Happy birthday, Joseph Hofer (Oct. 25, 1894 – Nov. 29, 1918)! #Hutterite
. Conscientious objector. Martyr. Born in the Rockport Colony, Alexandria, South Dakota. In the spring of 1918, Joseph was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Camp Lewis, Washington state. He was joined by two brothers, Michael and David, as well as a brother-in-law, Jacob Wipf. Upon arrival, the four Hutterites refused to put on the military uniform or cooperate with any orders. They were promptly court-martialed and sentenced to 20 years at Alcatraz (San Francisco, California). While imprisoned, the men endured terrible mistreatment and even torture. In November they were transported to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. By this time, as a result of malnutrition and exposure to the elements, Joseph and Michael were extremely sick. Joseph died Nov. 29, and Michael died Dec. 2. David was released so he could accompany the bodies of his brothers back to South Dakota. Jacob Wipf was released the following April. Joseph and Michael are buried in the Rockport Colony cemetery (pictured).
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