Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics by James Penton

By James Penton

Since the top of global battle II, leaders of the Jehovah's Witness circulation in either Germany and in different places have steadfastly argued that Witnesses have been united of their competition to Nazism and didn't collude with the 3rd Reich. records were exposed, despite the fact that, that end up differently. utilizing fabrics from Witness information, the U.S. country division, Nazi records, and different assets, M. James Penton demonstrates that whereas many usual German Witnesses have been courageous of their competition to Nazism, their leaders have been rather ready to help the Hitler government.

Penton starts his learn with an in depth interpreting of the "Declaration of proof" published by way of the Witnesses at a Berlin conference in June 1933. Witness leaders have referred to as the rfile a protest opposed to Nazi persecution, even if nearer exam exhibits it contained sour assaults on nice Britain and the us - together known as "the maximum and such a lot oppressive empire in the world" - the League of countries, titanic company, and certainly, Jews, who're often called "the representatives of devil the Devil."

It was once later, in 1933 - whilst the Nazis wouldn't settle for Witness blandishments - that chief J.F. Rutherford known as on Witnesses to hunt martyrdom via sporting on a crusade of passive resistance. Many eventually died in prisons and focus camps, and postwar Witness leaders have tried to exploit this truth to claim that Jehovah's Witnesses stood constantly opposed to Nazism.

Drawing on his personal Witness historical past and years of study on Witness heritage, Penton separates truth from fiction in this darkish period.

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All high government officials, from the Reich's president on down, were to receive a copy of the declaration, if possible, by registered mail. Several days before the convention started Brother Rutherford returned to America. The Watch Tower Society's Attempted Compromise with Hitler 17 Many in attendance were disappointed in the 'declaration/ since in many points it failed to be as strong as the brothers had hoped. Brother Miitze from Dresden, who had worked closely with Brother Balzereit up until that time, accused him later of having weakened the original text.

Penton, whose writing seems to be an emotional polemic more than an academic historical treatment. In fact, Professor Besier shows that much of the material that Penton repeats was actually recycled propa- 56 Comment by Achille Aveta to author. 57 See discussions of this matter on pages 47 and 69 below. 28 Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich ganda generated by the Stasi (East German Police) to discredit leaders among the Witness movement. If he is a scholar, Mr. Penton should be more careful of his sources.

57 As a result, it came to the attention of many ordinary Jehovah's Witnesses and to Watch Tower officials as well. At the time this was happening, others - particularly in Germany began to publish statements on the Internet that supported what I had written in The Christian Quest and added additional information embarrassing to the Watch Tower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses. This was especially true of the German ex-Jehovah's Witness website, Infolink. In addition, in 1999 Manfred Gebhard published his welldocumented book, Geschichte der Zeugen Jehovas, which offers a clear picture of Witness conduct under the Third Reich.

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