Grömbach (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Grömbach is a village (1925 pop. 669, with 12 Mennonites; 2006 pop. 681)) in the Sinsheim district of Baden, Germany. As early as the 16th century Mennonites were living here. In 1596 Gall Schnaitmann of Fellbach is mentioned. He was an alert man, who left a considerable fortune in his home town, and was baptized at Landau in 1587, after he had studied Menno Simons' Foundation Book. He was a wool weaver and had made long journeys; he had also worked in Göding in Moravia, where the Hutterian Brethren had a household. In Grömbach Schnaitmann took over a mill from the lords of Flersheim. About 1598 the court records mention a sister of Bernhard Bauder of Urbach (Bossert, 271).
There are scarcely any references to other Mennonites in the areas owned by the imperial knights. The few notes handed down from Grömbach therefore deserve attention, for in the 16th century no other places in the Kraichgau are known in which Mennonites lived. But from Dutch sources it is known that there were Mennonite churches in that region in the 16th century. The Mennonites in the Neckar Valley in 1575 wanted to unite widi the Flemish. Consequently in April three Flemish preachers, Pieter de Leydecker, Hendrik Glasemaeker, and Daniel Graef of Holland were sent to the Neckar Valley to negotiate. They visited all the congregations there, but no union resulted. The Mennonites here gradually died out.
After their expulsion from Switzerland in 1650-1710 the Mennonites found reception and protection in the lands of the local nobility here. About that time four congregations were organized near Grömbach, all equally distant from the village. A list of 1731 calls them Zimmerhof, Büchelhof, Hasselbach, and Bockschaft. Several of their preachers lived in Grömbach; thus Ulrich Neukomm served Zimmerhof, and Heinrich Kündig served Bockschaft. In the Dutch Naamlijst der Predikanten this congregation is mentioned from 1766 on, appearing in the next issues under different names.
In the last quarter of the 18th century the Mennonites in Grömbach helped to distribute Gerhard Tersteegen's writings. From a letter by Elder Abraham Bechtel (preacher of the congregation then called Bockschaft-Streichenberg and Wesingen 1752, elder 1770, d. 1794) of Grömbach, dated 20 January 1776, it is known that they contributed two "Karolines" to the printing of Tersteegen's books, and that Hans Krehbiel (preacher 1761, elder 1773) of Grömbach and Jost Glück (preacher 1756, elder 1773) in Berwangen offered to make contributions to the posthumous editions of Tersteegen's works.
In 1955 only one of the four congregations had survived, namely, Hasselbach, to which the Mennonites in Grömbach belonged.
Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer, I. Band: Herzogtum Württemberg. Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte XIII. Band. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930: 271.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 177.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 209.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 587. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hege, Christian. "Grömbach (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/grombach_baden_wurttemberg_germany.
APA style: Hege, Christian. (1956). Grömbach (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/grombach_baden_wurttemberg_germany.