Sumiswald (Bern, Switzerland)

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Sumiswald, one of the most beautiful villages (pop. 6,000 in 1958; 5,179 in 2004) of the Emmental, Swiss canton of Bern (coordinates: 47° 1′ 45″ N, 7° 44′ 40″ E). Soon after the beginning of the Reformation it became an important center of Anabaptism and added a significant chapter to the story of the martyrdom of the Mennonites of Bern. In 1529 Moritz Kessler, of Sumiswald, was a martyr in Bern, and in 1537 and 1538 three women of Sumiswald met the same fate. The last Bernese martyr, Hans Haslibacher, also came from this region. Melchior Aeberli, of Sumiswald, was tortured in Bern in 1569; on the rack he declared that Anabaptist teachings were not sectarian but Scriptural; his uncle Lorentz Aeberli (executed 3 July 1539) had testified to this doctrine with his blood. Even on the rack he refused to betray any of his brethren. Sumiswald remained an Anabaptist center into the 17th century.


Geiser, S. Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden. Karlsruhe, 1931.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 273.


Map:Sumiswald (Bern, Switzerland)

Author(s) Samuel Geiser
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Geiser, Samuel. "Sumiswald (Bern, Switzerland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 Jul 2024.,_Switzerland)&oldid=146279.

APA style

Geiser, Samuel. (1959). Sumiswald (Bern, Switzerland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 July 2024, from,_Switzerland)&oldid=146279.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 654. All rights reserved.

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