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encroaching modernity. During the war quite a number of the more conservative Sommerfelder Mennonites in the municipality became increasingly dismayed as their younger sons and daughters, not only drifted away from the Church's stand on non-resistance, but also drifted away from the farm. Unable to purchase land in the community to keep the younger members ofthe Church in the area, many members decided not to wait any longer but to emigrate to a country where they would keep their own schools, language and religion. In this group were some of the most well-to-do farmers in the region. In 1948, after two years of careful planning, this group purchased large tracts of land in Paraguay. Of the approximate 2,000 Mennonites who left for Paraguay almost 1,500 came from the Rhineland area. 68 Land shortages continued to be a problem throughout the 1950's and by 1953 the Mennonite Land Settle­ ment Association had been formed to settle the landless people in the region."

In spite of these problems there was an element of continuity in the rural communities of Rhineland. All those villages that had survived the 1920's and 1930's continued to be vital community centers. Electricity, radio, television, telephones and better roads all tied the village more closely to larger area towns and the larger metropolitan centers, but the social life for those that stayed still centered around the village churches and schools.

As farming in Rhineland became more diversified and as pros­ perity returned after the war, there was increasing pressure to improve the drainage in the area. Serious spring flooding in 1941, 1945, 1948, 1950 and 1955 made drainage one of the municipality's principle con­ cerns.

Halbstadt. Mail being delivered by boat during the 1950 flood.

Credit: H. H. Sawatsky

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