Molenaar, Heinrich (1870-1965)

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Heinrich Molenaar, (1870-1965), a grandson of Johannes Molenaar, was born at Zweibrücken, Germany on 16 June 1870. He planned to follow in the footsteps of his Mennonite ancestors, but finally decided to study modern languages in preparation for teaching. His first and—as he was fond of saying—favorite position was at the Weierhof school under Ernst Göbel, whom he regarded with respect. He also taught at schools in Kaiserslautern, Weissenburg in Baden, Nürnberg, Bayreuth, Darmstadt, Neustadt a.d.Weinstrasse, and Münich. Besides his duties as a teacher he was actively and sacrificially engaged in the solution of social and philosophical problems. To develop life physically as well as spiritually and mentally in accord with the laws of God was a special interest of the teacher Molenaar.

He was therefore widely known as an opponent of vaccination and the use of tobacco. He gave many public addresses, wrote articles for periodical literature and pamphlets to promote his views. Some of these were his lectures on Comte's Positivism: Die Religion der Menschheit, and Positive Weltanschauung. He created a universal language, and founded the Franco-German league in which he worked long before World War I to improve understanding between the two countries. In the fields of music and poetry Molenaar's warmth found varied expression and form. The sonnet was the form he used most successfully. Two volumes of verse were Kriegsgedichte (Bayreuth, 1914), and Geharnischte und friedliche Sonette (Frankfurt, 1931).

Heinrich Molenaar was by nature a fighter. Even where one did not agree with him his friends recognized that in his blood lay something of the inheritance from the old Anabaptist forebears, which was devoted to building up society in a narrower or wider circle.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 144.

Author(s) Gustav Göbel
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Göbel, Gustav. "Molenaar, Heinrich (1870-1965)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 28 Sep 2020.,_Heinrich_(1870-1965)&oldid=144408.

APA style

Göbel, Gustav. (1957). Molenaar, Heinrich (1870-1965). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 September 2020, from,_Heinrich_(1870-1965)&oldid=144408.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 724. All rights reserved.

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