Leopold Engleitner And Jehovah's Prophetic Word
(Investigator 151, 2013
THE LAST OF
oldest known survivor
of the Nazi concentration camps, Leopold Engleitner, was probably also
the last Jehovah's Witness (JW) survivor of the final generation before
the end of the world.
on April 21, 2013.
British paper Metro
Holocaust survivor laid to rest
known survivor of the Nazi concentration camps has died at the age of
107. Leopold Engleitner 'passed away peacefully' among friends in
Herzogsdorf… He was imprisoned between 1939 and 1943 for refusing to
renounce his Jehovah's Witness faith. Weighing just 28kg (4st 6lb) on
his release, he went on to be a public speaker. (2013, May 3)
barely old enough to be of the "last generation" that would live to see
Armageddon. JWs have a doctrine which states that millions of people
who lived through 1914 and were of comprehension age would still be
alive at the end of the world.
estimated the age of
comprehension or understanding to be 10 to 15. In 1966 they wrote:
is to be
carefully noted that the youngest of those who saw with understanding
the developing sign of the end of this system of things from its start
in 1914 are now well over 60 years of age! In fact, the greater part of
the adult generation that experienced the start of the "last days" has
already passed away in death. (Awake! 1966 October 8,
that survivors of the last generation would number millions:
living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be
living when the series ends with Armageddon. All the events will come
within the span of a generation. There are hundreds of millions of
persons living now that were living in 1914, and many millions of these
persons could yet live a score or more years. (The Watchtower 1952,
September 1, p. 543)
labelled the "promise" of Jesus, "God's Word", the "Creator's
promise", and "Jehovah's prophetic word":
the 1914 generation completely dies out, God's judgment must be
executed. This generation still exists in goodly numbers. For example,
in 1980 there were still 1,597,700 persons alive in the Federal
Republic of Germany who were born in 1900 or before. The figure would
be even larger had not millions of its citizens experienced premature
death during the two world wars.
In promising that "this generation will by no means pass away,"
Jesus used the two Greek negatives ou and me. The Companion Bible
explains this usage as follows: "The two negatives when combined lose
their distinctive meanings, and form the strongest and most emphatic
asseveration [affirmation]." Only now, at a time when it appears that
the generation could pass away before all is fulfilled, do Jesus' words
"by no means" take on real significance…
is no reason to
worry that God's Word will go unfulfilled. It has never failed.
May 1 pp 4-5)
magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a
peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw the events
of 1914 passes away.
from 1982 to 1995 on the "Why Awake! is Published" page)
word through Christ Jesus is: "This generation [of 1914] will by no
means pass away until all things occur." (Luke 12:32) And Jehovah, who
is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the
fulfillment of his Son's words in a relatively short time… Just as
Jesus prophecies regarding Jerusalem were fulfilled within the life
span of the generation of the year 33 C.E., so his prophecies regarding
"the time of the end" will be fulfilled within the life span of the
generation of 1914. (The Watchtower 1984, May 15, pp 6-7)
was born on
July 3, 1905 and was aged nine in 1914 — therefore probably the last JW
member of "the generation that will not pass away".
Mail (April 24, 2013, p. 26) reported that the world's oldest
person, former postman Jiroemon Kimura, had celebrated his 116th
was born on April
19, 1897, and would have been 17 in 1914. Kimura, therefore, was a
member of "the generation that will not pass away" as defined by JW
theology, except that in June 2013 he passed away.
May 15) has a full-page obituary about Engleitner emphasizing his
experiences as a pacifist under the Nazis. His life went public when
historian and film-maker Bernhard Rammerstorfer researched his story
and produced a biography titled Unbroken Will and a documentary
film, Ladder in the Lion's Den.
continued to tour with Rammerstorfer, even in
advanced old age, to the US, Russia and elsewhere in Europe to talk
about his experiences. And there was very belated recognition in his
home country too when he was honoured by the Austrian government in
who challenged the
prophecy about the 1914 generation, including Engleitner, would have
been excommunicated as an "apostate" and shunned by JWs until he
conformed or until he died.
according to JWs, is Jesus' "promise"? and the "Creator's
promise"? and "God's Word"? and "Jehovah's prophetic Word"?
The truth about JWs
and their treatment of "God's Word" on this website: