By Frank Dietrich
Frank and Albert Dietrich have been exact twins whose lives took very differentdirections in the course of international conflict II. Drafted into the military Air Corps and expert asa radio operator, Frank was once shipped to the Philippines in 1945, the place as a sergeantin the 5th Air strength he ready for the invasion of Japan. Albert, a pacifist,struggled mightily to develop into a conscientious objector and spent yearsbuilding dams, saving farmland, and assisting the bad at Civilian carrier Campsin South Dakota, Iowa, and Florida.Raised in a detailed, non secular, Pittsburgh relations, Frank and Albert have been inseparable asboys, sharing a powerful social judgment of right and wrong. Divided via warfare, they stored involved bywriting countless numbers of letters to one another. The correspondence issues everythingfrom the day-by-day drudgery of service-loneliness, awful food-to heartfelt debatesabout conflict, peace, and patriotism.This soaking up collection of letters bargains clean views at the Americanexperience in the course of international warfare II. the 1st released correspondence betweenGI and CO brothers, the letters are an uncommonly articulate chronicle of militaryservice and existence at the domestic entrance, together with GI marriage and parenthood. Backand forth, Frank and Albert additionally argued concerning the makes use of of armed strength and pacifistnonviolence within the face of fascism and Nazism.Frank Dietrich's letters from Manila are vibrant descriptions of a liberated urban underan uneasy career. Albert offers an insider's view of the pacifist experience,especially the protracted efforts pacifists frequently needed to salary to procure CO status.Together, the letters convey to lifestyles other ways american citizens selected to serve theircountry in the course of one in all its most deadly and critical instances.
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Extra resources for Army GI, Pacifist CO: The World War II Letters of Frank Dietrich and Albert Dietrich (World War II: the Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension)
After an “excruciating” week of loneliness, Frank again “adjusted” to living alone on base. “I am almost beginning to feel like a single man again,” he confided to Albert. 82 Christine gave birth to Sally Lou in a Pine Bluff hospital on October 20, 1944. Summoned from teaching to take a long-distance telephone call, Frank learned from his mother-in-law that he had a daughter. ”83 Taking a ten-day furlough, he arrived in Arkansas a week later to visit his wife and newborn daughter. Writing to Albert from Altheimer, he described his joy and obsessions: Honestly, I can scarcely live an instant with the infant out of my sight.
To support his claim to religious objection, he affirmed his belief in Jesus, and to support his contention that Christ’s central message was love, he quoted Biblical verse: Matthew 5:44 (“Love your enemies”) and Matthew 5:9 (“Blessed are the peacemakers”). He also linked his occupation to his religious convictions. “To me,” he explained, “the application of the principles of social work . . ”178 Albert acknowledged that his commitment to pacifism was “relatively recent” but insisted that it was sincere and based on religious principles.
Mindful that public opinion was hostile toward COs, the government did not want to be viewed as being too lenient toward objectors. At the same time, the government had learned from its experience during World War I, when 450 absolutist COs had refused military service, had been courtmartialed, and had waged individual and collective protests, including work and hunger strikes, at Fort Leavenworth and other military prisons. In 1940, the government offered COs better treatment, both to respect individual conscience and to avoid the administrative burden of handling principled and often difficult objectors.