SPEAKER TO TELL STORY OF PACIFISTS TORTURED AT ALCATRAZ
The story of four pacifists who were imprisoned and tortured at Alcatraz during World War I will be the subject of the annual C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture at Bluffton University on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Making the presentation at 11 a.m. in Yoder Recital Hall will be Dr. Duane C.S. Stoltzfus, professor and chair of communication at Goshen College. His talk, titled "Standing in Chains, Armed with Prayer: Four Hutterites at Alcatraz During the Great War," is free and open to the public.
The four Hutterites—a communal branch of Anabaptists—were unwilling to serve as soldiers in World War I because of their religious beliefs. Two of them, brothers Joseph and Michael Hofer, later died in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after their transfer from Alcatraz, which was also a military prison at the time. The recent discovery of their unpublished prison letters has made a detailed account of their story possible for the first time.
Stoltzfus, who holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Goshen and has taught there since 2000. He serves as adviser for The Goshen College Record, as well as copy editor for The Mennonite Quarterly Review. He previously worked as a reporter and editor with several newspapers in New York and New Jersey, including The New York Times.
The C. Henry Smith Peace Lectureship honors the late professor and Mennonite historian who taught at Bluffton for 35 years, from 1913-48, after spending 10 years at Goshen. The lectureship is awarded each year to a faculty member from one of the Mennonite colleges, with priority given to Goshen and Bluffton faculty. The chosen faculty member must prepare a lecture that promotes the Mennonite peace stance and present it at Bluffton and Goshen.
Bluffton public relations, 2/17/12