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The Karl Bergman Collection of Anti-Vietnam War Literature

Identifier: UASC-048


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1968-1974

Biographical / Historical

Collection of anti-Vietnam War Literature Donated December 2019

These materials were donated by Karl Bergman. His statement on the materials follows:

In 1968 I was a self-described hippie and about to turn 19 years old. I was not in college and I knew I was about to be drafted. In the Fall of 1968, I decided to join the Navy for a four-year enlistment, hoping I would avoid an almost certain trip to Vietnam.

About half of the enlistees at the recruitment office in Springfield, Massachusetts where I signed up were sent to San Diego for basic training. Next stop for them was a west coast assignment or Vietnam. Fortunately for me, I was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois for my basic training. From there I was assigned to home port in Norfolk, Virginia. Over the next three years and nine months I would serve on three different ships.

My personal beliefs formed as a "flower child" of the 70s were not particularly aligned with my life as a sailor. While stationed in Norfolk, I found individuals who had beliefs like mine. The anti-war movement was in full bloom and local peace groups were reaching out to active duty personnel for support. I went to various anti-war activities in the area and became active in a group called Concerned Military which met at the local Unitarian Church. I also began a long correspondence with a group of anti-war activist on the west coast. Through them I received many of the newspapaers and mailings in this collection. It was the 1970s well before the internet and social media so everything was done by mail. At times items were mailed directly to my duty location but other mail went to my home address when it became too uncomfortable to get it aboard ship. Other items were just picked up where I was at the time. I traveled home to Massachusetts as often as I could, sometimes twice a month when not deployed at sea in the Atlantic or Mediterranean Sea.

My enlistment ended in January of 1972. The draft ended one year later in 1973. The last troops withdrew from Vietnam in March 1973.


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Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

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