Crimean War (1853-1856)

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During the Crimean War (1853-1856) the battle zones on the Crimean peninsula were located only about 160 mi. (260 km.) from the mother colonies, Chortitza and Molotschna. All Russians were urged to help in the war effort. Under their colonizing charter of 1800, Mennonites were exempted from active military duty. Many of them felt, however, that one ought to stand by the tsar somehow. They agreed, therefore, to provide supplies for Russian soldiers marching through the colonies and also for those at the front. In addition, many wounded men were brought back by horse and wagon to he treated in the colony hospitals and homes.

Some felt they had now compromised their non-resistant beliefs. However, a monument was set up and numerous medals were given to the Mennonites to honor those who had supported the war in these ways.


Curtiss, John S. The Russian Army Under Nicholas I (1825-1855). Durham, NC: Duke U. Press, 1965.

Klippenstein, Lawrence. "Mennonite Pacifism and State Service in Russia: A Case Study in Church-State Relations, 1789-1936." PhD diss., U. of Minnesota, 1984.

Schroeder, William. The Bergthal Colony, 2nd ed. Winnipeg, MB: CMBC Publications, 1986.

Unterhaltungsblatt für deutsche Ansiedler im Südlichen Russland (1853-1856).

Urry, James. "The Closed and the Open: Social and Religious Change Amongst the Mennonites in Russia, 1789-1889." PhD diss., Keble College, Oxford, England, 1978.

Wall, Johann. Unpublished diary from Neuendorf, 1825-1866, in the Mennonite Heritage Centre archives (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), vol. 1086.

Author(s) Lawrence Klippenstein
Date Published 1986

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MLA style

Klippenstein, Lawrence. "Crimean War (1853-1856)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 22 May 2024.

APA style

Klippenstein, Lawrence. (1986). Crimean War (1853-1856). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 212-213. All rights reserved.

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