Jehovah's Witnesses During The Holocaust

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A. The most likely reason the number of Jehovah’s witnesses and many other persecuted groups killed in the Holocaust varies is because Nazis destroyed records as it became clear the Allies were going to liberate concentration camps and defeat the German army. The Nazis kept meticulous records of the number or people killed or deported and the value of the stolen property coming in from the victims. Promotions in the German army and admiration from other Nazis often came from the number of deaths or deported Ghettos an Officer had caused. The total death caused by a Nazi was often a point of pride, so he was very interested in knowing this number. In order for this number to be accurate records must have been kept. The value of property coming…show more content…
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s statement that 1650 Jehovah’s Witnesses were killed during the holocaust is most likely the truth. The USHMM is a more reliable source. It is federally operated, which means the museum is not allowed to publish incorrect information. The Jewish Virtual Library is a project of the American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, which is a private company. Though they probably do their best to be accurate, they can write whatever they want. Another downside of being privately owned is the Jewish Virtual Library simply does not have a research budget anywhere close to the USHMM. I also find the USHMM’s lower estimate to be more likely because the Witnesses often experienced better treatment in concentration camps than other persecuted groups. German Jehovah’s Witnesses were still considered ethnic Germans by many Nazi’s. This supposed superiority to other imprisoned groups meant the often received better treatment. Many Witnesses became personal servants for Nazis, which was a much better option than other prisoners had. The effect this had on likelihood of death is evidenced by the fact that non-German Witnesses had a much higher death rate than German Witnesses. SS chief Hienrich Himmler had admiration for how strongly the Witnesses stuck by their faith. Himmler said SS men needed to have the same “Unshakeable faith” in Adolf Hitler. C. This project tells us historical facts are not always accurate because record keeping is not always a primary concern or because records have been lost. The project shows that many historical statistics are estimates based on whatever information can be pieced together, not extremely precise figures recorded as the historical event in question
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