Jehovah's Witnesses and the Holocaust

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Jehovah's Witnesses and the Holocaust refer to the relationship between the religious group Jehovah's Witnesses and the Holocaust.

The Holocaust revisionist Ditlieb Felderer testified in court at the second of Ernst Zündel's Holocaust trials in 1988. "Felderer's interest in the subject had been aroused during his years as a researcher for the Jehovah's Witness publication Awake!, during which time he prepared a research paper for the Witnesses' governing body on the history of the Jehovah's Witnesses during World War II. Members of the sect were incarcerated in virtually every camp in Nazi Germany during the war and also in such countries as Canada because they refused to bear arms. (18-4225 to 4229) In the beginning, the Jehovah's Witnesses claimed that 60,000 of their members were killed in the Nazi concentration camps. Felderer's research on the question, which took him to the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses in New York, as well as to archives in Toronto, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries, convinced him that the actual number was far lower, and that only about 200 Jehovah's Witnesses were killed. Felderer's research put him on a collision course with the sect; the leadership in New York warned members that they were not allowed to speak to him. In a subsequent Yearbook published by the Jehovah's Witnesses, however, they conceded that only 203 people were killed during the war. Felderer had told Zündel about this research. (18-4226 to 4229; 4645)".[1]

Another description from 1982: "Ditleib found the the estimated 27,000 number of JW "victims" rapidly vanishing and found that only 203 JWs had died. A number of these had been executed by the Germans for encouraging German troops to desert."[2]

The organization's publication The Watchtower in 2008 stated that "In the United States, more than 4,300 Witnesses of Jehovah were incarcerated in federal prisons for refusing to perform military service. In Britain, upwards of 1,500, including more than 300 women, were imprisoned for declining to perform war duties. In Nazi Germany, upwards of 270 Witnesses were executed by State order for their refusal to take up arms. Under the Nazi regime, more than 10,000 Witnesses were incarcerated, either in prisons or in concentration camps. Witnesses in Japan suffered terribly as well."[3]

See also


  1. Chapter "Ditlieb Felderer" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review:
  2. The Ditlieb Felderer Revisionist Slide Show 1982
  3. Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Not Go to War?