This site tells the story of nearly 12,000 conscientious objectors to war who chose Civilian Public Service in World War II. At the heart of the site rest the names of those men, the communities from which they entered, and the camps in which they served.
The site features a database of names and a listing of the more than 150 camps which you can search to learn more about this effort to protect the rights of conscience during WWII.
While the site was launched on May 15, 2011, the 70th anniversary of the opening of the first CPS Camp in 1941, it remains under construction. We will continue to collect the personal stories of the men and women who served, and develop Part Four: The Story Continues, giving voice to those who today choose to live peace in time of continuous wars.
To the conscientious objector men and women who acted on their beliefs to live peace in a time of war.
To the COs gathered for the final All CPS Camp Reunion in McPherson, Kansas, who in October 2009, approved the creation of a CPS Memorial Website and appointed a committee to determine the type of memorial. The Kansas Committee for a CPS Memorial recommended the creation of a website memorial that would make visible the names of the nearly 12,000 men who served and describe the more than 150 camps and units where they performed “work of national importance”. Then they sought help from Mennonite Central Committee to work with others from the Historic Peace Church organizations to create the site.
To the Partners
Center on Conscience and War, Director J.E. McNeil and her staff, who made the database of the Directory of Civilian Public Service, Revised 1996, available for this site.
The Kansas Committee for a CPS Memorial, Wilmer A. Harms, Jacob D. Goering, and Robert S. Kreider, along with Vic Goering, treasurer of the All CPS Camp Reunion Group, and the CPS men and women who provided financial support.
Mennonite Central Committee, US, who through Rolando Santiago, Executive Director; Timothy Seidel, Director of Peace and Justice Ministries; and Titus M. Peachey, Director of Peace Education agreed to work in partnership to create the site.
Mennonite Central Committee, Canada, Nathan Isaak, Website Manager, who created the architecture to support the design.
To the People
Content Consultants, Researchers and Contributors:
Carl R. Andreas, Rosalind E. Andreas, Paul Dekar, Rachel Waltner Goossen, Salome Fast Holsinger, McGarvey Ice, Jeffrey Kovac, Nicholas A. Krehbiel, Robert S. Kreider, Susan Mark Landis, Colleen McFarland, Jean Carper Miller, Beth Mullin, Titus M. Peachey, Rich Preheim, Kenneth M. Shaffer, Jr., Robert J. Siemens, John Thiesen, Anne M. Yoder
Content Review Team: Wendy E. Chmielewski, Rachel Waltner Goossen, Jeffrey Kovac, Nicholas A. Krehbiel, J. Kenneth Kreider, Anne M. Yoder, who reviewed all camp and unit descriptions
Other Reviewers: Glenda Bissex, Mary Jane Dickerson, Laura Fulwiler, Toby Fulwiler, Corrine Glesne, Rebecca Sherlock, Michael J. Strauss, Hubert M. Vogelmann
Database Consultation and Assistance: The Kansas Committee for a CPS Memorial, Julie Aeschliman, Wendy E. Chmielewski, Valerie Hildebrand, Eileen Kristiansen, University of Vermont CIT Helpline, Anne M. Yoder
Design Consultation: Nathan Isaak, Rachel Pannabecker, Robert Regier, Brian Stucky, John Thiesen
Digital Image Selection and Assistance:
CPS alumni Selection Team of Luke Birky, John J. Fisher, Jr., Lawrence Greaser, and Mabel Umble of Goshen, Indiana, working with Colleen McFarland and Natasha Sawatsky-Kingsley at Mennonite Church USA Archives.
Jonathan Brumbaugh Keeney, Brethren Historical Library and Archives
John Thiesen, Mennonite Library and Archives
Anne M. Yoder, Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Project Managers: Rosalind E. Andreas and Titus M. Peachey
Site Construction: Kelley Ewert, Jared Hankee, Valerie E. Hildebrand, Nathan Isaak, Titus M. Peachey
To the Archival Collections
Brethren Historical Library and Archives:
Terrell Barkley, Mary Osborne, Kenneth B. Shaffer, Jr., (deceased)
Lewis and Clark College:
Doug Erickson and Paul Merchant
Mennonite Church USA Archives – Goshen:
Colleen McFarland, Rich Preheim, Natasha Sawatsky-Kingsley
Mennonite Library and Archives
Mennonite Church USA Archives - North Newton:
Swarthmore College Peace Collection:
Barbara Addison, Wendy E. Chmielewski, Mary Beth Sigado, Anne M. Yoder