Niederrödern (Alsace, France)

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Niederrödern, Alsace Source: Wikipedia Commons

Niederrödern (Niederrœdern), a village in Alsace, seven miles (13 km) east of Wissembourg, was one of the oldest meeting places for the present Mennonite Deutschhof-Geisberg congregation. The castle there, belonging to the Deutschhof estate, was leased by Baron Hatzel to Christian Gingerich, a Mennonite, on 22 April 1711, according to the records in Strasbourg. The church records (1724) of Niederrödern show that the estate was "given in lease to the Anabaptists Jakob Bassler and Hans Krayenbühl [Krehbiel]." Another tradition says that Krehbiel occupied the farm in 1716, coming from the Pfrimmerhof near Sippersfeld in the Palatinate. In 1755 he took on his son-in-law Christian Lehmann (from the Geisberg or the Zweibrücken congregation) as a partner. He is the progenitor of the Lehmann family living on the Kaplaneihof and Deutschhof. After Hatzel's death (1762) the estate fell to the Elector Palatine and then to Prince Maximilian of the Palatinate and Zweibrücken, who later became the king of Bavaria. But in the course of the French Revolution it was confiscated and in 1794 sold to the two sons of Lehmann and the widow of Daniel Hirschler on very favorable terms. After these families died out, David Schmitt of the Deutschhof (1870) and then his nephew Friedrich Schmitt of the Haftelhof came into the possession of the castle estate.

The Mennonites who had settled in other places nearby met for worship in rotation at Schafbusch, Geisberg, and the Haftelhof, and for a long time in the Niederrödern castle. In 1875 a neat little meetinghouse was built, for which the community and the state put 2,000 franks at their disposal. It was dedicated on 6 June. In the following decades it was used less and less, and by 1942 was used only once a year.

Hans Krehbiel is named as the first preacher of the Deutschhof-Geisberg congregation. The Dutch [[Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de Vereenigde Nederlanden|Naamlijst]], which calls the congregation Schaafbusch and Rödern, names the following ministers: Daniel Hirschler, elder 1736-ca. 1770; Jakob Lehmann, preacher, ca. 1740-ca. 1786; Johannes Grebeil (Krehbiel), preacher before 1775; Ulrich Schowalter, preacher 1771-ca. 1780; Elias Thätweiler (Dettweiler), preacher from 1775, elder 1778 until after 1802; Johannes Müller, preacher 1780 until after 1802; Heinrich Schmidt, preacher 1790 until after 1802; Christian Heinrich Hirschler (from 1827) and Friedrich Schmitt (from 1921) lived at Niederrödern.

In 1792 a register of births, marriages, and deaths was begun, apparently by order of the authorities, in duplicate. It extended only to 1798, however. The church record of the Deutschhof congregation, opened in 1855, and dated back as far as memory could recall contains data about the Mennonites in Niederrödern.


"Dettweiler Family History." Unpublished Mss.

Gemeindeblatt der Mennoniten (1875): 53.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 251.

Mennonitische Blätter (1855): 41; (1875): 63.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden (1766-1802).

Author(s) Paul Schowalter
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Schowalter, Paul. "Niederrödern (Alsace, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 3 Aug 2021.,_France)&oldid=93099.

APA style

Schowalter, Paul. (1957). Niederrödern (Alsace, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 August 2021, from,_France)&oldid=93099.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 874-875. All rights reserved.

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