© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated November 2, 2010)

  • Klassen, Heinrich P. , 1911-1972

    Retrieval numbers: Volume 5482

    Title: Heinrich P. Klassen fonds
    Dates: 1931-1969
    Extent: 4 cm of textual records
    Repository: Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives

    Historical note

    Heinrich P. Klassen (1911-1972) was born in the village of Burwalde, Chortitza Colony in Imperial Russia to Peter Klassen and Sara Schmidt. By the age of 9, his parents had died, and he was taken into the home of relatives. He was baptized by minister Johann Giesbrecht in Neuendorf in 1932 and accepted into the membership of the Chortitza Mennonite Church. On 2 October 1932, he married Susanna "Suse" Klassen (b. 1913). In 1943 the family was evacuated to Germany with so many others, accompanied by the German occupation forces. In 1947 they immigrated to Paraguay and in 1955 to Canada, where they settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    Heinrich Klassen began an apprenticeship with a businessman in Ukraine at age 18, and most of his life he was closely associated with some kind of commerce. In Paraguay he worked for the Cooperative in the Vollendam colony.
    Heinrich P. Klassen died in Winnipeg on 16 January 1972.

    Scope and content note

    This fonds consists of the journals which record the life activities and periodic reflections of a man who at age 20 began to write his life story and then continued to write periodic reports and reflection for the rest of his life. The journal begins while living in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, continues in Germany and Paraguay and ends in Canada. Both the original German journal books and an English translation are included in this fonds. The journals contain observations about the establishment and development of life in Paraguay by a group of Mennonite refugee immigrants, including their social, religious and economic situations.

    Index terms


  • Klassen, Heinrich P. , 1911-1972

    Adjunct descriptive data

    Finding aids

    Inventory file list available



    German (Latin script)


    Arranged and described by Alf Redekopp, 1 November 2010.

    Restrictions on access


    Immediate source of acquisition

    George Klassen of St. Albert, Alberta, son of Heinrich P. Klassen.

    Other notes

    Acc. No. 2009-058

    Volume 5482
    1. Book 1: Journal about 1911-1950. – 1931-1950. This item begins with a heading “1911-1920”, then “1920-1929”, followed by headings for each subsequent year (i.e. “1931”, “1932”… “1950”)
    2. Book 2: Journal about 1950-1969). – 1950-1969. This item begins with 11 Sept 1950 and ends with an entry for 26 Dec. 1969.
    3. Heinrich “Henry” Klassen journal (Russia, Germany, Paraguay, Canada) / translation of items 1 and 2 done by Ed Enns. – 2009. – 171 pp.
    4. Obituaries for Heinrich P. Klassen from Winnipeg newspaper (English) and Der Bote (German). – 1972.
    5. Genealogical charts related to Heinrich P. Klassen (1911-1972) / printed from GRANDMA 6 by Mennonite Heritage Centre. – 2009. – 3 pp.