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“Forgotten Victims” Are Remembered

“Forgotten Victims” Are Remembered

 Kingdom Proclaimers Report

“Forgotten Victims” Are Remembered

IN EARLY 2001, Haykaz, a 15-year-old Witness of Jehovah, visited “Forgotten Victims,” an exhibit in Bern, Switzerland, that dealt with the Nazi persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the end of his visit, Haykaz said: “I had heard of the inhuman treatment and suffering experienced by Jehovah’s Witnesses under the Nazi regime, but this was the first time I had seen authentic documents and photographs of that time. The displays, the reports of eyewitnesses, and the comments of historians at the exhibit left a deep impression on my mind and heart.”

Some time later, when Haykaz was assigned to write a report for his senior class in high school, he chose the subject “Jehovah’s Witnesses​—The Forgotten Victims of Nazism.” His teacher approved the subject but told Haykaz that he needed to include secular literature in his sources. Haykaz gladly agreed. “I wrote a summary of some books about Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Nazi era that I reviewed. I also described my personal impressions of the ‘Forgotten Victims’ exhibition. The 43-page report included illustrations and photographs.”

In November 2002, Haykaz presented his report to schoolmates, teachers, family, and friends. Afterward, there was a question-and-answer session, which gave him an opportunity to explain his Bible-based beliefs. When a girl in the audience asked why he had chosen this topic, Haykaz explained that many history books do not mention Jehovah’s Witnesses and that he wanted people to know how courageously the Witnesses had defended their Christian faith. The result of his presentation?

“My schoolmates were amazed,” said Haykaz. “They were not aware that Jehovah’s Witnesses as a group had been viciously persecuted. Also, many did not know that the Witnesses held in Nazi concentration camps wore a special identification​—a purple triangle.”

Following his presentation, Haykaz had more opportunities to speak to his classmates and to discuss the Bible-based position of the Witnesses on blood transfusion, alcohol, and morals. “None of my schoolmates mocked or derided me,” noted Haykaz. Moreover, his report is now kept in the school library. That will help to ensure that the courageous stand of Jehovah’s Witnesses will not be forgotten.