This author is a believing Christian but will refrain from promoting the theory that the Revelations of St. John are useful guides to a divinatory sort of understanding of our immediate destiny, for this theory itself is the object of suspicion and the means by which a great crime is apparently being committed. Rather, this author takes the view that the real meaning of the Revelations is a mystery which will reveal itself in time, probably in hindsight, but it is not meant to be taken as if Revelations’ true mysteries are all possible to interpret beforehand.
In Transylvania the Brethren had dwindled to scarcely more than a small group of perhaps 30 or 40 souls. Then Lutheran transmigrants from Carinthia to Transylvania (they arrived in 1756) came into contact with this remnant of Hutterite life, and felt immediately attracted by this form of Christian communism. They now joined the brotherhood, and thus brought about a rejuvenation of and rededication to the old principles. Naturally, persecutions, mainly by Jesuits, quickly set in here too. After a number of attempts to find other places the Brethren finally decided to flee Transylvania (1767, after a stay of 146 years), across high mountain passes almost without trails, and to enter Walachia (now Romania) where conditions looked favorable. Another Turkish War (against Russia ) again brought hardships, and the great trek continued after three years. In 1770 at the Dniester River the Brethren were received by the Russian general Count Rumyantsev , who offered them an asylum on his own estate in the Ukraine (then a rather sparsely populated area). At Vyshenka the Brethren finally settled down for about one generation. In 1802 the colony was transferred to Czarist crown land at Radichev , 10 miles north. It was Johannes Waldner (born in Carinthia ) who was then the most outstanding Vorsteher of the brotherhood (1794-1824). It was he who between 1793 and 1802 wrote the second big chronicle of the Hutterites, the Klein-Geschichtsbuch, a work of great charm and refinement. J. Loserth called Waldner a genuine historian. He was also a genuine disciple of Jakob Hutter , who with all his strength opposed the threatening abandonment of the principle of community of goods, which one group under the leadership of Jacob Walter (formerly of Slovakia) carried out in 1818. This new Walter-group then settled down in southern Russia ( Molotschna district , under the sponsorship of the Mennonite Johann Cornies ), where for about 40 years it practiced private property. In 1859-60 some leader dared to re-establish communal life as of old, and soon the new Hutterite villages began to thrive. Then in 1870, universal military conscription in Russia brought an end to all former privileges, and the Brethren saw no other way out than again to migrate—in this case to emigrate to America.