"The Nazi regime targeted Jehovah's Witnesses for persecution because they refused, out of religious conviction, to swear loyalty to a worldly government or to serve in its armed forces."
" Unlike Jews and Roma (Gypsies), whom the Nazis targeted for perceived racial reasons, Jehovah's Witnesses had the option to avoid persecution and personal harm by submitting to state authority and serving in the armed forces. Since such submission would violate their religious beliefs, the vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses refused to abandon their faith even in the face of persecution, torture in concentration camps, or death."
"Even before 1933, Jehovah's Witnesses were targets of prejudice. Mainstream Lutheran and Catholic churches deemed them heretics."
FPD - please note (cp. John 18:36)
"Witnesses believed themselves to belong to Jehovah's Kingdom and considered all worldly powers unwitting allies of Satan. They refused to swear loyalty to the Nazi regime."
" Initially, Witness indifference to the Nazi state manifested itself in the refusal to raise their arms in the Heil Hitler salute, join the German Labor Front (which all salaried and wage workers were forced to join after the Nazis outlawed trade unions), participate in Nazi welfare collections, and vote in elections. Likewise they would not participate in Nazi rallies and parades."
"They linked Jehovah's Witnesses to the Nazi idea of "international Jewry" by pointing to Witness reliance on certain Old Testament texts. The Nazis had grievances with many of the smaller Protestant groups on these issues, but only the Jehovah's Witnesses refused to bear arms or swear loyalty to the state.
When Germany reintroduced universal military service in 1935, Jehovah's Witnesses generally refused to enroll. In Germany, as in the United States, they had refused to serve in the armed forces during World War I. Although they were not pacifists, they refused to bear arms for any temporal power. The Nazis prosecuted Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to report for conscription .... "
"Initially, leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses sought to find a way to work with the Nazi government. In October 1934, the leadership sent a letter to the Reich government, explaining the Witnesses' core beliefs and their commitment to political neutrality. The letter stated that Jehovah's Witnesses "have no interest in political affairs, but are wholly devoted to God's Kingdom under Christ His King."
" At an international convention in Lucerne, Switzerland, in September 1936, Witness delegates from all over the world passed a resolution severely condemning the Nazi regime. The international organization also produced literature denouncing Nazi persecution of Jews..."
to be continued.
FPD - Note our stand, as accurately reported in this database, is in obedience to Jesus Christ as anointed King of God's Kingdom.
For example, even a child realizes that one cannot love one's enemies while going to war against them. (Matthew 5:44)
Romans 12:17-21 Return evil for evil to no one.+ Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of* all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men.+ 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath;*+ for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.”*+ 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.”*+ 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.+
This does not contradict Romans 13 (authorities' God-given authorization to bear the sword) because human governents are part of this world while we are no part of this world.
Kemmer - When you say 20 million Russians died by the Nazi's - aren't you referring to World War II rather than Nazi concentration camps?
Don't you think it's rather picayune to continue crowing about JW stalwartness when the picture is so immensely larger than a few COs being imprisoned or executed. A hell of a lot more people than just JWs were beheaded in Berlin (the execution method of choice at the time) for saying things against Hitler or being judged as "defeatist"
Also, please note some 20 million Ukrainians were killed by the Russians under Stalin. Of course, this was not the fault of all Russians - more the fault of Stalin. And our stand under Stalin in the lands he ruled over was the same as under Hitler - and is the same worldwide to this day.
Mazeltov. Then I suppose you JWs wouldn't lift a finger to defend your friends and family if the war had gone badly for the Allies, and North America became divided between the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan? "Oh well. Que será. será...", right?
Oh wait. God's soon going to kill everyone but the JWs anyway. Never mind.
The links to the USHMM database are accurate - and they say what they say - which is likely why you do not actually quote the links - or is it?
Newt, I am a charter member of the Holocaust Museum. I know what's there, and it certainly isn't all about the JWs.
NEWT: FPD - please note (cp. John 18:36) "Witnesses believed themselves to belong to Jehovah's Kingdom and considered all worldly powers unwitting allies of Satan. They refused to swear loyalty to the Nazi regime."
FPD: So what, neither did a lot of other people.
NEWT: "...but only the Jehovah's Witnesses refused to bear arms or swear loyalty to the state.
FPD: You know that's not true. There were many groups including the Quakers, Menonnites, Amish, who wouldn't bear arms, and the Confessing church refused to swear loyalty to the state and many of those church leaders were executed.
NEWT: "Initially, leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses sought to find a way to work with the Nazi government. In October 1934, the leadership sent a letter to the Reich government, explaining the Witnesses' core beliefs and their commitment to political neutrality. The letter stated that Jehovah's Witnesses "have no interest in political affairs, but are wholly devoted to God's Kingdom under Christ His King."
FPD: The text of that letter has been printed in this forum on several occasions and Rutherford congratulated Hitler on his election as Chancelor and wished the Furher the best.
NEWT: "At an international convention in Lucerne, Switzerland, in September 1936, Witness delegates from all over the world passed a resolution severely condemning the Nazi regime. The international organization also produced literature denouncing Nazi persecution of Jews..."
FPD: So, you were involved in a political convention that issued a political statement for a political situation. But while the Nazis continued to slaughter millions of people, you would do nothing to stop them while millions of others risked their lives for the cause of liberty. You enjoy your freedoms and privileges that was purchased by the blood of others while you wouldn't do the same for them. Ever hear of the Golden Rule? If Jehovah's Witnesses had their way, Hitler's succeessors would still be slaughtering by the millions.
NEWT: Note our stand, as accurately reported in this database, is in obedience to Jesus Christ as anointed King of God's Kingdom.
FPD: It's loyalty to a human organization and if Rutherford said that you would have to do your kingdom publishing work while hopping through a neighborhood on one foot, you would do that every weekend too.
NEWT: For example, even a child realizes that one cannot love one's enemies while going to war against them. (Matthew 5:44)
FPD: But you don't even love the innocence who were being killed, slaughter, massacred, raped, pillaged and plunder. You never lifted a finger while millions of other displayed far more love for others than you did.
NEWT: This does not contradict Romans 13 (authorities' God-given authorization to bear the sword) because human governents are part of this world while we are no part of this world.
FPD: When John the Baptist was asked by a Roman soldier what he should do, the Baptist replied, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14). There was no mention of leaving the military. He was still a military soldier on duty doing what soldiers do and no mention that he shouldn't. A Roman centurion told the Savior that he had men under his authority and he knew what authority was all about. He asked the Savior to heal his child. Jesus said of this man, "I have not found such great faith with anyone in all Israel" (Mt. 8:8-10). The Savior said that the greatest faith He ever came across in all of Israel was contained in a Roman soldier. When Peter was sent to Cornelius, he brings him the gospel message and this military officer is also saved and there is no mention made at all about his occupation. You apparently ignored all these biblical things.
It amazes me that in spite of all the biblical passages to the contrary, you continue to stick to this ridiculous doctrine. It came from a Missouri lawyer who was untrained in theology and biblcial languages. Rutherford was known to be a heavy drinker and even said that he had had personal conversations with God. His understanding of Bible truth was certainly questionable. He was the one who predicted David would be resurrected in 1925 and added that he had more evidence of that than Noah had of the coming flood, and he was flat wrong. He also taught in 1938 that no one should marry, have a career, or go to college because the Lord's return was so close, and he got that flat wrong. He gave his approval for "Consolation" to print an article that said there was no such thing as rabies and he was wrong about that. He also approved the article that said the size of a man's nose tells you what kind of a judge he will be and that was so stupid as to be silly. He was the one who cooked up this nonsense about "Christian Neutralism" based upon a scripature that says nothing about government. Jesus was comparing his authority with Pilate's. In spite of all Rutherford's bluster and nonses, you believe him. Now why is that, my friend?
Of course, post how you feel, but please focus on actual documentation, preferably with links that all readers can link to - obviously links to our literature is also relevant.
I'm sorry, Newt, but if all your links and documentation are meant to show the moral superiority of JW's, it fails absolutely. The trouble with your presentation, you see, is that you expect us to read it all while ignoring the context of the times. We who know the history just can't do that, and, actually, it would be wrong to do so.
Those JW's who withstood Hitler and were tortured or executed in concentration camps did not differ IN ANY WAY from any of the other individuals who also chose to oppose Hitler, and only differed from those who were tortured and executed simply for who they were in that they had a choice and took the braver path EXACTLY as did those other individuals. To use those individual JW's who made that individual choice, to honor them more than other individuals who did the same, and to honor the whole group as being superior to everyone else, although some were inevitably cowards or worse (all of us being human first and foremost) is really a horribly dishonest thing to do. It is the very opposite of being morally superior.
ALL those who chose to oppose Hitler (or any other tyrant) are morally superior to all those of us who do not do so, or who have never had to make that choice. The group any of them, or any of us, belong to has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.
"No matter how big and bad you are, when a two-year-old hands you a toy phone, you answer it." ~ (common sense)
"Never place a period where God has placed a comma." ~ Gracie Allen
"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"I wonder sometimes if we ever give God a headache." ~ Dontay Hall, age 8
So you claim that JWs denounced the genocide against the Jews. However, in all these years the JW 'BoD' has never issued a denunciation of the many hate-filled screeds by Rutherford, nor issued an apology for such hate speech by the JW leader.
At least if any such denunciation has taken place - I haven't been able to locate it.
"The greatest and 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.' We have no fight with any of these persons mentioned, but, as the witnesses for Jehovah and in obedience to his commandment set forth in the Scriptures, we are compelled to call attention to the truth concerning the same in order that the people may be enlightened concerning God and his purpose."
When did the JW BoD retract the filthy Jew-hate in bold above, Newt? Is that something you've 'changed beliefs' about - or are you still in agreement with the Nazis?
In the offshoot that the above is true, Leah ... there's an wi Irish Catholic posting here who could really use a hand in the "co-rulership" department. (... And heck; it doesn't even HAVE to be New York! It can be New Jersey/"Joysee"?? ... part of New Joysee? Gimme a crumb, for Pete's sake!)
Only kidding. (PS I've missed you around here, Leah.)
“Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.”. -- St. Therese of Lisieux. For applicable reads: Uniformity with God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... or ... Story of a Soul
"In April 1933, four months after Hitler became chancellor, Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in Bavaria and by the summer in most of Germany. Twice during 1933, police occupied the Witnesses' offices and their printing site in Magdeburg and confiscated religious literature. Witnesses defied Nazi prohibitions by continuing to meet and distribute their literature, often covertly. Copies were made from booklets smuggled in mainly from Switzerland.
Initially, Jehovah's Witnesses attempted to fend off Nazi attacks by issuing a letter to the government in October 1934, explaining their religious beliefs and political neutrality. This declaration failed to convince the Nazi regime of the group's harmlessness. For defying the ban on their activities, many Witnesses were arrested and sent to prisons and concentration camps. They lost their jobs as civil servants or employees in private industry and their unemployment, social welfare, and pension benefits."
The link adds:
From 1935 onward, Jehovah's Witnesses faced a Nazi campaign of nearly total persecution. On April 1, 1935, the group was banned nationally by law. The same year, Germany reintroduced compulsory military service. For refusing to be drafted or perform war–related work, and for continuing to meet, Jehovah's Witnesses were arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps. In 1936 some 400 Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
In 1936 a special unit of the Gestapo (Secret State Police) began compiling a registry of all persons believed to be Jehovah's Witnesses, and agents infiltrated Bible study meetings. By 1939, an estimated 6,000 Witnesses (including those from incorporated Austria and Czechoslovakia) were detained in prisons or camps. Some Witnesses were tortured by police in attempts to make them sign a declaration renouncing their faith, but few capitulated.
In response to Nazi efforts to destroy them, the worldwide Jehovah's Witness organization became a center of spiritual resistance against the Nazis. An international convention of Witnesses, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, in September 1936, issued a resolution condemning the entire Nazi regime. In this text and other literature brought into Germany, writers broadly indicted the Third Reich. Articles strongly denounced the persecution of German Jews, Nazi "savagery" toward Communists, the remilitarization of Germany, the Nazification of schools and universities, Nazi propaganda, and the regime's assault on mainstream churches.
The children of Jehovah's Witnesses also suffered. In classrooms, teachers ridiculed children who refused to give the "Heil, Hitler!" salute or sing patriotic songs. Classmates shunned and beat up young Witnesses. Principals expelled them from schools. Families were broken up as authorities took children away from their parents and sent them to reform schools, orphanages, or private homes, to be brought up as Nazis."
Note that we "strongly denounced the persecution of German Jews."
Oeste - There is no doubt the 1934 letter was better than the 1933 letter. However, your claim I have avoided addressing the 1933 letter is false. I bumped my other thread concerning this - here is one of the posts addressing the 1933 letter:
Oeste you say "Let's find out what they have to say." Have you read our posts at all? Seems to me ample support has been provided. But I will answer you again.
I don't believe the WTS owes anyone an apology for what Rutherford wrote, no; however, I willingly apologize to LeahOne and all Jews and all victims of the Holocaust (including Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Gypsies, and disabled persons and all others) for the hideous part my church (German Protestants) had in putting a mad-man such as Hitler into power and aiding in his push to exterminate those I listed above.
"A third group, the Christian German Movement, was the first to welcome uniformed Nazi units to their churches and to assign chaplains to the SA. At Hitler's suggestion, in April 1932, the three groups joined forces in the Faith Movement of German Christians, Pastor Joachim Hossenfelder being made 'reich leader'. He quickly offered his services to the Nazi hierarchy.
"If the behavior of the German Protestants seems incredible, it must be remembered that they had no anti-state tradition. The had no dogmatic or moral theology for an opposition role. Since Luther's day they had always been in the service of the State, and indeed in many ways had come to see themselves as civil servants. Unlike the High Anglicans, for instance, they had not been able to develop a doctrinal position which enabled them to distinguish between being part of a national church, and totally subservient to the government. Hence, once Hitler came to power, he benfited from Protestant history. On 3 April 1933 the first National Conference of the Faith Movement passed a resolution: 'For a German, the church is the community of believers who are under an obligation to fight for a Christian Germany....Adolf Hitler's state appeals to the church: the church must obey the appeal.' Otto Dibelius, in a broadcast to American two days after the first anti-Jewish measures, appeared to justify them, and claimed the boycott of Jewish businesses was conducted 'in conditions of complete law and order', as though that was the whole point."
"Meanwhile, at the Protestant Church elections, with the help of the Nazi propaganda machine, the German Christians won an overwhelming victory. Their motto was: 'The Swastika on our breasts, the Cross in our hearts.' At synods, the pastors dressed in Nazi uniforms, and Nazi hymns were sung. Nazis, some picked by Hitler, were installed as bishops, and the synods passed Aryan legislation. Hitler chose Ludwig Muller as 'Reich Bishop', and he was duly elected; in his acceptance speech he referred to Hitler and the Nazis as 'presents from God'; on the same occasion, Pastor Leutheuser intoned: 'Christ has come to us through Adolf Hitler....We know today the Saviour has come....We have only one task, be German, not be Christian.'"
The above is from Paul Johnson's A History of Christianity, 1976 pg. 490.
No, I don't see Rutherford's comments as bigotry because I don't believe he is showing hatred or intolerance of Jews. The real hatred and intolerance of Jews came from a long line of Catholic and Protestant anti-Semitism. You can see from the actions of the Witnesses themselves that there was no compliance with Nazi's. Rutherford wanted the preaching to continue and the WTS to continue operating in Germany, that's what was behind his appeals to both the German government and the US government. Had he wanted Jews destroyed and Nazi's to succeed he would have advocated joining the German army; he would have offered his service to Hitler and urged Witnesses to sign the release in order to stay out of prison so they could better serve the German State as other Christian churches were serving it.
With regard to the Jewish shopkeeper, I can't say. Judging from LeahOne's reaction, I could guess the shopkeeper might be thinking something like, "This guy is spewing bigotry and hatred toward everyone, including Jews, but the people from his church keep coming in to buy things. hmmmm."
Thomas - What amazes me is that people like Leah and Oeste think the National Holocaust Museum is wrong about what actually happenned!
This Museum is not run by Jehovah's Witnesses but by Jews themselves who want people to know what actually happenned during the Holocaust. One of their main points is that we should not forget.
I might add we should not go along with those who wish to re-write history so as to deny what actually happenned!
Oh, I don't care about any of that.
I was hoping Leah would give me a piece of the New York Joyzee pie (being an Irish Catholic 'n all.)
“Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.”. -- St. Therese of Lisieux. For applicable reads: Uniformity with God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... or ... Story of a Soul
Ok, Thomas - I like a sense of humor of course. But reminding me of this thread and what actually happenned at the Holocaust simply is inappropriate, in my opinion, to joke about.
But thank you for bumping the thread.
It gives me the opportunithy to thank my brothers and sisters who died for their faith in Jesus Christ and loyalty to his rule as anointed KIng of God's Kingdom. Though I suppose this thread might not survive Armageddom so they can read it.
I also am glad I have this opportunity to go on record as thanking the National Holocaust Museum, and those responsible for its amazing database, for reporting accurately what actually happenned during the Holocaust and for not going along with those who wish to distort the facts!