Traugott Bachmann was a Moravian missionary to East Africa. Bachmann was born in Niesky in Saxony, Germany. After working as a farm laborer, he attended the missionary school of the Moravian Church. In 1892 he was sent on a mission to southwestern Tanzania (then German East Africa). At first, he was stationed in Rungwe, where he baptized the first convert in 1897. Two years later he founded the Mbozi station in the area of the animistic Nyika. Eager to learn from them, he tried to understand their customs and habits in order to adapt the newly developing Christian life as far as possible to the native culture. His preaching, which was influenced by Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf and Johann Christoph Blumhardt, found a positive response. Flourishing parishes were established, leading eventually to Christianization of the people. His translation of the New Testament to the Nyika language (1913) was instrumental in this. Bachmann’s worked ended in 1916 during World War I, when he was interned by the British. He returned to Germany and became active as an itinerant Moravian preacher in Hesse and as an agent of missions.
Traugott Bachmann, Praktische Lösung missionarischer Probleme auf einem jungen Arbeitsfeld (Nyassagebiet, Deutsch-Ostafrika) (1912); Hans-Windekilde Jannasch, ed., Traugott Bachmann: Ich gab manchen Anstoss (1956; abr. ed., 1964) and * (enl. ed., 1976), pp. 160-169; Werner Kessler, “Traugott Bachmann (1865-1948): Ein Schüler und Zeuge Jesu,” *Der Brüderbote, no. 329 (1976): 28-32.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.