An Anabaptist Witness

The Bruderhof Community


  • Ian Randall


Community; Hutterites; Peace Witness; International


The Centre for Anabaptist Studies Fourth Annual Lecture (2017).

The Bruderhof ('place of brothers') community traces its origins to the work of Eberhard Arnold and his wife Emmy in the early twentieth century in Germany. A Christian community in which goods were held in common was formed in 1920. As the community developed, inspiration came increasingly from the Anabaptist vision,  especially the  Hutterites.  As  Nazi power grew,  the witness of the Bruderhof led to Gestapo raids, harassment and the ultimate dissolution of the community. In 1936 the Bruderhof was established in England and experienced considerable growth. This article examines central issues in developing communal life: the church; peace witness; Anabaptist thinking; co-operation with others; and struggles experienced in the context of World War II.