Saturday, January 23, 2021

MCC's call to explore past welcome, documentary maker says

Nazi Canada Winnipeg Mennonite history immigration politics collaboration

Many were likely shocked when news broke two weeks ago that the Mennonite Central Committee has launched an investigation into how it helped Nazi collaborators after the Second World War.

How could the organization, which has a stellar reputation today for its aid work around the world and advocacy on behalf of marginalized and vulnerable groups in Canada, ever have been involved in such a thing?

Getting an answer to that question is MCC’s goal. It has asked 11 researchers from five countries, including Canada, to explore how it happened.

That will include investigating "MCC’s entanglements with National Socialism before and during World War II, and with the legacy of National Socialism as we worked to resettle displaced Mennonites, including those who had served in the German army and those who had worked with MCC," the organization said in a statement.

The goal, said Ann Graber Hershberger, executive director of MCC U.S., is to develop "a deeper understanding of this part of our history, and reckoning with it once the research is complete."

While the news is shocking to many, it isn’t a revelation for historians who have been researching, writing and speaking about this issue for many years.  (more...)

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