Pfeiffer, Emil


The Rev. Emil Pfeifer was born in Norka in 1891. Following his ordination, he taught private theological courses in Leningrad along with Bishop Malmgren until 1924. He served the Norka Parish (which also served the colonies of Huck and Beideck) from 1927 to 1934.

He was arrested in 1935 and "resettled" to Alma Ata (in current Kazakhstan). At some point following his relocation, he was executed.

He is the brother of the Rev. Arthur Pfeiffer who was arrested along with him and is presumed to have suffered the same fate.

As of October 2002, his daughter Edith Müthel is living in St. Petersburg and is a member of St. Peter and St. Anne Evangelical Lutheran Church on Nevsky Prospect. She was born in 1919 in Saint-Petersburg while her father was there and lived in Norka from 1927-1933. Her memoirs were written in 1994 and were published in Germany as part of an evangelical church calendar for 2001.

From the memoirs Edith Müthel:

"The village consists of ten lines of houses and five very long streets on which part of the houses are made from clay, brick or logs, covered with boards or iron sheets… the houses border an old cemetery. In spite of the fact that the village existed for more than one hundred years, this is still the first cemetery. The paths in the cemetery were well-groomed. It was planted with lilacs and roses, a white acacia, birches, aspens and elms - a botanical garden. There I could hide with a book and quietly read. In the village of Norka there were five schools, but teachers did not communicate directly with us, as it was forbidden to them. Father gave lessons to us."


Schnurr, Joseph. Die Kirchen und das religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen – Evangelischer Teil (Stuttgart: AER Verlag Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Rußland, 1978): 163.

Emil Pfeifer (Norka website - Steve Schreiber)

Müthel, E., & Gast-Kellert, Vera. (2012). An Gottes Hand : eine deutsch-russische Lebensgeschichte (2., überarbeitete Auflage.). Leipzig: Gustav-Adolf-Werk.