Catherine II brought German Mennonites to Ukraine. A century later they had to immigrate fleeing Russian military drafts. Family of future creator of The Simpsons was among them

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    Mennonites are a group of Anabaptist Christian communities tracing their roots to the epoch of the Reformation. The name Mennonites is derived from the excommunicated Roman Catholic chaplain Menno Simons (1496–1561) from Friesland, part of the Holy Roman Empire, present-day Netherlands. Catherine II lured the Mennonite believers from Prussia into Ukraine in 1789. The privileges promised included guarantees of religious freedom, exemption from military service, and free land. 85 years later, on the eve of the new war with Turkey in 1874, Russia declared an intention to draft Mennonites into the army service. Not to take their chances, 900 Mennonite families immigrated to Canada and the USA. Among those families, was a Groening family. Their grandson Homer who was born in Saskatchewan, during his childhood years could speak only the Plautdietsch dialect the settlers had developed in Prussia. Matt, born in 1954, did not learn the dialect but turned out to be very good at comics and cartoons. Matt Groening is the creator of the television series The Simpsons. Read more in The Groenings, The Simpsons and Ukraine >

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    The lands to which Catherine II lured the Mennonnites were the lands of the Zaporozhian Cossacks she had resettled to the Kuban area east of the Azov Sea.

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