Landis, Hans (d. 1614)
Hans Landis, a Swiss Brethren martyr, a preacher from Wadenswil in the canton of Zürich, Switzerland, was imprisoned in the Wellenberg in 1608. After a few months his fellow prisoners managed to release him from the chains, and all escaped. The others were soon captured, but Hans reached his native village. Another attempt was made to indoctrinate the Anabaptists to win them to the state church. On 21 January 1613 the first disputation of the government with them took place at Wadenswil. It was fruitless, as was also the second one, held on 23 February. Thereupon Hans Landis was again put in prison with five other Brethren. In early August negotiations were begun. Landis remained "stiff-necked." He refused to emigrate, saying that the earth was the Lord's; no one had authority to send them away out of the country; they were going to stay in the country.
On 25 August 1613 all six Brethren were condemned to galley service and were to be delivered to the French minister at Solothurn on the next day. Once more they were given permission to emigrate, with a week's time to decide. Three wavered and consented; the others encouraged Landis to be faithful. These three (Hans Landis, Galli Fuchs, and Stephan Zehender) were taken to Solothurn and lodged in prison to await transport. In three days they escaped.
In December 1613 Hans Landis, having returned to minister to his flock, was again seized. In prison he wrote to his church and his friends. He asked his wife for the Doms-büchli (the Confessio of the martyr Thomas von Imbroich). He was questioned on the rack. On 29 September 1614 he was sentenced to death and was beheaded the next day. This was the last Anabaptist execution in Zürich.
Hans Landis had a stately figure, "a long black beard mixed with gray and a manly voice." The executioner asked his pardon for what he was about to do; Landis replied that "he had already forgiven him; may God also forgive him; he knew very well that he must carry out the government's orders." When his wife and children came to the place of execution with "sorrowful crying and mourning, to bid him at the end an eternal good night," he asked that they leave him, so that "his good resolution and his good courage for the death facing him might not be moved or hindered." In the Ausbund, No. 132, is a song of 46 stanzas commemorating his death. It begins "Ich hab ein schön neu Lied gemacht."
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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 281. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Neff, Christian. "Landis, Hans (d. 1614)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/landis_hans_d._1614.
APA style: Neff, Christian. (1957). Landis, Hans (d. 1614). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/landis_hans_d._1614.