Hauser, Josef (d. 1616)

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Josef Hauser, originally a clergyman in the canton of Bern, Switzerland, then a teacher in Zofingen. In 1588 he was deposed from this position and the next year went to Moravia, where he joined the Hutterites. His wife Anna Abdorf was permitted to live in Bern with their children. In 1590 Hauser returned to Zofingen, was seized and taken to Bern. Released, he went back to Moravia, where he was chosen preacher of the church at Neumühl, 9 March 1594, and confirmed 18 January 1596.

In 1603 he was sent with five other brethren to Prussia to "look through these countries with the Gospel" (Geschichts-Bücher, 337). "There they found many Mennonites, who were, to be sure, also divided among themselves, known as Hard Frisians, House-Buyers (Huiskoper), Clarichen, Mundauer, Bekumberte (see Bekommerden), Waterlanders, and Abgeteilte" (Geschicht-Buch, 470). Two of his companions were Michael Grossmann and Karl Schneider. They traveled from Danzig to Denmark. There they visited several persons, and because they did not know the language they returned to Danzig, and from there to Moravia in the fall. In the following year (1604) Hauser was again sent to  Prussia with seven other brethren and their wives and children (a total of 37 persons). "They made contact with Klaus Philip, a Mennonite lacemaker of Elbing, to get permission to settle in Elbing and vicinity, since they had heard that in Prussia everybody had religious freedom. Upon presenting a petition to the city for admission, they were asked whether they had found anyone who wished to join them in Elbing. They replied that there were such persons in and about the city, as well as on the Marcushof and Wengeln, two villages in the Marienburg district, which belonged to Poland. On 11 October the brethren were informed that they could not count on tolerance in the city. On 16 October they presented a new appeal to the council, to which they received the reply on 28 October after their return from Danzig that the council would adhere to its previous decision"  (Geschicht-Buch, 470).

The Hutterite chronicles call Hauser a highly gifted man, well versed in Hebrew, Latin, French, and German. He is the author of a manuscript, Unterrichtung, dass die Gemeinschaft der zeitlichen Güter eine Lehre des Neuen Testaments sei und von allen Gläubigen erfordert werde (1605, in Budapest); and of two hymns, "Ein Lied der 1605 nach Preussen ziehenden Brüder" (16 stanzas) and "Jetzt ist die Zeit beikommen" (11 stanzas). He died 3 January 1616, at Pribitz in Moravia.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967. Available in full electronic text at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II: 265 f.

Heiz, J. A. Die Täufer im Aargau. Aarau, 1902: 56.

Loserth, Johann. "Der Communismus der mährischen Wiedertäufer im 16. and 17. Jahrhundert: Beiträge zu ihrer Lehre, Geschichte and Verfassung." Archiv für österreichische Geschichte 81, 1 (1895): 106.

Neubaur, L.  "Mährische Brüder in Elbing." Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschte  XXXIII (1912): 447-55.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1965. Available in full electronic text at 240.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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Neff, Christian. "Hauser, Josef (d. 1616)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 30 May 2024.,_Josef_(d._1616)&oldid=144158.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Hauser, Josef (d. 1616). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 May 2024, from,_Josef_(d._1616)&oldid=144158.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 680-681. All rights reserved.

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