CPS Worker 003750 - Gunden, Cleland C.

CPS Worker 003750 - Gunden, Cleland C.

Birth year: 1919

Denomination: Mennonite Old

Original occupation: Farm laborer

Drafted from: Goshen , United States

Entered CPS: 6 23, 1941

Left CPS: 12 8, 1945


Gunden's reflections on his time at Norristown Hospital:


The hospital was a large institution with a population of 5,000 patients.  As an attendant on an epileptic ward I found this experience was a challenge and an unforgettable learning experience.


After three months, in February 1943, I was transferred to the hospital storeroom where all hospital supplies were received and delivered to the various departments.  A short time later the head storekeeper was drafted into the military and before he left he graciously taught me the duties of managing the storeroom and doing the bookkeeping.  Another CPS man came in to help and we tended the storeroom until the former storekeeper returned from military service.


My release came in December 1945 but I stayed on at the hospital and worked for another three months.  We learned to work with many different people.  We observed abuse first hand in the hospital and experienced how minority persons felt.  Mennonite, Brethren and Quakers all worked together.  None of us was worried about so-called “integration.”


We were all in this together.  These experiences have remained in my storehouse of memories and the friendships have continued to be part of my life. 



--Taken from Peace Committee and Seniors for Peace Coordinating Committee of the College Mennonite Church of Goshen, Indiana, “Detour . . . Main Highway”: Our CPS Stories. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1995, 2000. p21.