Monday, September 14, 2015
ELMER ANSWERS ABOUT AMISH DURING WAR
During World War II, the farm production wasn't really increased more on Amish and Old Order Mennonites farms because they were already doing as much production as they could. When I said could, there were problems during World War II - like being able to get seeds to plant, getting extra men to work on their farm during planting and harvesting seasons (a problem farmers still have), selling some of the food they grew due to the tightness of money, and more. During World War II it was a hard time on Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Englishers.
Grandfather Albert and Grandmother Olive remember when they were children people coming to their door because they were hungry. Sure some of them were hobos who just didn't work. But they mostly were people that had lost everything they had. Sometimes it was a Mother with children because her husband had gone to war. Sometimes it was men who came back for war. Grandmother Olive's Mother use to make them up a plate of food as they sat on the porch. Sometimes her Father use to let them sleep in the barn at night, give them a hot breakfast in the morning on the porch and send them on their way.
As far as Amish or Old Order Mennonite food being shipped to England during the war, they didn't think so. Englishers farmers may have, but they didn't. Now when we say that, we can't talk for all Amish or Old Order Mennonites, just in general. They were, I am sure, Amish and Old Order Mennonite who may have but most did not. They did sell what they could and gave much of it away to those in their area who didn't have food.
Which leads to another subject. Even thought Amish and Old Order Mennonites do not believe in serving in war, some did. Going back to the Civil War, some Amish and Old Order Mennonites served in the Army during the war. Some of the Amish supported the North (Yankees). In order to get out of military during that war, you could either pay $300.00 or get someone to serve for you. But some young folks back then, like today, wanted to serve and did. Some died serving, some came home injured and some came home when the war was over.
During World War I, the government did not allow all Amish and Old Order Mennonite not to serve for religious beliefs. Some did because they worked on farms, but some did not. Those that were taken for service that refused to wear a uniform or do what they were asked to do were jailed, beaten, and more. Again, some young Amish and Old Order Mennonites did go and serve because they wanted to.
During World War II things changed a bit for Amish and Old Order Mennonites. When drafted into service some worked in hospitals, on farms that raised for those in service and more. Again, some Amish and Old Order Mennonites did serve during the war in combat because they wanted to.
In fact in wars since the Civil War to today, some young Amish and Old Order Mennonites have served in the military. We do not encourage our young men to do that - it is against our beliefs. But as all young folks, they have wanted to go, wanted to serve and have done it. Some have died in service. Some have come back to their Amish and Old Order Mennonite ways. Some have joined the Englisher world.
Trust God's Wisdom,