Trachselwald (Bern, Switzerland)
Trachselwald, a village and prefecture in the Emmental, canton of Bern, Switzerland, was as early as 1534 a center of Anabaptist activity. In the fall of 1535 Moritz Rosenegger was baptized here, and in spite of the measures of the Bernese officials Anabaptism flourished. In 1551 the Anabaptists were threatened with confiscation of property and even capital punishment if they refused to renounce their faith; sheltering of Anabaptists was punishable by expulsion. In 1640 Trachselwald is named among the villages where there were many "Täufer." Even the Täuferjäger of the 1670's were unable to root out Anabaptism. Benedict Brechbühl (Brechbill), preacher of the congregation from 1699, lived at Trachselwald. Twice he was banished, fled, and returned. In early January 1709 he was arrested at home, imprisoned at Bern, and on 18 March 1710, deported. This was a severe blow for the Trachselwald group, many of whom in the following years left their homeland, immigrating to the Netherlands or the Palatinate. Yet secretly some Anabaptists remained at Trachselwald. In the second half of the 18th century the Bernese government became more tolerant; the Mennonites lived and worshiped rather freely; they were members of the Emmental (Langnau) congregation. At the census taken in 1823 the following Mennonite families were living in the prefecture of Trachselwald: Peter Kohler, Christian Kohler, Christen Bichsel, Ulrich Reist, Hans Steiner, Peter Steiner, and Peter Lanz; they numbered 25 persons. Ulrich Steiner, a strong leader of Swiss Brethren in the 19th century, lived at the Hämlismatt near Trachselwald.
Gratz, Delbert L. Bernese Anabaptists. Scottdale, 1953: passim.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 740. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Trachselwald (Bern, Switzerland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T721.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Trachselwald (Bern, Switzerland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T721.html.