Hilda Kusserow

Hilda Kusserow

Born: July 9, 1888

Dembogora, Poland

Hilda was born in a territory ruled by Germany until 1919. A teacher and a painter, she married Franz Kusserow and moved to western Germany before World War I. There, she gave birth to 11 children and became a Jehovah's Witness. After 1931 the Kusserow home in the small town of Bad Lippspringe was the headquarters of a Jehovah's Witness congregation.

1933-39: The Nazis repeatedly searched Hilda's home because her family remained openly steadfast in their devotion to Jehovah. Hilda continued doing missionary work even though it was banned. In 1936 she was arrested and imprisoned for six weeks. When she was released she continued hosting Bible study meetings in her home, even after her husband was imprisoned. In 1939 the police took away her three youngest children to be "reeducated" in foster homes.

1940-44: Two of Hilda's sons were executed for refusing induction into the German army. Her husband returned home on August 16, 1940. Because they kept hosting Bible studies, Hilda and her husband were arrested along with their daughters Hildegard and Magdalena in April 1941. Hilda served a two-year term. When released she was told that she could go home if she signed a statement renouncing her faith. Hilda refused and was deported to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp, where she was reunited with two of her daughters who'd already been there a year.

During a forced march from Ravensbrueck, Hilda and her two daughters were liberated by the Soviets in April 1945. When the war ended, they returned to Bad Lippspringe.

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