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«Wartime Rescue of Jews by the Polish Catholic Clergy The Testimony of Survivors Edited and compiled by Mark Paul Polish Educational Foundation in ...»

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[20] Rev. Władysław Deszcz, also from Nowy Sącz, who provided Jews with baptismal certificates and other forms of assistance (he smuggled himself into the ghetto to bring sacraments to converted Jews) was executed on August 21, 1941 (Entry 344). According to another source, however, the two priests from Nowy Sącz were arrested in May 1941 for their suspected role in the escape of Jan Karski, a member of the Polish underground, from the local hospital where he was being held in between interrogation and torture sessions, and were executed

in a mass reprisal against 32 Poles in Biegonice—see E. Thomas Wood and Stanisław M. Jankowski, Karski:

How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994), pp.89–90;

[21] Monsignor Witold Iwicki, vicar general of the diocese of Pińsk, after refusing an offer of clemency was executed in Janów Poleski on January 22, 1943 for assisting Jews (Entry 376);

[22] Rev. Paweł Dołżyk, pastor of Derewna (Pińsk diocese), was shot to death on August 8, 1943 for aiding partisans and Jews (Entry 377);

[23] Monsignor Józef Bajko, pastor of Naliboki near Nowogródek (Pińsk diocese), and [24] his assistant, Rev. Józef Baradyn, were locked in a barn and burned alive in August 1943 for aiding Jews and partisans (Entry 378);

[25] Rev. Leopold Aulich, dean of Iwje (Iwie) and pastor of Kamień near Nowogródek (Pińsk diocese), and [26] his assistant, Rev. Kazimierz Rybałtowski, were executed in August 1943 on suspicion of aiding Jews and

–  –  –

[27] Rev. Błażej Nowosad, pastor of Potok Górny near Tomaszów Lubelski, was beaten by the SS Galizien in order to extract information about the location of Polish partisans and Jews hiding in the vicinity and then shot to death on December 19, 1943 (Entry 395);

[28] Fr. Adam Sztark, administrator of the parish in Żyrowice, provided various forms of assistance to Jews. He placed Jewish children in the convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Słonim, where he was the chaplain. He was arrested on December 18, 1942 together with two Sisters from this convent, Kazimiera Wołowska, the mother superior, and Bogumiła Noiszewska. All three of them were executed the following day in a mass execution of several hundred Poles (Entries 463 and 702)—see also Moroz and Datko, Męczennicy za wiarę 1939–1945, pp.385–86, 390–92;

[29] Fr. Wojciech Kopliński, known as Father Anicet, a Franciscan from the Capuchin monastery on Miodowa Street in Warsaw, was arrested in June 1941 for, among other reasons, helping Jews. He was deported to Auschwitz where he perished in a gas chamber on October 16, 1941 (Entry 531)—see also Moroz and Datko, Męczennicy za wiarę 1939–1945, pp.334–35;

[30] An unidentified priest from Warsaw who worked closely with the Malicki family in providing false baptismal certificates and identification to Jews was shot to death on December 19, 1942 after being identified by one of the Jews who was caught with the false documents (Entry 537). According to Teresa Prekerowa, the priest in question was the pastor of the cathedral parish of St. John the Baptist; he was executed after a certificate he issued for Maria Rajbenbach fell into the hands of the Gestapo. See Teresa Prekerowa, Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942–1945 (Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1982), pp.148–49. See also the account of Maria Rajbenbach and annotations found in Bartoszewski and Lewin, Righteous Among Nations, pp.233, 235, and Bartoszewski and Lewinówna, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, 2nd ed., pp.552, 554 (reproduced supra);

[31] Monsignor Roman Archutowski, rector of the Archdiocesan Seminary of Warsaw, was arrested in late November 1942 for, among other reasons, helping Jews. He was imprisoned in Pawiak and tortured. He was deported to Majdanek on March 25, 1943 and died there on April 18, 1943 (Entry 547)—see also Moroz and Datko, Męczennicy za wiarę 1939–1945, pp.210–12;

[32] Rev. Franciszek Garncarek, pastor of St. Augustine’s church in the Warsaw ghetto, was murdered on December 20, 1943; he was shot on the steps of the presbetery of another church outside the ghetto (Entry 574)— see also Barbara Engelking and Jacek Leociak, Getto warszawskie: Przewodnik po nieistniejącym mieście (Warszawa: IFiS PAN, 2001), p.621, translated as The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2009);

[33] Fr. Józef Leńko, from the Missionary Congregation of St. Vincent, a vicar at the Holy Cross parish in Warsaw, was arrested for the second time and brought to Pawiak prison on February 7, 1944 for helping Jews. He was deported to Gross Rosen concentration camp where he perished on May 20, 1944 (Entry 585). Fr. Leńko was particularly active in issuing false baptismal certificates to Jews. See Zieliński, Życie religijne w Polsce pod okupacją hitlerowską 1939–1945, p.646;

[34] Fr. Leon Więckiewicz, from the Missionary Congregation of St. Vincent, a vicar at St. Augustine’s church in the Warsaw ghetto, was arrested for helping Jews on December 3, 1943; he was deported to Gross Rosen concentration camp where he died on August 4, 1944 (Entry 590)—see also Engelking and Leociak, Getto warszawskie, p.621. However, according to Zieliński, Życie religijne w Polsce pod okupacją hitlerowską 1939– 1945, pp.647–48, it is believed that the immediate cause of Fr. Więckiewicz’s arrest was not his extensive assistance to Jews but his open display of support for a group Poles slated for execution;

–  –  –

[36] & [37] Two Basilian Fathers from the Uniate monastery in Wilno were arrested for helping Jews and not heard of again (Entry 643);

[38] Rev. Józef Kuczyński, pastor of Wsielub near Nowogródek (Pińsk diocese), was executed on July 31, 1942 for sheltering Jewish children (Entry 665).

Other priests killed for helping Jews identified in Zieliński, Życie religijne w Polsce pod okupacją 1939–1945:

[39] Rev. Franciszek Żak from Dolina (archdiocese of Lwów) was shot for rendering assistance of various forms to Jews (such as helping them escape to Romania and Hungary and providing false birth certificates)—p.157;

[40] Rev. Bolesław Gramz, pastor of Idołta near Brasław—pp.44 and 54101 [41] Witold Sarosiek, pastor of Kundzin—pp.50 and 54102;

[42] Monsignor Karol Lubianiec, dean and pastor of Mołodeczno and vicar general for Byelorussia—pp.44 and 54103;

[43] Rev. Kazimierz Grochowski, pastor of St. Andrew’s Parish in Słonim—p.44. See also Wacław Bielawski, Zbrodnie na Polakach dokonane przez hitlerowców za pomoc udzielaną Żydom (Warszawa: Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce–Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 1987), Entry 210.

The last four priests who hailed from the archdiocese of Wilno were also involved in other “subversive” activities—pp.44 and 54.

[44] Rev. Dominik Amankowicz, pastor of Widze (archdiocese of Wilno), collapsed and died on July 26, 1941 as a result of the news of the execution of Jews brought to him by terrified Jews who had sought shelter in the church rectory—p.52;

[45] Rev. Romuald Świrkowski, pastor of Holy Spirit parish in Wilno, who, according to one version, was betrayed by one of the Jews whom he had sheltered, was arrested on January 15, 1942 and executed in Ponary on May 5, 1942—p.52104;

101 On Rev. Gramz see Tadeusz Krahel, “Ksiądz Bolesław Gramz,” Czas Miłosierdzia: Białostocki Biuletyn Kościelny, no. 8, August

1999. Rev. Gramz extended help to Jews, Gypsies and others in need. He was arrested on June 8, 1944 and executed. The precise cause of his arrest is not known.

102 On Rev. Sarosiek see Tadeusz Krahel, “Ks. Witold Sarosiek (1988–1944),” Czas Miłosierdzia: Białostocki Biuletyn Kościelny, no. 4, April 2000. Rev. Starosiek was a member of the Home Army who extended help to Jews and others in need. He was arrested on April 10, 1944, imprisoned in Białystok, and sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp where he died on December 14, 1944. The precise cause of his arrest is not known.

103 On Monsignor Lubianiec see Tadeusz Krahel, “Ks. Prałat Karol Lubianiec,” Czas Miłosierdzia: Białostocki Biuletyn Kościelny, no. 8, August 2000. Monsignor Lubianiec, born in 1866, settled in village of Plebania near Kraśne where he was in charge of a small church; he was highly regarded by all. He was arrested in July or September 1942 and executed. Neither the precise cause of his arrest or the circumstances of his death are clear.

104 On Rev. Świrkowski see Tadeusz Krahel, “Ks. Romuald Świrkowski (1986–1942),” Czas Miłosierdzia: Białostocki Biuletyn Kościelny, no. 2, February 2000. Rev. Świrkowski was the archdiosesan representative in the Polish underground and extended help to 279 [46] Rev. Piotr Pianko, the administrator of the parish in Szumowo near Zambrów, was shot on September 4, 1941 in his liturgical vestments for refusing to announce German orders calling on the population to obey the German authorities, surrender their arms and capture Soviet soldiers—p.74. See also Martyrologium, volume 2, p.184. The memoirs (typesrcipt) of Józef Klimaszewski (nom de guerre “Cień”), W cienie czerwonego boru, at p.20, indicate that Rev. Pianko also incurred German wrath for defending the Jews. For a different version of the execution of Rev. Pianko and Rev. Aleksander Łuniewski by German gendarmes see the eyewitness account in Jan Żaryn, “Przez pomyłkę: Ziemia łomżyńska w latach 1939–1945. Rozmowa z ks. Kazimierzem Łupińskim z parafii Szumowo,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, no. 8–9 (September–October 2002): pp.112–17;

[47] Rev. Leon Bujnowski, pastor of Niedźwiedzica (Pińsk diocese), was arrested on June 27, 1943 during a religious ceremony on suspicion of, among other reasons, helping Jews and perished soon after—pp.83–84. See also Maria Suchecka, “Proboszcz z Niedźwiedzicy,” Tygodnik Powszechny (Kraków), April 1, 1990;

Rev. Jan Urbanowicz (supra [5], see Martyrs of Charity, Part One, Entry 84)—p.84;

Rev. Józef Kuczyński (supra [38], see Martyrs of Charity, Part One, Entry 665)—p.84;

[48] Rev. Władysław Klimczak, pastor of Porzecze, was executed in July 1943 for aiding Jews (Pińsk diocese)— p.84;

[49] Rev. Jan Grodis, principal of Romuald Traugutt high school in Nieśwież (Pińsk diocese)—p.84;

[50] Rev. Edward Tabaczkowski, pastor of Tłumacz, who sheltered a Jewish student in the church rectory and provided many false baptismal certificates and other forms of assistance to Jews, was put to death on October 20, 1942—pp.154–55. See also Yisrael Gutman and Shmuel Krakowski, Unequal Victims: Poles and Jews During World War Two (New York: Holocaust Library, 1986), p.227; Kamil Barański, Przeminęli zagończycy, chliborobi, chasydzi…: Rzecz o ziemi stanisławowsko-kołomyjsko-stryjskiej (London: Panda Press, 1988), pp.417–18; Zbrodnie na Polakach dokonane, Entry 741; Shlomo Blond, et al., eds., Memorial Book of Tlumacz: The Life and Destruction of a Jewish Community (Tel Aviv: Tlumacz Societies in Israel and the U.S.A., 1976), pp.xxxiv, cxxix and clxxiii. It is believed that he was betrayed to the Gestapo by a Jewish woman from Tłumacz. See Lesław Jeżowski, “Ks. Edward Tabaczkowski,” Semper Fidelis (Wrocław), no. 3 (16), 1993, p.10.

An account in Chciuk, Saving Jews in War-Torn Poland, 1939–1945, p.33, identifies [51] an unnamed priest in the village of Ossowo near Wilno, who was killed for extending help to Jews.

Kamil Barański, in his Przeminęli zagończycy, chliborobi, chasydzi…, pp.84 and 173, also identifies [52] Rev. Remigiusz Wójcik, administrator of the parish in Święty Stanisław near Stanisławów (archdiocese of Lwów), who hid a Jewish woman in the bell tower of the church. After his arrest by the Ukrainian police in September 1942, he was taken to the Gestapo prison in Stanisławów where he was held and beaten for three days and, on the fourth day, he was ripped apart by dogs in the prison courtyard. See also Na Rubieży (Wrocław), no.

35 (1999), p.33 (based on the eyewitness account of Michał Przygrodzki); Szczepan Siekierka, Henryk Komański, and Eugeniusz Różański. Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach w województwie stanisławowskim 1939–1946 (Wrocław: Stowarzyszenie Upamiętnienia Ofiar Zbrodni Ukraińskich Nacjonalistów we Wrocławiu, 2008), 503–4.

Franciszek Stopniak, “Katolickie duchowieństwo polskie i Żydzi w okresie okupacji hitlerowskiej,” Polskie podziemie polityczne wobec zagłady Żydów w czasie okupacji, Conference Papers, Warsaw, April 22, 1987 (Warszawa: Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce–Instytut Pamięci Narodowej and Polskie Jews in concert with the Home Army. The precise cause of his arrest is not known.

–  –  –

For information concerning:

[54] Father Maximilian [Maksymilian] Kolbe, who was arrested in February 1941 for, among other reasons, his protective care of over 1,500 Jewish refugees lodged in the Franciscan monastery in Niepokalanów and who was eventually put to death in Auschwitz on August 14, 1941—see Treece, A Man for Others, Maximilian Kolbe, Saint of Auschwitz, pp.91–93 and endnote 12;

[55] Rev. Józef Pawłowski, the rector of the Higher Seminary in Kielce (until November 1939) and pastor of the cathedral parish, who was arrested on February 10, 1941 for ministering to the faithful and extending aid to Jews and others. He was deported to Auschwitz and then to Dachau, where he was murdered on January 9, 1942—see Moroz and Datko, Męczennicy za wiarę 1939–1945, pp.102–104; “Biogramy 108 męczenników,” Głos Polski (Toronto), May 18–24, 1999;

[56] Rev. Jan Gielarowski, the pastor of Michałówka near Radymno, with the assistance of an elderly priest from a nearby village, provided false baptismal certificates to a number of Jews and sheltered Jews in the parish rectory. At least one of the Jews survived the war. Rev. Gielarowski was arrested by the Germans but did not give anyone away. He was deported to Auschwitz where he died in April 1943—see Władysław Smólski, ed., Za to groziła śmierć: Polacy z pomocą Żydom w czasie okupacji (Warszawa: Pax, 1981), pp.113–19;

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