By James Penton
Since the top of worldwide struggle II, leaders of the Jehovah's Witness flow in either Germany and in different places have steadfastly argued that Witnesses have been united of their competition to Nazism and didn't collude with the 3rd Reich. records were exposed, even if, that end up another way. utilizing fabrics from Witness files, the U.S. country division, Nazi records, and different assets, M. James Penton demonstrates that whereas many traditional German Witnesses have been courageous of their competition to Nazism, their leaders have been relatively ready to aid the Hitler government.
Penton starts his research with a detailed studying of the "Declaration of proof" published by way of the Witnesses at a Berlin conference in June 1933. Witness leaders have referred to as the record a protest opposed to Nazi persecution, notwithstanding nearer exam indicates it contained sour assaults on nice Britain and the USA - together known as "the maximum and such a lot oppressive empire on the earth" - the League of countries, large company, and principally, Jews, who're often called "the representatives of devil the Devil."
It was once later, in 1933 - while the Nazis wouldn't settle for Witness blandishments - that chief J.F. Rutherford known as on Witnesses to hunt martyrdom by means of wearing on a crusade of passive resistance. Many eventually died in prisons and focus camps, and postwar Witness leaders have tried to exploit this truth to claim that Jehovah's Witnesses stood always opposed to Nazism.
Drawing on his personal Witness historical past and years of analysis on Witness heritage, Penton separates truth from fiction in this darkish period.
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Additional resources for Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics under Persecution
The racist, anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan, which was also anti-Semitic, was active in most parts of both the United States and Canada. Certain Catholic movements in both countries, and especially in the province of Quebec, were equally anti-Semitic. The Watch Tower Society's Attempted Compromise with Hitler 11 Depression began in 1929, it became evident that Adolf Hitler and the violently racist and anti-Jewish Nazis might well come to power in Germany - which they in fact did, on 30 January 1933.
Kater, 'Die Ernsten Bibelforscher im Dritten Reich/ Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte 17:2 (April 1969): 181-218; John S. Conway, The Nazi Persecution of the Churches ~ 1933-1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1968) 196-9; Christine Elizabeth King, The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-Conformity (New York and Toronto: Edwin Mellon Press, 1982), 147-79, 246-50; Detlef Garbe, Zwischen Widerstand und Martyrium: Die Zeugen Jehovas im 'Dritten Reich,' 4th ed. (Munich: R. , Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses during the Nazi Regime 1933-1945 (Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2001).
This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. 18 18 The quotation that appears here is taken from the Declaration of Facts as it appears on page 134 of the English-language 1934 Year Book of Jehovah's Witnesses. ' Regarding the latter, it stated: 'The present government of Germany has declared against Big Business oppressors and in opposition to the wrongful religious influence in the political affairs of the nation. Such is exactly our position/ Then it proclaimed: 'Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization of these principles and will give the people peace and prosperity and the greatest desire of every honest heart/19 As Jehovah's Witnesses were soon to discover, the Nazis were not impressed by their declaration, nor by a fawning letter sent to Adolf Hitler.