Haetzer, Ludwig (1500-1529)

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Ludwig Haetzer (he himself spelled his name "Haetzer," whereas his contemporaries use the spelling "Hetzer"), was born in Bischofszell in the canton of Thurgau of Switzerland about 1500, apparently descended from a respected family. That he was of Waldensian descent, as Ludwig Keller believed, cannot be proved; according to his own testimony he was educated in the faith of the medieval church, probably early intended for the priesthood. He was educated in the school of the Chorherrenstift of St. Pelagius. In the fall of 1517 he was matriculated in the philosophical faculty of the University of Basel, but never acquired an academic degree. His education was humanistic, for already by 1523 he was versed in the three classical languages. This is in agreement with his formal high evaluation of Holy Scripture, his view of Christ as an example, and his predominantly ethical understanding of the Christian faith, features which mark the first recognizable phase of his theology.

After the conclusion of his studies, about 1520, Haetzer probably was consecrated as a priest in Constance, which was the seat of the bishop. Then he was given the position of chaplain in Wädenswil at Lake Zürich (in a territory which was politically attached to Zürich). However by 1523 he left this position to go to Zürich. The reason for this move was very likely his inclination toward the Reformation.

With his first book, Ein Urteil Gottes unsers Ehegemahls, wie man sich mit allen Götzen und Bildnissen soll, aus der Hl. Schrift gezogen durch L. H., published at Zürich by Christoph Froschauer and dated 24 September 1523, Haetzer enters the clear light of history. In three theses, which were proved with many citations from the Bible, he advocated the rejection of images in the Christian churches and argued for their removal as a command of God. In conclusion he refuted four possible counterarguments (the text found in W. Köhler, No. 164, pp. 126-128). This booklet was intended to defend the repeated acts of iconoclasm which had taken place in Zürich during this month, and to assist in hastening reform. Haetzer also tried to work personally for the Reformation. In October 1523, for instance, he interrupted the pastor Konrad Heffelin of Maschwanden, a village on the Zürich border in the direction of Zug, in a sermon, with the result that the council of Zürich occupied itself with this affair on 22 October 1523, and later again on 21 March 1524. Heffelin was deposed from his position; Haetzer was exonerated.

Following the first Zürich disputation of 29 January 1523, the question of images and the Mass took first place in the Reformation movement. Upon the request of the city pastors, Zwingli, Jud, and Engelhard, the council held a second disputation in Zürich on 26-28 October 1523. On the first day Leo Jud spoke on the images and on the second and third Zwingli discussed the Mass and the Lord's Supper. Haetzer was present at the debate and twice asked for the floor. The council then commissioned him to draw up the report, in which task Georg Binder, the schoolmaster of the Grossmünster church, was to help him. The records of the disputation, examined and approved by a council commission, were published on 8 December 1523, by Froschauer: Acta oder Geschichte, wie es auf dem Gespräch der 26., 27. und 28. Tagen Weinmonats in der christlichen Stadt Zürich vor einem ehrsamen gesessenen grossen und kleinen Rat, auch in Beisein von mehr also 500 Priestern und viel anderer biederer Leute, ergangen ist. Betreffend the Götzen und the Messe (reprinted in Zwingli's Sämtliche Werke II, 671-803). The foreword by Haetzer praises the majesty of the Word of God, which is to decide ecclesiastical disputes. The Zürich council appeared as the example of a Christian government. In connection with these events Haetzer also published a second edition of his booklet on images. In the matter of church politics during these months he sided entirely with Zwingli, who was still urging immediate reform. His theology is an extreme Biblicism, which betrays Zwingli's influence and has definite reform in view. His later understanding of the Apostle Paul in a reformatory sense is not yet present in his thinking.

Haetzer's next work was the translation of a medieval document to be used for the conversion of the Jews, which was printed by Silvan Otmar in Augsburg on 2 January 1524, with the title: Ein Beweis, dass der wahre Messias gekommen sei, auf den the Juden noch ohne Ursache in der Zukunft warten, geschrieben durch Rabbi Samuel [Maroccanus] . . . , which Haetzer probably did on a commission. In 27 chapters the correctness of medieval church doctrine against Jews is proved out of the Old Testament. Many of the offensive Catholic statements Haetzer softened by the use of marginal notes. The second edition of this booklet, which appeared on 12 March 1524, published by Johannes Hager in Zürich, contains an insert (text in Goeters), which in Zwinglian formulation attacked the offerings and chants of the Mass, and its numerous prayers. In view of the fact that for the time being the old church order was still in force in Zürich, the critical note of the pamphlet is noteworthy.

The first document indicating an inner estrangement of Haetzer from Zwingli is his exposition of the New Testament epistles from Ephesians to Hebrews: Eine kurze wohlgegründete Auslegung der zehn nachgehenden Episteln S.Pauli, erstlich im Latein durch Johannes Bugenhagen aus Pommern, Bischof zu Wittenberg, geschrieben und von L. H. verdeutscht.  This book was published by Otmar in Augsburg, the foreword dated 29 June 1524 (text in Goeters). In this book the Reformation is sharply accused of not having applied the Word of God with all strictness and decisiveness. Zwingli himself, though not named, is frequently attacked. The booklet states that a second reformation is expected, which would for the first time produce the true church of confessing Christians. These documents make it clear that Haetzer was being attracted to the circle around Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz. Since we have no extensive sources from this circle at this time, Haetzer's testimonials give an excellent picture of their position. They show that the estrangement from Zwingli was brought about not by dogmatic reasons (now the reformatory understanding of Paul is evident in Haetzer also), but by consideration of church policy. A marginal note on Ephesians 5:22 ff. gives the first literary evidence that the common church practice of infant baptism had become dubious to the Grebel circle.

In June 1524 Haetzer traveled to Augsburg with a letter of recommendation from Zwingli to Johannes Frosch, to supervise Otmar's publication of his book on the epistles. Also a translation of Bugenhagen's commentary on the Psalms had been planned, which, however, was not carried out. In Augsburg Haetzer won the friendship of the reformer Urbanus Rhegius. A fateful incident was the beginning of an acquaintance with the merchant Georg Regel, whom he accompanied to his country estate. When soldiers of the Duke of Bavaria took the Regels as prisoners from their castle at Lichtenberg on the Lech because of their support of the evangelical cause, he scarcely escaped arrest and fled to Augsburg. About October he returned to Zürich.

Meanwhile the problem of baptism had become a public matter in Zürich. The circle of opponents of infant baptism had grown to a considerable number; there were connections with Karlstadt. The leaders of the group upon their request were given the opportunity to express themselves on the question of the permissibility of infant baptism in private conversations on two Tuesdays. On the side of the opponents of infant baptism Haetzer also participated in these conversations, and challenged Zwingli with sharp logic in the latter's exposition of Bible passages. He was also present at the disputation before the council on 17 January 1525. Together with Reublin, Brötli, and Castelberger he was expelled from Zürich on 31 January as a noncitizen. But he did not, as did the other members of the Grebel group, accept the baptism of faith in these days, because he disapproved of this act. To be sure he definitely rejected infant baptism, as the fragment of a letter written to Balthasar Hubmaier shows, which must date from this period (text in Goeters), but he was not ready for rebaptism. In fact there is no evidence that he was ever baptized. He definitely did not join the Anabaptist group in Zürich.

From Zürich Haetzer went to Constance. Here the bishop was engaged in a struggle with the council, which was advocating reform. Haetzer was among the clergy who, on 29 April 1525, took the oath of obedience to the council. But his days there cannot have been of long duration. Fridolin Sicher's Chronik claims that Haetzer stayed for a while in Swabia and participated with Christoph Schappeler of Memmingen in the composition of the Twelve Articles of the Peasants. Soon he was in Augsburg again and entered the service of the publisher Otmar as a proofreader. In Otmar's shop then appeared his booklet: Von den evangelischen Zechen und von der Christen Rede aus Hl. Schrift (text in Goeters).

The word "Zechen" refers to meetings of Protestant-minded members of the trade guilds, such as were being held in this time of religious and social disputes, and may often have ended in wild drinking parties. Haetzer testified that he himself had taken part in such occasions. In this booklet he severely criticized these meetings. Not Christ but Bacchus, he said, was leading people together here. Instead of brotherly edification and admonition, calumnies and warlike counsel reigned. For Christians, who are to live a spiritual life of moderation according to God's will and according to the example of Christ, and who are to have naught but God's Word in their mouths, participation in such meetings is inappropriate.

At this time Augsburg was deeply involved in social unrest and in a dispute about communion. Most of the preachers were preaching Lutheran ideas, for which reason many citizens turned away from them and assembled instead in smaller circles. In these conventicles, which followed the teaching of Karlstadt and Zwingli on the Lord's Supper, Haetzer played an important role. In September 1525, when the clergy of the city were on the point of gaining the upper hand in this dispute about the Lord's Supper because of the intervention of Wittenberg, Haetzer, in a letter dated 14 September (reprint in ZSW VII, No. 383, pp. 360 ff.), demanded of Zwingli that he compose a counter booklet which Haetzer would have published in Augsburg. Shortly after this Haetzer had a clash with Rhegius, when he depreciated and tried to refute among his friends Rhegius' Lutheran sermon on John 6:63. He was thereupon challenged by Rhegius to a disputation, but failed to appear. Then he was expelled from the city as a disturber of the peace. Haetzer did not advocate Anabaptist teachings in Augsburg, even though the later Anabaptist congregation here had its origin in these conventicles.

About the middle of October 1525 Haetzer went to Basel by way of Constance, where he had some theological discussions with Ambrosius Blaurer, and in Basel was received by Johannes Oecolampadius. Through Oecolampadius he sent greetings by letter to Zwingli, and on 17 October wrote a letter himself to Zwingli (reprint in ZSW VIII, No. 393, p. 389 f.), seeking to regain the latter's favor. Meanwhile he translated Oecolampadius' important book on the Lord's Supper, Vom Nachtmal, together with two sermons by the same author on the same subject. But the reconciliation with Zwingli did not take place until he made a journey to Zürich on 5 November on which occasion he took part in the Anabaptist disputation of 6-8 November 1525, held in the Grossmünster church. There he is reported to have publicly confessed his error and even to have attacked the Anabaptists. A personal conversation with Zwingli resulted in a theological understanding between them. Haetzer, who had not received the baptism of faith, recognized the admissibility of infant baptism as an external sign corresponding with the circumcision of the Old Testament. Like Zwingli he made a sharp distinction between the impartation of the Spirit and the reception of the sacraments. The motivation for this agreement is to be found in the status of the dispute on the Lord's Supper. Thus he now again enjoyed the full confidence of Zwingli, who also sanctioned his translation of Oecolampadius' book on the Lord's Supper.

This booklet appeared at the end of 1525, published by Froschauer, with the title: Vom Sakrament der Danksagung. Von dem wahren natürlichen Verständnis der Worte Christi: Das ist mein Leib, nach der alten Lehrer Erklärung. The foreword (reprint in Staehelin, I, No. 319, pp. 437-447) rejected as Catholic superstition the view of the real presence of Christ in the communion emblems. The idea that the sacraments bring about the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of faith is definitely attacked, thus probably showing the spiritualizing influence of Karlstadt. Furthermore a long list of contemporary opponents, from Luther to Erasmus, are depreciatingly characterized. This foreword contains in addition a justification by Haetzer of his position on the question of baptism (p. 444), which deserves particular attention. At Zwingli's request he was present in Basel participating in the call of Conrad Pellikan to the Zürich pulpit (letter to Zwingli dated 30 December 1525, in ZSW VIII, No. 431, p. 482 f.). In the middle of February 1526 he was back in Zürich to supervise the publication of another writing by Oecolampadius on the Lord's Supper. At the time of the disputation of Baden he was living in Basel. The council delegated him to Baden, but he apparently did not take part in the disputation. Meanwhile he was engaged in the translation of writings by Oecolampadius. At the end of July 1526, appeared in the printing house of Thomas Wolfe in Basel the booklet Der Prophet Maleachi mit Auslegung Johannis Oecolampadii, durch ihn im Latein geschrieben, mit Fleiss verdeutscht durch L. H. (reprint in Staehelin, I, No. 413, pp. 565-67). The foreword of 18 July 1526 shows a transition in Haetzer's thinking. Scripture and spirit become the principal theme. Biblicistic tones are still noticeable, but at the same time there is a spiritualistic tendency, which is revealed even in his concept of the sacrament. A translation of Oecolampadius' commentary on Isaiah was announced. Shortly afterward there appeared in the same printing shop a translation of Oecolampadius' second booklet on the Lord's Supper entitled: Vom Nachtmahl. Beweisung aus evangelischen Schriften, wer the seien, the des Herrn Nachtmahlswort unrecht verstehen und auslegen, which, however, was probably written before the translation of the commentary on Malachi. The foreword, dated 5 August 1526 (reprint in Staehelin, I, No. 419, p. 572 f.), again rejects the real presence, and spiritualistic tendencies are also visible here. The depreciation of all learnedness is reminiscent of the ideas expressed by Karlstadt.

But suddenly this leisurely literary activity came to an end. Haetzer had been guilty of a moral offense with a maid in Basel. In order to evade exposure he left the city. Probably for this reason only a part of the planned translation of the commentary on Isaiah, Das 36. und 37. Kapitel Jesaja des Propheten, ausgelegt durch Johannes Oekolampad, appeared, published by Otmar in Augsburg in 1526. His name is not mentioned in the booklet nor is there a foreword.

In Strasbourg Wolfgang Fabritius Capito received Haetzer in his home and supported his scholarly interests. Haetzer was still planning the translation of the commentary on Isaiah, but then soon turned directly to the Hebrew original text. Capito, who was one of the outstanding Hebraists, or Hans Denck, with whom he entered into a friendly relation during these weeks, may have persuaded him to do this. By Denck he was drawn into the Anabaptist disturbances in Strasbourg. With Michael Sattler, who already at Zürich in November 1525 had taken the opposite Anabaptist side, Haetzer had a conversation which ended in disagreement. In a debate between Martin Cellarius-Borrhaus and Denck he sided with the latter. When Denck was expelled from Strasbourg on 23 December 1526, Haetzer, who was suspected by the reformers of Strasbourg of being a secret Anabaptist and a friend of Denck, remained. But when new disturbances took place in the middle of January 1527, caused by the news of the death of Manz, he became involved in a quarrel with the city preachers concerning Zwingli's attitude. He left the city voluntarily, following his friend Denck to Worms. A letter of farewell to Capito (reprint in Röhrich, 459 f.) assures Capito of his forgiveness and arranges for the disposal of his possessions.

In Worms Haetzer cooperated with Denck in the translation of the Prophets, which appeared on 13 April 1527, published by the printer Peter Schöffer under the title: Alle Propheten, nach der hebräischen Sprache verdeutscht. The keen foreword of April (reprint in G. Baring, The Wormser Propheten) shows Haetzer to have been the chief translator and gives Denck the rank of an important cooperator. This volume, which was often reprinted in the following years, was the first translation of the Prophets of the Reformation period, which fact gives a good testimonial to the philological training of the author. The Zürich translation of 1529 used the Denck-Haetzer edition more than did the Luther translation of 1532. Meanwhile an Anabaptist congregation was also formed in Worms, which came to public attention on 9 June 1527, through the articles of Jakob Kautz. The extent of Haetzer's cooperation in the establishment of the congregation is not entirely clear. After a futile attempt by the council to settle the matter the leaders were expelled. Denck and Haetzer had just previously left the city. Again Haetzer went to Strasbourg. An attempted reconciliation with Capito failed, because in the meantime Haetzer's misstep in Basel had become known. In August he met Denck in Ulm and with him traveled to Augsburg. During the "Martyr Synod" of August 1527 he stayed in the city, but did not participate in the meeting. He was acquainted with Hans Hut, and probably had during these weeks also a meeting with Caspar Schwenckfeld, at least according to a report by the latter. Even before the beginning of the persecution in Augsburg, Haetzer and probably also Denck had left for Donauwörth.   From there they reached Nürnberg, where Hans Schlaffer saw them together; then their ways parted. About 1 September Haetzer, according to a statement by Jörg Dorsch, was in Wiebelsheim in Franconia. At the end of October 1527 he was in Regensburg and took part in the establishment of the local Anabaptist congregation. Here he baptized four persons; this is the only information in the sources that he ever baptized anyone. Even before 15 November he had left the city and returned to Augsburg, probably by way of Nürnberg. Here he seems to have spent the winter; an old bit of information says that he left Augsburg in April 1528 when the new Anabaptist persecutions began. Then all trace of him is lost. He presumably returned to his home in Bischofszeil, in order to devote himself in peace to his literary plans. In the winter of 1527-1528 he seems also to have married. His wife was Appolonia, a maid in the house of Georg Regel, who had been baptized as an Anabaptist.

Haetzer's relationship with Anabaptism is not quite clear. He certainly never belonged to the Biblicistic congregationalistic wing of the Swiss Brethren. After his residence in Strasbourg and through his friendship with Denck he had close connections with the spiritualistic wing, which predominated in South Germany. He was never active as an Anabaptist, nor promoted Anabaptist teaching, with the exception of the baptisms in Regensburg. In his later writings the problem of baptism plays no role. Also in his trial at Constance no charge of Anabaptism is mentioned. Until new hitherto unknown sources make a different judgment necessary he will have to be considered as only a marginal personality in the early Anabaptist movement. During the latter years of his life he was a spiritualist who sought refuge in Anabaptism because he was in disagreement with ecclesiastical parties.

As a continuation of the translation of the Prophets, there appeared in the spring of 1528, published by Schöffer, a translation of part of the Apocrypha: Baruch der Prophet, The Historie Susannas, the Historie vom Bel zu Babel, alles neulich aus der Bibel verdeutscht. Sebastian Franck, who probably was personally acquainted with Haetzer, reported he had also begun a translation of the apocryphal book of Jesus Sirach, but this was never printed; the Baruch book was the only completed part of the planned translation of the entire apocrypha. The foreword (text in Goeters) attempts to justify the publication of the apocryphal book and attacks the conception of the canon held by the reformers. In opposition to the doctrine of the Scriptures held by the Reformation, Haetzer now manifests an extreme spiritualism which would devaluate the external word in the form of Scripture and preaching in favor of the immediate witness of the Spirit. Faith now appears as an inner experience. Apocalyptic expressions are now found more frequently. In choice of words and formulation of thought mystic influences are unmistakable. There are evidences of the influence of Denck and also of Hut.

Also the edition of the Theologia Deutsch, which was printed by Schöffer with the title: Theologia Deutsch, neulich mit grossem Fleiss korrigiert und  gebessert. . . , was probably revised by Haetzer, as his motto,  "O God, redeem the prisoners," at the end of the book, indicates. The attached Hauptreden probably came from Denck, who died in November 1527. Through Denck Haetzer probably became acquainted with the Theologia Deutsch and thereby also with mysticism.

One other writing of Haetzer's must have appeared in print, which has, however, not yet been found. It bears the title Reime, bzw. Lieder unter dem Kreuzgang, and was no doubt a collection of songs with mystical thought content. The only known fragment (text according to Franck in Goeters), which ridicules the church doctrine of the Trinity, indicates close contact with chapter XXX of the Theologia Deutsch.

Haetzer wrote two other booklets which were not printed. The one was called by his contemporaries "the booklet of the schoolteachers" and was apparently directed against all learned scholarship. (A short summary of the content, according to Johannes Gast's Exordium, found in Goeters.) Of greater importance is the other writing, "the booklet of Christ." In it he seems to have attacked the deity of Christ and to have established his doctrinal view with citations from the Bible. Other indications of the content are lacking, but his contemporaries unanimously called Haetzer an Arian. Any doubt of this seems to be unfounded, since in his early writing on christological matters there is a conspicuous haziness. The stress always lies on the human appearance of Christ. Both manuscripts fell into the hands of his opponents at his trial and were later destroyed.

In the middle of November 1528 Augsburg demanded that the council of Constance arrest Haetzer. This could at first not be carried out because the man sought was no longer in the city, but on 28 November Haetzer was finally arrested. Inquiries were sent to Zürich, Basel, Strasbourg, and Worms, which show that he was accused of breaking the peace and of an immoral life. Only from Strasbourg did a reply come, which revealed the misstep mentioned above. And so the charge of instigation of disturbance of the peace was dropped and the trial concentrated on the charge of immoral conduct. In Augsburg it was asserted that he had taken as his wife the wife of Georg Regel, Anna nee Manlich, although he himself was already married, and had received from her a wedding ring and some financial loans. He had therefore caused Anna Regel to commit adultery and had injured Georg Regel in body and possessions. All this he was said to have justified with pseudotheological reasoning. Nevertheless the trial came to a rapid conclusion. In December Augsburg sent Dr. Gereon Sailer as the prosecutor to Constance. Sailer for the first time brought Haetzer's writings with him, which showed Haetzer to be a teacher of error. Here especially "the booklet concerning Christ" is to be thought of. Finally on 3 February 1529 he was sentenced to death for adultery.

Much remains unclarified concerning this trial. The court records of Augsburg on this matter are still unknown; they might perhaps reveal the background. Many contemporaries cite Haetzer's christological errors as the reason for the death sentence. It is conspicuous that Anna Regel was not summoned. Nor was Georg Regel, the husband concerned, the plaintiff, but instead the Augsburg council. Just at this time Regel seemed to have been reestablishing himself in Augsburg. The death sentence is quite unusual. Persons guilty of adultery at this time in Constance were punished with fines and imprisonment. One is involuntarily inclined to assume that the intention was, under the charge of adultery, actually to remove the teacher of error.

To undertake to clear Haetzer entirely from the charge of immoral conduct is a futile undertaking. The misstep in Basel has been well attested. Also he seems to have made a confession in Constance. In Augsburg he met frequently with Anna Regel, and one of his songs contains her maiden name as an acrostic. Anna Regel also seems not to have led an altogether blameless life, as one can gather from a letter written to her in 1543 by Schwenckfeld.

Haetzer's death walk on 4 February 1529, has the effect of reconciling the spectator with the unfortunate end of his life. Composed and reconciled he went to the site of execution, upon which already a John Hus had died, admonishing those present in moving addresses. Then his head fell under the executioner's sword. Anabaptist historical tradition counts him among its martyrs. Thomas Blaurer, the councilor of Constance, described his end in an epistle to Wilhelm von Zell, Haetzer's friend ("How Ludwig Haetzer, executed with a sword at Constance, departed out of this time," published at Constance by G. Spitzenberg in 1529; Krebs, No. 467, pp. 460-468).

Haetzer was one of the outstanding authors of songs; his compositions found their way into early Anabaptist hymnology. The following of his songs have been preserved for the most part in Hutterite records and later served other poets as models (see Wolkan, pp. 12 ff.):

  1. "Erzürn dich nit, o frommer Christ." This is a rhymed version of Psalm 37 in 23 stanzas, probably written in Haetzer's later years.
  2. "Gedult sollst han auf Gottes Bahn." Three stanzas with the acrostic: Gedult bringt Erfahrung (Romans 5:4a), also probably from Haetzer's later years. A fourth stanza in the Hutterite version on Romans 5:5a is a later addition. Both songs have been taken into church hymnals. 
  3. "Lug, Herr, wie schwach ist mein Gemüt." Six stanzas with the acrostic: Lu-de-wi-g Haets-er, surely from the time of his imprisonment shortly before his death. A seventh stanza in the Hutterite version is an addition. 
  4. "Ach Gott, erhör mein Seufzen gross." Three stanzas with the acrostic: A-na Manlich, probably coming from the same period.
  5. Will', Sinn und Gmüt richt auf zu Gott." Four stanzas with the acrostic: Will-helm von Zell, probably a poetic version of Zell's letter to the imprisoned Haetzer. The genuine fifth stanza gives Haetzer's reply to the letter and comes from the time of his imprisonment shortly before his death. 
  6. "Die Lieb' ist kalt jetzt in der Welt." In the Ausbund it is attributed to Leopold Scharnschlager; in the Hutterite tradition it is however ascribed to Haetzer. It has seven stanzas, of which two to six are a rhymed version of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with many allusions to Haetzer's writings of 1525, for which reason it is concluded that it probably stems from that time and was written by him. Three additional stanzas in the Hutterite version are an addition. 
  7. "Sollst du bei Gott dein Wohnung han." It is sometimes attributed to Leonhard Schiemer (Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 28 f.). It has nine stanzas, one to six of which are a poetic revision of a song by Hans Witzstat with the acrostic Sophia. There are good reasons for ascribing it to Haetzer; in that case it probably comes from later years of his life.  It is also found in church hymnals. 
  8. "Ach, fröhlich lasst uns heben an." In the current version it does not have Haetzer's name, but is ascribed to him by Wolkan because of his motto at the end of the seventeenth stanza. But this is also found in the case of other poets, so that this cannot indicate the contrary. Compare in this regard also the lost "Lieder unter dem Kreuzgang."

Haetzer's significance does not lie in his historical effectiveness; this is exceedingly slight. He was an industrious translator and author, who was known personally by many important contemporaries; and as the first demonstrable anti-trinitarian of the German language in the Reformation time, he has been preserved from complete oblivion. His martyrdom and his songs have made him useful to the Anabaptists. It is doubtful whether the portrait etched by Christoph van Sichern in 1608 is genuine.


Franck, Sebastian. Chronica, Zeytbuch und Geschichtbibel. Strasbourg, 1531: 416 f.

Goeters, G. F. Gerhard. Ludwig Haetzer, ca. 1500 bis 1529, eine Randfigur der frühen Täuferbewegung. Zürich theological dissertation, 1955.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 225-231.

Keim, Thomas. “Ludwig Hetzer.” Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie I (1856): 215-288.

Schiess, Traugott. Briefwechsel der Brüder Ambrosius und Thomas Blaurer. Freiburg, 1908: I.

Staehelin, Ernst. Briefe und Akten zum Leben Oekolampads. Leipzig, 1927-1934.  

Weis, F. L. The Life, Teachings and Works of Ludwig Hetzer.  Strasbourg theological dissertation. Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1930. 

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

Zwingli's Sämtliche Werke (ZSW) in Corpus Reformatorum, ed. E. Egli, G. Finsler, W. Köhler. Leipzig, 1904 ff.: I ff.

Author(s) Gerhard Goeters
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Goeters, Gerhard. "Haetzer, Ludwig (1500-1529)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Haetzer,_Ludwig_(1500-1529)&oldid=145371.

APA style

Goeters, Gerhard. (1956). Haetzer, Ludwig (1500-1529). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Haetzer,_Ludwig_(1500-1529)&oldid=145371.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 621-626. All rights reserved.

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