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Memorable Manitobans: Otto Klassen (1927-2018)

Mason, filmmaker.

Born at Schoeneberg, Ukraine on 7 April 1927, son of Bernhard and Katharina Klassen, he was separated from his family during the Second World War. In 1947, the family moved to Paraguay and settled in a farming colony where he met and married his wife, and had two children. They came to Winnipeg in October 1955 where he established a masonry business. After his business was established, he began a second career in film-making, producing 84 films, over 50 of which were documentaries on the persecution of people for their Mennonite faith. He wrote two autobiographies, I Remember and Erinnerungen Aus Meinem Leben. He was given an honorary degree by the University of Winnipeg (2007) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He died at Winnipeg on 17 January 2018.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 January 2018.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 January 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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