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effort. The Bergthaler Church leaders considered it their duty to finan­ cially support the government and accordingly left the decision up to individual members whether they wished to participate. The Sommer­ felder, Reinlaender, and Mennonite Brethren Churches, however, re­ fused to support the Victory Loan program until the government promised to devote that money raised among the Mennonites to relief purposes. Following this concession, Manitoba Mennonites purchased close to $700,000 worth of Victory Bonds in less than a year,"

The favourable war time treatment of the Mennonites in Canada was looked upon with envy by Mennonites and Hutterites in the United States. When the United States entered the War in 1917, Mennonites and Hutterites had considerable difficulty gaining exemption from military service and began exploring emigration to Canada. While the majority of United States Mennonites migrating to Canada settled in Saskatche­ wan and Alberta, some did come to Manitoba. The Canadian Govern­ ment still considered Mennonites a desirable class of agriculturalists and encouraged its U. S. agents to facilitate their migration into Canada. This policy also applied to Hutterites, who were assured of military exemption and religious freedom.

But by 1918 local feeling began to turn against the influx of Mennonites from the United States and the government revoked its blanket military exemption for American Mennonites and Hutterites.

Digging Potatoes -1922.

Credit: Gerhard Giesbrecht

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