Goldschmidt, Ottilia (d. 1538)
Ottilia Goldschmidt (Rüdiger), an Anabaptist martyr from Mühlhausen in Thuringia. She was seized early in October 1537 with 13 other women and 3 men, including Jakob Storger of Koburg, the preacher of the Anabaptists at Mühlhausen. Upon orders of Duke George of Saxony all the prisoners were to be executed, even if they recanted. If they recanted they were only to be granted instruction and absolution before their execution. But the girls, including Ottilia, were to be shown mercy, for they had in their innocence been persuaded to accept baptism and now desired mercy. Eight women and two men, including Storger, resisted all the attempts of city council and the Catholic clergy to induce them to renounce their faith, and were drowned in the Unstrut between Mühlhausen and Ammern, 8 November 1537.
Ottilia, who had been baptized by Georg Köhler, had at first, in terror of the rack and of a violent death, offered to recant; but she conquered her fear, and remained steadfast in spite of the pleas of the council and the officers. She kept replying that she could not turn back, and was therefore drowned 17 January 1538, at the spot where the others had met a martyr's death. Before she was pushed into the water, a young man stepped up to her and three times offered her marriage if she would recant, but she answered not a word. The promise she had made at her baptism was binding to her.
Ottilia's mother, Katharina, who was also one of the prisoners but had not yet been baptized, recanted and after more than four months in prison was released upon the pleas of her husband.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 134 f.
Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täufer¬bewegung. Münster, 1910.
Wappler, Paul. Die Täuferbewegung in Thüringen von 1526-1584. Jena, 1913.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 539. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Hege, Christian. (1956). Goldschmidt, Ottilia (d. 1538). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/goldschmidt_ottilia_d._1538.