Wildenbruch, Ernst von (1845-1909)

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Ernst von Wildenbruch (1845-1909), a German dramatist, author of Der Menonit, in which the Mennonites play an extremely unfavorable role on account of lack of patriotism. It is a caricature with propagandist intentions. In 1882 it was repeatedly presented on the German stage, and was considered a great success for the author.

The executive committee of the Vereiningung wrote a letter to Wildenbruch in May 1888, explaining the offending import of the drama. Wildenbruch's reply referred to the account by Bishop Eylert on Friedrich Wilhelm III, from which he had taken the material. He admitted that his picture might seem unjust, but thought that he was justified in the light of the moral effect of the play and his freedom as a poet. On 26 May 1888, the Mennonite congregation of Emden presented a petition to the theater in Berlin to prevent the presentation of the play there. The petition was answered negatively. Also the editor of the Mennonitische Blätter wrote a protest to the author on 29 May 1888. On 16 August 1888, the drama was presented in Berlin. The Curatorium of the Vereinigung had a protest composed by Pastor Weydmann and H. G. Mannhardt sent to all the Berlin newspapers. It was accepted by all the papers. At the outbreak of World War I the play was to be used to rouse public enthusiasm; but upon objection by the Mennonites, including the Conference of South German Mennonites, it was removed from the program.


Bender, Elizabeth H. "Ernst von Wildenbruch's Drama Der Menonit." Mennonite Quarterly Review XVIII (1944): 22-35.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 539.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Wildenbruch, Ernst von (1845-1909)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 5 Jul 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wildenbruch,_Ernst_von_(1845-1909)&oldid=146308.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Wildenbruch, Ernst von (1845-1909). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wildenbruch,_Ernst_von_(1845-1909)&oldid=146308.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 951-952. All rights reserved.

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