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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 33

in the interest of law and order, aside from living decent himself, he was at once stamped as a traitor to his fellow prisoners with terrible consequences usually. A room orderly was murdered for reporting another prisoner who was negligent in keeping his cell tidy. A number of men were tried on a murder charge. One of our Mennonite boys who knew about the crime was called as witness for the prosecution. This witness at once had to be placed under heavy guard and kept in a private place outside of the walls during the course of his trial. When his testimony was no longer needed he was taken to another prison far removed. All this was necessary for his safety. I had a personal letter from this brother two thousand miles away, telling me of his whereabouts and conditions there, but no reference whatever to the trial or the circumstances of his transfer.

In the mess hall one noon a diner struck a waiter with the fist; almost quicker than you can say, “Jack Robinson” the whole seething mass of humanity was on its feet, many throwing their tin plates in the direction of the seat of trouble; if its a fight everyone wants to get in. There is usually a strong force of guards in the hall at mess time, but that time they needed time to restore order. All this fury was caused by an unsatisfactory slice of bread.

Our life in D.B. was more free from the harassing, mocking, and derision we faced in the army. Of course, we had by this time become somewhat immune (so I thought) to being hooted [at] and mocked. Let them curse, let them call me slacker, or yellow back or anything disgracefull [sic], we were now steeled against all forms of mockery. Hold on, dear Brother, when you feel that you are secure of attack from a certain angle, there

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