Zeitpunkte are being created
in Innsbruck for people who were murdered under the Nazi regime
Jehovah’s Witnesses did not match Nazi ideology and refused all military duty. The Nazis persecuted them as domestic enemies.
für Hedwig Romen

On January 27, 2024, this
Zeitpunkt was installed near the address Schillerstrasse 14. The initiative for this came from erinnern:at.

Born 24.12.1885 in Przeczno, Poland (formerly Heimsoot, West Prussia)Died 20.10.1942 in the Auschwitz concentration camp

Hedwig Romen née Bendischewsky lived in Innsbruck, where she worked as an bookkeeper. As a Jehovah’s Witness she refused allegiance to the Nazi state. Jehovah’s Witnesses only accepted National Socialist legislation where it was compatible with their faith. They held illegal meetings, continued to do missionary work and distribute their “Watchtower” magazine, refused to give the Nazi salute or accept the German Mother’s Cross, and would not hang flags on their houses. Above all, they were considered an anti-military organisation because they utterly refused the oath of allegiance to Hitler, military conscription, the war effort and all activities related to acts of war.

In 1938, there were only about 90 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tyrol. Forty-nine of them, i.e. more than half, were arrested by the National Socialists. They deported 25 of these men and women to concentration camps. Eleven did not survive.

Hedwig Romen was arrested on 22 February 1939 and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp on 15 June. From there she was transferred at an unknown date to Auschwitz. According to Felix Defner, also a Jehovah’s Witness, she had “the courage to refuse service to the state, even through work” in Auschwitz. Hedwig Romen died there on 20 October 1942, allegedly of typhoid.


Achrainer, Martin: “Wenn mir Jehova die Kraft gibt, werde ich niemals von seinem Glauben abfallen.” Tiroler BibelforscherInnen im Nationalsozialismus, in: Lisa Gensluckner u.a. (Hg.): Gaismair-Jahrbuch 2002. Menschenbilder – Lebenswelten, Innsbruck-Wien-Bozen 2001, pp. 69-80. Jehovas Zeugen Österreich, history archive, information on Hedwig Romen
Tiroler Landesarchiv, Heinrich Romen’s victim welfare file