Bamberg (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)

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Twee meisjes te Bamberg naar de brandstapel gevoerd, 1550 (Execution of two young women, bishopric of Bamberg, 1550).
Engraving by Jan Luiken in Martyrs Mirror, v. 2, p. 103 of Dutch edition.
Source: Rijksmuseum.

Bamberg, a city in Upper Franconia in Bavaria, the former capital of the bishopric of Bamberg (1007-1802), together with Nürnberg once considered a seat of old-evangelical activity, especially for the Waldenses in Franconia.

Anabaptism also early found entry here, chiefly through Hans Hut, who baptized many in the region of Bamberg about 1526; also Thomas Spiegel of Ostheim, and Joachim Mertz, a carpenter of Bamberg (Wappler, Täuferbewegung, 229 and 315). Weigand, the prince bishop of Redwitz, issued a mandate against the Anabaptists in Bamberg in 1527 and 1528, another in 1529, and a third in 1529 (see Mandates). Nineteen Anabaptists were imprisoned in the public jail of the bishop of Bamberg and banished from the country. The bishop's counselors sent a copy of the records of the trial to Kasimir, margrave of Brandenburg, on 3 April 1527. On 30 January 1528, Hans Weissenfelder, a miller of Betzingen, was burned at the stake with four companions, and on the next day Lorenz Reuschlein of Nürnberg was executed with the sword. (Wappler, Kursachsen, 45. On page 238 the most peculiar confession of the five martyrs is mentioned; it must have been the result of torture.)

About the same time Jörg, of Passau, a prominent Anabaptist leader, "a well-built young fellow," was also executed (J. E. Jörg, Deutschland in der Revolutionsperiode 1522-1526). Johannes Bair of Lichtenfels was held a prisoner from 4 November 1528, until his death in 1551 in a tower at Bamberg. George Zaunring was beheaded near Bamberg in July 1533 (Wappler, Kursachsen, 37). Van Braght's Martyrs Mirror reports the heroic martyr's death of two girls in the bishopric of Bamberg in 1550, which made a deep impression. Thus Anabaptism was widespread in the bishopric before it was wiped out by the brutally violent measures of the government.


Berbig, Georg. "Die Wiedertäufer im Amt Königsberg in Fr. i. J 1527/28." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschte 13 (1908): 291-353. Available in full electronic text at

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: Part II, 103.

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: 501. Available in full electronic text at:

Erhard Otto. Die Reformation der Kirche in Bamberg unter Bischof Weigand 1522-1556 auf Grund archivalischer Studien dargestellt. Erlangen: Junge, 1898.

Haupt, Herman. Die religiösen Sekten in Franken vor der Reformation. Würzburg: A. Stuber, 1882: 261.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 115.

Keller, Ludwig. Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien: in ihrem Zusammenhange dargestellt. Leipzig : S. Hirzel, 1885: 294-321 (this idea is now thought to be very dubious).

Schornbaum, Karl. Quellen zur Geschichte der Wiedertäufer II. Band, Markgraftum Brandenburg. (Bayern I. Abteilung). Leipzig: M. Heinsius Nachfolger, 1934.

Schottenloher, Karl. Die Buchdruckertätigkeit Georg Erlingers in Bamberg von 1522 bis 1541 [1543]: Ein Beitrage zur Geschichte d. Reformationszeit Leipzig, 1907. Reprinted: Nendeln/Liechtenstein: Kraus; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1969: 153.

Wappler, Paul. Die Täuferbewegung in Thüringen von 1526-1584. Jena: Gustav Fisher, 1913.

Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täuferbewegung. Münster, 1910.


Map:Bamberg (Freistaat Bayern)

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Bamberg (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 Sep 2023.,_Germany)&oldid=163071.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1953). Bamberg (Freistaat Bayern, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 September 2023, from,_Germany)&oldid=163071.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 219. All rights reserved.

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