Reck-Malleczewen, Friedrich (1884-1945)

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Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, a German literary figure, was born in 1884 at Malleczewen, Lyck district of East Prussia, on the Russian border, descended from an old landed family, studied medicine, but also lived in the world of music, literature, and history. After an extended tour of America in 1912 he settled in Stuttgart and later in Münich and in the Chiemgau of Upper Bavaria. In 1925 he made a journey to Africa. "In 1933 he joined the Catholic Church, which seemed to him the last bulwark against increasing brutalization and impersonalization." In despair he wrote Bochelson, Geschichte eines Massenwahns (Berlin, 1937, and Wiesentheid, 1946), a belletristic historical study based on the Münster revolt of 1534 f. (see Jan van Leyden). It is hardly surprising that in his view of the Münsterite "kingdom" as the preview of the Nazi regime he saw in Anabaptism only fanatical chaos and spiritual disease which resulted in maniacal behavior. The treatment is based on some older works, viz., the source work, Geschichtsquellen des Bistums Münster, the collection of documents by Niesert and Neudecker, Löffler’s collection of documents, contemporary presentations such as Hamelmann, Bolandus, and Dorpius, and six contemporary reports. More recent works used by Reck-Malleczewen were those of Fasser (1852), Ranke's history of Germany, and unpublished letters in the archives at Cassel. Recent material, which must have been available in Munich in 1937, is untouched. Reck believed that all revolution has the same source, in alienation from native culture and real religion, and that as the Münsterite revolution resulted in catastrophe, so the Nazi revolution would follow the same course. Hitler he viewed as a parallel to Bockelson. Reck was taken to the Dachau concentration camp on 31 December 1944, and died there without trial or sentence on 17 February 1945.


Bender, Mary E. "The Anabaptist Theme in Modern German Literature.”  Master's thesis, Indiana University, 1958.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 438.

Author(s) Ernst Crous
Date Published 1959

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Crous, Ernst. "Reck-Malleczewen, Friedrich (1884-1945)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Sep 2020.,_Friedrich_(1884-1945)&oldid=146100.

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Crous, Ernst. (1959). Reck-Malleczewen, Friedrich (1884-1945). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from,_Friedrich_(1884-1945)&oldid=146100.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 261-262. All rights reserved.

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