Die Amischen: vom Geheimnis des einfachen Lebens (The Amish: Secret of the Simple Life).

Reviewed by Verlagsruppe, List, Süddeutscher Verlag, Südwest

Längin, Bernd G. Die Amischen: Vom Geheimnis des Einfachen Lebens (The Amish: Secret of the Simple Life). Munich, Germany: Verlagsgruppe, List, Süddeutscher Verlag, Südwest, Pressestelle, Postfach, 1990.

The Amish are late descendants of the so-called Swiss Brothers. Persecuted as
Anabaptists in Switzerland in the 16th and 17th centuries, these radical Christians fled to Alsace, South Baden, Bavaria, Hesse, Palatinate, and the Vosges Mountains. From there they immigrated in smaller groups to Eastern Europe and as of 1728 to North America.

The Amish refuse linguistic and cultural assimilation to the New World. They use, for instance, a different timetable. They renounce electricity, running water in the home, the telephone, the automobile, and the button on most of their wearing apparel. They avoid any “contact with the world” in which they live but are not part of. They operate their farms as in pre-industrial times and are rated the best farmers in America. Approximately 100,000 Amish live at the edge of a modern consumer society in the USA and Canada, a small fragment lives in Paraguay, and again, recently, a few as missionaries in Europe.

With fascination we learn of the past and present of their religious asceticism, their rebellion in old Europe and their arduous search for paradise in the New World.

Bernd Längin, born in 1941, has been a foreign correspondent in Asia. From 1965-1969 he was an editor in Windhoek, Southeast Africa; in 1969, editor-in-chief of the Courier group in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1983 he become a correspondent in Canada and in 1985 editor-in-chief of Globus, published by VDA in Bonn. He has lived in Winnipeg since 1969. In 1982 he received the Friedrich-List-Preis des Landes Baden-Württemburg for “special journalistic achievements” in foreign countries.




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