Jehovah Witnesses were one of the groups of people hated by the Nazis and were killed by the hundreds, the numbers are unclear but are estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,500.
Nazi authorities denounced Jehovah’s Witnesses for their ties to the United States and derided the apparent revolutionary millennialism of their preaching that a battle of Armageddon would precede the rule of Christ on earth. They linked Jehovah’s Witnesses to “international Jewry” by pointing to Witness reliance on certain Old Testament texts.
Jehovah’s Witnesses could, however, escape persecution and personal harm by renouncing their religious beliefs. From 1935 Gestapo officers offered members a document to sign indicating renunciation of their faith, submission to state authority, and support of the German military.
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. Most of…
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