May 30, 2003

Before somone googles it...

"Apanlee" on Goolgle

It has come to my attention that my great-grandfather's family estate, Apanlee, features prominently in a work of historical fiction called Lebensraum, written by Ingrid Rimland, a Holocaust denier and current owner of the Zundelsite (link leads to the ADL website). I am not, nor is anyone in my family as far as I know, linked to Zündel, Rimland, Holocaust denial, neo-Naziism or anything even dimly related to that end of the political spectrum. Some in my clan are quite politically conservative, none that I know are anywhere near so far to the right.

Most of my readers will not be surprised that I take a dim view of neo-Naziism, but there is a chance someone will find this page by googling for "Apanlee." I am disturbed to find any aspect of my family history invoked to such ends. Any effort to find a pro-Nazi message in Mennonite history - a people who have historically refused participation in any sort of violence even to save their own lives - is pretty doubtful.

There also seems to be some genuine confusion over the ownership of my great-grandfather's family estate in Russia. Since I'm working with nothing but Grandpa's text and what I can get off the web, I can't be sure how accurate my information is. Grandpa writes that Grandpa Dick's father, David J. Dick, owned the Apanlee estate, and Elsa Dick takes about Apanlee belonging to her father, but other sources mention another owner or part-owner. The name Jacob Sudermann also seems to be linked to the estate. I have a letter from Grandpa Dick in which he talks about Mr Sudermann as someone who lived at Apanlee and another document where he mentions him as a neighbour who left in the aftermath of the 1917 revolution. Apanlee might have meant the whole area and encompassed several people's estates. I just don't know.

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Posted 2003/05/30 18:49 (Fri) | TrackBack