Letter March 29, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter March 29, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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[#21] Letter [#21] from David Eichel, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

[March 21 [27? 29?], 1919]

Dear folks:

We received Phil's surprising letter of the 25th, wherein he shows that there is a wide discrepancy between the sentences as given by Keppel at Wash. and those given us by Col. Rice here at the D.B's. In either case we are hardly losing any sleep over the matter. The error is probably due to some clerical carelessness either at the office of the Ass't War Secy, or at the office the Col. We are not interested in the least at the length of time the gov't and the military would like to have us serve, for we have long since ceased to look here for leniency. What we are interested in is the advance of liberalism thruout the world & the clamor of public opinion for our release. And that clamor of the enlightened public is growing considerably and continually and we feel that the time is not far off when it must heeded.

We are getting on very well, and are making the most of our incarceration by applying ourselves earnestly to the task of acquiring an education. It remains for the gov't to demonstrate to me how little I had learned at college, or how much superior prison is to College as an institution of learning and culture, provided of course, you are desirous of obtaining an education. You would be surprised to see what little handicap Julius' lack of college education

has been to him, any how he has bridged the gap of learning that seperated [sic] him from me because of my so-called enviable college training. Except in certain exact sciences like mathematics, chemistry etc., I am in no way better off than Julius, and Julius has the opportunity now of even studying those exact sciences. So save for the great suffering we have so unwillingly caused you, the experience has been profitable to us, to a very great degree.

We are still being placed in solitary confinement for refusing to work here. Four men who were with me at Funston, and who shared with me the terrible ordeal we received there at the hands of the military, are now in solitary. You would imagine that now that the war is over these [brutalities - blacked out (by censor?)] imposed upon such fellows who have already amply demonstrated thru inordinate suffering that they will not bow to the military will, would be discontinued. But apparently such tactics will be continued unless the people again unite in protest against such treatment.

Julius and I are feeling fine and happy. We are pleased to learn that everybody is in good health and that you are managing to make both ends meet without our help. We can hardly understand how you do it.

Our love and regards to all.

Lovingly yours,
David Eichel

P.S. Julius wrote another letter to Hilfer. I wrote [illegible word] Kosseff [sp?] & thru him to Levine. We'll write Fruchtman at our earliest convenience.


Eichel, David, “Letter March 29, 1919 from David Eichel to Parents ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed September 22, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/67.

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