Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Bauernkriegs Aus Rothenburg-Ob-Der Tauber Bibliothek Des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart

Author: Michael Eisenhart

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Baumann CXXXIX

Peasants and Workers Revolt in Germany

[1525]

On Tuesday, March 21, some thirty or forty peasants gathered together in a mob in Rothenburg, bought a kettledrum, and marched about the town. They met again on Thursday and Friday, this time as many as four hundred.

The working classes in the town now begin to revolt. They refuse to obey the authorities and organize a committee of thirty-six to manage affairs.

March 24: This evening between five and six o’clock some one knocked off the head of Christ’s image on a crucifix and broke off the arms.

March 26: Chrischainz, the baker, struck the missal from the priest’s hand in the chapel of our Lady and chased the priest from mass.

The following Monday, while the priest was chanting "Adjuva nos, dens salutaris noster" at the service, Ern-fried Kumpf spoke harshly to him, saying that if he wished to save himself he had best leave the altar. Kumpf then knocked the missal to the floor and drove the scholars from the choir.

On Tuesday night eight hundred peasants gathered together. Those who refused to come along were forced to do so.

On Friday there were as many as two thousand, camped near Neusitz, Messengers were sent into the town to present their demands. Meanwhile, representatives of the emperor and the Swabian League arrived with the hope of making peace, but they rode away without accomplishing anything.

On this day Kueplein, during the sermon, threw the lighted oil lamps about the church. Some of the peasants came into Rothenburg and the nearby towns, plundering cupboards and cellars everywhere.

On Saturday the blind monk, Hans Rotfuchs, spoke contemptuously of the holy sacrament, saying that it was idolatry and heresy.

April 18: There is a struggle between Kueplein and his followers, on the one hand, who seek to destroy a picture of the Virgin, and the pious old Christians, on the other, who want to protect it. Some of the antagonists draw knives.

April 19: The peasants take three casks of wine from the priest at Scheckenpach and drink the wine.

April 20: The women run up and down Hafengasse with forks and sticks, loudly declaring that they will plunder the priests’ homes, but they are prevented.

April 26: Lorenz Knobloch is cut to pieces by the peasants at Ostheim. Then they throw pieces of his body at one another. They accuse him of having been a traitor and say that he wanted to mislead them. He had said that he would not die until he had killed three priests, but, thank God, not one fell into his hands.

April 30: The monasteries of Anhausen and Dinkelsbühl are plundered and burned in the night.

May 6: Early in the morning the great bell rang three times, summoning the people to hear a message from Margrave Casimir. All were invited to take refuge in Rothenburg. The greater part refused. Some were noted by the margrave’s representative, and afterward lost their heads.

May 12 : The clergy is forced to take up arms like all the rest. All monks are compelled to lay aside their cowls and the nuns their veils.

May 21: Certain Hohenlohe peasants burn their lord’s castle.

On the next Monday Margrave Casimir subdues the peasants and begins gins to punish them.

Hans Krelein the older, priest at Wernitz, is beheaded with four peasants.

Seven have their fingers cat off.

At Kitzingen fifty-eight have their eyes put out and are forbidden to enter the town again.

On Friday before Whitsuntide the forces of the Swabian League slay four thousand peasants at Könighofen.

On Monday after Whitsuntide eight thousand peasants are killed by the troops of the League. In all these battles the League lost not over one hundred and fifty men.

June 17: Vespers, complines, and matins are once more sung.

June 30: The citizens of Rothenburg are summoned to the market place by a herald and surrounded by pikesmen. They are accused of deserting the empire and joining the peasants. The names of a number of citizens are read off. They are beheaded on the spot. Their bodies are left on the market place all day.

July 1: Fifteen more are beheaded, including the blind monk. All these died without confession or even the last sacrament. They did not even ask for it.

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Chicago: Michael Eisenhart, Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Bauernkriegs Aus Rothenburg-Ob-Der Tauber Bibliothek Des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, ed. Baumann in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Co., 1951), Original Sources, accessed July 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A1GQIIMVXWZB2MB.

MLA: Eisenhart, Michael. Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Bauernkriegs Aus Rothenburg-Ob-Der Tauber Bibliothek Des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, edited by Baumann, Vol. CXXXIX, in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, edited by Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris, Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1951, Original Sources. 6 Jul. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A1GQIIMVXWZB2MB.

Harvard: Eisenhart, M, Quellen Zur Geschichte Des Bauernkriegs Aus Rothenburg-Ob-Der Tauber Bibliothek Des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, ed. . cited in 1951, History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. , Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, Pa.. Original Sources, retrieved 6 July 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=A1GQIIMVXWZB2MB.