Jehovah’s Witnesses are included among those who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.
Aside from brief mentions, the literature on the history of Auschwitz Concentration Camp does not take into account Jehovah’s Witnesses (referred to in the camp records as Bible Researchers) who were imprisoned because of their religious convictions. These prisoners deserve closer attention because of the way they managed to hold on to their moral principles under camp conditions. This was a result of their religious convictions, based on the Bible and on opposition to all forms of violence.
Almost 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses were incarcerated in Auschwitz.
This book is the first attempt at a thorough study of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Auschwitz.
A temporary exhibition on Jehovah’s Witnesses who were victims of Nazi persecution from 1933 to 1945, with emphasis on the history of Auschwitz.
Award-winning 30-minute documentary film by Jonathan Lewis looks at the Nazi persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses through the eyes of a young schoolgirl. Based on the book "Facing the Lion: Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe" by Simone Arnold Liebster.
Designed for Grades 9-12. (Teachers may find the lesson applicable and suitable for Grade 8.)
30-minute testimony of Franz Wohlfahrt includes downloadable video, modular lessons, student activities, discussion questions, glossary, and biography. Explores themes such as resistance, responsibility, courage, and faith.
Created to assist educators of students age 14 and up, this Segment contains excerpts of the testimony of Simone Maria Liebster, accompanied by a written summary.
Simone Arnold Liebster's memoir Facing the Lion: Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe is recommended by Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for those interested in finding out more about the issues raised by Holocaust Memorial Day.
Case Study : The Hate Game Film 2
Robert Wagemann and his mother were Jehovah's Witnesses. Targeted by the Nazis as a child because he was disabled, doctors planned to give Robert a lethal injection. His mother fled from the hospital with Robert and they went into hiding. Robert survived Nazi persecution and tells his story in this film.
Excerpts of US Army film of Nuremberg Trials, “Persecution of Religious and Other Victim Groups at Nuremberg,” January 8, 1946, in which US prosecutor cites proof of the Nazi persecution of the “Bibelforscher,” or Jehovah’s Witnesses. (9 minutes)
With the Nazi reign of terror as a backdrop, "The Flag and Freedom" describes two landmark US Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witness students and the flag salute.
Jolene Chu and Donna P. Couper, “The Flag and Freedom,” Social Education, the flagship journal of National Council for the Social Studies, www.socialstudies.org.
University of Minnesota.
Information and links for students to resources including photos, primary documents, and videos of public programs about Jehovah's Witnesses.
This downloadable booklet is available from the United States Holocaust Museum Teacher's Resource Center and is part of their "Other Victim" series.
Each card provides a biographical sketch, the individual’s experiences from 1933 to 1939, events during the war, and the fate of the individual.
This downloadable booklet has information about Jehovah's Witnesses on page 39, paragraph 2; on page 42, paragraphs 3-5; and chronology on page 46.
Erich Frost, a musician and Jehovah's Witness, was arrested for smuggling pamphlets from Switzerland to Germany and imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1942 he composed Fest steht, which was later reworked in English as Forward, You Witnesses. This performance in German took place under Frost's direction at an event in Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 1960's. Simone Arnold Liebster sings the English version of the song.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum curator Suzy Snyder discusses materials, including photographs and letters, that were donated to the Museum by members of the Kusserow family. (See Purple Triangles DVD)
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