Interior Image Slideshow

Voices of Conscience


Voices of Conscience:

Peace Witness in the Great War

exhibit hours

The exhibit runs from November 23 to February 10, Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday 10 am to 2 pm

$7.00 suggested admission (no charge for Mennonite Heritage Center members and children under 12).

There is handicap access to exhibits.

Special tours can be scheduled by calling 215.256.3020

The exhibit features these two special programs:

Saturday, November 24, 7:00 p.m.

The Experience of Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Conscientious Objectors in World War I

with Duane Kauffman, retired Dock faculty member

Mr. Kauffman will describe the experiences of some Mennonite conscientious objectors from eastern Pennsylvania during World War I, in the context of the United States' escalating militarization in these years. What provisions, if any, did the government make for religious objectors? What were the expectations that church leaders at home had of their young COs? What kind of treatment did Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite inductees experience in their army camp? How did they respond, and how did it compare with that of Mennonites in other parts of the country? 

Joel Alderfer, MHC's Collections Manager, will follow Kauffman's lecture with an illustrated presentation, Doing Their Duty: the Experience of Area Mennonite and Brethren Boys Who Accepted Military Service in World War IAlderfer will look at a group of young men from the Salford Mennonite and Indian Creek Brethren communities who volunteered for, or were drafted into military service.

Sunday, February 10, 2:00 p.m.

Women Pacifists and Their Response to World War I

with Anne Yoder

This traveling exhibit from Kauffman Museum, North Newton, KS, remembers the witness of peace-minded people against the First World War 1914-1918. This witness included men and women, religious believers and secular humanitarians, political protesters and sectarian separatists. They resisted U.S. involvement in the war, the enactment of military conscription, the war bond drives, and the denial of freedom of speech under the Espionage and Sedition Acts. For this resistance many suffered community humiliation, federal imprisonment, and mob violence at the hands of a war-crusading American public. This exhibit lifts up the prophetic insights and the personal courage of World War I peace protesters, and suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in our world today.

The exhibit is organized in 10 themes that encourage exploration and reflection. The theme modules surround a recreation of an Alcatraz Prison cell, the site where Hutterite conscientious objectors were punished for refusing military participation. Text and quotes provide interpretation and raise provocative questions for viewers while large-scale graphics and photomurals immerse visitors in the historical experience of witnessing for peace during “total war.”

A collaborative team of historians and museum professionals developed Voices of Conscience at Kauffman Museum. The exhibit is based on Kauffman Museum’s 30 years of experience in designing and building award-winning projects with a specific focus on innovative approaches to traveling exhibits.

To learn more, visit the Mennonite Heritage Center