Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008 - History - 834 pages
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Between Resistance and Martyrdom is the first comprehensive historical study of the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Holocaust era. Refusing to perform military service under Germany’s Third Reich due to their fundamental belief in nonviolence, Jehovah’s Witnesses caught the attention of the highest authorities in the justice system, the police, and the SS.
            Although persecuted and banned from practicing their beliefs by the Nazi regime in 1933, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ unified resistance has been largely forgotten. Basing his work on a wide range of sources, including documents and archives previously unconsidered as well as critical analyses of Jehovah’s Witness literature and survivor interviews, Detlef Garbe chronicles the Nazi’s relentless persecution of this religious group before and during World War II.
    The English translation of this important work features photographs not published in the German edition. These striking images bring a sense of individual humanity to this story and help readers comprehend the reality of the events documented. Between Resistance and Martyrdom is an indispensable work that will introduce an English-speaking audience to this important but lesser-known part of Holocaust history.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
The IBSAs Beginnings 18741918
29
Teachings of the Denomination
35
Development and Expansion in the German Reich
44
Efforts to Adapt to National Circumstances 1933
71
The Watch Tower Society 193335
92
Judicial Conflict and Freedom of Religion
119
NONCONFORMIST BEHAVIOR
137
JEHOVAH S WITNESSES DURING
317
Conscientious Objection
349
Prisoners with the Purple Patch
394
Jehovahs Witnesses at the Neuengamme
459
Intensity of the Persecution
477
The IBSA in Hamburg
485
Social Refusal and Resistance
500
Epilogue
529

Instruments of Persecution
149
Escalating Persecution
169
1o Courageous Conviction and Covert Measures
207
Organized Resistance Activities
224
Jurisdictional Conflicts between the Legal Authorities
251
Notes
543
Bibliography
753
Index
793
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Detlef Garbe is director of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial in Hamburg, Germany. He is the author of numerous publications about the history of the concentration camps, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other marginal victim groups, military justice, and Germany’s postwar confrontations with the National Socialist past. He is also the editor of Beiträge zur Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung in Norddeutschland.

Dagmar G. Grimm is a native of Bremen, Germany, who now lives in the United States. Her work as a translator and editor includes other works on the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses under the Hitler regime as well as under communist rule in East Germany.

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