This blog is named for my father Gerhard who survived everything the tumultuous 20th century could throw at him. Persecution, prisons, famine, war, injustice. But it would be difficult to grasp the arc of his life without some understanding of the context of his strange and befuddled people, the Mennonites. I’ll be spending quite a bit of time on a re-telling of Mennonite history, but from a less sympathetic point of view. Mennonite history, often written by Mennonites themselves, has been tailored to fit a quaint stereotype of the quiet people on the land when times were good, and when times were challenging, they became innocent victims and martyrs of the faith. However when a more rigorous standard is applied to their story, for example the standard of their namesake Menno Simons, they can be seen as neither quiet people, nor victims, but as active participants in the path to their own demise. Gerhard, and thousands of other Mennonites, were required to pay the price of a people too self-righteous to see the precipice even as they stared into the void.