Brodské (Trnavský kraj, Slovakia)
Brodské (German, Protzka), a Slovak village formerly in Hungary, later in the Nitra (German, Neutra) province of Czechoslovakia, and now in Trnava Region of Slovakia (coordinates: 48° 41′ 40″ N, 17° 0′ 40″ E). During the severe persecution of 1547 the Hutterian Brethren who had to flee from their Bruderhofs in Moravia turned to Hungary, where they were given domicile in Berencs (Präntsch) by Count Franz Nizry von Bedek and in Holitsch and Schossberg by Peter Bakich de Lák. Here, with considerable difficulty in clearing the land, they built houses. One of the Bruderhofs set up at that time was Protzka. Here in 1554 the deacon Jörg Ladendorfer died, and on 1 December 1556, in his fiftieth year, Peter Riedemann, the revered leader, whose confession of faith, the noted Rechenschaft, was printed probably by 1545 and who was also the author of a long series of letters, which are among the principal sources for the study of Anabaptist doctrine, as well as nearly fifty songs. He had been a preacher for 27 years.
On 4 March 1597, Hans Zuckenhammer was publicly excommunicated in Protzka. After serving as a preacher for seventeen years, he proved himself unworthy by his unjust decisions and other wrong deeds, and finally rebelled against his removal from this office in Lewär. Before his death he "made his peace" with the brotherhood, and was restored to fellowship; he died in Protzka on 29 April 1598.
On 4 May 1605, rebel Hungarians attacked the Bruderhof here. Most of the Brethren succeeded in escaping before the soldiers plundered and burned the house. Three men and several women who had remained were mistreated. Not until 1616 did the Brethren rebuild, having first concluded a new contract with the current owner, Michael Czobor, who wanted them to resettle there. Work was begun on 4 June. But by 6 February 1621, the Bruderhof was attacked by Polish auxiliaries of the imperial army and pillaged anew. On the afternoon of 28 April 1623, a fire broke out in the smithy, which destroyed half the house with the goods in it, as well as some of the cattle. In the late fall the Bruderhof was involved in the conflict between Gabriel Bethlen and the emperor. When Janos Czobor plundered Lewär, others following his example fell upon Protzka on 28 October, plundering, driving away the cattle, and finally burning down the whole house including the newly rebuilt part. But in spite of these bitter experiences the Brethren again rebuilt their house, completing it in a few months.
In 1625 the Brethren were struck by new misfortune. Without any justification the baron demanded of the Brethren a tribute of 200 talers, several knives, and a piece of cloth. The Brethren pointed out that their house in Protzka had been burned twice in three years, and that they had been charged an extremely high price by the baron for protection during the Turkish invasion, and were therefore unable to pay the required sum. Because of this refusal the householder and the purchaser, "two aged Brethren," were arrested. The brotherhood sent a delegation consisting of a preacher and two lay Brethren to the baron, who was not at home, but "several miles behind Kascha(u)," to ask for the release of the prisoners. After his return from the Landtag at Oedenburg, Czobor summoned the elders of Protzka and Sobotište "to settle the debt once for all." Czobor owed the Brethren 313 florins, which he wished to cancel against a debt of 80 florins the Brethren owed him, and also demanded the payment of 2,000 talers in return for the protection he had given them during the Turkish disturbance, in order to pay for the fields the Turks had devastated, though Czobor had fully compensated himself for the lodging he had given the Brethren by confiscating all their hogs. When they rejected this demand he threatened to have the Bruderhof plundered by his Hussars, and could only with difficulty be deflected from this plan. After lengthy negotiations he finally agreed on a sum of 100 florins and a quantity of grain and promised to observe the terms of the contract signed with the Brethren by his father.
Scarcely was this danger past, when a band of fifty imperial cavalrymen of Wallenstein's army plundered Protzka on 21 September 1626, and took nearly all the cattle. On 20 February 1627, the Bruderhof was attacked by wandering Croats, and more cattle taken away. When more and more imperial troops continued to threaten the Moravian-Hungarian border, the Brethren were compelled to seek safety in the castle. In 1628 their oppressor Czobor died, and his widow demanded a payment of 40 florins. The refusal of the Brethren to make this payment was countered by her taking their four best oxen.
On 5 March 1632, a band of newly recruited Croats and Hungarians fell upon the Protzka Bruderhof at night, and robbed it of much woolen and linen cloth. The new baron, Emmerich von Czobor, had his Hussars pursue the robbers and recover the booty, but the Brethren did not get half of it back. An imperial army under Puchheim's command crossed into Hungary in 1644 and plundered Protzka, even finding the caches where the Brethren had hidden some goods, and took everything away. On 27 July 1645, Protzka was plundered again; all the buildings but the tannery and the mill went up in smoke, and the tanner was murdered.
In 1662 the householder and deacon Hans Schütz died in Protzka. After an abnormally cold spring the crops failed and famine set in, "so the brother hood came into dire poverty, for at Lewär, Protzka, and Johanni they had only empty straw to harvest."The attack by the Turks in 1663 finally brought the Bruderhof to an end. On 4 September 1663, the house in Protzka was robbed; even the persons who had fled to the woods were carried away by the Turks. After making an attack in Moravia the arsonists returned, finished plundering Protzka, drove away the cattle, about 100 oxen and cows and 1,350 sheep, and burned down what was still standing. In the neighboring St. Johannes the Brethren were able to maintain themselves, but Protzka was apparently abandoned for good.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 400 f.
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.
Cite This Article
Dedic, Paul. "Brodské (Trnavský kraj, Slovakia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Nov 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Brodsk%C3%A9_(Trnavsk%C3%BD_kraj,_Slovakia)&oldid=145797.
Dedic, Paul. (1959). Brodské (Trnavský kraj, Slovakia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 November 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Brodsk%C3%A9_(Trnavsk%C3%BD_kraj,_Slovakia)&oldid=145797.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 222-223. All rights reserved.
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