Nazi-Fascist Attacks on Witnesses 100 YEARS

THE violence against the Witnesses in the United States was in fact mild compared to what, a few years later, began to take place in Nazi Germany and Fascist Spain and Italy. In 1933 Adolf Hitler began his 12-year dictatorship of Germany. With little or no delay, repressive measures were taken against groups that did not submit to Nazism.

In April 1933 the Nazi police occupied the Watch Tower Society’s factory in Magdeburg with a view to finding evidence that would implicate the Society with communism. That attempt failed. Yet the storm troopers returned in June, closed down the factory and raised the swastika flag over the building. On June 29 this action was reported to the German nation by radio. The German Lutheran Church cooperated with the Nazis and rejoiced in the ban against the Earnest Bible Students, as the Witnesses were also known in Germany.* Lutheran minister Otto stated: “The first results of this cooperation can already be reported in the ban today placed upon the International Association of Earnest Bible Students and its subdivisions in Saxony.” The battle against Jehovah’s Witnesses was on!

To the Concentration Camps!

Sticking to Jesus’ rule of being separate from the world, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nazi Germany refused to vote in the elections. The Nazis submitted them to public humiliation. Max Schubert from Oschatz, Saxony, was put on procession in a horse-drawn wagon with a sign held by storm troopers, saying, “I am a scoundrel and a traitor to the Fatherland, because I did not vote.” He was paraded through the streets to the public chanting of, “Where does he belong?” The mob’s answer? “In a concentration camp!” Very soon thousands of Witnesses were consigned to those infamous camps. What were conditions like there?

An official British government publication on the state of things in Germany shows that already in 1933 “flogging and torture were the order of the day, and it was common knowledge in Germany that the National Socialist [Nazi] movement was taking terrible vengeance on those who had the temerity to oppose it.” One ex-prisoner, who suffered at the Buchenwald concentration camp, stated: “The working hours were sixteen per day, Sundays and week-days alike. During these hours it was forbidden to drink, even in the hottest weather. . . . The work, of course, consists in moving heavy stones, often far beyond the strength of even a normal well-fed man.”

At that time, according to the British report, there were about 8,000 men in the camp, including “1,500 Jews and 800 Ernste Bibelforscher (International Bible Students). . . . Jewish prisoners wrote and received letters twice a month. The Bible Students were allowed no communication with the outside world . . . Herr X spoke with the highest respect of these men. Their courage and religious faith were remarkable, and they professed themselves ready to suffer to the uttermost. . . . Deaths took place daily in the camp.”

Another ex-prisoner from Buchenwald explained the reception that prisoners got at the “new City of Sorrow.” They were greeted outside the camp by superintendent Rödl with the words: “Among you are some who have already been in gaol. What you tasted there is nothing to what you’re going to get here. You’re coming inside a concentration camp, and that means you’re coming into hell. . . . We’ve only got two kinds of punishment in this camp, the lash and the death penalty.”

The concentration camps reaped a ghastly crop of millions of lives, victims of a perverted political philosophy. These people were systematically degraded, stripped of their dignity and then destroyed. Is it possible to imagine the personal agony and suffering of each one of those millions of victims?

“This Brood Will Be Exterminated!”

Some were not only victims but also martyrs, for they could have obtained their release. That was the case, according to one source, with the 10,000 Witnesses, men and women, who were victims of the sadism and brutality that Hitler and his S.S. henchmen had organized. Those Witnesses were given the opportunity to sign a paper renouncing their religion and thus go free. Very few accepted.​—See The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-Conformity, by Dr. Christine E. King.

Of the 10,000, about 2,500 never did go free, according to the above source​—they died in Dachau, Belsen, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen and other camps—​faithful to their God, Jehovah, and their exemplar, Christ. Aside from those who were gassed, many died as a result of beatings, starvation and medical experimentation. Others, including women, were executed by being hanged, beheaded or shot. Why? Because they would not violate their Christian neutrality by serving in Hitler’s armed forces or by attributing salvation to Hitler. They kept themselves separate from the world and were faithful to the end.​—Matthew 24:13.

In 1934 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany and in other countries sent telegrams to Hitler protesting his brutal treatment of the Witnesses. An eyewitness reports that when Hitler heard of this he “jumped to his feet and with clenched fists hysterically screamed: ‘This brood will be exterminated in Germany!’” Now, 50 years later, has the “brood” been exterminated?

To the contrary, they are stronger than ever. But Hitler and his Nazism have been defunct some 39 years. In contrast, there are now over 107,000 active Witnesses in the Federal Republic of Germany, plus thousands more under ban in the German Democratic Republic. The “brood” has not been exterminated. It has multiplied! They are stronger than ever!

Fascism Tries to Stop the Witness

Remember that Jesus said: “Because you are no part of the world, . . . on this account the world hates you.” This has applied to Jehovah’s Witnesses not just in Nazi Germany but all around the world​—because they have stood by Christ’s principles and example.

Prior to World War II they were also banned in Italy. When the Catholic Church signed a concordat with Mussolini’s Fascist government in 1929, it initiated a period of religious repression that stifled contact between the Watch Tower Society in Brooklyn and the Witnesses in Italy. One group of 25 faithful Italian Witnesses was given sentences ranging from 2 to 11 years in prison. Some did not complete their sentences. Why not? Because fascism fell first and the Witnesses were released.*

After the war, in 1946, there were 120 Witnesses in Italy, associated with 35 small congregations. What is the situation today? Jehovah’s Witnesses are now the second largest religion in Italy, with over 115,000 active Christians associated with about 1,600 congregations​—yes, stronger than ever!

A similar story could be told about many countries. For example, in 1959 the Ministry of the Interior in Spain gave the following instructions to the General Director of Security regarding the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Consequently, and for the purpose of radically stopping the further development of the evil described, Your Excellency should send a circular [to all Police Headquarters] . . . in which you should order, not just the simple vigilance of these activities, but the adoption of measures that would result in their being stamped out.”​—Italics ours.

A renewed wave of persecution swept through Spain and continued until 1970. Hundreds of Witnesses were fined or imprisoned simply for studying the Bible, preaching to others or remaining neutral on political issues. Were the Witnesses and their activity stamped out? To the contrary​—in 1970 they were reluctantly given legal recognition. Whereas in 1959 there had only been about 1,400 Witnesses, in 1970 there were 11,000! Now, just 14 years later, there are over 56,000 Witnesses organized into more than 840 congregations! The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has a fine branch headquarters near Madrid where the Watchtower and Awake! magazines are being printed for the Iberian Peninsula. So did the wave of Nazi-Fascist attacks up to and during World War II stamp out Jehovah’s Witnesses? No, they are stronger than ever! https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/101984884

Visit JW.org to get Spiritual and Accurate Answers to Your Questions. Bible transliterated into over 120 languages.

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Comments

  • TruthTruth Posts: 521
    edited February 7

    What differences can be found between the Nazi Watchtower and the JW Watchtower? Very few. We find that JW’s are obsessed with the Nazis. No need to wonder why.

    Unlike the JW Watchtower, YHWH, does not give us the spirit of fear. Jesus sets us free from oppression and confusion. Being God, He saves us to the uttermost and promised eternity with Him in Heaven


  • BroRandoBroRando Posts: 637

    Ahhh but you don't beleive in Jesus because his Name begins with a "J" which means 'Jehovah is Salvation'. The Nazis don't beleive that Jews should exist. You're cut from the same cloth as other Nazis idealogies whichare white supremcy and racism.

    Sooner or later your racist ideology will be exposed. I don't think the world is ready from another hilter regime backed by Lutherans and Catholics whom reject the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

    @Truth Posted


    Truth Posts: 507 January 11 Flag

    Hitler is a few steps above JW's because he at least knew more than the uneducated anonymous NWT JW translators. There is no "J" in Hebrew.

    Hitler may have destroyed millions, but not so nearly so many millions as the Watchtower and its cult of JW's. There are now over 8 million lives currently being destroyed by the Watchtower lies and its false prophecies

    If there is No "J" then No Jehovah, No Jesus, No Jews? See his demonic views. English has a "J"... when transliterated from Hebrew and Greek. Now what?

    Are you going to remove the Book of John? John means 'Jehovah has shown favor"...

    Visit JW.org to get Spiritual and Accurate Answers to Your Questions. Bible transliterated into over 120 languages.

  • TruthTruth Posts: 521
    edited February 8

    The “J” thing never occurred to me. But there you go leaping to conclusions and stating them as fact. You should consider changing your identity to Bro_CNN.

    Amusement aside, How are you so acquainted with demons? Is that simply a name-calling thing that would agitate you and your imagine will agitate others? (It doesn’t). Or is that a JW thing that you learned from the Nazi-infatuated Watchtower? Or is this odd fascination with demons a personal thing?

    Also, if I may ask, are you in the Watchtower or under fear if it? Or both?

    Please. The Watchtower is rickety. It is going to fall. You don’t want to be in it and you don’t want to be under it because broken boards, rusty nails, clouds of Watchtower dung are going to choke and crush a lot of people. Escape while there is still time. For some reason you came here and keep returning. Perhaps you are chosen for this day to find what you came here searching for.

    The Watchtower appears so big and powerful and right and frightening, until you know Truth Then suddenly, everything becomes clear.

    Post edited by Truth on
  • BroRandoBroRando Posts: 637

    Truth Posts: 507 January 11 Flag

    Hitler is a few steps above JW's because he at least knew more than the uneducated anonymous NWT JW translators. There is no "J" in Hebrew.

    How is it that you claim that "Hitler is a few steps above JW's"

    Man The Anti-Defamation League Identified As A ‘White Supremacist’ Arrested In FBI Raid

    Visit JW.org to get Spiritual and Accurate Answers to Your Questions. Bible transliterated into over 120 languages.

  • TruthTruth Posts: 521
    edited February 8

    Thanks for asking.

    Hitler allegedly made a statement that there was no "J" in Hebrew. He was correct on at least that one thing. More correct than what I understand JW"s to claim. I don't think you need to feel that discussing "J" in Hebrew is white supremist defamation of...who...JW's? Bringing Hitler into the discussion was your choice. Not mine. Let love prevail.

    If there is No "J" then No Jehovah, No Jesus, No Jews? 

    Connecting J with Jehovah, Jesus, or Jews in Hebrew is what did not occur to me to do. That did occur to you. None of those "J" words are Hebrew words, and do not appear in any Hebrew text. Those are English transliterations. They work OK but miss something that happens in my heart with the word YHWH (a transliteration). It may be a personal or spiritual thing, but I hope others can experience it with value the way I do.

    If I am not mistaken, you said that there is a J in Hebrew. Allegedly, the JW's say there is a J and thus they use the Catholic monks contrived word "Jehovah." I think we all understand how that came about and I don't worry much about it. The point is that there is no "J" in Hebrew, so it's not worth building much of a case for the term that is probably not how God's name is pronounced.

    However, I suggest that none of us high center on how to pronounce God's name. I suppose none of us know exactly. More important is to know Him.

  • BroRandoBroRando Posts: 637
    What Is God’s Name?

    When trying to get to know someone, the first thing you would likely do is ask, “What is your name?” If you were to ask God that question, what would he say?

    “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”​—Isaiah 42:8.

    Is that name new to you? It may well be, because many translators of the Bible use God’s name sparingly, if at all. They often replace it with the title “LORD.” Yet, God’s name actually occurs some 7,000 times throughout the original-language text of the Bible. The name consists of four Hebrew consonants, corresponding to YHWH or JHVH, and has historically been rendered “Jehovah” in English.

    God’s name appears throughout the Hebrew text and is found in many translations


    Dead Sea Psalms Scroll First century C.E., HEBREW


    Tyndale’s translation 1530, ENGLISH


    Reina-Valera version 1602, SPANISH


    Union Version 1919, CHINESE

    WHY GOD’S NAME MATTERS

    The name matters to God himself. No one gave God his name; he chose it for himself. Jehovah declared: “This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3:15) In the Bible, God’s name occurs more often than any of his titles, such as Almighty, Father, Lord, or God, and more often than any other personal name, such as Abraham, Moses, David, or Jesus. What is more, it is Jehovah’s will that his name be known. The Bible states: “May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”​—Psalm 83:18.

    The name matters to Jesus. In what has been called the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his followers to petition God with the words: “Let your name be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9) Jesus himself prayed to God: “Father, glorify your name.” (John 12:28) Jesus made glorifying God’s name a priority in his life, and for this reason he could say in prayer: “I have made your name known to them and will make it known.”​—John 17:26.

    The name matters to those who know God. God’s people in the past understood that their protection and salvation were linked to God’s unique name. “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous one runs and receives protection.” (Proverbs 18:10) “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Joel 2:32) The Bible shows that God’s name would distinguish those who serve him. “For all the peoples will walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God forever and ever.”​—Micah 4:5; Acts 15:14.

    WHAT THE NAME REVEALS

    The name uniquely identifies God. Many scholars conclude that the name Jehovah means “He Causes to Become.” Jehovah God gave insight into the meaning of his name when he referred to himself with these words spoken to Moses: “I Will Become What I Choose to Become.” (Exodus 3:14) God’s name thus conveys more than his role as the Creator who causes all things to come into existence. His name expresses his ability to cause himself as well as his creation to become whatever is needed to achieve his purpose. While titles may describe God’s position, authority, or power, it is only his name, Jehovah, that embodies all that he is and can become.

    The name reveals God’s interest in us. The meaning of God’s name implies his ongoing attachment to his creation, which includes us. Moreover, the fact that God has made his name known indicates that he wants us to know him. After all, he took the initiative to tell us his name before we even knew to ask for it. Clearly, God wants us to view him, not as some vague and distant deity, but as a real Person we can draw close to.​—Psalm 73:28.

    Using God’s name reveals our interest in him. To illustrate, you may ask someone you hope to befriend to call you by your given name. How would you feel if that person persistently refused to use your name? In time you would likely wonder whether that person really wanted to be close to you. So it goes with God. Jehovah has told mankind his name, and he encourages us to use it. When we do, we show Jehovah that we want to get close to him. Why, he even notices “those meditating on [or, “treasuring,” footnote] his name”!​—Malachi 3:16.

    Learning God’s name is the vital first step in knowing him. But we must not stop there. We need to discover the Person behind the name. We need to learn what he is like.

    Visit JW.org to get Spiritual and Accurate Answers to Your Questions. Bible transliterated into over 120 languages.

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