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Letter March 30, 1920 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel


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-mades, extracted one for himself, and quite naturally offered me another. I thanked him heartily and told him I did not smoke.

He got to questioning me, in a most irregular fashion, about my mentality, asked me how I got along at College, and in my studies. I told him I got along quite easily, and was generally average in my studies. "How's your memory? Is it as good as ever?" Yes I believe so, I answered. "Did you experience any difficulty in memorizing your lines for the play? None whatever, I responded. He then asked me whether I had ever had experience in dramatics, and when I told him that this was my first attempt he insisted that I did quite well. Then there were a lot of questions about insanity in the family, illness etc. Did I have peculiar ideas? "No, my ideas were generally quite ordinary. I was not a genius? Did I dream? "Yes, I was addicted to that fault." The nature of those dreams? "Dreams of quite a normal character." Was I suspicious? Did I feel that people were after me? That someone was seeking to steal my belongings? "No I had no such fears." How did I feel generally? Was I depressed or cheerful? I told him that I was an incorrigible optimist; that I had more reason to be cheerful now than ever before since the end of my sentence was so near. He asked how I had been treated in camp. I told him that I had had some pretty rough sledding, but I had expected that. On the whole my treatment was pretty good. I was asked to give an account of how I happened to be drafted and how I acted; when I was court-martialed etc. How it happened that you were released before me? Oh yes, and once during the questioning I was asked whether I had ever voted the Socialist ticket. I confessed that I had. And he wanted to know why I was an Agnostic. I explained that I considered that the safest course was to doubt. I quoted Charles Nodier that "of all things most sure, the surest was to doubt." "You'll get into no end of trouble with such a mental attitude," he cautioned me. Again I had to admit his infinite wisdom, for was I not in trouble at the moment?

Well, this is the substance of the examination. I made no attempt at sequence, for there was none in the actual questioning. The questions came in any order, without any semblance of coherence. He asked anything that seemed to occur to him, very often going over ground that had already been covered. There may

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