Herrmann, Thomas (d. 1528)
Thomas (Thoman) Herrmann (Hermann), of Waidhofen, Bohemia, was an Anabaptist martyr. In the late 1520s Kitzbühel became a refuge for Anabaptists fleeing from Salzburg and other towns of Tyrol. Some of them were seized in March 1528, and tried according to regulations; their confessions roused the sympathy of a large number of the common people.
Among those seized was Thomas Herrmann, who was led into captivity and martyrdom by an odd incident. On 9 May 1528, Hans Schweighofer and Hans Platzer of Aschelberg ("der Aschelberger"), besides several others, were committed to the court as Anabaptists. The jury, composed of citizens of Innsbruck, Hall, Rattenberg, and Freundsberg, found them guilty, and the condemned men were executed 12 August. When Schweighofer and Platzer were taken to the site of the execution, someone derisively cried out that the Anabaptist leaders spared themselves, while sacrificing their flocks. Herrmann then pushing through the crowd exclaimed, "What I have taught you is divine truth, and with God's help I will testify to it with my blood." He was consequently seized on 19 August. The court record says, "He was a true insurrectionist and an Anabaptist, who had led many in this country into this error."
On 28 August he appeared before the jury, who had received orders, even if he should recant, to condemn him to death. They complied under protest. Herrmann was burned at the stake on the same day, "as the song records, which he is said to have composed on his last trip" (i.e., to his execution): "O Gott, ich tu dich bitten wohl hier zu dieser Stund." It was soon related in Anabaptist circles that his heart refused to burn and was cast into the nearby lake.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 55f.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 11.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 422. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 287.
Cite This Article
Loserth, Johann. "Herrmann, Thomas (d. 1528)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 Mar 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Herrmann,_Thomas_(d._1528)&oldid=128602.
Loserth, Johann. (1956). Herrmann, Thomas (d. 1528). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 March 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Herrmann,_Thomas_(d._1528)&oldid=128602.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 713-714. All rights reserved.
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