Culm Military Academy (Culm, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)

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The former Culm Military Academy, Culm, Poland, 2 July 2018.
Photo by Richard D. Thiessen

The Culm Military Academy, a building and institution in the city of Culm, then in West Prussia, built in 1778 by King Frederick the Great, was closely associated with the history of the Mennonites of West Prussia. For its support the Mennonites had to contribute 5,000 talers annually, thereby purchasing their continued exemption from military conscription. Until 1 April 1884 it was used to train officers for the army. Then it became the barracks of a battalion of sharpshooters. On 20 June 1774 a mandate was issued ordering the Mennonites in West Prussia and Lithuania to pay 5,000 talers annually as of 1 June 1773, for the benefit of the Culm academy. But not until the Gnadenprivilegium of Frederick the Great of 29 March 1780, did they receive an express guarantee of freedom from military duty. The sum had to be paid until the revocation of the privilege of military freedom on 9 November 1867.

The building, a large barracks-like structure, was damaged by a fire on 18 August 1912 but repaired and was eventually converted into an apartment building.


Brons, A. Ursprung, entwickelung und shicksale der altevangelischen taufgesinnten oder Mennoniten in kurzen Zugen übersichtlich dargestellt. Emden, 1912.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon,  4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 383.

Mannhardt, W. Die Wehrfreiheit der Altpreussischen Mennoniten. Danzig, 1863.

Mennonitische Blätter (1912): 66 f.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Culm Military Academy (Culm, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 Jul 2021.,_Kuyavian-Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=168043.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1953). Culm Military Academy (Culm, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 July 2021, from,_Kuyavian-Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=168043.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 746. All rights reserved.

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