In Search of Family in the Soviet Union: Two Memoirs of Discovery


Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 10:00am to 1:00pm


Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church, 15 George Street, Waterloo, Ontario

Event type: 

  • Public meeting

Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario
2014 Spring Meeting
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church
15 George Street, Waterloo

Theme: “In search of family in the Soviet Union:
two memoirs of discovery”


 Anne Konrad -- Red Quarter Moon

Anne’s book tells the gripping account of her search for family members lost and disappeared within the Soviet Union. Though her parents fled in 1929, many relatives remained in the USSR. Konrad’s search took place over twenty years and five continents – on muddy roads, lonesome steppes and in old letters, documents, and secret police archives. Her story, filled with accounts from survivors now scattered across the world, is an enthralling journey into the past that offers a unique look at the lives of ordinary families and individuals in the USSR.

Maureen’s book is the riveting story of a family, a secret that spans Revolution and World War, and a stunning discovery. Her writing gives life to a Russian woman who seeks her brother in Canada, and to the amazing woman at the heart of this story, Maureen’s mother-in-law, Mary Brieger Klassen. Maureen’s journey of discovery begins on an ordinary afternoon in Moscow, April 1993, when out of the blue she and her husband, Herb, receive a telephone call from a woman who identifies herself as Erika Reimer Gurieva, the half-sister of Herb’s brother, Harold Klassen. And thus began Klassen’s “memoir of discovery.”


  9:30 am – Registration
10:00 am – MHSO annual meeting
10:30 am – Presentations by Anne Konrad and Maureen Klassen, panel chaired by Alf Redekopp
12:15 – Lunch (borscht and zwiebach)
1:00 – book signing and further informal conversation

The cost for lunch is $10.00 Payment by cheque or cash only, prepaid or upon arrival. You must pre-register for the lunch by May 31.

For more information, to register for the lunch, and/or to renew your membership use the enclosed form,  email,  or contact Sam Steiner (519-884-1040).