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Literature of the anabaptists

A valuable resource from which we learn about the history and structure of the anabaptist communities is their written memories. These include the chronicles, letters and sermons of the founders and elders (epistles), theological and biblical writings, songbooks, orders (Ordnungen), and written communication with the nobility and other anabaptist courts.

After Sobotište became the center of the anabaptists, an archive was transferred from Moravia. Vorsteher (Bishop) Andreas Ehrenpreis (1639-1662) published several orders alongside the pastoral and theological papers (Ordnungen). The regulation of the life of the anabaptists in the form of admonitions and warnings has existed in the anabaptists practically since their inception. For the period 1633-1655, A. Ehrenpreis published at least 17 orders. (We know them in total 37). Most of them were dedicated to a specific area and were addressed to certain groups such as bathers (1633, 1637, 1654), cutters (1641, 1650, 1655), potters (1642), millers, supply managers, couriers, shoppers, tailors, carts and a food carrier (1640) for fruit tree and vineyard managers (1651). Several orders were almost a literal repetition of already published orders, others were supplemented and updated to the circumstances at that time. The second was the order that governed the life of the whole community (Gemeindeordnungen). The culmination of the whole Ehrenpreis reform is the general order of 1651. This was then read every year in every anabaptist court.

Due to the reserved or negative attitude of the company towards the anabaptists, they distributed most of their works only in manuscripts. They used German-printed Protestant scriptures.

According to the present knowledge, the Sobotište anabaptists kept their written records continuously since 1591. However, they did not survive from the older period.

During the re-Catholicization between 1758 and 1780 the brothers literatures were confiscated or destroyed. Some of the books were hid by the anabaptists, thus saving them from confiscation. At the end of the 19th century they found a shelter with books in the attic of one Haban house and also after the First World War. In April 1961, they discovered in the wall of the Haban house of the former potter family of the Müller family, the walled  anabaptist writings from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, packed in canvas packaging. The files belonged to the last Bishop of Sobotište Zacharias Walter. The books were the remnants of the library of the Sobotište servants of the Word, which had been concentrated since the end of the 16th century. Some of them were restored in 2001 and 2003.