Karl Kautsky

Communism in Central Europe in the Time of the Reformation

Chapter 5
The Anabaptists

X. The Fall of Münster

Our investigation into the character of the Münster “commune” has grown wider in its range and more polemical than was originally intended, or than quite suits the plan of this work; but no little labour is required to remove the mountain of falsehood which rests on the true picture of the Anabaptists of that town. It is impossible to preserve scientific equanimity when one sees how an originally quiet and peaceable people are systematically stigmatised as a band of bloodthirsty and lascivious villains, simply because on one occasion, under the oppression of constant maltreatment and danger, they did not passively submit to destruction, but rose in energetic resistance, and not only suffered but fought for their convictions, opposing fierce attack by fierce defence, and exhibiting much military heroism!

After the treacherous surprise of February 10th had been repulsed, Bishop Franz undertook the siege with a light heart, for he felt sure of soon making an end of the crowded mob of starving vagabonds, as he regarded the mass of Anabaptists. He had at his disposal several thousand veteran troops under experienced generals, and before Whitsuntide had assembled about 8,000 men. [66] But the Baptists, though inferior in numbers (they were never more than 1,500 strong) and without military experience, had an advantage over their opponents not only in the strength of their fortifications, but in discipline, spirit of self-sacrifice, and enthusiasm.

Examples of the state of discipline in the Bishop’s camp have already been given. Drunkenness proved especially prejudicial to all their military operations, as was shown by the first assault on the town.

The first bombardment began May 21, 1534, and lasted five days. On the 25th the besiegers attempted to storm the town; but some of their soldiers, being drunk, advanced prematurely, and were driven back, throwing those behind them into disorder. In spite of this the rear-guard reached the walls with their scaling ladders, only to meet with such powerful resistance that they fell back in confusion and retreated to their camp.

Shortly afterwards the besieged forces made a sortie against an outpost, surprised the soldiers while they were gambling and drinking, drove them off, spiked the guns, and attacked the main body of the army (which had hurried to the scene) so vigorously that it did not dare to pursue them, but allowed them to return unmolested to the town.

The besieging army fared no better at the second storming, which took place on August the 31st, after a violent cannonade lasting three days. It led to a furious battle and ended in the complete defeat of the attacking force, whose loss was enormous, amounting to forty-eight in officers of rank alone. [67]

From that day the besiegers abandoned all hope of taking the town by assault, and limited their operations to maintaining a blockade, for the purpose of starving it into a surrender.

Yet in the end the entire German Empire was engaged in the war against this one town.

At the outset the different enemies of Anabaptism showed an unwillingness to come to an agreement. It soon became clear, however, that the forces of the Bishop alone were insufficient for the capture of Münster. Franz, therefore, sought allies among both Catholics and Evangelicals; but each member of the league being eager to get the better of the others, the fight over the bear’s skin seriously retarded the fight against the still living bear. Meanwhile, in spite of all intrigues, the number of the besiegers and the strength of their military equipment continued to increase, through the instrumentality of diplomatic adjustments and the decrees of Congresses and Diets, until finally the German Reichstag met at Worms, April 4, 1535, and conferred the dignity of an Imperial affair on the siege of Münster by levying a tax for carrying it on. In addition to this, the burgomasters of Frankfort and Nurenberg were despatched to the besieged, with orders to summon them to surrender in the name of the Empire. All idea of surrender, however, was repudiated.

Yet the position of the town was already hopeless. From the outset the Münster Baptists must have known that, in face of the embittered enmity of the propertied classes throughout the whole Empire, their insurrection could be maintained only by ceasing to be local and spreading to other parts of the nation. Their prospects in this respect were by no means unfavourable, for they had numerous adherents in all the towns of North Germany; in fact, in Lübeck the reins of government were in the hands of a party friendly to their cause. Messengers were sent out in all directions, and endeavours made to operate on the outer world by means of circulars and pamphlets. We have already quoted from one written by Rothmann, which is worthy of special mention. It was entitled, Restitution oder Wiederherstellung der rechten und gesunden chrislichen lehre, Glaubens and Lebens (The Restitution or Restoration of True and Sound Christian Doctrine, Belief, and Life), and appeared in October, 1534, as a vindication of the Baptist tenets and institutions. It advocated the use of the sword against the “godless,” and in defence of communism and polygamy. The pamphlet was smuggled out of the town and distributed so freely that within a short time a second edition became necessary.

In December a tract appeared entitled, Das Buchlein von der Rache (A Tract on Vengeance). [68] Vengeance, it says, is at hand; it will be accomplished on those who have hitherto been in power, and when it is accomplished, the New Heaven and the New Earth will appear to the people of God. The pamphlet ends with a summons to revolt: “Now, beloved brethren, the time for vengeance is come to us; God has raised up the promised David, armed for vengeance and the punishment of Babylon and its people. You have heard how it shall come to pass; what a rich reward awaits us, and how gloriously we shall be crowned if we only fight bravely and manfully, and know that whether God grants us life or death, we cannot be lost. Wherefore, beloved brethren, arm yourselves for the fight, not only with the humble weapons of the apostles, for suffering, but also with the glorious armour of David, for vengeance; and with God’s might and help destroy the Babylonian power and all that godless estate ... All wisdom, plans, skill, and methods must be employed to grieve the godless enemy of God and strengthen the standard of the Almighty. For consider what they have done to you! But this can you again do to them; yea, with what measure they meted, shall it be measured to them again; and, what is more, shall be poured into the same cup. Take heed that you make no sin of that which is not sinful. Now, beloved brethren, make diligent speed to hold to the cause with zeal, and hasten, as many as possible, to come under the banner of God. May God, the Lord of the army hosts, who hath decreed this from the beginning of the world and proclaimed it by His prophets, arm you and all His Israel as pleaseth Him, for His praise and for the increasing of His Kingdom. Amen.” When this stirring appeal was issued, all the insurrectionary movements in German towns had already been suppressed. Since the occurrences at Münster, the municipal authorities had been particularly cautious, and had succeeded in either opportunely checking all Baptist uprisings, or in putting them down by violent measures, e.g., in Warendorf, Sveft, Osnabrück, Minden, Wesel, Cologne, &c. In May, 1534, however, war broke out between the Lübeck democracy and Denmark, making it thenceforth impossible for that town to lend more than moral aid to the Münster struggle. Moreover, this war soon took a turn highly unfavourable to the ancient Hanseatic city, whose ultimate overthrow led to the downfall of democracy and to Wullenweber’s ruin.

At the end of the year 1534 the Münster Baptists had no further expectation of help from Germany. One hope still remained, viz., assistance from the Netherlands, from which country the Münster insurrection had already derived so much of its strength.

When Münster had fallen into the hands of the Baptists the movement had become powerful in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam, which, after Münster, was looked upon as the metropolis of the sect. It had a foothold also in other towns of Holland and Friesland. “In April it was estimated that two-thirds of the population of Monnikendam were adherents of Jan Mathys, and a like state of things existed everywhere in the environs of the capital of the Netherlands.” [69] They were also strong in Oberyssel, and particularly so in the town of Deventer, where in fact the Burgomasters joined them.

On the 6th of February 1534, Erasmus Schetus wrote from Amsterdam to Erasmus of Rotterdam: “In these provinces, and above all in Holland, we are made extremely anxious by the Anabaptist conflagration; for it is mounting up like flames. There is hardly a spot or town where the torch of the insurrection does not secretly glow.” [70]

These revolutionary masses, however, were not like the Brothers in Münster, confronted by a powerless executive, and a mingling of princely and municipal authorities, but by a strong central government, which at once summoned all the means at its command to crush the impending revolt. It is impossible to give the long list of executions which then ensued; the same cruel things repeat themselves ad nauseam. But in spite of all these, the Government did not succeed in preventing the formation of armed bodies, whose plan was to proceed to Vollenhove (mostly by water) with a view to marching to the relief of Münster.

On March 22nd thirty vessels, with armed Baptists on board, arrived at Vollenhove from Amsterdam. These were followed on the 25th by twenty-one others carrying three thousand men, many partisans going at the same time in vehicles or on foot. The Netherland authorities, however, who had got wind of the affair, attacked and dispersed each of these bodies separately.

In this way the attempt at relief was frustrated at the outset. But the great victories of the besieged at Münster on May 25th and August 31st revived the Baptist agitation in the Netherlands, which was also fanned by emissaries from the beleaguered city. Jan van Leyden proposed a bold plan for relieving the scarcity of provisions which had begun to make itself felt in the winter of 1534-35. The associates in the Netherlands were to rise; he would cut his way through the besieging army with a part of his men, join the relieving forces, spread the insurrection, and thus set Münster free. We have seen that he called on volunteers for this hopeless undertaking. He exercised his troops for this purpose, and had a special fort constructed, made of army waggons, to be used in the sortie.

But the scheme ended in failure. One of Jan’s envoys, the “apostle” Johann Grass, a whilom schoolmaster, turned traitor. Despatched for the purpose of assembling the Brethren outside the town and leading them to Deventer, whence they were to push on to Münster, he left the latter place on New Year’s Day, 1535, only, however, to go straight to Bishop Franz, divulge the plan, and betray the names of the most prominent associates in the Lower Rhine country, as well as their places of meeting. Thus the attempt to raise the siege was nipped in the bud.

Once more Jan van Leyden endeavoured to carry out the plan. On this occasion the ardently longed-for relief was to come on Easter Day. Keller, who has accurately followed up these movements, informs us that: “It is related that the Baptists proposed having four banners raised at a time previously agreed upon; one at Eschenbruch, near the river Maas in the Julich district; one in Holland and Woterland; the third between Maastricht, Aachen, and the district of Limburg, and the fourth near Groningen in Friesland. Until the stipulated time had arrived the brothers were to busy themselves in obtaining weapons and money, and as soon as the command was given, each was to betake himself to the nearest banner, for the purpose of assisting in the relief of Münster.”

“This plan was, in part, actually carried out. The very next Easter Day, March 28th, the so-called Olden Monastery, between Sneek and Bolswarben, in West Friesland, was occupied by the Baptists, and fortified. It was a strong position, with fourfold walls and ditches.

“When the Imperial governor received information of this he at once marched against the place, hoping by a sudden attack to recapture it; but he saw himself forced to a regular siege, and had to bring up heavy artillery.

“After having increased his forces by enrolling every third man in the town and country, he began the bombardment on the 1st of April, and immediately afterwards stormed the works. Four times did he have to lead his soldiers under fire. The first two attacks were repulsed, but at the third and fourth he succeeded in occupying a few of the advanced positions. Some of the outworks, however, together with the church, remained in the possession of the defenders, thus compelling the besiegers to renew the bombardment on April 7th. When breaches had been made at five points the place was stormed at about three o’clock in the afternoon, and after a severe fight finally taken. Eight hundred or nine hundred lay dead about the walls.”

The greater part of another force, which went to Deventer by water, was destroyed by Duke von Geldern; but Keller was unable to discover any information with regard to the other places in which uprisings were planned.

Once again, however, a dangerous insurrection broke out in Amsterdam, whither the Münster Baptists had despatched “one of their best officers”, Johann von Geel, who succeeded in reaching his destination, and in exciting a revolt.

“The insurrection broke out at about eight o’clock in the evening of May 11th. Five hundred armed Baptists seized the town-hall, slew one of the Burgomasters who fell into their hands, and put the position into a state of defence.”

“The rebels, however, were by no means strong enough to surprise the whole of the large town without further trouble. Moreover, the outbreak seems to have taken place before all the conspirators had assembled, as a few days later some fresh allies appeared before the walls. At all events, after his first success, Johann von Geel found himself confronted by a resistance which it is possible he may not have anticipated. The main body of citizens took up arms with one accord, and a sanguinary fight ensued, which lasted through the whole night, and ended in the complete overthrow of the Baptists. The hatred of the victors displayed itself in the most horrible barbarities. Johann von Campen, for example, whom Jan van Leyden had installed as Bishop among the Baptists, had his tongue torn out and his hand cut off. While in this maimed condition a tin mitre, bearing the escutcheon of the town, was placed on his head in mockery; after which he was led to the pillory. Not till then was he beheaded.” [71]

The hearts of the other prisoners were torn from their living bodies and thrown in their faces. Nevertheless, what a brutal horde were – the Anabaptists!

The overthrow of the Amsterdam insurrection signified the downfall of the only portion of the war-party of Anabaptists outside of Münster who were capable of action, and destroyed the last hope of the besieged for help from without.

Starvation was already rife among the defenders of Münster. “At first they ate horses, head and feet as well, together with the liver and lungs. They ate cats, dogs, mice, rats, slugs, fish, frogs, and grass, while moss was their bread. Salt, as long as they had any, was their fat. They also ate the hides of oxen, and even shoes, after they had been soaked ... One after another the children and aged died of starvation” (Gresbeck, pp.189, 190).

When the famine had become insupportable, Jan issued a proclamation to the effect that all those who no longer took part in the defence, and wished to leave the town, should give notice thereof at the town-hall. Every one was at liberty to leave the city within four days. Not a few took advantage of this permission – women, children, aged persons, and even some who were able to bear arms. A part of those who went out were slain by the Bishop’s soldiers, and the others thrown into prison. The young women were seized by the soldiery, who carried on polyandry with them – this seeming to be the best means of relieving those miserable creatures from the infamies with which they had been burdened by the polygamy of the Baptists.

Those who remained in the town were for the most part resolved to hold out till the last gasp, that when all should be lost they might be buried under the ruins of burning Münster. Their pitiable condition was known in the Bishop’s camp. They had very little powder left. “They have ceased to fire; their doom is certain. According to the accounts given to us by prisoners their stock of powder is reduced to a ton and a half.” Thus wrote the already-mentioned Burgomaster of Frankfort, Justinian von Holzhausen, from the camp before Münster, May 29th. [72] On May 24th Jan mustered “all the folk in the town who could bear arms, amounting, as we are informed by prisoners, to about two hundred men. The others, women, children and men, were lying ill, or going about sick, many of them on crutches. They were all swollen and weak, and dared not go far outside the gates, as they could not run away from our soldiers.” [73]

Yet, so much were the forces of Jan van Leyden feared that the besiegers did not dare to storm the town openly, so long as the defenders felt themselves possessed of a vestige of strength to resist. The Bishop’s forces remembered too well that they had already lost six thousand men in their fights with the little body of Baptists (Holzhausen, op. cit., p.343). Hence the Frankfort Burgomaster could again write to his father on the 8th of July: “As far as I can judge of affairs before Münster, I fear that unless we are aided by treachery the town will not be captured this summer; for the ‘king,’ his ‘dukes,’ and foul adherents, have obstinately set themselves to so managing the rascally business, that they may die and rot with the whole town” (op. cit., pp.353, 354)

When Holzhausen wrote the above letter, the traitor whom he hoped for had already been found – the man Gresbeck, so well known to us. He deserted the town on May 23rd, and, on being taken prisoner, offered to conduct the besiegers to a part of the walls where there was no danger. The Baptists were in fact no longer able to guard the whole line of fortifications. Gresbeck’s information was confirmed by Hans Eck von der Langenstraten, a soldier who had previously deserted from the Bishop’s camp to the Baptists, but had returned when things began to go badly with them. In spite of this it was long before the cautious besiegers ventured on the surprise. After all had been most carefully prepared, and under cover of a severe thunderstorm, they set about the task on June 25th.

Under Gresbeck’s guidance, the vanguard of the soldiers, about two hundred strong, succeeded in scaling the wall inthe vicinity of the Gate of the Cross. The nearest guards were killed and the gate opened. Five or six hundred of the Bishop’s forces rushed in, and to all appearances Münster was won. [74] Once again, however, was their wild thirst for booty to prove dangerous to the “defenders of the rights of property”.

Drunk with victory, those who had forced their way in, rushed forward to plunder, leaving the gate unguarded. In the meantime the nearest watch of the Baptists had hastened to the scene of action, and before the main body of soldiers could force their way in, had recaptured the gate, thus cutting off the soldiers in the town from those outside. Instead of attacking with the latter and coming to the rescue, the commander of the Bishop’s forces, Count Wirich von Dhann, when he saw the gate once more in the hands of the Baptists, gave the order to retreat. Derisive laughter and flights of arrows followed him from the defenders on the walls – men and women. Meantime the Baptists had risen throughout the town. Far from joyously casting off the yoke of the reign of terror, all who could hold a weapon, threw themselves in furious onset against the soldiers who had penetrated to the town; so that, instead of the two hundred whom they had expected to meet, the Bishop’s forces found themselves confronted by eight hundred armed antagonists. [75] The intruders were reduced to great straits, and at three in the morning held a parley with Jan van Leyden. A few of the soldiers, however, had succeeded in cutting their way to an unoccupied part of the walls, and when morning dawned attracted the attention of their comrades outside the walls. The main body now advanced to the attack, and scaled the weakly guarded walls. “Thus the town was taken by the grace of God alone, and not by the skill of the soldiers” (Holzhausen, op. cit., p.366).

A frightful street fight ensued. Where they could the Baptists barricaded themselves, and at eight in the morning the pick of their forces, two hundred strong, occupied the market which had previously been put in a state of defence. A council of war of the Bishop’s generals decided that to drive the Baptists from their last position was a hazardous, and, in any event, a too costly undertaking. Freedom and safe conduct were consequently promised to the besieged on condition of laying down their arms.

Driven to bay, and with no further hope left to them, the Baptists accepted the conditions. Hardly had they given up their arms and left their barricades when they were massacred. One infamous deed more or less was a matter of no consequence to the princely banditti.

On the day of the capture four hundred and fifty Baptists were slain, the following days being given up to the slaughter of the unfortunates who were found hidden in the houses. [76]

A vigorous part had been taken in the fight by the women, of whom the larger number were also massacred. Those who survived were brought before the Bishop, who told them that he would grant them pardon if they would renounce Anabaptism. As few accepted this offer (the rest continuing firm and obstinate in their undertaking) “the most prominent among them were executed, and the others driven out of the town. Many of these are said to have gone to England.” [77]

The greater number of the leaders had fallen, among whom were Tilbeck and Kippenbroick, and probably Rothmann. Only a few, like Heinrich Krechtinck, managed to escape. His brother Bernt, as well as Knipperdollinck and Jan van Leyden, fell into the hands of the victors, and were kept for purposes of a delightful spectacle. In accordance with the custom of the times of accusing those who were most dreaded with cowardice, Kerssenbroick relates that Jan acted the poltroon and ran away. Neither before or after the capture of the town does his conduct betray cowardice. It would indeed have been hardly possible to assert with certainty anything regarding the behaviour of individuals during the night’s fight in the streets. When the Bishop had entered the town he summoned Jan to his presence. “Then my most reverend lord said, ‘Art thou a King?’ The king replied, ‘Art thou a Bishop? “‘ This answer does not savour of cowardice.

The treatment experienced by the prisoners was the one usually dealt out to the defenders of the exploited classes at that time – and of other times.

Iron collars were forged for Jan, Knipperdollinck, and Krechtinck, who were afterwards dragged about the country. It seems as if their torments were never to cease. Not until January 22, 1536, were they executed at Münster in the presence of the whole populace, the Bishop also being a witness of the edifying spectacle. “The first act of the executioners was to bind the victims to the stake by their iron collars. Seizing white-hot pincers they then proceeded to pinch the king in all parts of the body in such a manner that flames blazed out from every part which was touched by the pincers, until nearly all who were standing in the marketplace were sickened by the stench which arose. The same punishment was meted out to the others, who, however, endured their tortures with greater impatience and irritability than the king, and made known their anguish in plaints and screams. Terrified at the sight of the horrible torture, Knipperdollinck hung himself by the iron collar, trying by this means to cut his throat and hasten his death; but when the executioners became aware of this they raised him up once more, forced his jaws wide asunder, put a rope between his teeth, and bound him so firmly to the stake that he could neither sit nor break his neck, nor (since his throat was quite wide open), choke himself. When they had been tortured long enough, and while they were still living, their tongues were pulled out from their throats with red-hot. pincers, and a dagger driven home to their hearts.” It is well known that the corpses were put into iron cages and hung in the Lamberti Church.” The pincers with which they were tortured are still to be seen in the market-place on a bolt of the town-hall, where they were hung to serve as an example and terror to all rebels and enemies to the authorities.” [78]

A modern historian has the effrontery to call this the “merited punishment for their misdeeds” (Keller, Wiedertäufer, p.280). We challenge the noble masters of “German Science” to point out a single instance in which, during the terrors of the siege, the uneducated, rough proletarians of Münster practised on their enemies a hundredth part of the bloodcurdling cruelties which the right reverend Bishop, in perfect tranquillity of mind, had prepared and carried out before his own eyes six months after his victory! Yet these gentlemen, who cannot too highly extol their own transcendent ethics, exult over the triumph of the priestly bloodhound, while they drag his victims through the mire as infamous criminals.

Anabaptism, the proletarian cause, nay, the collective democracy in the German Empire, lay helpless in the dust; and outside of Germany also the fighting party of the Baptist order had lost all support.

At the Congress of Bockholt in 1536 a rupture occurred between the Netherland Baptists. The war party began from that moment to disappear; but the peaceable and millennarian section maintained itself some time longer. Its leader was Davis Joris, who was born in Brugge, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and brought up at Delft. The Obbenites (so named from Obbe Phillips), who completely acquiesced in the existing order of things, now became the most important party among the Anabaptists. They taught that no other condition of the world than the existing one was to be looked for, and that mankind must adapt themselves to it.

Menno Simons subsequently became the head of this party, whose adherents were named after him, Mennonites. Born in Witmarsum, a Friesland village near Franecker, he became a Catholic priest, but united himself to the Baptists in 1531, and in 1533 was already a partisan of the submissive section and an opponent of Jan Mathys. While his brother, who belonged to the war party, joined the force which set forth from West Friesland to the relief of Münster on Easter Day, 1535, and fell, fighting bravely, Menno did not hesitate to stab his grievously afflicted Münster associates in the back, by initiating an agitation against them.

After the fall of Münster his faction became the most prominent of all the Baptist divisions.

Menno’s end, like that of Joris, is indicative of the character which the Baptist order was thenceforth to assume.

These two leaders had to pass through many persecutions; but both died respected and in easy circumstances.

Joris had saved up a snug sum, and, in order to enjoy it in peace, this prophet of the latter day emigrated to Bâle in 1544, and settled there under the alias of Johann of Brugge. Not until after his death was his true name discovered, when his body was burnt by order of the Bâle Council.

Menno Simons died soon afterwards in 1559. The last years of his life were passed at Oldesloe in Holstein, on the estate of a nobleman who, while in war service in the Netherlands, had learnt to know the Baptists as a very harmless and industrious people, and had offered them an asylum on his property, to his own great advantage.

But the Netherlands themselves were soon to become the refuge for persecuted Baptists. The casting off of the Hapsburg yoke brought freedom of belief to the country about the mouths of the Rhine, and a higher form of tolerance came into vogue there at almost the same time that it disappeared in Bohemia and Moravia, where, though crude and incomplete, it had existed since the Hussite Wars. After the close of the sixteenth century the Mennonites were tolerated in the Dutch Republic, until, in 1626, their freedom of belief was officially confirmed. Like the Herrnhuters, who were the successors of the Bohemian Brethren, they have maintained themselves till the present day; but for a long time have formed nothing more than a small, well-to-do middle-class community, of no importance, either to the proletarian struggle for emancipation, or to the development of socialistic ideas.

From the Netherlands, which in the times of the Beghards were already in close intercourse with England, Baptist ideas spread to the latter country. In the last part of the reign of Henry VIII, more especially, there were many edicts issued against the Anabaptists, and in 1525 and the following years a great number were executed, of whom a large proportion were Dutch. But the Governments of Henry VIII and Elizabeth were too strong to allow Anabaptism to publish itself otherwise than by martyrdoms. It was different with the wars of the seventeenth century, which even brought Anabaptist ideas into the foreground. The close of one century, however, had altered those ideas in many points; and great as may be the apparent resemblance between the Anabaptists and the democratic and socialistic section of the party of independence, their views are essentially different.

As a real, effective force in public life, Christian communism came to an end in the sixteenth century. That century saw the birth of a new system of production, the modern State and the modern proletariat; and it saw also the birth of modern socialism.

A new era was dawning for mankind.




66. Jorg Schenck’s account (Berichte der Augenzeugen, p.260).

67. In a folk-song of that period a soldier who was present is made to sing

“Die Landsknecht waren in grossen Noth,
Da blieben wohl dreitausend todt
Zu Münster unter den Mauern.”

(“The soldiers were all in dire need,
A good three thousand lay there dead,
Under the walls of Münster.”)

68. Eyn gantz troestlick bericht van der Wrake vnde straffe des Babilonischen gruwels, an alle ware Israeliten unde Bundgenoten Christi, hir vnde dar vorstroyet, durch de gemeinte Christi tho Münster. Reproduced in its entirety and in the original tongue by Boutenwek, in his Zur Literatur and Geschichte der Wiedertäufer, pp.66-80.

69. Cornelius, Münsterischer Aufruhr, p.234.

70. Berichte der Augenzeugen, p.315.

71. Keller, Geschichte der Wiedertäufer, pp.276, 279.

72. Berichte der Augenzeugen, p.343.

73. Holzhausen, op. cit., p.343.

74. Compare General Wirich’s report to the Duke of Cleve, July 29th (Berichte der Augenzeuge, p.359).

75. Holzhausen, in a communication through the town of Frankfort, July 1st, op. cit., p.366. On one occasion, Keller remarks: “It is impossible to note without astonishment how a few immigrant rascals succeeded in reducing the entire native population more and more to a condition of slavery” (Wiedertäufer, p.103). Still more astounding is the fury with which those who were “freed” from the reign of terror fell upon their “deliverers”.

76. Sigmund von Beineburgk’s report to Philip of Hesse, July 7th, op. cit., p.368.

77. Gresbeck, p.213, and Beineburgk, op. cit., p.368.

78. Kerssenbroick, p.212. We may give complete credence to this account.


Last updated on 23.12.2003