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Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War

Overview

To Hutterites and members of other pacifist sects, serving the military in any way goes against the biblical commandment "thou shalt not kill" and Jesus?s admonition to turn the other cheek when confronted with violence. Pacifists in Chains tells the story of four young men?Joseph Hofer, Michael Hofer, David Hofer, and Jacob Wipf?who followed these beliefs and refused to perform military service in World War I. The men paid a steep price for their resistance, imprisoned in Alcatraz and Fort Leavenworth, where the...

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Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War

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Overview

To Hutterites and members of other pacifist sects, serving the military in any way goes against the biblical commandment "thou shalt not kill" and Jesus’s admonition to turn the other cheek when confronted with violence. Pacifists in Chains tells the story of four young men—Joseph Hofer, Michael Hofer, David Hofer, and Jacob Wipf—who followed these beliefs and refused to perform military service in World War I. The men paid a steep price for their resistance, imprisoned in Alcatraz and Fort Leavenworth, where the two youngest died. The Hutterites buried the men as martyrs, citing mistreatment.

Using archival material, letters from the four men and others imprisoned during the war, and interviews with their descendants, Duane C. S. Stoltzfus explores the tension between a country preparing to enter into a world war and a people whose history of martyrdom for their pacifist beliefs goes back to their sixteenth-century Reformation beginnings.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Yearbook of German-American Studies - Carol A. Leibiger
Duane Stoltzfus... presents a well-written and moving case study of the Hutterites' imprisonment, as well as a more extensive examination of violations of American religious and political dissenters' civil rights during the Great War... Engaging with history in works like this one reminds us of the richness of our immigrant history, the fragility of the rights that immigrants come to this country to enjoy, and the obligation to defend those rights, even under exigent circumstances.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Duane C. S. Stoltzfus is a professor of communication at Goshen College and the copy editor of The Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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