More than 500 such minor Jehovahís Witness children in Nazi Germany were involuntarily separated from their parents after for-mal judicial proceedings. Simoneís autobiography gives us explicit details about the lives of these children in a Nazi reform school during the war years. Parental custody and contact was suspended if a child was found guilty of immoral and dishonorable behav-ioró that is, not belonging to Nazi organizations. School offi-cials,police, and juvenile and district courts ruled that Witness parents endangered their childrenís welfare by not conforming to the norms of a Nazified educational system and society. The subsequent fate of these children removed from their families has seldom been told in detail. Simone Arnold Liebsterís mem-oirs enable us to understand more about the experiences of these children.

Simone Arnold was expelled from school after being subjected to physical and psychological brutality and pressures to conform. At the age of twelve, she was taken from her motherís custody and involuntarily transferred to the Wessenberg Erziehungsanstalt, a re-form school, in Konstanz (Germany). Plunged into a world of per-secution and lacking contact with her parents, Simone Arnold had to surrender her adolescence in order to survive. The world of child-hood and adolescence is usually a time of growth and development. For children trapped under Nazi rule, life became an inverted world of shrinking horizons and terror.

Simone Arnold Liebsterís autobiography restores individual-ity and identity to the otherwise anonymous victims of the Nazis and reveals her strength of will to maintain whatever normality was possible in her fight for physical and psychological survival.

Her story is one of hope, strength, and courage. Despite the harsh and tragic Nazi period, Simone Liebsterís narrative reveals her cour-age in maintaining her social and religious values. It is a story worth reading and enables us to understand the fate of Jehovahís Witness children during the Holocaust.

Buy the Book and read about the life of Simone Liebster & the trials she faced
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Click here to see the animated timeline of the historical overview
ó Sybil Milton, former Senior Historian,
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Spring 2000