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Going by the Moon and the Stars

Stories of Two Russian Mennonite Women

By Pamela E. Klassen
Subjects Social Science, Women’s Studies, Religion
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Paperback : 9780889202443, 162 pages, November 1994
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554587247, 162 pages, January 2010


So, it was January the 18 and it was the middle of the night. And it was very, very cold. Snow was — we went just about knee deep in snow — And we went on the road going toward Posen, capital of Wartegau. And so we said, “Let’s take that direction. ” Just going by the moon and the stars. (Katja Enns)

Going by the Moon and the Stars tells the stories of two Russian Mennonite women who emigrated to Canada after fleeing from the Soviet Union during World War II. Based on ethnographic interviews with the author the women recount, in their own words, their memories of their wartime struggle and flight, their resettlement in Canada and their journey into old age. Above all, they tell of the overwhelming importance of religion in their lives.

Through these remarkable stories Pamela Klassen challenges conventional understandings of religion. The women’s voices, intimate and powerful, testify to the importance of religion in the construction of personal history, as well as to its oppressive and liberating potential.

Going by the Moon and the Stars will be of great value to all those interested in the Mennonites and Mennonite history, religion, women’s studies, ethnic studies and life history.


"This book is a good read for anyone interested in Mennonite history or feminist methodology. Pamela's self-conscious approach about the directive role of the interviewer makes this an important book for those interested in doing oral history. "