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This week in Christian history: Pope elected, radical German preacher captured, Adventist leader born

Thomas Müntzer captured – May 15, 1525

Thomas Müntzer (1489-1525), a radical German preacher and leader in the German Peasants' Revolt, was killed shortly after the Battle of Frankenhausen.
Thomas Müntzer (1489-1525), a radical German preacher and leader in the German Peasants' Revolt, was killed shortly after the Battle of Frankenhausen. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when radical preacher Thomas Müntzer, a leader in the German Peasants’ Revolt, was captured after the battle of Frankenhausen.

Müntzer was a supporter of the short-lived revolt, which had begun the year before and centered on German peasants demanding more property rights and political freedom from the nobility.

A professional army organized by Philip I of Hesse and Duke George of Saxony destroyed the peasant army at Frankenhausen and captured Müntzer, one of the leaders of the vanquished force.

“[Müntzer] had been the band’s preacher and leader and threatened count Ernst von Mansfeld, my son-in-law, and has always been rebellious,” wrote German nobleman Count Philipp von Solm the day after the battle.

“He was turned over to count Ernst by our gracious lord, the princes, to deal with him at his pleasure. He had him sent to Heldrungen within the hour and he will have received his just deserts there.”

Later that month, Müntzer was executed.

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