The Jehovah's Witnesses - concentration camp prisoners with the purple triangle
On April 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia forbade the religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses which was classified as an "extremist organization". The headquarters in Saint Petersburg, as well as 395 regional associations, were dissolved, the assets confiscated. This piece of news provides us with the oportunity to remember the relentless persecution of this religious community by the National Socialists.
After 1945, for decades, they were one of the "forgotten victims", only in the 1990s did the investigation of the persecution of this group of victims begin. Today, the history of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich is well researched and documented with personal testimonies and life stories. They are credited with perseverance and great personal courage in face of the cruel persecution by the national-socialist regime against Jehovah's Witnesses. However, when it comes to a wider audience, the fate of this group of victims is still largely unknown. As early as 1933 Jehovah's Witnesses was the first religious community in Germany to be forbidden. Since 1935, many hundreds of them were sent to the concentration camps, where they formed their own group and were marked with a purple fabric triangle on their clothes. In the years before the Second World War, they were particularly exposed to the cruelty of the SS camps. In the course of the war their situation improved, in some of the camps outside the Dachau concentration camp they were given important functions.
In the Dachau concentration camp, among the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses ,101 deaths were registered out of which 32 were murdered with poison gas in Schloss Hartheim, in line with the mass murder of sick and handicapped people.
See Detlef Garbe, The Purple Angle. The biblical researchers (Jehovah's Witnesses) in concentration camps, in: Dachauer Hefte 1994 (Heft 10), pp. 3-32.
Tekst Barbara Distel
Detlef Garbe, Der lila Winkel.in: Dachauer Hefte 1994 (Heft 10) Original German Text
link wikipedia:Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany