Ger­many

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Sim­i­lar to the US, the dif­fi­cul­ties be­gan in Ger­man Ad­ven­tist shortly af­ter the Nazis came to power in 1933.89 It was “the pol­icy of con­scrip­tion that caused the most hard­ship to in­di­vid­ual Ad­ven­tist mem­bers.90

Dur­ing world wars, “some 2,000 Ger­man Ad­ven­tists were called into mil­i­tary ser­vice, and 257 lost their lives. Even Ad­ven­tist min­is­ters and col­por­teurs were not ex­empt.91 “In 1933, The Ger­mans dis­solved the church in the states of Prus­sia and Hesse and con­fis­cated church prop­erty.”92

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port in 1950, “Ad­ven­tist of­fi­cials in Ger­many es­ti­mated that more than 3,000 church mem­bers, in­clud­ing fifty min­is­ters, had been killed dur­ing the war, another 1,285 were miss­ing. More than 16,000 had lost their homes through re­lo­ca­tion—forced or vol­un­tary.”93

Un­der the au­to­cratic gov­ern­ments of Ger­many and Rus­sia, their con­scrip­tion laws made no pro­vi­sions for non­com­bat­ant ser­vice for con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tors.94 “Even the Ad­ven­tist girls were re­quired to spend six months in the La­bor Corps. Ex­emp­tion from Sab­bath work proved very dif­fi­cult for both youth and adults who soon found their em­ploy­ment dic­tated by the Nazi La­bor Front.”95

Nazi Ger­many was one of the most re­stric­tive coun­tries on con­scrip­tion. Com­pared to Amer­ica, Ger­man Ad­ven­tists faced more dif­fi­cul­ties, no ex­emp­tion of min­is­ters or girls, and con­fis­ca­tion of church prop­erty and land, even­tu­ally led to many deaths.

The Nazi gov­ern­ment’s in­ten­tion was cruel, so the war was un­just. In these cir­cum­stances, it was not ap­pro­pri­ate for Ger­man Ad­ven­tists to joint the mil­i­tary ser­vice. It is against the Ad­ven­tist church’s belief.

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