Reflections from Emanual Hertzler
The following are reflections from Emanual Hertzler regarding his CPS experience:
"Once I was riding on a train where most of the passengers were soldiers. I found a seat beside someone in a uniform indicating high rank. He asked why I was not in uniform, and I explained that I was a conscientious objector. After a pause, he replied, ‘Well, I’ve often been objectionable, but I was never conscientious about it.’ We spent the rest of the trip in silence. Although I was aware that soldiers didn’t like me, nobody was ever openly hostile.”
“A Black man worked as a janitor in the laboratory. He would talk to me when we were alone. (My father had encouraged me to learn to know other people besides white Mennonites, particularly Jewish people and Blacks. I had been taught to befriend the Black students in my high school.) If someone else came in, the janitor would go one way and taught me to go the other. He thought if he were seen talking to me, white people would think he was cheating by talking rather than working.”
--Taken from Redefining Duty: Stories of Alternative Service in the Name of Christ 1942-70. Kern Road Mennonite Church Peace and Justice Committee. South Bend, IN: Kern Road Mennonite Church, 2010. Pp 27-32.