Friday, March 17, 2017

Renegade Amish Beard Cutting, Hate Crimes, and the Trial of the Bergholz Barbers

By Donald B. Kraybill

A very detailed, descriptive account of the Bergholz community and the trial of the people involved in what came to be known as hate crimes against their own Amish people. Kraybill details the Amish-on-Amish beard and hair cutting attacks, the perceived impetus behind them, the changes within the Bergholz community, and the actions of other Amish communities in response to changes in Bergholz. Kraybill follows with complete details of the trial from both the prosecution and the defense teams. He researched and interviewed many people for this book and does an excellent job documenting the events, his findings, and the legal proceedings.

The use of legal system vocabulary makes this more difficult to read than Johnny Mast’s Break Away Amish Growing Up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters but is a great complement to Mast’s book. Between the two books, one can gain an understanding of how Bergholz operated, how the crimes originated, and how people were transformed through the teachings of their Bishop.

~ Miss Deb

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