Neufeld, Dietrich (1886-1958)

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Dietrich Neufeld (1886-1958).
Source: Ernest Janzen

Dietrich Neufeld (1886-1958): writer and college instructor; (adopted the name Dederich Navall when he became a U.S. citizen) was born at Orloff, Zagradovka, Russia, on 2 September 1886, the son of Dietrich Neufeld (3 November 1860, South Russia - 29 November 1919, Orloff, Zagradovka, South Russia) and Anna (Baerg) Neufeld. Dietrich died in 1958.

In 1907 he completed his secondary training by obtaining a teacher's certificate, after which he taught in Russia until 1919. After this he taught in various schools in Germany, and studied at the universities of Basel, Heidelberg, Leipzig, and Jena where he received his Ph.D. in 1922. Meanwhile, he spent some time during the Revolution, 1919-20, in Russia, at the Chortitza and Zagradovka settlements. He married Lotte Ross of Emden, Germany, 21 December 1921. His experiences during the Russian Revolution are related in the books Mennonitentum in der Ukraine (Emden, 1922), Ein Tagebuch aus dem Reiche des Totentanzes (Emden, 1921), and Zu Pferd 1000 Km durch die Ukraina (Emden, 1922). Navall was a good writer who greatly appreciated the Russian culture and was influenced by Tolstoi.

In 1923 he came to America and taught at Bluffton College 1923-26, then at Antioch College, University of New Mexico, Pomona College, and George Pepperdine College. In America he wrote the drama Kanadische Mennoniten (Winnipeg, 1924), published under the pseudonym Novocampus, and Russian Dance of Death (Claremont, California, 1930) under the pseudonym Dirk Gora. The latter is a translation of the German Totentanz.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Neufeld, Dietrich (1886-1958)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 28 May 2023.,_Dietrich_(1886-1958)&oldid=134014.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Neufeld, Dietrich (1886-1958). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 May 2023, from,_Dietrich_(1886-1958)&oldid=134014.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 1111-1112. All rights reserved.

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