A Survival Story: The Driedger Family

Eine Überlebensgeschichte: Die Familie Driedger – The Eitzen family had been financially secure for most of their years in Russia, with few exceptions. It may have been an important factor in delaying a decision to emigrate in the mid-1920s before it was too late. Only one of eight siblings managed to emigrate; for the others, delay cost them that opportunity, resulting in a life of suffering, misery, and death. This is an account of my grandmother’s youngest sister, Margaretha Eitzen Driedger, and her family. It is based on
family memoirs, notes, correspondence received from them in the 1920s and 1930s, and current correspondence with grandsons living in Germany and in Ontario.

Die Familie Eitzen war während der meisten Jahre in Russland finanziell abgesichert gewesen, mit wenigen Ausnahmen. Dies mag ein wichtiger Faktor gewesen sein, um die Entscheidung zur Auswanderung Mitte der 1920er Jahre zu verzögern, bevor es zu spät war. Nur einem von acht Geschwistern gelang es, auszuwandern; für die anderen kostete die Verzögerung diese Möglichkeit und führte zu einem Leben voller Leid, Elend und Tod. Dies ist ein Bericht über die jüngste Schwester meiner Großmutter, Margaretha Eitzen Driedger, und ihre Familie. Er basiert auf Familienerinnerungen, Notizen, Korrespondenz aus den 1920er und 1930er Jahren sowie aktuelle Korrespondenz mit in Deutschland und Ontario lebenden Enkeln.

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Dave Loewen

Dave Loewen

Dave is a first-generation Canadian, born and raised in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Dave is a retired teacher and school administrator. He holds a B.A. (Sociology) from Simon Fraser University and a M.Ed. (Administration) from the University of Victoria. Dave served two years with MCC in the Democratic Republic of Congo with PAX. He has served on numerous church and para-church boards and committees over the years, and has been serving as an elected Councillor since 2005 on Abbotsford City Council. Dave and Grace are members of Level Ground Mennonite Church. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford since retiring. He is married to Grace, and they have two married sons and seven grandchildren. Dave has a keen interest in family history and genealogy, both of which occupy some of his leisure time.