Report from Secret State Police Office. Darmstadt, October 15, 1936
Darmstadt, October 15, 1936
Secret State Police Office
Re.: Criminal case against quarry worker Adam H e i m from Zwingenberg and others because of violations against the decree dated February 28, 1933 (Reference SJs 404/36.)
R e p o r t.
In the course of further investigations, it was indisputably established that the following individuals have been illegally active until now, after the ban of the I.B.A. dated October 18, 1933. Found guilty of illegal activities are:
1. Quarry worker Adam H e i m , born 9/29/1897 in Zwingenberg a.d.B., residence: Oberstr. 5,
2. Railroad worker Johann Georg N i c k e l s , born 7/14/1890 in Zwingenberg a.d.B., residence: Wiesenstr. 14 1/2,
3. Wife Wilhelmine N i c k e l s , born 12/11/1891 in Auersbach a.d.B., residence: Zwingenberg, Wiesenstr. 14 1/2,
4. Barber Johannes G ä r t n e r , born 8/17/1906 in Lorsch, residence: Zwingenberg a.d.B., Marktpl. 11,
5. Johannes D e g e n , born 7/8/1900 in Lorsch, residence: Sandstr. 2,
6. Grinder Adfam W e i n d o r f , born 2/25/1893 in Urberach, residence: Darmstadt, Heidelberger Str. 47,
7. Wife Rosa W e i n d o r f , née Beck, born 1/30/1895 in Darmstadt, residence: Heidelberger Str. 47,
8. Cellarman Christian K a l t w a s s e r , born 4/10/1894 in Auerbach, residence: Lorsch, Badegasse 12,
9. Wife Else K a l t w a s s e r , née Klein, born 1/31/1896 in Frankfurt a.M., residence: Lorsch, Badegasse 12,
. . . [text missing on originals] have been calling themselves
"Jehovah's Witnesses" for several years,
1. held meetings in their apartments to discuss their illegal activities,
2. read, distributed, and exchanged among each other printed matter of the banned association,
3. received such printed matter for payment and thereby supported at the same time the welfare organization "Gute Hoffnung" [Good Hope] of the I.B.A.,
4. gathered together to listen to radio broadcastings of the Bible Students from abroad (speech of Judge Rutherford on channel Toulouse in spring 1936),
5. visited the convention of the I.B.A. in Luzern on 9/4/1936 (see Degen).
By destroying Christianity, the International Bible Students
Association, in reality a Jewish-communist association under religious cover,
wants to realize the Jewish World Empire and the Jewish missionary thought under
the cover of religious predictions and prophecies. It has been established,
without doubt, that their teaching must be viewed as anti-state teaching. They
do not only spread the teaching of the Bible according to their religious
doctrines, but rather the brochures and guidelines published by Rutherford in
America form an essential part of their doctrine. In these writings, it has
taken a stand regarding matters of the world and daily questions of politics,
and given instruction to their followers as to how to act towards the State. The
State is, based on their doctrine, viewed as Satan's work, and any participation
in State arrangements is refused. Any State orders, which, in their opinion, are
in opposition to God's commandment, must not be followed. Thus, it is publicly
called upon refusal of military service. Any political activities are forbidden
among the believers. Thus, Jehovah's Witnesses do not participate in elections
and common celebrations of the German people. The Bible Students generally
refuse the greeting "Heil Hitler" claiming that this greeting represents worship
of a human being. They recognize only "Jehovah as the single leader."
The printed matter of the I.B.A. (Jehovah's Witnesses) contain, among other things, also spiteful attacks against the clergy of both confessions and thus cause considerable unrest among believers. Jehovah's Witnesses are moreover obligated to serve only their teaching and the spreading of it. This can be explained also by the fact that, despite the ban, printed matter of older and newer dates are distributed and exchanged among followers and those persons amenable to the teaching. During searches of their apartments, it could also be established that the accused had in their possession older writings, which were spread in the above-mentioned manner.
A large convention of the Bible Students took place in Luzern 9/4 - 9/7/1936, at which more than 1,500 German-speaking Bible Students participated. Before the convention, certain individuals collected the addresses of those followers who have already been punished for their illegal activities. It can therefore with certainty be assumed that these addresses will be passed on to leading Bible Students abroad. This can be assumed, because until today illegal writings from abroad have reached such punished individuals, but also sympathetic ones for dispatch. Because of the overall attitude of the Bible Students to the State, the discussion of matters at the conventions, which can have disadvantageous consequences for the Reich (espionage), cannot be dismissed. It is also known that printed matter about rules of conduct of their followers towards the police and the court is published by the leadership of the Bible Students. At investigations, it could also be established that the Bible Students (based on the above-mentioned rules of conduct) ... [text missing on originals] just as it has been the case for a long time with communists or other enemies of the State. A large section of the accused ones in this criminal case acted according to these guidelines and admitted their behavior only after denying for a while, resp. upon reproaches and confrontations. In this connection, it is noted that an official of the State Police in Mannheim, who is in charge of solving the crime, received a threatening letter from someone in Switzerland. This should prove that other countries are informed about the investigations.
The illegal association of the Bible Students in Germany should already be completely exposed, since the majority of the leaders have been arrested. The investigations are still in process.
Konrad Max F r a n k e from Mainz, mentioned in the files, was active as district and service overseer for the district Hesse, Baden, and Palatinate.
The criminal case H e i m and Others is restricted only to the towns stated in the attached outline map of D e g e n from Lörsch. A special preliminary inquiry is in process against Franke and those who continued having contact with him, which, however, has not yet been concluded.
D e g e n has to be addressed as the main accused one in the case H e i m . He should be dealt with first, because he supplied the others with printed material.
The individuals mentioned below are accused of the following:
1. Degen (mentioned in the examinations dated 9/16, 9/23, 9/25, 10/1, 10/2, and 10/6) was in the Concentration Camp Osthofen 8/30/33 - 9/26/33 because of anti-state conduct. In March 1935, he was sentenced to 4 weeks imprisonment by the Special Court in Hesse (District Court Worms) because of illegal activities. He served the sentence in the District Court in Bensheim a.d.B.