Friends of Franz & Ben are pleased to offer a brief but poignant comment about the moral courage of conscientious objector Franz Jagerstatter. Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books and author of All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time, knows courage in the midst of crisis. During the Vietnam War, Robert's father, Daniel Ellsberg, released what became known as the Pentagon Papers. Robert's father said that after reading of the courage of Franz Jagerstatter, Austrian Catholic who refused to cooperate with Nazism, he felt compelled to release the history of the United States Government's secret expansion of the Vietnam War. Robert Ellsberg describes Jagerstatter’s courageous journey to trial in Berlin and beheading for refusing to swear allegiance to Nazism. Ellsberg then urges us to follow our consciences with the strength and resolve Jagerstatter had.
Franz Jagerstatter's ordeal parallels the witness of Ben Salmon during the earlier World War 1. This website is dedicated to the message of Ben Salmon, a Denver, Colorado Catholic, who refuted the Catholic doctrine of Just War and followed his conscience thru forced induction, court-martial, imprisonment in "The Hole", torture, and finally a hunger strike that led to his release, but also impaired his health for his remaining days. Please browse this site to learn more of these men who obeyed their Consciences.