- Jehovah's Witnessessearch for term
Religion founded in the United States with about 20,000- 30,000 members in Germany by the late 1920s. As a matter of religious belief, Witnesses refused to use the Hitler salute, salute the swastika flag, bear arms in war, or participate in the affairs of government. The Witnesses were banned and their presses confiscated in 1933. After 1935, many Witnesses lost jobs, homes, businesses, and pensions, since they were viewed as enemies of the state. They were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps, where they were marked by a purple-colored triangle. More than 900 Witness children who refused to join the Hitler Youth were involuntarily removed from parental custody to Nazi penal institutions and juvenile homes. About 10,000 Witnesses from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland were arrested and deported to various concentration camps, between 2,500 and 5,000 of them died in Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and other camps. More than 250 Witnesses were executed for refusing to serve in the German military.