Kreuznach, a city (pop. in mid-1950s 26,557, in 2007 43,880) in the southern Rhine Province of Prussia, formerly under Palatine jurisdiction, where in 1529 the Anabaptist, Philip of Langenlonsheim, was beheaded. There seems to have been an Anabaptist congregation here very early, but no particulars are known before 1556, when a division occurred. The Hutterite chronicle records the following account:
Several members of the group around Kreuznach, who were called the Swiss, had left it because of sin and transgression within the group, and were won to the Hutterian brotherhood by Hans Schmidt. The reasons for this step were: (1) Although they have taught and learned that one should give himself completely to God, with all that he has, they have granted that each may use his own goods for himself and give to the poor what will benefit them. (2) Although they have taught that no one should call anything his own, but that what one has is also one's neighbor's, nevertheless if anyone needs anything he has to buy it of the other. (3) Because they do not teach the truth on original sin, pay taxes for war, and secretly discipline misdeeds, so that they may not become public. (4) Because they are not truly separated from the people of the world, but in many regards mingle with them, and because their preachers disagree and quarrel among themselves. Diebold (Winter) and Farwendel are named.
Among those dissatisfied with the group were Lorenz Hueff of Sprendlingen, a preacher; Rupp Gellner or Kern, Matthes Stroh, and Wilhelm Henchen. Thoman Neuman of Wolfsheim, a cobbler, journeyed to Moravia to get acquainted with the Hutterian Brethren. He brought back a favorable report. These men then decided to join the Hutterian brotherhood. After long oral and written negotiations an agreement was reached on 26 November 1556 on various points (marriage, war taxes, separation, support of preachers, purchase of houses and land, and moving to Moravia). In Moravia Lorenz Hueff was accepted as a preacher.
The Concept of Cologne was signed in 1591 by a representative of the Kreuznach congregation. Nothing further is known of it, but it is inferred that remnants survived the Thirty Years' War, for right after the war ended, Swiss Mennonite refugees settled here and a new congregation was formed, which existed a long time under the name of Rheingrafenstein, more recently called Neudorferhof.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 569.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 270-278.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 357-360.
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Kreuznach (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 8 Dec 2013. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kreuznach_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=95668.
Neff, Christian. (1957). Kreuznach (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 8 December 2013, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kreuznach_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=95668.
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