Maximilian Kolbe Arrested by Gestapo and Put in Pawiak Prison Hot

Maximilian Kolbe Arrested by Gestapo and Put in Pawiak Prison

Map of the Holocaust in Europe under Nazi Germany
Source: Wikipedia

Maksymilian (Maximilian) Kolbe is arrested by the Gestapo and placed in Pawiak prison. In May he will be transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp as prisoner #16670. In August, Kolbe will offer to take the place of another prisoner on his way to be executed in Auschwitz.

The inmate for whom Kolbe volunteers to take the place of is not a Jew and Kolbe is no friend of the Jews; in fact, he was editor of a viciously anti-Semitic journal.

Kolbe will become the first victim of the Nazi concentration camps to be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Kolbe will not, however, be in Auschwitz because of his Christianity nor does he die for his faith, conditions which are normally prerequisites for canonization. It is argued that he is canonized in part to help create the impression that Catholics are as much victims of the Holocaust as the Jews, rather than in fact being among the victimizers.

The belief that Christians in Germany were victimized by the Nazis just as much, or more than, the Jews is one which takes root very early on after the war. The canonization of Kolbe serves to perpetuate this myth; Christians in Germany are unwilling to face the fact that not only were they not so victimized as the Jews but, even worse, were often enthusiastic participants in the victimization, oppression, and even murder of others.


The Story of St Maximilian Kolbe

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