exwhyzee said: I thought they were sent to the camps for simply being JW's, Jews or gay rather than for not joining the military.
Jehovah's Witnesses became a target of Hitler directly because of the actions of Rutherford. Rutherford tried to curry favor with Hitler and pretend the WT was a friend of the Nazi government. When Hitler didn't buy into the charade, Rutherford went on the warpath and made himself, the WT, and by extension, all Jehovah's Witnesses an enemy of Hitler. They were imprisoned primarily because the Nazi government saw the Watchtower Society as a subversive cult, dangerous to the German people.
Unfortunately, while Rutherford lived the high life in Brooklyn, the innocent JWs in Germany paid the real price for his arrogance and duplicity.
The "Proclaimers" book, page 661, has a copy of the form Jehovah's Witnesses could sign to avoid being imprisoned:
I, _____ , born on ______ in ______ declare the following:
1. I recognized that the International Bible Students Association spreads out erroneous teachings, and pursues anti-state goals under the cloak of its religious activity
2. For this reason I disassociated myself fully and completely of this organization and I also released myself psychologically off this cult.
3. Thus I guarantee that I will never ever activate for the IBSA. I will denounce any person who approaches me with the heresies of the Bibelforscher or by any means let me know they are Bibelforscher. I will submit to the nearest police station any piece of Bibelforscher literature sent to me.
4. I will henceforth obey the laws of the state, especially in case of wars I will defend my motherland with the weapon in hand and I will submit myself in the ranks of the people's association.
5. I have been informed that I will face arrest again if I revoke today's declaration.
Place, date, signature
The WT falsely claims that the Nazis demanded that JWs had to renounce Jehovah as their god. This is a patently false assertion. It involved resignation from being committed to the teachings of the Watch Tower Society.