Wolfgang Kusserow

Wolfgang Kusserow

Born: March 1, 1922

Bochum, Germany

When Wolfgang was an infant, his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses. His father moved the family to the small Westphalian town of Bad Lippspringe when Wolfgang was 9. Their home became the headquarters of a new Jehovah's Witness congregation. Wolfgang and his ten brothers and sisters grew up studying the Bible daily.

1933-39: The Kusserows were under close scrutiny by the Nazi secret police because of their religion. As a Jehovah's Witness, Wolfgang believed that his highest allegiance was to God and His laws, especially the commandment to "love God above all else and thy neighbor as thyself." Even after the Nazis arrested Wolfgang's father and oldest brother, Wilhelm, the Kusserows continued to host, illegally, Bible study meetings in their home.

1940-42: Believing that God, not Hitler, was his guide, and obeying God's fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," Wolfgang refused induction into the German army. He was arrested in December, 1941, and a bill of indictment was issued on January 12, 1942. After months in prison, Wolfgang was tried and sentenced to death. On the night before his execution, he wrote to his family, assuring them of his devotion to God.

Wolfgang was beheaded by guillotine in Brandenburg Prison on March 28, 1942. He was 20 years old.

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.