Senior Professionals Seminar with Theodor Rempel

The Senior Professionals Seminar for Tuesday, March 17 (2:30 p.m. in SCC 103) will feature Theodor Rempel on “Letters of a Mennonite Couple…in WW I Russia.”  FPU faculty, administration and staff are invited to attend.
In 1956 Teo Rempel fell heir to some 200 letters that his parents, Nicolai and Tina Rempel, had exchanged during WWI while his father served as medic (Sanitäter) beginning September 1914 on a Russian Red Cross hospital train transporting wounded soldiers from the western Russian front to receiving hospitals in Moscow, Petrograd, Kiev, etc. From early 1916 until November 1917, he was stationed in Moscow at Zemstvos headquarters, where he experienced the revolution and the decay of civil order into chaos. Tina and their three little daughters were living all the while with her parents in the village of Schoenfeld under increasing stress given the demands that war places on families.
 
Rempel recently published these letters in a book entitled: Letters of a Mennonite Couple: Nicolai and Katharina Rempel: War and Revolution 1914—1917 (Fresno: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 2014).  He will discuss the historic significance of their letters, the problems of translating them, and the impact this confrontation with his past has had on him personally, especially as it relates to identity and the consequence of its loss. Although Rempel considers himself a secular Mennonite, the experience in writing this book sometimes felt as though he “was in banishment” from himself.
 
Rempel holds a baccalaureate from the University of British Columbia and masters from Stanford. His teaching career spanned 35 years, including two years in Germany.