Also, it's an insult to those conscientious objectors that were shot, in Britain at least, during WWI for not joining the war.
Can you explain more please?
I understood that although CO's, in some places where treated terribly, and died as a result of that treatment - they where not 'shot' or 'executed'.
Although there was a gray area due to CO's being able to prove they where CO's - there would seem to be a clear contrast with those who were NOT CO's. but instead DID join the military and take up arms, but where then court-martialled for desertion - and executed by firing squad.
From March 1916, military service was compulsory for all single men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 18 to 41, except those who were in jobs essential to the war effort, the sole support of dependents, medically unfit, or ‘those who could show a conscientious objection’.
Awake 22 August 1982, page 11 - “Lest We Forget . . . ”
In the March 14, 1982, issue of the Manchester Guardian Weekly, the following appeared among the letters to the editor, on page 2, under the title of “Inhuman Acts on Conscientious Objectors”:
“I was very interested to read Harry Whewell’s article ‘. . . Nor the years condemn’ (February 21). In it he mentions plans to turn the cells of Richmond Castle, Yorkshire, into a permanent memorial to the conscientious objectors of the first world war.
“The treatment he describes of those intrepid men reminds me of that meted out to my friend Frank Platt, who died in Mill Hill, London in 1974. He was one of those who were transported to France and then submitted to the most horrendous torture in an attempt to make him take up arms against his fellow man and fellow Christians.
“He was given ‘shot drill’ that required him to carry a 30 lb weight at arm’s length and repeatedly put it down and pick it up again until he finally fell exhausted to the ground. This after three months of a bread and water diet. For having collapsed he was sentenced to another 18 days of shot drill.
“When this had terminated he was bashed in the face several times and then tied day after day by the shoulders, hands and feet to a beam in a tiny storeroom from 8 am until 8 pm with an hour’s break for cold rice and water. From there he was transferred to the ‘Black Hole of Le Havre’, where some prisoners were even beaten to death. Fortunately Frank survived the experience and kept his integrity.
“When I faced the same issue in 1950 things had greatly changed. I received a six months’ prison sentence. But as your writer correctly states many other countries are still way behind on understanding this issue of conscience. It is an international phenomenon of those who would sow peace and love. Let it not be forgotten that there were also thousands of German conscientious objectors, many of them Jehovah’s Witnesses like Frank Platt, who spent more than a decade in the concentration camps. Many of them also breathed their last in those infamous places. But the victory was theirs.“Eric Beveridge, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.”