Landshut (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)
Landshut, a city (1954 pop. 36,000; 2007 over 60,000) on the Isar River in Bavaria, Germany. During the 1255-1504 period it was the principal residence of the dukes of Lower Bavaria. In 1800-1826 the Bavarian state university, previously at Ingolstadt and now at Munich, was located at Landshut.
In the spring of 1528 August Würzlburger, the leader of the Regensburg Anabaptist congregation, preached and baptized in the territory of Landshut. In a brief visit he won a number of converts, among them Hans Sedlmaier with his wife and their sons Paul and Willibold and daughter Katharina, also Hans Frank, a weaver of Oberhain. Hans Sedlmaier and Hans Frank were soon discovered; Sedlmaier said he would remain in his faith, while Frank begged for mercy (Winter, pp. 26 ff.). On 26 May the council of Regensburg wrote to the council of Augsburg, stating that a few days previously a man had been beheaded in Landshut, whom Würzlburger had baptized (Nestler, 74). This was probably Sedlmaier. Duke Louis wrote on 2 June that all other persons baptized by Würzlburger were put to death, regardless of willingness to recant – a total of nine persons (Nestler, 77).
Somewhat later the same lot befell some Hutterian Brethren. On 2 April 1560 Klaus Felbinger, a Hutterite preacher, and Hans Leitner were seized in Neumarkt in Lower Bavaria, and put into the tower at Landshut on 7 April. By this time Bavaria no longer simply inflicted the death penalty in spiritual matters, but first undertook to convert the heretics. Sometimes they held formal disputations; theologians from Landshut and Munich took pains to induce Felbinger to change his faith. In the course of 15 weeks, he was dealt with ten times on questions of faith; in addition he was given 18 articles to answer in writing. Detailed records of these conversations have been preserved, which Felbinger, in chains and with poor illumination, wrote out. They were published by J. Loserth, as an epistle to the brotherhood in Moravia in his book, Der Communismus der mährischen Wiedertäufer (Vienna, 1894) 292-310, and as an epistle to Leonhard Lanzenstiel in Zeitschrift für allgemeine Geschichte I (1884) 451-454. Since both Felbinger and Leitner remained steadfast in their faith they were beheaded on 19 July 1560. This execution raised the number of Anabaptist executions in Landshut to 12.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 613 f.
Loserth, Johann. "Der Communismus der mährischen Wiedertäufer im 16. and 17. Jahrhundert: Beiträge zu ihrer Lehre, Geschichte and Verfassung." Archiv für österreichische Geschichte 81, 1 (1895).
Nestler, H. Die Wiedertäuferbewegung in Regensburg. Regensburg: 1926.
Winter, V. A. Geschichte der baierischen Wiedertäufer im 16 Jahrhundert. Munich: 1908.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 284; vol. 4, p. 1146. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hege, Christian. "Landshut (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/landshut_freistaat_bayern_germany.
APA style: Hege, Christian. (1957). Landshut (Freistaat Bayern, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/landshut_freistaat_bayern_germany.