Swiss Brethren in Moravia

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In Moravia all non-Hutterite Anabaptists were known as Swiss Brethren, hence the term includes such groups as the Philippites. There were Swiss Brethren in Nikolsburg, where there was a congregation, at Bergen, Polau, Wisternitz, and Voitelsbrunn, and some also in Passwitz, Rubau, Seletitz, and in the mountain town of Jamnitz. In the great persecution of 1535 many of the Swiss Brethren were expelled from Moravia and returned to their old homes in South Germany and Switzerland. A number (now known to have been Philippites) fell prisoner to the Bishop of Passau. A number of Swiss Brethren of Jamnitz imprisoned in Passau were released upon the intervention of their baron and protector, Heinrich von Lomnic, through his burgrave in Passau, offering security for damages and payment of costs. When the persecution in Moravia had subsided somewhat, the Brethren again assembled in Polau, Muschau, Znaim, Tasswitz, and other places. The preacher of the Jamnitz congregation, Oswald Glait, was drowned as a martyr at Vienna in 1545. About that time the Swiss Brethren gradually began to join the Hutterian Brethren. The first to do so was the preacher Hans Klöpfer at Polau, who united with the Hutterites at Schäckowitz with four other brethren in 1543. Nevertheless there were remnants of the Swiss Brethren congregations in Moravia as late as 1591 at Znaim; in a suburb of Eibenschitz they still had a small congregation in 1618. Erhard's list of sects in Moravia (1589) names Swiss Brethren and Pilgrim Brethren (Marpeckites?). A number of Swiss Brethren families migrated from Moravia to the Danzig area after 1600; a Schellenberger and a Schmidt fled to Przechovka as late as 1634.


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.

Bossert, G. "Aus der nebenkirchlichen religiösen Bewegung der Reformationszeit in Württemberg." Blätter für württembergische Geschichte XXXIII (1929): 8.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 133.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1959

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Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Swiss Brethren in Moravia." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 9 Aug 2022.

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Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1959). Swiss Brethren in Moravia. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 August 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 671. All rights reserved.

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