Simone Arnold

Simone Arnold

Born: August 17, 1930

Husseren-Wesserling, France

Simone was born in the Alsatian village of Husseren-Wesserling. In 1933 when she was three, her parents moved to the nearby city of Mulhouse. There, her father worked in a printing factory. Her parents were Jehovah's Witnesses and instilled in her the teachings of the faith. Above all, she was taught the importance of placing obedience to God before allegiance to any earthly authority.

1933-39: Simone grew up in a home full of love. Her parents would read the Bible to her. Their life included music, art, knitting and good food. She loved her dog and playing outdoors. Her family had a garden near the house and Simone enjoyed hiking and cycling in their beautiful countryside. In 1936 she began public school, studying in both French and German. During those years she learned a lot.

1940-44: The Germans occupied our region in 1940. A year later, Simone was expelled from school for refusing to say "Heil Hitler" and was interrogated by the Gestapo. When she was 12, the courts ordered that she be taken away from her parents--the Nazis claimed she was being corrupted by Jehovah's Witness teachings. In June 1943 she was sent to a children's reeducation center in Constance, Germany. Her aunt was allowed to visit her nine times in two years: she smuggled illegal literature from Mulhouse. Simone's love for Jehovah sustained her.

Simone was liberated by the French army in April 1945. She was reunited with her parents and returned to school in France.