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"Jehovah's Witnesses' Untold Story of Resistance to Nazis"
The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 19961-10-6 | Joel P. Engardio,

Posted on 04/25/2013 2:16:56 PM PDT by count-your-change

"Unlike Jews and others targeted by the Nazis, the Witnesses were prisoners of conscience. They could have bought freedom by signing a declaration card that renounced their faith and pledged allegiance to Hitler. Few took the offer. Most stayed, and many died.

Why Hitler bothered to single out such a minor group - and the tenacity with which the Witnesses resisted him - is what makes their story significant, says Michael Berenbaum, director of the Research Institute at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington. "The Jehovah's Witnesses were literally the only martyrs of the Holocaust," Mr. Berenbaum says."

(Excerpt) Read more at centralprint.net ...


TOPICS: History; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: holocaust; jehovahswitnesses; nazi; prisoners; shoah
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Like early Christians who would not burn a pinch of incense to the Emperor this group would not compromise and aid the Nazi war machine in any way.

It's a story that should become more widely recognized and told.

1 posted on 04/25/2013 2:16:56 PM PDT by count-your-change
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To: count-your-change

It is utterly disgusting that someone named ‘Michael Berenbaum’ should be the person who diminishes the sacrifices and losses of Jews and Christians in the Holocaust by pronouncing Jehovah’s Witnesses as the only martyrs of that horrible crime.


2 posted on 04/25/2013 2:22:15 PM PDT by MeganC (You can take my gun when you can grab it with your cold, dead fingers.)
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To: count-your-change
JW is not Christianity.

But regardless, this statement "The Jehovah's Witnesses were literally the only martyrs of the Holocaust," Mr. Berenbaum.

I want to vomit.

3 posted on 04/25/2013 2:24:52 PM PDT by svcw (If you are dead when your heart stops, why aren't you alive when it starts.)
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To: count-your-change

... It is telling that even an evil man like Hitler knew the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult. Man!


4 posted on 04/25/2013 2:25:53 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: count-your-change

The Jehovah’s Witnesses were literally the only martyrs of the Holocaust,” Mr. Berenbaum says.

Well no, that statement couldn’t possibly offend anyone. Let alone, those whose families found themselves amongst the counted dead of some nearly 6million.


5 posted on 04/25/2013 2:28:37 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: count-your-change

There’s a local group of Jehova’s Witnesses that comes around regularly. Not trying to convert me, they know my fiance is Jewish. Just standing around discussing the world. Rhey’re eager for knowledge, I lend them books and they leave me stacks of magazines.

Works out well :).


6 posted on 04/25/2013 2:29:30 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: svcw

That’s because the JWs think they are only the special ones on EArth.


7 posted on 04/25/2013 2:29:57 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: MeganC

I think that what he meant was “the only group that resisted until martyrdom”.

Not the best phrasing.


8 posted on 04/25/2013 2:32:28 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Hardraade; MeganC

Even that restatement is so far outside reality to make me want to vomit - again.


9 posted on 04/25/2013 2:35:21 PM PDT by svcw (If you are dead when your heart stops, why aren't you alive when it starts.)
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To: Hardraade

Mr. Berenbaum disgusts me. I’m not the most educated person in the world and I still know how to check the facts.

And there’s thousands of them:

http://www.yadvashemusa.org/martyrdom__resistance.html


10 posted on 04/25/2013 2:36:36 PM PDT by MeganC (You can take my gun when you can grab it with your cold, dead fingers.)
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To: MeganC

I thought I was going to get a story of how the Nazis would come a knocking on a JW’s door, and the JW’s wouldn’t let them in.


11 posted on 04/25/2013 2:37:14 PM PDT by IMR 4350
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To: svcw

You seem to have a reflux problem, as well as a mental one.

You sure you’re not a wahab?


12 posted on 04/25/2013 2:37:34 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: count-your-change
"The Jehovah's Witnesses were literally the only martyrs of the Holocaust," said the Anti-Semite

Millions of Jews who refused to renounce or lie about their faith who died at the hands of the Nazis are not "martyrs"?

13 posted on 04/25/2013 2:40:21 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: Hardraade
I think that what he meant was “the only group that resisted until martyrdom”.

But that wouldn't be accurate either. There were die-hard, born-again Christians who organized and opposed Hitler and the Nazis.

One well-known martyr was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. But there were MANY who gave their lives for their faith in resistance to the horrors of the Nazi Party. So if they meant what you said - they were still just as flawed.

14 posted on 04/25/2013 2:42:55 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: Hardraade

I have a problem with this guys claiming JWs were the only martyrs during WWII, I also have a problem that you don’t think his statement is vile.


15 posted on 04/25/2013 2:44:12 PM PDT by svcw (If you are dead when your heart stops, why aren't you alive when it starts.)
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To: count-your-change
As a group, JWs suffered far greater under the Nazis than mainstream Christians. This is because JWs resisted the Nazis in far greater percentages than did mainstream Christians.
16 posted on 04/25/2013 2:50:27 PM PDT by fso301
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To: TheBattman

True, but they were subgroups.

Now, of course, there are lots of subgroups out there with justifiiable pride in their resistance.


17 posted on 04/25/2013 2:51:20 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: TheBattman
There were die-hard, born-again Christians who organized and opposed Hitler and the Nazis.

But as a percentage of total mainstream Protestants or Catholics in the Third Reich, their numbers were small.

18 posted on 04/25/2013 2:51:48 PM PDT by fso301
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To: MeganC
"The Jews were victims because their experience was not a matter of choice. But the Witnesses did have a choice. They are people to be respected for not giving in."

The article says:

"The Jews were victims because their experience was not a matter of choice. But the Witnesses did have a choice. They are people to be respected for not giving in."

I think he makes a technical distinction by saying Jews had no choice in the matter whereas JWs could have saved themselves by bowing down and worshiping Hitler, something they by and large refused to do.

19 posted on 04/25/2013 2:59:42 PM PDT by fso301
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To: TheBattman
Millions of Jews who refused to renounce or lie about their faith who died at the hands of the Nazis are not "martyrs"?

The author's point was the Jews had no choice in the matter, their fate was sealed. JWs on the other hand did have a choice. They could save themselves by bowing down and worshiping Hitler, something they largely refused to do and something that cannot be said of most mainstream Christians in Weimar Germany, or the Third Reich.

20 posted on 04/25/2013 3:04:54 PM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301

But that is not what the author wrote. He specifically said “only martyrs”...


21 posted on 04/25/2013 3:13:15 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: TheBattman
But that is not what the author wrote. He specifically said “only martyrs”...

I tend to think there were others such as Seventh Day Adventists that resisted in large enough numbers to be identified as a group.

However, other than JWs, what other sizeable group of people can be pointed to as having had a choice to remain "free" by bowing down and worshiping Hitler, or refusing and being sent to concentrations camps that chose the camps?

22 posted on 04/25/2013 3:25:08 PM PDT by fso301
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To: count-your-change

Man for a country that is supposed to pride itself on one of its basic tenants, freedom of religion, and this site, considering the principles it also stands for, the vitriol of some posters about other peoples choice of religion is depressing.

As for the use of the word martyr, get over it. I don’t think I have ever read where the Jews, or for that matter the Gypsies, were ever offered a get-out-of-concentration-camp- for-free card.

Educate yourself and look up the word martyr, and for that matter victim.


23 posted on 04/25/2013 3:28:07 PM PDT by onceone (0311, K Co., 3/5 1st Mar Div, RVN '68)
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To: onceone

You are free to beleive whatever you want and I am free to mock you for it.
Freedom does not mean freedom from criticism, unless you are a liberal, then it does.


24 posted on 04/25/2013 3:30:47 PM PDT by svcw (If you are dead when your heart stops, why aren't you alive when it starts.)
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To: onceone

For Jews it appears to be a racial bias since Hitler tried to remove any Nazis with Jews in their family line back several generations. Something about “racial purity” and rot like that.


25 posted on 04/25/2013 3:37:08 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: svcw
I have a problem with this guys claiming JWs were the only martyrs during WWII

Can you cite another sizeable group whose members were given a choice to remain "free" by bowing down and worshiping Hitler, or refuse and be sent to the camps that collectively chose the camps?

26 posted on 04/25/2013 3:37:41 PM PDT by fso301
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To: TheBattman

I won’t respond further to slander and deliberate misquotes.


27 posted on 04/25/2013 3:42:44 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: svcw

Mocked, by a person who does not understand the difference between martyr and victim?


28 posted on 04/25/2013 3:44:35 PM PDT by onceone (0311, K Co., 3/5 1st Mar Div, RVN '68)
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To: Vendome
Well Berenbaum’s comments are his own, It was part of the article and I am not going to edit it at all.

I wish all would read the article before commenting and look at this definition of “martyr” before any knee jerk reactions:

a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion

Then they can ask why Berenbaum, a Jew, said what he did.
And actually read the article.

29 posted on 04/25/2013 3:52:31 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: fso301
The Holocaust Museum in Washington tells much of their story of preaching and making converts even in the camps.

Many of the JW’s were sent off to Stalin's camps too where their story of resistance and faith was repeated.

31 posted on 04/25/2013 4:06:46 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

Read the article 1st?

Is that a New rule on FR before commenting? LOL

I think the paragraph stands on it’s own. No?


32 posted on 04/25/2013 4:15:58 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: count-your-change

The Jews were less martyrs because they were picked on by virtue of an endemic quality? Hoh Boy!


33 posted on 04/25/2013 4:18:07 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: fso301

From Fiorello’s Sister: Gemma LaGuardia Gluck’s Story
Edited by Rochelle G. Saidel (Syracuse University Press, 2007), 152 pages.
Reviewed by Paul Kushner:

“Gemma describes both the brutal tortures by the Nazis and the courage and mutual support
of the inmates. She taught English to women from over 40 countries. Her description
of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, known as “Bible Students,” is particularly inspiring. At one
point the Gestapo had declared that any Bible Student who renounced her beliefs would
be given her freedom. Not one of them accepted the offer.”

Gemma was the sister of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

He refused to use any influence he had to get her released.


34 posted on 04/25/2013 4:25:05 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Vendome

Your statement not mine.


35 posted on 04/25/2013 4:26:15 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

Absolutely. None of my comments are directed at you. Rather the author.

It’s difficult to read the article in its fullness for this statements alone.


36 posted on 04/25/2013 4:29:51 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: count-your-change

Members of a cult who will perish in hell for denying the deity of Christ, were willing to go to hell much quicker by not renouncing their cultist loyalty to Satan.

Thus one of Satan’s minions, sent them to be tortured before sending them to hell.

I feel sorry for all who are willing to die, while following a lie that will never gain them salvation.

Sad, truly sad.


37 posted on 04/25/2013 4:43:21 PM PDT by OneVike (I'm just a Christian waiting to go home)
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To: Vendome
I contacted Mr. Berenbaum and asked him to clarify his comment made here, he did and I'm awaiting his permission to quote that reply in this forum. As soon as he does I will post it. It will either be in next few minutes or not at all.
38 posted on 04/25/2013 4:54:50 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Vendome

Remember...We have ways of making you read 1st.

Patience on the paragraph. I’ll be back directly.


39 posted on 04/25/2013 4:59:47 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

I keep trying to read the article but, I’m on my cell. I’m kinda getting the gist of the article but it’s hard on this tiny screen.

Ill read it on my big screen in a few minutes and get back to you.


40 posted on 04/25/2013 5:04:11 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome; All
Mr. Berenbaum returned my e-mail with permission to use his reply here. In answer to my request for clarification of his comment in the article, he said,

“I think it better to say that the Jehovah's Witnesses as a group were the only “voluntary victims” of the Holocaust. Individual Jews were certainly martyrs, the Jews as a group, as a people were victims.
By that I mean, that had the Witnesses been willing to renounce their faith or cease to proselytize, they would have been released from the concentration camps. Believing Christians — including Ministers, Priest and Nuns — whose had themselves converted to Christianity or whose parents and in some cases grandparents had converted to Christianity —war victimized as Jews. Certainly not by choice.

Does that make it more clear.

Michael”

A gracious reply to someone he doesn't know at all, compare it to the comments of some of these self styled “Christians”!

41 posted on 04/25/2013 5:14:16 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change

Tell him thank you for his gracious reply and I can agree with it and do.


42 posted on 04/25/2013 5:16:35 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome
I did thank him. Eeee-ffusively.
43 posted on 04/25/2013 5:29:59 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: MeganC

If he changed his name would it help you? You could of course read his e-mail to me unless that’s too much trouble.


46 posted on 04/25/2013 6:05:54 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: fso301

I’ve studied the persecution of the church for 30 yrs. Hitler had a whole list of Christian denominations he outlawed and persecuted.


48 posted on 04/25/2013 6:32:36 PM PDT by aimhigh ( Guns do not kill people. Abortion kills people.)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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