Ruth Warter

Ruth Warter

Born: June 13, 1905

Berlin, Germany

Ruth lived in Uzliekniai, a village in the Memelland, a region in southwestern Lithuania ruled by Germany until 1919. An avid reader, Ruth was distressed by news of postwar political turmoil. In 1923, when Uzliekniai became part of Lithuania, she joined the Jehovah's Witnesses. She married Eduard Warter, another Jehovah's Witness, in 1928. They had four children over the next five years.

1933-39: Ruth was busy raising her children and making sure they did their Bible studies. On March 22, 1939, the German army invaded and her family's land was annexed to Germany. The next day the Gestapo confiscated their religious literature and arrested some of their spiritual brothers. The village mayor and schoolteacher were Nazis. Their preaching was banned and their Bibles were publicly burned. When men started getting drafted, Ruth worried about her husband.

1940-44: Eduard was arrested because he refused to serve in the army, which would have violated God's fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." He was condemned to death, but the real intention of the authorities was to win him away from Jehovah. An officer asked Ruth to persuade Eduard to join the army, but she refused. The government even offered to help them resettle in Germany, but this offer reminded Ruth of the devil's temptation of Christ. With God's help, Ruth and Eduard remained strong. They refused to cooperate with the Nazis.

Ruth and her husband were reunited in 1946. The Soviets, suspicious of Jehovah's Witnesses, deported them to Siberia in 1950. In 1969 they returned to Germany.