5.0 out of 5 stars
Students of Nazi Germany must read it, Aug. 14 2013
This book documents Hitler's fanatical hatred of a lesser known group considered unworthy of life in the Third Reich. Jehovah's Witnesses were singular among all the undesirables. Only Witnesses, in spite of meeting the Nazi standard of having proper master race Aryan blood, we chose to be imprisoned rather than denoucing our beliefs. For not accepting the supremacy of the Third Reich.
Jews, Poles, Slavs, Soviet prisoners of war, the Sinti,(Gypsies), political prisoners, homosexuals, the mentally infirm, habitual criminals, where not expected to ever see a sky beyond barbed wire again. No other group had the option of signing a declaration,("erklarung"). By inking it, it was to walk out. To unquestionably swear loyal allegiance to the supremacy of Hitler and the Third Reich. Denying that God's,(Jehovahs) governance is the only successful system for mankind. He alone, is the only Ruler worthy of worship. As well, never to go door to door again, or associate with fellow believers.
Only a handful of these declarations out of thousands of Witness inmates signed.
The book details the increasing persecution from 1933 to 1939. The war years when Germany had full rein to hide its atrocities.
As with Jews trying to return to a vestige of normalcy, in post war Europe, the book chronicles continuing animosity and injustice.
The book is actually a collection of small books, accounts by individual contributors who lived through those dark years. The collective picture is vivid and detailed. What life was for a persecuted group.
It does not discuss issues of faith.
It is, in my humble opinion, a objective documentary trying to capture how horrible life was for people on Hitlers hate list.
I do not know if I could have endured. It frames that question for all of us.
As with the wonderful, indomitable, affirming value of life, my Jewish friends have taken from those evil days, I invite readers to investigate this example of determination and and perseverance.