Friesen, Georg (d. 1562)

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Georg Friesen (Ladenmacher), an Anabaptist martyr, a cabinetmaker by trade, was arrested in 1562 at Cologne, Germany, with Wilhelm von Keppel, a former priest, now an Anabaptist preacher. An attempt was made to convince them of the rightness of infant baptism. The magistrate of Cologne offered Friesen money and his maid as a wife if he would recant. But he replied, "Your servant maid, riches, or money cannot take me to God; but I have chosen something better, for which I hope to strive." Favorable offers were also made to Wilhelm, but in vain. Both were taken on the Rhine by boat, and they bade each other farewell with "a holy kiss of love." After Friesen was drowned the executioner told Wilhelm he wanted to take him to the shore to behead him. Wilhelm then indicated he was willing to recant. So when they reached the shore he was released, and banished from the city and region. Van Braght records a brief letter written by Friesen in prison during the night before his execution. It contains earnest fraternal admonitions to faithfulness and endurance. Their capture and the execution of Friesen was commemorated in the song beginning "Zu singen will ich heben an," written by Wilhelm von Keppel, which is correct only in so far as it refers to Friesen. Georg Friesen is also the author of a song that begins, "Ich verkündt euch niewe Mare."


Ausbund: das ist: Etliche schöne Christliche Lieder. [Lancaster County, PA]: Verlag von den Amischen Gemeinden in Lancaster County, Pa., 1997: 22.

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: II, 295.

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: 661. Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 6.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1965: 101.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Friesen, Georg (d. 1562)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 11 Aug 2022.,_Georg_(d._1562)&oldid=145184.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Friesen, Georg (d. 1562). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 11 August 2022, from,_Georg_(d._1562)&oldid=145184.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 404-405. All rights reserved.

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