By Frank Dietrich
Frank and Albert Dietrich have been exact twins whose lives took very differentdirections in the course of international battle II. Drafted into the military Air Corps and informed asa radio operator, Frank used to be 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 terrible at Civilian provider Campsin South Dakota, Iowa, and Florida.Raised in an in depth, spiritual, Pittsburgh relations, Frank and Albert have been inseparable asboys, sharing a powerful social moral sense. Divided by way of battle, they saved in contact bywriting 1000's of letters to one another. The correspondence issues everythingfrom the day-by-day drudgery of service-loneliness, awful food-to heartfelt debatesabout warfare, peace, and patriotism.This soaking up collection of letters bargains clean views at the Americanexperience in the course of global conflict 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 presents an insider's view of the pacifist experience,especially the protracted efforts pacifists frequently needed to salary to acquire CO status.Together, the letters deliver to lifestyles alternative ways americans selected to serve theircountry in the course of certainly one of its most deadly and significant instances.
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Additional 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)
64 In May, on furlough, he visited Christine in Gallup. Despite their intention to wait until peacetime, they married on May 14, 1943—nine days into a ten-day furlough. S. Detroit, then in port in San Francisco, Christine’s brother, Dick, offered congratulations. “I know just how much you wanted to be married at home with all your family and friends, but I am so glad that you had sense enough to go ahead when Frank could get leave,” he wrote. ”66 In June, after visiting her family in Arkansas, Christine joined Frank in Wisconsin.
166 The pact between the government and the peace churches combined political pragmatism with the recognition of the right of conscientious objec- 00_FM_Bennett_Fordham 5/10/05 10:10 AM Page 30 30 Army GI, Pacifist CO tion. 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.
Why? First, they noted that he had enrolled in ROTC in college. Second, his twin brother, also a social worker, had joined the army, thus social work must not be antithetical to military service. Third, the FBI report, a part of his file, observed that some of Albert’s Pittsburgh neighbors were unaware that he was a pacifist, which raised questions about his sincerity and commitment. 176 In summary, Albert was not the typical religious pacifist affiliated with a historic peace church. 177 On January 28, 1943, Albert traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, and presented his appeal at a hearing before Hearing Officer Sterling F.