Letter April 8, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




Letter April 8, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


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Letter [#14] from David Eichel, U.S.D.B., Fort Douglas, Utah

[April 8, 1920]

Dear Folks:-

I am now truly on the home-stretch. My thoughts are more at home now than ever before – doubtless because I am trying to bridge the gap of 2500 miles and adjust myself to conditions under which I shall soon find myself. Besides Julius keeps reminding me every now and then of things and persons that I had almost forgotten. I shall think a good deal of these things for the next twenty days.

In the meanwhile life here is awfully dull. I shall certainly be glad to be back home, and experience a change of atmosphere. We are once more having excellent weather. The snow has again disappeared and I hope I see no more of it this year. Yesterday was so warm and the sun was so strong that many of us took occasion to get in a sun bath. Today, however, it is cloudy again and we have had light showers.

The sea-gulls are here in great numbers. There are much more of them this year than I saw around the camp last summer. We have been amusing ourselves by throwing scraps of meat and bread into the air and watching the gulls dive and catch them in their beaks. They are quite clever and successful at it. We have also taught them to come into the camp for food. When we put out a tray of crumbs and food scraps, a scout will spy it, signal to the others, and then they’ll swoop down en masse and in a few moments the tray is emptied. They are fine looking birds but their cry is harrowing. They screech horribly and almost incessantly. It is interesting to watch them how

ever. They’ll be resting quietly when suddenly there be an awful screeching and then they’ll all rise in the air. You’ll wonder what’s happened. You look up and you see a hawk – or a number of hawks flying around over head [sic]. The sea-gulls don’t come down until the hawk is gone.

I have written that I may stop off in Chicago on my way home. I don’t know definitely what I’ll do. I’ll decide as I make the trip. If I do stop off, I’ll telegraph you from Chicago so that you will not be in suspense. If you receive no telegram, except the one from Salt Lake, then I am coming direct home. Please do not try to meet me at the station. I know the temptation will be very great, but I want very much to avoid all fuss until I actually reach Stanton St.

You know Bruno Grunzig is being released on the same day with me, but it is very unlikely that we shall travel together. He is contemplating too many stops to suit me. I should very much prefer to come home, direct. I don’t care much about making this a sight-seeing trip. Shotkin who is making the trip with me was also contemplating various stops but I have succeeded in dissuading him from all but the one in Chicago. I’ve got him “groggy” even over that one but he refuses to be beaten. It is for that reason that I make the reservation for Chicago. The trip you know is so much pleasanter with company, otherwise there would be no question of how I would travel.

The "Sanity Commission" is examining the last men today. I suppose their reports about us will soon be submitted. The Germans continue to leave. I understand that there are only twenty-six of them left and they will doubtless go before the end of this week.

I am feeling fine, mentally and physically, only I’ll feel even better when I’m home.

With love –


Eichel, David, “Letter April 8, 1920 from David Eichel to Parents ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/75.

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