e-mail correspondence with JW-site
I surfed the web and came across this website : Jehovah's Witnesses United.
Under the header "General Materials" I found an article relating to the JW's during WW2 and it contained the following statement:
About 10,000 Witnesses were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Nazi period. An estimated 2,500 to 5,000 died.
Now, we know that this is incorrect. There were about 2000 witnesses in the camps of which 800 died.
So I decided to mail the webmaster of the site. The responses were very interesting...check for youself!
From: Greven. firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 16:01:22 +0100
Subject: error on your site! Hi there! I was just passing by your site when I noticed the following: "About 10,000 Witnesses were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Nazi period. An estimated 2,500 to 5,000 died." This is plain wrong! The societies own publication, namely the 1976 yearbook states that about 800 or so witnesses died. The author of the quote above aperently drew his figures from earlier publications by the society in which these numbers were excegerated. check this for yourself! Greven From: "email@example.com" Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: RE: error on your site! Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 11:05:14 -0500 Thank you very much for your email. Unfortunately, the story that was
posted was not written by a Jehovah's Witness. We merely posted the story
as it originally appeared (we are not permiited by copyright law to edit
these stories). I recommend you complain to the source of the story.
James Long http://jehovah.to
From: Greven . firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 12:45:33 +0100
Subject:RE: error on your site! Hi James, Your reply had me puzzled a bit. I can understand that you have to present the article as written. However you are under obligation to present accurate information and therefore you should check your articles before you present them as facts. You know the correct figures! You could add an errata or write an article yourself stating the correct figures without copyright violation. To help you I will give you some of the societies figures: *** w50 12/15 500 Jehovah's Witnesses Again Endure Totalitarian Hate ***
Already during the Hitler regime about 1,000 Jehovah’s witnesses were executed as traitors, because they not only refused to serve in the war but openly opposed Hitler’s authority. Another 1,000 of Jehovah’s witnesses died in prisons and concentration camps, (2000 died, 1000 of which in the camps) *** w51 2/15 105-6 An Open Answer to "The Vindicator" ***
That is why during the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 to 1945 Jehovah’s witnesses in that land refused to heil Hitler! as their Fuehrer or Leader, and went to concentration camps and prisons, where 2,000 died cruel deaths, and of the 8,000 that came out alive, 2,000 were invalided for the rest of their lives. (2000 out of 10.000 (!!) died in the camps) *** w64 1/1 13 They Listened to an Angel ***
19 Hitler, a Roman Catholic, the arm of his church in Germany, forbade Jehovah’s witnesses to preach the kingdom of God, and these modern-day Christians had to say to Hitler’s Gestapo police: ‘Whether it is righteous in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves.’ They kept preaching even though 10,000 of them were put in concentration camps and over 4,000 died there. The rest nearly starved to death. The war’s end aided their survival. (4000 out of 10.000 (!!) died in the camps) *** yb74 212 Germany (Part One) ***
But despite the hard conditions, how those who worshiped Jehovah rejoiced! They had been privileged to prove their integrity to the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. During Hitler’s rule 1,687 of them had lost their jobs, 284 their businesses, 735 their homes and 457 were not allowed to carry on their trade. In 129 cases their property had been confiscated, 826 pensioners had been refused their pensions and 329 others had suffered other personal loss. There were 860 children who had been taken away from their parents. In 30 cases marriages had been dissolved due to pressure by political officials, and in 108 cases divorces had been granted when requested by mates opposed to the truth. A total of 6,019 had been arrested, several two, three or even more times, so that, all together, 8,917 arrests were registered. All together they had
been sentenced to serve 13,924 years and two months in prison, two and a quarter times as long as the period since Adam’s creation. A total of 2,000 brothers and sisters had been put into concentration camps, where they had spent 8,078 years and six months, an average of four years. A total of 635 had died in prison, 253 had been sentenced to death and 203 of these had actually been executed. What a record of integrity! (635+203= 838 out of 2000 died in the camps. these seem to be the correct figures)
*** w89 1/1 21 "To Jehovah Belongs the Battle" ***(2000 again!) Hope this helps, Greven From: "email@example.com" Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: RE: error on your site! Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 11:31:26 -0500 Hello Greven, Again, I recommend that you complain to that source if you are unsatisfied with the story. Further, we have no obligation to check the sources of someone else's story. We are bound with an agreement with the authors of the articles and therefore cannot alter the content of these articles. You have to take your complaints to them. Sincerely,
13 An outstanding modern example of bullying by Goliathlike political rulerships took place in Hitler’s Germany. The mainline religions, both Catholic and Protestant, compromised woefully in paying homage to Nazism, idolizing the führer, saluting his swastika flag, and blessing his troops as they sallied forth to slaughter their fellow believers in neighboring nations. So-called Christians of all faiths—but not Jehovah’s Witnesses—were caught up in the patriotic fervor. The book Mothers in the Fatherland reported: “[Jehovah’s Witnesses] were sent to concentration camps, a thousand of them were executed, and another thousand died between 1933 and 1945. . . . Catholics and Protestants heard their clergy urge them to cooperate with Hitler. If they resisted, they did so against orders from both church and state.” How bloodguilty both Church
and State became!—Jeremiah 2:34.
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: RE: error on your site! Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 14:18:46 -0500 Hello Greven,
You obviously have a lot of time on your hands. Unfortunately, I do not
and cannot waste any more time discussing this subject. If you are
dissatisfied with the stories that appear on the JWU site, I suggest that
you don't visit it. Sincerely,
James Long Interesting don't you think? Apperently JW's feel they are under no obligation to check their data! Greven
Honestly though man... does it really surprise you? They want to make it seem bigger than what it was. OHHHHH, how perseucted we were!!!!! Bullshit! Just like any other JW literature out there. Twist the facts to make it conform to their view.
Kansas District Overbeer
I distinctly remember seeing, in a JW Yearbook in the early 60s or late 50s, a statement that 255 JWs had died in Hitler's concentration camps. Of course, that number is like any number the JWs publish - subject to change without notice.
But I do remember it clearly and remember clearly thinking "255! Ain't that something? 255! I can't believe they're bragging about 255!" This story also contained references to some camp guard who was known as "foursquare" because of his dedication to Hitler and The Cause.
Would be interesting if anyone could find that reference to the big 255 JWs. (Of course, if you were one of the 255, the intensity of the experience could not be denied.)
Thanks for the information.
So they were rather puzzled..?
Give them these quotes:
*** w51 2/15 105-6 An Open Answer to "The Vindicator" ***
That is why during the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 to 1945 Jehovah’s witnesses in that land refused to heil Hitler! as their Fuehrer or Leader, and went to concentration camps and prisons, where 2,000 died cruel deaths, and of the 8,000 that came out alive, 2,000 were invalided for the rest of their lives.
*** w54 12/1 724-5 The Fight for Freedom to Preach World-wide ***
17 It is a familiar story about the fight for freedom fought by Jehovah’s witnesses to preach in Nazi- and Fascist-dominated lands from 1933 to 1945. Thousands were thrown into the concentration camps. Many were tortured and killed. Countless numbers died because of their loyalty to Jehovah God.
*** w55 8/1 462-3 Part 15: Foreign Activities Under Fascist-Nazi Persecution ***
Thus a mad national effort was embarked upon, to eliminate Jehovah’s witnesses from the German national scene. In the course of the dark years that followed thousands of witnesses were arrested, falsely convicted and put in prisons and concentration camps where many of them suffered unspeakably. Some two thousand witnesses lost their lives in this struggle to keep faithful integrity to Jehovah.
*** yb74 212 Germany (Part Three) ***
A total of 2,000 brothers and sisters had been put into concentration camps, where they had spent 8,078 years and six months, an average of four years. A total of 635 had died in prison, 253 had been sentenced to death and 203 of these had actually been executed.
*** g74 1/22 32 Would You Remain Loyal? ***
In Nazi Germany Jehovah’s witnesses refused to compromise. They remained loyal to righteous principles. They had no share in Hitler’s political or military aggressions. Just a few decades ago, hundreds died in his concentration camps. But thousands came out strong in faith.
*** w79 11/1 7 Neutrality in a Mixed-up World ***
NEUTRALITY A PROTECTION
Many Christian witnesses of Jehovah in Nazi Germany and elsewhere lost their lives in maintaining neutrality.
*** w84 10/1 8 Impressed by the Integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses ***
The title of Dr. King’s book is The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-Conformity.
Most outstanding among Dr. King’s findings are the figures of deaths and imprisonment of Jehovah’s Witnesses. These indicate that the figures previously published by the Witnesses were greatly underestimated. Dr. King’s source for these statistics was a volume published in Munich, Germany, by Michael Kater. “My own perusal of Court and Gestapo records,” she declared, “would certainly support these higher figures.”
What are these figures? “Some 10,000 were imprisoned, and together they received sentences totalling 20,000 years. One out of every two German Witnesses was imprisoned, one in four lost their lives.
*** g84 12/8 13 Nazi-Fascist Attacks on Witnesses ***
See The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-Conformity, by Dr. Christine E. King.
Of the 10,000, about 2,500 never did go free, according to the above source—they died in Dachau, Belsen, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen and other camps—faithful to their God, Jehovah, and their exemplar, Christ.
*** w86 1/1 10 Days Like "the Days of Noah" ***
And as to persecution, Jesus forewarned his disciples, saying: “They will put some of you to death.”
Hundreds of our brothers died at the violent hands of Nazi Hitler. Jehovah will remember all of such in the resurrection.
*** re 40 8 Striving to Be Conquerors ***(PUB. IN 1988)
9 During Nazi rule in Germany, Hitler completely banned the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
For years, thousands of Witnesses were cruelly confined in concentration camps, where many died, while hundreds of young men who refused to fight in Hitler’s army were executed.
*** re 185 27 God's Kingdom Is Born! ***(PUB. IN 1988)
28 This vicious flood of persecution reached a high point during World War II. In Europe some ten thousand Witnesses were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps, and thousands died.
*** w90 2/1 22 Exposing "the Man of Lawlessness" ***
A review of the book Kirchenkampf in Deutschland (Fight of the Churches in Germany), by Friedrich Zipfel, says regarding the Witnesses: “Ninety-seven percent of the members of this small religious group were victims of National Socialistic [Nazi] persecution.
One third of them were killed, either by execution, other violent acts, hunger, sickness or slave labor.
*** g93 5/8 4 Victims or Martyrs What Is the Difference? ***
During the Nazi period in Germany (1933-45), Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered terrible persecution for daring to remain neutral and for refusing to serve in Hitler’s war effort.
Thousands were sent to the dreaded concentration camps, where many were executed and others died from mistreatment.
*** g97 8/22 26 Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia ***
Because Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to cry out ‘Heil Hitler’ and serve in Hitler’s army, many thousands of believers were sent to Nazi concentration camps, and thousands died.
***W 15.1.2001 p. 10 "… 2000 died …"
Greetings, J.C. MacHislopp
Thanx for the replies sofar people!
pr_capone: No I wasn't surprised a bit. I just decided to make this a test and see if they would take the bait...and boy the did! The statement: "we have no obligation to check the sources" was better then what I was hoping for.
Francois: 255? That is one really weird figure. Very low actually. Maybe it was the number of JW's that died in one specific concentration camp. They are downsizing alot of things but the number of martyrs would obviously not be one of them, I guess!
JT: For outsiders this would indeed seem ridiculous, a good warning against the borg! So you are informal witnessing....bad boy! Thanx!
MacHislopp: Thanx for the additional quotes!
so who was "the original source"?
Hippi the article on the site has this listed as source:
Source: Dr. William L. Shulman, A State of Terror: Germany 1933-1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives.
However, since Dr William L. Shulman used wrong figures I bet his source was the society. This is a common trick used by the society, they quote a source that is actually quoting them and thus insinuation independent views while they are not actually independant. If people find out they can always claim: Hey, they wrote it! We simply used it in good faith. etc...
Trying to nail down a definitive death figure for JWs during the Nazi era makes one's head hurt. This ambiguity seems a stark contrast to the WT's usual obsession with accuracy in statistics and bean counting.
Whatever the actual number, it just galls me when these weasels at Brooklyn, Patterson or wherever, seek to drape over themselves the mantle of martyrdom earned by the blood of long-dead faithful witnesses of Europe, while the senior members of the current crowd spent their WWII years snugly sequestered behind the walls of Bethel, their safety assured by the enlightened laws of the government Rutherford denounced ``as the most oppressive on earth."
I am sure Dr. William L. Shulman would like to straighten this out. Who is going to tell him?
Dr. William L. Shulman, DirectorLibrary, LB-30, Phone 718-281-5770
Sarah Roberts, Assistant to the Director
Dr. William L. Shulman
Holocaust Resource Center and Archives
Queensborough Community College
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, N. Y. 11364
Dr. William L. Shulman, President
AHO/Queensborough Community College
The City University of New York
Bayside, NY 11364-1497
Phone: (718) 225-0378