The Anabaptist "Kingdom" in Münster of 1535

Discussion in 'Past Life Memories' started by Reynardine, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    A few days ago I was listening to a CD with songs from the Antwerps Liedboek (Antwerp Songbook) of 1544. One of the songs is called "Vanden storm van Munster", and it tells the story of the siege of Münster and the end of the Anabaptist "Kingdom" there in 1535.

    As I was listening to the song, I suddenly saw myself as a fair-haired, 17-year-old boy behind a makeshift barricade on the marketplace in Münster. There was some rubble to my right and a dark-haired, bearded man in a kind of dark robe to my right, and there were about 50 to 60 people behind that barricade with me.
    The attackers, Dutch mercenaries commanded by the former Bishop of Münster, were somewhere in front of us; I couldn't see them in that flashback, but I knew they were there.

    There were stone splinters flying all around because the besiegers fired cannon into the city, and one of these splinters must have hit me - I suddenly felt a sharp, hot pain above and in my right eye. The pain and shock was too much for me, it seems, because I suddenly started screaming and throwing stones at the attackers.

    The next thing I remember was being held from behind by the dark-haired man, who kept saying "It's alright, boy...it's alright". I think I had stopped screaming but was still struggling.
    Then everything goes black for a while, and I find myself lying on my back in a grassy field that feels slightly wet, as if it had rained a short while before. Someone is holding me down while someone else washes my face and my eye - one of them must be the dark-haired man because I can hear his voice. I realize that I must have lost my right eye because it hurts so much, and the dark-haired man sounds concerned.
    But I lose consciousness again, and the next time I wake up I'm lying in a two-wheeled cart with straw in the bottom, together with four or five others who are so badly injured that they're unable to walk. I have quite a high fever, and my eye and cheekbone hurt terribly. The thin blanket or old cloak I've been given isn't warm enough by far, but I'm too miserable to care. In fact, I wish I had died with the others...

    I thought about that flashback for a long time (it was very intense, and my eye hurt for two days afterwards), and when I did that, one thought suddenly flashed through my mind: The dark-haired man must have been Heinrich Krechting, brother of one of the Anabaptist leaders! He and a handful of men made a desperate attempt to fight off the attackers when the city was stormed, and because of that and because he had known him well, the Bishop of Münster let Krechting and some of those that were with him go free. I must have been one of them, one of the lucky few that survived the massacre...

    Sorry for the length; will post more memories and a few pictures later, when I have more time!
    If anyone else also has memories from that period, I'd love to hear about them! It would be interesting to compare notes!
     
  2. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    I may have been called Sebastian, but I'm not really sure, and I have no idea about a last name, either. I may have had a sister, but I'm not sure about that either.

    I tried to meditate and get back to those memories again, but it didn't work. (It rarely does - I either get spontaneous memories or none at all.) All I could see was Jan in full regalia, riding a fine black horse and looking very elegant and impressive. I also saw Knipperdolling holding a staff or a sword and looking as if he was going to cry any moment. I later read that he was forced to execute his own daughter - that must have been what I saw. How terrible...I wouldn't have wanted to be in his shoes!!!

    While thinking about those memories, a little voice in my head suddenly said: "Knipperdolling was okay, he wasn't as mad as Jan van Leyden; Bernd Krechting didn't use his brains very much, he preferred someone telling him what to do..." I also got the impression that his brother Heinrich was the more intelligent of the two, but Bernd made up for it by being more vicious. (Not that I really knew them closely, but you couldn't help getting to know each other far better than you'd ever wanted in a situation like that!

    While doing an exercise with one of my Spanish classes (really the best time for such a thing to happen!) I suddenly had a flashback of Jan climbing on the platform where his throne stood on the marketplace (he had really thought of everything!) - he sits down, looks around the crowd, then rises again and says: "People of Münster, God has spoken to me!" The crowd starts cheering, and I cheer with them, shouting my lungs out. It was rather scary to remember losing yourself in the crowd like that - mass hysteria, I suppose!
    I remember that Jan spoke Dutch (he was Dutch), but it was no problem because the language we spoke in Münster was very similar to what he spoke, apart from a few words and the pronunciation of some sounds, perhaps. So no subtitles were needed :)

    What's also strange is that in the next life (the Will Kempe one) a stroke or burst aneurysm was the cause of my death - and the pain I felt when I remember my death in that life was over and behind the right eye. Also, when I get a headache or migraine in this life, it also starts in that area...

    One more thing - we were besieged for several months, almost a year, and in the end I remember scratching the paint off a wall, stirring it into a mug of water and trying to drink that. This probably explains why I absolutely hate finding any sand or pieces of eggshell in my food or drink in this life - I'm absolutely not squeamish otherwise, but this makes me want to throw up. Ugh!

    Here are links to portraits: Jan van Leyden (a very, very lifelike portrait) and Bernd Knipperdolling.
    There are no portraits of Heinrich Krechting, but he looked very much like his brother in the one I've attached. Heinrich wore his beard differently, but apart from that they might have been twins! s_bkrechting.jpg
     
  3. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    Update

    Had another memory yesterday, one of the time when I stayed with the old couple after escaping from Münster. When I was a bit stronger and more awake, the man used to read stories to me, stories about knights and from what must have been a German translation of the Iliad or a book based on it. At first he thought I wouldn't want to hear them because many of them were about war and siege, too, but I told him I didn't mind, I actually enjoyed them...they were only adventure stories, after all.
    In that memory, I'm half sitting in my bed, looking out of the window (it was a lovely summer day) and listening to the old man reading. It may sound strange, but it was a very nice and peaceful memory!

    Later, when I got stronger and more accustomed to using only one eye, I read those books myself. They had quite a number of them, so maybe the old man had been a schoolmaster once, or he simply enjoyed reading...

    Oh, and it seems that my sister Nele was among the women and children who were allowed to leave when food got extremely scarce - I thought she was dead, but it seems as if she was saved by someone and escaped to Sweden, where she became the great-grandmother of a very dear friend's (in this life) incarnation who fought in the Thirty Years' War! She lived well into her nineties, so she survived me in both lifetimes, the Anabaptist one, and the Will Kempe one, which came after that!

    Okay, now that I've tied your brains into a knot trying to follow that story, I'll leave you for today! ;)
     
  4. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    Sorry for bringing up an old thread, but I thought I'd share the latest updates with you! On top of being busy at work and having lots of memories from another life as well, I kept having tons of Münster flashbacks...if I wrote them all down in detail, it would become a novel, so here they are in a nutshell...

    I now know that I was called Thomas and that I had a little sister (seven years younger) called Nele. Our father was from Flanders (probably from Damme), and his name was Dierick van't (?) Veen. Since he was a weaver and most of the people he knew found his real name too complicated, he was called Dierick Leineweber (linnen weaver), though.
    We lived in the little town of Schöppingen in Westphalia, northwest of Münster. Mother was a girl from Schöppingen named Anna Schlossmacher.

    My parents were close friends with Heinrich and Elske Krechting, and though both our families had been Catholic at first, they converted to Anabaptism around 1530. Being an Anabaptist was a dangerous thing in those days, of course - even though they were very careful, the inevitable happened one day: When Nele and I came back from school one fine spring or summer day, Heinrich Krechting waited for us in front of our house and told us that our parents had been arrested and executed. He and his wife already had four children of their own, but they let us live with them because we had nowhere else to go and because of the friendship they'd had with our parents.
    One day a friendly, quiet young Dutchman named Jan Bockelson/Beukels (he was known by both names) came to visit us - we all (especially Nele and I) took a liking to him, not knowing that he'd become Jan van Leyden, "King" of Münster, about three years later...

    I also remembered the day during the siege when our "prophet" Jan Matthys died; he had declared that the enemy soldiers couldn't harm him because "God was on his side" - well, he was wrong, and if the Darwin Award had already existed, he would clearly have got one! ;) (It was a big shock for my past-life self, and the memory still is very unpleasant, hence the sarcastig remark...it makes it a bit easier!)
    It also was a big shock for Jan Bockelson because Jan Matthys had been a kind of spiritual father figure for him - I have the impression that he never was one of the most mentally stable of people, but that must have been the day he snapped and went mad...

    There are more memories, but most of it is relatively insignificant, everyday stuff, or things that would take far too long to tell. It would probably be boring for you, too...
     
  5. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    Oh, by the way, the last memories (the ones I posted below about how my parents died) came while I was listening to a song by Camerata Trajectina, called "Babel is nu ghevallen" ("Babylon Now Has Fallen"). It made me recall all that, as well as the fact that Nele's and my parents as well as Heinrich Krechting and his wife were Mennonites (relatively moderate Anabaptists), whereas Jan van Leyden and Jan Matthys belonged to the more radical "Melchiorite" branch. According to the CD booklet, the song was published in 1558, but I think it was around earlier than that - I'm almost sure that I knew it in my Anabaptist life, too! (That's the second Camerata Trajectina song that has triggered a memory; they also recorded a song my Flemish father used to sing. One day I should really invite them over for coffee and cake! ;))
     
  6. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    Father and Heinrich Krechting loved to play skittles in either our or their garden (I think the gardens weren't separated anyway, since our family were close friends and it was easier to visit each other, play etc. that way.) The two men used to play skittles while we children played together and Mother and Mrs Krechting watched and did needlework or prepared fruits or vegetables together. They sometimes played as well, board games like checkers and backgammon, I think. The Krechtings' oldest child, their daughter Fenne, was very good at backgammon, too; she was an excellent strategist!

    During the siege some of us children played a variant of the "Fisherman" game. One of the children (me in that memory) was the "Fisherman" and stood on one side of the playing space. The others lined up on the other side, and one called: "Fisherman, fisherman, how deep is the water?" The fisherman replied: "Forty fathoms", then the other child asked: "Fisherman, fisherman, can we get over?" The fisherman said: "Only if you jump on one leg/walk on your hands/skip/run sideways". Everybody was only allowed to move in the way the fisherman had said, and the fisherman tried to catch one of the others. If he caught another child, that child then became the new fisherman.
    I was sixteen at the time of the memory, and too big for children's games, but of course I had only joined so I could look after my sister Nele ;)
    Well, to be honest, even the grown-ups loved lots of different games at that time...that's something that stands out to me when I think of that time...
     
  7. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    I remember that my father had scoliosis since his birth, a condition that causes a sideways curvature of the spine. He couldn't stand for a longer time without getting a back ache, but it didn't affect him otherwise in daily life. After all, as a linnen weaver he had a "sitting" job anyway - and he used to joke that his back was crooked, but another part of his body was perfectly straight...can't imagine why Mother slapped him and said: "Oh, DIERICK!!!" every time he said that :D

    Since Heinrich Krechting was both the highest judge of the county and the mayor of Schöppingen, one of his jobs was checking the stalls, the goods for sale and the measures the merchants used each time there was a fair or market; most of the merchants had come to Schöppingen for years and he knew them all, and he managed to make it seem less official by joking with them and making smalltalk...he knew they were honest but still had to do his duty, of course.
    Once, after my parents' death, I went looking for Heinrich on the market (I think I had a message for him from his wife, or something like that), and I found him at one of the stalls, walking up to the owner and asking him with a broad smile if he was still selling rotten meat. The merchant, also smiling, replied: "Only the worse, Master Mayor!" and Heinrich laughed and slapped him on the shoulder.

    When Jan van Leyden (at the time still Jan Bockelson the tailor) came to visit us in Schöppingen in 1531 or 1532, he stayed with the Krechtings, as mentioned before. After he had been shown his room, Mrs Krechting sent me upstairs with some warm water because she thought he might want to shave. (She had already given him cold water to wash with, but of course it took a while to heat some water.) I knocked and was told to come in, and when I did I saw Jan sitting on a chair, with his boots and stockings off, carefully drying his right foot. I noticed that the middle toes of it looked deformed, and when he noticed he told me how he broke them at the age of sixteen, when somebody accidentally put something heavy down on his foot.
    He said he was immensely glad that it had happened during the summer because he didn't have to try and put a stocking on his foot. (The toes couldn't be splinted...must have been very painful!) He explained that the only thing that bothered him was that he had to walk on crutches for four or five weeks and couldn't run around and play football with the other boys, but the toes didn't bother him anymore. He only had to pad them when he walked greater distances because they rubbed against the shoe leather.

    During that memory I could hear him say something in Dutch again; my indefatigable Dutch friend was of great help again, telling me that what I remembered him saying was indeed correct (probably dialect, though).

    It's a pity that Jan van Leyden's body was never buried, I would be sorely tempted to dig him up and have a look at his toe bones if he was :laugh:

    Enough for now - will post more later if you like!
     
  8. Reynardine

    Reynardine Senior Registered

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    I'm sorry for bringing this old thread up again, but I had an interesting dream a couple of nights ago, and I thought I'd share it with you.

    I haven't read anything about Münster for at least two weeks, so that dream came as a bit of a surprise. I'm trying to write a teenagers' novel about my Anabaptist "adventure" as well, but so far I haven't got very far because I don't have much time at the moment. (It's going to be a "historical" novel, cough, cough - I won't mention reincarnation since that might not go down too well with most of the publishers over here.)

    But I digress; back to the dream! I dreamed of Jan van Leyden's last night before his execution - I saw it through his eyes but I was still "myself". He was talking to a priest in his cell, saying that he truly repented what he had down, and if I felt what he was feeling, he meant it and felt really horrible. I woke up sobbing and saying over and over that I was very sorry and that I wished I could undo what I had done, and it took me a few minutes to remember who I was and where I was.

    The dream was quite disturbing and very vivid, like the past life dreams I usually have, but it's the first time I saw something through the eyes of a person I knew in a past life - I can't have witnessed it myself, since I was somewhere else, at least one hundred kilometres away, when Jan van Leyden and the two others were executed. Really strange!
    I'd like to hear what you think of that dream; has anything like that happened to one of you, too?
     

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