Hersfeld (Bad Hersfeld) is a village in Hesse, Germany (coordinates: 50° 52′ 6″ N, 9° 42′ 27″ E), near which an Anabaptist group had formed at the beginning of the Reformation. Their leader was Melchior Rinck, who had previously been a schoolteacher and chaplain. Active in the congregation were also Niklas Schreiber, Georg von Staffelstein, Hans Roth, and Katharina Valebs, who was executed in Frankenhausen in 1530. Hersfeld was the home of Margarete Koch, called "die alte Garköchin," who was for many years in prison in Eisenach with Fritz Erbe, and whose execution was the occasion for an extensive correspondence between the Hessian and Saxon governments. In 1525 Adam Krafft, who later became a professor at the University of Marburg, court chaplain, and church inspector, was pastor at Hersfeld. Pastor Balthasar Raidt, also of Hersfeld, was often engaged by the authorities to convert the Anabaptists; he reported that by 1544 he had dealt with over 300 Anabaptists, trying to win them into the state church.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 291.
Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täuferbewegung. Münster i. W.: Druck und Verlag der Aschendorffschen Buchhandlung, 1910.
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Hege, Christian. "Hersfeld (Hesse, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hersfeld_(Hesse,_Germany)&oldid=119280.
Hege, Christian. (1956). Hersfeld (Hesse, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hersfeld_(Hesse,_Germany)&oldid=119280.
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