Mutter, Eine (Monograph)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eine Mutter, a novel by Peter G. Epp, born 1888 in Russia, professor at Bluffton College, 1924-1934; Ohio State University, 1934-1954. Eine Mutter presents a panoramic view of a span of over 80 years of the history of the Mennonite settlements in Russia, as seen through the eyes of the narrator of the story, the mother of the title. As the reader follows with her the life, the character, and the fortunes of her parents, her half brothers and sisters, her full brothers and sisters, her nephews and nieces, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, he receives an intimate picture of Mennonite life over the vast expanses of Russia. The span begins in the early period of settled, well-established patterns in the nearly self-contained Mennonite settlements in the Ukraine, and describes the upheaval of the first emigration to America in 1873-1885, the development of new settlements for the landless, the increasing interest in industrial life and education, the first great war, the terrible consequences of the Revolution, the famine, and the second emigration (in the 1920s) to Canada.

The book lacks the technical form of the novel. It is a tale, told as an old woman might naturally tell it in reminiscing. The story has so compelling a tone of realism and truth that it is quite safe to assume that the material is basically factual or autobiographical. To a large extent its charm lies in that tone, which might have been lost if the author had tried to shape it into some specific artistic form. The simplicity of the style gives the story a luminous, poetic quality in keeping with the personality of the extraordinary mother. Her deeply religious interpretation of life is as unifying as any plot or other artistic design could have been.

Eine Mutter is a thoroughly Mennonite story, which was translated into English in 1986 by Peter Pauls, and published as Agatchen: a Russian Mennonite mother's story.


Epp, Peter G. Agatchen: a Russian Mennonite mother’s story. Freely translated from the German, and edited by Peter Pauls. Winnipeg : Hyperion Press Ltd., 1986.

Mennonite Quarterly Review 5 (July 1931): 225 f.; 21 (April 1947): 111-113.

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943.

Author(s) Elizabeth Horsch Bender
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Elizabeth Horsch. "Mutter, Eine (Monograph)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 May 2024.,_Eine_(Monograph)&oldid=133222.

APA style

Bender, Elizabeth Horsch. (1956). Mutter, Eine (Monograph). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2024, from,_Eine_(Monograph)&oldid=133222.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 171. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.