I’m too tired to write my own stuff tonight, so head over to Lisa’s blog (https://lisaweaverswartz.com/2022/06/01/the-anabaptists-part-ii/) for better pictures and reflections than you’d get here.
Also check out anything by John Roth, along with Brad Gregory’s book Salvation at Stake on why Anabaptists were willing to die–and why Catholics and Reformed Christians were willing to kill for their faith.
And here’s a portion of my mother’s script as she led us around Zurich. This is what she said at the spot on the Limmat River where Felix Manz was drowned:
In December 1526, the Zurich Council instituted the death penalty for teaching and preaching Anabaptism within the city and the canton of Zurich. A few weeks later, young Felix Manz became the first victim of the new law. On January 5, 1527, the day of execution, the verdicts against Manz and Georg Blaurock were publicly read on the Fish Market Bridge. The executioner led Mantz from the Wellenbergturm, which once stood in the middle of the river at the site of the present Quaibrucke, to the place of execution. Manz was accompanied by two pastors of the Grossmunster. One of them urged Manz to recant in order to save his life. Manz paid little attention to him. Felix’s mother and his brothers and sisters were there also and encouraged him to keep the faith. Manz then thanked God for the opportunity to give his life for the truth. The executioner ran a stick under Felix’s knees and over his elbows and tied him up that way. They rowed him out from the Schipfge. It was three o-clock in the afternoon when Manz was held under water until his life had gone. His lifeless body was later buried outside the cemetery walls of the Saint Jacob’s Church. This church, but not the cemetery, still exits on the Stauffacherstrasse.
That same afternoon Georg Blaurock, not a Zurich citizen but an outsider, his clothing stripped to the waist, was chased through the Marktgasse, the Munstergasse, and the Niederdorfstrasse, by a mob of people armed with rods and switches and rocks. At the Niederdorf Gate (no longer in existence but near the Banhof Bridge), he was forced to swear an oath never to return. At first he refused to do so, but finally he took the requested vow. Then he symbolically shook the dust off his shoes over the city. Blaurock began a missionary journey which eventually carried him into northern Italy, where he was captured and executed two years later.