Neumarkt (Italian: Egna), a market town in the Adige Valley, Tyrol, Austria (now belonging to Italy), formerly in the domain of Enn and Caldif. Here the Anabaptist movement found early entry. The records show that property of fugitive Anabaptists was confiscated as early as 1527. In May 1528 two citizens of Neumarkt were called to Bozen to sit in on the trial of the imprisoned Anabaptists. In the early summer of 1529 Georg Blaurock apparently came as far as Neumarkt in his work in southern Tyrol; for from this time on the movement spread rapidly. In September the authorities became aware of the situation, and in November the Innsbruck government ordered energetic preventive measures.
After the imprisonment of Georg Blaurock and Hans Langecker in August 1529 their work was carried on by Benedikt Gamper of Gamperhof near Leifers. He was especially hunted by the authorities, for he had been a people's priest in Bruneck. He preached and baptized in the vicinity of Neumarkt, in the villages of Vill and Tramin. On 16 November 1529 four brethren and three sisters were seized in Vill and taken to the Vill castle. The judge, Jorg Tschander, was given directions by the Innsbruck government to have competent and pious priests convert them, and to report the names of those who recanted and deliver the obstinate ones to the criminal court. They were to be thoroughly interrogated concerning their preachers and leaders in the region. If the prisoners gave the names of persons in other districts, the pertinent authorities should be notified. Tschander was physically unable to conduct the trial, and was replaced by Hans Plattner of Salurn. On 3 December 1529 the jury was called, and the judge was warned to carry out the mandates strictly.
The supervisor of the parish of Enn and Caldif was accused on December 3 of permitting Anabaptists to go about in his territory. He reported that of the eight prisoners only one had repented. The government ordered that the others be executed. This was done on 22 December 1529. Very soon the leaders Martin Nauk and Benedikt Gamper were captured, and put to death as martyrs. Thus it is clear that the nine executions listed in the Hutterian chronicles in Neumarkt all occurred at the turn of the year 1529-1530.
On 11 June 1531 the government warned all the neighboring authorities that 40 Anabaptists were reported to have built a hut in Brantental, in the jurisdiction of Deutschnofen. The judges of these regions, including Neumarkt, should cooperate in catching them. A hunt, very secretly carried out, resulted in the seizure of four men and three women, in Kaltern, Karneid, and Bozen. On 27 June Innsbruck ordered that all backsliders, leaders, and impenitent ones should be executed. The "principal" had, however, escaped. The others were executed on or before 19 July. On 1 August 1531 Innsbruck reported that the escaped prisoner and the leader were living in a mountain hut in the district of Bozen, and two weeks later added that they were in a cave near Leifers.
A tabulation of property confiscated from Anabaptists of 1532 states that in the region of Enn and Caldif many Anabaptists had been executed and many had fled.
Although Neumarkt is hardly mentioned after this, it can be assumed that the Anabaptist movement was indeed suppressed, as in the rest of the country, but by no means rooted out. On 20 August 1539 Innsbruck again ordered the authorities in the Adige to seize an active Anabaptist preacher. The trouble was, as the Innsbruck authorities reported to the king, that the parishes were filled with ignorant priests. Among the populace the Anabaptists found many friends. On 12 November 1560 the government ordered that vigorous steps be taken against those who aided them. And in November 1592 the secondary authorities were accused of negligence in the matter.
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Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 213 f.
Loesche, Georg. "Tirolensia: Täufertum und Protestantismus." Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für die Geschichte des Protestantismus im ehemaligen und im neuen Österreich 47 (1926).
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Cite This Article
Dedic, Paul. "Neumarkt (Trentino-Sudtirolo, Italy)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 31 Aug 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Neumarkt_(Trentino-Sudtirolo,_Italy)&oldid=76210.
Dedic, Paul. (1957). Neumarkt (Trentino-Sudtirolo, Italy). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 August 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Neumarkt_(Trentino-Sudtirolo,_Italy)&oldid=76210.
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