What is the significant role of the German language in Peace Shall Destroy Many, and are there any quotes supporting the evidence?

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The German language in the novel Peace Shall Destroy Many represents a refusal to change and adapt and an adherence to traditions that have long since past. In the 1940s in Saskatchewan, the Mennonite community has mandated that the members only speak in German, adhering to principles that Mennonites practiced when they originated in Germany.

This is indicative of the church at large refusing to adapt and incorporate itself with the rest of the world. They take literally the idea "Be in the world, not of the world" and refuse to associate themselves with anything in the North American continent, because they are following Mennonite tenants.

The church members similarly only accept the teaching and dogma of their Deacon. This causes them to reject some interpretations of scripture that would encourage unity, which they desperately need. Their refusal to change any antiquated customs hinders their missionary efforts and keeps them secluded and isolated, much like one would in modern days if they were living in North America and spoke only German, one of the least common Western languages in this hemisphere.

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In Peace Shall Destroy Many, the Wapiti Mennonite Church's mandate of using only the German language points to more than just its fervent adherence to German tradition. It also functions as a kind of guiding social and political axiom that formalizes its leadership's xenophobia and dogmatic resistance to outside thought. Peter Block, the head deacon, has a very reductive and vague conception of peace as the condition of being “undisturbed by the world." The odd linguistic constraint imposed by the church parallels its narrow-minded reading of Biblical texts. The church's dogma also makes it vulnerable to moral ills, including rampant racism, which is perpetuated by Block himself—he refers to the people excluded from membership as primitive "half breeds."

Accepting only the church leadership's interpretation of the Bible, Deacon Block's Mennonite Church ironically implodes without the strength and cohesion supplied by ideological diversity. The collapse happens when members, such as Thom, realize that there is no real supreme authority backing the Deacon up, just as there is no supreme linguistic truth that gives German primacy over the world's other languages.

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