Oldesloe (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)

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Oldesloe, a town of 15,000 (1954) in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, situated between Hamburg and Lübeck. Oldesloe played a role in the history of Mennonites in that region. In 1554 an Anabaptist printer and his apprentices coming from Lübeck were stopped here by authorities who aimed to suppress their activities. They found with them ten tons of Bibles that were investigated by Balthasar Schröder and Claus Wensin of Segeberg. On 28 November 1554, they reported to Christian III of Denmark that the Anabaptist owner had printed a Bible based on Luther's and a Dutch translation, with a concordance from the Zürich Bible. The Anabaptist insisted that only the death of Christ could save, and not baptism. From here he proceeded with his printing press to Fresenburg, where Bartholomäus von Ahlefeldt was a protector of the Anabaptists. Whether this Anabaptist was Menno Simons himself, who wrote and printed his books at Fresenburg, has not been established.

Evidently there was never a large number of Mennonites in Oldesloe. The members residing here possibly attended the worship services at Fresenburg. Menno Simons himself ordained Michael Steffens and Dirk Eggerat, who resided in Oldesloe, as ministers. Paul Roosen, the father of Gerrit Roosen, learned the trade of tanning from Dirk Eggerat at Oldesloe. Willem Govers and Karsten von Sintern were other members living there before 1600. With the dispersion of the Fresenburg Mennonite settlers in connection with the Thirty Years' War the Mennonites of Oldesloe must also have moved away. Fr. Bangert, in Die Geschichte der Stadt und des Kirchspiels Oldesloe (Oldesloe, 1925), does not mention the Anabaptists.


Dollinger, Robert. Geschichte der Mennoniten in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg und Lübeck. Neumünster, 1930: 4, 29.

Krahn, Cornelius. Menno Simons (1496-1561). Karlsruhe, 1936: 82 ff.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Oldesloe (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 Jul 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oldesloe_(Schleswig-Holstein,_Germany)&oldid=93182.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Oldesloe (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oldesloe_(Schleswig-Holstein,_Germany)&oldid=93182.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 54. All rights reserved.

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