Malsch, in the Ettlingen district, with about 5,000 predominantly Catholic inhabitants in the 1950s, belonged formerly to the abbey of Reichenbach, but was annexed by Duke Frederick of Württemberg in 1595, and in 1603 fell to Baden. The earliest records concerning Anabaptists are dated 1543. The village chronicle records that Count Palatine John had an illegal regulation announced, expelling Anabaptists. Nevertheless it is known that there were Anabaptists in the city for many decades. They maintained connections with the Hutterian Brotherhood. In 1559-1581 many families fled to Moravia, abandoning their property. That this amounted to a considerable sum may be inferred from the fact that in 1610 Baden and Württemberg fell into a dispute concerning it.
In Malsch in the Wiesloch district, a village of about 1,600 predominantly Catholic inhabitants, a number of persons, taking offense at the conduct of the local priest, joined the Anabaptists (see Baden). In March 1539 three men, five women, and three girls were arrested and imprisoned in the fortress of Rotenberg. They had recently been baptized by Wendel Metzger of Heidelsheim (Bruchsal district) and Hans Gentner of Sulzfeld (Eppingen district); the latter went to Moravia and died in 1548 at Schakowitz as "a faithful evangelical servant of Christ, after many sorrows and many a struggle, which he endured for Christ's sake." Two preachers as well as the Bishop of Speyer sought to indoctrinate the prisoners and win them back to the Catholic Church. Of Barbara Decker it was said that she vigorously resisted the demand to recant, but the others yielded. Some of the Malsch Anabaptists went to Moravia. Among the 150 Hutterian Brethren imprisoned in the Falkenstein Castle in 1539 who were to be sent to the galleys there were several Anabaptists of Malsch.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.
Bossert, Gustav. "Beiträge zur badisch-pfälzischen Reformationsgeschichte." Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 59: 71-88.
Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 3 f.
Schwarz, B. "Wiedertaufer in Malsch." Mitteldeutscher Courier (1904): No. 21.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 200 f.
Cite This Article
Hege, Christian. "Malsch (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 22 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Malsch_(Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg,_Germany)&oldid=111324.
Hege, Christian. (1957). Malsch (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Malsch_(Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg,_Germany)&oldid=111324.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.