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A traveling exhibit,  Kauffman Museum, Bethel College, Newton KS, that remembers the witness of peace-minded people against the First World War 1914-1918. This witness included men and women, religious believers and secular humanitarians, political protesters and sectarian separatists. They resisted U.S. involvement in the war, the enactment of military conscription, the war bond drives, and the denial of freedom of speech under the Espionage and Sedition Acts. For this resistance many suffered community humiliation, federal imprisonment, and mob violence at the hands of a war-crusading American public. This exhibit lifts up the prophetic insights and the personal courage of World War I peace protesters, and suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in our world today.

Ten themes are presented with text and quotes, large-scale graphics and photomurals surrounding a recreation of an Alcatraz prison cell where conscientious objectors were incarcerated. 

On display as well will be Archives materials from Eastern Mennonite University and the Virginia Mennonite Conference, concerning eight conscientious objectors, and highlighting the trial of pastors Rhine Benner and L. J. Heatwole, charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for telling congregation members not to buy U.S. bonds and War Savings Stamps.


Thursday, Oct. 4, Martin Chapel, 7 p.m.: “Lloy Kniss and Mennonite conscientious objection to World War I.” Phil Kniss, senior pastor at Park View Mennonite Church, will tell the story of his grandfather, drafted and sent to Camp Greenleaf in Georgia.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, MainStage Theater, 4 p.m.: “On the front lines of conscience: an account of four Hutterites imprisoned at Alcatraz.” Duane Stoltzfus, professor of communication at Goshen College and author of Pacifists in chains: The persecution of Hutterites during the Great War (Johns Hopkins, 2013).

Tuesday, Nov. 6, Martin Chapel, 7 p.m.: “American Mennonites, the WWI experience, and a ‘third way’ rhetorical crucible.” EMU President Susan Schultz Huxman - Cancelled 

Thursday, Nov. 15, Martin Chapel, 7 p.m.: “Expanding the narrative: WWI conscientious objectors in their own words.” Anne Yoder, archivist at Swarthmore College’s Peace Collection. - CANCELLED