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Häftler (hookers), the nickname given to the Amish in the 18th century and later in South Germany and neighboring territories to distinguish them from the Mennonites who were called Knöpfler (buttoners). The Amish retained the use of hooks and eyes to fasten clothing after their use was displaced by buttons. The German has two words for hook, Hafte and Hake, Hafte being more common in the Palatinate and Alsace.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 231.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Häftler." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 4 Mar 2015.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1956). Häftler. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 626. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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