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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 18

individuals. This time I happened to be one of the first ones called. My questioner began in a very kind and sympathetic tone; he reminded me of the great difficulties we were causing the government, and that it required much patience and forbearance on the part of the officers dealing with the problem. I informed him that it was easy for me to see that we were causing them many headaches, and was sorry for it, but did not seen [sic] anything that we could do about it; (or something along this line of thought). Then followed a careful survey of my pedigree, a query into the nature and extent of my objections, and finally an inspection of the logic of non-resistance. We got along fine in our thirty minute discussion and it seemed that he really meant well, so inwardly a feeling of thankfulness came over me, that there were at least some worldly men big and broad enough to participate in a conflict of ideas above the plain [sic] of human bitterness and anger. Forty is a big number though, especially if their cases run pretty much along the same line; so when the last ones were “on deck” and the psychologist was talking to Brother Lemke, his patience (like in the former inquest) too gave way, and instead of persisting in his meek and sympathetic manner, he launched into Brother Lemke with a tirade of abuse winding up with a picturesque and comprehensive curse telling his victim that he did not “have a d___ bit of religion.” If Captain _____ would not have claimed to be a student of Divinity such a wind up would not have been so shocking, but as it was we began to feel that we must be a strange group of young men. Doubts and fears began to assail me in such hours. Could it be possible that all the world is wrong, and we, just a mere speck in humanity, right?

During the time of our segregation, from December 1917 to May 16,

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