Graudenz (also known as Grudenc, Grudencz, Grawdencz, Grawdenz, Grawdentz, Grudenz, Grudentz, and Graudentz; now known as Grudziądz; coordinates: 53.483333° N, 18.766667° E [53° 29′ 33″ N, 18° 46′ 34″ E]; 1955 population, 36,805, 2007 population, 100,000) a city of former West Prussia, now in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. After the devastating floods of the Vistula River about 1560, large areas of the territory of Graudenz were depopulated. This stricken territory was then largely taken over by Dutch settlers, usually Mennonites, who were granted the privileges of freedom of religion, their own schools, and transporting their products on the Vistula free of taxes. In the 17th century Mennonites predominated in the following villages: Parsken, Kommerau, Klein-Lubin, and Dragass; they were very numerous in the villages of Klein-Wolz, Tresch, Gross-Lubin, and Klein-Lubin.
In Graudenz and its vicinity there were until 1945 numerous Mennonites, especially in the congregations of Montau, Gruppe, and Schönsee. In the "Consignation" of all Mennonite families living in "West Prussia" in 1789 (thus outside the city of Danzig and the region of Thorn, both of which were ceded to Prussia in 1793 in the second partition of Poland) only one locality, Parsken with 20 Mennonites, is listed for the Graudenz area. But according to publications of the Prussian census there were in 1861, 67 Mennonites; in 1871, 77; in 1880, 96; 1890, 108; 1900, 159; and in 1910, 230. Of the 230 Mennonites counted in 1910, 164 lived in the city's domain, and 66 in the country.
This conspicuously strong and promising growth was caused by these factors: the development of the city in general; Graudenz was the "city of schools," and centrally located for the three congregations. It thus seemed that in a few years a separate congregation would be organized with its own preaching service. They began by holding services on the second Sunday of every month in the hall of the inn "Zur Heimat." The first conjoint service was held 11 November 1897. Communion was also observed. The congregation was served by the preachers of the three country churches, occasionally supported by guest preachers. The idea of forming an independent congregation and building a church was never carried out. Many members moved out of the village due to impoverishment.
Graudenz was the scene of the memorable meeting between Frederick William III of Prussia and Abraham Nickel of Jamrau, the deacon at Culm (Schönsee), 8 October 1806 in the "gouverneur" house, later a school, Nonnenstrasse 5 at the Luisenbrücke.
"Familienforschung in Westpreußen." Hans-Jürgen Wolf. Web. 29 September 2012. http://www.westpreussen.de/cms/ct/ortsverzeichnis/details.php?ID=1975.
Froelich, Xaver. Geschichte des Graudenier Kreises, 2 vols. 2d ed. Danzig, 1884-1885.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 159 f.
Mennonitische Blätter (1905): 8, 27, 34.
Szper, F. Nederlandsche Nederzettingen in West-Pruisen. Enkhuizen, 1913: 132.
Wiebe, Herbert. Das Siedlungswerk niederländischer Mennoniten. Marburg a.d. Lahn, 1952: 31-33.
 Cite This Article
Kuyf, Wilhelmina. "Graudenz (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 28 Oct 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Graudenz_(Kuyavian-Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=124542.
Kuyf, Wilhelmina. (1956). Graudenz (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 October 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Graudenz_(Kuyavian-Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=124542.
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