G. A. Peters, who gives the only firsthand account of Kratz's disappearance (Die Hungersnot, 11-16), reports that his endeavors to discover what had happened produced only the information that the Red Commander for Halbstadt had sent him by way of Bachmut to Kharkov, from where he would probably be sent to Moscow and home to the United States by way of Sweden. Peters believes that in view of the manner of his arrest and the attitude of the officials, Kratz was not executed but probably died of some disease before being released.
Endeavors during the following year by A. J. Miller, then director of the Mennonite Central Committee relief program in Russia, to determine what happened to Kratz, which included inquiries in Kharkov and Moscow (Foreign Office), were completely fruitless. He deposited a memorandum on 10 October 1921, on the case, with Foreign Minister Litvinov, and later a similar memorandum with Minister Rakovsky in Kharkov, but neither brought any results. Miller investigated the case thoroughly locally and speculates that the arrest may have been instigated by the highest volost official, Bagon, a Lett who had previously worked in a Halbstadt printing plant. At this time of disorganization it was impossible for the central government officials to properly control the local underlings, many of whom were of a hoodlum type and were a disgrace to the party they pretended to represent, and it is quite possible that the arrest was a purely local blood-lust matter. It is known that Kratz was struck brutally on the occasion of his final arrest.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 556.
In Memoriam, Clayton H. Kratz. N.p., ca. 1945. A 4-page leaflet.
Hiebert, P.C. Feeding the hungry: Russia famine, 1919-1925: American Mennonite relief operations under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Central Committee, 1929.
Peters, G. A. Die Hungersnot in den mennonitischen Kolonien in Süd-Russland. Scottdale, PA, 1923.
|Author(s)||Harold S Bender|
Cite This Article
Bender, Harold S. "Kratz, Clayton (1896-1920)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 24 May 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kratz,_Clayton_(1896-1920)&oldid=95650.
Bender, Harold S. (1957). Kratz, Clayton (1896-1920). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kratz,_Clayton_(1896-1920)&oldid=95650.
Herald Press website.
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