Platzer, Melchior (d. 1583)

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Melchior Platzer, a Hutterian Brethren martyr, an apothecary, was arrested in Zürich, Switzerland, with Ludwig Dörcker and David Falch in 1574, subjected to a cross-examination, and then released (Bergmann, 46; Geschicht-Buch, 367 f.). In 1583 he was seized in the village of Rankweil in Tyrol, Austria, and taken to Feldkirchen, where he was put into the tower of the castle. He was again cross-examined. A priest was summoned from Bregenz to convert him, and hoped to gain honor and fame by this colloquy. But when he was soon de­feated he said, "Did the devil bring me here and deceive me with this Anabaptist?" It was hoped that Lutheran clergymen would have better success. But they too failed. Thereupon Platzer was accused of being a misleader of the people. In 1581-82 he had been very active in the Bregenz Forest area, converting many persons and persuad­ing them to immigrate to Moravia. The government required that he render an oath in order to be released; he could then go where he had come from. But he refused. He was then re­turned to Rankweil and there beheaded and burned on 6 November 1583. At the site of execution he ad­monished the people, who showed great sympathy for him; he urged them to repentance and warned them of the false prophets who were misleading them. He is the author of the hymn, "Hörent jhr Kinder Gottes rein, was wir euch wellen singen."


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Bergmann, Cornelius. Die Täuferbewegung im Kanton Zürich. Leipzig, 1916: 46.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 751.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 1058.  Available online at:

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 378.

Lie­der der Hutterischen Brüder. Scottdale, 1914: 756.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965: 235.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 367 f., 413-15, 435.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 477, 533 ff.  

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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Neff, Christian. "Platzer, Melchior (d. 1583)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 30 Nov 2020.,_Melchior_(d._1583)&oldid=146027.

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Neff, Christian. (1959). Platzer, Melchior (d. 1583). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 November 2020, from,_Melchior_(d._1583)&oldid=146027.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 189. All rights reserved.

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