Hans Landis, a Swiss Brethren martyr, a preacher from Wadenswil in the canton of Zürich, Switzerland, was imprisoned in the Wellenberg in 1608. After a few months his fellow prisoners managed to release him from the chains, and all escaped. The others were soon captured, but Hans reached his native village. Another attempt was made to indoctrinate the Anabaptists to win them to the state church. On 21 January 1613 the first disputation of the government with them took place at Wadenswil. It was fruitless, as was also the second one, held on 23 February. Thereupon Hans Landis was again put in prison with five other Brethren. In early August negotiations were begun. Landis remained "stiff-necked." He refused to emigrate, saying that the earth was the Lord's; no one had authority to send them away out of the country; they were going to stay in the country.
On 25 August 1613 all six Brethren were condemned to galley service and were to be delivered to the French minister at Solothurn on the next day. Once more they were given permission to emigrate, with a week's time to decide. Three wavered and consented; the others encouraged Landis to be faithful. These three (Hans Landis, Galli Fuchs, and Stephan Zehender) were taken to Solothurn and lodged in prison to await transport. In three days they escaped.
In December 1613 Hans Landis, having returned to minister to his flock, was again seized. In prison he wrote to his church and his friends. He asked his wife for the Doms-büchli (the Confessio of the martyr Thomas von Imbroich). He was questioned on the rack. On 29 September 1614 he was sentenced to death and was beheaded the next day. This was the last Anabaptist execution in Zürich.
Hans Landis had a stately figure, "a long black beard mixed with gray and a manly voice." The executioner asked his pardon for what he was about to do; Landis replied that "he had already forgiven him; may God also forgive him; he knew very well that he must carry out the government's orders." When his wife and children came to the place of execution with "sorrowful crying and mourning, to bid him at the end an eternal good night," he asked that they leave him, so that "his good resolution and his good courage for the death facing him might not be moved or hindered." In the Ausbund, No. 132, is a song of 46 stanzas commemorating his death. It begins "Ich hab ein schön neu Lied gemacht."
Bergmann, C. Die Täuferbewegung im Kanton Zürich. Leipzig, 1916, 82 ff.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde 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: II, 804-806.
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: 1103-1151. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Geiser, Samuel. Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden: eine Kurzgefasste Darstellung der wichtigsten Ereignisse des Täufertums. Karlsruhe: H. Schneider, 1931: 372 ff.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 612.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berus Htende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884. II, 2, No. 865a.
Kläui, P. "Hans Landis of Zürich." Mennonite Quarterly Review 22 (1948): 203-211.
Kläui, P. Geschichte der Gemeinde Horgen. Horgen, 1952.
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Landis, Hans (d. 1614)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 14 Feb 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Landis,_Hans_(d._1614)&oldid=119745.
Neff, Christian. (1957). Landis, Hans (d. 1614). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 February 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Landis,_Hans_(d._1614)&oldid=119745.
Herald Press website.
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