Watchtower defiance against Hitler

by The Quiet One 37 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • trailerfitter

    I had read that Rutherford was against the money making Jews. I do not think the JWs did themselves any favors during the war. I wathced the latest JW DVD recently. They had issues in the USA in the 1940's with saluting the American flag. i know it sounds a bit accusitory but I thik the WTBTS put their members up for persecution rather than protecting them..

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    We will never know. I recall during the Viet Nam war that it was oft commented that old white men who are politicans and generals send young men, only recently boys, to die in wars.

    I don't know what the best policy would be in Germany or Japan. Altho individual Catholics bravely resisted, the Vatican signed the agreement with Hitler so the Vatican would not be annexed. I believe that pople was one of the most evil in the history of the church. After the war, they actively helped Nazis escape. You don't want to colloborate with evil. Certainly, though, some smudging of the boundaries and realizing the seriousness of the stakes would help.

    I recall when Idi Amin was in power in Uganda. He tried a British diplomat and sentenced him to death. Messing with the British mind, he wanted the British governmen to send their secretary of state to Uganda and publicly grovel before Amin. The British decided to grovel to save the man's life.

    It seems that Rutherford, an American in safety, was determining the policy for German JYs. I would think a local German JW leader would know the best how to pitch the religion to the nazis.

  • Terry

    to be fair during the early years Hitler did not reveal the extreme measures he was later to take against the Jews.

    Not quite sure what you mean here.

    Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in 2 vols. beginning in 1926 while imprisoned.

    How much clearer could Hitler be about the Jews than to identify them (along with Communism) as the greatest of all evils?

    Hitler chose to propagate the myth of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to rule the planet. He saw his role as that of preventing Germany from this fate.

    In Mein Kampf we are told by Hitler that at first he thought Anti-Semitic talk was foolish and unfounded, but, gradually his experiences led him to become a true believer.

    Hitler clearly outlined all the future steps he would take to accomplish his ends including removing land from Russia, destroying Parlimentary government, and expunging the Jewish press for starters.

    What are we to make of: if 12,000–15,000 Jews were gassed, then "the sacrifice of millions of soldiers would not have been in vain,"

    Apologists claim this doesn't prove Hitler INTENDED total extermination! Oh, really? Okay.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    Rutherford's letter is extremely antiSemitic. Imagine what was being done to Jews in Germany as Rutherford wrote that letter. As a matter of fact, look what was happening in the United States to Jews as Rutherford wrote that letter. Wikipedia is good for a quick look but not a great source. I totally agree that Jehovah's Witnesses were never persecuted for being JWs in anything approaching the way Jews were treated as Jews.

    The Catholic example is difficult. Certainly, the Vatican had blood on its hands. It continued to shelter Nazis long after they posed any threat to the Holy See. Catholics were offended by Hitler's policies. Some priests idid one thing based on their faith and other priests did the very opposite based on their faith. My uncles went to Danbury Prison for refusing to serve in the military. It wasn't pleasant but it was never a concentration camp.

    It boggles my mind how anyone can claim that Hitler wasn't antiSemitic! Or he did not like Jews but......I wonder how much he truly hated Jews and how much he played upon existing European antisemitism to make his party popular with voters.

    I am certain that Rutherford read the New York Times to keep abreast of the European situation with Witnesses. He was not stupid. I suspect he knew what was happening Germany. Even a skimmer, skims the 4th or 5th pages. Germans said they never knew when the Alliieds liberated the camps. Eisenhower demanded that the local folk tour the camps. None of them ever knew. Burning flesh is so foul smelling that it carries for miles and miles. Within each German city, the mass of transport trains had to be noticeable.

    When I interview for major law firms in the 1980s, there were still Christian and Jewish firms. All the Ivies had quotas that excluded Jews. They schedule classes on Sabbah just in case. In our present society, antiSemitism still exists. It is not overt but it is present.

    I am not a Zionist. American interests are not the same as those of Israel. Hitler was not a nice man. His cronies were not nice, reasonable men with an eccentricity towards not liking Jews. It was so systemic. They created a powerful machine to eliminate Jews. The tiniest items, such as hair and human skin, were collected for the utmost economic profit.

    I had no idea until I attended university in NY that anyone of any status needed to study in Germany. No other country was so cultured and had such excellent universities. Medical students, in particular, flocked to Germany. Theologians did, too. How could Hitler come to power in such a country?

  • soft+gentle

    Terry in your post 11532 you have not clarified that these words of Hitler were not in Mein Kampf but part of his final solution which came years later.

    if 12,000–15,000 Jews were gassed, then "the sacrifice of millions of soldiers would not have been in vain,"

  • soft+gentle


    Hitler was very antisemitic - this was my point. I don't think Rutherford's letter is anti-semitic. Here is a link that explains Jehovahs witnesses dilemma under Hitler and all the negotiating they had to do.

    more books on JWs under the Nazi's here

  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    Soft+gentle said:"Terry in your post 11532 you have not clarified that these words of Hitler were not in Mein Kampf but part of his final solution which came years later. if 12,000–15,000 Jews were gassed, then "the sacrifice of millions of soldiers would not have been in vain,"- Sorry, you're wrong there.. 'Mein Kampf has assumed a key place in the functionalism versusintentionalism debate. Intentionalists insist that the passage stating that if 12,000–15,000 Jews were gassed, then "the sacrifice of millions of soldiers would not have been in vain," proves quite clearly that Hitler had a master plan for the genocide of the Jewish people all along. Functionalists deny this assertion, noting that the passage does not call for the destruction of the entire Jewish people and note that although Mein Kampf is suffused with an extreme anti-Semitism, it is the only time in the entire book that Hitler ever explicitly refers to the murder of Jews. Given that Mein Kampf is 720 pages long, Functionalist historians have accused the Intentionalists of making too much out of one sentence. Functionalist historians have argued that the memorandum written by Heinrich Himmler to Hitler on May 25, 1940, regarding the " Final Solution to the Jewish Question ," whose proposals Hitler accepted, provesthat there was no master plan for genocide which stemmed back to the 1920s. In the memorandum, Himmler rejects genocide under the grounds that one must reject "...the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people out ofinner conviction as un-German and impossible." He goes on to argue that something similar to the " Madagascar Plan " be the preferred "territorial solution" tothe " Jewish Question ." Additionally, Functionalist historians have noted that in Mein Kampf Hitler states the only anti-Semitic policies he will carry out are the 25 Point Platform of the Nazi Party (adopted in February 1920), which demandsthat only "Aryan" Germans be allowed to publish newspapers and own department stores, places a ban on Jewish immigration, expels all Ostjuden (Eastern Jews; i.e., Jews from Eastern Europe who had arrived in Germany since 1914) and strips all German Jews of their German citizenship. Although these demands do reflect a hateful anti-Semitism, they do not amount to a programme for genocide, according to the Functionalist historians. Beyond that, some historians have claimed although Hitler was clearly obsessed with anti-Semitism, his degree of anti-Semitic hatred contained in Mein Kampf is no greater or less than that contained in the writings and speeches of earlier völkisch leaders such as Wilhelm Marr , Georg Ritter von Schönerer , Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Karl Lueger , all of whom routinely called Jews a "disease" and "vermin." Nevertheless, Hitlercites all of them as an inspiration in Mein Kampf.'

  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    Soft+gentle said: 'I don't think Rutherford's letter is anti-semitic.' Fair enough but consider these points-- From the letter..''are solely interested to comply to the just principles as they were set up bythe 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 valuesof the German race. The party as such represents the viewpoint of positive 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 inside out."- Rutherford said they agreed with this religious goal, including the anti semitism. From the Declaration of facts- ''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.'' Definition: an·ti-Sem·i·tism [an-tee- sem -i-tiz- uh m, an-tahy-] - noun 1. discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews [Origin: 1880–85 ] Source: Unabridged

  • soft+gentle

    the quiet one

    in reply to your post 218 - I am not disagreeing that Hitler may have had a master plan to exterminate the Jews from the start. What I am disagreeing with is the thinking that people who could have somehow have stopped him were aware at the begininng that he would go to that extent.

    Hitler was aware of the backlash against him after mein Kampf was published and he actively hid his darkest intentions.

    I have not read mein kampf but am familiar with the arguments you mention and to delve into those arguments one would have to trace the history of the German attitude to Jews from at least the first world war, the depression that came after and even further back perhaps to ideas about eugenics and scientific racism. Negative stereoptyping of Jews go even further back than that. Some say that anti-semitism went much further back then the 19th century but I don't agree as I make a distinction between negative stereotyping, religious hatred and intolerance which happened a lot to the Jews and the much stronger anti-semitism which started from the 19th century getting steadily worse. (edit - I could write an essay about this - lol)

    But are you saying that the sentence Terry quoted is in mein kampf. Even if it is please see my point in para 1 of this post. (edited - Somehow I don't think it is because gas chambers came later).

    One thing I have learned from my time outside of JWs and that is to avoid monolithic explanations.

  • soft+gentle

    on rutherford, I think we will have to agree to disagree as to me the letter suggests strong negotiation - similar negotiation was used by other religious and secular bodies who were facing proscription. I think Rutherford probably borrowed heavily from others when he worded his letter.

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