Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during by Duane C. S. Stoltzfus

By Duane C. S. Stoltzfus

To Hutterites and contributors of different pacifist sects, serving the army whatsoever is going opposed to the biblical commandment "thou shalt no longer kill" and Jesus’s admonition to show the opposite cheek whilst faced with violence. Pacifists in Chains tells the tale of 4 younger men―Joseph Hofer, Michael Hofer, David Hofer, and Jacob Wipf―who those ideals and refused to accomplish army carrier in international warfare I. the lads paid a steep cost for his or her resistance, imprisoned in Alcatraz and fortress Leavenworth, the place the 2 youngest died. The Hutterites buried the boys as martyrs, bringing up mistreatment.

Using archival fabric, letters from the 4 males and others imprisoned in the course of the struggle, and interviews with their descendants, Duane C. S. Stoltzfus explores the strain among a rustic getting ready to go into right into a global warfare and a humans whose heritage of martyrdom for his or her pacifist ideals is going again to their sixteenth-century Reformation beginnings.

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Extra info for Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War

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B. Hilt. ” Shertzer asked. “They won’t fall in,” Hilt replied. Shertzer spoke to the Hutterites: “I explained to you men about this. ” The Hofer brothers and Jacob Wipf said they could not line up as soldiers. So on their first day at Camp Lewis, hours after their arrival, the men were locked up, soon joined by their neighbor from South Dakota, Andrew Wurtz, who likewise had refused to sign up to serve. Within days, they would be moved to a second guardhouse, joined there by a couple of 30 Pacifists in Chains Mennonites.

Whereas the Hutterites felt fearful and out of place during their trip, Janzen described a fine ride on the Southern Pacific line, as young men played cards and checkers and he had ample time to think about his new life in the military. He was ready, even eager, to put on a uniform, though not to take up arms; he expected to be comfortable in this military camp, as long as he could serve as a noncombatant. ”8 The men were ordered out of the train coaches and marched by twos to the receiving tent where they underwent physical examinations.

And yet, in 1917 the Selective Service Act of the federal government of the United States had required all physically able men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty to prepare for duty. Provisions in the act allowed the Hutterites and other conscientious objectors to avoid combat on the battlefield, but, if drafted, they still had to report to a military camp to request noncombatant service and receive their assignment. The four had appeared before the draft board in the little township of Beulah, west of their home colony, on June 5, 1917, in response to the act.

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