Kaufbeuren, a city (pop. 42,500 in 2003) in Swabia, southwest Bavaria, Germany, was once an imperial city, which passed to Bavaria in 1803. It opened very slowly to the Reformation. Anabaptists soon came here from Augsburg; among them Hans Kraft and Callus Fischer were influential. At first the Protestant pastors tried with partial success as in other imperial cities to win them by friendly persuasion. Then the Swabian League in 1528 hunted down the Anabaptists with a squadron of 400 horsemen. In Kaufbeuren 40 persons were seized, of whom five were beheaded (13 May 1528) and seven had their cheeks burned through. These events intimidated the council, and Catholicism won control for the next 15 years.
But Anabaptist ideas continued to influence the populace, and after 1535 Schwenckfelders and Zwinglians obtained a firm footing. The progress of the various branches can no longer be traced. In any case, by 1543 the council was apparently completely under Schwenckfeld influence. It is worth noting that Catholic services were at this time in no way encroached upon. Religious developments in Kaufbeuren were discussed by the Protestant estates at the Diet of Worms in 1545. Delegates from various cities were sent there, who with great difficulty succeeded in pushing out these quiet "confessors of the glory of Christ." But in secret their influence continued. During the Schwenckfeld period the council passed many measures against the Anabaptists, causing many to emigrate. A letter written by Ferdinand I to the council of Kaufbeuren, dated 5 September 1545, contains the court records of the trials of the Kaufbeuren Anabaptists, Hans Staudach (executed at Vienna in 1546), a baker of Kaufbeuren, his wife Ursula, and his cousin Blasius Staudach (baker), Hans Hofmayr (weaver), Hans Feuerbach (apparently a preacher), Anna Zacharias, the widow of a butcher, Katharina Losch, and Anna Stangel (Alt, 9-24). Alt (37) prints the sincere letter of comfort and admonition written by a Kaufbeuren Anabaptist woman named Katharina.
In the 17th century there were still some Anabaptists in Kaufbeuren; the court records repeatedly note that citizens go to the Anabaptists in Moravia, stay a while, and return, or that they have given lodging to Anabaptists.
Alt, K. Wiedertäufer in und aus Kaufbeuren. Kempten, 1930.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 475.
Keim, Th. Schwäbische Reformationsgeschichte bis zum Augsburger Reichstag. Tübingen, 1855.
Stieve, F. Die Reichsstadt Kaufbeuren. 1870.
Cite This Article
Quiring, Horst. "Kaufbeuren (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 7 Feb 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kaufbeuren_(Freistaat_Bayern,_Germany)&oldid=92238.
Quiring, Horst. (1957). Kaufbeuren (Freistaat Bayern, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 February 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kaufbeuren_(Freistaat_Bayern,_Germany)&oldid=92238.
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