Letter July 1, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter July 1, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.






Letter [#67] from David Eichel, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

[July 1, 1919]

Dear folks:

Things are very dull here now. One day is so much like the other, that it is mighty hard to scrap together material for a letter. The series of discharged have ceased. Nobody has left us for the past few days, so that even the bustle and excitement of giving one of our comrads [sic] a send-off no longer diverts us.

We are doing what we can to drive away the dreariness, and make things "hum." We started off by amusing ourselves by means of a medicine ball. We pulled every conceivable stunt with it. We had just about exhausted all the possibilities for fun that it offered, when we were moved downstairs and joined with the religious objectors. They too had a

medicine ball. we tried playing with both at once, and found it far more interesting. Occasionally you forget yourself for a moment, but only for a moment for one of the balls jars you back to your senses. The two balls don't permit you to rest for a moment.

One of the boys got a pair of boxing gloves. Sunday night we staged a sort of tournament. There we[re] about a dozen matches. Most of the fellows, judging from the exhibition, have a lot to learn about fistic art. I doubt very much whether they'll ever learn, for boxing only makes a mild appeal to them. The Christian objectors condemn it altogether for being a gross display of violence. However for us mortals who are of this earth and are kept going by its pleasures and diversions, even so belligerent a form of exercise is welcome. Julius and I have done our share at donning the gloves. Julius seems unusually eager to try effects with me. For one reason or other he

seems to think he can lick me. All I have to say, that despite his size (you know he is about 20 lbs. heavier than I am) I have managed to hold my own against him.

We have Wills letter of the 26th. It was the first bit of information we received concerning the transferred [sic] C.O's. Since then we have learned that they are at the internment camp, formerly occupied by Enemy Aliens. Conditions there are doubtless better than here. They are probably able to get outdoor exercise, of which we are deprived here. We still feel that we are to follow soon, tho the possibility is very great that we will be sent to another camp. It now seems the policy of the gov't to break us up into groups, as it was once their policy to bring us all to one spot. From this it is evident

that we can hope to have the C.O. problem solved before the next war starts.

I notice that the death and funeral ceremony of King Booze is occupying greater space in the newspapers than the signing of peace and the promised return of our president. Which may be proof that after victory, very few are interested in the spoils, or it may prove that John Barleycorn was certainly well loved and had hosts of faithful followers. Now that he is gone, all sorts of agencies will attempt to replace him in the hearts of the people. Churches and religious societies will do their share to get a hearing and keep people from thinking along more dangerous and material lines, while radicalism is bound to benefit by it. A clear head makes a clear mind, and a clear mind spells ruin for the plutocrat.

Our love and regards to all. Hoping this finds you all well, I am,


P.S. Julius answered Eddie Betton today. I wrote Fruchtman yesterday.

Dave Eichel

[at top of page 3 he wrote: How about letters #52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 60 and 61]


Eichel, David, “Letter July 1, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 22, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/57.

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