Günzlhofen is a town near Fürstenfeldbruck on the Amper in Upper Bavaria, Germany, where the first Anabaptist congregation in the duchy of Bavaria came into existence, and which also produced the first Anabaptist martyrs in Bavarian territory. Here the noble family of Perwanger had its seat, living in an old castle, in which religious services were also probably held. Augustin von Perwanger, the head of the family, had had some disagreement with his pastor Georg Küttl, whom he had himself proposed for the position in 1508, when he wanted to appoint his own vicar in the subsidiary Hattenhofen, feeling entitled to do this as lord of the manor. When he found himself without the support of either the Duke of Bavaria or the Bishop of Freising, he published an account of the incident in an open letter of 16 pages. His congregation shared his view, thus strengthening his position. Later he withdrew from the Catholic Church.
About 1526 he joined the Anabaptists. It is very probable that he soon made contacts with their outstanding leaders, like Hans Denck, Balthasar Hubmaier, and Eitelhans Langenmantel, who came from this region, and that other members of his former parish joined him; for a considerable number of persons from the vicinity of his residence suffered and died for their faith in Munich and Augsburg. Georg Wagner of Emmering, who was at that time employed in the neighboring monastery of Fürstenfeld, and who died a martyr's death at the stake with admirable courage on 8 February 1527 at Munich, was probably one of these. A number of those captured on Easter morning in 1528 at the home of the sculptor Doucher were natives of villages near Günzlhofen. Many Anabaptists fled over the border from the neigh¬oring Jesenwang when the inquisitor Martin Pasensner went from village to village in the name of Duke William of Bavaria.
At the end of December 1528 Augustin von Perwanger and his younger brother Christoph, who had also become an Anabaptist, were beheaded in Munich because they were members "of the terrible Lutheran heresy of Anabaptism," as a chronicle puts it, although they had recanted, and in spite of the intercession of friends. This deed put an abrupt end to the Anabaptist movement in Günzlhofen.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 200.
Lehner-Burgstall, J. "Altbayerns Burgenkranz." Altheimatland 3 (Munich, 17 October 1926): 114. Here the village is erroneously called Günzelkofen.
Roth, Fr. Zur Geschichte des Marktes Brück an der Amper." Beiträge zur bayerischen Kirchengeschichte 22 (1916): 124, 125, 212.
Cite This Article
Hege, Christian. "Günzlhofen (Freistaat Bayern, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 4 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=G%C3%BCnzlhofen_(Freistaat_Bayern,_Germany)&oldid=95017.
Hege, Christian. (1956). Günzlhofen (Freistaat Bayern, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=G%C3%BCnzlhofen_(Freistaat_Bayern,_Germany)&oldid=95017.
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