Bagdannen (Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)

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Bagdannen, a former Mennonite congregation near Tilsit, East Prussia (now Sovetsk, Kalingrad Oblast, Russia), also called "the scattered church of Prussian Lithuania." The Mennonites living here had much to endure from the dragoons of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I, who finally expelled them from the district. The [[Amsterdam Mennonite Library (Bibliotheek en Archief van de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam)|Mennonite Archives of Amsterdam]] contain a number of letters and statements from and concerning the congregation of Bagdannen (the first dated 23 September 1723), from which it becomes clear that the Mennonites of the Tilsit Lowland lived in great insecurity, and had to suffer much mistreatment: overnight many brethren had been taken prisoners, and neither letters nor visits, either by the leaders of the congregation itself or by the Dutch Mennonites, had any result. In 1725-1726 the congregation was completely expelled from this territory, some emigrating to the Netherlands; most, however, settled in the Kleine Werder and other places of Polish Prussia.

The Dutch Committee of Foreign Needs organized a general offering in May 1726 in behalf of these people, which was taken in all Mennonite churches of Holland, and which brought in more than 30,000 guilders. During this period David Penner was a minister of the church of Bagdannen, whereas Salomon Jantzen seems to have been a deacon. The members of this Lithuanian congregation were mostly of Dutch descent; they had also won some Lutherans for their church, which was taken very ill by the Prussian King. The congregation belonged to the Waterlanders.

See also Dannenberg, Lithuania, Tilsit


Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, Nos. 1571-1581; v. II, 2, Nos. 703-739.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1955

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Bagdannen (Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 26 Feb 2024.,_Kaliningrad_Oblast,_Russia)&oldid=110319.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1955). Bagdannen (Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from,_Kaliningrad_Oblast,_Russia)&oldid=110319.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 212. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.