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Eberhard Arnold: Founder of the Bruderhof

By a small communal settlement had been erected by new buildings and remodeling of old ones, which offered simple subsistence to about persons. From this colony Eberhard Arnold set out to visit the Hutterite settlements in the United States and Canada in Through the union established at that time with the American Hutterites, the Bruderhof's inner and outer structure was continued under the deep impact of the four-hundred-year-old history of the communal life of the Hutterites.

But the final authority in all inner and outer matters lay, as in all Hutterite communities, in the Spirit-led, united brotherhood as the bearer of the reality of the church. The divisions of work included agriculture with the gardens, the community school with the children's home for foster children, the publishing house with its printing and distribution of books, the office, the various workshops for trades and building; in addition there were the various household activities.

The infants were cared for in the nursery.

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At the age of two or three years they were placed in the kindergarten until they were of school age. Young people were educated according to their gifts and abilities. In the children's home orphans and children from difficult social circumstances were taken in and educated with the children of the commune. In the publishing house and the printshop, which was instituted in , the work begun in Sannerz was continued, especial attention being given to research, collection and publication of the old Hutterite writings.

In the printing of the Klein Geschichtbuch by Johannes Waldner was begun, and in that year as well as in the next an epistle was issued to the Hutterian Brethren of North America.

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With the Nazi rise to power in , the death of Eberhard Arnold in , and other difficulties, the work on the old manuscripts was seriously hindered, and the printing of the Klein Geschichtbuch could not be completed. In spite of the difficulties evoked by the Nazi government, the Bruderhof attempted to continue its work in the same spirit as before. Since the distribution of literature in Germany was also restricted, a daughter colony was founded early in in the principality of Liechtenstein.

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The school, children's home, and publishing house were transferred to the Alm Bruderhof there. Eberhard Arnold died on 22 November , in the midst of this severe struggle. At the end of the Cotswold Bruderhof in England took over the printshop and the extensive library. In April two American Hutterite elders, David Hofer of James Valley, Manitoba , and Michael Waldner of Bon Homme, South Dakota , visited the Bruderhof and were witnesses of its dissolution on 14 April , the arrest of the three directing members of the corporation, the confiscation of endowments, and the expulsion of the members from the grounds.

Through negotiations the expelled group succeeded in obtaining permission to immigrate to Liechtenstein and Holland. David Hofer gives an account of these events in Der Pflug Vol.


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I, no. After three months the three imprisoned brethren were released and permitted to join their families in England. In Liechtenstein and in England the brotherhood was able to live according to its faith, until it was compelled by reasons of war to immigrate to Paraguay. May we, like the Bruderhof, be found faithful. This book sets a pattern for those who want to live faithfully in opposition to the dictatorial consumeristic culture of our age. Davids, PA In An Embassy Besieged, a small community of Christians courageously and graciously refuses to compromise their faith in the face of the worst human evil.

Their witness has much to teach us today in a world so riddled with prejudice, so tired of militarism, so starved for grace, and so desperate for imagination.

An Embassy Besieged

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