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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 30

One time I had to uproot about – well, several thousand mature tomato vines which for some reason had become sterile, and just would not bloom or produce tomatoes. Whether our boss knew where the trouble was with these plants or not I do not know but I don’t remember that he ever told us the secret of that failure. The rules of discipline at the D.B. were not severe, but had to be complied with in the minutest detail. We could correspond with the outside world subject to censorship of course; there was no restriction on conversation between prisoners, excepting probably under certain conditions. (There have been, I am told, on several occassions [sic], as the result of disorders or uprisings, the application of the Iron Rule, where conversation is greatly restricted if not forbidden altogether. Such an occassion [sic] came several months after my discharge, and as a punishment for extensive riots in the D.B.) In talking to a soldier sentry or officers, the prisoners must stand with arms folded. Sidewalks are forbidden the prisoners. Breaking the rules results in loss of “good time” (the portion of a suspended sentence usually remitted for good conduct), Sunday work or both.

The institution conducts the following industrial and agricultural pursuits. Farming, Livestock, Dairying, Poultry; they have shoe factories, machine shops, blacksmith shops, ice factory, tailor shop, laundry, and others. The work is done by military prisoners under civil or military foremen. For pastime the boys get movies twice weekly, library books and general service each Sunday morning. The various denominations may have service with their men. The Catholics, Jews and Mennonites had such special services, quite regularly. Mennonite services were held each Saturday afternoon, and most of the C.O.’s attended this

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