Appenzell (Switzerland)

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From the canton of Zürich the Anabaptist movement spread into the neighboring canton of Appenzell. Already in 1525 Hippolyt Bolt (his name, however, actually was Hippolyt Eberle; Bolt or Polt was the popular shortened form of that given name) of Lachen won more than 1,500 persons in Appenzell. In Teuffen (canton of Appenzell) the old local pastor was replaced by the St. Gall Anabaptist Joh. Krüsi; but neither Bolt nor Krüsi was able to maintain himself long, for the government was master of the situation. Nevertheless congregations were formed in Herisau, Teuffen and Gais, but they lost their church discipline for lack of leadership and pressure from without. Verena Baumann of Herisau induced 1,200 persons to stop working, evidently in expectation of the coming of Christ. Hunger and government intervention sobered them, and they also accepted a disputation suggested by the clergy that was held on 10 October 1527 at Teuffen, where about 400 Anabaptists are said to have appeared. The outcome was considered a victory for the established church, and from that time Anabaptist influence waned. Nevertheless Zwingli considered them a threat and asked Zürich to make a protest to Appenzell and Solothurn for their lenient treatment of the Anabaptists. Perhaps this threat of persecution led to the decision of some Anabaptists to emigrate to Moravia in 1528. But they were caught with Wolfgang Ulimann, their leader, in Waldsee (Upper Swabia); 10 men were beheaded, the women drowned, and those who recanted sent back to Appenzell; all in the canton who did not recant were threatened with death by the sword or by drowning (1530). An Anabaptist from Chur, who refused to leave, was drowned, probably in 1528. In the spring of 1529 Georg Blaurock, who had been expelled, returned to Appenzell at the risk of his life, preaching and baptizing. Not until 1579 did a second group succeed in reaching Moravia, of course losing all their possessions.

In 1597 Appenzell was divided into Appenzell Innerrhoden (Roman Catholic) and Appenzell Ausserrhoden (Protestant).


Egli, Emil. Die St. Galler Täufer: geschildert im Rahmen der städtischen Reformationsgeschichte: mit Beiträgen zur Vita Vadiani. Zürich: Friedrich Schulthess, 1887.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 80.

Kessler, Johannes. Johannes Kesslers Sabbata mit kleineren Schriften u. Briefen., ed. Emil Egli and Rudolf Schoch. St. Gallen: Fehr, 1902.

Author(s) Theodor Brandt
Date Published 1953

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Brandt, Theodor. "Appenzell (Switzerland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 Sep 2023.

APA style

Brandt, Theodor. (1953). Appenzell (Switzerland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 143. All rights reserved.

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