angesichts

1955-63 editor of Der Bote

1961 publication of Mennonites in Canada

1964 publication of Als ihre Zeit erfüllt war

1963-65 Professor of German and Slavic languages at United College, Winnipeg (now University of Winnipeg)

1965 Maria Friesen Quiring died, marriage to Helen Bartel

1970 Helen Bartel Quiring died

1971 Quiring returns to Germany, marriage to Dr. Marie Kathrin von Strotha in Calw

1982 death of Marie von Strotha Quiring 6 July

1983 death of Walter Quiring 17 January

    III.     Scope and Content


This collection consists of source material, notes, and drafts for books or articles Quiring wrote or planned to write. Very little of Quiring's own correspondence is included. Much extremely valuable historical and genealogical source material on the Mennonites of South America is gathered together here.

     IV.    Series Description


Part I is a manuscript entitled "Gott hört uns nicht mehr". This appears to be a first-person, historical novel about Mennonites in the "Gulag" in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Previously, this item was cataloged in the MLA's library, accession #17547, acquired in 1972.


Part II is a manuscript entitled "Wenn Gott die Weiche stellt". This is another historical novel, about Mennonite refugees from the Soviet Union. This item was also cataloged in the MLA's library collection, accession #17462, acquired in 1972.


Part III is a collection of source documents and notes entitled "Material zur Geschichte der Mennoniten in Brasilien". Most of the material covers the late 1940s and early 1950s. As one can see, not all of the material is about Brazil. This material is all photocopies; the originals are in the Archives of the Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana. The arrangement of the material here corresponds as closely as possible to Quiring's own outline for it and does not follow Goshen's arrangement. Folder 22 is a manuscript by Johann Sjouke Postma entitled "Fernheim, Fernes Heim?". Folders 26-29 are not part of Quiring's outline. The MLA has 909 individually numbered pages in this section.


Part IV is a rough draft entitled "Witmarsum am Krauel". This is a more polished draft rather than a collection of documents as in Part III. These are original materials, not photocopies, arranged according to Quiring's outline. Folder 45 is not part of Quiring's outline and just contains notes, sources, and bibliography.


Part V is entitled "Material zur Geschichte der Auflösung der Ansiedlung Witmarsum in Santa Catarina". This is again a collection of source documents and notes, from the late 1940s and early 1950s. These items are photographic copies; that is, copies on photographic paper, not xerographic copies. The present location of the originals [1989] is unknown. The arrangement is according to Quiring's outline, but Roman numeral XIX from his outline, "Verschiedenes," is missing.


Part VI is a draft entitled "Canadische Mennoniten 1875-1975". The termination date of 1975 seems somewhat strange since the manuscript was acquired by the MLA in 1972 and was cataloged as part of the MLA's library collection, accession #17461. The manuscript may have been modified since 1972. This is once again a draft rather than a collection of documents. These are original materials, not photocopies. The message of this rather rough draft is a bitter denunciation of contemporary Canadian Mennonitism for being different from the Mennonitism of Quiring's childhood. The contents bear only a slight resemblance to Quiring's accompanying outline and may not be in original order.


Part VII consists of two folders of miscellaneous drafts of articles by Quiring (original, not photocopies).

      V.    Container List



                                                                         I. Gott hört uns nicht mehr

                              1 1 Gott hört uns nicht mehr

                                                                         II. Wenn Gott die Weiche stellt

                                              2 Wenn Gott die Weiche stellt, pp. 1-64

                         3 Wenn Gott die Weiche stellt, pp. 65-end


III. Material zur Geschichte der Mennoniten in Brasilien

                        4 Die Schiffstransporte nach Witmarsum

                     5 Die Wirtschaft

                     6 Zur Frage des Gesundheitswesens

                     7 Die Bemühungen Witmarsums um die  

                          deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit

                     8 Das Darlehen Deutschlands an Witmarsum

                     9 Das Holländische Taufgesinnten


                    10 Bund der Mennonitengemeinden in


                    11 Das Mennonitenkomitee

                    12 Das MCC-Heim in Sao Paulo

                    13 Zur Frage der Aufspaltung der

                                                                          Ansiedlung Witmarsum in Sta. Catarina

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Walter Quiring (139)


Box Folder

Number Number Contents

            1 14 Berichte der Siedlungsleitung an Herrn Ält. J. J. Thiessen, Saskatoon

                    15 Prof. B. H. Unruh, Karlsruhe, und

                          Witmarsum in Sta. Catarina

                    16 Das MCC und Witmarsum in Sta. Catarina

                    17 Siedlungsleiter David Nikkel in eigenen Sache

                    18 Die Ansiedlung Bage

            2 19 Die Bemühungen der Mennonitengemeinde

                          Witmarsum um eine Übersiedlung nach Rio

                          Grande do Sul

                    20 Witmarsum in Parana

                    21 Zeitungsartikel

                    22 Der "Volkstumskampf" in Fernheim

                          (Postma manuscript)

                    23 MCC als politisches Werkzeug

                    24 Verschiedenes

                    25 Denkschriften

            3 26 Die Bemühungen Witmarsums um die


                    27 Die Schulen

                    28 Die Tragödie von Witmarsum

                          (chronological table)

                    29 "Ein Land der Zukunft: Der Staat

                          Parana" by Hugo Kirchgässner

                          IV. Witmarsum am Krauel

                    30 Outline

                    31 Und doch wieder Wanderschaft

                    32 Im Kampf um den Pflugacker

                    33 Tischgäste des Reiches

                    34 Die holländische Patenschaft

                    35 Der Wald- und Rodungsbauer

                    36 Klima und Krankheitserscheinungen

                    37 Fabrikative Einrichtungen und Absatz

                    38 Selbstzucht oder Verfall

                    39 Geistiges Leben und Brauchtum

                    40 Kirchliche Zersplitterung--das


                    41 Durchbruch des Volkstums

                    42 Auhagen

                    43 Die Stadtrandsiedlung Curityba

                    44 Witmarsum, Stadtplatz und Ansiedlung

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Walter Quiring (139)

                    45 Miscellaneous notes and documentation,

                          including bibliography

                          V. Material zur Geschichte der

                              Auflösung der Ansiedlung Witmarsum

                              in Santa Catarina

                    46 Versuch des Ältesten Gerhard Rosenfeld,

                          die Mennonitengemeinde in Witmarsum


                    47 Erster Versuch des Ält. G. Rosenfeld,

                          die Verwaltung der Ansiedlung Witmarsum

                          zu torpedieren

                    48 Versuch der Verschmelzung der

                          Mennonitengemeinde und der Mennoniten- Brüdergemeinde

                    49 Versuch, die Siedlungsleitung der

                          Kommission für Kirchenangelegenheiten

                          zu unterordnen

                    50 Ält. Rosenfelds Angriffe auf den


                    51 Separatismus der Mennoniten- Brüdergemeinde

                    52 Ältester Gerhard Rosenfeld

                    53 Prof. P. C. Hiebert in Witmarsum

                    54 Prediger Robert Seibels Wirksamkeit in


            4 61 Prediger B. B. Janz, Coaldale, und die

                          Vorgänge in Witmarsum

                    62 Brief des Ält. G. Rosenfeld an den

                          Missionar J. Unruh

                    63 "Versöhnung" David Nikkel und Ält. G.


                    64 "Versöhnung" der Mennonitengemeinde und

                          der Mennonite-Brüdergemeinde

                    65 Die Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde baut eine

                          eigene Kirche, Beschluss auch der

                          Mennonitengemeinde, eine eigene Kirche

                          zu bauen

                    66 Rücktritt des Siedlungsleiters David

                          Nikkel, Die Wehrlosigkeitskonferenz

                    67 Die Predigerkonferenz der

                          südamerikanischen Mennoniten

                    68 Der Fall des Predigers Franz Heinrichs

                          VI. Canadische Mennoniten 1875-1975

                    69 Outline

                    70 Weltweite Bruderschaft

                    71 Zwischen zwei Volkstümern

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Walter Quiring (139)

                    72 Sein und schein

                    73 Demographic material

                          VII. Miscellaneous


                    74 "Die mennonitische Flüchtlinge in


                    75 "Auhagen in Brasilien"