Watchtower October 1, 2011 page 14 'Did Hitler receive letters of protest from church officials concerning the outrager perpetrated by the National Socialists, or Nazis? There were some, but such letters were few and far between. In the Moscow archives, however, Eberle found a file containing a number of letters sent to Hitler by Jehovah's Witnesses..protesting against the conduct of the Nazis.' - This article gives the impression that Witnesses unitedly protested against Hitler, unlike the majority of church officials. But did the Watchtower stand defiantly against Hitler with the rank and file? http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/hitler-nazi.php
Watchtower defiance against Hitler
But did the Watchtower stand defiantly against Hitler with the rank and file?
The answer is NO. Thanks for the link!
I've had this discussion with my koolaid drinking JW elder brother. I showed him the copy of the yearbook from 1933 and how the watchtower still, consistantly lies about what happened. He still speaks of the JWs showing a force of political neutrality. What a brain washed simpleton.
the images are hardly readable, are they available in a higher resolution somewhere?
I had a butchers at the letter from the WTB$ but sadly my knowledge of the German language is about as good as Fred Franz' knowledge of original Greek!
Every study of the Holocaust mentions Jehovah's Witnesses as early targets. In fact, psychological studies showed that the Witnesses coped best in concentration camp. Scholars believe this was because their world view was that the world was inherently evil and bad things meant Armageddon was near. Other religions believed in the basic goodness of God and culture. Germany was the height of Western civilization at the time. I suspect some resisted, some fled, and some Heil Hitlered.
I saw a letter from Rutherford on this forum in which he threw Jews under the bus. Jesus was a Jew. It revolted me. Rutherford stressed what good loyal citizens the Witnesses were in contrast to the Jews. I never heard of this letter before this forum. Many Catholics resisted, esp. in the area of Germany that was very Roman Catholic dominant.
the quiet one, yes, those are the images i am talking about. one can't really decipher what the "magdeburger zeitung" said, for example. i wish those scans would be available in some higher (readable) resolution somewhere.
My own anecdotal comments are that ....yes and no , would be the reply.
When I was a lad our old Cong. Servant used to tell us how at one time all the congo's in the western world (at least) sent a telegram on one day to Hitler .He described bicylcling down to the local POst Office and surviving the withering look that the clerk gave him when he supplied the recipient's name and address! This must have been close to the outbreak of WW2. It said something like "If you do not stop persecuting J W's, God will destroy you and your party"....
However, I have seen several quotes and passages of stuff from the '30's where J Rutherford printed stuff that was kind of conciliatory to Hitler, before the persecution on J W's began. At the time U S A was not contemplating war and I think that he was just being "tactful"? or deceptive .....Others have seen it as supporting Hitler
Rutherford was anti-Semitic and the contents of Rutherford's letter praise Hitler for his anti-Anglo/American campaign and his stance against the Jews.
Following is an English translation of the Letter to Hitler from 1933
"Dear Reichskanzler, 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 its board of directors. This and other statements of the declaration are meant to repudiate the slanderous accusation, that Bible Researchers are supported by the Jews.
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, namely: 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 contrary, 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.
We are looking forward to your kind approval, which we hope to receive soon, and want to assure our highest respect to you, honorable Mr. Reichskanzler.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Magdeburg"
Rutherford then released the "Declaration of Facts" that showed the Watchtower's support of the German governments stance against Jews. This is presented in the Yearbook 1934 pp.134-138:
"It is falsely charged by our enemies that we have received financial support for our work from the Jews. Nothing is farther from the truth. Up to this hour there never has been the slightest bit of money contributed to our work by Jews. We are the faithful followers of Christ Jesus and believe upon Him as the Savior of the world, whereas the Jews entirely reject Jesus Christ and emphatically deny that he is the Savior of the world sent of God for man's good. This of itself should be sufficient proof to show that we receive no support from Jews and that therefore the charges against us are maliciously false and could proceed only from Satan, our great enemy. The greatest and the most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American empire. By that is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York which says: The Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills. ( http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/jehovahs-witness/T5REAN4LA7UHQS9L5)
Note once again the contrast between the LEADERSHIP of the Watchtower Society in writing Hitler directly (in the above letter) and saying what was said
compared to the rank and file Bibleforscher (bible student) aka Jehovah's Witness as seen below.
The Christian Science Monitor magazine (11/6/96) said:
“Why Hitler bothered to single out such a minor group, and the tenacity with which the Witnesses resisted him, is what makes their story significant, says Michael Berebaum, director of the Research Institute at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington. "The Jehovah's Witnesses were literally the only martyrs of the Holocaust," Mr Berebaum says. The Jews were victims because their experience was not a matter of choice. But the Witnesses did have a choice. They are people to be respected for not giving in.... James Pellechia, producer of "Stand Firm," says he did not want to minimize any group in the Holocaust. "We don't think we are heroes. We're not trying to say we're better person than a Jew, a Gypsy, or a homosexual. Our experience pales in comparison," Mr Pellechia says. "But our story is one of many that needs to be told."
“The German Churches under Hitler” by Ernst Christian Helmreich, Wayne State University Press, 1979
“The Jehovah's Witnesses...were treated the most severely. They were given short shrift and no one spoke up in their behalf.” ;287
“Marriage to a Jehovah's witness became grounds for a divorce for the non-Witness. There were 108 such divorces. In 1937 the courts decreed that children could be taken away from Jehovah's witnesses to preserve them from the influence of their parents. There were 860 children taken from their parents.” ;396, 561
“Witnesses never gave up bearing witness according to their concepts. The police summary of events of 1938 laments that in spite of orders for their dissolution, Jehovah's witnesses continued their activity.” ;396
“the record shows that the Witnesses held true to their convictions. No one knows for certain, but it has been estimated that one to five thousand lost their lives in prison and concentration camps...They never ceased to carry on their missionary work, and their "witnessing" even brought conversions within the camp.”. ;397
“Hitler, was brought up in the Catholic faith and until his death was never excommunicated from the church, listing himself to the very end in the party handbook as a Catholic.” ;123
“There were no protests by the church against the war when it started, nor were there any antiwar statements, pacifistic utterances, or support of conscientious objectors in the many church pronouncements during the war. There is no record of pastors refusing to serve when called into the armed services.” ;342
“Both Catholic and Protestant clergy did their duty to the state as they had done in past wars; there were no conscientious objectors.” ;355
“Papal policy was not very different from that of the German people or the German hierarchy. The pope too played it safe.” ;364
“The concordat between the Reich and the Vatican...gave Hitler sufficient guarantee that the Roman Catholic citizens of the Reich would henceforth unreservedly place themselves in the service of the state.... The papacy in turn received ample assurances on...the FUTURE OF CHURCH SUBSIDIES.” ;244, 246
This last statement is important, because the greatest resistance of the Churches resulted when Hitler started withholding their money.
“This threat to cut off funds...was unbearable.” “If the church leaders could not agree, he would withdraw both his protecting hand and state financial support...At the audience it was clear that the majority of the churchmen were disposed to meet Hitler's request.” ;152, 155
Regarding Freemasons: “While the lodges were dissolved...there were no wholesale arrests or persecutions. Unlike the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mason did not refuse to give the German greeting, swear and oath, or serve in the army.”
“The MORMONS, like most Germans, supported the war effort, and some of their leaders were strong supporters of the Nazi party...The Mormon ardor for genealogy also gave them a certain standing with Nazis....Three Mormon youths were arrested for printing and distributing anti- Hitler leaflets during the war. One of them was executed, and the worried Hamburg Mormon church officials excommunicated him after his death. (In 1948 church officials in Salt Lake City posthumously reinstated him.)” ;405