Purple Triangles - Symbol of JW faith?

by POs Son 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • POs Son
    POs Son

    I clicked on one of the Google-Ad sponsors on JWN, and saw the purple triangle on the http://www.servicesupplies.net/ website. So help me understand this: Is it OK for a JW to use the Nazi symbol of a purple triangle to identify themselves, but using the cross is not acceptable?


  • undercover
    Is it OK for a JW to use the Nazi symbol of a purple triangle to identify themselves, but using the cross is not acceptable?

    That's a pretty darn good question...

    The Society goes to great length to criticize people, particularly Catholics, who display and/or wear the cross. They even give an example that if you had a loved one killed by a gun, would you wear a symbol of a gun around your neck?

    So whould JWs, whether Society sponsered or not, use the purple triangle as a symbol for expressing their faith? Not if they use the same principle as why it's wrong to wear or display the cross or some other religous symbol.

    This bit of hypocrisy runs from the top all the way down to the rank and file on this one.

  • MadGiant

    During the time of World War II, and a bit before, Jehovah's Witnesses were targeted by Nazis because they were concientious objectors; they refused to fight in the war. And also, their religion didn't allow them to "Heil Hitler". The uniform system of marking introduced before the war consisted in sewing a triangular piece of material on to each prisoner’s uniform, the colour depending on his category: for political prisoners, red
    for Jehovah’s Witnesses, purple
    for anti-socials, black for criminals, green for homosexuals, pink for emigrants, blue. In addition to the coloured triangle Jewish prisoners were made to wear a yellow triangle sewn on to the coloured triangle in such a way as to form the hexagonal Star of David. Take care, Ismael

  • blondie

    The purple triangle was a concentration camp badge used by the Nazis to identify several religious minorities. Nazism opposed all non-Christian or unorthodox-Christian religious minorities (along with Jews ). [1] [2]

    Among these communities were mainly Jehovah's Witnesses (known as Bibelforscher, "Bible students") and Germanic Neopagans [3] , as well as a few members of Witness splinter groups, and members of the Adventist , Baptist , and New Apostolic movements. [4]

    (4)^ Johannes S. Wrobel, Jehovah’s Witnesses in National Socialist Concentration Camps, 1933 – 45, Religion, State & Society, Vol. 34, No. 2, June 2006, pp. 89-125 (Johannes S. Wrobel is head of the Watchtower History Archive of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Selters/Taunus, Germany. His article states, "The concentration camp prisoner category ‘Bible Student’ at times apparently included a few members from small Bible Student splinter groups, as well as adherents of other religious groups which played only a secondary role during the time of the National Socialists regime, such as Adventists, Baptists and the New Apostolic community".)


  • MadGiant

    Thanks blondie;

    I wasn’t aware that Adventists, Baptist and new apostolic were required to wear the purple triangle also.


    Take care,


  • Mrs. Fiorini
    Mrs. Fiorini

    I hope by this comment I am adding to this thread, not hijacking it. But I wanted to share something I recently learned about the JW experience during the holocaust.

    A few weeks ago I was in DC and took the opportunity to visit the holocaust museum, where JWs are mentioned. They talked about the purple cross being the symbol for JWs. They also said that while a full one-third of all JWs who were imprisoned in concentration camps died due to the brutal conditions, they were not systematically executed like the Jews and Gypsies were. Instead they were treated the same as the political prisoners. They were worked as slaves, barely fed, etc., but not taken to the gas chambers. Apparently they were not considered racially inferior, therefore requiring extermination, but were deemed to be troublemakers and disloyal to the regime.

    By mentioning this I in no way want to minimize the horror that those poor JWs endured. There is no excuse for what the Nazis did to them. But that information was news to me and I thought it might be to others as well.

  • Lillith26

    I've seen the WT DVD on this- I cryed, and I felt for all the victims regardless of religion preference!

    But you are right- A purple triangle is a symbol! but it was a forsed symbol- meaning they did not choose it at the time, and I personally have never seen a JW wear one.

    On a lighter note- anyone see any similarities here?? triangle=pyramid LOL sorry, had to add that!

  • cameo-d

    Mrs. Fiorini: "A few weeks ago I was in DC and took the opportunity to visit the holocaust museum, where JWs are mentioned. They talked about the purple cross being the symbol for JWs.

    Was that just a slip, please or did they say "cross" at the holocaust museum? Just wondering if this is something different.

  • blondie

    I checked the holocaust site and found no mention of purple (or any mention of cross) cross attached to the symbol that jws wore.

    I could imagine that some non-jw tour guide might have had a slight of the tongue. Aren't all the patches worn by concentration prisoners triangles or combinations of triangles?

    What did each of the identifying badges mean?

    The Nazis used triangular badges or patches to identify prisoners in the concentration camps. Different colored patches represented different groups. The colors and their meanings were:

    A chart of prisoner markings.
    KZ Gedenkstaette Dachau
    VioletJehovah's Witness
    GreenHabitual criminal
    RedPolitical prisoner

    The "Asocial" category was, perhaps, the most diverse, including prostitutes, vagrants, murderers, thieves, lesbians, and those who violated laws prohibiting sexual intercourse between Aryans and Jews. In addition, while the brown triangle was used for gypsies under certain circumstances, they were more often forced to wear the black triangle categorizing them as "asocials."

    Some patches included letters on the triangles to further distinguish among the various groups in the camps. Most commonly, the letter indicated nationality, e.g., "F" for franzosisch (French), "P" for polnisch (Polish), "T" for tschechisch (Czech), etc., but it could also denote special sub-categories of prisoners. For example, the white letter "A" on a black triangle signified a labor disciplinary prisoner (Arbeitserziehungshaftling), while a black "S" on a green triangle identified a strafthaft, or penal prisoner. In addition, the word Blod on a black triangle marked mentally impaired inmates, and a red and white target symbol set apart those who had tried to escape.

    For Jewish offenders, triangles of two different colors were combined to create a six-pointed star, one triangle yellow to denote a Jew, the second triangle another color to denote the added offense. For example, a Jewish criminal would wear a yellow triangle overlaid by a green one; Jewish homosexuals wore pink triangles over yellow.

    Outside the camps, the occupying Nazi forces ordered Jews to wear patches or armbands marked with the star of David, though the specific characteristics of the badge (size, shape, color) varied by region. For example, some yellow stars were marked with a large "J" in the center, while elsewhere the patches had "Jude" (or "Jood," "Juif," etc.) stitched in the middle. Those who failed to wear the star were subject to arrest and deportation, a fate that frightened most Jews into compliance even though the patch subjected them to restrictions, harassment, and isolation. Source: Abraham J. Edelheit, and Hershel Edelheit, History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994), pp. 218, 239, 266, 448.

    For more information about the history of the requirement that Jews wear a distinctive marking or sign, including during the Nazi period, see the entry "Badge, Jewish" in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 4 (Jerusalem: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 62-73.

  • AuntBee

    This is very interesting, because our JW friend wore some kind of purple sash thing at our school's high school graduation, that no one else had. I THink it did have a triangle too! I figured it was JW related, but had no idea how. I'm sure it was not his idea, JUST ONE MORE THING TO MAKE HIM FEEL WEIRD AND DIFFERENT after all he went through in high school.

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