A Staunch Fighter for the Truth
MARTIN POETZINGER, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, finished his earthly course as an anointed Christian in the early evening of Thursday, June 16, 1988. He had been in failing health for some time but died without apparent pain at Brooklyn Bethel. His wife, Gertrud, had been at his side throughout his illness.
Brother Poetzinger was born on July 25, 1904, in Munich, Germany. He was baptized on October 2, 1928, and entered the pioneer service on October 1, 1930. In the autumn of 1933, the Watch Tower Society assigned him to look after Kingdom interests in Bulgaria, but within a year Witnesses who were nonnationals were deported. Brother Poetzinger’s next move was to Hungary. Falsely arrested and deported from that country, he was next given oversight of a group of pioneers in Yugoslavia. After a serious illness, necessitating a long hospital stay in Zagreb, he returned to Germany.
Brother and Sister Poetzinger were married in 1936, but in that very year he was sent to a concentration camp for refusal to renounce his faith. His wife was imprisoned elsewhere, but he was sent to Dachau and then to the extermination camp at Mauthausen, Upper Austria. There the Gestapo used starvation diets, whippings, and indescribable brutality to induce him and other Witnesses to break their integrity to Jehovah God. But Brother Poetzinger clung to the true faith.
After nine years of cruel imprisonment, Brother and Sister Poetzinger were reunited in 1945. Shortly after this, he began serving in the circuit work in Germany, and later Gertrud traveled with him, zealously working in the field as he served the congregations. In 1958 he attended the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, and on his return to Germany, he and his wife continued in the traveling work until they entered Bethel service there in 1977. In September 1977, Brother Poetzinger was appointed to the Governing Body and was able to come to the Society’s world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, somewhat over a year later. He served with the Service Committee of the Governing Body and the Service Department Committee.
Brother Poetzinger was a courageous fighter for the truth. His loyalty and zealous support of Jehovah’s organization and the Kingdom work were truly exemplary. So we are confident that he is among those to whom these words apply: “Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord . . . Yes, says the spirit, . . . the things they did go right with them.”—Revelation 14:13.
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