Diemerstein (Frankenstein, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
Diemerstein is the ruins of a castle, a small forest settlement, and after 1925 a Christian convalescent and youth home in a narrow valley of the Palatine Forest near Frankenstein on the main highway to Kaiserslautern, Germany. The castle was built in the 12th century under Barbarossa by Dittmar and called Burg Ditmarstein. In the Reformation period it sheltered Ulrich von Hütten, the great humanistic foe of the papacy. In the 17th century it was reduced to a ruin.
Soon after the Thirty Years War several Mennonite families settled in the dale of Diemerstein, who were members of the Fischbach congregation and later of the Sembach congregation. On 9 July 1687 Peter Küntzi of Buchholderberg (Switzerland) received the dilapidated mill in Diemerstein in hereditary lease from Countess Marie, who was a princess of the House of Orange. He and his family were specifically granted freedom of worship, "just as the people on the Fischbach estate have been doing." In the Diemerstein mill area a special building was put up for services, which stood until 1824. From 1782 on, baptismal services were also held here. In 1783 the cemetery still in existence in the valley was acquired. Previously Mennonites had to be buried in Fischbach; they could not, however, be carried on the highway, but had to be secretly carried through the valley and over the mountain.
In addition to the Küntzi (Kinzinger) family there were in Diemerstein in the 18th century also the Mennonite Steiner, Engel and Strohm families, and later also Schnebele and Zürcher. On 2 February 1811 Peter Eymann, born in Lohmühle near Langmeil, came into possession of the tenure by marriage with Elisabeth Engel. He was for many years the mayor of Frankenstein and delegate of the district of Kaiserslautern-Kirchheimbolanden to the Bavarian parliament at Munich. His daughter married Christian Goebels, the son of Johannes Goebels of Hertlingshausen in 1847. Descendants of this family were still living in Diemerstein, Frankenstein, and Mannheim in the 1950s.
In 1925 a Protestant convalescent and youth home was established in Diemerstein, which acquired possession of the castle ruins and of the Mennonite mill. Since 1947 well-attended annual camps for Mennonite youth have been held at Diemerstein.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 52. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Hein, Gerhard. "Diemerstein (Frankenstein, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/diemerstein_frankenstein_rheinland_pfalz_germany.
APA style: Hein, Gerhard. (1956). Diemerstein (Frankenstein, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/diemerstein_frankenstein_rheinland_pfalz_germany.