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Articles --> Conference 2001

Paweł Fijałkowski

Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw

Mennonite religious communities in Mazowsze prior to 1945. Material relics.

1. Introduction

It is very difficult to determine when the first members of the protestant Mennonite denomination (in earlier literature - Mennonist) appeared in Mazowsze. They arrived with the wave of Dutch settlers called Holenders (Holęder) or Olender (Olęder), who reached Mazowsze as early as the first half of the 17th century and established the Dutch settlements of Saska Kępa (1629) and Holendry Baranowskie (1645)[1] .

The names holendrzy (Dutch) and osadnictwo holenderskie (Dutch colonization) referred primarily to the newcomers' farming style and their social status. The Dutch settlers introduced into the Polish lands the social and economic system that originated in the Netherlands and northern Germany. The system was a combination of interrelated elements such as: the structure of the community, methods of clearing, draining, and cultivating marshy areas, and farming-related and residential architecture. Unlike the rest of the rural population, the Dutch were free tenants.

In the majority of cases, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, term Holendrzy (Olendrzy) was not associated with a specific nationality. Neither was is it directly related to a particular denomination; however, the vast majority of the colonizers were Protestants and some of them had to flee their country because of their affiliation with one of the Evangelical churches. This issue played an important role in migrations of the Dutch in the second half of the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries. The later development of the Dutch colonization was primarily an effect of emigration of residents of overpopulated villages in the Netherlands and northern Germany to wastelands characterized by natural conditions similar to that in their homeland[2] .

The migration of Mennonites to the Polish lands, which began ca. 1550 or 1540, evolved the same way[3] . In the period when the religious persecution was the main reason for migration of Mennonites, their inflow was a result of a well organized colonization campaign. Initially, the colonization included the Vistula delta (Żuławy) and subsequently, the upriver regions with vast stretches of marshy wastelands, bogs, and riparian forests.

The Mennonites were a religious group founded by Menno Simons (1496 - 1561), a minister from Frisia. The same as all contemporary reformers of Christianity, he believed that the Bible was the only source of our knowledge about God. In his chief work "Dat fundament des christelyck leers" (1539-1540), Simons preached that thanks to the Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, each man endowed by God with faith may be saved. At the same time, he preached that good deeds provide a testimony for the veracity and depth of person's faith. Unlike many other Protestant theologians, he attached a lot of weight to free will and personal involvement in salvation. All these principles constituted a foundation of the Mennonite ideal of life in a religious community and work ethics, which provided a basis for the livelihood of the community members[4] .

The same as the majority of Evangelical churches, the baptism and communion, which was administered to the entire congregation in a form of bread and wine, were the only sacraments practiced by the Mennonites. However, the custom of baptizing adults, that is, people who are aware of their faith, distinguishes the Mennonites among other Protestants. According to data regarding the Mazowsze Mennonite communities, in the second half of the 19th century, the typical age for baptism was between 13-17 years. Earlier, the sacrament of baptism was often administered to even older believers[5] . Pacifism was another essential and characteristic feature of Mennonitism. This attitude was manifested not only through conscientious objection to participation in military service but also through refusal to take oaths, appear before a court, or hold offices.

The Mennonites were undoubtedly at the forefront of the Dutch colonization in Polish lands; however, with time, they were outnumbered by the Lutheran colonists of primarily German origin. Based on the 19th century source materials, we can conclude that the vast majority of the Dutch that settled in Mazowsze belonged to the Lutheran congregation. However, it is difficult to determine the initial proportions of individual religious groups in this community. We know that many Mennonites who had initially settled in Mazowsze migrated further east and were replaced by Lutherans. In 1849, as a result of a tsar's ukase, which formed the Evangelical Consistory, the Mennonite settlements found themselves under the authority of the Lutheran parishes[6] . As a consequence, some Mennonites were formally and then actually incorporated into the Lutheran congregation. This process was also furthered by close co-existence of the members of both congregations, which began from the moment of settlement foundation, and religious placability of Mennonites. As a rule, members of this denomination did not engage in religious disputes believing that the most important is the adherence to the moral teachings of the Bible. Based on the records of church taxes paid in the 1830s and 40s by the Evangelical parishioners from Gąbin, we can assume that some of the Lutherans inhabiting villages on the Vistula riverbanks with Mennonite surnames, such as: Wedel, Ratzlaff, and Jantz, were of Mennonite descent[7] .

The information we have about the village of Wymyśle Nowe provides a good example of how uncertain the data about the numbers of Mennonites are. According to the Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland), vol. 14, 1895, the above village was inhabited by 359 residents - exclusively Mennonites. But, according to the 1897 census, the entire Gostyń district, which included Wymyśle, had only 68 Mennonites[8] . Such a significant discrepancy could be a result of the mentioned administrative affiliation of Mennonites with Evangelical parishes, which was responsible for the disappearance of the sense of religious identity and the confusion of the contemporary scholars and the officials collecting data.

The Mennonite colonization was also characterized by a gradual dispersal; as a result, the members of this denomination lived in numerous towns and villages of Mazowsze. Nonetheless, their greatest number still lived in the Vistula valley, the same as the majority of the Dutch. In 1897, in the Gostyń and Sochaczew districts, there were 17 343 Lutherans and 123 Mennonites and in the villages of the Warsaw district, 10 608 Lutherans and 485 Mennonites. In the Płońsk district, the officials recorded 3308 Lutherans and 14 Mennonites[9] . The above data pertain to the areas with the highest concentrations of the Mennonite population, that is, Kazuń Nowy near Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, Wymyśle Nowe near Gąbin, and Wola Wodzyńska near Płońsk.

2. The early days of Mennonite settlements

The historians investigating the Mennonite history believe that Saska Kępa, which was founded in 1629, was initially, for a short period, a Mennonite settlement. The village was destroyed in 1650s as a result of military operations. It is quite probable that individual members of the sect (farmers or merchants) arrived in Mazowsze in the first half of the 18th century[10] . However, large and permanent Mennonite settlements did not appear in this region until the second half of the 18th century.

It is possible that the first Mennonites settled in the vicinity of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki as early as between 1758 and 1762. In 1764, Jan August Hylzen, a leaseholder of the royal estate of Kazuń invited a group of Mennonites, who founded a village of Kazuń Nowy, also called Kazuń Niemiecki (Deutsch Kasan)[11] . The settlers probably came from the Kujawy region likewise the next wave of colonists, who came to Kazuń in 1776 from the vicinity of Grudziądz (Mątawa [Montau], Sosnówek [Schönsee]), Chełmno (Przechówko [Wintersdorf]), and Toruń (Nieszawka [Obernessau][12] .

The Kazuń Dutch settled in the Vistula valley's riparian forests and marshes, which they had to clear and drain by digging canals and ditches Then, the reclaimed land was turned into fields, orchards, and meadows, which were subsequently surrounded by wattle fences with the purpose of slowing down the flow of water during the spring and fall floods. This way the damaging effect of the flood was minimized and the water deposited fertile silts on the settlers' fields. This mechanism was the most essential element of the soil cultivation method used by the Dutch farmers[13] .

According to the "Lustracja dóbr królewskich dzierżawy Kazuń... (Survey of the royal estate of Kazuń...)" from 1790 "as a result of yearly floods caused by the Vistula, large part of the land [...] 5 włókas and 18 morgas" were covered by sand while "the current carried away a 1 włóka and 15 morga of land". Therefore, "in order to reinforce the Kazuń land and protect all fields and other property", the settlers planted a strip of forest along the riverbank. The strip had 40 pręts, that is, ca. 179 meters wide[14] .

In 1795, the village of Kazuń Nowy was inhabited by 15 colonists, who cultivated a total of 14 włókas, 12 morgas, and 145 pręts of land. All farmers were married and the majority had numerous offspring (usually 3-5 children). Each farm employed a farmhand and some even had a wench[15] . At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kazuń Mennonites began to colonize surrounding areas. In 1798, they settled in Markowszczyzna, then founded a village of Czosnów and since 1803 lived also in Cząstków. They also inhabited Kępa Nowodworska[16] .

The majority of the Mennonites from Kazuń and its surroundings originated from Frisian villages. They belonged to one of the two main factions of Mennonitism, which was often referred to as "grob" (Ger. crude, simple) in contrast to the Flemish faction called "fein" (Ger. subtle, perfect) or "klar" (Ger. clear, unambiguous). The Flemish (Old Flemish) communities, usually quite wealthy and proud of their high culture, strictly obeyed the rules of the congregation. In contrast, the Frisian communities, usually poorer and less enlightened than the Flemish ones, were indeed more conservative but their members were allowed a greater amount of latitude. The names of these groups were associated with their origin. However, in the 18th century, with the Germanization of the Mennonite community, these names ceased to reflect the ethnic affiliation and primarily indicated differences in customs and religious observances. For example, during the baptism the members of the Flemish (Old Flemish) communities were immersed in water, while the members of the Frisian congregations were sprinkled. The Flemish Mennonites practiced a ritual of washing feet after receiving communion; this custom was alien to their Frisian brethren. With time, the differences and antagonisms that divided the Flemish and Frisian Mennonites became less pronounced; however, the memory about them lived on even in 1930s[17] .

Unlike the village of Kazuń and the majority of the Dutch settlements, Wymyśle Nowe (Wymyśle Niemieckie, Deutsch-Wymysle) near Gąbin was not threatened by flooding of the Vistula. It was founded on the edge of the Równina (Plain) Kutnowska. Historians' opinions about their origins are divided. According to the discussion cited by Erich L. Ratzlaff, some researchers believe that the settlement dates from 1762 or 1764, while according to others, Wymyśle Nowe was founded by Lutherans in 1791, and Mennonites arrived there only in 1813. Of course, we cannot rule out the possibility that Mennonites settled in the village twice. Thus, it is possible that the first adherents of this faith, who probably originated from the Frisian communities, appeared in the areas to the northeast of Gąbin as early as 1760s and shortly afterwards moved farther east, while their place was taken by Lutheran colonists[18] .

The edicts issued by tsarina Catherine II in 1762 and tsar Alexander II in 1804 created favorable conditions for colonization of steppes on the Volga river and Black Sea. As a result, the village of Kazuń and possibly also Wymyśle became only stopovers in the migration of the Dutch colonists eastward. At the same time, the act issued in 1789 by the Prussian king Frederick William II limited the right of individuals exempted from military service to acquire land and prompted groups of Mennonites to emigrate from Prussia[19] .

Thus, according to the above hypothesis, only isolated groups of Mennonites from the first colonization wave remained in the Gąbin region. Then, at the beginning of the 19th century, the area was colonized by another group of Mennonites who came from Flemish communities and settled in Wymyśl. In 1813, they appointed their first minister and in 1815 began to keep the community chronicle. The majority (ca. 70%) of the Mennonites residing in the village between 1800 and 1860 originated from West Prussia. They primarily came from the following villages located in the Grudziądz and Chełno regions: Tryl [Treul], Zajączkowo [Sanskau], Przechówko [Wintersdorf], Konopat Niemiecki [Deutsch Konopat], Głogówko (?), Kępa Ostrowska [Świecki Ostrów, Ehrental], Dorposz, Łunawy [Lunau], and Jeziorka [Kleinsee]. The majority of other residents (ca. 25%) came from the Wielkopolska and Brandenburg borderland, including the villages of Brechenhofswalde and Głęboczek (Franztal) near Drezdenko[20] .

In the first half of the 19th century, groups of Mennonites also inhabited several villages located in the Vistula valley, to the north of Gąbin and Sochaczewo, including the following Dutch villages: Zyck, Leonów, Sady, Łady, Piaski, Świniary, Wąsosz, and Wionczemin (Wiączemin). Members of this denomination also lived in the villages of Arciechów, Olszyna, and Śladów[21] . All Mennonites inhabiting this area belonged to the community centered around Wymyśle.

The authorities were not always well disposed towards the Mennonite colonization. In 1832, three Mennonites from Brechenhofswalde and Głęboczek: Piotr Wedel and Beniamin and Wilhelm Lange asked the government of the Kingdom of Poland for permission to settle in Troszyn near Gąbin. The Governmental Commission for Revenue and Treasury rejected their request explaining that "the royal estate of Sanniki located in the Mazowiecki voivodeship, that is the Troszyn manor where the Mennonites intend to settle, could not be transferred to them because it will be put up for sale". Instead, the authorities suggested a different location for settlement - the Augustowski voivodeship[22] .

The Mennonite settlement of Wola Wodzyńska (Wodzińska, Wodnicka) near Płońsk was established at the beginning of the 19th century. The first mention about the local minister dates from 1818. This community, which probably consisted primarily of members of the Flemish (Old Flemish) sect, never constituted an independent parish but, since 1840s, was under the authority of the Kazuń community. In 1842, one of the local landowners established a settlement in a forest near Wola Wodzyńska and populated it with Lutherans and Mennonites[23] . The village name Kicin was derived from the landowner's surname.

3. Organizational structures of the Mennonite population. Sources of income

Mennonites believed that individuals may lead a life that conforms to the Biblical principles and secure their resurrection and eternal life only in a religious community - their community. The organized Mennonite community with their spiritual leaders and guardians, a house of prayer, and a cemetery was self-sufficient in respect of its religious needs. Therefore, Mennonite communities did not have to and usually did not intend to form higher religious structures.

All pastoral functions were carried out by lay clergymen, who were elected by the community members. The spiritual leader was an elder, who celebrated services and administered the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Furthermore, the spiritual leader was responsible for the observance of religious principles, and in the case of their violation, judged the transgressor. Irredeemable sinners were subject to excommunication and exile. Preachers, also called teachers were clergymen of a lower rank. The teacher was responsible for preaching sermons as well as for presiding over marriages and funerals Wymyśle and Kazuń communities sometimes had up to four teachers at the same time. Lesser functions were performed by deacons. They looked after the material aspects of the religious life of the community (managed the church's property) and took care for the poor; this latter activity was financed by donations from the community members. The Wola Wodzyńska branch community was under the leadership of the elder from the main community, but it had its own teacher or teachers and a deacon[24] .

The same as the majority of the Dutch, the Mennonite colonists found it very important to establish a school within a few years after the foundation of a settlement. Children studied singing, which was necessary in religious life, arithmetic, which came in handy in the everyday life, and reading and writing, which was important for studying the main subject, religion. Simultaneously, the school was a house of prayer, and initially, it was often housed in one of the residential buildings[25] . This situation probably explains the fact that the house of prayer in Kazuń Nowy was erected (with the government's consent) only in 1823[25] .

The school in Wymyśle Nowe was probably established immediately after the settlement was founded and was initially a religious school. Later, the school was taken over by the education authorities and in 1842 functioned as an elementary school[27] . As a result, the curriculum was broader than that of a religious school, and religion was one of the taught subjects. The intention of the education authority was to provide the villages inhabited by Protestants with a teacher of an Evangelical denomination. Therefore, in most cases, also in Wymyśl, the teacher was usually a Lutheran. He also performed religious functions for the local Lutherans, that is, presided over services and funerals. The building of the school-house of prayer burned down ca. 1850 (in 1854 or according to other sources, at the beginning of 1860s). Following this disaster, the residents built a school and then in 1863, a separate Mennonite house of prayer, which was made of brick and covered with sheet metal[28] .

The calendar published by the Astronomical Observatory in Warsaw provides the following information about the Mazowsze Mennonites:

Mennonites live in the Warsaw and Płock provinces, and in Kazuń located in the Warsaw district, they have their own house of prayer. The religious observances are performed by the elected member of the community. The Mennonites, who live outside of Kazuń, participate in masses in their local Evangelical churches. Their deceased are buried in cemeteries of this same Evangelical denomination"[29] .

The above fragment needs to be complemented with additional information. At the time, the house of prayer in Kazuń was the only such an institution in Mazowsze region. Even if the house of prayer in Wymyśl burned down a few years earlier (1854), it is quite certain that the local Mennonites had a temporary gathering place in one of their houses. Furthermore, Kazuń had a Mennonite cemetery, the same as Wymyśl. Of course, the local Lutherans were also buried in these cemeteries, not only because of the common congregational affiliation, but also due to a long tradition of close and harmonious coexistence of both groups. However, the Mennonites living outside of the main communities buried their deceased in local Evangelical cemeteries.

As was stated before, the Mennonite community in Mazowsze, in spite of being quite small, was internally divided into two factions: the Frisian congregation centered around Kazuń and the Flemish (Old Flemish) congregation with centers in Wymyśl and Wola Wodzyńska. Because in 1850s one of the religious leaders of the Frisian community in Kazuń, Kornelius Schröder lived in Wionczemin near Gąbin, we can assume that he served as a preacher for the Frisian Mennonites inhabiting that area[30] .

At the end of 1850s, the northern Mazowsze was an object of missionary activities of the first Baptist missionaries in the Kingdom of Poland. They succeeded in attracting attention and winning over many local Mennonites. The Baptist church was erected in Kicin between 1860 and 1861 mainly by former Mennonites and Lutherans. The church was a stage for disputes regarding the dogmas and rituals. At the same time, the disintegration of the local Mennonite community was deepening. Shortly afterwards, the Mennonites who were leaning towards Baptism also formed a large group in Wola Wodzyńska, and in 1862, one of their gatherings was attacked by a group led by a Lutheran missionary and preacher[31] .

The Mennonites that were leaning towards Baptism decided to keep the ceremony of washing feet after the Holy Communion practiced by the Old Flemish faction. They also developed a new way of baptizing. The baptized individuals were supposed to kneel down and then were pushed forward by the preacher until they were immersed in water. In contrast, among the proper Baptists, a baptized person stood in water and the preacher pushed him backwards. The Baptists-Mennonites remained pacifists; however, according to the law, they could be exempted from the military service only as Mennonites. This fact prevented their full integration with the Baptists Disintegration of the Mennonite groups in Wola Wodzyńska and Kicin, aggravated by the emigration to Russia, was responsible for the fact that at the end of the 19th century the Mennonite community was dissolved. The majority of the local Mennonites joined the Baptist church or came under the official authority of the communities in Wymyśl (Baptist-Mennonites) or Kazuń (orthodox Mennonites) but participated in Baptist services in Kicin[32] .

In 1864, the Mennonite congregation in Kazuń had 666 believers (including 396 baptized individuals), the greatest number in its history[33] . From that moment, the number of community members gradually decreased as a result of emigration. Due to the fact that the Kazuń house of prayer was located on the area regularly flooded by the Vistula, it was taken down in 1891 and a new building was erected in 1892 in a different, safer location, behind the flood bank[34] .

In 1888, the Wymyśl community had 125 baptized members and 84 children. With time, the local Mennonites of the Frisian origin became more unified, so, in fact, there were two Mennonite communities in Wymyśle: the Flemish (Old Flemish) and the Frisian. Each group had its own elder, but the three teachers were common for both groups. Services were celebrated in the same house of prayer[35] .

The Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland (vol. 14, 1895) includes the following information about Wymyśle Nowe:

"The village has a masonry school and a house of prayer. Soils are sandy. The village has a considerable acreage of meadows with a 4 ell layer of peat. There are orchards and osier plantations. Residents produce Dutch cheese"[36] .

This brief characteristic requires some comments. Dutch villages had strong traditions of growing osiers, whose twigs (i.e. wicker) were used for various purposes, for example, it used for fences, which surrounded fields and meadows, and baskets of different shapes and sizes. This latter occupation was an important source of income for farmers who were cultivating poor quality soils. Exploitation of deposits of peat, which was used as fuel, and production of Dutch cheeses were also important occupations of the settlers.

According to the data collected by Wojciech Marchlewski, the Mennonites, the same as the majority of the Dutch settlers, primarily planted vegetables whose vegetation period was between spring and autumn or plants that could survive floods. They planted fruit trees and used remaining land as pastures and meadows. Initially, the area of cultivated fields was relatively small. Based on the data from the first half of the 19th century, we can conclude that raising cattle (from 5 to 14 per household) was the primary source of income. In contrast, pigs and poultry (geese and hens) played less important role. Dairy products (primarily cheeses and butter) and dried fruits (primarily prunes) were the most important products for sale. Many farmers also grew barley, oat, wheat, and potatoes[37] .

At the time, a Dutch family had on average 6-8 members. Also, the majority of farms (7-15 ha) hired between 2 and 5 farmhands and wenches. Some Dutch settlers had also a secondary occupation in crafts (e.g. cloth and canvas production). The villages also had millers, inn-keepers, and other craftsmen, primarily: wheelwrights, woodworkers, coopers, black smiths, potters, and cobblers.

The construction of the flood bank along the middle Vistula that began ca 1850 was responsible for radical changes in the settlers' system of land cultivation. The spring and autumn floods that were a source of fertile silt came to an end and the fields had to be fertilized with manure. From then on, the residents of the riverbank villages were required to maintain the flood banks and perform various works, which were based on the principles of corvée labor. Individual farmers were responsible for the maintenance of draining canals that ran through their fields[38] .

Distinct religion and culture isolated the Mennonites from the Polish Catholic rural population, but bound them with the Evangelical, German-speaking settlers, who also inhabited the Vistula valley. As a result of the close coexistence of the Mennonites and Lutherans within the Dutch rural communities, the Mazowsze Mennonites underwent a nearly complete lingual assimilation by their more numerous German neighbors. In Pomerania and Kujawy, this process was well under way and by the second half of the 18th century, the Dutch language was completely eradicated from the religious life. Also, Low German gradually lost its liturgical function. In the 19th century, the Dutch settlers living in Mazowsze spoke Low German at home, while High German was usually used in religious life[39] .

Although at the close of the Republic of Poland period, some Dutch settlers residing on the middle reaches of the Vistula river underwent Polonization, this process was almost completely halted in the 19th century. One of its few manifestations was a participation of Franz Wedl from Wymyśl in the January Uprising[40] . Repressive measured imposed by the tsar afterwards, in the majority of cases resulted in the return to German roots.

The Mennonite villages located along the Vistula also functioned as stopovers for the Mennonite merchants from Pomerania (primarily Gdańsk) who traveled by horse-drawn wagons and maintained contacts between distant Mennonite communities[41] . The residents of these settlements were often closely related. These contacts created favorable conditions for exchange of views and information about events important for all Mennonites and had a great impact on the evolution of their religious identity. With time, this evolution was, for example, responsible for the fact that the Mennonites no longer opposed the acceptance of official posts. In 1864, Salomon Gertz from Kazuń was elected as a district leader and held this office until his death in 1870. (cf. Appendix I, sec. 2).

The Mennonites who lived in the Kingdom of Poland were exempt from military service the same as during the Republic of Poland period; instead, the men who were fit for military service were required to pay a poll tax, which in 1860s amounted to 6 zlotys per year. However, in Prussia the privilege that guaranteed the same exemption was canceled in 1867, which caused a new wave of emigration to the East[42] .

For large part of the 19th century, the Mennonite communities in Mazowsze were weakened by migration of their members to Russia. This process was underlined by economic reasons. However, in 1870, the Russian authorities issued a crucial edict, which cancelled the Mennonite privilege that exempted them from military service. This situation was responsible for another wave of emigration from Podolia and Volhynia to the USA, which also attracted many Mennonites from Mazowsze. . Nonetheless, the Mennonites, who inhabited increasingly distant places of the world, maintained close relationships and the members of each community were well informed about the affairs of their brethren in other communities in Prussia, Russia, or America[43] .

The formation of the Baptist Mennonites sect in Mazowsze coincided with a similar movement in Russia, which resulted in the creation of the brotherly Mennonite communities (Mennoniten Brüdergemeinden). In 1884, under the influence of missionaries, some residents of Wymyśle Nowe decided that during their baptism their faith was not deep enough and then after their faith was revived they demanded to be baptized again. These Mennonites and their followers became the members of the brotherly community in Wymyśle, which was officially established in 1895. Because of the principles of the Christian brotherhood that the Mennonites subscribed to and practiced, the community schism proceeded peacefully. From that moment, both the brotherly and traditional (Frisian and Flemish sects) communities had their own leaders, preachers, and deacons. It is interesting that the former elder of the orthodox community became the first preacher of the brotherly community. At the time, he still served as a preacher for the orthodox Mennonites. However, the services were held in separate buildings[44] .

The brotherly community in Wymyśl formally took under its wing the last Mennonites living in Wola Wodzyńska and Kicin. The community maintained close relationships with Baptist communities and traditional Mennonites, whose numbers in Wymyśl continuously decreased to the advantage of the brotherly Mennonites. Another orthodox preacher, Johann Schmidt joined the brotherly community in 1907. Following that event, the weakened traditional community of Wymyśl did not have its elder. The members of the community only elected three preachers and the sacraments (baptism and the Communion) were administered by the elder from Kazuń.

While the orthodox Mennonites' lives were limited to their native community, which was isolated from the external world and reluctantly accepted converts, the Mennonites from the brotherly communities were more open to the world[45] . In general, they all were on good terms with other Protestants; however, religious and ethnic antagonisms could also be felt. This aversion pertained especially to the relations between settlers inhabiting the Vistula valley (both Mennonites and Lutherans), known in German as Niederunger and settlers from uplands, who came from southwestern provinces of Germany (Schwabians) or Wielkopolska and Brandenburg (Pomeranians or Kashubians). The inhabitants of uplands, especially Schwabians, were usually wealthier and sometimes better educated than the Dutch, and therefore felt superior. The members of both communities told anecdotes about each other that ridiculed strange traits of character or misunderstood behaviors[46] .

4. Crisis and destruction of the Mennonite settlements

At the beginning of the 20th century, the primary reason responsible for the decrease in numbers of the Mennonite community members in Mazowsze was emigration to the USA and Russia. In 1914, the Mennonite brotherly church in Wymyśle Nowe had only 86 members. The size of the orthodox Mennonite community is unknown. At the time, the Mennonite community in Kazuń Nowy included 137 families with 548 members (357 baptized and 191 children), who lived in their native Kazuń, the surrounding villages (75 families with 318 individuals), and several settlements in the central Mazowsze (Wola Wodzyńska - 8 families with 35 individuals, Tomaszew and Szamocin - 20 families with 56 individuals, Podole and Mentnów - 2 families with 3 individuals). The community formally included the Mennonites who emigrated to the Russian empire (136 individuals), primarily to Ukraine and Belarus, and to North America[47] . Thus, in practice, the Kazuń community had only 412 members.

Immediately after the outbreak of WWI, around August 10, 1914, the Mennonites from Kazuń, which was located next to the very important fortress of Modlin, were evacuated by the Russians. Some of them were sent to Russia, but the majority was able to stay in Mazowsze and found shelter in the Wymyśl area. Some of Wymyśl residents were also detained. During the military activities, many of the local houses were burned or plundered, and a large part of orchards was destroyed. The two Wymyśl communities, the brotherly and the traditional, were brought closer together by these tragic circumstances, and in 1914, they began to use the local house of prayer jointly. The residents of Kazuń returned to their homes and farms only at the end of August, 1915, after the area was captured by the German army. The retreating Russian army burned many houses in Kazuń and entire villages of Czosnów and Cząstków. Most orchards were also destroyed. The house of prayer in Kazuń, used by the Russians as a field hospital, was so severely damaged that for the next several years, the services were held in a different building[48] .

Both settlements were slowly recovering from the war damages and losses. The residents, who had been resettled to Russia interior, came back after the war was over, at the beginning of 1920s. It is probable that other Mennonites, who were afraid to remain in the Soviet Russia, also came to Mazowsze. That could explain the increase in numbers of Mennonites in the then Warsaw voivodeship, especially in its western part. In 1921, the Ciechanowski and Warszawski districts, which included the Kazuń community, were inhabited by 440 Mennonites, while the Gostyniński and Sochaczewski districts (communities centered around Wymyśl) had 296 Mennonites[49] .

The schools in Wymyśl and Kazuń gained the status of public schools and the lessons were still were conducted in German[50] . In 1924, the house of prayer in Kazuń, which also housed the school, was thoroughly renovated and reopened for the public. The music performed on a harmonium added splendor to services celebrated in the Kazuń temple. This was another breach of the Mennonite tradition, which forbade musical accompaniment in singing. In 1927, the community acquired a set of wind instruments for a brass band, which played during funerals and youth festivities[51] .

In 1923, a Mennonite brotherly community was established in Kazuń as a branch of the brotherly community in Wymyśl[52] . D.M. Hofer, a preacher, described the community life in the following way:

"The following Sunday, we were invited for a baptism ceremony in the Mennonite settlement of Kazuń near Warsaw, where we traveled by boat up the river together with the preachers and the community choir from Wymyśl. We were welcomed there with a blessing and had a pleasure to preach the word of God in the community church and delivered additional sermon on the occasion of baptism, which took place on the Vistula river in the presence of hundreds of people. Afterwards, three believers, namely, brother Jantz, his wife, and brother Kliewer, were baptized in the river. After the reception, which was held in a very large barn, we received Communion, and in the evening, we participated in a feet washing ceremony in a small circle, which made us very, very happy"[53] .

This is how the wife of brother Jantz, Agnes recollected the life of the newly formed brotherly community in Markowszczyzna near Kazuń:

"We organized various ceremonies and invited preachers and singers from Wymyśle and Warsaw. Every now and then, the members of our community also traveled to other settlements to participate in baptism ceremonies, singing contests, and thanksgiving harvest festivals [...]. Our celebrations were always held in our home or in a barn if it was necessary [...]. We also had a choir and Brother Paul Harm served as our conductor. Almost all initial members of the community were singers [...]. I would also like to mention that on June 13, 1920 my husband and Leo Ewert were at the same time elected the preachers of the Mennonite community [in Kazuń-PF]. However, my husband did not hold this function for long because when we were baptized on July 22, 1923, the Mennonite community decided that we distanced ourselves from them through this baptism. So, my husband resigned from his position as a preacher, but we would still go there every Sunday morning for the service because we did not want to separate ourselves completely. The services in our house continued to be held every Sunday afternoon. For that purpose, we put a pulpit and benches in our largest room"[54] .

With time, the language of the Mazowsze Mennonites also changed. High German played increasingly important role and was supplanting Low German from every day life. Also the farming style was subject to changes. The cultivation of potatoes, onions, and fruit, such as apples, pears, cherries, gooseberries, and currants became important Many Mennonites were involved in horse breeding. The village of Wymyśle had a steam mill, a sawmill, an oil manufactory, and a creamery[55] .

The Mazowsze Mennonite communities were still being weakened by emigration; however, its scale was not as large as in the 19th century. The Nowy Kazuń communities (the brotherly and traditional) were gradually becoming smaller; in contrast, the Wymyśle Nowe communities, which had been shrinking prior to WWI, now were growing. It is true that 36 people emigrated from Wymyśle to South America (Brazil, Mexico, and Paraguay) and Canada between 1926 and 1938, but this outflow was balanced or even exceeded by the inflow of Mennonite from other communities (e.g. refugees from the Soviet Russia). Between 1927 and 1929, the brotherly and traditional communities centered around Wymyśl included 96 families living in 17 settlements, primarily in: Wymyśl (37 families), Leonów (9 families), Zyck (9 families), Strzemeszna (7 families), Wąsosz (6 families), Alfonsów (5 families), and Świniary (5 families)[56] . This is what contemporary resident of Wymyśl, Heinrich Bartel wrote about the religious life of his native village in the inter-war period:

"The brotherly Mennonite community had ca. 150 members. We had a community choir and a youth choir. Brother Gustav Ratzlaff served as a conductor for both of them. Services were held on Sunday mornings, then, there was a Sunday school between 1.30 and 3 pm, and then a gathering for teenagers between 3.30 and 5 pm. The community youth organized four or five declamation evenings per year. Brother Leonhard Ratzlaff, the son of the earlier mentioned Peter Ratzlaff, supervised those meetings"[57] .

In the inter-war Poland, the same as in the tsarist Russia, young Mennonites were recruited for service in the armed forces but served mainly in medical units and were not required to take an oath or carry arms[58] . In the meantime, the world around the Mennonites was changing posing threat to their community. At the end of 1930s, pro-fascist feelings began to spread among those Vistula valley settlers who cultivated their German identity. The numbers of sympathizers of the Third Reich were particularly large among the residents of the poorest villages, who barely earned their living from poor quality land or crafts. Initially, the Mennonites were not affected by these ominous changes. After all, pacifism was one of the most fundamental principles of their faith. This orientation demanded that the community members kept well away from the politics and violence. However, the newly awaken nationalist feelings also penetrated into their world. Indeed, the older generation of Mennonites was proud of their Dutch identity and felt superior to the German Evangelicals and distanced themselves from their views, but the younger generation was susceptible to political influences[59] . The activities of the fascist agitators were facilitated by the fact that the vast majority of the Mazowsze Mennonites and Lutherans spoke German and the residents of the surrounding, "forever Polish" villages did not see the difference and considered them all "heretics" and Germans. The attitude of the country government towards the colonists was inconsistent and varied depending on the political situation ranging from distrust and suspicion to aversion or even hostility.

In the summer of 1939, young Mennonites were drafted into military service, mainly as stretcher-bearers. Immediately after the outbreak of WWII, during the first days of September, the Polish authorities detained male residents of villages inhabited by population of German origin. The Mennonites from Kazuń and Wymyśl, who were between 17 and 60 years old were sent to the internment camp in Bereza Kartuska. Women and children were allowed to stay. A particularly atrocious event took place in Kazuń, where elder Rudolf Bartl and 7 other members of the community were arrested. Natalia Bartel reported:

"On September 1st, when the war with Germany started, many members of our community were arrested; our elder, Rudolf Bartel was among them. They tormented us every day and the arrests continued until all men were detained. We were strictly forbidden to leave [our houses - PF], especially the residents who had telephones. Women were repeatedly ordered to guard the telephone lines. Elder Bartel was kept in one of the farms outside of the village. He was released after 2 days because they could not prove that he committed any punishable crimes. When returning home, he chose the shortest way, which led through the fields with the telephone lines. Of course he was not aware of the ban [which prohibited approaching the telephone devices - PF]. He was immediately arrested by Polish guards on a charge of intention to destroy telephone facilities. So, he was accused of sabotage. The same day, he was sentenced to death. All women and children were rounded up with guns and bayonets so that they witness the execution"[60] .

The execution took place on September 7, 1939. In the following days, several residents of the villages were brutally murdered by Polish civilians. The front swept through Kazuń soon after. The German airplanes bombed the village killing 4 people and destroying a lot of houses. At the same time many young Mennonites from Kazuń served in the Polish armed forces[61] .

In contrast, Wymyśle survived the military activities of 1939 without significant losses. There were no acts of violence primarily thanks to the Catholic priest of the Czermno parish, Rev. Wincent Helenowski. His attitude towards the Mennonites was very friendly and he opposed the anti-German unrests, which occurred in this area as early as August, 1939[62] . However, the residents of Wymyśle suffered later, during the German occupation. That is how already cited Heinrich Bartel wrote about those days:

"The youth organization was dissolved at once. The goal was to educate the young people in the secular instead of the Christian spirit. Although Sunday services were not forbidden, it was very difficult to celebrate them because many villagers had to work in distant places and not always were they released home for Sunday. We missed the freedom we enjoyed under the Polish rule"[63] .

The German government incorporated the Vistula valley into German Reich and its German-speaking population signed the Volksliste or was put on that list by the officials. The few opposing Lutherans were punished by authorities with property confiscation, imprisonment, or even a sentence in a forced labor camp. However, we have no information regarding any objections expressed by the Mennonites. In 1941, both the brotherly and traditional Mennonite communities had 375 members, while the communities in Wymyśl, had 345 members[64] .

The Mennonite men of military age were drafted into the Wehrmacht and were required to carry arms. Although they often had moral scruples, they did not object, knowing that that could be punished by a sentence in a concentration camp and death[65] . Erich Ratzlaff, a teacher from Wymyśle was among the Mennonites employed by the occupation administration. For a short period, he was a mayor of Gąbin, but was dismissed for a too kind an attitude towards Poles. Erich Ratzlaff together with a Lutheran, Reinhold Wegert maintained relations with the Czermno priest, Rev. Helenowski, who, thanks to their help, was able to send food parcels to inmates of concentration camps. The Mennonites and Lutherans employed in the German administration were grateful to the Catholic priest for protection during the anti-German riots in 1939 and helped him to retain his parish. Thus, he was the only priest in the region who was able to perform his pastoral duties unpestered[66] .

On August, 1944, in the face of the Russian offensive, the Mennonites from Kazuń and Wymyśl as well as all German population inhabiting the region were evacuated by the German authorities. The population of Kazuń was evacuated partly by rail and partly by motor vehicles or horse-drawn carts. The majority of the refugees went to Kujawy or Pomerania (Żuławy), where they found shelter in villages inhabited by their coreligionists. However, the front stopped on the eastern bank of the Vistula. As a result, many Mennonites returned to their native villages and farms[67] . The final evacuation took place in January of 1945. Here is how Heinrich Bartel recollected this event:

"The residents of Wymyśle received an evacuation order on January 17th. The Red Army was moving westward. Women and children were to travel by horse-drawn carts taking with them everything they could. Almost all men had been taken by Germans earlier. So, they traveled west day and night. The Red Army caught up with the group from Wymyśl and took all their possessions and they had to go back on foot. When they arrived in Wymyśl, it turned out that the village had been already reoccupied by new residents. They [the Wymyśle residents - PF] lost their property and rights. My father in law, Andreas Kliewer worked as a farmhand for a newly arrived Polish farmer. Others did the same"[68] .

The Mennonite farms were treated as formerly German property and as a result were passed over to landless or smallholding peasants from other villages. The conduct of individual Mennonites during the occupation was not taken into account. Furthermore, those who decided to stay in their native area or did not manage to escape became an object of hatred and revenge for crimes committed by the fascists. Here is an account of one of the Mazowsze Mennonites:

"Many women and children were driven into deep water. They had to dive and then sing "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" and other Nazi songs. Every time they emerged, they had to shout "Heil Hitler". Finally, they were forced to sing the Polish anathem "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła". And only then were they released. It was extremely humiliating to our people, who tried to steer clear from politics"[69] .

I would like to add that forcing the victims to dive into water was a mockery of the Mennonite custom of baptism through immersion.

Thanks to aid from various Mennonite organizations from all around the world, almost all Mennonites left People's Poland at the end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s. Two hundred year history of the Mennonites in Mazowsze came to an end.

5. Material relics of Mennonites

The same as the majority of the Dutch settlers, the Mennonites built their houses on artificial hillocks, which had a shape of an elongated ellipse parallel to the river current. The houses were usually made of timber and had an elongated floor plan. The buildings were divided into residential and livestock sections, which were separated by a hallway. The residential section included a kitchen, which was used for dining, resting, or small tasks, and three rooms (a guest room and two bedrooms), arranged around the chimney, which was made of unfired brick and clay and included a kitchen stove, a heater, a bread oven, and a smokebox. Multi-family houses had two kitchens and two bedrooms. The livestock section included a room for servants, a room for fodder and tools, a cowshed, a pigpen, a coach house, and a barn. These spaces were connected to each other and to the residential section with corridors, which enabled the residents to move around the building and perform various tasks without leaving the building. Smaller and poorer houses included only a kitchen and one room separated from a cowshed and a barn with a hallway. Buildings also had attics, which were used for storing livestock, household appliances, and furniture during the most serious floods when water flooded the houses[70] .

Houses with similar layout were constructed in the entire Vistula valley starting from Żuławy. These buildings were of "wohnstahlhaus" type, which was introduced by settlers from Frisia and adopted to new conditions[71] . Many of such houses, made of timber or brick, have survived in the majority of Dutch villages on the Vistula. It is noteworthy that occasionally even the residents of neighboring Polish villages constructed buildings of the Dutch type. A wooden building erected at the beginning of the 20th century by a Polish farmer in a village of Łady near Sochaczew can serve as an example.

The house of prayer in Kazuń is a wooden building erected on an underpinning. The building has a rectangular floor layout and its facade, which faces the northeast, is topped with a triangular gable. The building was considerably rebuilt after WWII. First of all, the chapel was liquidated. Until the 1960s, the building housed local government offices, a police station, and a school; currently, it serves residential functions.

The Mennonite cemetery in Kazuń is located near the intersection of the highway to Warsaw (through Zakroczym) and the road to Nowy Dwór. From the north, it borders the riparian forest of the Vistula valley (currently a nature reserve "Ruska Kępa"). Several complete gravestones and a few fragments made of grey sandstone, concrete, and terrazzo have survived among the old trees and bushes, which overgrow this devastated and neglected cemetery. There are three complete sandstone gravestones, which once upon a time were in upright position, but now are lying under a layer of rotten wood and dead leaves[72] . They date from the 1860s and 1870s and are covered on both sides with gothic inscriptions in German and decorative as well as symbolic motifs arranged in geometric and plant-like forms. Initials of the deceased, for example, HN - Heinrich Nikel, SG - Salomon Gertz, arranged inside a writhe with ribbons or inside a profiled disc with densely leaved twig (vine), were carved in the upper semicircular section of the gravestones, which was sometimes rimmed with a plant twig or flanked with an acroterion. In the Heinrich Nikiel's gravestone, the top of the disc is shaped as a head of an eagle. Below, there is a section with an inscription with rosettes placed in corners. On the Andreas Nikiel's tombstone the inscription is flanked with pilasters with capitals decorated with acanthus leaves. The epitaph includes a deceased's biography of various lengths, which often is concluded with a motto expressing sorrow caused by the death and faith in the eternal life (cf. Appendix I). Grammatical and even more numerous spelling errors prove that both the authors of the text (family of the deceased) and gravestone carver did not know High German very well.

The house of prayer in Wymyśl has a rectangular layout and is located next to the village road. It is made of brick and is plastered. The chancel is located in the southeast section of the building. The building elevation is rusticated; the rectangular window openings are rimmed with profiled frames. The facade is topped with a triangular gable with a sharp arch alluding to Gothic style. The building has sheet metal roofing[73] .

After WWII, the former house of prayer served various functions. In 1960s it housed a social club "Ruch" and a cinema. Later, until the beginning of the 1990s, it served as a warehouse for "Herbapol". Currently, the building is not used; it is quite dilapidated, the plaster is peeling off and some windows were boarded. Inside, there is a large room of prayer with a gallery located above the back rooms.

The Wymyśle cemetery is located in the eastern outskirts of the village. The cemetery used to be separated from the road with a cement wall; only barely visible remains have survived. The entrance was flanked by two four-sided pillars also made of concrete elements.

The only gravestones in the cemetery are those characteristic of rural Lutheran cemeteries in the Vistula valley. The lack of Mennonite gravestones, which we know from Kazuń, could be a reflection of an advanced assimilation of local Mennonites by the Lutheran society. A dozen or so gravestones have survived: an obelisk carved out of glacial erratics, two cast-iron crosses, and concrete gravestones, rarely with terrazzo surfaces. The cast-iron crosses with epitaphic plaques placed at the intersection of the arms are the oldest and date from ca. 1900 (cf. Appendix II)[74] .

Noteworthy are also the Mennonite and later Baptist relics in Wola Wodzyńska and Kicin. There is a small cemetery located between the villages of Wola Wodzyńska and Obrąb. It is a cluster of trees and bushes visible from a distance. A large wooden cross stands among the trees; this is the only object that reflects the character of the place. Not a single epitaph has survived. The Baptist house of prayer in Kicin was considerably rebuilt and expanded and currently houses an elementary school. There is also a cemetery located on the opposite side of the Sochocin-Ciechanów road. Dozen or so partial or complete gravestones mainly made of concrete survived among thick bushes. They belonged to people, who passed away in the 1920s and 30s. (cf. Appendix III).

6. Final Thoughts

The Mennonites constituted a small but important fraction of the wave of the Dutch colonists. In Mazowsze, they introduced a social system that integrally combined the farming methods with religious views, which enabled their community to survive in difficult natural conditions. The existence of the Dutch was not so much a strife as a cooperation between man and nature, which together with a Protestant value system shaped the mentality of this community.

For 200 years, the Mazowsze Mennonites constituted an important element of the economic and cultural life of the Mazowsze region. Caught in the 20th century political conflicts, they did not stand any chance to oppose the course of events during WWII and save their world from destruction. Their communities ceased to exist in 1945 leaving behind a rich legacy in the form of developed rural areas and original relics of their culture.

[1] I. Baranowski, Wsie holenderskie na ziemiach polskich, "Przegląd Historyczny", vol. 19, 1915, p. 64-82; K. Heymanowski, Budnicy i holendrzy w dziejach gospodarstwa leśnego na Mazowszu, "Sylwan", vol. 113, 1969, no. 5, p. 33.
[2] W. Rusiński, Osady tzw. olędrów w dawnym województwie poznańskim, Poznań-Kraków 1939-1945, p. 27-36, 40-54.
[3] E.L. Ratzlaff, Im Weichselbogen. Mennonitensiedlungen in Zentralpolen, Winnipeg 1971, p. 19.
[4] A. Pabian, Życie religijne wspólnoty mennonickiej w Prusach Królewskich w XVI-XVIII wieku, in: Materials from the 1st Helmut Reimer Mennonite convention ed. R. Klim, Tczew 1994, p. 22-25; P. Bachmann, 1764-1934. Mennoniten in Kleinpolen, Lwów 1934, p. 378-383.
[5] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 67; H.J. Goetz, Menno Simons/Mennoniten, in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, vol. 22, Berlin-Nowy Jork 1992, p. 444-457.
[6] W. Gastpary, Historia protestantyzmu w Polsce od połowy XVIII w. do I wojny światowej, Warszawa 1977, p. 272-277; E. Kneifel, Geschichte der Evangelisch-Augsburgischen Kirche in Polen, Niedermarschacht 1965, p. 154-155.
[7] Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych (Main Office of Public Records); hereafter: AGAD), Centralne Władze Wyznaniowe (Central Religious Authorities), 1250 (Documents regarding the Evangelical congregation in Gąbin), p. 129-142, 319-335.
[8] Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego, vol. 14, Warszawa 1895, p. 97: Pierwaja wsieobszczaja pieriepis nasielienija Rossijskoj Impierii, vol. 2. Warszawskaja gubiernija, Petersburg 1904, p. 108-109.
[9] Op. cit. p. 108-109.
[10] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 19, 29.
[11] K. Heymanowski, op. cit., p. 34; E.L. Ratzlaff, s. 29.
[12] Op. cit. p. 20, 24.
[13] Z. Ludkiewicz, Osady holenderskie na Nizinie Sartawicko-Nowskiej, Toruń 1934, p. 31-38, 72-74.
[14] AGAD, Archiwum Skarbu Koronnego (Royal Treasury Archive), Sec. XLVI, cat. no. 183 (Lustracje i inwentarze dzierżawy Kazuń), p. 160-161.
[15] Op. cit., p. 190,194—195.
[16] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 30, 81.
[17] Op cit, p. 34, 37, 72; A. Pabian, op. cit., p. 24, 29-32.
[18] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 20, 23-24, 34-35, 37; A. Woźniak, Samorząd wsi mazowieckiej XVIII w., "Rocznik Mazowiecki", vol. 3, 1970, p. 147-152; J. Szczepański, Dzieje Gąbina do roku 1945, Warszawa 1984, p. 56.
[19] N. Kossko, Die Letzten unter den Gleichen, in: Wege und Wandlungen. Die Deutschen in der Welt heute, vol. 1, ed. P.E. Nasarski, Berlin-Bonn 1981, p. 219-221; H. Penner, Weltweite Bruderschaft. Ein mennonitisches Geschichtsbuch, ed. H. Gerlach i H. Quiring, Weierhof 1984, p. 79-80.
[20] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 35.
[21] Op. cit. p. 145-158.
[22] AGAD, Komisja Rządowa Spraw Wewnętrznych (Governmental Commission for Internal Affairs), 6562 Akta tyczące się menonistów (Documents regarding the Mennonites), cat. 4, 9, 10.
[23] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 43, 45.
[24] K. Mężyński, O mennonitach w Polsce, Gdańsk 1961, p. 37, 53; Namens-Verzeichniss der in Deutschland, Ost-und Westpreussen, Galizien, Polen und Russland befindlichen Mennoniten-Gemeinden, sowie ihrer Aeltesten, Lehrer und Vorsteher, Gdańsk 1857, p. 59-60; P. Bachmann, op. cit., p. 381-383.
[25] K. Mężyński, op. cit., p. 42.
[26] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 29, 36-37.
[27] A. Breyer, Deutsche Gaue in Mittelpolen, Plauen im Vogtland 1935, p. 7.
[28] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 27, 39.
[29] "Kalendarz Wydawany przez Obserwatorium Astronomiczne w Warszawie. Na rok zwyczajny 1857, p. 116-117.
[30] Namens-Verzeichniss ..., p. 60.
[31] H.R. Tomaszewski, Powstanie i rozwój ruchu baptystów w Polsce w latach 1858-1939, "Kalendarz Chrześcijanina", 1983, p. 270-272.
[32] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 44-52.
[33] Op. cit., p. 72.
[34] Op. cit. p. 66-67.
[35] Op. cit., p. 73.
[36] Słownik geograficzny ... , vol. 14, p. 97.
[37] W. Marchlewski, Osadnictwo olęderskie nad środkową Wisłą w XIX-XX w., "Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej", vol. 36, 1988, no. 3, p. 505-506.
[38] W. Marchlewski, op. cit., p. 512-513; E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 112.
[39] L. Stobbe, Montau-Gruppe. Ein Gedenkblatt an die Besiedlung der Schwetz-Neuenburger Niederung durch holländische Mennoniten im Jahre 1568, Mątawy-Grupa 1918, p. 15, 59; E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 164.
[40] Op. cit., p. 39; Afterwards, Franz Wedel had to emigrate to the USA.
[41] Op. cit., p. 22.
[42] Op. cit., p. 72; H. Penner, op. cit., p. 83-84.
[43] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 37.
[44] Op. cit., p. 55.
[45] Op. cit., p. 100.
[46] K. Tomm, Alte Bräuche in der Weichselheimat, in: Von der Weichsel an der Rhein (Gostynin-Langenfeld), ed. P. Nasarski, Langenfeld [1966], p. 36.
[47] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 67, 85; P.J.Dyck, Auf Spuren der Väter, part 1, "Der Mennonit", b. 1, 1961, p. 43; this publication and several others, which are not in Polish libraries' possession, were made available by Mrs. Dorota Popowska, a Mennonite, whom I would like to thank for assistance in collecting the literature.
[48] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., s. 56, 76, 79, 88-89.
[49] Skorowidz miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, t. 1. M. St. Warszawa. Woj. warszawskie, Warszawa 1925, s. VIII.
[50] F. Gloeh, Wykaz parafii i proboszczów Konsystorza Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego Okręgu Warszawskiego", "Rocznik Ewangelicki", 1925, s. 11-112, 141.
[51] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., s. 76-77.
[52] Tamże s. 60, 62-63.
[53] Tamże, s. 64.
[54] Tamże, s. 65.
[55] Tamże, s. 117-119.
[56] Tamże, s. 93-94, 99.
[57] A. Toews, Mennonitische Märtyrer der jüngsten Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart, t. 2, Winnipeg 1954, s. 349; P. Fijałkowski, Zmierzch menonickiego świata, "Słowo i Myśl. Przegląd Ewangelicki", 1993, nr 5/6, s. VIII.
[58] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., s. 99.
[59] Tamże, s. 99.
[60] A. Toews, op. cit., t. 2, s. 348.
[61] P.J.Dyck, Auf Spuren der Väter, part 2, "Der Mennonit", 1961, b. 4, p. 61-62; A. Toews, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 345-346.
[62] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 109; J. Szczepański, op. cit., p. 278-279.
[63] A. Toews, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 350.
[64] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit., p. 85.
[65] Op. cit., p. 80.
[66] J. Szczepański, op. cit., p. 274, 278-279, 283-284.
[67] E.L. Ratzlaff, op. cit.,p. 82.
[68] A. Toews, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 350.
[69] Op. cit., p. 349.
[70] W. Marchlewski, op. cit., p. 506-510.
[71] Z. Ludkiewicz, op. cit., p. 36-38, 72-74; W. Schwarz, Archäologische Quellen zur Besiedlung Ostfrieslands im frühen und hohen Mittelalter, w: Ostfriesland. Geschichte und Gestalt einer Kulturlandschaft; pub. K-E. Behre and H. van Lengren, Aurich 1996, p. 75-83.
[72] P. Fijałkowski, Śladami menonitów, part 1, "Słowo i Myśl. Przegląd Ewangelicki", 1992, no. 1, p. 9.
[73] P. Fijałkowski, Śladami ..., part 2, "Słowo i Myśl. Przegląd Ewangelicki", 1992, no. 2, p. 5.
[74] Op, cit., p. 5; P. Fijałkowski, Menonici na Mazowszu, "Spotkania z Zabytkami", 1993, no. 2, p. 25-26.

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