This blog has been written by Sue Dickson, one of the museum's volunteers. In the 20th century, thousands of men, women and children died at the hands of Hitler's henchmen for maintaining their neutrality in political and nationalistic issues. These were subjected to either hard labour, torture, medical experiments, death by firing squads or the gas chambers.
The triangle was the symbol of identification used within the Nazi concentration camps e.g. Yellow star for Jews, red for political prisoners, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses, pink for homosexual men and black for the mentally ill or mentally disabled.
For this blog I will focus on the group identified as Jehovah’s Witnesses and therefore were required to wear the purple triangle. Despite being a small group in Germany at the time, the Witnesses had a strong faith, which helped them overcome the persecution they encountered. Unlike other prisoners, Jehovah's Witnesses were offered freedom if they would sign a document renouncing their faith.
The purple triangle also helped the Witnesses to identify their fellow believers in the camp; they met every evening before roll call for mutual support. Secret meetings were also organised to discuss the Bible with prisoners who were impressed by the Witnesses’ kindness and faith. A number of prisoners became Jehovah’s Witnesses while in the camps.
It is reassuring to learn that this small group has been recognised; memorial plaques are in place to ensure they are no longer the Forgotten Victims of the Holocaust.
AN ACROSTIC POEM - THE TITLE IS FOUND WHEN YOU READ THE FIRST LETTER IN EACH LINE
Endearing to others you may be but be warned
There's a trouble ahead for those like you
Hardly believable but it's true there's a
New man in power, Hitler's his name so
Illegal attrocities you won't believe
Culling of humans in ways unconceived.
Construction of camps
Leaders are found
Effective removal of humans abound
And dare you be different, disabled or jew
No mercy is shown to the likes of you.
Sadistic men savour new ways to cause pain
Immersing themselves in the thrill of the game.
New days are here, have we learnt from the past
Go forward and celebrate our differences at last.
Susan Dickson- Museum Volunteer