Kufstein (Kofstein), a city (population of 11,844 in 1956; 17,234 in 2007) in the Inn Valley of Tyrol, Austria, played a significant role in Anabaptist history. The number of executions was given as 16 in the record of 1581, placing it fourth among the 13 towns and villages of the valley.
Leonhard Schiemer's writings indicate that there were Anabaptists in Kufstein as early as 1527. Three are named in 1528: the knifesmith's wife, and Jorg Held and his wife. In spite of all the harshness of the suppressive mandates and the vigor of their application there were still Anabaptists in and around Kufstein in 1529-1530; the bloody trial of Georg Grünwald and 15 other Anabaptists was brought to its conclusion here. The teacher of these persons, the former chaplain of Kitzbühel, Jakob Portzner, escaped with his life by recantation. Anabaptists who fled lost their property by confiscation; among these were Wolfgang of Elmau, Michael of Weissenbach, Lienhard Hofer, and Paul Frauenhofer.
The mandates brought results. In June 1533 the government reported to the king that "in the three domains of Rattenberg, Kufstein, and Kitzbühel no one is known to be contaminated with Anabaptism, or that it is making inroads," welcome news to Ferdinand, who had just sent further admonitions to the archbishop of Salzburg to wipe out the Anabaptists at Kufstein.
Since Hutter's death in 1536 there had indeed been a weakening in Anabaptist propaganda, but it was by no means extinguished. In 1540 "Black Lindl" of the Puster Valley lay in prison at Kufstein. Special care was taken to apprehend the Anabaptists traveling up and down the Inn to Krems en route to Moravia. When a group of these was imprisoned in Wasserburg, the judge of Kufstein was told the boatmen should also have been arrested.
In later decades there is only occasional reference to Anabaptists in Kufstein. In 1577 caution was again urged to prevent their traveling down the river to go to Moravia, and an order was issued on 10 June 1578 strictly forbidding the transport of Anabaptists on the river. As at the turn of the century, the situation of the Anabaptists in Moravia also became precarious. Immigration from the Inn became less frequent, and finally stopped.
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Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 581.
Loserth, Johann. Der Anabaptismus in Tirol. Vienna: F. Tempsky, 1892.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.
Cite This Article
Loserth, Johann. "Kufstein (Tyrol, Austria)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1958. Web. 6 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kufstein_(Tyrol,_Austria)&oldid=88792.
Loserth, Johann. (1958). Kufstein (Tyrol, Austria). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kufstein_(Tyrol,_Austria)&oldid=88792.
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