Did judge Rutherford piss off Hitler

by greenhornet 109 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Finkelstein

    Kirchenkampf (English: "church struggle") is a German term pertaining to the situation of the Christian churches in Germany during the Nazi period (1933–1945). Sometimes used ambiguously, the term may refer to one or more of the following different "church struggles": the internal dispute between the Deutsche Christen German Christians and the Bekennende Kirche Confessing Church over control of the Protestant churches; the battle between the Nazi regime and the Protestant church bodies; and the battle between the Nazi regime and the Roman Catholic Church. Around two thirds of Germans were Protestant, and one third Catholic when the Nazis took power. Many historians maintain that Hitler's goal in the Kirchenkampf entailed not only ideological struggle, but ultimately the eradication of the churches. Other historians maintain no such plan existed. The Salvation Army, Christian Saints and Seventh Day Adventist Church all disappeared from Germany during the Nazi era.

    Nazi ideology was hostile to traditional Christianity in various respects and the Nazi Party saw the Church Struggle as an important ideological battleground. Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw wrote of the Struggle in terms of an ongoing and escalating conflict between the Nazi state and the Christian churches. Historian Susannah Heschel wrote that the Kirchenkampf refers only to an internal dispute between members of the Confessing Church and members of the (Nazi-backed[ "German Christians' over control of the Protestant church. Pierre Aycoberry wrote that for Catholics the phrase kirchenkampf was reminiscent of the kulturkampf of Otto von Bismarck's time - a campaign which had sought to destroy the influence of Catholicism in majority Protestant Germany.



    The Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler ruled Germany for the period of the Church Struggle.

    Nazism wanted to transform the subjective consciousness of the German people - their attitudes, values and mentalities - into a single-minded, obedient "national community". According to Ian Kershaw, in order to achieve this, the Nazis believed they would have to replace class, religious and regional allegiances by a "massively enhanced national self-awareness to mobilize the German people psychologically for the coming struggle and to boost their morale during the inevitable war".[18] The Nazis disliked universities, intellectuals and the Catholic and Protestant churches. According to Gill, their long term plan was to "de-Christianise Germany after the final victory". The Nazis co-opted the term Gleichschaltung to mean conformity and subservience to the National Socialist German Workers' Party line: "there was to be no law but Hitler, and ultimately no god but Hitler".[19]

    Nazi ideology conflicted with traditional Christian beliefs in various respects - Nazis criticized Christian notions of "meekness and guilt" on the basis that they "repressed the violent instincts necessary to prevent inferior races from dominating Aryans".[20] Aggressive anti-Church radicals like Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann saw the conflict with the Churches as a priority concern, and anti-church and anti-clerical sentiments were strong among grassroots party activists.[21] East Prussian Party Gauleiter Erich Koch on the other hand, said that Nazism "had to develop from a basic Prussian-Protestant attitude and from Luther's unfinished Reformation".[22] Hitler himself disdained Christianity:[23]

    In Hitler's eyes, Christianity was a religion fit only for slaves; he detested its ethics in particular. Its teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest.

    — Extract from Hitler a Study in Tyranny, by Alan Bullock

    Though raised a Catholic, Hitler rejected the Judeo-Christian conception of God and religion.[24][25] Though he retained some regard for the organisational power of Catholicism, he had utter contempt for its central teachings, which he said, if taken to their conclusion, "would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure". Hitler ultimately believed "one is either a Christian or a German" - to be both was impossible. However, important German conservative elements, such as the officer corps, opposed Nazi persecution of the churches and, in office, Hitler restrained his anticlerical instincts out of political considerations.

    Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw wrote that, while many ordinary people were apathetic, after years of warning from Catholic clergy, Germany's Catholic population greeted the Nazi takeover with apprehension and uncertainty, while among German Protestants, many were optimistic a strengthened Germany might bring with it "inner, moral revitalisation". However, within a short period, the Nazi government's conflict with the churches was to become a source of great bitterness.

  • OrphanCrow
    Yes I understand your handicap. True to your avatar, black heart.

    Simonsays, I have ignored your babblings up to now. I was hoping you would go away. And you did for a little bit.

    However, your stupidity is revealed by your need to resort to name calling in order to get attention. I bet when you were a little guy that you threw tantrums until you pissed your pants, too.


    Rutherfraud should have followed the current JW mantra of " STFU and be blessed." Instead he went on his anti-semitic, holier-than-thou, Merican Jesus rant, which cost countless JWs their lives.

    At least they got some good Yeabook stories out of it....


  • OrphanCrow
    DataDog: At least they got some good Yeabook stories out of it....

    Yes, we have read about the stories that the WTS want us to hear. The treatment that many of the Bible Students and JWs were subjected to was terrible. However, there are many stories that aren't told about the JWs and the camps run by Himmler's SS.

    For example, The WTS yearbooks do not tell the story of Wewelsburg Castle, a "posh concentration camp" that the JWs were left as caretakers of when the construction was shut down in 1943. However, the Wewelsburg Castle is a lengthy story all by itself, and one that requires a lot of background material to do it justice.

    The WTS yearbooks also do not tell the stories of all the JWs who were placed in positions of privilege serving the SS officers and their families or where they rubbed elbows with the Nazi doctors.

    I have posted this information before, but, for the sake of this thread...I will do so again. I apologize for the length of the following...there were numerous JW assignments to list. I used a few sources for this material but most of this information comes from Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich by Detlef Garbe and Dagnar G. Grimm.

    You will notice that some of these assignments pre-date the 'turning point' of 1942 alleged by some historians. I also apologize if I can't supply the actual dates and numbers of prisoners of all the assignments - I will note what I have found.

    It was in the mid-30s that the SS officers were already using Bible Students to act as barbers - supposedly because they knew they wouldn't get their throats cut. This is a popular story that is repeated ad nauseum so I will get it out of the way first.

    As early as 1938, Hans Loritz, the commanding officer of Dachau, had BS/Jws work for him privately. Loritz owned land near Lake Wolfgang in Salzkammergut (Austria) and used the Bible Students (crew of 9) to build a mansion boathouse and landing pier. Loritz later increased the work crew to 25 Bible Students after he had been transferred to the Sachenhausen camp in 1940. Also, SS Arthur Liebehenschel had a building project near lake Wolfgang that he used 15 Bible Students for a work crew as well.

    From 1940 and on, until 1945, 30 to 40 BS/Jws were assigned to work at Bayrischzell SS Mountain Hotel and Holiday Resort in Sudelfeld am Wendelstein. Their duties there were mostly groundskeeping - parks and garden maintenance and improvement. They had a fair degree of freedom of movement and adequate food in spite of having to work hard.

    Between 30-40 BS/Jws were assigned to work at the SS Sanatorium Hohenlychen near Ravensbruck.
    This was a military hospital for the SS and it was used as a health resort for the Nazi leaders. Oswald Pohl, Albert Speer, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Adolph Hitler, and others were known to use this resort. The BS/Jws assigned here did not wear a camp uniform but were able to administer their duties while wearing civilian clothing.
    The Sanatorium was run by Dr. Karl Gebhardt (Himmler's personal physician) who conducted surgical experiments on prisoners. He was also the president of the German Red Cross. Gebhardt was the physician who treated Reinhard Heydrich, who died from the injuries that were sustained in an attack on him. Gebhardt had refused to use sulfanamide on Heydrich's injuries and, later, conducted brutal experiments on prisoners to attempt to prove that he was right in not treating Heydrich's wounds with sulfa. Also, he was not well liked by Speers, who almost died from being treated by him. (Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer) Gebhardt was hung in 1948.

    Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, used a crew of BS/Jws (not sure how many) for construction and craftsman work at the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) that housed the Gestapo and the SS in Berlin-Lichterfelde.

    Speer also used a crew of BS/Jws from Dachau to do the finishing work on the Munich Reich Chancellery that Speer had built for Hitler in 1939/40. The chancellery contained Hitler's living quarters.

    In the spring of 1944, 15 BS/Jw women were assigned to the Research-Hedin Institute for Inner-Asia at Mittersill Fortress Pinzgau. The castle was used as an outpost for Mauthausen Camp - which was used mainly for female BS/Jws.
    This research institute was funded by Himmler's Circle of Friends - Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft.- (a club for big business sycophants) and was concerned with investigating the genealogical heritage of the Aryan race.
    The Mittersill Castle had been owned in the 30s by an American - Baron Hubert von Pantz.

    Many of the BibleStudent/Jw 'prisoners' were assigned to agricultural estates during the war. These estates were owned by people with special connections or by SS officers and, usually these assignments had favorable conditions which included enough to eat - the estates were agriculturally based.

    Hartzwalde Estate
    - owned by Dr. Felix Kersten - Himmler's 'doctor' and private masseur
    - employed 10 female Bible Students
    *note - Kersten claims that he was responsible for Himmler's improved attitude to the BS/Jws. Kersten also provided information to the CIA during the war.

    Comthurey Estate
    - owned by Oswald Pohl - chief of the SS and WVHA - the Economic and Administrative Main Office of the Nazi SS
    - used up to 50 BS/Jws from Ravensbruck
    -it is here that the story of Jws being allowed to go unguarded into the forest to pick berries originates. The story is that the Jws were so trustworthy and that is why they didn't need guarding. At the time that these berry picking incidents were happening, conditions in Germany were not good - many of the general population was starving. Would you bother running away if you had a warm place to sleep and lots to eat at an estate??

    Heydrich Estate
    -owned by Reinhard Heydrich's widow
    -she requested a crew of 15 Bs/Jws to help her on her estate after Reinhard died in 1942
    - it was Lina Heydrich that petitioned Himmler to release the BS/Jws that were working on her estate. She argued that they should be released without signing the declaration usually required. Himmler agreed to this and several of the BS/Jws from this point on were released solely on a handshake.

    *the form letter that BS/Jws were usually required to sign to be released was a pledge to give up the doctrines of the Watchtower and to not engage in the proselytizing work. Contrary to what most Jws today will tell you, these letters were signed by the BS/Jws in Germany that were arrested - about 50 percent of those sent to prison signed the letters before they were released and only about 10 percent signed them once they reached the camps. As John-Stucke points out in her essay, it was not advantageous to the BS/Jw prisoners to sign the letters once they reached the camps because it was in effect, potentially signing their own death warrants. The men who signed would be sent to the front to fight and rarely returned. Staying in the camps was the safest and best way for the Bible Students and JWs to survive the war. Especially when they got assignments that placed them in places of privilege that fed and clothed and sheltered them - they ate while many in the rest of Europe and Britain starved.
    The myth that the BS/Jws didn't sign the papers because of God-loyalty is rather misguided - the lack of signing was not always a resistance/martyr move - it was a 'save my ass' move. Yes...many got badly treated because of not signing the papers...but many also took advantage of not serving at the front.

    I don't have numbers on the following assignments given to the BS/Jws.
    The estates that follow were under the management of Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Ernahrung und Verpflegung (established by the SS in 1939).

    BS/Jws were assigned to work crews on the following farms/estates (some also used female BS/Jws for cooks for the farm workers):

    - Ravensbruck Estate
    - Werderhof Estate (near Stutthof Concentration Camp)
    - Raisko Estate (department of plant cultivation at the Kaiser Wilhem Institute)
    - Harmense Poultry Farm
    - Fish farming facilities at Unterfahlheim near Munich
    - Rumbler Estate
    - Fechter Estate
    - Preller Estate
    - St. Lambrecht Estate
    - a farm in Fridolfing Upper Bavaria

    Rudolf Hess is quoted by historians as saying that female JWs "were very much in demand as servants in the homes of SS with large families". Hess is also quoted as saying that these same female BS/Jws viewed the Jews as sinners and as deserving of the treatment they were getting. It is obvious that whichever of the female prisoners were saying this were loyal to Rutherford's new replacement theology doctrine concerning the Jews. It was the 'old' Bible Students who would not have said that - the Bible Students would have followed the Russell dual covenant doctrine.

    The female BS/Jws were much prized as domestics by the SS officers; the assignment of one or more female BS/Jws was considered to be part of the SS officers' benefit packages and they were assigned in strict hierarchical order to those officers who qualified for them.

    15 women were assigned out of the Auschwitz camp and included the following positions:
    - one position with Dr. Edward Wirths, the Auschwitz medical doctor
    - one position with Josef Kramer, the commanding officer of Auschwitz ll (Birkenau)
    - 9 positions assigned each to nine unnamed SS officers
    - two positions with Rudolf Hess, commanding officer
    - two positions with SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Dr. Joachim Caesar, leader of the agricultural estates of the Auschwitz camp

    In 1943, several BS/Jw women were selected from Ravensbruck camp to be nursemaids and cleaning ladies for families of SS leaders.
    It is unknown how many were chosen for these domestic positions but they included the following families:
    - Oswald Pohl, chief of WVHA (he also had a BS/Jw farm crew - already mentioned)
    - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Dr. Hans Kammler, leader of Department C - building department of the WVHA
    - SS Sturmbannfuhrer Karl Mummenthey, Storm Battalion Leader and Leader of Department W1 at the WVHA (building materials)

    At the Buchenwald Camp, BS/Jws were assigned to work in the photo lab and in the sculptor workshop.

    Also, Buchenwald was in charge of special living quarters outside of the camp that were used for special political prisoners.
    The JW inmates were assigned as personal servants to these special prisoners.

    The Italian King Victor Emmanuel lll was under arrest inside of Buchenwald and his daughter, Princess Mafalda of Hessen, was housed at the Fichtenhain Settlement. A female JW was transferred over from Ravensbruck to be her personal servant. The living quarters were also staffed with JWs who worked as caretakers and other servants.

    The Falkenhof Settlement housed two "special prisoners" - the former French prime minister, Leon Blum and the former minister of the interior, Georg Mandel.
    Joachim Escher, a JW who had also been at Wewelsburg, was assigned to be their personal servant. He cleaned house, served meals and did dishes for these two political prisoners.

    Garbe also, in his book, makes reference to additional "positions of trust" and "priviledged positions" that many of the JWs were given during the war but it is unclear as to where they were assigned. He says that they were specialized craftsmen, clerks for SS officers, barbers, caretakers and cooks. Garbe also says that the JWs, during the final years of the war, held positions of "prisoners' self-administration" including foremen and supervisor positions but, only in a few cases were they 'block leaders'.
    They were also selected to work under Oswald Pohl in positions of trust handling money and financial accounts for the SS.

    It is interesting to note that towards the end of the war, Himmler had proposed the following concessions for the JW prisoners:
    - no punishment
    - no work in armament production
    - work assignments to privileged positions
    - concentration camp releases without the requirement to sign statement renouncing their faith

  • redvip2000

    the initial problem with JW beliefs re.politics and the fact that they were taking instructions from the USA.

    I think this is a really good point. The JWs were (as they are today) a completely irrelevant religious group. I'm pretty sure they were not in Hitler radar initially. Rutherfraud made a huge tactical error in writing a letter to Hitler which pretty much said "Hey by the way, we exist and you should leave us alone". It was an error because it drew attention to the JWs and also because it emphasized how the organization in Germany was really led by Americans.

    Rutherfraud should have at a minimum asked the local German JW leadership to address Hitler and perhaps Hitler would have had a more favorable view of JWs. Instead as the narcissistic a-hole that he was, Rutherfraud

    had to call attention to himself.

  • OrphanCrow
    redvip: Rutherfraud made a huge tactical error in writing a letter to Hitler which pretty much said "Hey by the way, we exist and you should leave us alone".

    I think it is an error to interpret Rutherford's letter to Hitler as a 'religious' proclamation. Rutherford was trying to get his precious printing presses released that had been confiscated by the Nazis. The letter was motivated by financial concerns, not religious ones.

  • Finkelstein

    Aside from Rutherford's letter, the long drawn out babble about the JWS wanting to promote a distinctively separate religious kingdom explained in the DOF letter and the volume of that letter being spread about, most likely confirmed to Hitler that the JWS were going to be a subversive thorn in his side, an organization that needed to be curtailed from operating.

    Hitler as its known wanted complete control over the Nazi regime right down to who and what the people were going to have as religion. All already established organized religion to him was seen as an outside power threat which could weaken his own ideological directives.

    It looks like as the war progressed the JWS were seen as not so much of a threat and may have garnered up their empathy from some of the German people who by 1942 were starting to quietly repel a bit of Hitler's violent aggressiveness .

    Unfortunately for some that came too late and many perished inside concentration camps.

    Concentration camps

    From 1935 the authorities began sending hundreds of Jehovah's Witnesses to concentration camps, where they were imprisoned with Communists, Socialists, other political prisoners and union members. In May 1938 they accounted for 12 percent of all prisoners at Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar; by May 1939 they represented 40 percent of all prisoners at Schloss Lichentenburg, the central concentration camp for women, though as the total number of prisoners increased rapidly, the proportion of Witnesses generally fell to about 3 percent.[32] About 2000 Witnesses were eventually sent to Nazi concentration camps, where they were identified by purple triangles; as many as 1200 died in custody, including 250 who were executed.[33][34] Garbe claims members of the religion were special objects of hatred by the SS, receiving beatings, whippings and public humiliation and given the dirtiest and most laborious work details for refusing to salute, stand at attention or sing Nazi songs. They were subjected to high-pressure jets of ice-cold water from fire hydrants and subjected to arbitrary acts of torture including pushing a fully laden wheelbarrow with their necks while crawling on hands and knees. Others were forced to stand still for an entire day in the heat or cold or were confined in groups in small closets in an attempt to suffocate them.[35] From March to December 1938 Jehovah's Witnesses in Buchenwald were not allowed to send or receive letters or to purchase food. Many approached starvation and were forced to eat leaves from trees and bushes. Many were forced to engage in a "drill" that included rolling, creeping, hopping and running for 75 minutes while camp guards kicked and beat them, while others, forced to work in stone quarries, were refused medical attention when sick.[36] Despite persecution, Jehovah's Witnesses continued to hold secret religious gatherings inside the camps.

    Conditions for Witnesses improved in 1942, when they were increasingly given work details that required little supervision, such as farming, gardening, transportation and unloading goods, while others worked in civilian clothing in a health resort, as housekeepers for Nazi officials or were given construction and craft tasks at military buildings.[37]

  • OrphanCrow
    redvip: I'm pretty sure they were not in Hitler radar initially.

    That is not true. As I had pointed out in an earlier post, Hitler had a big hate on for 'evangelists' - including the Bible Students. He blamed the evangelical groups for destroying morale at the front in WW1, and hence, he thought that they were partially responsible for Germany's loss in that war.


    From 1922, German Bible Students were arrested on charges of illegal peddling as they publicly distributed Watch Tower Society literature. Between 1927 and 1930, almost 5000 charges were pressed against members of the religion, and although most ended in acquittals[8][9] some "severe sentences" were also handed down.[10]
    From 1930 calls for state intervention against the Bible Students increased and on March 28, 1931 Reich president Paul von Hindenburg issued the Decree for the Resistance of Political Acts of Violence, which provided for action to be taken in cases in which religious organizations, institutions or customs were "abused or maliciously disparaged".[11] Bavaria became the first German state where the decree was used against the Bible Students, with a police order issued on November 18 to prohibit and confiscate all Bible Student publications throughout the state.[11] A second decree in 1932 widened the ban in other German states. By the end of 1932 more than 2300 charges against Bible Students were pending.[10]

    The Bible Students were very much "in Hitler's radar". That is why Rutherford's letter in 1933 tried so hard to change Hitler's mind about who the JWs really were - Rutherford tried to convince Hitler that, contrary to the Bible Student's previous Zionist view, the JWs now held a view pretty much identical to Hitler himself.

  • OrphanCrow
    redvip: Rutherfraud should have at a minimum asked the local German JW leadership to address Hitler and perhaps Hitler would have had a more favorable view of JWs. Instead as the narcissistic a-hole that he was, Rutherfraud
    had to call attention to himself.

    The infamous "letter to Hitler" was passed as an unanimous decision at the June 1933 Berlin convention, attended by over 7000 JWs. The document was also drawn up at a time when German WTS lawyers were card carrying members of the Nazi Party. The "local German JW leadership" were involved in the "Declaration of Facts".

  • truthseeker100

    OrphanCrow you sure do posses a wealth of information. Thanks for providing it.

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