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     Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) the Dutch humanist from Rotterdam was an ordained priest. He created the first printed edition of the Greek text of the New Testament. He also attacked many of the abuses committed by the Church. Still, he was unsympathetic to the reformation and attacked Luther for his position on the freedom of the will.

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     In December 1521 Luther and his followers were put under a civil band, which meant they were outlaws who could be attacked and killed without penalty. By Frebruary 1522 the ban was lifted and Luther was free to return to Wittenberg. While Luther was in the Wartburg, a number of changes took place in Wittenberg. Monks  began to leave the Augustinian congregation until it was finally disbanded. The minister at the castle church married. Students destroyed the altar at the Franciscan monastery. An Evangelical Lord's Supper began to be celebrated with the liturgy in German and the cup offered to the laity. While Luther was sympathetic to many of the changes he was opposed to achieving them through violence.
     Thomas Münzer was an Anabaptist, a social radical of the Reformation, and a leader of the Peasant’s War in Thuringia. His religious ideas were based on revelations by the Holy Spirit, visions and dreams. He denounced the idea of royalty, and preached the immanence of the Kingdom of God in which all would be equal and hold everything in common. He was captured in 1525, tortured and forced to recant his radical ideas before he was executed.

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     Peasants rose up in southwest Germany. They cited Luther's teachings as authority and demanded more just economic conditions. They were ready to overthrow the authorities if necessary. Luther wrote Admonition to Peace, a reply to the twelve articles of the Peasants in Swabia, and also Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants. At the Battle of Frankenhausen, May 15, 1525, 50,000 peasants were cut down. Before the uprising was quelled, most of the year's crops, hundreds of villages, castles and monasteries were destroyed. Nearly 100,000 die. Protestant ministers were hanged by Catholic princes. The peasants believed that they had been betrayed by Luther.

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     The souvenir sheet displays a series of contemporary woodcuts showing scenes from the Peasants' War. From upper left to lower right: Peasants engaged in forced labor; The Title page of the Twelve Articles which contain the demands of the peasants; a peasant paying the tithe; Thomas Müntzer; armed peasants; the peasant "Liberty" flag; a peasant on trial. 

     The design on the souvenir sheet is a battle scene from Early Bourgeaus Revolution in Germany in 1525 by W. Tubhe. It shows Thomas Müntzer on the battlefield holding a banner.

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     Martin Bucer (1491-1551) was a Dominican. He met Luther in 1518 and in 1521 he left the order, was ordained as a secular priest, and married a year later. He was instrumental in creating the act of Confirmation. In 1548 he took a position at Cambridge, where he died three years later.

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