Newspaper Herner Zeitung, January 14, 1937: "Jehovah's Witnesses" on Special Trial. Religion as cover for anti-state goals. Exemplary punishments.
Herner Zeitung Newspaper
January 14, 1937
"Jehovah's Witnesses" on Special Trial
Religion as cover for anti-state goals
Hamm, January 14, 1937.
The Second Chamber of the Special Court in Dortmund was in session against followers of the banned International Bible Students Organization. Accused in the first trial were Gustav Eggert, Albert Treptau, and Wilhelm Sandbote, all of them from Braam-Ostwennemar near Hamm, because of the offense against ? 4, par. 1 of the enactment of the Reichspräsident for the protection of People and State dated February 28, 1933, in connection with the decree of the Minister of the Interior dated June 24, 1933. Although the accused knew it was forbidden, they continued without letup viewing themselves as followers of the Bible Students and acted as "Jehovah's Witnesses" accordingly.
The public prosecutor and the court thoroughly dealt with the reasons which led to the ban of this association. Under the cover of a religion, they pursue anti-state goals. All of the accused admitted that they are "Jehovah's Witnesses," they refuse the German greeting [Heil Hitler], and refuse fulfilling the military duty, even if the State is attacked. Besides, the accused were not at all friends of the truth. With no regard for the ban, they sought contact with one another and conducted meetings. In this point, however, they hid the truth and chattered in the most evil way and wanted to make the court believe that they did not talk about the Bible, but only about every-day matters.
The court thought that an exemplary punishment would be appropriate and sentenced Eggert, who obviously was the leader, to nine months imprisonment, Treptau and Sandbote to each six months imprisonment. The judgement went into force upon its announcement.