Amish in…Poland?

This one goes back a couple years, but really surprised me when i first found it.  An English-language Polish weekly, the Warsaw Voice, reported back in 2000 that a few families, apparently of an Amish or Mennonite persuasion, had settled in a village not far from the capital.

The arrival of the families apparently caused quite a stir: one villager ‘ran from house to house shouting that the Jews had come back’, in reference to the similarity of the newcomers’ dark garb and beards to that of pre-war Jewish.

Amish_in_poland_3

At the time of the article’s writing, only one family remained.  Two others had returned to the states.  The only Polish convert to the group had disappeared.

Just who are, or were, these ‘Amish’?  Could they be Beachy Amish, who also have settlements in Europe in places such as Romania and the British Isles?  They don’t seem to have an association with any of those groups though.  A random offshoot?  That happens sometimes.  The last name of the remaining family, Martin, is rarely seen among the Amish, being a typical Old Order Mennonite name.  The other two families bore traditional Amish monikers.  The head of the last family, Jacob, uses both electricity and a car, and is reported to associate with Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

Puzzling.  Like the ‘Amish in the Jungle’, another unusual case of Amish or an Amish-related group outside of their ‘natural habitat’.

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    10 Comments

    1. Mike

      This Mennonite mission in Mińsk Mazowiecki is the successor to a defunct Amish or Beachy Amish mission effort that used to be called “Salt and Light.”

      http://www.aimpoland.org

    2. missymess

      In 1996 we purchased “Friends Patterns” from a family living in Scottville KY. They were moving to Bolivia with a number of other families. This was an Old Order Mennonite community and a number of them had been raised in that group but also were influenced by the Charity group. This particular family returned to the States, but I believe a number of families did stay in Bolivia. I am wondering if this might be part of that group.

    3. Emma

      I remember my friends in Belgium (Amish Beachy missionnaries) speaking of an Amish family refusing to go back in the States… They thought that maybe that family choosing to stay far from their community… Anyway, it is quite sad to see them so alone. They should be with a church.

    4. Amish and Mennonites in Latin and South America

      As much as the Amish ‘stick out’ in America, they just seem that much more anomalous in foreign countries. The OOMs in South America have always fascinated me–ultra-conservative clothing, horse-drawn travel and Old German culture thrown into hot Latin climes just seem a very odd mix. Old Order Amish made a couple go’s at it down south in the 60’s and 70’s as well, but the communities did not survive (at least not as OOA).

      Emma, it does seem like it would be hard to exist without others. An Amish family alone just seems a bit oxymoronic.

      Mike, thanks for the link, very interesting.

    5. Bob

      Could Emma please have a contact with me ? I’m from Belgium, and I wrote to Mr Yoder. Or could the webmaster help me to find how to contact her ?

      Thanks,
      in the Lord,
      Bob. (belgologie@gmail.com)

    6. Bob.

      Hello again,
      the mail I sent to Mr Yoder came back …
      Does the webmaster have the actual adress of the Beachy mission in belgium please ?

      Bob.

    7. Erica

      Amish in Belgium

      Dear all, I would also be very interesting in knowing where is exactly the Amish community in Belgium and how to contact them.

      Please send your answer to ladyprincess84@hotmail.it

      Thank you!

    8. Bob

      Concerning the Beachy in Belgium

      Dear people,
      I finally received an anwser to my questions, via the Mennonite Center of Brussels. The Paul Yoder’s family came back to the USA in 2008.
      It’s sad to say, but there is no more Beachy or tother Amish in Belgium…

      Have yourself a merry Christmas,
      Bob.

      1. Thanks for the info on this Bob, and sorry I wasn’t able to provide the contact, but looks like you managed well.

    9. Linda Dabulewicz

      Amish community Kropenwe

      My husband’s Boromkos in Kropenwe are listed as Amish on Geneteka. Genealodzy.Pl