• OUR LADY of CZĘSTOCHOWA: st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionOUR LADY of CZĘSTOCHOWA
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection

st Sigismund
Roman Catholic parish
05-507 Słomczyn
85 Wiślana str.
Konstancin deanery
Warsaw archdiocese

  • st SIGISMUND: st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
  • st SIGISMUND: XIX c., feretory, st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND
    XIX c., feretory
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
  • st SIGISMUND: XIX c., feretory, st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND
    XIX c., feretory
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
  • st SIGISMUND: XIX c., feretory, st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND
    XIX c., feretory
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
  • st SIGISMUND: XIX c., feretory, st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland; source: own collectionst SIGISMUND
    XIX c., feretory
    st Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection

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Martyrology of the clergy — Poland

XX century (1914 – 1989)

personal data

review in:

  • KOTWICKI John, source: www.kchodorowski.republika.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOKOTWICKI John
    source: www.kchodorowski.republika.pl
    own collection




John (pl. Jan)

  • KOTWICKI John - Grave plaque, parish church, Chrynów, source: wolyn1943.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOKOTWICKI John
    Grave plaque, parish church, Chrynów
    source: wolyn1943.pl
    own collection
  • KOTWICKI John - Commemorative plaque, parish church, Kałków-Godów, source: www.stowarzyszenieuozun.wroclaw.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOKOTWICKI John
    Commemorative plaque, parish church, Kałków-Godów
    source: www.stowarzyszenieuozun.wroclaw.pl
    own collection
  • KOTWICKI John - Commemorative plaque, parish church, Czerwona Woda, source: wegliniec.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOKOTWICKI John
    Commemorative plaque, parish church, Czerwona Woda
    source: wegliniec.pl
    own collection
  • KOTWICKI John - Commemorative plaque, St Stanislaus church, Sankt Petersburg, source: ipn.gov.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOKOTWICKI John
    Commemorative plaque, St Stanislaus church, Sankt Petersburg
    source: ipn.gov.pl
    own collection


diocesan priest


Latin (Roman Catholic) Church
more on: en.wikipedia.org [access: 2014.09.21]

diocese / province

Lutsk diocese
more on: en.wikipedia.org [access: 2013.05.19]
Zhytomyr diocese
more on: www.catholic-hierarchy.org [access: 2021.09.20]

date and place of death


Ivanychi rai., Volyn obl., Ukraine

details of death

After ordination in Poland crossed illegally over the border to Russia and returned to his homeland and his Zhytomyr diocese. For the first time arrested by Russians on 04.11.1923, together with Fr Andrew Fedukowicz and Fr Anthony Traczyński among others, and accused of membership of „White Eagle”, clandestine Polish resistance organization, and espionage for Poland. Released on 25.12.1923. Few months later, on 09.05.1924, arrested in Zhytomyr again. Held in Zhytomyr prison. During interrogations fell sick and was put in prison hospital. Next transferred to Kharkiv prison. There on 22.09.1925 tried by Russians and sentenced to three years in Russian slave labour concentration camps (future Gulag). On 12.01.1926 transported to Solovetsky Islands concentration camp. From there in 05.1927 moved to Butyrki prison in Moscow. On 22.07.1927 released but forbidden to settle in a number of large cities and the regions they were capital of and in the areas near the border. Moved to Nieżyn in Czernihowszczyzna. On 03.01.1928 exchanged for Russian spies in Poland. Settled in Łuck diocese. After German and Russian invasion of Poland and start of the World War II in 09.1939, after German attack on 22.06.1941 of their erstwhile allies, Russians, and start of German occupation, during the genocide perpetrated by Ukrainians, known as „Volyn genocide” — murdered during an attack on the church, when celebrating Holy Mass. Shot dead by Ukrainians from the genocidal OUN/UPA organization, together with a group of women, when attempting to escape through the vestry. On this day, known as „bloody Sunday”, when Ukrainian murderers/genociders attacked at least 99 villages and in a most barbaric, unimaginable fashion slaughtered most of their Polish inhabitants, during the attack on the Khryniv village Ukrainians murdered c. 150 Poles — shooting at c. 200 parishioners, mostly women and children, congregated in the church from automatic machine guns. Week later Ukrainians burnt all the building and church in the village to the ground — today Khryniv does not exist.

cause of death

mass murder



date and place of birth


Szyjecka Buda
Zhytomyr obl., Ukraine

alt. dates and places of birth


Szedska Buda

presbyter (holy orders)/

1922 (Gniezno)

positions held

1942–1943 — parish priest {parish: Khryniv; dean.: Volodymyr–Volynskyi}
1941–1942 — resident {Kovel}, minister of the parishes of Ratno, Bueniem, Zabłocie, Niesuchojeże in Kamień Koszyrski diocese
parish priest {parish: Sokul; dean.: Kolky}
1936–1938 — parish priest {parish: Wyszogródek; dean.: Kremenets}
1935–1936 — parish priest {parish: Bilozirka, St Rock the Confessor; dean.: Kremenets}
1931–1934 — parish priest {parish: Zofiówka, St Sophie the Virgin and Martyr; dean.: Lutsk}
1930–1931 — administrator {parish: Zasmyki}
1930–1931 — vicar {parish: Kovel, St Anne; dean.: Kovel}
1929–1930 — vicar {parish: Rivne, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Anthony of Padua; dean.: Rivne}
1922–1924 — vicar {parish: Zhytomyr, cathedral St Sophie; dean.: Zhytomyr}
till 1922 — student {Gniezno, philosophy and theology, Practical Theological Seminary (Lat. Seminarium Clericorum Practicum)}
student {Olyka, philosophy and theology, Theological Seminary}
from 1917 — student {Zhytomyr, philosophy and theology, Theological Seminary}

others related in death


murder sites
camps (+ prisoner no)

Genocidium Atrox: In 1939‑47, especially in 1943‑4, independent Ukrainian units, mainly belonging to genocidal Ukrainian organizations OUN (political arm) and UPA (military arm), supported by local Ukrainian population, murdered — often in extremely brutal way — in Volyn and surrounding regions of pre‑war Poland, from 130,000 to 180,000 Poles, all civilians: men, women, children, old and young. Polish–Ukrainian conflict that openly emerged during and after I World War (in particular resulting in Polish–Ukrainian war of 1918‑9), that survived and even deepened later when western Ukraine became a part Poland, exploded again after the outbreak of the II World War in 09.1939. During Russian occupation of 1939‑41, when hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported into central Russia, when tens of thousands were murdered (during so‑called Katyń massacres, among others), this open conflict had a limited character, helped by the fact that at that time Ukrainians, Ukrainian nationalists in particular, were also persecuted by the Russians. The worst came after German–Russian war started on 22.06.1941 and German occupation resulted. Initially Ukrainians supported Germans (Ukrainian police was initiated, Ukrainians co—participated in extermination of the Jews and were joining army units fighting alongside Germans). Later when German ambivalent position towards Ukraine became apparent Ukrainians started acting independently. And in 1943 one of the units of aforementioned Ukrainian OUN/UPA organization, in Volyn, started and perpetrated a genocide of Polish population of this region. In mere few weeks OUN/UPA murdered, with Germans passively watching on the sidelines, more than 40,000 Poles. This strategy was consequently approved and adopted by all OUN/UPA organisations and similar genocides took place in Eastern Lesser Poland (part of Ukraine) where more than 20,000 Poles were slaughtered, meeting however with growing resistance from Polish population. Further west, in Chełm, Rzeszów, etc. regions this genocide turned into an extremely bloody conflict. In general genocide, perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists, partly collaborating with German occupants, on vulnerable Polish population took part in hundreds of villages and small towns, where virtually all Polish inhabitants were wiped out. More than 200 priests, religious and nuns perished in this holocaust — known as „Genocidium Atrox” (Eng. „savage genocide”) The nature and purpose of genocide is perhaps best reflected in the song sung by the murderers: „We will slaughter the Poles, we will cut down the Jews, we must conquer the great Ukraine” (ukr. „Поляків виріжем, Євреїв видусим, велику Україну здобути мусим”). This holocaust and conflict ended up in total elimination of Polish population and Polish culture from Ukraine, in enforced deportations in 1944‑5 of remaining Poles from Ukraine and some Ukrainians into Ukraine proper, and finally in deportation of Ukrainians from East‑South to the Western parts of Polish republic prl by Commie‑Nazi Russian controlled Polish security forces („Vistula Action”). (more on: www.swzygmunt.knc.pl [access: 2021.06.20])

Ribbentrop-Molotov: Genocidal Russian–German alliance pact between Russian leader Joseph Stalin and German leader Adolf Hitler signed on 23.08.1939 in Moscow by respective foreign ministers, Mr. Vyacheslav Molotov for Russia and Joachim von Ribbentrop for Germany. The pact sanctioned and was the direct cause of joint Russian and German invasion of Poland and the outbreak of the II World War in 09.1939. „The war was one of the greatest calamities and dramas of humanity in history, for two atheistic and anti–Christian ideologies — national and international socialism — rejected God and His fifth Decalogue commandment: Thou shall not kill!” (Abp Stanislaus Gądecki, 01.09.2019). The decisions taken — backed up by the betrayal of the formal allies of Poland, France and Germany, which on 12.09.1939, at a joint conference in Abbeville, decided not to provide aid to attacked Poland and not to take military action against Germany (a clear breach of treaty obligations with Poland) — were on 28.09.1939 slightly altered and made more precise when a treaty on „German–Russian boundaries and friendship” was agreed by the same murderous signatories. One of its findings was establishment of spheres of influence in Central and Eastern Europe and in consequence IV partition of Poland. In one of its secret annexes agreed, that: „the Signatories will not tolerate on its respective territories any Polish propaganda that affects the territory of the other Side. On their respective territories they will suppress all such propaganda and inform each other of the measures taken to accomplish it”. The agreements resulted in a series of meeting between two genocidal organization representing both sides — German Gestapo and Russian NKVD when coordination of efforts to exterminate Polish intelligentsia and Polish leading classes (in Germany called Intelligenzaktion, in Russia took the form of Katyń massacres) where discussed. Resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of Polish intelligentsia, including thousands of priests presented here, and tens of millions of ordinary people,. The results of this Russian–German pact lasted till 1989 and are still in evidence even today. (more on: en.wikipedia.org [access: 2015.09.30])

Moscow (Butyrki): Harsh transit and interrogation prison in Moscow — for political prisoners — where Russians held and murdered thousands of Poles. Founded prob. in XVII century. In XIX century many Polish insurgents (Polish uprisings of 1831 and 1863) were held there. During Communist regime a place of internment for political prisoners prior to a transfer to Russian slave labour complex Gulag. During the Great Purge c. 20,000 inmates were held there at any time (c. 170 in every cell). Thousands were murdered. (more on: en.wikipedia.org [access: 2020.05.01])

Solovetsky Islands: Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp SLON (ros. Солове́цкий ла́герь осо́бого назначе́ния) — Russian concentration camp and forced labour camp, on Solovetsky Islands, in operation from 1923 and initially founded on the site of famous former Orthodox monastery. Functioned till 1939 (in 1936‑9 as a prison). In 1920 the largest concentration camp in Russia. Place of slave labour and murder of hundreds of mainly Christian, including Catholic, priests, especially in 1920s and 1930s. The concept of future Russian slave labour concentration camps system Gulag its beginnings prob. can trace to camps of Solovetsky Islands — from there spread to the camps along Belamor canal (Baltic Sea — White Sea), and from there to all regions of Russian state. From the network of camps on Solovetsky Islands — also called Solovetsky Archipelago — Alexander Solzhenitsyn prob. formed his famous term of „Gulag Archipelago”. It is estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands prisoners were held in Solovetsky Islands camps. In 1937‑8 c. 9.500 prisoners were brought out of the camp and murdered in a number of execution sites, including Sandarmokh and Lodeynoye Polye, including many Catholic priests. (more on: pl.wikipedia.org [access: 2014.05.09])

Kharkiv: On 05.04‑12.05.1940 Russians executed in Charków approx. 3,800 Polish prisoners of war (POW) kept in Starobielsk concentration camp. This was a fulfillment of Russian Commie–Nazi government decision — Political Bureau of the Russian Commie–Nazi party of 05.03.1940 — to exterminate Polish intelligentsia and POWs held in prisoners of war camps (Polish holocaust) after German–Russian alliance, Russian invasion of Poland and start of II World War in 09.1939. (more on: en.wikipedia.org [access: 2014.09.21])

Zhytomyr (prison): Russian investigative prison known for cruel interrogation methods used by the Russians. Execution site as well.


www.duszki.pl [access: 2012.11.23], nawolyniu.pl [access: 2013.01.06], www.niedziela.pl [access: 2013.05.19], www.kchodorowski.republika.pl [access: 2013.01.26], biographies.library.nd.edu [access: 2014.05.09], pl.wikipedia.org [access: 2013.05.19]
„Martyrology of the Polish Roman Catholic clergy under nazi occupation in 1939‑1945”, Victor Jacewicz, John Woś, vol. I‑V, Warsaw Theological Academy, 1977‑1981
„Register of Latin rite Lviv metropolis clergy’s losses in 1939‑45”, Józef Krętosz, Maria Pawłowiczowa, editors, Opole, 2005
„Biographical lexicon of Lviv Roman Catholic Metropoly clergy victims of the II World War 1939‑1945”, Mary Pawłowiczowa (ed.), Fr Joseph Krętosz (ed.), Holy Cross Publishing, Opole, 2007
„Fate of the Catholic clergy in USSR 1917‑39. Martyrology”, Roman Dzwonkowski, SAC, ed. Science Society KUL, 2003, Lublin
original images:
www.kchodorowski.republika.pl [access: 2013.01.26], wolyn1943.pl [access: 2013.12.04], www.stowarzyszenieuozun.wroclaw.pl [access: 2014.01.16], wegliniec.pl [access: 2014.10.31], ipn.gov.pl [access: 2019.02.02]


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