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Konventsgebäude und Fundamente des ehemaligen Turms (Danzker)

The Teutonic Order in the Vogtland region

The Reeves had to rely on a strong partner to extend and maintain their rule. The Teutonic Order was this kind of partner. As a result of losing the Holy Land, it had lost its purpose, as it were, and had spread in Thuringia at an early stage. Its new field of activity became the Baltic region, which was sparsely populated and had only adopted the Christian faith in certain parts. It founded the Teutonic Order Region of Prussia there with the Pope’s blessing.

We do not know exactly when the Reeves first came in contact with the Order. Ever since 1214, Heinrich III of Weida (1209-1219) and his brother had acted as witnesses for several documents, which involved the transfer of property to the Teutonic lords, since 1214. During the course of the centuries, many members from all the branches of the Reeves’ dynasty joined the Order. They were seeking leadership tasks in the Baltic monasteries, became commanders (Latin commendator), regional commanders, grand commanders or even the Grand Master.

Heinrich II of Weida joined the Order in 1219. Heinrich IV of Weida divorced his wife in a spectacular manner in 1237 to pursue a public service career in Prussia. The best-known representative of the dynasty was Heinrich “the Elder” of Plauen zu Mühltroff, who joined the Order in 1391 and was elected as its Grand Master in 1410, following a masterly tactical performance in defending Marienburg Castle.

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