The Mennonites are named after Menno Simons who in the 16th century led the pacifist wing of the baptism movement (Anabaptists) in northern Germany. In 1544, the name Mennonites ("Menniten") appears for the first time in the East Frisian police regulations.
The Mennonites are named after Menno Simons who in the 16th century led the pacifist wing of the baptism movement (Anabaptists) in northern Germany. In 1544, the name Mennonites ("Menniten") appears for the first time in the East Frisian police regulations.

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The Mennonites in southern Germany escaped the brutal persecution only in a few remote mountain valleys in Switzerland (death penalty for Anabaptists was in place since 1529). After the 30-year war, many survivors emigrated from there to the depopulated Bavarian Palatinate. After the occupation of the Palatinate by the French in 1798, eight Mennonite families found refuge, in 1802, at first in the former hunting lodge of Grünau, but, in 1804, founded the village of Maxweiler on the northern edge of the Donaumoos and settled on individual farms around Ingolstadt, among other places in Probfeld, along the main channel of the Donaumoos.
The Mennonites in southern Germany escaped the brutal persecution only in a few remote mountain valleys in Switzerland (death penalty for Anabaptists was in place since 1529). After the 30-year war, many survivors emigrated from there to the depopulated Bavarian Palatinate. After the occupation of the Palatinate by the French in 1798, eight Mennonite families found refuge, in 1802, at first in the former hunting lodge of Grünau, but, in 1804, founded the village of Maxweiler on the northern edge of the Donaumoos and settled on individual farms around Ingolstadt, among other places in Probfeld, along the main channel of the Donaumoos.

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Map

Bavaria, Swabia and the Donaumoos around 1850

Canadian Heritage Information Network, Schulen ans Netz (Schools Online)

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Donaumoos Emigration

The Mennonites and the Donaumoos emigration

Canadian Heritage Information Network, Schulen ans Netz (Schools Online)
Alexander Von Humboldt Schule, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Carl-Freidrich Gauß Schule, Confederation High School, Deutschherren-Gymnasium, German Historical Museum, Gymnasium Isernhagen, Horton High School / Acadia University, Integrierte Gesamtschule Bonn-Beuel

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The present Mennonite community of Ingolstadt was founded in 1891, from the original agricultural settlements and is still active today.
The present Mennonite community of Ingolstadt was founded in 1891, from the original agricultural settlements and is still active today.

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The Maxweiler Mennonite families emigrated from 1851 to 1856 to the USA or elsewhere in North America, (a total of 78 persons emigrated - the village had 57 inhabitants in 1808). From Probfeld four families of the Mennonite faith (20 of a total of 25 persons) emigrated to Canada.
The Maxweiler Mennonite families emigrated from 1851 to 1856 to the USA or elsewhere in North America, (a total of 78 persons emigrated - the village had 57 inhabitants in 1808). From Probfeld four families of the Mennonite faith (20 of a total of 25 persons) emigrated to Canada.

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Family Tree

Family tree of the emigrants from Probfeld

Canadian Heritage Information Network, Schulen ans Netz (Schools Online)

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Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Briefly describe the origins of Mennonites;
  • Explain why the Mennonites settled in the Donaumoos;
  • Relate the fate of the Mennonites who settled in the Donaumoos.

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