Life Before Canada – Selma Kornelsen Hooge & Anna Goossen Kornelsen

“Anna Goossen Kornelsen– was born in 1902 in Margenau, Molotschna, Ukraine. She had a happy childhood, but by her late teens the prosperous life many Mennonites in Ukraine had known was destroyed by civil war, anarchy, famine and Communism. Despite extreme poverty and food shortages, Anna and Kornelius Kornelsen were married in Marienthal on March 27, 1921. Of their eight children, three died in infancy. The remaining five survived poverty, hunger and years of godless Communism. Anna and Kornelius’ youngest daughter was Selma.”

“Selma Kornelsen Hooge– was born in Marienthal, Molotschna where, during the 1930s, her parents and other villagers were part of the collective farm under Communism. Selma has a few memories of a big change that happened in the village in 1941 when Germany invaded Ukraine. Two years later, in September of 1943, thousands of Mennonites from Ukraine began The Great Trek–the perilous journey westward with the retreating German soldiers. Selma’s family was blessed to be intact and in West Germany at the end of WWII– in most Mennonite families the men were missing. In 1948 the Kornelsen family was fortunate to be sponsored to emigrate to Canada, where they could live in peace for the rest of their lives. Selma remembers that her mother praised God for this gift until the day that she died. For Selma, how the Kornelsen family found sponsors who brought them to Canada has always seemed like a miracle. Selma always knew, from her own childhood memories and from the adult conversations she overheard, that there was so much story to tell. Finally, she felt compelled to write down and publish the story. Until 1990 Selma and her husband Helmut lived in Burnaby, where they raised their family. Now Selma and her husband Helmut live on a hobby farm in Greendale. They have two married sons and a married daughter, eight grandchildren (half of them married) and two great-grandsons. Selma is grateful for her health and for the ability to enjoy family gatherings at the farm.”

Price: $18.00

Back to Bookstore