Oelbronn, (Maulbronn District, Württemberg, Germany)
Oelbronn, Maulbronn District, Württemberg, Germany, a village parish, located on the border of Baden. It was, like the entire vicinity of Maulbronn, a point on the route of many Anabaptists. Crossing the border also offered escape from persecution. Hans, a peasant of Oelbronn, who was baptized in Moravia, was found in a cross-examination at Strasbourg. In 1537 Elsa Messner, who had immigrated to Moravia with her husband, returned to Oelbronn and was imprisoned in Maulbronn. At her release she refused to render the oath, giving instead a simple affirmation promising not to return to the duchy for the rest of her life. "In case of return she forfeits her life and property." In 1574 the parson and mayor of Oelbronn reported to the abbot of Maulbronn that Oelbronn residents had taken part in the "nocturnal chatter-preaching of the Anabaptists in the forest between Bretten and Derdingen on Wednesday, 30 July 1574, who attended partly from curiosity, partly because they wanted to leave with them." Eight persons were named and given the severest sentence possible. Two wanted to emigrate, not because of religion, but because of the "fleshpots of Egypt." In 1583 the daughter of the sexton, Anna, in spite of the arrest she had suffered in punishment, did not come to communion in the state church.
In 1590-1595 there are records of the legacy left by Dorothea, the widow of Bernhard Greglich of Oelbronn, a total of 1,336 guilders. Of the eight children, two sons with their families moved to Moravia. One son returned in 1594 to stay, and asked for his mother's portion, which he finally received. In 1597 there was again a case of inheritance, and at least the interest on the estate, which was in the hands of the state, was granted the petitioner. In these two cases the decision was reasonable; in others very harsh.
In a letter of 1602 an anonymous member of the Oelbronn parish complained to the pastor Georg Heinrich Bürcklin about some participants in an Anabaptist meeting in the Schilling forest, and gave some names, though the charge is not clear. The writer of the letter hoped that the matter would not pass unpunished and that the false prophets would be dispersed, so that no false guidance might ensue. If in this instance a single member of a parish takes sides against the Anabaptists without revealing his identity, there are numerous instances of the open sympathy and intercession of entire communities for the persecuted.
Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 298.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 20. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Teufel, Eberhard. "Oelbronn, (Maulbronn District, Württemberg, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/O4486.html.
APA style: Teufel, Eberhard. (1959). Oelbronn, (Maulbronn District, Württemberg, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/O4486.html.