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Children of an Amish community on their way to school (2006)

The Amish ( English Amish [ 'ɑːmɪʃ ]) are an Anabaptist - Protestant religious community . The name is derived from the name of its founder Jakob Ammann (1644–1730). The Amish have their roots in the Reformation Anabaptist movement in Central Europe, especially in Switzerland and southern Germany . The Amish parted from the mainstream Anabaptists, the Mennonites , in 1693.

When Amish is spoken of today, the "old Amish order" is almost always meant. Because in the second half of the 19th century, the Amish split into various subgroups, of which the old Amish only made up about a third. Most of the other subgroups, however, have lost their Amish idiosyncrasies and assimilated to American society. In addition to the old order Amish, however, the Kauffman Amish Mennonites , the Beachy Amish and the Amish new order have retained parts of the old Amish culture. The Conservative Mennonites , many of whom are of Amish origin, have preserved traditions that are both Mennonite and Amish. The old order Amish today are divided into more than forty subgroups, some of which differ considerably.

Old-order Amish lives deeply rooted in agriculture and are known for rejecting certain modern techniques and adopting innovations only after careful assessment of the effects. The Amish place great value on a family with clearly defined gender roles , community and isolation from the outside world. Like other Anabaptist churches, the Amish exclusively practice baptism of the Confession and, according to the Sermon on the Mount, reject violence and the swearing of oaths.

The Amish are mainly descended from southwest Germans or German-speaking Swiss and mostly speak Pennsylvania German among themselves , while smaller subgroups speak an Alsatian or a Bernese dialect instead. In 2015, about 300,000 Amish live in 32 states of the United States and in the Canadian Ontario in about 500 settlements and 2,200 community districts.

In recent decades, the Amish have become a popular topic in popular culture , with the mass media in particular painting a picture of the Amish that often differs greatly from reality. The best example of a strongly distorted representation of the Amish is the television series Amish Mafia .


The name "Amish" developed from the surname of Jakob Ammann , who was the elder (community leader) of a Mennonite community in Alsace and who in 1693 separated from the main branch of the Mennonites with like-minded people.

In English, the Amish are called Amish , with the "A" pronounced like the German A.


Origin of the Anabaptists

The prehistory of the Amish is anchored in the Reformation period . In addition to the well-known reformer Martin Luther , there were others, such as Ulrich Zwingli , in whose Zurich area the Anabaptist movement arose. Luther's rebellion against the papacy provided the initial spark for other people to also actively campaign for church reform. The reformers Thomas Müntzer , Ulrich Zwingli and the somewhat later Johannes Calvin should be mentioned as well as the radical Reformation Anabaptist movement (disrespectfully called “Anabaptists”) with their own reformers such as B. Felix Manz , Konrad Grebel or Menno Simons .

Over time, the Protestant religious community of the Mennonites emerged from the Anabaptist movement, which in the 17th century also included the communities which in Switzerland referred to themselves as the remains of the persecuted Anabaptists as Swiss brothers . They had accepted the Dordrecht Confession of the Mennonites of the Netherlands and Northern Germany in 1632, but did not practice so strictly the seclusion from the world and the ban on congregations required there in the event of lack of insight after violations of order.

Origin of the Amish

At the end of the 17th century, the strict application of the Dordrecht Confession by the Mennonite elder Jakob Ammann caused unrest in the Swiss and nearby Alsatian communities, whereby the stronger contact of the Alsatian Mennonites with the Netherlands and the similarity of the conditions in both areas, namely a relative one great tolerance on the part of the state played a role. The main opponent in this dispute was the Swiss Mennonite elder Hans Reist , with whom Amman also argued over the question of who could be saved, i.e. who would go to heaven.

In Switzerland at that time, many non-Mennonites helped the persecuted Mennonites by hiding them or providing them with other help, thereby saving their lives. Hans Reist said that these so-called “faithful ones” could also be saved even though they did not enter the “church of God”; one's own church was understood as the only correct church. Many of these "loyal ones" were also very close to the Mennonite doctrines, but circumstances prevented many from joining them, such as fear of loss of life.

Ammann saw this much more rigorously: He demanded a complete conversion to Mennonism with all the consequences. The true believers should “take up the cross like the example” and then have “a living hope of salvation”, while doubters and undecided who “love this world more than the Lord” cannot expect grace. This was one of the main points of the dispute.

In horse carriage ( stroller )

Based on the Dortmund Confession of 1632 and the Bible, which speak of a humble way of life, Amman also demanded strict discipline in the congregation and the observance of certain rules about clothing and beards of believers. As a result, many strict elements were actually implemented in the newly formed group.

All of these points of contention ended in split. The “Ammann people”, the Ammann community, came into being. The split came from Ammann: Anyone who disagreed with Ammann he banned and demanded from the community to break off contact with him ( avoidance ). This also applied within the family: from then on, husband and wife had to abstain from their conjugal sex life and were not allowed to eat at the same table.

Jakob Ammann later saw that his procedure was too rigid and banished himself as a punishment. However, by this point the split was already too entrenched for it to be reversed. From 1693 onwards there were two separate formations of the Swiss brothers or Mennonites in southern Germany, Alsace and Switzerland.

Distribution in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries

In addition to Switzerland, a considerable part of the Amish lived in Alsace in the early 17th century , where there was much greater religious tolerance than in Switzerland. This area gradually came under French control from 1648. Louis XIV , the King of France, did not tolerate any other confessions besides the Roman Catholic Church, so that some of the Amish emigrated from Alsace, which had become French, to the German territories of Mömpelgard , Lorraine , Saarland and Bavaria , and to a large extent to the Palatinate , where Mennonites had lived since 1688 and became Amish after 1693.

First wave of emigration to America

Already in 1683 German-speaking Mennonites had in Krefeld with German Town ( Deitscheschteddel established) a settlement in Pennsylvania. In 1709 a wave of people from the Palatinate emigrated to North America began, which only ended with the French Revolution . With this wave from the Palatinate, around 500 Amish, that is, around 100 families, came to Pennsylvania , where a separate German culture with its own Palatine dialect arose, the culture of the Pennsylvania Germans, who are called " Pennsylvania Dutch " in English . The first of these Amish immigrants that are documented arrived in Philadelphia on the Charming Nancy ship in 1737 . The Amish found in Pennsylvania, where the Quaker William Penn guaranteed freedom of belief , more favorable conditions than in Europe, where religious freedom was essentially only introduced in the 19th century.

Second wave of emigration to America

A second wave of emigration began in 1815 after the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars had ended and lasted until the First World War. After 1860 only very few Amish came to America, so that the end of this wave is often set around 1860. The immigrants of this second wave no longer came only from the Palatinate , but also from Switzerland and Alsace and the areas mentioned above. Because almost complete communities often emigrated, the remaining communities not infrequently dissolved, for example in Hesse and Bavaria.

Origin of the Amish old order

Between the years 1862 and 1878 there were so-called servant meetings in North America, that is, meetings of Amish community leaders to discuss issues of modernization and preserve Amish unity. These gatherings failed in 1865 insofar as no compromise could be found with the traditionalists, so that they withdrew from the gatherings and organized themselves as the "Amish old order" over the next few decades. The modernizers, on the other hand, who made up about two-thirds of the Amish and called themselves "Amish Mennonites", increasingly moved in the direction of the American majority society and, especially in the first third of the 20th century, united with the Mennonites after they gradually lost all Amish peculiarities had.

The process of division was a slow process of sorting and it took about 50 years for all Amish people to be divided among the various Amish groups according to their attitudes.

In the course of this process, other Amish sub-groups emerged, for example the Egli-Amish and the Stuckey-Amish, who ultimately also fully assimilated, as well as the Kauffman-Amish, who followed the " sleep preacher " Johannes D. Kauffman (1847-1913) and themselves were the only ones of the Amish modernizers to have largely preserved their Amish culture. A middle group between modernizers and traditionalists slowly developed into very conservative Mennonites who are only partially assimilated. In 1910 they founded the “Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference”, which in 1957 deleted the word “Amish” from their name.

Most of the 19th century immigrants joined the modernizers, only a few from Switzerland and Alsace became Amish of the old order. These few include the Amish in Adams and Allen Counties in Indiana with their daughter settlements, who still speak Swiss and Alsatian dialects. These so-called "Swiss Amish", who speak dialects of their old homeland rather than Pennsylvania German , now make up around seven percent of the Amish population.

Memorial stone of the former Amish community in Nassau on the Mennokate

In Europe there was no corresponding division with the departure of the traditionalists. Here all Amish congregations moved in the direction of the majority society and sooner or later joined the local Mennonites or became Mennonite congregations. The last Amish community in Germany was in Ixheim until 1937 , the last in Europe was in Luxembourg until 1941 . Both congregations eventually joined Mennonite congregations.

North America today

Amish in Pennsylvania often use
scooters instead of bicycles

The two largest Amish settlements today are in Lancaster County , Pennsylvania, and a multi- county settlement in Holmes County , Wayne County , Tuscarawas County, and Stark County , Ohio . The third largest Amish settlement is in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in Indiana , the fourth largest in Geauga County , Ohio. Amish can now be found in over thirty US states and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario , Manitoba and Prince Edward Island . Outside of North America there have been attempts to form settlements in Central America and Paraguay , but these have usually not lasted long.

The Amish do not live in closed settlements or villages. There are areas where there are many Amish people and where they shape the landscape, but they almost always live next to “English” neighbors.

In the settlements it is generally noticeable that certain surnames predominate. This suggests that entire clans and their namesake moved out of the first settlements. Hence it's gene pool mitgewandert. In Lancaster County, for example, the name Stoltzfus (alternative spelling: Stoltzfoos) outweighs 25 percent, followed by the names Byler, Fisher, Petersheim, Lapp and King. In LaGrange, Indiana, Borntrager, Miller and Schrock predominate; in the Swiss German settlements in Allen County, Adams County, Indiana, the surnames Graber, Grabill / Kraybill or Schwartz predominate.

Intangible features of Amish culture


Although the external characteristics of Amish culture are first noticed, they are only an expression of the spiritual foundations of the Amish, which are primarily anchored in the values ​​of the New Testament . According to John S. Oyer, Amish culture is lived theology. In contrast to most of the currents of Christianity, the Amish have only a few written theological texts.

The Schleitheim Articles of 1527 and the Dordrecht Confession of 1632 are among the few fully formulated confessional writings of the Amish (and Mennonites). Also important are the writings of Menno Simons , on whose first name the name of the Mennonites goes back. Furthermore, the Amish songbook “ Ausbund ” from 1564 is important, as well as the prayer book “Serious Christian Duty” from 1708. According to Oyer, the most important modern source of Amish theology is the book 1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life from the year 1992.

Important elements of the faith of the Amish and other Anabaptists are the baptism of believers (hence the name Baptist), the separation from the world according to John 17: 11-18 and 15:19 (“in this world but not from this world”), Romans 12: 2, 2 Corinthians 6: 14–17, 1 John 2: 15, non-violence , the Lord's Supper as a mere memorial meal only for believers, that is, in practice only for parishioners, the strict separation of church and state and denial of the oath .

Other important concepts are humility and serenity .

Reasons of belief for isolation and order

The self-imposed order is based, on the one hand, on the fact that the Amish, with reference to the apostles Paul and John, emphasize “to be in this world, but not of this world”, and are thus repeatedly asked to explain what is worldly be and what not. The following biblical passages are particularly important: Romans 12.2  EU , 2 Cor 6.14–17  EU and 1 John 2.15–17  EU .

For those who think differently, there are quite understandable considerations about the Amish order. The maxim is: “Group maintenance and group life take precedence over individual realization”. The influence of television and many innovations on family and group life is viewed critically.

Community organization and order

Amish communities are autonomous and can change their order, which regulates the way of life over large areas, by majority vote. Twice a year there is a so-called “Ordnungsgemeine”, a Sunday service in which the order can be negotiated. A sacrament service, which usually takes place two weeks later, only takes place if there is agreement on the order.

In the event of differing opinions, agreement can also be achieved by the smaller group temporarily accepting the existing order, often in the hope that the majority will change in the foreseeable future. If only one or very few families disagree, the solution is often to move those families and join communities that are organized according to their needs.

If, despite the above-mentioned possible solutions, no agreement can be reached in the long term, the only solution that remains is a split, which then normally leads to the emergence of a new subgroup of the Amish.

This communal autonomy means that there are a very large number of different local orders. Congregations with a similar order and mostly common history form congregational unions (English: affiliations ), within which preachers and congregation members can freely change the respective local congregations. Communities that change their order too much, for example by allowing car ownership, are no longer considered to belong to the Amish old order.

Church leadership

The church leadership is in the hands of men, who are determined in a process of election and lot. Usually an Amish congregation has around 150 members, a bishop (“full servant”), two preachers (“servant to the book”) and a deacon (“poor servant”). To fill such an office, there is an election where each parishioner can nominate a man he or she deems capable. The names of all those who have received a minimum number of votes will be drawn into a lot, from which the name of the new official will be drawn. Men certain in this way cannot refuse office and are appointed for life. They receive neither payment nor special training for their office. Many pray that the lot will pass them by.

Church service and Sunday activities

The Amish take turns meeting every two weeks for a house service, with a few exceptions. The house is being prepared for this three- to four-hour service on Sunday, for example partition walls are moved, the large kitchen-living room is cleared, the benches are brought in or, for example, space is created in the barn in summer or a cellar is used. There is a special trolley for the benches.

On Sunday mornings, the believers and their children and babies with the "Dachwägle" usually come to the house of the host of the service on Tuesday half an hour to an hour before the start of the service at nine o'clock and assemble separately by gender. The carriages are tied up by the men, you go into the men's group and greet each other in turn. Finally you go into the house, take off your hats and sit on certain benches, men and women separated. The women have the smallest children with them, some of whom sleep on blankets under the benches when they get tired.

The service begins with a song from the Austragund , the oldest Anabaptist hymn book; the song of praise follows. The preachers join in while they are singing the songs. The sermon begins with the so-called "small part", which does not address specific belief theses, but rather draws a general outline through the Old and New Testaments . This is followed by the main part, a sermon that usually lasts over an hour. In between there is a scripture reading by the almsman. Overall, the sermon lasts over two hours.

In some very conservative Amish groups, a kind of singsong is still preached, a way of speaking that is also known in the Catholic Church and is also practiced by a number of old colonists Mennonites . The songs in the service are sung at an extremely slow pace with several notes on one syllable. Traditional Amish communities therefore sing a ten-stanza song for up to 25 minutes. More liberal Amish sing faster and very liberal, like the Beachy Amish, switch to completely different songs because of the language change. Amish sing without instrumental accompaniment ( a cappella ), traditional groups unanimously, more liberal groups (e.g. Beachy Amish) mostly four-part.

The portion of the scripture that the almsman reads sets the sermon theme in a way. This part of the text was selected at the meeting of the community leaders in a separate room, the so-called Abrat. One goes through the scriptures later verse by verse, but the whole sermon is accompanied by insertions from remembered Bible stories, references to the relationship to the outside world (this is a central teaching), to the necessity of a humble and simple life and more. The sermon is structured differently than in German free churches, for example, in which the believers are asked to look up references with a Bible in hand, the preacher also names them and, in a certain way, Bible study is conducted.

After the service, the men go out first, the women stay inside and prepare lunch. The men take turns to eat first, while the women pour more water; they go out in groups to eat. Finally, the women eat themselves and wash up. The service lasts until the early afternoon. Then you either go home or visit others. Afterwards, young people often go to sporting events that they organize themselves, traditionally volleyball .

In the evening, all unmarried people over the age of 16 meet to sing together, mostly from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., in the house of the family that hosted the service.

On Sundays on which there is no service, friends and relatives are traditionally visited, which is often combined with a service in another Amish congregation that is having service on that Sunday.

Domestic religious life

One lives strongly according to the principles of faith, private Bible study usually does not take place, however, there are mostly home morning devotions. But the Bible is read every day, for example at breakfast, and in the evening we read together from a prayer book . Here the customs of the families vary significantly. However, it is clear that a private “Sunday school”, a deep literary study, does not take place, which is also not recommended.

Visible features of the Amish culture

Up until around the end of the 19th century, the Amish differed little in appearance from the rural peasant population in their area. Although the Amish clothes were simpler and the Amish otherwise renounced any unnecessary luxury, there were hardly any differences in the use of technology until then. Even with the division into Amish old order and Amish Mennonites, it was not technology but other aspects of Amish life that caused the split. It was only with the advent of the telephone and, a little later, of cars, that questions about the use of technology came to the fore. Diane Zimmerman Umble wrote an entire book on the use of the telephone among the Amish people: Holding the Line. The Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life.

Telephone, television and internet

Towards the end of the 19th century, the telephone slowly made its way into rural areas of the United States. Since there were initially no provisions regarding the telephone in the Order, members of the Amish old order also acquired telephones, which, however, led to tension in the communities. In 1909/10, about a fifth of the members of the Amish old order in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania split off from the rest and expressly allowed the telephone and the connection to the public electricity network. This split hardened the attitude of the more conservative against the telephone. Over time, groups formed in other areas that allowed the telephone and other innovations. These groups later united to form the Beachy Amish . Then, when television slowly reached rural areas in the 1950s , it was banned almost everywhere from the start by the old-order Amish. The same goes for the internet.

While the installation of a telephone in the house was banned, the use of telephones was not prohibited per se, which led to Amish using the telephone of "English" neighbors in urgent cases. The use of public telephones was also allowed, which meant that public telephone booths were often built near Amish houses. Since the telephone became more and more important for modern economic life, a number of Amish sub-groups finally allowed the installation of telephones in barns or other business premises, not least in order not to have to stress the “English” neighbors too much. Such barn telephones are not infrequently equipped with answering machines, which the owner taps once a day and then calls back. Telephones in the apartment buildings are only allowed in the most liberal groups. Overall, the aim is to banish the phone as far as possible to a place where it cannot dominate life. In an emergency, use of the phone is allowed by everyone, even the strictest groups.

With the advent of cell phones and smartphones, another challenge reached the old Amish order. Young people in particular, who are not yet subject to the order because they have not yet been baptized, buy cell phones and smartphones that are relatively easy to hide. Even among baptized adults, smartphones found their way more or less secretly. Especially in the early days of the smartphone, there were no rules of order with regard to this new technology.


Most old-order Amish responded to the proliferation of cars between the two world wars by banning them. Those old-order Amish people who allowed the ownership of cars became Beachy Amish. The ban came because the car means "automatic mobility" (after Donald B. Kraybill in The Amish Riddle ) and this mobility weakens local group cohesion. In addition, the car was seen as an unnecessary status symbol .

However, only the possession of cars was prohibited, but not the use of someone else's car. A radical prohibition of use, except in emergencies, only applies to the Swartzentruber Amish and similar particularly conservative groups. Because the possession, but not the use of cars is forbidden under all Amish old and new order, taxi services have emerged in all Amish settlement areas that transport Amish by car for a fee.

In daily life carriages are used which, depending on the group, have a gray, black, yellow, white or brown roof. The wheels are either steel tires or rubber tires, depending on the subgroup. Agricultural implements are also drawn by horses, even if they are motorized. Tractors are used by many subgroups, but mostly in stationary operation, only a few subgroups allow the use of tractors as tractor for field work.

The use of trains and public buses is permitted, but air travel is prohibited for almost all sub-groups. Bicycles are sometimes allowed, sometimes not, for example, they're banned in Lancaster County . Kick scooters and roller skates are relatively common, especially among children and young people .

Amish couple in horse and cart (Dachwägle) in rural Holmes County , Ohio (September 2004)

In the course of time, an “Amish driver industry” has established itself, a driving service by “English” who drive Amish for money to places where it is not possible by carriage, for example to weddings and funerals in remote settlements.

Clothing and hairstyle

Amish clothes and hairstyle express the Amish faith, especially humility, and are mostly simple. The clothing should not draw attention to the wearer through its cut or color. Some sub-groups are not allowed to have buttons on coats, only clothes pins or hooks with eyes.

The men wear traditionally cut suit jackets with stand-up collars. The pants have no folds or cuffs . Belts are not worn, but suspenders. The front of the pants has a flap-like opening that can be closed with buttons. The Amish housewives tailor trousers from mixed fibers consisting of polyester, cotton and viscose. These fabrics are more durable than pure cotton and therefore better suited for work clothing.

Shirts are not made of pure cotton either, but have a high polyester content, which makes washing, drying and ironing easier, pulls fewer threads and creases less.

Women in plain clothes and white aprons

The women wear traditional, monochrome dresses (mostly muted darker colors, in more liberal groups also pastel colors) with long sleeves and a black, matching, contrasting or white apron. The dresses are never sleeveless, but less conservative groups allow short sleeves. The cut details and the length of the dresses are determined by the dress code of the respective municipality. The length varies between knee and ankle length.

Stockings and shoes are black. Women wear flat shoes. Children in particular, but also young people and adults, mostly women, often go barefoot all the time during the summer months . In the recent past, wearing sandals , flip-flops or clogs has established itself as an alternative to walking barefoot in summer .

The typical headgear of the male Amish is stiff, wide-brimmed felt hats. The width of the brim and the shape of the hat tip vary from group to group. Most men wear straw hats in summer. Women wear bonnets, the size and type of which is determined by the order of the respective group. An Amish woman does not leave the house without her head covering. Girls start wearing bonnets when they are teenagers. White bonnets are worn in many settlement areas. Single women up to 40 years of age wear black bonnets on Sundays.

Married men are required to wear a beard. Mustaches, on the other hand, are banned almost everywhere, as they are reminiscent of the military. The shape of the men's haircut depends on the subgroup, usually the more conservative the group, the longer the hair. Girls' and women's hair is never cut; they wear their hair pinned up or in a topknot under a head covering known as a prayer cap . Any kind of jewelry and embellishment is prohibited, including wearing rings and make-up.

However, synthetic fabrics are also sewn to reduce time-consuming ironing. Most of the clothes are made in-house, although shirts are also bought in shops and coats are obtained from particularly skilled seamstresses. Plain cloth in muted colors is used for clothing, whereas patterned fabrics are avoided.

In the past, all outerwear was made by women themselves. Today there are companies such as Weaver's Apparel that specialize in making clothes for Amish people. So the Amish don't have to make all their clothes themselves. The weight of the fabrics is very important. They shouldn't be too heavy, but also not too thin. Care is taken that the clothes are not too tight and fall nicely.

Electricity and small appliances

With the exception of a few new municipalities, Amish households are not connected to the electricity network, but use gas-operated lamps or generate their own electricity for some appliances, mostly from diesel generators. Batteries are partly allowed, in many Amish subgroups hydraulics or pneumatics (compressed air), which are generated by diesel engines, are used to drive devices and tools . There are motor-driven washing machines in this way in almost all subgroups. According to the regulations, it is forbidden to present yourself in front of the camera to be photographed ; it is not forbidden to tacitly allow photography. When an individual stands out, it is viewed as a lack of humility and is therefore rejected.



Until after World War II, Amish children attended small, one-room schools with most other children in rural areas. However, when these one-room schools began to be dismantled and larger school centers set up, to which the children were taken in buses, Amish began to set up their own schools. Today the children of the old Amish order mostly no longer attend public educational institutions, but rather separate Amish schools, in which they are mostly taught by young, unmarried Amish women.

These self-governing schools, in which children of different grades and ability levels are taught together, are spread across the settlement area and are financed by their parents' school fees - not by the American school authorities. Religious content that goes beyond school prayer and reading Bible texts is not taught in Amish schools, as this is seen as a family responsibility.

The own schools allow the control of the lesson content and socialize the children more in the direction of later joining their own group. Such schools are also important for maintaining the Pennsylvania German , which all children in school can master. In these schools reading, writing and arithmetic are taught, but not biology (especially not sex education ), scientific or geological teachings or even the theory of evolution .

In terms of knowledge of "the three Rs " (reading, writing, 'rithmetic = reading, writing, arithmetic), Amish students can compete with their American peers in public schools. In Amish schools there is great discipline, much is learned through quiet work. German is also taught (for which adapted school material has been developed) so that the religious texts can be read.

The Amish school system is strongly identity-creating, some sociologists even see it as the greatest factor for the survival of the Amish as a separate group, since religion does not get into argumentative proof lack through scientific knowledge and other life options are neither specifically addressed nor promoted (the same applies to the increasing American "home schooling", which is also mostly due to religious reasons).

Jump around - youth until marriage

Amish boys playing baseball

The time between reaching the age of 16 and eventually joining the community and getting married is known as the time of " jumping around " (mostly written in English as rumspringa ). During this time it is assumed that the parents no longer have full control over their children. The community also has no handle against non-members, so that Amish young people have a lot of freedom during this time, for example to celebrate lively parties.

The parents are usually not particularly happy about their children's hustle and bustle, but largely avoid intervening so as not to alienate their children from the community. Some stricter subgroups, however, have precise rules for which serious debauchery the parents must expel the children from their parents' home. The occurrence of such serious excesses is largely limited to a few large Amish settlements. In the smaller settlements there are not enough young people to form very wild youth groups, because most of the young people do not go wild.

In the larger settlements with many dozen or even hundreds of young people of “jumping around” age, the boys form groups of several dozen up to 200 members. These groups called buddy bunch (German: "Kumpel-Haufen") form a spectrum of relatively conservative boys who continue to wear Amish clothes and drive carriages, to very wild groups of young people driving cars in the most fashionable clothes, who have excessive parties with a lot of alcohol and not infrequently celebrate drug use. The girls join the groups of their friends or brothers.

The documentary Devil's Playground by Lucy Walker deals with the phenomenon "Rhumspringe" in the large Amish settlements in northern Indiana. It was primarily through this film that the phenomenon of "jumping around" became known to wider circles. This film accompanies young people who practice an extremely wild form of "jumping around", which not only includes excessive alcohol, but also drug use and conflicts with the police.

Girls tend to be much more reserved than boys during the "jumping around" time, so almost all girls wear their traditional Amish clothes during this time, while many Amish boys wear more or less fashionable clothes of the majority society during this time. Most Amish boys also get a driver's license and quite a few own a car during this time.

The Amish tradition allows a certain, limited freedom for young unmarried couples, which in traditional groups also includes what is known as bundling , in which the couple in love can share a bed without being completely undressed. It is also allowed to sit together on a rocking chair, with the girl sitting on the boy's lap. However, intercourse before marriage is generally perceived as a flaw.

Most of the young people decide to live as Amish after the period of "jumping around". By being baptized as a believer, they become members of the church and recognize its rules. This also means that from now on offenses will be punished, in extreme cases with “ban and avoidance”. However, a return after credible repentance is also possible after the most serious offenses.

Working life

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1941. An Amish father makes a horse harness, the son watches at work.

After school, the Amish youth mostly worked on their family's farm until they got married. With the help of their parents, they took over their own “farm” or stayed in agriculture.

Today the professional spectrum of the Amish has expanded because there are no longer enough farms to buy and some of these have become extremely expensive, for example in the old settlement areas that are heavily frequented by tourism and in which the Amish with construction speculators and newcomers around the compete with available land that can be acquired.

In the past, people had emigrated to other areas when there were no opportunities to buy farms, so that the Amish spread to more and more states. This still takes place today, although this tendency is sharply decreasing in the large settlements. The Amish are considered very grounded in these areas and want to stay at home. Thus, one first turned to agriculture-related professions in which a niche could be found, and expanded this increasingly to small and large-scale merchants. Professions such as bricklayer, carpenter, woodworker etc. are now often filled by Amish, they work in so-called "construction crews", are often on assembly. In addition, the class of Amish businesspeople is growing, either in manufacturing or in pure trade.

The establishment of new settlements takes place on private initiative. Usually a group of several families is looking for cheap land that is not too far from a not too big city where important things can be done, from visiting doctors to shops selling things the Amish do not make themselves to markets for their products.

Amish, who are now moving out of the existing settlement areas and are looking for inexpensive land elsewhere, usually either have a very strong connection to agriculture or want to escape the liberalizing tendencies in the large settlements, elsewhere under a stricter order, in their judgment more godly to live more apart from the "world". So it can be said that the conservative element is increasingly relocating.

Not all Amish new settlements are successful. The book Amish Settlements that Failed lists and describes some hundred settlements that were unsuccessful. There are even Amish settlers who moved to new settlements several times.

The expanded professional spectrum is viewed critically and positively. On the one hand, it gives Amish more and more opportunities to remain in their parallel society and to satisfy their shopping and repair needs there without having much “world contact”. This is rated positively in “The Riddle of Amish Culture”, on the other hand there is now an Amish “lunch bag culture”, a culture in which the father leaves the house in the morning, in the evening or (for assembly work) even for days later returns home and his family life and his ability to influence decrease (e.g. teaching the son a trade directly). In addition, the increasing number of people working outside the home and business people are exposed to a high degree of influence from the outside world, which definitely has a positive effect on their perspective of the “world”, but also endangers the sense of community and community life on a traditional basis.


The Amish of the old and new order are connected through their beliefs, their culture and their traditions, their language and diverse family relationships, but they are by no means a single group, but rather fall into more than 40 subgroups. These sub-groups first formed due to geographical conditions, that is, separate sub-groups formed in different areas. The three largest groups today are the subgroup of the Amish from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, those from Holmes County and environs in Ohio, and those from Counties Elkhart and Lagrange, Indiana.

With the second wave of Amish immigrants in the 19th century, sub-groups formed due to different, mutually barely understandable dialects. The Bernese-speaking and the Alsatian-speaking Amish form separate subgroups. Since the middle of the 19th century, separate subgroups were formed based on different views of life, with mostly conservative groups splitting off. The Beiler-Amish split off in 1849, the Renno-Amish in 1863 and the Nebraska-Amish in 1881. During the First World War, the two largest extremely conservative subgroups, the Swartzentruber-Amish in Ohio and the Buchanan-Amish in Iowa.

In the 1920s, the Beachy Amish parted ways with the old-fashioned Amish over the question of whether car ownership should be allowed. The Beachy Amish, however, have lost almost all Amish peculiarities, except for clothing and name. Then in the 1960s the Amish new order emerged, who wanted both a stronger evangelical spirituality and more modern technology. The Amish of the new order, in contrast to the Beachy Amish, hold on to the German language and to horse-drawn carriages.

Amish subgroups differ not only in terms of the use of modern technology, but also in the severity of ban and avoidance, in their spirituality (more or less evangelical), in their rejection of large settlements, as well as in the number of children and the rate of young people. who enter the Amish community, whereby both the number of children and the so-called retention rate are usually higher the more conservative the subgroup, which leads to the fact that the most conservative grow very quickly, the most liberal, i.e. above all the Amish new order grow, stagnate or even shrink very slowly (Amish new order with electricity).

In their 2011 book The Amish, Donald Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt list the following parish leagues, in order of district number:

Community federation Creation

Country of origin
States settlements
Lancaster 1760 Pennsylvania 8th 37 291
Elkhart-LaGrange 1841 Indiana 3 9 177
Holmes Old Order 1808 Ohio 1 2 147
Buchanan 1914 Indiana 19th 67 140
Geauga I 1886 Ohio 6th 11 113
Swartzentruber 1913 Ohio 15th 43 119
Geauga II 1962 Ohio 4th 27 99
Swiss (Adams) 1850 Indiana 5 15th 86
Troyer 1931 Ohio 6th 17th 53
Swiss (Allen) 1852 Indiana 7th 17th 46
Dover, Delaware 1915 Delaware 10 16 42
Andy Weaver Amish 1955 Ohio 1 4th 40
Nappanee, Indiana 1841 Indiana 1 1 37
New order without electricity 1967 Ohio 7th 13 35
Arthur, Illinois 1864 Illinois 2 4th 31
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania 1847 Pennsylvania 2 6th 28
Daviess County, Indiana 1868 Indiana 1 1 26th
Kenton, Ohio 1953 Indiana 6th 13 25th
Ashland County, Ohio 1954 Ohio 6th 9 23
Jamesport / Bloomfield 1953 Missouri 3 5 20th
Michigan parishes 1970 Michigan 3 15th 20th
Nebraska 1881 Pennsylvania 2 5 19th
Renno 1863 Pennsylvania 2 4th 19th
New order with electricity 1972 Pennsylvania 6th 16 17th
Fredericktown 1972 Ohio 2 4th 15th
Kalona, ​​Iowa 1846 Iowa 1 3 13
Kansas / Oklahoma 1883 Kansas 3 6th 12
Milverton, Ontario 1824 Ontario 1 4th 12
Missouri / Illinois 1960 Missouri 2 9 11
Somerset County, Pennsylvania 1772 Pennsylvania 3 6th 10
Tobe Hostetler 1940 Ohio 1 4th 10
Milroy / West Union 1969 Indiana 3 3 9
Guys Mills / Fredonia 1972 Pennsylvania 2 4th 7th
Aylmer, Ontario 1953 Ontario 1 3 5
Byler 1849 Pennsylvania 2 1 5
New Order Tobe 1967 Ohio 1 1 5
Abe Miller 1970 Tennessee 2 3 4th
New Order Fellowship 1983 Ohio 3 4th 4th
Turbotville 1970 Pennsylvania 1 1 3
Kokomo, Indiana 1848 Indiana 1 1 2
Subtotal n / A n / A 410 1,780
Unclassified n / A n / A 133
total n / A n / A 1.913

Differences in technology use

The acceptance of technical achievements varies from group to group. A decision can be made about acceptance or use as follows: It is accepted by the group without further ado, in that one after the other adds this innovation without contradiction; however, it can later be banned if objections arise. Or it is officially allowed with a unanimous municipal resolution. In the case of innovations that seem senseless or even dangerous from the start, e.g. For example, television, use can be prohibited immediately without first having found its way into the community.

The comparatively wide range in the two subgroups "Elkhart-LaGrange" and "Swiss Amish" from Adams County in Indiana is due to the fact that there was hardly any division in these groups, but rather the different use of technology in different community districts is tolerated. Although the Lancaster County subgroup, Pennsylvania , is often viewed as the model Amish, and together with the Holmes County and Elkhart / LaGrange subgroups, they form the Amish mainstream, they are among the most liberal groups in terms of technology.

Subgroup Tractor for field work Tiller Motorized lawn mower Propane gas Milk cooling tank milking machine fridge Baler Indoor toilet
with flushing
Bathtub with running water Stationary tractor Pneumatic tools Chainsaw Gas lamp Washing machine
Percentage of usage 6th 20th 25th 30th 35 35 40 50 70 70 70 70 75 90 97
Swartzentruber No No No No No No No No No No No Some No No Yes
Nebraska No No No No No No No Some No No No No Some No Yes
Swiss Amish (Adams) No No Some No No No No No Some No No Some Some Some Some
Buchanan No No No No No No No No No No No Some No Yes Yes
Milverton, Ontario No No No No No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dover, Delaware No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Andy Weaver No No No No* No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Geauga I No No No No No No No Some Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Aylmer, Ontario No No Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Renno No No No No Some No Some Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Holmes Old Order No Some Some no * No No Some Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Elkhart-LaGrange No Some Some Some Some Some Some Some Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lancaster No No Some Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nappanee No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arthur, Illinois No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New order without electricity No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Somerset County, Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kalona, ​​Iowa Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
* Natural gas allowed


Most of the old order Amish are trilingual. They all speak a German dialect, the so-called Pennsylvania German , in some counties of Indiana also Swiss German , more precisely a form of Bern German in Adams County , as well as Lower Alemannic Alsatian in Allen County and in the subsidiary settlements of these two counties.

Pennsylvania German used to be the everyday language of the entire southeastern Pennsylvania and comprised around 800,000 people up to about the middle of the 20th century, after which most assimilated linguistically, and only the conservative Amish and Mennonites of the old order remained loyal to Pennsylvania German as a colloquial language among themselves. The language thus also became a means of demarcation to the world of "English".

The few remaining Swiss-German and Alsatian- speaking Amish communities come from waves of immigration in the 19th century directly from the Bernese Oberland and Alsace and settled in Indiana in their own communities. Groups of these late immigrants who settled in mixed settlements with Pennsylvania German speakers were assimilated by the latter. These late immigrants also differ in their parish ordinances from groups that were previously settled in America.

During the service, Amish use a heavily dialectically colored, mixed High German, which also contains English loanwords. Amish use the English language primarily to communicate with the outside world.


An Amish farm in Pennsylvania

In principle, the Amish do not take out insurance. The Amish were also exempted from compulsory health insurance, introduced by US President Barack Obama . Health costs incurred are borne exclusively by donations between the Amish. As a rule, it is first of all the family who endeavors to cover the health costs of a family member. If these are too high, the matter is brought to the deacon of the community. This publicly announces the upcoming costs on a Sunday and collects the donations in the next week. If this is still not enough, neighboring communities may be contacted. Neighborly help comes not only through money, but especially through emotional support. So far, this form of subsidiarity has worked well. In the meantime, however, Amish self-help organizations such as Amish Aid have also been set up to cover, for example, enormous health costs.

Among the plain people groups (including similarly conservative Mennonite and Brethren congregations), powwowing or going to the “custom doctor” has still partially survived. Taken with them from old Europe, there are still naturopaths who treat patients with the help of prayers, speaking away and traditional healing recipes. But this takes place in secret and is almost extinct today. In addition, the Amish use homeopathic healing methods.

However, among the Amish there are various but noticeable hereditary genetic defects . Since almost all modern Amish descend from a few founding families (there are only around 130 Amish surnames in total, and only a certain number of them occur in the various settlements) from the 18th century, many recessive genetic defects that are shared with one another occur through reproduction , that is, the same hereditary bearers ( conductors ) father common children in whom hereditary diseases , which were mostly suppressed by the reproduction of unrelated children , now become manifest.

The close relationship within the Amish people increases the likelihood that two carriers of the same genetic defect will have children who will then be born with disabilities. This “founder effect” helps genetic researchers to find the genetic cause of these otherwise rare hereditary diseases. Some of these disorders are very rare, such as Hirschsprung's disease , or even unique and severe enough to increase the relative death rate among Amish children. The majority of the Amish accept this as “God's will” and take care of these sick people in an integrated way. However, overall Amish infant mortality is neither higher nor lower than that of the region's non-Amish rural population.

Since the Amish almost only marry each other and mostly only within their own settlement, they, like some European mountain valleys, offer genetic researchers an opportunity to research genetic diseases. Much knowledge about hereditary diseases has therefore been gained, but this does not necessarily have an impact on them Marriage behavior, because this requires marrying within one's own group (also outside of the settlements, as long as other congregations are in “fellowship” with them and it remains “in the Lord”). The growing awareness among the Amish that exogamy can prevent genetic diseases is still faced with restrictive marriage regulations. Where diseases are limited to a community or a settlement, this can mean that inbreeding is not as pronounced in other places. In the age of increasing mobility, car trips to visit relatives in other settlements are also organized. However, here too the physical distance makes permanent contact more difficult. In general, Amish young people still mostly choose their spouses in the immediate vicinity, from the close “peer group” that goes to the same “singings”.

The fact that the Amish go back to only a few founding families and almost exclusively marry one another has not only negative effects. Positive gene mutations are also accumulated in the community in this way. For example, researchers discovered a mutated gene among the Amish people in Indiana that gives carriers an average of ten years longer and better health.

Under the Amish community, it is forbidden to marry cousins ​​and cousins. Only their children could do this, so they are only related through the same great-grandparents. Some settlements are also completely unrelated to one another, for example the founding families of the Lancaster County Amish with the founders of the Perth County Amish settlement in Canada. Spatial distance and sometimes different beliefs (a different community order does not allow one another to marry), however, do not allow this exogamous marriage option within the Amish groups.

Population size and distribution

In 2017, there were 318,000 old-order Amish people living in over 500 settlements in 32 states in the United States and three Canadian provinces.

The following are the states with more than 1000 Amish:

  1. Ohio : 69,255
  2. Pennsylvania : 68,820
  3. Indiana : 50,955
  4. Wisconsin : 17,665
  5. New York : 17,280
  6. Michigan : 14,495
  7. Missouri : 11,230
  8. Kentucky : 11,010
  1. Iowa : 8,785
  2. Illinois : 7,280
  3. Minnesota : 4,535
  4. Tennessee : 2,750
  5. Kansas : 2,025
  6. Delaware : 1,500
  7. Maryland : 1,485
  8. Virginia : 1,080

In 2015 there were around 300,000 Amish in total.

Mennonites and Amish

The Mennonites of southern German-Swiss origin and the Amish share the same historical roots and represent the same theological positions on baptism of faith, rejection of the oath and refusal to serve in the military. The spectrum of the Amish groups is fundamentally stricter when it comes to the handling of their beliefs and the use of technical innovations.

But there is also a whole spectrum of groups among Mennonites, ranging from extremely conservative to extremely liberal groups. For example, there are groups of old-order Mennonites (Noah Hoover Mennonites and Orthodox Mennonites ) who are as conservative in modern technology as some of the strictest Amish, such as the Swartzentruber. Overall, however, the majority of the Mennonites are much less conservative than the Amish.

Since every congregation, if it is not organized in a conference, decides on its own issues, new groups have been and are still being formed, especially through many divisions. In this respect, there are very liberal and also very conservative communities.

Sometimes certain Mennonite groups are confused with the Amish, especially those who, like the old-order Amish, ride horse-drawn vehicles. In English, this is called Mennonite groups as "Old Order Mennonites" (in German as Mennonites old regulations , including Old Order Mennonite Mary Ann Horst). Some of these groups have membership of up to 10,000, but there are also a number of smaller groups that also see themselves as independent churches. The largest of these groups is the Groffdale Conference (also Wenger Mennonites ).

A clear distinction between the Amish and Mennonites can be found in the location of their worship services. Amish almost always meet alternately in their houses, barns or workshops, whereas Mennonites usually build meeting houses. Congregations that have not reached their full size gather in their homes, but once the congregation has reached a certain size, a meeting house is built. If an Amish congregation becomes too large, they split up so that they can continue to hold meetings in their homes. These congregations (which divide, but do not divide from one another) then live “in fellowship with each other”. For example, they exchange preachers or allow one another to marry.


Feature films

Films that feature Amish were shot almost exclusively in the United States:

Films with a partly documentary character

  • How much Wood would a Woodchuck chuck… - Observations on a New Language , 1976, 44 min., By Werner Herzog . In this documentary produced for German television, the director contrasts the life of the Amish with the events of a world championship for cattle auctioneers.
  • Penn'a Du , 1982, 60 min., A film essay by the German director Georg Brintrup . Thisfilm, producedfor WDR , is particularly about the language, Pennsylvania German. In 1982 an Amish school teacher stepped in front of a film camera for the first time.

In 2004/5, a series was shown in the United States, Amish in the City , which was supposed to pursue the idea of ​​whether the Amish "rum jumpers" would ultimately rather choose "the American way of life" in close contact with secular people. At the time of the recording, those Amish youths were no longer faced with this question, but had already decided on the outside world.

On October 2, 2006, a man shot dead five girls and then himself at the Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. The Amish forgave the perpetrator and also looked after his widow, who was left with three young children. The feature film How we also forgive (English: Amish Grace ) takes up these events and turns them into a partially fictional feature film.

See Nickel Mines Amish School Massacre


There are a number of documentaries about the Amish:

  • Amish - A farm for our children ,

Production: ORF , 1998, 60 min., By Eva Maria Berger. This documentation explicitly deals with the Lancaster County Amish and includes sociological evaluations by Donald B. Kraybill . See Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt: Amish Enterprise - From Plows to Profits under the heading Literature .

  • The Amish - old values ​​in the new world ,

3sat , 1999, by Wolfgang Wegner. This documentary is also about the Amish in Lancaster County and contains interviews (e.g. with the ice cream producer at Lapp's Valley Farm) with Beachy Amish and New Order Amish.

  • Amish People - Living in Another World. Documentation, France, 2005, 53 min., Director: Alexandre Fronty, production: arte , series: WunderWelten, summary by arte
  • 3sat , 2009, Criss-Cross: Amish People by Alexandre Fronty, portrays the life of the Amish of the old and new order in a village in Pennsylvania

American documentaries include:

  • The Riddle of the Amish
  • Amish - A People of Preservation
  • The Amish and US
  • The Amish Riddle
  • The Devil's Playground


  • The Amish have landed , original title: Meet the Amish or Amish: World's Squarest Teenagers , Dokusoap GB 2011. , also a "documentation" provided.

See also

Portal: Anabaptist Movement  - Overview of Wikipedia content about the Anabaptist Movement


Primary scientific literature

  • John A. Hostetler: Amish Society (4th edition), Baltimore and London 1993. (The scientific classic on the Amish)
  • Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish. Baltimore 2013. (The current standard scientific work on the Amish)
  • Donald B. Kraybill: The Riddle of Amish Culture (revised edition), Baltimore and London 2001. (The scientific classic by Kraybill)
  • Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. Intercourse 1992. (The standard scientific work on the history of the Amish)
  • Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell: An Amish Paradox. Baltimore 2010. (The scientific work of a professor and a professor)
  • Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan (Eds.): The Amish Struggle with Modernity. Hanover, NH 1994.
  • Richard A. Stevick: Growing up Amish - The Teenage Years. Baltimore 2007. (Scientific work on Amish teenagers and jumping around )
  • Donald B. Kraybill and C. Nelson Hostetter: Anabaptist World USA. Scottdale, PA and Waterloo, Ontario 2001. (Statistics on the Anabaptists in the USA)
  • Donald B. Kraybill: Concise Encyclopedia od Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites . (An encyclopedia about the Anabaptists)
  • Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt: Amish Enterprise - From Plows to Profits. 2nd Edition. Baltimore 2004 (On Amish Economic Change).
  • Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt: An Amish Patchwork. Bloomington and Indianapolis 2005. (Scientific work on the Amish in Indiana)
  • Diane Zimmerman Umble: Holding the Line. The Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life. Baltimore 2000.

Other works

  • Joe Mackall: Plain Secrets: An Outsider among the Amish. Boston, Mass. 2007. (Personal report of a literature professor about his friendship with an Amish family)
  • Ira Wagler: Growing up Amish. Carol Stream; Illinois 2011. (Personal report by a dropout from an Amish community)
  • Jeff Smith: Becoming Amish. Cedar, Michigan 2016. (Report of a family who ultimately tried unsuccessfully to join the Amish)
  • Bernd G. Längin : The Amish. The secret of the simple life. Munich 1990, ISBN 3-471-78049-1 .
  • Emma Gingerich: Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape. Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, 2014, ISBN 1-940834-76-7 .
  • Silke Langwasser: The Old Order Amish: A religious community between persistence and development. Marburg 2008.
  • Hermann Hage: Amish Mennonites in Bavaria . edition vulpes, Regensburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939112-45-7 .
  • Baecher, Robert: Art. Amman, Jakob. In: Mennonitisches Lexikon Volume V (contains references to German and French-language literature on the Amish),

Web links

Commons : Amish  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Portal: Anabaptist Movement  - Overview of Wikipedia content about the Anabaptist Movement

Individual evidence

  1. Eva Stanzl: Pandora can't get the box closed. In: Wiener Zeitung . February 22, 2012, accessed August 31, 2014 .
  2. a b Amish Population Change 2010-2015. (PDF) Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, accessed November 16, 2017 .
  3. Discovery Channel's next reality series: “Amish Mafia” - News. (No longer available online.), January 5, 2013, archived from the original on March 28, 2013 ; accessed on August 9, 2015 .
  4. Experts Dispute Existence of 'Amish Mafia' as Reality Show Debuts., December 11, 2012, accessed August 9, 2015 .
  5. There is no Amish mafia 'says Amish expert
  6. Merriam-Webster: Pronunciation "Amish" ( WAV ; 6 kB)
  7. ^ Hermann Hage: Amish Mennonites in Bavaria . Regensburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-939112-45-7 .
  8. Leroy Beachy: Our Leader. P. 126.
  9. ^ Karen M. Johnson-Weiner: New York Amish. P. 15.
  10. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, pp. 172-195.
  11. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, pp. 118-156.
  12. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, pp. 157-178.
  13. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, p. 174.
  14. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, pp. 178-189.
  15. ^ Steven M. Nolt: A History of the Amish. 2nd Edition. Intercourse, PA 2003, pp. 193-230.
  16. John S. Oyer: Is there an Amish Theology in Lydie Hege et Christoph Wiebe: Les Amish: origine et particularismes 1693-1993, The Amish: origin and characteristics 1693-1993, Ingersheim 1996, p. 300.
  17. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish . Baltimore 2013, pp. 59-64.
  18. Serious Christian duty at
  19. ^ Amish Studies - The Young Center: Beliefs .
  20. 1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life, written by 20 members of the Amish ministry and lay people in various communities , published by Pathway Publishers, Aylmer, Ontario and Lagrange, Indiana 1992.
  21. 1001 Questions & Answers On The Christian Life at
  22. John A. Hostetler: Amish Society. Baltimore and London 1993, pp. 306, 389-90.
  23. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish. Baltimore 2013, pp. 64-66.
  24. John A. Hostetler: Amish Society. 4th edition. Baltimore and London 1993, pp. 105-111.
  25. Silke Langwasser: The Old Order Amish: A religious community between persistence and development. Marburg 2008, pp. 68-69.
  26. Silke Langwasser: The Old Order Amish: A religious community between persistence and development. Marburg 2008, p. 69.
  27. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell: An Amish Paradox, Baltimore 2010, pp. 106–7.
  28. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell: An Amish Paradox, Baltimore 2010, pp. 204-205.
  29. ^ Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell: An Amish Paradox, Baltimore 2010, pp. 52-53.
  30. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, pp. 213-214.
  31. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, p. 214.
  32. Richard A. Stevick: Growing up Amish - The Teenage Years, Baltimore 2007, pp 154-156.
  33. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, pp. 217-221.
  34. Richard A. Stevick: Growing up Amish - The Teenage Years, Baltimore 2007, pp 152-153.
  35. ^ Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, p. 224.
  36. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, pp. 221-223.
  37. Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore 2013, pp. 226-228.
  38. "Amish Technology Use in Different Groups" on
  39. Donald B. Kraybill: Amish. In: Mennonite Lexicon . Volume 5 (MennLex 5).
  40. ^ Sascha Karberg : Gold mine in the Amish country. In: Image of Science. 2/2010, p. 19. ( Memento of the original from September 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  41. LS Acheson: Perinatal, infant, and child death rates among the Old Order Amish . In: American Journal of Epidemiology . tape 139 , no. 2 , January 15, 1994, p. 173-183 , PMID 8296784 .
  42. Mutated gene gives Amish longer life. In: Stern . November 17, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2018 .
  43. Amish Studies: “Population Change 2010–2015” ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )


  1. In Somerset County in Pennsylvania and in Wilmington (Delaware) the Amish meet for historical reasons in a meeting house, in Unity (Maine) and possibly also in Manton (Michigan) in order to make more modest single houses possible, since relatively large single houses for the house worship are necessary.