Letter March 13, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter March 13, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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Letter [#1B] from David Eichel, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

[March 13, 1919]

Dear folks:

I received Phil's letter of March 8th and we are happy to learn that our letters are eventually reaching you. As I write this both Julius and I are feeling fine and in excellent spirit, and our only anxiety is in your welfare. We do wish you wouldn't take things to heart so much. We realize full well how this injustice preys on your mind, and I tell you we are hardly less resentful. if we have given expression to our indignation at all, we have done so not out of any desire to aggravate yours but simply to comfort you, for there certainly is solace in knowing that others think and feel as you do. Perhaps we have been unwise or needlessly severe in the expression of our feelings and so caused you undue worry. But we have done so because we felt it best to prepare you for the worst, so that anything less than that would be a source of contentment to you. But I wish to tell you and this I say frankly and truly, that we really think the worst is over. It is only a matter of time, no one knows just how long, before we will be home. This feelings becomes more and more real as events take place. The fact that England has granted amnesty to C.O's & Political prisoners is indeed encouraging, for America does everything England does. The rumors I wrote you about have practically lost all their seriousness. But I thought it best to make sure about them, hence my letter of Mar. 1. You must realize in reading my letters that I cannot write you in a manner to make clear my every thought and conclusion, and that I therefore of necessity leave a good deal to your common sense and reasoning. I hope you get my point.

Now, dear folks, there are any number of people suffering on our account. Take E. Thomas for example. Do you know that reports reach us that Evan actually feels miserable because he is not with us. And the is no shame either, for it is just like him. He is with us heart and soul.

Then we read of Roger Baldwin who refuses pardon or clemency unless all Political prisoners are set free.

If you care to hear of a real injustice imposed upon a people by a democracy, listen to this story of the Huttrians [Hutterites]. This is a religious sect who went from Austria to Russia on the invitation, or better, solicitation of some Russian farmers. Before they went, however, the Russian Tzar personally granted them exemption from military service.


Eichel, David, “Letter March 13, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 22, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/66.

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