Frank P. Russo

From Investigator 85
July 2002

I enjoyed Dr Potter’s article "A holocaust Memorial with the Jehovah’s Witnesses" (#84).

Potter cited the 1933 Declaration of Facts wherein the Watchtower Society president, Joseph F Rutherford, tried to ingratiate himself with Hitler and called Jews "Big Business oppressors".

However, only eight years earlier Rutherford had no anti Jewish prejudice. He even got his book, Comfort for the Jews (1925), endorsed by a prominent Jew. What changed Rutherford’s attitude?

Until 1930 Rutherford taught that Israel would be restored and that the Watch Tower Society would have a prominent place in that restoration. Hence his cult put forth considerable effort to convert Jews.

However, Rutherford had also previously predicted, in his book Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1920), that the restoration of Israel would occur around 1925. When this didn’t happen he lost 3/4 of his followers including Jewish followers. It was a bad knockback.

Furthermore, in the early 1930s about 25% of the world’s JWs lived in Germany. Therefore, when Hitler came to power Rutherford considered, at least initially, that the future of the Watchtower Society lay with the Nazis rather than the Jews.

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