Mennonitische Rundschau, Die (Periodical)

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Heinrich F. Klassen (1900–1969)
Source: Centre for MB Studies

Die Mennonitische Rundschau was the oldest Mennonite periodical published continuously under one name continuously numbered, with its first issue on 5 June 1880 and its last issue in January 2007. (The Mennonite, which began in 1885, was still published in 2019, but restarted its numbering in 1998 when it merged with the Gospel Herald.)

Die Mennonitische Rundschau was the direct successor to the Nebraska Ansiedler (first issue June 1878), and was established by the Mennonite Publishing Co. (John F. Funk) to serve the newly established Russian Mennonite communities in the prairie states and Manitoba. It appeared as a 4-page semimonthly, 10 x 15 ½ inches, until the end of 1882, and continued as a weekly. A semimonthly edition was published from 1883 on "for readers in Europe and Asia," apparently to keep the Mennonites in Russia in contact with American Mennonites. The edition was still being published in 1889, when the publisher described it as in "format somewhat smaller, but it contains all the Mennonite news which appears in the weekly edition in addition to other reading matter out of the latter." The subscription price was given as 50 cents, 3 marks, or 1 ruble. Since January 1899 was the first time that the subscription price for the weekly edition was given in terms of German and Russian money, it is probable that the "European edition" continued until then.

The Rundschau was the paper of the Russian Mennonites for decades, and continued to carry something of this general character, although on 24 October 1945 it came into the ownership of a company composed of men from the Mennonite Brethren Church who made it more of an Mennonite Brethren organ, though it was not yet conference-owned. The rise of other periodicals for the Russian Mennonites, such as the Bote of Rosthern, Saskatchewan (since 1924), naturally divided the field.

Publishers and places of publication have been: Mennonite Publishing Company, Elkhart, Indiana, to 8 July 1908; Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, to 17 October 1923; Hermann Neufeld through the Rundschau Publishing House, Winnipeg, Manitoba, to 24 October 1945, in which the Mennonite Publishing House retained a substantial financial interest for a number of years, but which was legally owned by H. H. Neufeld, which changed its name to Christian Press, Ltd., on 27 March 1940, but was sold to a stock company 24 October 1945, which has continued to publish the Rundschau under the same firm name.

Changes in size and format of the Rundschau have been frequent: 4 pp. to the end of 1898, with format 1884-September 1890 of 13 x 13 inches, October 1890-1898 of 14 ½ x 21 ½ inches; 8 pp. 1899-6 November 1901, same format; 16 pp. 6 November 1901, with change to 10 ½ x 14 inches format until 2 September 1908, when it was changed to 9 ½ x 12 and probably 20 pp. (definitely known as 20 pp. beginning January 1909), and continuing in this size and format to 17 October 1923, when it became 16 pp., and on 9 June 1926, changed in format to 10 ½ x 13 ½. inches. In 1942-1950 it was 8 pp. with three changes in format, 1942 — 12 ½ x 17 in., 1947 — 13 x 19 in., 1950 — 13 ½ x 20 in. In 1951 it again became 16 pp., with format 11 ¼ x 15 ¼ inches. From November 1901, the Herold der Wahrheit was combined with it until the latter's discontinuance 2 September 1908. The Christlicher Jugendfreund, published 1878-1951, became a department of the Rundschau in June 1951. The circulation of the Rundschau in 1957 was 7,400.

During World War II the Rundschau experienced some opposition because it was a German language periodical. Between 12 June 1940 and 2 October 1940 the first and last pages of each issue were published in the English language under the title of The Mennonite Review. The next year, beginning with the 11 June 1941 issue, again under the Rundschau title, it had a new insert on pages 11 and 12 entitled Der Huterische Bote. It was an insert "of the Christian-apostolic evangelical believing sect named the Hutterites." On the 27 August 1941 the title was changed to Unser Bote. The editor of these two pages was Gustav Stawitzki from the Riverside Colony, Arden, Manitoba. It was inserted until the end of 1941.

An English companion to the Rundschau called Mennonite Observer was published by the Christian Press as a 12-page weekly beginning 21 September 1955. In 1960 the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches accepted the periodical as the official publication of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. In 1962 the conference began to publish the Mennonite Brethren Herald to serve the English speaking constituency.

A 1998 task force study concluded the paper "continues to nurture an important segment of the constituency." It was suggested at that time to continue the paper until readership fell below a base level of 1,750, assuming funding remained relatively constant. By 2006 circulation of the Rundschau fell to about 1,500, and a special 130th anniversary issue, dated January 2007, concluded the publishing run of the periodical. Marianne Dulder served as the last editor.


"Celebration, Changes at the Mennonitische Rundschau." Mennonite Brethren Herald 45, no. 5 (April 7, 2006).

Dueck, Abe. "The Mennonitische Rundschau: 125 years of publication." Mennonite Historian (March 2003).

Friesen, Bert. "The History of Die Mennonitische Rundschau." Mennonite Historian XIX, No. 3 (September 1993): 1, 8.

Friesen, Bert. "MR Editors: The First Four Set the Patterns." Mennonite Historian XVII, No. 2 (June 1991): 5, 6.

Additional Information

Die Mennonitische Rundschau Editors

Editor Years of Service
John F. Harms 1880-1885
Maximillian Matuskiwiz (Polish Catholic) 1886-1895
D. F. Jantzen 1895-1898
G. G. Wiens 1899 - 26 August 1903
M. B. Fast 27 January 1904 - 12 October 1910
C. B. Wiens 19 October 1910 - 9 June 1920
William Winsinger 16 June 1920 - 10 October 1923
Hermann H. Neufeld 17 October 1923 - 17 October 1945
Heinrich F. Klassen 14 November 1945 - 1967
Eric L. Ratzlaff 1967-1979
Abe Schellenberg 1979-1989
Lorina Marsch 1989-1997
Marianne Dulder and Brigitte Penner 1998-2005
Marianne Dulder 2005-2007

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published June 2007

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Mennonitische Rundschau, Die (Periodical)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2007. Web. 19 Aug 2022.,_Die_(Periodical)&oldid=165973.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. (June 2007). Mennonitische Rundschau, Die (Periodical). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 August 2022, from,_Die_(Periodical)&oldid=165973.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 647-648. All rights reserved.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.