Melchior Platzer, a Hutterian Brethren martyr, an apothecary, was arrested in Zürich, Switzerland, with Ludwig Dörcker and David Falch in 1574, subjected to a cross-examination, and then released (Bergmann, 46; Geschicht-Buch, 367 f.). In 1583 he was seized in the village of Rankweil in Tyrol, Austria, and taken to Feldkirchen, where he was put into the tower of the castle. He was again cross-examined. A priest was summoned from Bregenz to convert him, and hoped to gain honor and fame by this colloquy. But when he was soon defeated he said, "Did the devil bring me here and deceive me with this Anabaptist?" It was hoped that Lutheran clergymen would have better success. But they too failed. Thereupon Platzer was accused of being a misleader of the people. In 1581-82 he had been very active in the Bregenz Forest area, converting many persons and persuading them to immigrate to Moravia. The government required that he render an oath in order to be released; he could then go where he had come from. But he refused. He was then returned to Rankweil and there beheaded and burned on 6 November 1583. At the site of execution he admonished the people, who showed great sympathy for him; he urged them to repentance and warned them of the false prophets who were misleading them. He is the author of the hymn, "Hörent jhr Kinder Gottes rein, was wir euch wellen singen."
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 283.
Bergmann, Cornelius. Die Täuferbewegung im Kanton Zürich. Leipzig, 1916: 46.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde 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. Part II: 751.
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: 1058. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 378.
Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder. Scottdale, 1914: 756.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965: 235.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 367 f., 413-15, 435.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 477, 533 ff.
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Platzer, Melchior (d. 1583)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Platzer,_Melchior_(d._1583)&oldid=106020.
Neff, Christian. (1959). Platzer, Melchior (d. 1583). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Platzer,_Melchior_(d._1583)&oldid=106020.
Herald Press website.
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