Moving Forward, Looking Backward: The 'Great Trek' from the Soviet Union, 1943-45

TitleMoving Forward, Looking Backward: The 'Great Trek' from the Soviet Union, 1943-45
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsEpp, Marlene
JournalJournal of Mennonite Studies
Volume16
Pagination59-75
Abstract

Describes the mass migration of about 35,000 Mennonites from southern Ukraine fleeing the oncoming Soviet army after a two-year occupation by the German army. Composed primarily of fragmented families of women, children, and the elderly, the horrific suffering came in two stages. The first was orderly in comparison to the winter of 1944-45, when they reached central Poland. The collapse of the German army and the rapid onslaught of the Red Army meant that German-speaking people living in Poland, including Mennonites, also had to flee. Murder and rape of civilians occurred. About 23,000 Mennonites were captured by the Soviets and sent to the Gulag; about 12,000 escaped to South and North America.

URLhttps://jms.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/jms/article/view/544/544
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