Oetisheim (Maulbronn District, Baden, Germany)

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Oetisheim, Maulbronn District, Württemberg (today belonging to Baden), Germany. Like Oelbronn and Oeschelbronn, situated on the border between Württemberg and Baden, Oetisheim was once on the route taken by many Anabaptists. In 1576 the Protestant abbot of Maulbronn, the prelate Mogirus, received instructions to examine and indoctrinate Hans Weisser, a tailor of Oetisheim, suspected of Anabaptist beliefs, in the presence of the local parson. In 1577 the tailor was again in the audience at an Anabaptist preaching service. Many of the attendants at this sermon had moved away from Oetisheim; some had returned. The latter were to be questioned about their reasons. Many of the members of the parish rarely went to church, to communion not at all; they were to be summoned and punished. In 1578 several had come back from Moravia in disappointment and had publicly recanted at Easter and communed. The frequently mentioned tailor was to be arrested when he came back from Moravia for a possible attempt to take his family.

In 1583 the old schoolteacher was replaced by his son, who had returned from Moravia, and was probably filling the children with heresy. The teacher was to hire a suitable substitute; his son was not to go to church if he wanted to live in Oetisheim. In 1596 Matthias Kappel, who had gone to Moravia sixteen years before, had without permission slipped into Oetisheim. He stayed there and in the vicinity, found shelter with his father and brought letters from Moravia. He held a meeting in the woods on Pentecost evening and took some young people away with him to Moravia.

The supreme council in Stuttgart decreed the following penalties: a severe reproof to the father of Matthias; a fine of three pounds to the gatekeeper and to those who lodged the Anabaptist; the same fine and a twenty-four-hour arrest to those who had attended the preaching service in the woods.

About 1619 ff. the matter of the inheritance of the Anabaptist Franz Walter of Oetisheim came up. Walter was chosen preacher of his Anabaptist brotherhood in 1597 and died in 1621. Another lawsuit developed in 1629 on the legacy of the Anabaptist Katherine Fessler of Oetisheim.

A church inspection record of 1592 relates of Oetisheim: "Many children are hired out to the neighboring Palatinate where Calvinism is practiced; the children may be infected by this poison. But the Anabaptists are more dangerous."


The involved lawsuit regarding Franz Walter's inheritance is found in:

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

Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930: 89 ff.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.

The Fessler lawsuit is found in:

Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930: 906.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 326.

Author(s) Eberhard Teufel
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Teufel, Eberhard. "Oetisheim (Maulbronn District, Baden, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Oct 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oetisheim_(Maulbronn_District,_Baden,_Germany)&oldid=144515.

APA style

Teufel, Eberhard. (1959). Oetisheim (Maulbronn District, Baden, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oetisheim_(Maulbronn_District,_Baden,_Germany)&oldid=144515.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 21. All rights reserved.

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