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Schwertler (Schwerdtler; i.e., bearers of swords), a name given to the faction of the Anabaptists at Nikolsburg, Moravia, led by Balthasar Hubmaier and Hans Spittelmayer, which defended the use of the sword in a war of defense, though not in self-defense or for the protection of one's own property. They also defended the payment of war taxes.

The faction of the Anabaptists led by Jakob Wideman and Philipp Jager, which stood for complete nonresistance and carried the staff in place of the sword, were called Stäbler. The definite break between the two groups occurred at the debates held on these questions at Nikolsburg in 1526, at which Hans Hut took the side "against the sword," while Hubmaier defended the sword. The "Schwertler" party died out by 1529, while the Stäbler developed into the Hutterites. The Hutterite Chronik (Zieglschmid, 86) states that the Schwertler "now (=1542?) are called Sabbather and have the Münsterite spirit. By this spirit Lord Leonard Liechtensteiner . . . expelled Jacob Wideman and Philipp Jager together with their other brethren."

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Schwertler." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 28 Sep 2022.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Schwertler. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 September 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 489. All rights reserved.

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