Mödling is a town (1957 pop. 48,000; 2001 pop. 20,400) in Lower Austria, situated at the edge of the Vienna Woods. In 1536 the Hutterian Brethren sent Georg Fasser and Leonhard Lanzenstiel as missionaries to Tyrol. On 25 April they started out, but were seized two days later at Neudorf in Lower Austria "a half mile of field road" from Mödling and placed in stocks. On the next day the Mödling judge transferred them to the local prison and asked why they had been arrested. They replied, "For the sake of the divine truth and righteousness." On the way to Mödling and in the prison, which they shared with criminals, they zealously confessed their faith and defied all attempts to convert them; nor did they change their view after nearly a year of imprisonment. In prison Lanzenstiel and Fasser wrote six letters to the brotherhood in Moravia (found in a codex, division 5 of the University Library of Budapest), to which Hans Anion replied with four (found at the same place). In order to conceal the place of origin they were given peculiar place headings: "From the village where Oswald keeps house and Martl cooks," i.e., Tischlawitz; or "From the town where the kitchen is in the cellar and Walser keeps house," i.e., Costal (Kostel). Released "by a special miracle," Fasser and Lanzenstiel hastened to Moravia, where they were received by the Brethren in the border village of Drasenhofen. Fasser died the death of a martyr in Pogstall, having been sent out again in 1537. The martyr list names four executions in Mödling, concerning which no details are known.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: III, 143 f.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 722. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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