Ban of Jehovah's Witnesses by the Prussian Minister of Internal Affairs. Berlin, June 24, 1933
[Modern English translation (1998) of Prussian 1933 ban, as
published in the German book Kreuzzug gegen das Christentum, (Crusade Against
Christianity) by Franz Zürcher, Zuerich, Switzerland, 1938, pages 75-77,
including the footnotes from this book:]
The Prussian Minister of Internal Affairs
Berlin, June 24, 1933
II 1316a/23. 6. 33
Based on § 1 of the Reich President's Decree for the Protection of the German Peoples and the State, dated February 28, 1933 (R.G. Bl. I. S. 83), in connection with § 14 P.V.G., the International Bible Students Association including all its organizations (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Lünen-Magdeburg of the new-apostolic sect ...) is dissolved and banned in the Free State of Prussia. Property will be seized and confiscated.
Violation of this order will be punished in accordance with § 4 of the decree dated February 28, 1933.
Under the guise of scientific Bible study, the International Bible Students Association and its subsidiary organizations are conducting an unmistakable smear campaign, in spoken and in written form, against state and church institutions. By terming both institutions instruments of Satan, they undermine the foundation of national coexistence. In their numerous writings (comp. "Millions now Living Will Never Die," pp. 18, "War or Peace -- Which," "Prosperity Sure," "The Standard for the People," "Crimes and Calamities," "Heaven and Purgatory," "The Crisis," and other publications), they sneer at state and church institutions with deliberate, malicious twisting of Biblical pictures.
Their methods of combat are marked by a fanatical influencing of their followers; with considerable financial backup they gain momentum in their Bolshevik subversion of our culture. Their influence on broad sections of the population is based partly on strange ceremonies*, which turn the adherents into fanatics and are directly responsible for disturbing the emotional balance of relevant sections of society.
[* Footnote:] The Bible Students do not have any ceremonies, the only symbolic actions observed being Bible-based water baptism and the Evening Meal instituted by Jesus himself. The editor. [end of footnote]
Since the attitudes of the above-mentioned association therefore stand in very obvious contrast to today's state and its cultural and moral structure, the 'International Bible Students,' quite naturally and in accordance with the objectives of their fight, view the Christian-national State that came forth from the national uprising as a particularly distinctive enemy, against whom they have reinforced their methods of combat. This is shown in various spiteful attacks by their leading officials in recent times, verbally and in writing, directed against Nazism and its chief representatives (comp. report of the Chief of Police of the Wuppertal Police Department, dated May 31, 1933 -- I Ad. I 60001 -- ). At the same time this refutes the claim of a purely religio-philosophical dispute.*
[* Footnote:] The Wuppertal police report is based on false information, as was admitted by the police themselves after investigations. The editor. [end of footnote]
The danger to the present state emanating from the above-mentioned association's subversive activities, has been worsened recently by the strikingly increasing number of members of former Communist and Marxist parties and organizations who have been admitted into its ranks, hoping to find in these allegedly purely religious associations a hideout which allows their disguised political fight against the present government system. The Association of Bible Students and its associated societies thus promote Communism also in the field of politics, and they as an organization are about to become a catchall for all kinds of antistate elements.* Organized and determined Communist activities are effected from the ranks of the Communist followers of the movement. Therefore, in defense against subversive Communist activities, and to uphold public order and security, its dissolution is imperative for the protection of the peoples and the state.
[* Footnote:] Has been refuted by 1,900 statutory declarations. The editor. [end of footnote]
[Secretary of the ministerial office]