Falk, Jakob (d. 1528)

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Jakob Falk, an Anabaptist martyr of Gossau in the district of Grüningen, canton of Zürich, Switzerland, one of the most zealous and faithful followers of Conrad Grebel. He was imprisoned in 1525 at Appenzell with Heini Reimann. On a Sunday of May 1526 they took part in a meeting in the Herrliberg forest between Rubikon and Wetzikon, which was surprised and broken up by the magistrate (Amtmann) Berger. They told Berger fearlessly that they had been baptized and had baptized others, although they knew it was punishable by death to do so, and intended to continue. The magistrate and the Zürich council now expected the Grüningen authorities to inflict capital punishment on them in accord with the mandate of the Zürich council issued on 7 March. The authorities refused to do this, on the basis of an ancient privilege granted by Austria. The dispute was referred to the courts in Bern. The matter was not decided until 1528, when it was placed in the hands of the Zürich council. After an imprisonment of more than 18 months because they "remained obstinate"—Falk declared that he would continue to baptize, strengthened only by the Son of God, who would never leave him—they were sentenced to death and drowned at Zürich at 1:00 on the afternoon of 5 September 1528. This was the second Anabaptist execution in Zürich. His brother Hans Falk, a tanner, was also a zealous Anabaptist, with whom Berger also had much trouble.


Bur­rage, H. S. A History of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. Philadelphia, 1881: 167, 177, 191.

Egli, Emil. Die Züricher Wiedertäufer. Zürich, 1878: 51, 58, 81 f.

Füssli, Johann Conrad. Beyträge zur Erläuterung der Kirchen-Reformations-Geschichten des Schweitzerlandes : enthaltende authentische bißhero zum Theil ungedruckte, zum Theil ganz rare Urkunden, öffentliche Vorträge, Gutachten, Rathschlüsse, Manifeste ..., darinnen die Zwistigkeiten der Römisch-Catholischen, der Lutheraner und der Reformirten, wie auch der Widertäuffer und anderer Sectierer ... an den Tag geleget werden; nebst historisch-critischen Anmerkungen ... Zürich: Heidegger, 1741-1753: IV, 87.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967, I, 628.

Muralt, Leonhard von and Walter Schmid. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer in der Schweiz, I. Band: Zürich. Zürich: S. Hirzel, 1952: passim (see Index).

Either Jacob or Hans Falk may have furnished the inspiration for the principal character of the Anabaptist drama Brüder in Christo (Zürich, 1947) by Cäsar von Arx, named Diethelm Falk.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Falk, Jakob (d. 1528)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 Nov 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Falk,_Jakob_(d._1528)&oldid=144115.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Falk, Jakob (d. 1528). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 November 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Falk,_Jakob_(d._1528)&oldid=144115.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 292. All rights reserved.

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