The Dachau Concentration Camp, 1933 to 1945. Text and photo documents from the exhibition, with CD.
The new design of the exhibitions was undertaken by the House of Bavarian History in cooperation with the Dachau concentration Camp Memorial Site and the Comité International de Dachau and in consultation with the expert advisory board. Project direction: Dr. Habil. Ludwig Eiber, Dr. Manfred Treml (1998 – 2000), Prof. Dr. Claus Grimm (2000 – 2003). Curatorial and authorial team: Dr. H.c. Barbara Distel, Dr. Habil. Ludwig Eiber, Thomas Felsenstein, Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, Micha Neher, Dr. Christian Schölzel, Dr. Stanislav Zámecnik. Hg. from Comité International de Dachau and Barbara Distel, Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Dachau/München 2005, page 76.


[page 76]

JEHOVAHS WITNESSES ("Serious bible student") Zeugen Jehovas ("Bibelforscher")

Members of the banned Jehovah’s Witness organization refused to give the Hitler salute and serve in the military. At the Dachau concentration camp they were imprisoned in the punishment barrack up until 1939. As the camp was cleared for rebuilding, they (144 prisoners) were transferred to Mauthausen, where many of them were murdered. Eighty-five Jehovah’s Witnesses were dispersed throughout the Dachau subcamps at liberation.[Picture Johannes Gärtner (Information: Wachtturm-Gesellschaft der Zeugen Jehovas)]

Johannes Gärtner (1906-1940)
As a "serious bible student" Johannes Gärtner from Zwingenberg had refused to give the Hitler salute. He was sent to the Dachau concentration camp in June 1937. Together with the other members of the Jehovah’s Witness he was transferred to Mauthausen in September 1939. Completely exhausted and emaciated, he was sent back to Dachau in February 1940, where he died on April 26.

[Box] "They were patient without artifice and it was not uncommon that they shared the little food they had with a hungrier prisoner. Their faith, which could not be shaken, enabled them to endure with an utter scorn for death the terrible harassment that the SS subjected them to." (Hübsch, Island of Military Law; he was a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp, 1937 – 1945) The Jehovah’s Witnesses were respected by their fellow prisoners for their honorableness and bravery.

[Reproduction of a document (Information: Staatsarchiv München)] Letter from the Munich state police office on the conditions for release of Jehovah’s Witnesses, January 23, 1939.
Because the continuing terror against the Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to have an impact, and because they themselves made no effort to escape and were hard-working, the SS deployed them in work details that were difficult to guard. /