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Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime
Edited by Hans Hesse
408 pages, 27 color pictures, 81 halftones and documents, chronology, bibliog.
ISBN 978-3-86108-750-2 $29.95/£23.95 / Hb / Published (November 2002)
"We must be grateful for this book, deeply grateful. In essay after essay we read of the fate of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi concentration camps. Some of the essays tell large stories. The other essays tell small stories of a few individuals - stories that illuminate the whole. Part of this work addresses the situation of the Witnesses in Germany... Jews were victimized not because of what they did, nor because of what they were. They were targeted for destruction because of what their grandparents were... Alone of all the groups targeted by the Nazis, the Jehovah's Witnesses were victimized because of what they refused to do. They would not enlist in the army, undertake air raid drills, stop meeting or proselytizing. They would not utter the words 'Heil Hitler.' Their dissent was irksome, disciplined and systematic...Jews had no choice. Jehovah's Witnesses did. As such, they are martyrs in the traditional sense of the term - those prepared to suffer and even to die for the choice of their faith." (From the Preface by Michael Berenbaum, Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar of the Holocaust, Richard Stockton College)
More than 50 years after the end of the Third Reich, Jehovah's Witnesses, like Sinti and Roma, continue to be forgotten victims in the broader public’s consciousness. Only recently have historians and concentration camp memorials increasingly focused on this category of inmates who were marked and stigmatized in concentration camps with purple triangles. Through 22 articles, 19 authors employ the latest research in Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Nazi Regime to summarize the multifaceted history of those prisoners in the Wewelsburg, Sachsenhausen and Moringen concentration camps. Comprehensively, this volume includes a lens on the persecution of the female members of Jehovah's Witnesses, who made up the largest group of inmates of the female concentration camps up until the beginning of the Second World War; contributions that for the first time deal with the hitherto largely unknown history of the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses specifically in the GDR; and, to round out this volume’s extensiveness, there also are around 120 documents and photos, previously mostly unseen.
Hans Hesse received his master's degree in history from the Free University, Berlin and is a freelance author. He is author of Hoffnung ist ein ewiges Bergäbnis: Edition des Briefwechsels von Hannah Vogt aus dem KZ Moringen 1933 (Bremen, 1998).
Also visit the Edition Temmen for whom this title is distributed for more information.
Subject: Genocide History Anthropology of Religion
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