Vietnam Era Oral History Project: Interview with Frank Kroncke

Transcript (PDF)

Titles Vietnam Era Oral History Project: Interview with Frank Kroncke (Supplied Title)
Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Frank Kroncke was born August 6, 1944, in Bayonne, New Jersey. He was one of nine children born to Irish and German Catholic parents. He spent much of his youth in Bayonne, until his family moved to Hastings, Minnesota in 1959. Kroncke returned to the east coast for his junior and senior year of high school in seminary in Staten Island, New York and in Indiana. He left the seminary in 1962 and attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Kroncke graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1966, earned a master’s in theology from the University of San Francisco in 1968, then started doctoral studies at the University of Chicago. He was granted various kinds of draft deferments throughout this period, but filed and received conscientious objector status. As part of his required alternative service, Kroncke worked at the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota, during which time he became activein draft board raids, including the Beaver 55 raids of February 1970 and the Minnesota 8 raids in July 1970. He was arrested for the latter raid, indicted in September 1970, and tried before Judge Philip Neville in January 1971. Kroncke was convicted of interfering with the Selective Service by attempting to destroy draft records, lost his appeal, and sentenced to five years in prison. He served 14 months at the federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota. After his release, he returned to his doctoral studies, ending with an All But Dissertation status (ABD). Kroncke worked in sales for many years, taught at Viterbo University as an adjunct, and has written several articles about the philosophy and theology underlying his actions. Now divorced, he was married for 27 years and has two sons.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: growing up in Catholic family with expectations to be a priest; illness and death of his younger brother, Joey; attending seminary and monastery, then deciding to leave; relationship with his father, a World War II veteran who died at age 48; studies at St. John’s University, University of San Francisco, and University of Chicago; growing awareness of war, antiwar movement; his changing draft status; becoming a conscientious objector; alternative service at the Newman Center on the University of Minnesota campus where he counseled young men facing the draft as well as returning veterans; being challenged to take some action to try to stop the war; learning about the Milwaukee 14 draft raiders; participating in the successful Beaver 55 draft board raids; experiences as one of the Minnesota 8, from planning to execution, to arrest, to trial and conviction; Catholic teachings and philosophy; the relationship between the masculine and the feminine in the antiwar movement, the war, and general life; trial in front of Judge Neville; serving time at Sandstone prison, during which he taught in the Sandstone elementary school; writing his unpublished memoir Patriotism Means Resistance; the play about the Minnesota 8, Peace Crimes; the effects of prison on him; and long-term personal and political legacy of the war and antiwar movement
Quantity 1 audio file
44 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 2:14:25 running time
Creation Interviewee: Kroncke, Frank
Interviewer: Heikkila, Kim
Dates Creation: 02/23/2018
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 179.43 (Library Call Number)
AV2019.70 (Accession Number)
More Info Collection Finding Aid
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Vietnam Era Oral History Project'


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