Nazi Conciliation question...

by AuldSoul 34 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Kent

    How we love the traitor Erich Frost! On the website Music Of The Holocaust you can find the music of Erich Frost, the Watchtower leader and traitor, who did send houndreds of his fellow JWs to consentration camps! This is something who can make you really sick - if you know the true story! Stand Fast - (Fest steht)Sachsenhausen concentration camp, 1942 Lyricist and composer: Erich Frost Language: German Men's Choir directed by Erich Frost Erich Frost (1900-1987), a musician and devout Jehovah's Witness, was active in the religious resistance to Hitler's authority. Caught smuggling pamphlets from Switzerland to Germany, he was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin where he composed this song in 1942. Later deported to a labor camp at Alderney, Channel Islands, Frost survived the war and returned to Germany to serve the Watchtower Society. Fest steht, reworked in English as Forward, You Witnesses, is among the most popular of Jehovah's Witness hymns. This performance, evoking some of the song's original spirit, took place under Frost's direction at an event held in Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 1960s. Simone Arnold Liebster, who sings the English version of the song, was born in 1930 in Mulhouse, French Alsace. After the incorporation of Alsace into the German Reich during World War II, Liebster's family suffered increasing harrassment from the Nazis for following the Jehovah's Witness faith. Eventually both her father (Adolphe Arnold) and mother were arrested and sent to concentration and detention camps while she was placed in a correctional institution for "nonconformist" youth. Liebster has published an autobiography, Facing the Lion: Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe.

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Lobo


    Posted by Lobo [Lobo] on January 06, 2000 at on H2O

    In Reply to: JW Holocaust Museum posted by Kent on January 06, 2000 at 12:21:36:


    Is it not official site of the Watchtower Society? If my memory serves me well, a few weeks back, someone here posted a link to a discussion on about this site and similar ones. Several active JWs called Brooklyn, and they were told that these sites were run by the Watchtower Society. By these sites I mean in different languages.

    I’m baffled why on official site of the Watchtower will post a link to information contradiction the “present truth” about the number of JWs who died during the holocaust. It says very clear:

    1.200 starben oder wurden ermordet not 10, 000.

    Kent, I think you caught the Watchtower in another big whopper, and its “supporters” are just contradicting the official count of JWs dead in concentration camps. The Watchtower is off by a factor 10. When do you think we will see the number revised down?


  • Atlantis
    STANDHAFT.ORG Information zur WebSite
    Besucher seit März 1999Letzte Aktualisierung - 06. Oktober 2003
    FORSCHUNG - Biographien, Beiträge von Historikern, Forum
    Archiv.Vegelahn - Bibliographie über die Verfolgung der Zeugen Jehovas in der NS-Zeit und in der DDR
    Die Verfolgung der Zeugen Jehovas im Raum Wuppertal Biographien von Gertrud Poetzinger, Lothar Hoernig und viele mehr Verfolgung und Widerstand - Referate, Beiträge, Abhandlungen
    MEDIEN - Bücher, Videos und Links zu dieser Thematik
    Hans Werner Kusserow: Der lila Winkel - Die Familie Kusserow - Der authentische Bericht eines Zeitzeugen Hosrst Schmidt -Biografie- Der Tod kam immer montags Urauffuehrung - Das Maedchen mit dem lila Winkel
    Max Liebster - Hoffnungsstrahl im Nazisturm Arnold-Liebster-Stiftung Simone Liebster - Allein vor dem Loewen Repressionen und Selbstbehauptung
    Neue interessante Webseiten
    EVENTS - Infos und Highlights zu interessanten Veranstaltungen
    Sonderausstellung Berlin-Mitte (BStU)
    INFOS - Allgemeine Informationen zu dieser Website
    Steinheimer Nachrichten - Interview mit Alexander Strobel

    Link is listed in post above.

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Norm

    Traitors and heroes. The whitewashed history of the Watchtower Society in Nazi Germany. The man who became leader of the German branch of the Watchtower Society after the war is without exception portrayed as a beacon of virtue and faith, standing fearless against the Nazis:Norman Hovland

    *** w89 5/1 12 Jehovah Has Sustained Me as a Friend ***
    Many of the loyal ones, among them Erich Frost and Konrad Franke, who suffered much for the Lord’s sake and later became branch overseers in Germany, returned alive from the fiery furnace of persecution.

    Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Erich Frost and many of the other Watchtower leaders during the Nazi era in Germany were in reality traitors of the worst kind.
    It is quite interesting to see how the Watchtower literature itself confirms the information Mr. Frost gave to the Gestapo. In 1979 the Watchtower magazine published the story of llse Unterdörfer and Elfride Löhr. Erich Frost’s life story was published already in 1961. Their story is extremely interesting because they confirm a lot of what is written in Frost’s interrogation protocol.

    It is highly likely that Frost was recruited as an informer for the Gestapo already in 1934, when he was arrested and released after 10days:

    *** w61 4/15 245 Deliverance from Totalitarian Inquisition Through Faith in God *** In the spring of 1934 I was introduced to the inside of a prison for ten days, then released.

    In 1935 he was again brought in by the Gestapo because they needed the names of all the Watchtower leaders in Germany. Here is Frost’s version of what happened.

    *** w61 4/15 245 Deliverance from Totalitarian Inquisition Through Faith in God ***
    Upon returning to Germany in May, 1935, I took part in the underground work. On the night of June 13 I was arrested at my hotel and taken to Berlin’s "Columbia House," where I spent the worst five months of my life. Clubbed and stepped on, always in solitary confinement, vexed and humbled daily, I learned then that humans could become beasts. A Gestapo agent’s senseless questions failed to convict me of being a revolutionist. Unexpectedly I was released and soon faded back into the underground to serve Jehovah further.

    Frost could now inform the Gestapo about the upcoming convention in Switzerland and the Gestapo saw how they could place their own informer in a central position in the German branch of the Watchtower organization. Having received the necessary information from Frost they were able to arrest them all, as the Watchtower confirm

    *** w79 11/1 9 We Did Not Give Up! *** In August 1936, the German gestapo (secret police) began a concerted campaign against our underground organization. Fritz Winkler, who had oversight of our work, and most of the regional directors were arrested and imprisoned.

    *** w61 4/15 245 Deliverance from Totalitarian Inquisition Through Faith in God ***
    Preparations got under way for a convention in Lucerne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the Nazis began a new drive against us. Already most of the brothers holding responsible positions had been arrested. My efforts were to pick up the loose ends and get things going again. Numberless back doors and windows provided narrow escapes from the Gestapo, but my mother and brother were arrested.

    The Gestapo had thus moved Frost into the perfect position and they really had great success because during the Luzern convention Frost was indeed appointed the new leader of the underground work in Germany by J.F. Rutherford. Ilse Unterdörfer was also assigned to this work. Frost stated in the Watchtower:

    *** w61 4/15 245 Deliverance from Totalitarian Inquisition Through Faith in God ***
    Attending the Lucerne convention in September, 1936, was the Society’s president, Brother Rutherford, and 2,500 of us from Germany. I was assigned to reorganize the severely disrupted underground work, and began immediately.

    The Gestapo was of course interested in getting the names of the new WT underground leadership but gave them some time to set up the organization before they went to work.

    Frost describe his arrest in the Watchtower:

    *** w61 4/15 246 Deliverance from Totalitarian Inquisition Through Faith in God ***
    The annual Memorial celebration of Christ’s death was due March 27, 1937. I had arranged to meet with ten brothers at that time to discuss the underground activity. At two o’clock in the morning came heavy blows and kicking against the apartment door! In seconds I hid a small roll of paper containing vital information in the mattress of my couch. In came ten secret police: "All right, get up and get dressed, Frost. The jig is up!" I prayed to Jehovah and proceeded to dress while they turned the room into shambles. The small roll was never found.

    Frost doesn’t give any date for his arrest but according to Ilse Unterdörfer this must have happened on March 21, 1937 the date she gives for the arrest of her and Frost. Frost brags about hiding "a small roll of paper containing vital information in the mattress of my couch" but this was of course a lie. The Gestapo interrogation protocols show that he had betrayed the entire group of Watchtower officials already on April 2, 1937, 11 days after his arrest, so the Gestapo never needed the "small roll":

    *** w79 11/1 10 We Did Not Give Up! ***Then, on March 21, 1937, less than two weeks after I first met Elfriede, Brother Frost and I were arrested. About the same time, certain regional service directors also fell into the hands of the Gestapo. Brother Heinrich Dietschi, a regional service director who was still free, assumed oversight of the work in Brother Frost’s absence.

    Heinrich Dietschi was appointed by Rutherford to take over in case Frost was arrested:

    *** yb74 154 Germany (Part One) ***So it was that, for the time being, Brother Frost was appointed to take over the responsibility. Then Brother Rutherford asked: ‘What happens if you are arrested?’ In the case of Brother Frost’s arrest, Brother Dietschi was recommended by the brothers to take over.

    Thanks to Erich Frost’s treason the Gestapo had the identity of all the newly appointed members of the Watchtower "underground" at this early date, including the above mentioned Heinrich Dietschi. All was listed by name and assigned districts by Frost in the Gestapo documents:

    „Georg R a b e. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Ostpreußen
    2. Westpreussen
    3. Pommern
    4. Mecklenburg.

    Artur N a w r o t h. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Ostschlesien
    2. Grensmark.

    August F e h s t. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Westschlesien
    2. Sachsen (östlich der Elbe), nach der Festnähme den Bezirksdienern Wilhelm E n g e l, festgenommen in Dezember 36 oder Januar 37.

    Otto D a u t h. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Berlin
    2. Mark Brandenburg.

    Fred M e i e r. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Westsachsen bis einschließlichAnhalt.

    Walther F r i e s e. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Thüringen
    2. Harsgebiet
    3. (? handwritten)

    Heinrich D i t s c h i. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Schleswig-Holstein
    2. Oldenburg
    3. Ruhrgebiet, Westfalen.

    Albert W a n d r e s. Bezirksdiener für
    1. Rheinland
    2. Baden
    3. Württemberg

    Kurt S i e n b e n e i c h l e r. Bezirksdiener für
    1 Bayern."

    In a document dated April 26, 1937. Frost made the following statements to the Gestapo:

    "On March 6, 1937, on the last day of the big meeting in Berlin, Sienbeneichler was not present and we were worried. I therefore sent Ilse Unterdörfer immediately to Munich to find out about Sienbeneichler. I gave Unterdörfer a Munich phone number mentioned to me by Sienbeneichler. Calling this number Unterdörfer got in touch with a sister unknown to me, which went under the name „Gertrud". As far as I can recall, this Gertrud is identical to Elfriede Löhr, from Munich. I at least assume that this is the case, at the moment I can’t be anymore specific."

    This information which Frost gave to the Gestapo was very accurate as can be seen from the Watchtower:

    *** w79 11/1 9 We Did Not Give Up! ***It was an assignment from Brother Frost that sent me to Munich to locate Elfriede Löhr. The only thing I knew about her was that her father was a dentist. I found their address in the telephone directory and, as a precaution, phoned first. When we met, I told Elfriede that she had been invited to work full time with us.

    The Watchtower tell us about Elfriede’s confusion when Ilse and Erich doesn’t show up for the appointed meeting:

    *** w79 11/1 10 We Did Not Give Up! ***She wondered: "Who is Brother Frost’s successor, and how can I meet him?" After praying to Jehovah, it came to her mind to seek contact in the town of Leutkirch, about 150 km (90 mi.) from Munich. In Leutkirch, on that very day she met the brother whom Brother Dietschi had sent to locate her. Surely this seemed to be by angelic direction!

    How sweet! Pity the angels didn’t concern themselves with Frost who was busy like a beaver supplying the Gestapo with the necessary information that would later see Elfriede behind bars. Ilse Unterdörfer confirm that the Gestapo did indeed arrest Elfriede:

    *** w79 11/1 10-11 We Did Not Give Up! ***MEETING EACH OTHER AGAINThus, while Elfriede was free, I found myself in the grip of the gestapo. At first I was sentenced only to a year and nine months. But immediately after serving the sentence, I was arrested again and sent to the Lichtenburg concentration camp, early in 1939. To my great surprise, Elfriede was there when I arrived.

    Yes, the traitor and later leader of the German branch office did a good job for the Gestapo and he became very popular among the Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany after the war. He was very kind to Ilse and Elfriede and sent them to Brooklyn to attend the Gilead school. Another interesting bit of information can be found in this quote form the Watchower:

    *** yb74 160 Germany (Part One) ***Extensive preparations were also made for a transportable radio transmitter to be built in the Netherlands and put into operation sometime in the fall of 1937. The Gestapo had already got wind of this and were furious with Brother Dietschi, whose name they knew but who proved to be just as elusive as Brother Wandres.

    The Gestapo documents show that the source of Dietschi’s connections to Netherlands came from Frost. After this coup by the Gestapo, Frost wasn’t of very much use for them anymore, the entire Watchtower underground network was destroyed apart from some few scattered individuals who wasn’t able to do much. Some of them was arrested as late as 1944, brought to a "correction house" in the Brandenburg district. One of them, Wilhelm Schumann was starting up the German Watchtower branch after the war. Both Schumann and Frost was after the war hailed as "faithful" and "steadfast" brothers. As documented above Frost was far from "faithful" to anyone but himself and the Gestapo.

    After Schumann’s arrest in January/February of 1944 he was confined to Correction house Brandenburg (Havel) Görden. Schumann is mentioned in the 1974 yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses as working on the Photo Drama:

    "*** yb74 96 Germany (Part One) *** There was no color photography at the time, but Wilhelm Schumann of the Magdeburg Bethel was untiring in his efforts to touch up the black-and-white photographs with color."

    In 1944 the happy days of touching up the black and white pictures for the "Photo Drama" must have seemed ages ago, when the grim reality of death stared Herr Schumann in the face.

    What did he do? He wrote the following letter:

    "The third Senate of the Peoples Court in Berlin

    Correction house
    Brandenburg (Havel) Görden 22 October 1944

    Great Senate!

    With this I humbly allow myself to ask you to recommend that my plea of pardon from the death penalty get priority…

    If possible I would give my support to the thousands of Germans, friends of our people, members of farming and agriculture, the war industry, the defense forces and the leaders of the party, the commerce which has supplied us and defended us at the front…

    It has been far from me to carry out any political activity to destroy the defense moral, as I am accused of…

    I have to admit that I through the writings of the IBV (International Biblestudents Association), was mislead to believe that the will of the Fürer, to save the German nation from ruin by Bolshevism, was a deception, that it was really about supporting the Catholic hierarchy’s pursuit for world domination. Today, however, when the fight for our people, our nation’s very existence stands at our very borders, I see that I, although too late must realize that all the political predictions of the Biblestudents is merely fantasies and false teachings which simply bring harm, this I have been considering.

    Since the middle of this year I have through instructive conversations with my Gestapo official in charge, Herr Rabold come to realize that I instead of being of benefit to our people, have by this insane undertaking only caused harm and in addition plunged my family into nameless misery. My wish is that God some day will give me the opportunity to take part in the fight for our people and thus for my family, be this as it may, but I request the opportunity to do my duty as a German. This is my prayer.

    Wilhelm Schumann"

    There is of course no reason to criticize Schumann for trying to save his life by publicly distancing himself from the "Biblestudents" (Jehovah's Witnesses) and calling the Watchtower writings "fantasies" and "false teachings". He probably also had good reason to be proud of his contributions to the Nazi war machine. But the behavior of Schumann, Frost and many of the other Watchtower leaders in Germany during the war is very, very far from the picture the Watchtower literature has been trying to portray ever since. As in every other instance where the Watchtower Society is trying to write their own history, not much of it stands the test of a thorough investigation. In 1989 the Watchtower wrote the following:

    *** w89 5/1 12 Jehovah Has Sustained Me as a Friend ***
    These traitors each came to a bad end. As the Nazis said, they loved the betrayal but not the betrayer. All three were sent to the eastern front and never came back. How different it turned out for those who never gave up friendship with God and his people! Many of the loyal ones, among them Erich Frost and Konrad Franke, who suffered much for the Lord’s sake and later became branch overseers in Germany, returned alive from the fiery furnace of persecution.

    Well, as we have documented, the Watchtower Society really did love their traitors, so much so that some of them even became leaders of the Watchtower in Germany after the war. Probably the worst traitor of them all, Erich Frost, was a well-respected leader for many, many years.

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Gebhard What beans did Konrad Franke spill out? Manfred Gebhard

    Document of the
    Security Service
    of the Empire Storm Troupers Command
    Sub-department Upper Rhine
    II 113 V. 494/35 (Dated: 22. 9. 1936)

    To the Security head quarters RFSS
    Department II 113
    Berlin S. W. 68

    Concerning: International Bible Students Association
    Action: There FS Nr. 29068 v. 29. 8. 36
    " Paper. I/112 21-6 v. 3. 9. 36

    In pursuing the from there ordered winding up of the International Bible
    Students Association, an intermediate report with the following data is to
    be transmitted to there.

    1. The district leader Franke, Konrad, who was named by the Protocol
    Winkler district leader Mainz, has been arrested. He was found to have a
    gramophone with disks of the Bible Students. After denying at first Franke
    admitted to have worked illegally for the Bible Students Association. Closer
    details about his activities are revealed in appendix 1 enclosed
    interrogation protocol.

    2. Because of the admissions of Franke the travelling salesperson Steinbach
    was arrested, according to the verbal admissions of Franke, he was active as
    leading servant for Frankfurt a. M. Steinbach denies knowing Winkler and
    since the ban
    he has not been active. Further investigations into these matters are still
    being carried out.

    3. Under the urgent suspicion of being in touch with Franke, the followingarrests were made:

    a. Kubalski, Hermann, Adolf, born 22. 10. 1892.residing in Viesen Kr. Altenkirchen. Kubalski admits receiving printed
    articles from a person (probably Franke) in the spring of 1936. (refer
    attachment 2).

    b. Neitzert, Frieda, single, born. 28. 2. 1916 in Hohensayn, residing in
    Hohensayn, Circuit Altenkirchen. During internment a recorded disk of the
    International Bible Students Association was found on her. To date she has
    not given us any further information. (refer Attachment 3).

    c. Michaelis, Lisbeth, married, born 16. 9. 1912 in Berlin, resident in
    Neuwied a/Rhn. Found on M. was the "Yearbook 1936 of the Jehovah's
    Witnesses" The origins of this book is unknown at this time. (refer
    Attachment 4).

    d. Michaelis, Fritz Robert, born 1. 2.1900 in Breslau, resident in Neuwied a
    /Rhn. The named is the husband of c named. He too did not make any
    statements (refer Attachment 5).

    e. Kreier, Friedrich, born 5. 2. 1899 to Neuwied, living there now. Kreier
    admits to being active after the ban. He also has distributed magazines and
    books. He also admits to being present at discussions, but refuses to
    elaborate further on the circumstances. (Attachment 6)

    f. Brandt, nee Giloy, Widow born 11. 7.1896 in Hochstetten Circuit
    Kreuznach, still resident there. Illegal material was also found on Brand.
    refused to elaborate further on the matter at this time. During further
    interrogation it was possible to get the named to make a statement. She
    revealed that she was visited by a brother of the Association named Wagner
    from Mainz-Weisenau from time to time, most recently in July 1936. Wagner
    delivered the material to her. Out of the interrogation it can be concluded
    that Wagner acted as courier between the district-servant-leader and lower
    entities. An interrogation of Wagner is not yet on the agenda.

    It can be assumed with certainty that the named from a-f were in touch with
    Franke either directly or indirectly and illegally worked for the I.B.S.A.
    2. Further, the best known bible students in Frankfurt/Main were taken in,
    even if in no case illegal material could be found, and no evidence of this
    sort of illegal activity was uncovered. Even so it was found that:

    a. Bäckermeister Bertram, Frankfurt/Main,
    b. a Frl. Gresler, Frankfurt/Main, traveled to Switzerland for a conference
    of the International Bible Students Association. Frl. Gresler received the
    money for this trip from the former I.B.S.A. leader, Frankfurt. Leader
    denies knowing that Gresler traveled to the conference in Luzern. Further
    information is still up in the air at this time. Bertram and Gresler will
    be interrogated after their return from Switzerland.

    In appendix 8 a "Resolution", which was sent from Switzerland to several
    local authorities, was passed over. It will be found weather Bertram or
    Gresler received the mail.

    The Leader of the SD-Command Rhine


    Secret State Police Office

    "Darmstadt, the 9th. 9. 1936

    Presented from protective custody, Franke states the following under oath:

    I accept that there is no point in further denials. I am prepared to tell
    the whole truth. Particularly after Reich-leader Winkler (at this time in
    custody) sent me a letter in which he encourages me to tell the truth as the
    police officials know all about my activities.

    I have been a Jehovah's Witness for some time now, which has been recorded
    at my interrogation on the 31. 8. and 1. 9. 1936 infront of the State Police
    Cell Mainz. Because of this interrogation I also take my attitude towards the

    On the 7th of October 1934 the famous letter was directed from all local
    groups of the I.B.S.A. to the Reich-government, it stated that Jehovah's
    Witnesses could not recognize the ban on the I.B.S.A. and would obey God
    rather than man, and would congregate again in the future. At that time I
    received this letter from the district leader (B.D.L.) Dr. Merk for my
    group. I had a group of approximately 9 to10 Jehovah's Witnesses to look
    after. On the 7th of October 1934 9am I congregated my group as I had been
    ordered. I read out the letter to the group, and forwarded it with the header
    "local group Mainz" to the Reich-government.

    Since that time I have not worked officially with my group, but visited
    individual Jehovah's Witnesses as the opportunity presented itself, and
    spoke about the truth in the bible. I did not have any further function
    within the illegal organization at that time.

    Towards the end of May 1935 the District Leader Dr. Merk was arrested. I was
    handed the position as his replacement by the Reich-leader Winkler. The
    position involved the leadership of the District of Palatia-Baden and the
    District of Main. I didn't know Winkler personally until that time. I had
    only seen him as congregation leader in Berlin and other places. I was
    recommended to Winkler by Dr. Merk as District-servant-leader, I would assume.
    I was introduced to him personally by the District-servant-leader of the
    Rhine-land and Saar-district, Albert Wandres.

    I knew him personally due to my former activities as Servant-leader of Mainz
    and Wiesbaden. I met Winkler on a journey through Mainz at the railway
    station Mainz and traveled with him to a scheduled meeting in Stuttgart.
    District servant leader Lehmann and Stichel and also Baur also had come
    there. A discussion was held by us in Stuttgart on how we were to continue
    our work there.

    Since that time, about the beginning of June 1935 I practice the function of
    a District servant leader for the following area:

    Palatia and
    the near area around Frankfurt/Main, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt.

    I would like to remark that Winkler did not expressly describe himself as a
    District servant leader.

    The meetings with the Reich-leader were always arranged for each individual
    case. Winkler came by train from the direction Colonia to Mainz, where I met
    him at the railway station, sometimes I traveled with him for a bit,
    depending how much we had to discuss, as the train's sojourn was too short in
    Mainz. Many times I traveled with him up to Stuttgart. The meetings occurred
    about every weeks.

    I have not gotten very far with the organization of my district, because I
    was an unknown amongst the sisters outside of Mainz and Wiesbaden, and had
    initially to be introduced by another. Until now I have been in touch with
    the following servant leaders:

    1.) Frankfurt/Main. Steinbach, Valentin, Schwarzburgstr. 26.
    2.) Mannheim. Karl Haas, Luisenring 54.
    3.) Karlsruhe. Mühlhäuser, first name?, Lindenplatz 12.
    4.) Offenburg. Albert Kern, Lindenplatz 12
    5.) Singen. Erich Arnold, Hauptstr. 12
    6.) Speyer. Sand (first name and address unknown). I only met with this
    person in Mannheim.
    7.) Mainz. I worked this district personally.
    I visited these servant leaders about once a month. I accounted the travel
    expenses with the incoming finances.

    The copying facilities for the producing copies of the Watchtower was
    already installed when I arrived in the district. The original WT were sent
    to the servant leader Mühlhäuser. The sender was, according to my knowledge,
    the Bible-house Bern/Switzerland. The production was arranged by Mühlhäuser.
    I don't know where the copy-equipment was located, nor who wrote the
    stencils nor how.

    I never bothered much about these things, as Mühlhäuser organized these
    things in an orderly fashion.

    After the arrest of Mühlhäuser, I caused the Reich-leader Winkler to send the
    original W.T. to D.L. Haas in Mannheim. From there he manufactured the
    copies without informing me about the intimate details about the methods.

    The distribution of the W.T. copies was also handled by Mühlhäuser, but
    after the internment this was taken over by Haas. In my estimation of the
    numbers of W.T. about 300 copies were made.

    These were distributed as follows:

    1.) Steinbach, Frankfurt/Main 35 pieces
    2.) Mühlhäuser, Karlsruhe " 45 pieces
    3.) Kern, Offenburg " 70 "
    4.) Sand, Speyer " 40 "
    5.) I myself, Mainz " 40 "
    6.) Haas, Mannheim " ? "

    Arnold, Singen, received very few copies. This district was provided with
    originals from Switzerland. I am not informed about closer details.

    In the beginning every Jehovah's Witness received a copy of the W.T. but
    later, in some districts several had to share reading an article.

    25 Reich-pennies had to be paid for each copy. I did not receive this money
    but it was used by the distributors for the payment of expenses.

    After the I.B.S.A. ban, nearly all book warehouses were confiscated in my
    district. Since that time, books have only been spread around at individual
    sisters in faith. This is the case up until today. In my district
    Mainz-Wiesbaden were only a few Books were available, as here the stock
    almost totally confiscated were. I don't know where the rest of the books
    were. The individual Servant Leaders should be able to give more detail.

    From these old stocks 25 Rpf was charged per book, and 2 Rpf per booklet.
    The proceeds came to me via the servant leader and was passed on by me to
    him, during the meetings with Winkler.

    In my district very few new books were distributed. I personally only
    received a newer book or booklet every now and then during the meetings in
    Stuttgart from the other District servant leaders.

    - 4 -

    In my district, to my knowledge, in general, only a few copies of the
    booklet "Government" were distributed among the sisters. Of these newer
    writings, a book was priced at RM 1.50, a booklet with colored print RM -,20
    and in black print RM -,15.
    I am not aware of the origins of the other books, which I did not receive
    personally. It is possible that the faith sisters have procured them from
    Switzerland. I did not receive any books from Sister Bertha Maur in Konstanz.
    Although I did look her up a few times, as she was known to me as a sister
    of the faith. But I did not take any books with me from her. But I only
    spoke to her about congregational issues.

    At the meetings with Winkler I gave regular reports of the work in my
    district. This was about the distributed bibles, books and booklets as also
    the numbers of hours and the witnessing. According to my memory the report
    of 1st. August 1936 to Winkler approximately as follows:
    30 Bibles
    350 Books
    500 Booklets
    120 hours
    500 witnesses

    Approximately at the beginning of 1936 I was told by Reich-leader Winkler,
    that gramophone units were to be delivered on which gramophones with talks by
    Judge Rutherford were to be played. On this information I ordered two suitcase type units
    from Winkler, they were to be delivered to Julius Streit, in Freiburg,
    Sedanstreet,12. Streit is a brother in the faith. I had contacted him previously
    on the issue of delivery of the units, and had passed on the address of
    Winkler. Against this order Streit was provided not only 2 but 4 units in total.
    of these I received one unit which has been confiscated in the mean time.
    D.L. Haas, Mannheim and Mühlhäuser, Karlsruhe and Kern Offenburg received one each.

    In the mean time I had ordered a further 3 units, they were to be delivered to
    Otto Arnemann, Mainz, and Baltasamlerstr 1.
    These units have not yet arrived at this time. I would like to stress that
    Arnemann is not a brother in the faith and has absolutely no connections
    with the I.B.S.A. I only knew him as a soap deliverer,
    and had asked him on this basis if he could do something for me.

    - 5 -

    As he had agreed, I had passed his address to Winkler.
    As these units had not arrived, I ordered a further 10 of the units. They
    were to be delivered to Streit, in Freiburg, however these units also
    failed to arrive.

    I have received from Winkler personally twice two disks,
    I passed them on to sisters in the faith. I cannot recall who these sisters are.
    Other than these I have only received the package of disks that was confiscated at my arrest.
    I also received this package from Winkler.

    22:50 Reich Marks were to be paid for each of the gramophone units, and
    RM 1,75 for each of the disks. I forwarded the funds paid for the 4 suitcase units and disks to

    I was not in written correspondence with either Winkler nor my service leader
    There was only an informal personal agreement between us. Admittedly I gave Winkler,
    as I remember at his suggestion a postal address of:
    Peter Schroth, Mainz-Kastell, Petersweg 50.

    I did not contact Schroth regarding this matter, I acted on my own initiative
    I never received mail for me from Schroth. Obviously Schroth never found out
    about this postal address arrangement.

    At the last meeting with Winkler on the 1. 8. 1936 I found out that a convention was to be held in Luzeren
    during the time from the 4 till the 7. 9. 36. Special reports on the
    imprisonment and persecution and so on of Jehovah's Witnesses, were to be given at this convention. Cases such as these were to be collected
    in the individual districts. Reports about this were to be given to Rubau
    (bad spelling), in Gedansk. He wanted to visit the individual District-
    Servant Leaders one week after Winkler.

    As per our arrangement Rubau came to Mainz on his way through, where I passed
    on to him several documents with reports of several different sisters about
    them being stopped for the election. I had gotten to know Rubau at a meeting
    of District Servant Leaders in Berlin. He is approximately 1.65 meters tall,
    slim build, narrow face, shaven, and to the best of my knowledge wears
    spectacles. I would guess he is about 35 years old.

    Rubau used this opportunity to bring a package of the letters of credit to
    RM 10,- and RM 5, they were to be used by the sisters for the trip to Luzern.

    I had already collected travel money from the sisters who wanted to
    travel to Luzern before the first of August.

    I had been given RM 200 in total from Haas, Mannheim
    Korn, Offenburg, out of their districts. I passed these funds on to
    Winkler on the 1st of August. After Rubau had given me the red and green letters
    of credit, I had passed these on to the various servant leaders at that time without
    payment. The servant leader would then pass on to me the money collected,
    which I would pass on to Winkler.
    I have also collected travel-money after the 1st of August, but gave them back
    because of the new traffic agreement with Switzerland in which the individual
    sisters could take the money themselves. I don't know which of the sisters wanted
    to travel to Luzon or did travel. I passed a total of RM 600 to Winkller on the 1st of August.

    Of this RM 200, was the mentioned travel money, about RM 100,-- for Books
    and Booklets, and RM 300,-- G. H. (account good hope)

    At earlier meetings I had passed on RM 3 - 400, for Books and G. H.
    to Winkler. I did not receive a 1935 yearbook for my district. I only received
    a few abstracts out of it with the day-leaf in the form of a calendar.
    It would have been 15 copies in all. These were placed at RM -,50 each.
    I have told the whole truth and am also prepared to elaborate further on request

    I have read the above personally,
    affidavit signed:

    Konrad Franke

    Reg. Assessor Gestapo Berlin
    gez. Lischka

    Due to the above it was possible for the SD-upper-section Rhine to announce a
    success to its masters in Berlin in two letters dated 22. 9. and 29. 10. 36
    In the writing of the 22. 9. it is stated that Franke confessed after earlier
    denials. "Because of the statements of Franke, the traveling salesman Steinbachwas arrested in Frankfurt/M, he was said to be active as servant leader for
    Frankfurt/Main by Franke. Steinbach denies knowing Winkler and claims to
    be inactive since the ban. Further investigations into this matter are still
    in progress. In connection with (Adam) Sand, also named by Franke, the prosecution
    witness is Franke.

    The SD-Document of the 29. 10. 1936:

    Security Service
    Of the
    SD Uppersection Rhein
    II 113 V 494/35

    To the
    Security-head-quarters RFSS
    Section II 113
    Berlin S. W. 68

    Concerning: Action against the illegal International Ernest
    Bible Students
    Our reference: II 113 V. 494/35 v. 22. 9 36

    The violent action taken against the illegal I.B.S.A. in the whole upper-section-district on the 31. 8. 36,
    has now reached a certain closure, the following will report concisely on the results of the action.

    1.) Since the station here had no evidence against the I.B.S.A. , with the exception of the headquarter originating admissions (Franke, Mainz), we co-operated with the State-police-stations of Darmstadt, Frankfurt and Koblenz, all known bible-students were searched and thorough interrogations conducted.
    2.) The results were surprising . It can be said that the illegal organization I.B.S.A. is totally dashed to pieces in Hessen-Nassau.

    According to the knowledge to hand, the following picture emerges:
    a. With out a doubt Konrad Franke Mainz was District-servant-leader. A gramophone with disks was found at his residence. Franke denies receiving material from Winkler, but admits distributing written material. He designates the traveler Valentin Steinbach, Frankfurt a. M. as servant-leader for the district of Frankfurt. Steinbach has been arrested, but at the moment denies any involvement. Later though he admitted receiving certain written matter from unknown sources. It can be accepted as certain that Steinbach was Servant-leader for Frankfurt a. M.

    b. It was found independently of the above, that the Accountant Gust Fenstermacher was Servant-leader for the district of Koblenz. The appendix 1-3 contains a copy of the interrogation protocol.

    c. The following Couriers were active:
    1. Heinrich Knie from Maxain/Unterwesterwald,
    2. Jacob Wagner, from Mainz-Weisenau.

    d. Warehousing for Records and writings were found at:
    1. Heinrich Pirzental, Richelhardt/Kr. Altenkirchen (see apendix 5-6)
    2. Heinrich Neitzert, Hoyensayn/Kr. Altenkirch

    e. Albert Wandres was found to be one of the chief activists, at the moment in flight. It seems he was working under the direct instruction of Franke.

    In the course of the action the following more or less guilty bible students have been arrested:
    1. Mathias Ebers, b. on the 29. 9. 1874 in Dieblich, Kr. Koblenz/Land,
    resident in Metternich. He admits, receiving literature from an unknown courier between May-July 1936.

    2. Peter Schroth, Mainz. According to the State-police Karlsruhe he gave a false address for Franke. He admits
    receiving literature from Switzerland. He only admits meeting Franke because of the sale of a parrot.

    3. Müller, Mrs, Mainz, She met frequently with Franke. However meetings were said to be harmless.
    4. The married couple Nickel, Zwingeberg,
    5. The barber and Gardener (Enterence M. G. One notes lastly the contribution in the Hesse-Book S. 177f.)
    The named 4-5 are in custody for some time now but do not comment in any way.
    6. The married couple Scheuren, Wiesbaden, due to suspicion of illegal activities (note appendix 8/9)
    7. The master-dry-cleaner Emil Petzold, Wiesbaden. P. denies having any connection with the I.B.S.A. (note appendix 10).
    8. The mechanical-knitter Karl Klees, Wiesbaden, who advertised the I.B.S.A. His membership of the illegal organization is not proven. (note appendix 11).
    9. The blacksmith Karl Buch, Neuwied. He claims to be inactive since the ban of the I.B.S.A. (Appendix12)

    10. Further to the above the Master-Backer Bertram was arrested. (note the report II 113 v. 22. 9. 36) After lengthy denials, he admitted attending the meeting of the I.B.S.A. in Switzerland. Other than this he denies any comments.

    It is expected that after the planned further investigations, some more people will be arrested. However this does not involve functionaries. As soon as the investigations are concluded and the prosecution documents are tabled, further reports will be made.
    The Leader of SD Upper-section Rhine.


    A part of this is a citation of the document of the Stuttgart Gestapo dated 12.
    11. 1936, that they sent to the Berliner Security Headquarters at the same time.

    After it was discovered that the intended actions could not be fulfilled due to lack of staff, the following interim report was made:

    The actions in individual sub-section-areas against the illegal organization of the Bible Students to date, led to the following results:

    District-servant-leader, representative for Baden and Kassenstelle:
    BDL Konrad Franke, Mainz (Interrogation-notes in Appendix)
    Postal address: Peter Schroth, Mainz-Kastel, Petersweg 5c.
    Literature collection-point: Karl Haas, Mannheim, Luisenring 54.
    WT.-Production: Adolf Mühlhäuser, Karlsruhe, Grenzstrasse 4.
    Book-ware-house: Mannheim, D 7, 12.
    Gramophone distribution: Julius Streit, Freiburg i. Br. Sedanstrasse 12.
    Disk distribution: BDL Konrad Franke, Mainz
    Courier: BDL Konrad Franke, Mainz. (Franke didn’t name a particular courier, he drove to his Servant Leader once a month and brought the necessary instructions and collected (money)

    Servant Leader for Mannheim: Karl Haas, Mannheim, Luisenring 54 (note literature collection point)
    Servant Leader for Karlsruhe: Adolf Mühlhäuser, Karlsruhe, Grenzstr. 4 (note WT production).

    Managers for Karlsruhe:
    Otto Schwarz, Karlsruhe, Echenstrasse 23
    Josef Seitz, Karlsruhe, Kriegsstrasse 171
    Karl Matthes, Karlsruhe, Yorkstrasse 40
    Fritz Kollmann, Karlsruhe, Kaiserstr. 24
    Johann Schäfer, Karlsruhe, Maxaustrasse 42
    Karl Hetz, Karlsruhe, Körnerstrasse 173
    Wilhelm Soulier, Karlsruhe, Kriegstrasse 173.

    DL for Offenburg: Albert Kern, Offenburg, Lindenplatz 12
    DL for Freiburg: Julius Streit, Freiburg, Sedanstr. 12 (note gramophone distribution)
    DL for Singen: Erich Arnold, Singen a. H.

    During the course of action the following people have now been arrested in Baden:
    1.) Franke, Konrad, BDL for Saar-Pfalz, Maindistrict and Baden, Representative for Baden, Kassenstelle, Disk distribution and courier (Arrested by the Gestapo Darmstadt)
    2.) Haas, Karl, b. on the 28. 10. 1902 in Mannheim, resident in Mannheim,
    Luisenring 54, DL for Mannheim and Literature Collection point for Baden.
    3.) Mühlhäuser, Adolf, b. on the 3. 9. 1892 in Birkach, residing in
    Karlsruhe, Grenzstr. 4, WT-Production and DL for Karlsruhe (already arrested on the 20. 7. 36)
    4.) Schwarz, Otto, b. on the 19. 10. 1890 in Strassburg, resident in
    Karlsruhe, Echenerstr. 23, manager for Karlsruhe.
    5.) Seitz, Josef, b. on 10. 9. 1893 in Ottenhöfen, resident in Karlsruhe
    , Kriegsstr. 171, Manager for Karlsruhe.
    6.) Matthes, Karl, b. on the 3. 11. 1892 in Derdingen, resident in
    Karlsruhe, Yorkstr. 40, Manager for Karlsruhe.
    7.) Kollmann, Fritz, b. on the 7. 5. 1896 in Weissenhorn, resident in
    Karlsruhe, Kaiserstr. 243. Manager for Karlsruhe.
    8.) Schäfer, Johann, b. on the 31. 7. 1877 in Hochheim, resident in
    Karlsruhe, Maxaustr. 42, manager for Karlsruhe.
    9.) Hetz, Karl, b. on the 1. 3. 1895 in Freistett, resident in Karlsruhe,
    Körnerstr. 173, manager for Karlsruhe.
    10.) Soulier, Wilhelm, b. on the 10. 5. 1875 in Klein-Villare, resident in Karlsruhe, Kriegsstr. 173, manager for Karlsruhe.
    11.) Streit, Julius, b. on the 5. 1. 1879 in Freiburg, Resident in Freiburg,
    Sedanstr. 12, gramophone distribution and DL for Freiburg
    12. Kern, Albert, b. on the 2. 4. 1887 in Meissenheim, resident in Offenburg, Lindenplatz 12, DL for Offenburg.
    13.) Arnold, Erich, b. on the 8. 2. 1898 in Triefeld, resident in a. H. DL for Singen.

    The following people were arrested for attending the main meeting of the I.B.S.A. in Luzern between the 4. To the 7. 9. 36:

    14.) Reuotto, Erna Johanna, nee Körner, b. on the 24. 4. 1899 in Singen, resident in Sulzuflen, Westfl.
    15.) Vieser, Emma, b. on the 1. 3. 1882 in Metz, resident in Karslsruhe,
    Bismarckstr. 29
    16.) Janzer, Karla Thekla nee Hilberer, b. on the 14. 12. 1892 in
    Bermersbach, resident in Heureut...

    The interrogation of the named Servant-leaders for Baden will be presented hereafter in shortened form:

    Julius Streit, DL for Freiburg i. Br. Admits after several denials receiving two gramophone records. He still denies that he was Servant-leader for the district of Fraiburg. He claims to have only looked after 10 brothers in the faith, which he declines to name. The money received by him for booklets and magazines was always forwarded to Franke (BDL). Franke visited him every 4-5 Weeks. Streit denies knowing DL Haas, Mannheim, this is contradicted by DL Mühlhäuser, Karlsruhe and Kern, Offenburg.

    Adolf Mühlhäuser, DL for Karlsruhe, claims to have only given talks to his family after the ban, and not to have any contact with any others. During later interrogation he admits having been Servant-leader for Karlsruhe. He also provided copying services to the Watchtower and Bible Society for the state of Baden and beyond. On average he manufactured 300 copies every 4 weeks, each was of 5-7 pages. Of these he delivered to:

    Haas, Mannheim ca. 80 copies (DL)
    Franke, Mainz ca. 40 " (BDL)
    Kern, Offenburg ca. 35 " (DL)
    Streit, Freiburg ca. 35 " (DL)
    Mühlhäuser, K'ruhe ca. 45" (DL)
    For Speyer (Pfalz) 25 "

    The collected money, 90 - 100, RM. Every time was delivered to Franke (BDL) after taking his expenses. The copying equipment was kept in his apartment’s cellar. He will not reveal where it is now located, but will immediately provide it after his release. Mühlhäuser admits further to acquiring a gramophone and 7 disks.

    Albert Kern, DL for Offenburg Denies all charges against him, in particular being Servant Leader for Offenburg, being visited monthly by Franke (BDL), that he received Bible-student literature for distribution and sale, and knowing DL Mühlhäuser or Streit.

    The interrogation of DL Haas, Mannheim and Arnold, Singen are not yet tabled.

    The presentation to date is based on the insight gained from the documents housed at
    Freienwalderstr.( ZBI - 1465; ZBI -1421) respective to the record-clerk (XX/4 1415)
    The publicized study on this issue by Hubert Roser released in 1999 is hereby confirmed and improved
    Roser relies on the state-archive Darmstadt, which he has evaluated. Roser is here cited with further improvements from the internet.

    Regarding Franke Roser informs us that he was arrested on the 31. 8. 1936:
    After early strong and persistent denials, he felt forced by pressure and torture from the Gestapo, on the 9. September 1936 to admit for the first time the details of his “service district”.
    So he named with others his inferior servant-leaders, however they were already known to the Gestapo at that point in time, or were already in custody like Karlsruhe’s Servant-leader Adolf Mühlhäuser.

    Winkler allowed a message titled “Dear Konrad” dated the 8. 9. 1936 to be delivered to Franke from Berlin. He immediately introduced the message that he had already been in custody for some weeks.
    He further states that according to his opinion, the Gestapo was “already knew all the details of our organization” and “ that it was not possible, and pointless to hide any issue, as the officials of the police were informed about every detail of our organization”

    After Roser Franke also believed, after receiving this message that he could no longer remain silent.
    He dictated a similar written message with the heading “dear Brother” In the issue he confirms the contained statement of Winkler, that also after his opinion the Secret-state-police already knew all relevant information. “It is also informed exactly about all our activities”
    His similar letter to that of Winkler he summarizes it with the words “With friendly greeting Konrad Franke". It is not clear from the Internet-publication who the receiver of this message was, despite this limitation the content, there is enough evidence that Franke also dictated a written message in the style of Winkler.

    Due to the statements of Franke, it was possible for the Gestapo to deliver the Servant-leaders
    In the bigger cities of Baden, Palatia and South-hessen to their superiors: Adolf
    Mühlhäuser and Otto Schwarz in Karlsruhe, Albert Kern (* 1887) in
    Offenburg, Heinrich Wesch (* 1898) in Heidelberg, Karl Haas (1902-
    1998), Otto Schmitt (1885-1938) and Wilhelm Zimmer (1897-1981) in
    Mannheim, Franz Anton Streit (1879-1962) in Freiburg, Ehrig Max Arnoldt
    (* 1898) in Singen and German Likert (* 1874) in Weinheim. In addition to these were the brothers in the faith in Speyer, Ludwigshafen, Lorsch,
    Darmstadt, Offenbach, Frankfurt a. M. and Wiesbaden, they all were supplied with “Watchtowers since 1935 by Franke, at that time printed in Karlsruhe and then in Mannheim.

    Because of the Mainzer 'sisters', who had been serviced by Franke himself and were therefore known by him, the Gestapo forced him towards the end of 1936 to name the names of the subscribers over and above the heretofore. Even so the Gestapo never knew the channels and people involved in the traffic of printed matter between Switzerland and Konstanz. Either Franke, who should have been informed in his position as District-servant-leader and also managed a fake address in Mainz, could keep these facts well secret or he did not know about the closer details. " Hubert Roser (Hrsg.) "Resistance as article of Faith” Konstanz 1999 S. 66-68.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses love to downplay the betrayals documented in the Gestapo-files.
    As it is written, nobody would have betrayed more than what the Gestapo already knew from previous betrayals by other inmates. The apologetic tendency of this theory cannot be overlooked.
    One cannot in this case finely balance what the Gestapo already knew against the low worth of the news
    Provided by those arrested later. Solely the fact that leading functionaries of the J.W.’s of the time, confirmed the knowledge base of the Gestapo through their betrayals, has value on it’s own.
    In summery one can give serious doubt to the named apologetic theory.

    Other religious organizations must admit, that their behavior during the National Socialist time was no thorough fame. Such a miaculpa is still to be expected from Jehovah’s Witnesses. But due to the evidence presented is strongly demanded. In life light and shade intermingle, also and not last in this emotion-laden sector!

    The Watchtower issue of 1. 6. 1963 publicized a censored report of Franke, under the heading “Jehovah is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. He reports that he was arrested a total of five times, and lastly was incarcerated for nine years before he regained his freedom. That is all correct.
    It is in no way disputed , that Franke and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were first line sacrifices of the N.S. regime. But one has to accuse them, that they exclude from their self-image deliberately every aspect
    Which reduces self-heroism to a human measure. The real super-heroes did not survive the N.S. regime, or only as crippled souls. Such cases existed too. As an example from the area of Berlin, I personally know of a Herbert Bretschneider, he was turned into a literal cripple by the NS-Regime, even thought he was not predisposed to this in any way by his stature (a strapping man). Franke by contrast survived the NS-Regime.

    To conclude the “case of Franke”, a citation from the self-image of Franke. In about the year 1977 he gave a three hour talk, The following passages are cited out of this talk’s tape-recording:

    "Yes and now came this great action, as the Gestapo called it, from the 28.8. 1936.
    One had watched us for two years, had gathered material to charge us, and three days prior to the next assembly in Luzern, which Brother Rutherford attended, the attack came.
    We were surprised by what they knew. Here you will find a sketch a map as we found it later. This is how they had represented the illegal organization diagrammatically, and it was exactly true.
    You can see on the top right where the squares are in the last complete square my name and territory I worked at the time. The other squares were all the other District-overseers who were arrested on the same day with the exception of two or three.
    With that one believed to have hit the bulls eye. Only very few could still go over and inform Brother Rutherford about the real conditions in Germany. Again a resolution was made and sent to Hitler and the Pope, as we can se here. Now we came before the court.
    This for an example was the summons for me. In it many things were claimed. I am still happy today about this document, as in the content, I was given a certificate in that they said:
    Franke believes, that no court’s sentence will stop him being active as a Jehovah’s Witness.
    And so also the latter, this court, that as we just heard handed out acquittals, was the first court that sentenced me to five years jail, which I sat, as you can see on the 13th January 1937. Everything you can see hear was published on all German press. All is very accurate with the exception of my family name, it is Franke not Funke. At the same time Brother Fritz Winkler was sentenced to four years jail,
    And a 22 000 Mark fine. He was Reich-fuhrer at the time as one used to say."

    The Original Page in German by Manfred Gebhard

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Kent

    A ”Black Raven” The Gestapo succeeded in arresting the Watchtower leader Fritz Winkler, who had been a leader of the Watchtower in Germany since 1933. The Watchtower writes about this:

    Kent Steinhaug

    *** w79 11/1 9 We Did Not Give Up! ***

    In August 1936, the German gestapo (secret police) began a concerted campaign against our underground organization. Fritz Winkler, who had oversight of our work, and most of the regional directors were arrested and imprisoned.

    This showed up to be a great success for the Gestapo, since Fritz Winkler was “singing” like a lark. Which again made the Gestapo able to do further arrests. One of these persons arrested because of Fritz Winkler’s “singing” was a Georg Rabe (Rabe is the German word for raven). A search on the latest Watchtower Library 2001 gives us no information what so ever of this Georg Rabe, who was a “Bezirksdienstleiter”, a Circuit Overseer in East Prussia for the “Bible Students” in Germany.

    Rabe was singing as well, and the Gestapo got one particularly interesting name out of him – Erich Frost. Obviously the Gestapo instantaneously “honored” Erich Frost with an arrest as well. Details about this Erich Frost can be found on other pages on The Watchtower Observer. He ended up being one of the most contemptible traitors to the Jehovah’s Witnesses then in Germany, but was honored for his services by a new job as a leader after the war!

    Naturally there is no doubt these men were pressured hard by the Germans to give the statements in question. But it is also quite clear these leaders who were arrested lacked the strength to be silent. At least none of those who actually survived the Nazi regime. But Winkler, Frost and Rabe survived. Their statements to the Gestapo should not be overestimated, but should neither be hidden under a carpet.

    It is also interesting to see the biographies the Watchtower has printed about these men. Rabe wrote in “Wachtturm” juni 1917, page 112, in a “Letter From Readers”. Here he is telling about his experiences in Russia, where the “work” was also forbidden, and he is telling he returned to Germany to start working in East Prussia.

    There is another interesting detail in the Rabe case. Bible Students and so called “Landeskircheliche Gemeinshaften”, was looked upon as two of the kind. Made of the same wood, so to speak. The main difference was that the so called “National Church Communities”, who did preach some criticism against the “secularized churches”, did not cut the naval cord to the same churches. They remained as sects within the large churches, and did hold many of the same ideas.

    The Bible Students recruited a large amount of members from within these “National Church Communities” – and the leaders of these communities did not appreciate this competition. Warnings were given about these people who counted years to find out the date of the return of the Lord, and the Bible Students as Rabe warned against them.

    The connections here is rather interesting, but I hope our readers can search for this in other places.

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-Kent

    Watchtower Spies Why did the US Embassy let the Watchtower officials like Fritz Winkler and M.C. Harbeck use the embassys mailsystem to deliver messages from Germany to Switzerland/USA?

    Kent Steinhaug

    *** w55 4/15 236 Part 8: International Attempt to Destroy Society Fails ***
    Modern History of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Part 8:

    International Attempt to Destroy Society Fails
    LATER in February, 1918, the United States Army Intelligence Bureau at New York city began an investigation of the Watch Tower Society’s Brooklyn headquarters. False reports had circulated that the Society had installed upon the Bethel home a powerful wireless station capable of sending messages across the Atlantic, and that this instrument was used to communicate with the German enemy. The facts are that in Pastor Russell’s lifetime a brother had presented to him a small wireless receiving set. There was no transmitter. There never was any message sent from the Bethel home by wireless. This was in 1915, before the day of radio broadcasting, when even wireless telegraphy was in its infancy. In 1918 when two Army Intelligence men were going through Bethel they were taken to the roof and shown the penthouse where the wireless receiver had been; and then, in a lower storeroom, they were shown the instrument itself, packed away. By consent the receiving set was taken away by these army men.

    *** yb73 107-8 The British Isles ***
    Lying, garbled news reports were circulated around this country. For example, the Northern Echo reported: “The Federal authorities today raided Bethel Home, the headquarters of the International Bible Students Association, situated on Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, and there seized a powerful wireless outfit. The premises overlook New York Harbour.” Another report added: “The outfit was presumably to be used for communication with the enemy.” With great glee the enemy saw to it that this misleading report was widely circulated.
    But what was the truth of the matter? Here is how it was factually reported in the March 8 issue of the Electrical Review: “ILLICIT WIRELESS.—Reuter reports that the Federal authorities in New York have seized the Tower Office Building on Lower Broadway, where a wireless apparatus was discovered sufficiently powerful to communicate with Germany. This wireless plant was in the possession of a certain Richard Pfund, who was at one time manager of the Telefunken plants at Tuckerton and Sayville. Although the apparatus was disconnected, experts declared that it could be put into operation again within the space of half an hour. Pfund, when questioned on the subject, asserted that he was doing experimental work for the American Navy. This statement was subsequently verified, but the authorities are now making further investigations.”
    Tower Office Building on Lower Broadway, Manhattan, was a big step from Bethel, Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, geographically, phonetically and in every other way. Since the report originated in New York and was furnished by an experienced correspondent of the Central News Agency, Rutherford’s reaction described the matter accurately, for he cabled Hemery at London: “RAID WIRELESS REPORTS MALICIOUSLY FALSE.”

    *** yb87 129 Switzerland and Liechtenstein ***
    The Central European Office was to supervise the work in Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, and even Germany for a time. Some countries had their own local manager, but these were in close contact with the Central European Office, to which they sent their monthly reports. In turn, the office compiled the report and transmitted it to Brooklyn.

    *** yb75 96-7 United States of America (Part One) ***
    In February 1918 the United States Army Intelligence Bureau in New York city began investigating the Watch Tower Society’s headquarters. Not only had it been intimated falsely that the Society was in contact with the German enemy; it had also been reported lyingly to the United States government that the Society’s headquarters in Brooklyn was a center for transmitting messages to the German regime. Eventually the public press reported that government agents had seized a wireless apparatus erected and ready for use at the Bethel home. But what were the facts?
    In 1915 C. T. Russell was given a small wireless receiver. Personally he was not too interested in it, but a small aerial was erected on the roof of the Bethel home and some younger brothers were given opportunity to learn how to operate the equipment. However, there was not much success in picking up messages. When the United States was about to enter the war, it was required that all wireless instruments be dismantled. So the aerial was taken down and the poles were sawed up and used for other purposes, while the instrument itself was carefully packed away in the Society’s Art Room. It had not been used at all for more than two years when two Army Intelligence men were told about the outfit while in conversation with a member of the Bethel family. They were taken to the roof and shown where it was formerly. Then they were shown the instrument itself, all packed away. By consent, these men took it because there was no use for it at Bethel. The apparatus was a receiver only, not a transmitter. Never was there a sending instrument at Bethel. So it was impossible to transmit a message anywhere.

    *** yb74 160 Germany (Part Two) ***
    Extensive preparations were also made for a transportable radio transmitter to be built in the Netherlands and put into operation sometime in the fall of 1937. The Gestapo had already got wind of this and were furious with Brother Dietschi, whose name they knew but who proved to be just as elusive as Brother Wandres.

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)-GLABERSON

    Putting a Price on Holocaust Survivors' Hopes A Brooklyn man is hoping for money to supply Holocaust survivors who are losing their sight with voice-operated computers so they can continue to study Jewish religious texts. By WILLIAM GLABERSON
    Published: March 13, 2004

    An 80-year-old Jehovah's Witness from Germany who spent four years in a concentration camp just wants her people's Nazi-era suffering to be recognized.

    A Swedish group would like to build a monument in honor of Gypsies who were sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

    Those are among the hopes behind scores of applications from all over the world in a remarkable competition in federal court in Brooklyn. More than half a century after the Holocaust, an American judge will decide how to distribute what may be $400 million to groups representing victims of Nazi persecution. The money is part of a landmark $1.25 billion settlement reached in 1998 by Swiss banks in a class-action lawsuit over their handling of Nazi-era accounts.

    Since World War II, billions of dollars of restitution has been distributed from government funds, lawsuit awards and other sources. But experts on those programs say the judge in Brooklyn, Edward R. Korman, is facing an extraordinary task as he sorts through proposals from more than 70 groups, social service agencies and international coalitions.

    "It will require the wisdom of Solomon" to make choices among compelling proposals like plans to provide subsistence food supplies to impoverished survivors nearing the end of their lives, said Stuart E. Eizenstat, who helped negotiate international Holocaust compensation programs as deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.

    Judge Korman, 61, the chief judge of the United States District Court in Brooklyn, has made it clear that he views the choices he must make as sobering. "A comparison of needy survivors is by definition an odious process,'' he said in a decision this week on one issue in the case. "All individuals who survived the Holocaust bear scars, and all merit relief.''

    But Judge Korman, a former United States attorney who was born and raised in Brooklyn, has also said publicly that because of the opportunity to right historic wrongs, supervising the Swiss banks settlement is a "once-in-a-lifetime case for a judge.''

    The applications filed with Judge Korman paint a vivid picture of the breadth of consequences even now of Nazi policies toward Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, gays, disabled people and others. One group wants money to supplement modest payments it makes to those it calls "righteous gentiles," non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews and now, in many cases, live in dire poverty.

    Another, an international group called the Pink Triangle Coalition, noted that thousands of gays had been exterminated or imprisoned by Hitler, many of them tortured or castrated. But their history was so obscured by decades of bigotry that only seven impoverished gay survivors who need financial aid have been located worldwide. The group asked for money to support research and education to try to recapture what it describes as the lost history of the gay victims of Nazism.

    Faced with applications seeking more than $2 billion, Judge Korman will have to make agonizing choices. The law provides few guideposts, said Burt Neuborne, a lawyer appointed by the judge to represent the interests of Holocaust victims in the case. "It's not a political decision,'' Mr. Neuborne said. "It's not legal. It is moral. He is going to have to make a moral judgment.''

    The unusual competition came about because of problems carrying out a portion of the Swiss banks' settlement. The lawsuit claimed that the banks had cooperated in transferring Holocaust victims' accounts to Nazi authorities, misled account-holders' survivors and destroyed bank records while allowing many of the accounts to be drained.

    Of the $1.25 billion in the settlement, $800 million was to be used to repay Nazi-era account-holders or heirs. But court officials have said many obstacles, including the difficulties of getting information from the banks, have hampered the effort.

    In a decision last month, Judge Korman said $150 million has so far been paid to depositors or heirs. Separately, more than $425 million has been paid to former refugees and slave laborers or used to supply necessities to Nazi victims living in poverty in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere as the "next best thing" to returning bank depositors' money.

    Judge Korman ruled that many of those survivors were living at a subsistence level, some fighting off starvation. Three years ago he ruled that programs serving the neediest survivors had priority in the distribution of funds that are not earmarked for specific groups, like the bank depositors or former slave laborers.

    A group representing American survivors has criticized the judge, saying they have not received a fair share of the money. But in his decision this week, Judge Korman said that although there are needs among American survivors, they are "clearly less pressing" than those of survivors in many other places in the world.

    Because of the possibility that much of the $800 million earmarked for depositors was likely to remain unclaimed, Judge Korman invited proposals last fall for what to do with the balance. The amount is not yet known, but Mr. Neuborne has said it may be as much as $400 million. The application deadline was Jan. 30.

    The proposals vary from detailed plans by large international organizations to modest suggestions from small groups. They include a sketch sent from Sweden depicting an imagined monument at Auschwitz to commemorate the deaths of Gypsies, and narrowly tailored proposals, like the one put forth by a computer specialist from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to help aging Holocaust victims continue what are often lifetime routines of studying Jewish texts.

    Next month, a special master appointed by the judge, Judah Gribetz, is to make recommendations on how to distribute the money. (The applications can be viewed on the Web, at Judge Korman has scheduled a hearing in Brooklyn for April 29, and people from all over the world are expected to testify.

    Behind the applications, there are often powerful stories. Irene Hizme, 66, who lives in Oceanside on Long Island, and her twin brother were among the sets of concentration camp twins experimented on by the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. She uses a wheelchair and suffers from a series of ailments that she traces to the experiments.

    She gets payments from an organization that supports survivors of the experiments, which has asked for additional money to help her and victims like her. "I wish I didn't need any of this,'' she said in an interview, "but the truth is, I need it to live.''

    Several applications were filed by groups representing the Romany people, often called Gypsies, who were rounded up by the Nazis for mass extermination. One application asks for money for a scholarship program to try to break a cycle of poverty on many continents that is compounded by the Holocaust.

    "We desperately need to be able to stand on our own two feet and to be able to pull ourselves up and not rely on outsiders,'' said Ian F. Hancock, a prominent Romany professor at the University of Texas at Austin who is chairman of the education fund.

    Another application came from the small Jewish community in the city of Olomouc in the Czech Republic. In an e-mail response to a reporter's questions, Milos Dobry, secretary of the Olomouc group, said 51 Jewish Holocaust survivors remain in a community that had 3,500 Jews before the Nazi occupation.

    On March 15, 1939, the Nazis burned the Olomouc synagogue. Ever since, the e-mail message said, "we have only a prayer room furnished in an old style.'' Many Olomouc survivors are poor and ill, it added. "It would be a big help for them to receive a financial help from abroad.''

    The applications include plans for inventive educational projects on the Holocaust. Some want to preserve the histories of communities that were wiped out. Some groups focus on housing, food or social services for survivors. One organization in Israel seeks to provide counseling for some concentration camp survivors who are still often awakened by nightmares, its application says.

    Many groups are secular. Some have religious or cultural goals. The Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which encourages secular Jews to become more observant, asked for money for direct aid, like soup kitchens, for survivors as well as for the education of Jews in religion and ritual in far-flung places like the Baltic states, Greece and Peru.

    "The greatest revenge the victims could have on those who persecuted and slaughtered them would be in the perpetuity of Jewish education and, therefore, Jewish life,'' said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, an official at Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn who filed the application.

    In interviews, survivors struggled to explain that the competition is painful because it inescapably pits victims' groups against one another. The struggle, some said, is not just over dollars, but also over the hopes of people all over the world that what happened to them be remembered.

    By telephone from Madrid, where she now lives, Magdalena Kusserow Reuter, 80, a Jehovah's Witness, said she is sometimes shocked when people seem surprised to learn that Witnesses, too, were targets of Nazism. Mrs. Reuter spent four years in the Ravensbrück concentration camp after refusing Gestapo demands that she renounce her faith.

    "It is important,'' she said, "that we will not forget.''

  • Atlantis

    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)

    The Letter The Watchtower wrote to Hitler

    Translation of a letter of the

    Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,
    German Branch,
    Wachtturmstraasse 1-19,

    Dear Reichskanzler,

    on June 25, 1933, at the Sporthalle Wilmersdorf in Berlin there was a conference of appx. 5,000 Bible Researchers (Jehovah's Witnesses), representing several millions of Germans who are friends and followers of this movements for many years. Purpose of this conference, which was attended by representatives of all bible students communities of Germany, was to find ways and means to inform the Reichskanzler, as well as other high officials of the German Reich and the governments of its individual countries of the following:

    In several parts of the country, actions were taken against a corporation of serious Christian men and women who are standing on the foundation of positive Christianity. Such actions can only described as the persecu tion of Christians by other Christians, since the accusations - which have led to these actions against us - primarily are of clerical, especially cath olic origin and untrue.

    We are absolutely convinced of the impartiality of the government offi cials dealing with this situation. Yet we conclude that the contents of our literature and the purpose of our movement are largely misinterpreted due to the accusations which are brought up against us by our religious opposers and which might result in a prejudiced viewpoint. This might also be due to the amount of our literature and the high demand put upon the respective officials.

    For this reason the things discussed at the conference were put down as a declaration of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, in order to pro vide you, Mr. Reichskanzler, as well as the high officials of the German Reich and its countries, with a documentof the fact that the Bible Re searchers of Germany only have one goal in their work, namely to lead people back to God and to be witnesses of the Name of Jehovah, the most high, the father of our Lord and redeamer Jesus Christ.

    We are convinced that you, Mr. Reichskanzler, will not have such activities dis turbed. The communities of the Bible Researchers of Germany and their mem bers are generally known as defenders of respect of the Most High and zealous students of the bible. Local police officials will need to testify to the fact that Bible Researchers have to be counted among elements of the country and ist people who are known for their love and support of oder. There sole mission is to draw the hearts of humans to God.

    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (located in Magdeburg/Germany) is the organizing center of the mission of the Bible Researchers.

    The Brooklyn headquarter of the Watchtower Society is pro German in an exemplary way and has been so for many years. For that reason, in 1918, the president of the Society and seven members of the board of directors were sentenced to 80 years in prison, because the president refused to use two of the magazines published in America under his direction for war propaganda against Germany. These two magazines, "The Watchtower" and "Bible Student" were the only magazines in America which refused to engage in anti-German propaganda and for that reason were prohibited and suppressed in America during the war.

    In the very same manner, in course of the recent months the board of directors of our Society not only refused to engage in propaganda against Germany, but has even taken a position against it. The enclosed declaration underlines this fact and emphasizes that the people leading in such propaganda (Jewish businessmen and catholics) also are the most rigorous persecutors of the work of our Society and ist board of directors. This and other statements of the declaration are meant to re pudiate the slanderous accusation, that Bible Researchers are supported by the jews.

    The conference of five thousand delegates received the statement of the governor in Magdeburg with great satisfaction, who declared that it can not be proven that there is any relationship between the Bible Research ers and Communists or Marxists, as it was stated by our religious oppos ers (which means that such a statement is also nothing but slander). A press report in the Magdeburger Tageszeitung, issue 104, dated May 5, 1933, reads as follows:

    A declaration of the government concerning the occupation of the Bible Researcher building: The press department of the government issued the following information: "Occupation of the property of the Society of Serious Bible Researchers" in Magdeburg was lifted on April 29, since no material to support the claim of communist activities could be found."

    Another report in the Magdeburger Tageszeitung, issue 102, dated May 3, 199, reads:

    The office of the Bible Researchers Society informed us that the the actions taken against the Watchtower Society and the Bible Research ers Society, were abolished. All property was returned, since a compre hensive search led to the result that nothing can be held against this Society neither as far as political nor as criminal activities are concerned. It was also concluded that both Societies are of an absolutely un-political and strictly religious nature. On request, the government confermed the correctness of these statements.

    The conference of five thousand delegates emphasized that according to this state of affairs it considered it beneath ist dignity to even defend itself against any disparaging accusations of Marxist or even Communist activites. Such disproved slander of our religious opposers undoubtedly carry the sign of religious competition. Their goal is to stifle an honest warner with the ugly means of slander instead of using the word of God.

    The conference of five thousand delegates also noted - as is expressed in the declaration - that the Bible Researchers of Germany are fighting for the very same high ethical goals and ideals which also the national government of the German Reich proclaimed respecting the relationship of humans to God, namels: honesty of the created being towards its creator.

    The conference came to the conclusion that there are no contradictions when it comes to the relationship between the Bible Researchers of Germany to the national government of the German Reich. To the con trary, referring to the purely religious and unpolitical goals and efforts of the Bible Researchers, it can be said that these are in full agreement with the identical goals of the national government of the German Reich.

    Based upon the supposedly strong language of our literature, some of our books were banned. The conference of the five thousand delegates pointed to the fact that the contents of the books which were criticized, only refers to the situation and actions within the Anglo-American world power - especially England - which is responsible for the League of Na tions and its contracts and burdons imposed upon Germany. What is written in our literature - no matter whether from a financial or political point of view - is only directed towards the suppressors of the German people and their country, but by no means refers to Germany itself, which is trying hard to fight against the imposed burdens. Therefore the ban imposed upon these books is completely unjustified.

    In some parts of the country Bible Researchers are even prohibited to meet for prayer and church service and for many weeks are hoping for a solution of this situation which is stifling their religious lives. The follow ing was expressed about this situation:

    We want to continue to live up to the prohibition imposed upon us, for we are confident that Mr. Reichskanzler and the high government offi cials will lift this ban - which forces tens of thousands of Christian men and women to a martyrdom which can only be compared to that of the first Christians - after they have gained an understanding of the real situaiton.

    Finally, the conference of the five thousand delegates expressed that both Bible Researchers and Watchtower Organization stand for keeping up order and security within the state, as well as furthering the primary high ideals of the national government in the field of religion. The afore mentioned, as well as the inclosed declaration are meant as a brief infor mation directed to both Mr. Reichskanzler as leader of the people and all the other high government officials of the German Reich.

    The enclosed declaration was read by the secretary to the five thousand delegates of the conference of the Bible Researchers. It was approved unanimously and it was decided to present one copy each together with this report of the conference to Mr. Reichskanzler and all the other high government officials of the Reich and its countries.

    This we want to do herewith and ask that the following request, which is also stated in the declaration, will be received with favour:

    Namely that a commission from our midst is given the chance to person ally explain the true situation either to Mr. Reichskanzler himself or to the minister of internal affairs. Alternatively, we ask Mr. Reichskanzler to appoint a commission of men who do not have any religious prejudice against us - men who do not have professional religious interests but are solely interested to comply to the just principles as they were set up by the Reichskanzler himself - to investigate our situation impartially. The principles mentioned, refer to paragraph 24 of the program of the National Socialistic German Party of Workers, which reads:

    "We demand the freedom of all religious denominations within the state, as far as they do not endanger the state itself or violate the moral values of the German race.

    The party as such represents the viewpoint of posi tive Christianity without being attached to any particular denomination. It fights against the jewish-materialistic spirit inside and outside of us and is convinced that any recovery of the German people can only take place from the inisde out."

    We are fully confinced that, once we have been judged impartially, based firstly upon God's word and secondly upon the above mentioned paragraphs, the national government of Germany will find no reason to prevent us from our church services and missionary activities.

    We are looking forward to your kind approval, which we hope to receive soon, and want to assure our highest respect to you, honourable Mr. Reichskanzler.

    Yours faithfully

    Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Magdeburg

    Translated by Stephan E. Wolf [email protected]

    Back to Hitler Index






    B R O O K L Y N M A G D E B U R G


    TELEPHONE, MAGDEBURG 40556, 40557, 40558


    Sehr verehrter H e r r R e i c h s k a n z l e r !

    Am 25. Juni 1933 tagte in Berlin in der Sporthalle Wilmersdorf eine ca.

    5000 Personen umfassende und mehrere Millionen Deutscher repräsentierende Ver-

    treterkonferenz der Bibelforscher Deutschlands (Zeugen Jehovas), welche bereits

    seit vielen Jahren Freunde und Anhänger dieser Bewegung sind. Der Zweck dieser,

    von den Abgeordneten der einzelnen Bibelforschergemeinden Deutschlands besuchten

    Tagung war, Mittel und Wege zu finden, um dem Hernn Reichskanzler und den übri-

    gen hohen Regierungsbeamten des Deutschen Reiches sowohl, als allen Länder-

    regierungen Kenntnis zu geben von folgendem:

    Gegen eine auf dem Boden positiven Christentums stehende Vereinigung

    ernster, christlicher Männer und Frauen wurden und werden in einzelnen Landes-

    teilen Massnahmen ergriffen, die in ihrem Ursprung lediglich als die Verfolgung

    von Christen, durch andere Christen anzusprechen sind, weil die - diese Massnahmen

    auslösenden - gegen uns erhobenen Anschuldigungen meistens von klerikaler, be-

    sonders katholischer Seite aus erhoben wurden und unwahr sind.

    Absolut überzeugt von der völligen Objektivität der die Angelegenheit

    bearbeitenden Regierungsstellen und Beamten, ersehen wir trotz allem, dass -

    einerseits wohl wegen des Umfanges unserer Literatur und andererseits wegen

    starker Inanspruchnahme der betreffenden Sachbearbeiter - der Inhalt unserer Lite-

    ratur und der Sinn unserer Bewegung grösstenteils falsch beurteilt wird, und

    zwar nach dem, was unsere religiösen Gegner - Vorurteil bewirkend - gegen uns


    Darum ist das auf dieser Konferenz Besprochene in beigefügter Erklärung

    der Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society niedergelegt, um es Ihnen, Herr Reichs-

    kanzler, sowie den hohen Regierungsstellen des Deutschen Reiches und der Länder

    zu überreichen als Dokumentierung der Tatsache, dass die Bibelforscher Deutsch-

    lands als einziges Ziel ihrer Arbeit nur beabsichtigen, die Menschen zu Gott zu-

    rückzuführen und den Namen Jehovas, des Allerhöchsten, des Vaters unseres Herrn

    und Erlösers Jesus Christus, auf Erden zu bezeugen und zu ehren. Wir wissen be-

    stimmt, dass Sie, Herr Reichskanzler, solche Tätigkeit nicht stören lassen werden.

    Die Bibelforschergemeinden Deutschlands und ihre Glieder sind allge-

    mein bekannt als Hort wahrhafter Ehrfurcht vor dem Allerhösten und als eifrige

    Pfleger sorgsamer Bibelforschung. Örtliche Polizeibehörden werden immer bestä-

    tigen müssen, dass Bibelforscher absolut zu den ordnungsliebenden und -erhaltenden

    Elementen des Landes und Volkes zu zählen sind. Ihre einzige Mission ist Werbung

    der Menschenherzen für Gott.

    Die Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society ist die oranisierende Missions-

    zentrale der Bibelforscher (für Deutschland: Sitz Magdeburg).

    Das Brooklyner Präsidium der Watch Tower-Gesellschaft ist und war seit

    jeher in hervorragendem Masse deutschfreundlich. Aus diesem Grunde wurde im

    Jahre 1918 der Präsident der Gesellschaft und die sieben Glieder des Direktoriums

    in Amerika zu 80 Jahren Zuchthaus verurteilt, weil der Präsident sich weigerte,

    zwei von ihm in Amerika geleitete Zeitschriften zur Kriegspropaganda gegen

    Deutschland zu gebrauchen. Diese Zeitschriften "The Watch Tower" und "Bible

    Student" waren die beiden einzigen Zeitschriften Amerikas, die eine Kriegspropa-

    ganda gegen Deutschland verweigerten und darum während des Krieges in Amerika

    auch verboten und unterdrückt wurden.

    In gleicher Weise hat sich das Präsidium unserer Gesellschaft in den

    letzten Monaten nicht nur geweigert, an der Greulpropaganda gegen Deutschland

    teilzunehmen, sondern hat sogar dagegen Stellung genommen, wie dies auch in der

    beigefügten Erklärung unterstrichen wird durch den Hinweis, dass die Kreise,

    welche diese Greulpropaganda in Amerika leiten (Geschäftsjuden und Katho-

    liken), dort auch die rigerosesten Verfolger der Arbeit unserer Gesellschaft und

    ihres Präsidiums sind. Durch diese und andere in der Erklärung enthaltenen Fest-

    stellungen soll die Zurückweisung der Verleumdung, Bibelforscher würden durch die

    Juden unterstützt, erfolgen.

    Die Vertreterkonferenz dieser fünftausend Delegierten nahm mit grosser

    Befriedigung Kenntnis von der durch den Herrn Regierungspräsidenten zu Magdeburg

    erfolgten Feststellung, dass die von unseren kirchlichen Gegnern behauptete Be-

    ziehung zwischen Bibelforschern und Kommunisten oder Marxisten nicht erweisbar

    sei (also auch eine Verleumdung ist). Ein diesbezüglicher Pressebericht, ent-

    halten in der Magdeburger Tageszeitung Nr. 104 vom 5. Mai 1933, lautet:

    Eine Erklärung der Regierung zur Besetzung des
    Bibelforscher-Hauses. - Die Pressestelle der Regierung teilt
    mi: "Die polizeiliche Besetzung des Grundstücks der
    "Vereinigung der ernsten Bibelforscher" in
    Magdeburg ist am 29.April aufgehoben worden, weil kein
    belastendes Material hinsichtlich der behaupteten
    kommunistischen Betätigung gefunden worden ist."

     Ferner: Magdeburger Tageszeitung Nr. 102 vom 3. Mai 1933:

    "Vom Büro der Bibelforschervereinigung wird uns
    mitgeteilt, dass die Aktion, die von der Polizei gegen die
    Wachtturmgesellschaft und Bibelforschervereinigung
    eingeleitet wurde, inzwischen gänzlich aufgehoben worden
    ist. Ferner wurde alles freigegeben, da die sorgfältig
    durchgeführte Durchsuchung ergab, dass sich die Gesellschaft
    weder in politischer noch in krimineller Hinsicht irgend
    etwas zuschulden kommen [???], und weil weiter festgestellt
    wurde, dass die beiden Gesellschaften absolut unpolitisch und
    streng religiös sind. -

    Von der Regierung wurde uns auf Anfrage die Richtigkeit
    dieser Angaben bestätigt."

     Die Vertreterkonferenz dieser fünftausend Delegierten betonte, dass sie

    es nach dieser Sachlage unter ihrer Würde halte, sich fernerhin überhaupt noch

    gegen die verächtliche Verdächtigung marxistischer oder gar kommunistischer

    Betätigung verteidigen zu müssen. Diese widerlegten Verleumdungen unserer

    religiösen Gegner tragen eindeutig das Signum religiöser Konkurrenz, die einen

    ehrlichen Mahner statt mit Gottes Wort, mit dem wenig schönen Mittel der Ver-

    leumdung erdrosseln möchte.

    Weiter wurde auf dieser Konferenz der fünftausend Delegierten - wie in

    der Erklärung ausgedrückt - festgestellt, dass die Bibelforscher Deutschlands

    für dieselben hohen ethischen Ziele und Ideale kämpfen, welche die nationale

    Regierung des Deutschen Reiches bezüglich des Verhältnisses des Menschen zu Gott

    proklamierte, nämlich: Ehrlichkeit des Geschöpfes gegenüber dem Schöpfer!

    Auf der Konferenz wurde festgestellt, dass in dem Verhältnis der Bibel-

    forscher Deutschlands zur nationalen Regierung des Deutschen Reiches keinerlei

    Gegensätze vorliegen, sondern dass im Gegenteil - bezüglich der rein religiösen,

    unpolitischen Ziele und Bestrebungen der Bibelforscher - zu sagen ist, dass

    diese in völliger Übereinstimmung mit den gleichlaufenden Zielen der nationalen

    Regierung des Deutschen Reiches sind.

    Unter Berufung auf die angeblich harte Sprache unserer Literatur er-

    folgten einige Verbote unserer Bücher. Die Konferenz der fünftausend Delegierten

    verwies dazu auf den Umstand, dass der beanstandete Inhalt der Bücher doch nur

    Bezug nimmt auf Zustände und Handlungen im Anglo-Amerikanischen Weltreich, und

    dass dieses - speziell England - doch für den Völkerbund und die auf Deutschland

    gelegten ungerechten Verträge und Lasten verantwortlich zu machen ist. Das im

    obigen Sinne unserer Literatur Gesagte richtet sich also doch - einerlei, ob in

    finanzieller, politischer oder ultramontaner Beziehung - gegen die Bedrücker des

    deutschen Volkes und Landes, aber doch nicht gegen das sich gegen diese Lasten 

    sträubende Deutschland, so dass die erfolgten Verbote absolut unverständlich sind.

    Für diejenigen deutschen Ländergruppen, in denen sogar Verbote der

    Bibelforscher-Gottesdienste, Verbote ihrer Gebetsversammlungen usw. vorliegen,

    und die seit vielen Wochen auf eine gerechte Lösung dieses, ihr religiöses Leben

    knebelnden Zustandes warten, wurde folgendes ausgedrückt:

    Wir wollenauch weiterhin den erlassenen Verbotsanordnungen Folge

    leisten, denn wir sind gewiss, dass der Herr Reichskanzler bzw. die einzelnen

    hohen Länderregierungen diese Massnahmen - durch welche zehntausende christ-

    liche Männer und Frauen schliesslich einem dem Urchristen-Leiden verleichbaren

    Märtyrertum verfallen müssten - nach Kenntnis der wirklichen Sachlage

    aufheben werden.

    Endlich bekundete diese Konferenz der fünftausend Delegierten, dass die

    Bibelforscher- bzw. die Wacht-Tower-Organisation eintritt dür die Aufrecht-

    erhaltung von Ordnung und Sicherheit des Staates, sowie für die Förderung der

    vorerwähnten, auf religiösem Gebiet liegenden hohen Ideale dernationalen Re-

    gierung. Um hiervon vor allen Dingen dem Herrn Reichskanzler, als dem Führer des

    Volkes, und den übrigen hohen Regierungsbeamten des Deutschen Reiches und der

    Länder Kenntnis zu geben, wurde das vorstehend kurz Gesagte in anliegender Er-

    klärung ausführlich niedergelegt.

    Diese beigefügte Erklärung wurde vom Sekretär der fünftausend Delegier-

    ten der Bibelforscherkonferenz vorgelesen und von dieser einstimmig gebilligt

    und angenommen mit dem Auftrag, je ein Exemplar dieser Erklärung zusammen mit

    diesem Versammlungsbericht dem Herrn Reichskanzler und den übrigen hohen Re-

    gierungsbeamten des Reiches und der Länder zu überreichen.

    Dies geschieht hierdurch mit der ergebenen Bitte, dem in der Erklärung

    zum Ausdruck gebrachten Ansuchen geneigtest entsprechen zu wollen:

    Nämlich, einer Kommision aus unserer Mitte Gelegenheit zu geben zur

    verantwortlichen Darlegung des wahren Sachverhaltes vor dem Herrn Reichskanzler

    oder dem Herrn Reichsminister des Innern persönlich. Andernfalls wolle der Herr

    Reichskanzler eine Kommision von Männern bestimmen, die nicht durch religiöse

    Vorurteile gegen uns eingenommen sind, also von Männern, die selbst nicht beruf-

    lich religiös interessiert sind, sondern die wirklich nur - den für solche Fälle

    geltenden gerechten und vom Herrn Reichskanzler selbst aufgestellten Grundsätzen

    entsprechend - unsere Angelegenheit vorurteilslos prüfen würden. Mit diesen

    Grundsätzen meinen wir das im Punkt 24 des Programms der Nationalsozialistischen

    Deutschen Arbeiterpartei Gesagte:

    "Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit

    sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl

    der germanischen Rasse verstossen.

    Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christen-

    tums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie be-

    kämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und ausser uns und ist überzeugt,

    dass eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus---"

    Wir sind fest überzeugt, dass - wenn man uns religiös vorurteilslos

    erstens nur nach Gottes Wort und zweitens diesen angeführten Programmpunkten

    nach beurteilt - die nationale Regierung Deutschlands keinerlei Ursache finden

    wird, unsere Gottesdienste oder unsere Missionstätigkeit zu hindern.

    In Erwartung einer baldigen gütigen Zusage, und mit der Versicherung

    unserer allergrössten Hochachtung, sind wir, sehr verehrter Herr Reichskanzler,


    Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society

    M a g d e b u r g
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    Internal Database (Watchtower Observer)

    Konrad Franke's Testimony Jehovah's Witnesses and the Nazis

    Konrad Franke, later Watch Tower Society branch servant (director or overseer) for Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany, was present at the June 26, 1933 Witness convention in Berlin. In 1976 Franke gave a series of two part lectures (which lasted about three hours in all) in many places throughout West Germany. These lectures were entitled "The History of Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany." Significantly, they contained information on the 1933 Berlin convention which has never been published by the Watch Tower Society. Those lectures were tape recorded and have been transcribed in full. The statement which appears below is an English translation of remarks taken from them:

    .. At the last moment, therefore, we were invited to a special assembly in Prussia, thus Berlin, [to be held] in the Tennis Hall, where a "Declaration" was to be presented. Many were now unable to come [to the convention], but I had the privilege of traveling with Brother Albert Wandres from Wiesbaden to Berlin on a motorcycle through torrential rain. That did not bother us too much, but we were shocked when we arrived at the Tennis Hall the next morning and did not find that atmosphere which we ordinarily found at [Jehovah's Witness] conventions. When we entered, we found the hall bedecked with Swastika flags! But not only that: when the meeting started, it was preluded by a song which we had not sung for years, especially not in Germany, because of the melody. Though the lyrics were fine, the melody--well, the musicians who are here will recognize that the notes were [taken from the] the melody of "Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles"!

    Can you imagine how we felt? Many could not join in the singing; it was just as though their throats were throttled. What kind of leaders did we have who brought us [into] such dangers--and the danger of faltering under these circumstances--instead of helping and supporting us, so that we could take a fearless stand [against Nazism]. May all elders who are here among us [listening to this lecture] learn something from these examples, and may they recognize their responsibilities in such matters in the near future.

    Now the Declaration, which Brother Rutherford had prepared, was approved, and every person was instructed to take 250 copies home if he possibly could. If he then had the courage to do so, he was to send copies of it by registered mail to judges, lawyers, mayors, etc.

    At the time, I sent fifty-two registered letters [with the Declaration], and the result was that a few days later I found myself in a concentration camp for the first time, when most people had no idea what a concentration camp was.

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