Henry D. RempleHenry D. Remple, PhD, author of From Bolshevik Russia to America: A Mennonite Family Story, is a retired psychologist and diplomate in clinical psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. Remple earned a PhD in psychology at the University of Kansas and took up life-long residence in Kansas, where he is recognized as a distinguished citizen who has contributed generously to his community (Kansas Alumni, Issue 1, 2005).

He held various positions with the Veterans Administration, retiring as chief of the Psychology Service at the VA Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kansas. Seventeen years later, in 1998, he retired from his private practice of clinical psychology. Dr. Remple also served for over twelve years as a part-time associate clinical professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas.

He served as a director of the Bert Nash Center Governing Board from 1978-1988, as chair of the BNC Board for two consecutive terms, and received the 1991 BNC Pioneer Award. In 1997 he received the Bert Nash Center Lifetime Achievement Award in Mental Health for recognition of his nearly sixty years of service with the Veteran Administration and in leadership roles in state and national mental health organizations.

Dr. Remple's memoir, which sold out in two printings, was based on a diary he kept from age 13 to 18 and includes his own family story of challenge, emigration, loss, and survival within a turbulent period of history. It starts with his family's contented life in Czarist Russia through the Bolshevik Revolution, civil war, and persecution that caused his parents and their nine children to leave their home in 1922. It recounts the tortuous journey to America that only he and two sisters survived. Their parents and six siblings died from disease and starvation en route. Fourteen-year-old Remple and his sisters were separated on arrival in Nebraska and were raised by three different families. Remple went on to earn a PhD in psychology at the University of Kansas.

His personal history captures the work of the Mennonite Central Committee in the USA which has continued into the present to offer aid to the most needy. Dr. Remple has drawn from his memories, notations in his own childhood diary, the recollections of his two older sisters who also survived into mature adulthood, and his extensive collection of texts related to Russia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Dr. Remple's perspective exemplifies his conclusion that parents who provide their children with loving stability, challenges to study and succeed, and strongly shared values in the earliest years of life, well prepare their youngsters to meet adversity and persist to triumph even in times of stress or the experience of family tragedy.

Following the release of his book in 2001, Dr. Remple has received visitors, correspondence, and manuscripts from other survivors or descendants of the largely undocumented Batum group of German-speaking Mennonites who had fled South Russia in 1922. These materials contribute to the knowledge about those turbulent times and how the survivors experienced their transition from German-Russian immigrant to becoming citizens of other countries.

Since the publication of his book, Remple, who has been actively involved with youth and their activities since the '50's, now 96 frequently speaks to groups, particularly children, about his experiences and what he has learned about maintaining health in the face of life's adversities and risks. These contacts have contributed to interest in creating video documentation and related educational packets related to this history for broader distribution.

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