was introduced in the lower Rhine and
northern Germany in
about 1529. A succession
of leaders Melchior Hoffman, Jan Matthys and Jan van Leiden embarked on
militant type of millenarianism. According to their interpretation of
and Revelations, Münster would be the New Jerusalem, and the
Anabaptists (Melchiorites) were predestined to help God usher in the New
force. The episode ended
tragically. Thousands of misguided people were killed. The bodies of
leaders, Jan van Leiden and Bernhard Knipperdolling were placed in an
and suspended from the pinnacle of the St.
Church tower in Münster.
The cage is a tourist attraction to this day.
1536 after the Münster tragedy, the moderate Anabaptists
approached Menno Simons, a Catholic priest who had embraced the
faith, to become their leader. In the course of time the whole movement
map shows many of the places where Menno Simons lived:
Witmarsum, Groningen, Emden, Cologne, Wismar and
Bad Oldesloe. He also
visited the Mennonite Church in
the Vistula Delta.