Biography of Father Johannes Zimmerman

Born into a peasant family in Seelmann, a German colony on the Lower Volga, in 1885. Graduated from Saratov Seminary and was ordained in 1908 for the Diocese of Tiraspol. From 1913 he served in Dehler [Berezovka] and Brabander [Kozitskoye]; from 1918, in Seelmann [Rovnoye] and Rothammel. In 1918 he was arrested in Seelmann on a charge of “anti-Soviet agitation,” but released two months later. In 1920 he was again arrested on charges of “resisting the seizure of the church building,” but released three months later. In January 1923 he was appointed to the parish in Brabander, Seelmann region, where he was arrested on the charge of “disruption of the Komsomol organization,” but soon released. He served in Brabander on the Lower Volga. In 1925 he was arrested on the charge of “anti-Soviet agitation” and banished to Zyriansk krae for two years. In 1927 he was released from exile but restricted from living in the six major cities and the border regions for a period of three years. He settled in Tsaritsyn, where he served in the parish. February 2, 1930 – arrested in a case against German Catholic clergy and laity. June 6, 1931 – sentenced to three years in corrective labor camp [OGPU Collegium]. In 1934 he was released from camp and he returned to his parish. April 20, 1935 – again arrested. September 15, 1935 – sentenced to three years in corrective labor camp [Special Board, USSR NKVD]. Sent to Karlag, where he was arrested in 1937. August 13, 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, NKVD Directorate, Karaganda oblast]. August 17, 1937 – shot. Sources: Archive of TsPSIP, Karaganda oblast; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 5104; Dzwonkowski, p. 532; Osipova (1996), p. 209; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Schnurr, p. 369
Variant Names:
Zimmerman, Johannes; T︠S︡immerman, Iogani Andreevich
Saratov (Russia); Tiraspol (Moldova); Rivne (Zakarpatsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine); Volgograd (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed