Karl was by trade a lithographer, but wanted to study theology. His wish was fulfilled with the support of Hermann Warkentin of Königsberg and a financial grant of the Danzig Mennonite Church. He studied at the universities of Danzig and Halle.
In 1845 Harder returned to his home. A number of members of the Elbing congregation wanted him to become their pastor, but he accepted a call to Königsberg. Thereupon about 24 families of the Elbing-Ellerwald congregation built a small church and joined the Königsberg congregation. In 1857 Harder went to Neuwied on the Rhine, and for 12 years served here as pastor and kept the scattered Mennonite congregation intact. He was also the tutor of Prince Hermann of Wied, and thus became the teacher of the highly gifted Elizabeth, who later was Queen of Rumania, and who became famous as a poet under the nom de plume of Carmen Sylva. Until her death she corresponded with Harder.
In 1868 Harder was called as pastor to Elbing, and served here for 30 years, taking an active part in the life of the city. He established and presided over a trade school for girls. For his services to city and state he was honored with the Order of the Red Eagle. In 1846-1848 he published Monatsschrift für die evangelischen Mennoniten. Harder was also the author of the following works: Das Leben Menno Symons (Königsberg, 1846); Predigten (10) (Neuwied, 1859); Blätter für Religion und Erziehung (3 vv. 1869-71); Die Christliche Religion (Elbing, 1896); Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Elbinger Mennonitengemeinde (Elbing, 1883); and posthumously, Das Leben—Ein Gebet, Für meine lieben Kinder und Freunde (Rauschen in den Sommerferien 1891 and 1892). Harder also frequently wrote articles for the Mennonitische Blätter (1858, p. 60; 1888, pp. 2, 70, 117; 1890, p. 51; 1892, pp. 3, 18; 1893, p. 15; 1896, p. 51; 1898, p. 25), admonishing warmly to unity in love and peace.
Crous, Ernst. Karl und Ernst Harder. Elbing: Reinhold Kühn, 1927.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1868): 136; (1885): 10 f.; (1886): 9, 21, 49, 51, 53, 55.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.05 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2008: #607219.
Hege, Christian and Neff, Christian. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 255.
Siebert, A. Bede zur Einweihung des Denkmals für Karl Harder. Neuwied, 1899.
 Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Harder, Karl (1820-1898)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 30 Jul 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harder,_Karl_(1820-1898)&oldid=95112.
Neff, Christian. (1956). Harder, Karl (1820-1898). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 July 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harder,_Karl_(1820-1898)&oldid=95112.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2015 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.