Letter August 2, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel




Letter August 2, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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Letter [#11] to Julius Eichel from David Eichel, U.S.D.B., Fort Douglas, Utah

[March 25, 2013]

Dear Julius:

Two days ago, I sent you, via parcel's post, a good supply of pictures taken here and for which you claimed there was a great demand. I hope that they will temporarily satisfy our friends. You may dispose of them as you see fit. I expect to write to Rebecca in a day or two, and if I do, I shall send her a complete set of show-pictures. I shall also enclose a few for Miss Schuer. I shall also take care of my Stats friends. I wrote Moe Greenspan, a few days ago, and sent him two of the "Augustus" views. Beyond those few friends, you have free reign. Write me, if any of the pictures are unusually in demand. I want to see all our friends satisfied. I have another supply on hand which I shall mail you in a few days.

I have your letters #14, #15, and #16. I am still waiting for the name of the Socialogy [sic] instructor you met at Harry's. Apparently he knows me well, and it is not at all unlikely that I shall remember him. I shall be pleased to learn more of him.

The clipping from the American, interested us greatly. It is perhaps an indication as to the way the wind is blowing. There actually appears to be a determined effort in many quarters to bring the country back to a peace-time basis. And I believe that official Washington is yielding to the clamour [sic], and taking steps to remove all the remaining traces of the war. They have actually begun to release the German interns. A good number left yesterday, and a good many more went to-day. Rall was among those that left yesterday. The day before he left, an article appeared about him in the Salt Lake evening paper, to the effect that he was to be turned over to the immigration officials to be deported. Rall did not place much credence to the item, but today rumors are about that he was taken in to somebody's custody at the gate. If this were true it would indeed be an outrage. You know Rall is an absolute pacifist. The newspaper article contained some very interesting information about him, something that none of us knew before. It gave an account of how he happened to be interned. He, with Prince Hopkins a millionaire pacifist, and others were engaged in a great pacifist propaganda movement in San Francisco. They were rounded up by secret service men, indicted, but all were released, with the exception of Rall who was an alien, and was therefore interned. Now there is talk of deporting him. From this becomes more than ever apparent, that 100 percent pacifists are more undesirable than men who say they would not be averse to taking part in a revolution to overthrow this government.

Rall's case is the one incident to blacken the general prevalent optimism. It is commonly felt that this is the begining [sic] of the end. The mental tests are not in progress. Only four men are being quizzed in one day. I expect that I'll be called either Friday or Saturday, as the men are being called in alphabetical order. The questions asked are very much along the lines Chambers and his staff used to ask when you first reached Leavenworth.

I was pleased at your meeting Robbie. He is certainly a peculiar fellow. He seems to display artistic tastes. I wonder whether it is a case with him of never having had a chance. Did he play for you? I understand that he play the piano.

I wrote Harry last Sunday. I can well appreciate his silence. I am suffering from a similar lack of ideas, and when we reach that

stage, we speak best when we dont speak at all. I suppose Harry feels as I do. Yet I wrote him, although I'm quite certain that I told him nothing that he did not already know.

I received a very interesting note from a Jean Barash, a resident of Williamsburg, who tells me he learned of me through a very intimate relative of his, said relative having been instrumental in inculcating in me, ideas about Socialism. In wonder whether the relative referred to is Max Barash? Jean asks me to write him of my experiences. I'll do so when I get an opportunity, and I shall also take the liberty to refer him to you. By the way, I have been writing of Jean as if I were perfectly certain that Jean was a member of the less important human species. But that is far from the fact. I know that Jean is a perfectly good masculine name, but I also know that there are quite a few females that parade under that name. The hand-writing is of a feminine character altho that proves nothing.

I also have a letter from Augusta. You know the kind she writes. Please tell her that I received it, and thank her.

I am on K.P. today, in fact this is my second successive day. What would life be without Bruno! He is on the same shift with me, and he keeps us amused all day both by his wild antics, and by the opportunity he offers us for almost constant kidding. He seems to take everything so seriously. You never know when he is angry and serious, or when he is assuming wounded airs.

Several of the boys frequently asked me to thank you and convey the respects to you. Among them are Shotkin, Bloch, Greenberg, Silver and a few others. Shotkin still insists on stopping off at Chicago, and I haven't yet succeeded in swerving him from his plan. If he continues in his determination, I may be compelled to stop off with him, as I don't relish making the trip to New York alone. Yet the idea of stopping off does not appeal to me. I should prefer to go direct home.

I am feeling fine, but terribly restless. All these rumors are disconcerting, even tho they are of a favorable nature. I haven't read two books since you left. The day passes before I get started, something I hardly regret. About the only thing that I do very well is sleep.

Remember me to Harry, the Chemist and Socialogist [sic]. My kindest regards to all our mutual friends. My love and regards to the folks. I forgot to mention that I received a letter from Ida, Trix's friend.


P.S. I am enclosing ten snapshots.


Eichel, David, “Letter August 2, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/84.

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