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What Does the Purple Triangle Mean?”

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“What Does the Purple Triangle Mean?”


“A FEW days ago, I received a copy of The Watchtower from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” wrote a civil servant working at the ministry of justice in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He continued: “Reading it, I learned some facts about the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses under Nazi and Communist regimes. But I have a question. The cover photo shows Jehovah’s Witnesses with an inverted purple triangle on the left side of their coats. What does the purple triangle mean?”

In Germany under the Nazi regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to heil Hitler, and they maintained neutrality on political and military issues. So the Nazis cruelly persecuted them, incarcerating some 12,000 Witnesses for varying lengths of time in prisons and concentration camps. About 2,000 of them died, hundreds being executed.

What did the purple triangle on their prison garb signify? “The various categories of prisoners in the [Nazi] camps carried special distinguishing marks,” explains the book Anatomy of the SS State. “The uniform system of marking introduced before the war consisted in sewing a triangular piece of material on to each prisoner’s uniform, the colour depending on his category: for political prisoners, red; for Jehovah’s Witnesses, purple; for anti-socials, black; for criminals, green; for homosexuals, pink; for emigrants, blue. In addition to the coloured triangle Jewish prisoners were made to wear a yellow triangle sewn on to the coloured triangle in such a way as to form the hexagonal Star of David.”

“If its moral significance is widely remembered in time,” wrote Professor John K. Roth in his book Holocaust Politics, “the purple triangle can yet be a shield against disaster, a shield whose triangular points direct our attention and commitment toward the good that most deserves human respect.” Jehovah’s Witnesses have produced the award-winning documentary Jehovah’s Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault. Why not ask one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to make it possible for you to view this video?



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Excerpt: Jehovah's Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault

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      14 Not long afterward, Brother Russell passed away, leaving the office of the Watch Tower Society’s presidency vacant. Since Brother Macmillan was in charge during Brother Russell’s final preaching tour, a brother remarked to him: “Mac, you have a strong chance of getting in yourself. You were Brother Russell’s special representative when he was gone, and he told all of us to do as you say. Well, he went away and never did return. It looks like you’re the man to carry on.” Brother Macmillan responded: “Brother, that’s not the way to look at this matter. This is the Lord’s work and the only position you get in the Lord’s organization is what the Lord sees fit to give you; and I am sure I’m not the man for the job.” Then Brother Macmillan recommended someone else for the position. Like Gideon, he had a modest view of himself—a view we do well to adopt.
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      Simone Arnold Liebster was just 11 years old when the Nazis overran her country and took control of her town.
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      She and her late husband, Max, established the Arnold-Liebster Foundation in January 2002 to educate future generations in the lessons of history. It’s a non-political, non-profit organization that strives to keep alive the memory of victims of dictatorships and religious persecution.
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      “We look at the past and see that the masses followed Hitler. We ask: ‘What can we learn from those who didn’t?’ We want to learn from positive examples,” said Marge Fulton, the local contact for the Arnold-Liebster Foundation. “Simone Liebster refused to heil Hitler.”
      Highland High School English teacher Susie Martz learned about Liebster’s story from attending the Illinois Reading Conference in Peoria. She asked if Fulton would set up a time for her class to meet Liebster and ask questions.
      “I saw her in October and Simone touched my heart. She touched my heart so much that I had to share this with my students,” Martz said. “I think she surprised them. The students did a lot of prep work before this interview.”
      Along with her standard English class, Martz also teaches a class on the Holocaust.
      “In one of my classes, we read Night, which is a book about the Holocaust, and I teach another class that focuses only on the holocaust. I wanted the students to get different points of view of the Holocaust.”
      The students eyes were glued to the projector as Fulton gave the background of Liebster’s story.
      Shortly after Fulton’s presentation, her computer beeped and a video stream of Liebster popped up. Now 86 years old, Liebster may seem frail, but her spirit and resolve are just as strong now as they were when she was a child. Her strength comes from her faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.
      “I was raised in peace, but there was still the past to think about from the previous world war,” Liebster told the students from her home in France. “Life was normal for me as a child.”
      But then the war came. Many fled as the Germans advanced. Liebster’s family did not. She asked her father why they had stayed. His response was something she’d never forget.
      “My father told me that he was responsible for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area and we couldn’t leave,” she said. “He said, ‘I must stay to provide courage.’ ”
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      Unlike Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses could escape Nazi persecution if they would renounce their faith. Heiling Hitler was also mandatory. Those who did not were sent to concentration camps. But Liebster and her family stood firm in their faith.
      “I was well-educated and had principles. I wanted to be faithful to my beliefs. The idea to praise Hitler as a savior was wrong, and I would not give in,” she said. “Some people told me I should pretend, but that would be lying. If I did that, I would be lying to God, and I want to honor Jesus as King. And I’d be lying to the state, and my conscience wouldn’t be clear.”
      Her refusal — along with her family’s — was what landed her parents in separate concentration camps.
      “My father was taken and arrested right away and put in Dachau. He was in charge of painting ammunition boxes, but refused. He was severely punished. Every so often, they’d offer him a contract to sign that would free him if he would heil Hitler. He refused, again and again. Eventually, he became a medical experiment for malaria.”
      Ripped apart, then reunited
      The entire family was broken up.
      “A judge took me away from my mother and put me in a school in Germany. My mother was arrested and put in a separate concentration camp. We weren’t allowed to write from one prison to another.”
      Liebster can still remember her “re-education” in Germany.
      “We lived the same as people did in the 19th century. The living conditions were bad and food was scarce. Children never played and were taken from their parents,” she said. “I learned to obey without question.”
      But she was able to hang on to who she was, thanks to her father.
      “Thanks to dad. He taught me that my brain was like a shelf, I could pull anything from my mind,” she said.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses were forced to wear a purple triangle in the camps. The meaning behind that is a bit unclear, but Liebster said she believes it was because of the link between the color purple and royalty.
      “They gave us purple triangle’s, because that’s the color of royalty, and we were messengers for God’s Kingdom,” she said.
      The family wasn’t sure they’d ever see each other again. But at the end of the war, their family was lucky. They were reunited. They regrouped and rebuilt their lives, but seldom spoke of the past and trauma they’d been through.
      “We started a new life, but that was difficult. We didn’t talk about the past, but mom did say that we had to forgive those who wronged us,” Liebster said. “I finally understood what forgiveness was. It’s the strength to overcome any bad feelings.”
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      The Canadian Prime Minister caused a storm of social media fury after his official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day appeared to contain no mention of Jews. Justin Trudeau has already faced scrutiny for his Government’s handling of Canada’s relationship with Israel, especially when compared to that of the previous pro-Israel Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
      His statement reads:
      “On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust. We honour those who survived atrocities at the hands of the Nazi regime, and welcome their courageous stories of hope and perseverance.
      “The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened.
      “As we pause to educate ourselves and our families on the bitter lessons of the Holocaust, we also strengthen our resolve to work with domestic and international partners to continue defending human rights and condemning intolerance.”
      The fact that there was no direct mention of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust caused a stir on social media, with some users claiming that he was forgetting history.
      Of course, Jews were not the only group targeted by the Nazis. Others to face murder in the concentration camps included homosexuals, the disabled, communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, among others. However, the fact that around two thirds of the Jews in Europe—around one third of the Jews worldwide at the time—were exterminated has forever linked the Holocaust with the Jews.
      In response to the outrage, Trudeau posted a link to his statement on Twitter alongside a note about fighting anti-Semitism.
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    • Live: Chinese officials brief the media on novel coronavirus control   Asymptomatic man infects 14 medics with coronavirus. They are calling him "超级传播者" (Super-spreader), he took more than 15 days to start feeling symptoms, even though he was able to infect the doctors and nurses. In 12/25/2019 Zhao, 69, was admitted to the Union Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan. He was suffering from pituitary tumors, he didn't have a very good cardiac function, coronary heart disease, sinus bradycardia and other illnesses. He stayed in the hospitals for 12 days for preoperative examination and evaluation (until January 6th). Before the brain surgery, he had no respiratory symptoms, normal body temperature, normal white blood cell and lymphocyte values. Preoperative x-rays showed he had some shadows on his left rib cage due to a long history of smoking. He was full of gas, good mental state, the doctors didn't have any reason to doubt he had an sort of viral pneumonia. December 30, 2019 the hospital received an internal notice about cases of pneumonia of unknown causes and January 7th, 2020 the hospital staff started wearing protection clothes. Zhao's surgery was done January 8th during the morning, it was done successfully and the patient was in stable conditions. January 9th the hospital was informed that the unknown cause of pneumonia was a virus called coronavirus. But Zhao didn't have any symptom whatsoever. January 11th Zhao suddenly got fever, but it was extremely difficult to determine the clinical reason since he made an cranial surgery, it could be changes in the body's stress, cerebral vascular irritation, changes in intracranial pressure... Meanwhile a neurosurgeon issued a lung CT scan, image display showed multiple lung opacities sheet with right pleural effusion, interstitial pneumonia. Significant pulmonary infection performance has emerged. Also, leukocytes increased significantly, elevated neutrophils, lymphocytes low, these changes are not typical virus infection. Doctor immediately reported the case and specialists did RNA tests confirming the patient got the virus and infected 14 people from the hospital staff. He was classified as "Super Spreader", that's when a person infects a large amount of people. The hospital doesn't know how many people were infected by the patient and the staff since hundreds of patients, medics and students go to that hospital daily and as observed the infected person might take 15 days to feel symptoms, but can infect others even before the symptoms appear. Source: China Press    
    • If half your international workers are down with the flu (I'm "just" going off the flu symptoms here)... your company grinds to a halt. What worries me is that the world's increasingly-interdependent medical goods supply chains operate very leanly and with comparatively lower stockpiles than we used to. And any given country, the US for example, is less self-sufficient than ever before (in terms of established supply chains currently in use). So any major disruption in the production and global distribution of medical goods will be very readily felt by hospitals. And no one is prepared for that with adequate contingencies in place. Huge amounts of basic medical supplies are manufactured in Asia. China- masks, PPE, some fluid/ fluid bags, scapals/ instruments, wound dressings, IV machines/ mobile xray/ other machines; South America- Certain IV fluids, medications, some anti viral/ antibiotic meds; India- outer protection bag that some IV fluids are packed in If the supply chain were to be interupted- at any point in the world where medical equipment is produced- that is almost unfathomable. Germany gets 80% of it's pharmacies from foreign countries, most of it from China and India...... Outsourcing (globalizing) medicine is a disaster recipipe beyond pandemics, when you actively make yourself dependent.
    • China's CDC report says Coronavirus "has higher pandemic risk than SARS" | Can be transmitted without symptoms within incubation period [from renowned Harvard scientist Dr. Eric Ding] About 100,000 people could be infected with the new coronavirus around the world, experts have warned, as the UK government faced calls to reassure people that the NHS is ready to deal with any British cases within days. In spite of the rigorous containment measures China has taken, its ban on flights and the UK checks on travellers from China at Heathrow, experts say it is only a matter of time until there is a case in the UK, given the ease with which the new coronavirus is now believed to pass from one person to another - possibly transmitted by people with mild or even no symptoms at all. Secondly, there are reports from China of people who have infected others before they have experienced any symptoms.
    • Dr. Liang Wudong, a surgeon who was treating patients in Wuhan, become the first doctor to die from the new Coronavirus at Hubei Xinhua Hospital. A reminder that while everyone else is trying to avoid it, frontline medical staff are risking their lives to cure it and help others.
    • Rumour from Wuhan that at one hospital over 70 patients died in just one hour This post says someone working in a hospital in Wuhan said that all the doctors and nurses of two departments died within 3 hours, and that over 70 died within one hour in No. 5 hospital last night.     Date unknown. Rough translation of the chat (from SleepyKitto on the discord server): White: I just got through my comrade's office line W: He wailed and told me no one left from the two departments within 3 hours W: All dead W: Last night 70 something patients died in Wuhan Fifith Hospital within an hour Green: Were those doctors? W: DO NOT take this lightly W: Doctors, nurses W: Whole section department, no one left G: My god, where are the resrouces? G: (where is) the Government?
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