Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta


MHSA Archival Description Record

Title and Physical Description
Henry Goerzen’s collection on conscientious objectors. — [ca. 1939]-2005. — 16 cm of textual records. — ca. 300 photographs

Administrative/Biographical History
Henry D. Goerzen was born in Didsbury, Alberta. With his family, he maintains a grain farm in the Didsbury area. He is a lifelong member of Bergthal Mennonite Church and is active in Mennonite denominational activities. He is an historian and collector of historical materials. For over twenty-five years he was the Archivist of the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (now Mennonite Church Alberta). In the 1990s he participated in a project to interview and collect the reminiscences of Mennonite men who had been conscientious objectors (C.O.'s) during the Second World War. Many of the stories were published in: Alternative service for peace in Canada during World War II, 1941-1946 / edited by A.J. Klassen. – Abbotsford, B.C. : Mennonite Central Committee (B.C.) Seniors for Peace, 1998.

Scope & Content
The collection consists of Henry Goerzen’s summaries of interviews with 41 conscientious objectors; lists of C.O.'s; records of reunions and conferences; documents contributed by C.O.'s; essays; and photographs.

Source of Supplied Title
Title based on the name of the collector and the contents of the collection

Source of Acquisition
Gift by Henry D. Goerzen, 2011

Access Restrictions
No restrictions on access

Finding Aids
See File Inventory

Accession 2011.018
Last updated June 2013 – Jim Bowman

File Inventory

1-1 Henry Goerzen's Interviews with conscientious objectors. - 1987-1993. – Summaries of Interviews with Gordon Dyck, Peter Wiens, Jake Neufeld, Dave Schmidt, Aaron Friesen, Reuben Ratzlaff, George Schmidt, Isaac Wittenberg, David John Heidebrecht, David Goerzen, Frank Baergen, Cornie Thiessen, Jake Willms, Elmer Burkholder, John F. Dyck, Dietrich Dyck, Isaak "Ike" Neufeld (poem and story by Henry Goerzen), John Gossen, John Wiebe, Jacob "Jake" Wiens, John Siemens, Dave Ratzlaff, Claude Klassen, Daniel Loewen, Carl Henry Brown, George Brown, Edward "Ed" Regehr, Peter Klassen, Jacob J. Doerksen. Includes lists of conscientious objectors. Includes photos of Pete Wiens, Dave Schmidt, Jake Neufeld, Ed Regehr, Jake Friesen, one unidentified

1-2 Interviews with conscientious objectors. - 1988-1995. - Essays and summaries of interviews with men listed in file 1-1, plus: Jake Reimer, Harry E. Stauffer, John Esau, Norman Levi Weber, Peter Heidebrecht, Peter Unger, Joseph Wayne Kaufman, Ernest Neufeld, Mina Neufeld, C.J. and Ethel Ramer, and Agatha "Aggie" Hiebert.

1-3 List of men in camps. - 1942-1943.
1-4 Correspondence, Jake Kreuger to C.O. Book Project Committee. – 1994.
1-5 Henry Goerzen's notes. - 1990-1995. - Information from C.O.'s.
1-6 Reunions of C.O.'s. – 1990-1991. – Includes identified group portrait of Camp Geikie Reunion, 1991.
1-7 Conference " Remembering and Celebrating Alternative Service in World War II". – 1995.
1-8 Material collected by Daniel Loewen. – 1940-1946. – Correspondence with Department of War Services.
1-9 Material from Harry Stauffer. – 1942-1946. – Correspondence with National Selective Service.
1-10 Material from Harold Lauber – National War Services. – 1942-1946.
1-11 Reminiscences. – 1988-1990. – Essays by Jacob J. Hiebert, Peter Heidebrecht.
1-12 Essays. – [ca. 1993-ca. 1998]. – By Henry D. Goerzen, Menno Klassen, Andrew Friesen.
1-13 Henry Goerzen's article "Women and Peace". – [ca. 1995].
1-14 Membership in Mennonite churches and membership in the military / Helmut Harder. – 1996.
1-15 Project Ploughshares. – 1982-1985.
1-16 Project Habbakuk. – 1943-2005.
1-17 Sam Martin – Remember conscientious objectors [handbill]. – 1987.
1-18 Photos: negatives. - [ca. 1939-ca. 1945].
1-19 C.O. camp photos . – [Copied ca. 1995 (originally created ca. 1939-ca. 1945)].
1-20 The Beacon. – 1943. – Newsletter published in work camps in B.C.
1-21 News clippings. – 1970-2004.

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