Jehovah's Witnesses in the Concentration Camps

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
robert knott
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Joined: 18 Nov 2003 08:30
Location: palatka

Jehovah's Witnesses in the Concentration Camps

Post by robert knott » 31 Mar 2004 23:39

Jehovah's Witnesses were one of the very first groups targeted for persecution by the Nazi regime, beginning in 1933. Both men and women were imprisoned, property was siezed, children were taken away to be reeducated, and a number were executed for adhering to their beliefs. The JWs were different from most prisoners in that they could have secured their release by merely signing a paper that renounced their religion, but only a handful did so. They have been discussed a few times before on this forum, but these topics mainly dealt with why they were arrested in the first place. But once in the camps, their behaviour was observed and has been commented on by many non-JW onlookers, including other inmates as well as their SS captors. Maybe we can focus on how they were seen as being different from the other prisoners, what made them different, and from a psychological point of view, if they had an advantage in not falling into the same despair which permeated the minds of the great majority of the inmates.

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Post by Apocalypse_Now » 01 Apr 2004 01:56

I think this is a good summation of what the SS thought of the JW's:
NAZI SS Chief Himmler was an admirer of the JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES:

"According to Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler often used the 'fanatical faith" of Jehovah's Witnesses as an example to his own SS troops. In his view, SS men had to have the same 'unshakable faith' in the National Socialist ideal and in Adolf Hitler that the Witnesses had in Jehovah. Only when all SS men believed as fanatically in their own philosophy would Adolf Hitler's state be permanently secure."


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