Mennonite Sect Wrestles Publicly With Its Nazi Ties In Paraguay

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tags: religion, Nazi, Mennonite



Decades after officials worried they might be sheltering the infamous Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele, members of the Mennonite sect in Paraguay are coming to terms with their historical ties with the Third Reich.

Mennonites are supposed to embrace non-violence and shun political life. But that was not the case in Fernheim, the Paraguay settlement where a group of Mennonites fleeing the Soviet Union put down roots after the Russian Revolution. Founded in Germany, the Mennonite religion has retained ties to the country, and the Fernheim community received funding from Hitler’s government, which it celebrated.

Following the outbreak of war, Fernheim was severed from much of its contact with the Third Reich, leading to disturbances as settlers argued and eventually came to blows over how to best continue the National Socialist legacy. The unrest became severe enough that American diplomats and Paraguay’s military intervened.






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