Caught in the Middle with Dr. Hans Werner

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Date/Time
Date(s) - November 4, 2018
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Location
Level Ground Church

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FREE EVENT, Bring Family and Friends!

This presentation will explore the experience of Mennonite men who were caught between Stalin and Hitler and who served in the armies of the two dictators in World War II. These Mennonite soldiers offer us a unique window into the problems of identity and war. There were seemingly no choices left for them—they were literally ‘caught’.

During World War II Mennonites in the Soviet Union were caught in the jaws of a conflict that compromised their identities on a number of levels. On the one hand they came from a tradition that had sought military exemption from successive rulers. They also identified as Germans in a totalitarian state that would be attacked by Hitler’s Germany. Mennonite men from the Soviet Union would serve in Stalin’s Red Armies and in Hitler’s armies, and often in both. Did they serve involuntarily in either, or both? How did they come to terms with the shifting allegiances required of them? Does the camaraderie of ordinary soldiers ‘wipe away’ political, ethnic, and religious sensibilities?

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