AboutCornelius Krahn was born in Chortitza, Ukraine, which was the first settlement established by Mennonites in Russia. He experienced the Russian Revolution of 1917-20. He went to Germany in 1926 and studied theology, and particularly church history, at the universities of Berlin (D. Bonhoeffer), Bonn (K. Barth), Amsterdam, and Heidelberg, where he met and studied with H.S. Bender. Here Krahn received his Th.D. degree in 1936 with a dissertation on Menno Simons.
In view of the political conditions in Germany, Krahn moved to the United States in 1937 and became Professor of Church and Mennonite History at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. He also became director of the Mennonite Library and Archives there and editor of 'Mennonite Life'. The September 1977 issue of 'Mennonite Life' was devoted to his scholastic and educational work. It lists his most significant writings in some 15 periodicals as well as the books he has written. Most outstanding among the latter is his editorship of the four volume 'Mennonite Encyclopedia', his 'Dutch Anabaptism', and his revision of the 'Story of the Mennonites' by C. Henry Smith.