By The Librarian
The Nazi's ruthless invasion of France in 1940 was perhaps Hitler's greatest achievement and while France was a sworn enemy, Hitler made no secret of his love for the City of Lights and is reported to have said that visiting the city shortly after the invasion, "was the greatest and finest moment of my life."
With that being said, the Fuhrer told Albert Speer (left) shortly after this poignant photo was taken that, "Berlin must be far more beautiful. When we are finished in Berlin, Paris will only be a shadow."
By Bible Speaks
? HITLER'S EFFORTS TO WIPE OUT JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN GERMANY FAILED: “Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; because, ... if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them..." Â—Acts 5:38, 39.
During 1933, when JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Germany refused to heil Adolf Hitler as their FÃ¼hrer, Hitler vowed to exterminate them.Â
Hitler launched a campaign to annihilate JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Germany. By 1935 they were proscribed in the entire nation.
October 7, 1934, Adolf Hitler with clenched fists declared regarding JehovahÂ’s Witnesses: Â“This enemy of Great Germany, This brood Â of International Bible Students will be exterminated in Germany!Â”Â
Â Widespread arrests occurred. A Â“special Gestapo CommandÂ” was formed to fight against the Witnesses.Â
The Nazis did succeed in rounding up thousands of Witnesses and sending them off to concentration camps. Repeatedly they were promised release from the camps if they would only sign a declaration renouncing their beliefs.Â
The Earthly part of Jehovah's Organization wrote a personal letter to Adolf Hitler warning him regarding the situation. J. F. Rutherford along with the entire worldwide brotherhood went into action. JehovahÂ’s Witnesses throughout the earth met and, after united prayer to Jehovah, sent a cablegram warning the Hitler government: Â“Your ill-treatment of JehovahÂ’s witnesses shocks all good people of earth and dishonors GodÂ’s name. Refrain from further persecuting JehovahÂ’s witnesses; otherwise God will destroy you and your national party.Â”Â
The Witnesses kept right on preaching that GodÂ’s Kingdom is mankindÂ’s only hope. At the end of the war, over a thousand surviving Witnesses came out of the camps, with their faith intact and their love for one another strong.Â
The Nazis failed to break the WitnessesÂ’ resolve to worship God alone, and they failed to eliminate GodÂ’s servants as a group.Â
Why was Hitler, with his well-equipped army, highly trained police, Â unable to carry out his threat to destroy this relatively small and unarmed group of what the world views as ordinary people?Â
The answer lies in some wise advice given by Gamaliel, a Law teacher, to fellow members of the Jewish Sanhedrin when they were dealing with a similar case involving the apostles of Jesus Christ. He said: Â“Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; because, if this scheme or this work is from men, it will be overthrown; but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them; otherwise, you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.Â”Â—Acts 5:38, 39.
Sixty years later, faithful survivors of HitlerÂ’s concentration camps are still serving Jehovah Â‘with their whole heart and soul and mind,Â’ whereas today Hitler and his Nazi party are wiped off the face of the earth, Â nowhere to be found, living only in infamy.
Jehovah's name and his Kingdom is still being proclaimed in Germany by some total of what went from only a few thousand of Jehovah's servants during Hitler's reign to today numbering far over 165,837 and still rapidly growing. The work is from Jehovah, not man, and the work of Jehovah cannot be overthrown.Â
?? Â“They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.Â”Â—Isaiah 2:4; 11:9.
Â• jv 552, 553, 659-660, 693, w05 12/15 pp. 19-24Â
Â Â Whom Do You ObeyÂ—God or Men?
By Jack Ryan
Watchtower criticises other religious groups for colluding with Hitler, whilst Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned for their refusal to compromise their standards. What is not admitted is that Rutherford initially praised Hitler for his stance against Jews and the Anglo/American empire.
One of the groups that Hitler sent to concentration camps were Jehovah's Witnesses. They were forced to endure unspeakable atrocities and many lost their lives. The individual actions of many Witnesses are commendable and the Watchtower holds up this part of their history in great esteem. What is not discussed is the hypocritical actions of Rutherford in the lead up to these events.
Early in 1933, the Watchtower office in Berlin was closed and Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in many German states. This was due to the refusal of Jehovah's Witnesses to swear loyalty to the government or to serve in its armed forces.
In an attempt to appease Hitler into lifting the ban, Rutherford instigated a Declaration of FactsÂ and sent aÂ Letter to HitlerÂ discussing the Watchtower's support of the Nazi regime.
Current Watchtower references provide a deceptive portrayal of these documents, through selective quoting. TheÂ Proclaimer'sÂ book mentions that Rutherford wrote a letter to Hitler under the context of "facing Nazi oppression", in which the Watchtower Society is made to sound as if they were firmly against the Nazi regime.
It is quite surprising to find the opposite is true, which can be identified when reading the content of Rutherford's 1933Â letter to HitlerÂ and theÂ Declaration of Facts.
Letter to Hitler
Russell, founder of the Watchtower, was aÂ
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â and sympathetic to Jews as part of modern day fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Rutherford initially continued such support, but changed by the 1930's to a bigoted, anti-Semitic stance. During the time of Rutherford, Witnesses became known as a religion of hate, due to the Watchtower's tirade of insults against other Churches and governments. The Catholic Church come under the greatest condemnation and bought this to the attention of the Nazi government, petitioning against the Watchtower Society. In 1933, the Nazi government banned the Watchtower's German operations.
In an effort to overturn the ban, Rutherford sent a Letter and a Declaration to Hitler, in which heÂ praisesÂ Hitler for his anti-Anglo/American campaign and his stance against the Jews.
A copy of the letter in German.
Following is part of an English translation of theÂ Letter to Hitler.
The letter mentions Hitler's "just principles," quoting from section 24 ofÂ Das Program der NSDAPÂ (The Nazi'sÂ Platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party).
Rutherford further compromised Watchtower principles but offering that, "We want to continue to live up to the prohibition imposed upon us," that is, they would stop preaching in Germany, provided the ban was lifted that would allow them to "meet for prayer and church service".
Click Letter to Hitler Â for a translation of the full letter in PDF format.
TheÂ YearbookÂ 1974 briefly refers to this letter, along with theÂ Declaration of Facts.
In light of the contents of the official letter and Declaration sent to Hitler, the Watchtower's 2011 comment mocking other Churches is nothing short of hypocritical.
Declaration of Facts
Rutherford and Knorr organized a public convention in Berlin on 25th June, 1933 to release a "Declaration of Facts," being pronouncing at the German convention, and distributed in letter format. This outlined Watchtower's support of the German governments stance against Jews.
The convention hall was decked with swastikas and the program was opened with Song 64, a song from the Bible Student's songbook that had the some melody by Hayden as the German national anthem. Konrad Franke, Germany's Bethel branch overseer later stated his disturbance at seeing the scene for the convention and Rutherford's declaration.
TheÂ Declaration of FactsÂ was reprinted in theÂ YearbookÂ 1934. It went on in part to state:
Click here Â for an English translation of the fullÂ Declaration of FactsÂ in PDF format.
Rutherford'sÂ LetterÂ andÂ DeclarationÂ were an effort to appease Hitler, but to no avail - too little, too late.
With Rutherford's efforts at appeasing Hitler into lifting the Watchtower ban not achieving its aims, Rutherford instead started to antagonise Hitler through his publications.
These cablegrams read:
Rutherford send another letter to Hitler, this time threatening Hitler with the punishment of God if the ban on Jehovah's Witnesses was not lifted.