Novosibirsk, formerly Novonikolaevsk, is one of the chief cities of Novosibirsk Region, Siberia, Russia. It was founded in 1896. The city is located on the Ob River and the Trans-Siberian railroad, 390 miles (650 km) east of Omsk and in the mid-1950s had a population of about 500,000 (in 2002 it was 1,410,000). It is connected by railroad with Barnaul, Semipalatinsk, and Central Asia. The city is sometimes referred to as the "Chicago of Siberia," specializing in the manufacture of agricultural machinery, trade of farm products, and timber. It is also an agricultural and educational center. During World War II entire industrial plants were removed bodily from European Russia to Novosibirsk.
Although Mennonites settled south and east of Novosibirsk at the turn of the century, they hardly reached this territory and city at that time. Under the Soviets, however, many Mennonites were exiled to this region. From correspondence published in Der Bote and the Mennonitische Rundschau, it has become apparent that numerous Mennonites in the 1950s were located in the city of Novosibirsk and the surrounding regions. Some of the Mennonites worked in factories and in the hospital. Now that they were free to move about, some of those from the surrounding areas were moving into the city. According to information, some of the Mennonites came originally from Chortitza, the Molotschna, and other settlements of the Ukraine. Some Mennonites are located in the city of Berdsk, south of the city of Novosibirsk.
Peter Bergmann, born in 1934, Schönsee, Molotschna, sent a picture of himself and his wife which is clear evidence that they were living under satisfactory conditions. Jakob Esau, also formerly from the Molotschna, sent a picture to relatives of eleven young men, five of whom are listed as ministers. He himself wrote that after having spent seven years in the "school of Daniel," meaning in a concentration camp, he has now started to preach the Gospel. He was grateful for the Bible which he received. Evidently these young men were all active in the city of Novosibirsk, possibly in the Baptist church. Whether the Mennonites were conducting worship services on their own was not clear in the 1950s.
Der Bote (2 March 1955): 8; (28 September 1955): 8; (23 November 1955): 7, 12; (4 April1956): 7; (25 April 1956): 7.
Mennonitische Rundschau (19 July 1950): 3; (10 March 1954): 4; (20 October 1954): 6; (12 October 1955): 6; (7 March 1956): 3; (21 March 1956): 8; (2 May 1956): 11; (20 June 1956): 14, 15; (17 October 1956): 3; (30 January 1957): 5.
Webster's Geographical Dictionary. Springfield, 1955.
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Krahn, Cornelius. "Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 24 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Novosibirsk_(Siberia,_Russia)&oldid=76485.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Novosibirsk_(Siberia,_Russia)&oldid=76485.
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