MÜNSTER – In Münster is faith fanatic Jan Beukels (27), alias Johnny Leiden, put to death. The leader of the self-proclaimed government Anabaptist was publicly tortured and then executed.

Jan Beukels from Zevenhoven was the leader of Münster nearly a year, that since then, the "kingdom of Zion was called. It was a theocratic state, based on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament.

The charismatic singer and tailor was the successor of Jan Matthijs Amsterdam two years ago by the German cathedral city of Münster had created a stronghold of the Anabaptists.


Beukels sat before his execution for more than six months in prison. He was arrested after the fall of Münster, after the city more than a year was besieged by Philip of Hesse and the expelled bishop Franz von Waldeck which the city wanted to get back into the hands again.

In recent months Beukels was shown at several places around, partly as a warning to other Anabaptists.

This morning he was, with his right hand and Bernhard Knipperdolling assistant Berend Krechting tortured and slain on a scaffold. Their bodies are hung in cages to Lambert.


Jan van Leiden joined three years ago officially joined the Anabaptists in the usual way, by being baptized. In the years before he became known as a tailor and merchant.

If merchant Beukels came into contact with the wederdorpers, because he heard a sermon by Bernhard Rothmann, During a visit to Münster.

The city gradually became the stronghold of the new movement. The faith of Baptists or Anabaptists began more than ten years ago in Zurich. Members distinguish themselves because they think that you can only be baptized as adults. Because many children already in the first years of life are baptized, they must "re-baptized" are.

One of the followers, Jan Matthijs, knew three years ago to take power in Münster. Many people had revolted against the wealth of the church. Especially in Münster played because there resided a bishop. The revolt against the bishop was so successful, the Anabaptists took over the city and proclaimed a private kingdom.

Jan Matthijs came after only a few months to life. He saw in a vision that he could defeat the whole enemy army with a small group of soldiers. unsuccessful attempt.


If right from Jan Matthijs, Jan Beukels then pulled all power to himself. He allowed himself a few months later crowned King of the theocratic "Kingdom of Zion" and argued drastic changes.

Beukels was convinced that the end of time was near and that would be the Münster 'New Jerusalem'. In preparation for the End Times were burned all books (except the Bible), the money was abolished and the community property. Also, polygamy was permitted.

Because women were found to be much more susceptible to the belief of the Anabaptists, there were many more women than men in the city. Each woman was asked to marry legally obligated to marry. had that way Jan van Leiden 17 women.

His first wife was Queen Diriva Haarlem. Diewertje Brouwer Daughter, as the queen really called, was previously married to Jan Matthijs.

By violating one of the Ten Commandments was punishable by death. So Beukels would be one of his wives have personally beheaded, because they wanted to get rid of him. And that is not according to the seventh commandment, found Beukels.

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Einde neither dopers?

Or the death of the "king of the Anabaptists' has now come to an end, the movement, is still questionable. In May last year (a month before the fall of Münster) Anabaptists tried to forcibly seize power in Amsterdam.

That revolution failed, in contrast to Münster, because the local population was not behind. Stories about the reign of Jan Beukels would thereby have played a major role.

Yet there are still Anabaptists active in parts of Europe, even though they will be prosecuted by Charles V.

Hoe ging het verder?

After the formation of the Dutch Republic were the Anabaptists it slightly easier, but it was not much. They were tolerated (as Catholics and Jews).

In a later period the dopersen shifted more on the Orthodox side to the liberal corner. The Baptist church has relatively many women pastors and blessed the first gay marriages.

Jan Beukels went down in history as John of Leiden. His name will be found in the saying "himself Ergen blemish a Johnny-on-lead finish ', which implies that you are not doing your best. Earlier it meant making more empty promises.

The body of John Beukels has to 1585 (!) hung in the cage of the Lamberti as a deterrent.

The above article was written for the Month History 2018. The theme of this year's Uprising. In this case, a simple merchant from Leiden revolted with his belief brothers, but it goes far from well off.


Wikipedia – Jan van Leiden

Wikipedia – Anabaptisme

Jalta – The Christian terror state of Johnny Leiden

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 213

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