***yb74 pp. 196-197 Germany (Part Three) ***
This can be seen from a letter that Himmler wrote to his closest associates, the top SS leaders Pohl and Müller. This letter, stamped "Secret," included the following passages:
"Enclosed is a report about the ten Bible Students that are working on my doctor’s farm. I had an opportunity to study the matter of the Earnest Bible Students from all angles. Mrs. Kersten made a very good suggestion. She said that she had never had such good, willing, faithful and obedient personnel as these ten women. These people do much out of love and kindness. . . . One of the women once received 5.00 RM as a tip from a guest. She accepted the money since she did not want to cast aspersions upon the home, and gave it to Mrs. Kersten, since it was prohibited to have money in the camp. The women voluntarily did any work required of them. Evenings they knitted, Sundays they were kept busy in some other way. During the summer they did not let the opportunity pass to get up two hours earlier and gather baskets full of mushrooms, even though they were required to work ten, eleven and twelve hours a day. These facts complete my picture of the Bible Students. They are incredibly fanatical, willing people, ready to sacrifice. If we could put their fanaticism to work for Germany or instill such fanaticism into our people, then we would be stronger than we are today. Of course, since they reject the war, their teaching is so detrimental that we cannot permit it lest we do Germany the greatest damage. . . .
"Nothing is accomplished by punishing them, since they only talk about it afterward with enthusiasm. . . . Each punishment serves as a merit for the other world. That is why every true Bible Student will let himself be executed without hesitation. . . . Every confinement in the dungeon, every pang of hunger, every period of freezing is a merit, every punishment, every blow is a merit with Jehovah.
"Should problems develop in camp in the future involving the Bible Students, then I prohibit the camp commander from pronouncing any punishment. Such cases should be reported to me with a brief description of the circumstances. From now on I plan on doing the opposite and telling the respective individual: ‘You are forbidden to work. You are to be better fed than the others and you do not have to do anything.’
"For according to the belief of these good-natured lunatics merit ceases then, yes, to the contrary, previous merits will be deducted by Jehovah.
"Now my suggestion is that all of the Bible Students be put in work—for example, farm work, which has nothing to do with war and all its madness. One can leave them unguarded if properly assigned; they will not run away. They can be given uncontrolled jobs, they will prove to be the best administrators and workers.
"Another use for them as suggested by Mrs. Kersten: We can employ the Bible Students in our ‘Lebensbornheime’ (homes erected to rear children fostered by SS men to produce a master race), not as nurses, but, rather, as cooks, housekeepers, or to do work in the laundry or similar jobs. In cases where we still have men serving as janitors we can use strong women Bible Students. I am convinced that, in most cases, we will have little difficulty with them.
"I am also in agreement with suggestions that Bible Students be assigned to large families. Qualified Bible Students who have the necessary ability should be found and reported to me. I will then personally distribute them among large families. In such households they are not to wear prison garb, however, but civilian clothes and their stay should be arranged in a similar way to the free and interned Bible Students in Harzwalde.
"In all these cases where prisoners are partially free and have been assigned to such work we want to avoid written records or signatures and make such agreements with just a handshake.
"Please send your recommendations for initiating this action and a report on it."
So it was. Within a short time quite a few sisters were sent to work in SS households, truck gardens, estates and "Lebensbornheime."