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- Biographical Notes
Born on January 1, 1896; grew up Jewish; brother of David; emigrated to the United States with his family in 1899; refused to comply with the Conscription Act; registered? on June 5, 1917, as a C.O. (but, was arrested in 1917 for not registering?); along with Samuel Sterenstein was found guilty of "defiance" at Camp Upton on July 28, 1918, for refusing inoculation, and sentenced to 20 years at Ft. Jay / Governor’s Island (where 1 of 3 disciplinary barracks was located); interviewed by Board of Inquiry on June 18, 1918 at Upton, and on Feb. 15, 1919 at Disciplinary Barracks [Ft. Leavenworth]; was classed by Board of Inquiry first as ??, later as 6; sentenced to 20 years of hard labor, reduced to 4 years; dates (circa): Tombs Prison, NYC (3 weeks, 1917) Camp Upton, NY (Dec. 31, 1917 - Aug. 2, 1918) Court-martialed (July 1918) Ft. Jay, Governor's Island, NYC (Aug. 3, 1918 - ??) Ft. Leavenworth, KS (April 24, 1919 - July 3, 1919) Ft. Douglas, UT (Aug. 4, 1919 - Jan. 30, 1920); during these years he refused to cooperate with any compulsory actions other than those required to fulfill his own personal needs; was sometimes sentenced to solitary confinement and bread and water rations; brother Isaac Eichel was part of Dec. 1918 delegation that visited Secretary of War Baker to plea for release of C.O.s in prison at Ft. Leavenworth; reason for stance = socialist and humanitarian; member of Socialist Party; family members lived in crowded Jewish ghetto in NYC's lower east side and were staunch defenders of C.O. stance; died in 1989; author of The Judge Said “20 Years”.