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The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It (2000)

The story of American conscientious objectors during World War II.



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A few Americans have been conscientious objectors (COs) in every one of America's wars. But World War II, the "Good War", posed a special problem for men of conscience. Out of 16 million called to serve in the armed forces, only 42,000 refused to participate in the killing due to religious, moral, philosophical, or political convictions. But rarely for lack of courage: 25,000 served as military noncombatants, often in war zones. Some volunteered for dangerous medical experiments, enduring starvation diets and inoculation with live hepatitis virus. About 3,000 others staffed mental hospitals. Their efforts to change the horrible conditions they found led to lasting reform in the care of the mentally ill. Over 7,000 men refused any alternative service on principle and went to prison. After the war was over, COs continued to work for social and political causes. They helped to relieve the suffering of war survivors by taking the place of soldiers returning from Europe and Asia. Former ... Written by yortsnave

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A Great Documentary
19 December 2002 | by (Kent, WA) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate to see a screening of this film at the Port Townsend Film Festival. It is a remarkable documentary about the COs in WWII. COs are interviewed and tell their reasons for objecting and what they did to serve the country instead of fight. The men are from all walks of life. It was wonderful to see and hear their perspectives.

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