Schorndorf (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

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Schorndorf, a city (population in 1959, 12,268; in 2005, 39,363) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, fifteen miles east of Stuttgart, in the fertile Rems Valley.

Joseph Beck records only one Anabaptist martyr for Schorndorf in 1527-31; the court records do not mention him. Nevertheless there are frequent references to Anabaptists in Schorndorf during that time. In 1528 Hans Glut of Schorndorf was tried on the rack, and said he had been baptized in 1527 at Hainebach near Esslingen. A court record of 1533 points out the spread of the Anabaptists in this region.

Under Duke Ulrich there were more Anabaptists in Schorndorf and the vicinity after 1535. Hans Volmar of Geradstetten had been in Moravia and was banished from the town in 1535; the same lot befell Katharina Schneck in 1536, Wendel Rumel of Hebsack in 1533, Michel Weber of Rohrbronn in 1533, Stephan Jetzlin and Endris Sigwart of Steinenberg, and in 1539 Jakob Hüll of Schorndorf. For a while the persecution apparently stopped. In 1545 a woman of Schorndorf fled to Stetten, an Anabaptist haven, likewise a cooper Hans Walch; at the same time Heinrich Walch, presumably a brother of Hans, and mayor of Schorndorf, was banished, because he had "been somewhat careless" (sich etwas übersehen).

After the interim the search for Anabaptists began anew under Duke Christoph. In 1545 the duke had been informed of Anabaptist disturbances in the vicinity. The trials of Stoffel Schuhmacher of Beutelsbach in 1555 and Jakob Wachter in 1557 show that there was ground for suspicion. On 2 April 1558, Sixt Weselin, the magistrate (Vogt) of Schorndorf, reported that Peter and Endris Stirmmer (Sturmmer?) of Rudersberg with his family, and Ulrich Lemblin's wife had immigrated to Moravia at the instigation of Paul Glock and Hans von Schrotsberg, leaving all their property. Three trials of this year—Lienhart Rauch, and Martin and Georg Weller of Manoldsheim—indicate the vigor of the Moravian emissaries. Not all of the converts were pleased with the Moravian life. In 1559 Sixt Weselin reported to the government that Michel Honacker and Hans Braun had fled to Moravia from Mittelschlechtbach with their families in 1558, but had now returned. They were examined in Stuttgart, had to recant before the mayor and the court, and were assigned a special pew in the church.

In 1560 Stephan Haug, called Jetzlin, who had twice joined the Anabaptists, was expelled from the village, and Hans Peter of Weiler from the countryside. In 1561 the Anabaptists were stirring in Necklinsberg. Apollonia Geiger, a widow, was under indoctrination in Stuttgart. In Schnait a property confiscated from Anabaptists was leased out. Stoffel Schuhmacher of Beutelsbach had backslidden and was tried in Stuttgart in 1562; in Leonberg he was examined on the rack and then expelled from the country. In Esslingen, an imperial city, the following Anabaptists of the Schorndorf region were tried before officials of Württemberg: Bastian Weber of Beutelsbach, Lienhard Sommer of Necklinsberg, Stephan Utzlin (Jetzlin), called Haug, of Steinenberg, Peter Lang of Schorndorf, Abraham Halbgewachsen and Hans Kugelin of Schnait, Ulrich Hauwer of Krähwinkel, and Jörg Bichler (Bühler) of Miedelsbach. Bastian was thought to be a Vorsteher on account of his determination, and Stephan Haug proved to be one. Peter Land and Halbgewachsen were put under oath not to return to Esslingen. The fate of the others is not known.

In 1563 the citizens of Rudersberg asked for the property of Peter Hasel and his wife, who had immigrated to Moravia in 1555. In 1564 Anna Krauter, young Hans Heutling's wife, of Schorndorf, and Bastian Schuhmacher's wife, of Hebsach, left their homes; in 1565 Claus Frey of Beutelsbach likewise, though he returned in 1569 and asked for a hearing. In 1570 the authorities expelled from the country Leonhart and Hans Sommerer of Necklinsberg, Caspar Dautel of Hosslinswart, Apollonia Trieber of Kleinheppach, Christian Seiferlin and Friedrich Bauer of Endersbach, Aquila Schöberlin of Schorndorf, Jous Gump and Marx Wellhaf of Strumpfelbach, Bastian Weber of Beutelsbach, Anna Weissgarber of Winterbach, Maria Schmid of Heppach, Marx and Barbara Schöberlin of Schorndorf, Andas Dilgen, and the daughter of Beutelsbach. Blasius Greiner of Walkersbach was required to recant in Schorndorf in 1569 before the entire congregation in church; the formula of recantation prescribed for him became the model. In 1573 the district (Amt) of Schorndorf was inspected for Anabaptists and special attention was paid them in the future. The Greiner family in the remote Walkersbach caused the authorities much trouble, likewise the family of Marx Schöberlin. In 1582 Simon Kress, an apostle from Moravia, was seized in Oberurbach. This community was closely watched until the Thirty Years' War; in 1633 there were still some Anabaptists there, besides "many disorderly people."

The confiscated Anabaptist property in the Schorndorf area was valued at 6,838 guilders and 31½ kreutzer in 1580-1613. Schorndorf was also the home of Johannes Walch of Nürtingen, deacon there 1578-82, who was dismissed as a Swiss Anabaptist.


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

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 94.

Author(s) Gustav Bossert, Jr.
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bossert, Jr., Gustav. "Schorndorf (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 May 2024.,_Germany)&oldid=146227.

APA style

Bossert, Jr., Gustav. (1959). Schorndorf (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2024, from,_Germany)&oldid=146227.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 478-479. All rights reserved.

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