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Emma Arnold

Strasbourg, France

Emma was born to Catholic parents in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace-Lorraine. Her father died when she was 8 years old, and Emma grew up on her mother's mountain farm. At 14 she became a weaver. Later, she married and moved with her husband to the Alsatian town of Husseren-Wesserling. In 1930 she gave birth to a daughter. In 1933 the Arnolds moved to the nearby city of Mulhouse.

1933-39: We decided to become Jehovah's Witnesses. I was blessed with a loving husband and beautiful daughter. I kept house and taught my daughter music, painting, knitting, sewing, cooking and gardening. My husband and I studied the Bible and taught our daughter about Jehovah and the importance of obeying His commandments. Life in Mulhouse was peaceful and quiet under the French.

1940-44: After the Germans occupied our town in June 1940, we were no longer free to be Jehovah's Witnesses. The Gestapo arrested my husband in 1941 and took my daughter in 1943. I returned to my mother's farm but was arrested there in September 1943. I was sent to the Vorbruck-Schirmeck camp in Alsace and then to the Gaggenau branch camp in 1944. I was first assigned to sewing and mending, and then sent to be a housemaid for an SS family. Despite the pressure, nothing broke my faith.

Emma was liberated by the French army in 1945. She returned to France, where she was reunited with her husband and daughter.

 
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