Founded 1715 as the administrative residence of the Duke of Baden-Durlach and Baden-Baden (after 1771); after 1806 capital of the Grand-Duchy; and, from 1918-1945, capital of the State of Baden, Karlsruhe is the administrative, scientific, educational, and economic center of the Upper Rhine. In it are located a number of significant buildings, including the baroque Palace and the Schwarzwaldhalle (Black Forest Hall), in which the sixth Mennonite World Conference was held (1957). The state archives contain significant Anabaptist and Mennonite documents.
Anabaptist groups were present in the Karlsruhe area from 1527 to 1604, with Mennonite refugees from Switzerland settling there after 1722. From 1790 to 1890 Mennonite families from the Kraichgau began renting and settling on estates in the area, e.g., Hohenwettersbach, Batzenhof, Lamprechtshof and Rittnerthof. By 1900 they were also locating in Karlsruhe and Durlach itself.
Since 1960 the Durlach Mennonite congregation has met in the retreat center Thomashof near Karlsruhe and is known as the Mennonite congregation of Karlsruhe-Thomashof. Following 1975 two elders carried responsibility for the congregation (Adolf Schnebele, preaching; Heini Bachmann, congregational leader) together with an elected advisory committee and a volunteer committee. Membership in 1986 was 136.
The Thomashof is a retreat and Bible study center, supported since 1962 by the congregations of the Verband der deutschen Mennonitengemeinden (Federation of the German Mennonite Congregations). Additions to the buildings in 1956, 1966, and 1985 made possible an enlarged ministry to Mennonites in the form of church retreats, a vacation center, and since 1960, a meeting place for the Mennonite congregation Karlsruhe-Thomashof. In 1986 the retreat center had 55 beds, the retirement home 40 beds. Since 1904 the Thomashof has also served as the center for deaconesses, of whom only one was still living in 1986.
Krebs, Manfred. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer. IV. Band, Baden and Pfalz. Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1951.
Mennonite Mirror (October 1984): 5-8.
Schnebele, Adolf. "Geschichte des Bibelheíms der Mennoniten." Gemeinde. Unterwegs (May 1984).
Cite This Article
Glück, Theo. "Karlsruhe (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 30 Apr 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Karlsruhe_(Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg,_Germany)&oldid=118398.
Glück, Theo. (1987). Karlsruhe (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 April 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Karlsruhe_(Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg,_Germany)&oldid=118398.
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