Emma Arnold

Emma Arnold

Born: April 17, 1898

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: Emma and her family decided to become Jehovah's Witnesses. Emma felt she was blessed with a loving husband and beautiful daughter. She kept house and taught her daughter music, painting, knitting, sewing, cooking and gardening. Emma and her husband studied the Bible and taught their 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 their town in June 1940, Emma and her family were no longer free to be Jehovah's Witnesses. The Gestapo arrested her husband in 1941 and took her daughter in 1943. Emma returned to her mother's farm but was arrested there in September 1943. She was sent to the Vorbruck-Schirmeck camp in Alsace and then to the Gaggenau branch camp in 1944. She was first assigned to sewing and mending, and then sent to be a housemaid for an SS family. Despite the pressure, nothing broke her faith.

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