From Aryanism to Multiculturalism: Mennonite Ethnicity and German Nationalism- 22 Wed – 15:30

Wed, 15:30, From Aryanism to Multiculturalism: Mennonite Ethnicity and German Nationalism, 1871 – Today, by Ben Waltner Goossen

In 1925, Mennonite World Conference began as a forum for white, primarily German-speaking Mennonites. At the time, many members considered Anabaptism a fundamentally German religion. Developed during the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Party, such ideas often linked the confession to Aryanism and anti-Semitism. This workshop explores the legacy of German nationalism within the global Mennonite church. To what extent did German, Dutch, Canadian, American, Paraguayan, Brazilian, and Russian Mennonites participate in Nazism, including the Holocaust of European Jews? How have Mennonites addressed this past? Does it compromise their historic peace position? What tensions remain today between “ethnic” Mennonitism and Anabaptist multiculturalism?

Ben Waltner Goossen is a member of Southern Hills Mennonite Church in Topeka, Kansas, and a PhD student in modern European history at Harvard University. His current book project is entitled “Into a Great Nation: Mennonites and Nationalism in Modern Germany.”

Download the Reading Suggestions on Mennonites and Nazism PDF here: From Aryanism to Multiculturalism resources