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Jus retractus (Auslösungsrecht) was the right of redemption, used against the Mennonites in the Palatinate. By this phrase was meant the right of all Catholic and Protestant subjects in the Palatinate, for all time, to buy back from the Mennonites at the original selling price any piece of land which the Mennonites bought. On 18 January 1726 the elector issued the decree "that the jus retractus was to be applied against the Anabaptists, in favor of Catholic and Protestant subjects, and that from now on Anabaptists were to yield without any further delay the above-mentioned property upon receipt of the original purchase price." Upon a moving petition from the Mennonites a further electoral decree followed on 25 April, "whereby the right of redemption would apply only to future purchases," and was therefore not retroactive. By an electoral decree of 1 April 1737 the right of redemption was limited to three years. It remained at this stage until it was repealed by Elector Max Joseph IV on 17 April 1801.


Correll, E. H. Das Schweizerische Täufermennonitentum. Tübingen, 1925: full discussion, pp. 91-100.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 98.

Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1912): 120-134.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Jus retractus." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 31 May 2016.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1957). Jus retractus. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 132; vol. 4, p. 1146. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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