Zuckenhammer, Hans (d. 1598)

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Hans Zuckenhammer (d. 1598), a Hutterite leader, born in Genkhofen, Bavaria, also called "Rotbart" because of his red hair, a smith by trade, very active as a missioner in Bavaria and Tyrol. The Hutterite Chronicle records with great detail Zuckenhammer's experience during one of these missionary trips when he and his companion, Wolf Raufer, were caught near Salzburg and imprisoned in Tittmoning, Bavaria, for several weeks in 1579. The remarkable fact of this story is that the two brethren were rather decently treated in spite of their courageous stand for their faith. Finally the Bishop of Salzburg allowed them to return home. During their imprisonment they composed three hymns, now in the Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 741-52.

In 1585 Zuckenhammer was made a preacher (Diener des Wortes), or at least confirmed as such (elsewhere the record says that in 1597 he had been minister for 17 years). One year before his death he was "tried" on a charge of not maintaining strict discipline (the Chronicle devotes six pages to this affair). The "trial" took place at the Bruderhof of Protzka, Slovakia, and was presided over by Klaus Braidl, bishop. Zuckenhammer admitted that he did not deserve to serve as preacher because of slackness and negligence, but the real accusation does not become too clear. Finally it was decided to excommunicate him. He asked to be allowed to remain with the brotherhood, accepting the penalty and offering to confess in public. Thus he was first excommunicated, and soon thereafter restored to full membership. One year later (1598) he died at Protzka.

Zuckenhammer's name was formerly attached to an important Hutterite codex, the "Codex Zuckenhammer" (so named by Beck) of 1583, which contains on 325 leaves the well-known Ein Schön lustig Büchlein, which is the great Article Book, now at the Library of the Evangelical Church of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (sign. 391 kt). Both Loserth (237) and Wiswedel (140) assumed erroneously that Zuckenhammer was the author simply because his name was written on the first page, but this was merely a sign of ownership. Actually this work goes back to Peter Walpot, and the Codex Zuckenhammer is but one of many such copies, although it is indeed one of the most beautifully written.


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

Loserth, Johann. "Der Communismus der mährischen Wiedertäufer im 16. and 17. Jahrhundert: Beiträge zu ihrer Lehre, Geschichte and Verfassung." Archiv für österreichische Geschichte (1895): 237.

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. Bilder and Führergestalten aus dem Täufertum, 3 vols. Kassel: J.G. Oncken Verlag, 1928-1952: v. II, p. 140 (Wiswedel devotes an entire chapter to Zuckenhammer).

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Das Klein-Geschichtsbuch der Hutterischen Brüder. Philadelphia, PA: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1947.

Author(s) Robert Friedmann
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Friedmann, Robert. "Zuckenhammer, Hans (d. 1598)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 4 Aug 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zuckenhammer,_Hans_(d._1598)&oldid=112062.

APA style

Friedmann, Robert. (1959). Zuckenhammer, Hans (d. 1598). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 August 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zuckenhammer,_Hans_(d._1598)&oldid=112062.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1040. All rights reserved.

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