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    St Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
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Roman Catholic
St Sigismund parish
05-507 Słomczyn
85 Wiślana Str.
Konstancin deanery
Warsaw archdiocese, Poland

  • 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
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    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)

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  • MICHALAK Joseph; source: Fr Nicholas Marian Grzybowski, „M Płock diocese clergy martyrology during II World War 1939—1945”, Włocławek-Płock 2002, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOMICHALAK Joseph
    source: Fr Nicholas Marian Grzybowski, „M Płock diocese clergy martyrology during II World War 1939—1945”, Włocławek-Płock 2002
    own collection

surname

MICHALAK

forename(s)

Joseph (pl. Józef)

  • MICHALAK Joseph - Commemorative plaque, cathedral basilica, Płock, source: own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOMICHALAK Joseph
    Commemorative plaque, cathedral basilica, Płock
    source: own collection
  • MICHALAK Joseph - Commemorative plaque, St Catherine of Alexandria church, Działdowo, source: radioolsztyn.pl, own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOMICHALAK Joseph
    Commemorative plaque, St Catherine of Alexandria church, Działdowo
    source: radioolsztyn.pl
    own collection

function

diocesan priest

creed

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

diocese / province

Płock diocesemore on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2013.05.19]

honorary titles

prelatemore on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2014.11.14]

Minor Canonmore on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2014.11.14]
(Płock cathedralmore on
pl.wikipedia.org
[access: 2014.11.14]
)

date and place
of death

20.06.1941

KL Soldauconcentration camp
today: Działdowo, Działdowo urban gm., Działdowo pov., Warmia‐Masuria voiv., Poland

more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2018.09.02]

details of death

After the German and Russian invasion of Poland in 09.1939 and the start of World War II, after the start of the German occupation, arrested by the Germans for the first time on 10.11.1939 — as a hostage, in connection with the approaching Polish national day of celebration on 11.11.

Jailed in Płock prison.

Released after a few days.

On 09.12.1939, the Germans evicted all professors and seminarians from the buildings of the theological seminary in Płock.

He was forced to watch as the „cultured” Germans plundered and destroyed the seminary property, including about 50,000 library volumes (about 500 valuable incunabula, over 1,000 old prints from the 16th century), for which he was responsible and most of which have not been recovered to this day.

The Germans also plundered the private property of priests and seminarians.

In the seminar theater hall, the German genocidal SS organized a canteen.

The clerics went to their family homes.

He moved to his brother's house, a few dozen meters from the seminar property.

After some time, decided to leave for Warsaw — which became part of the occupation entity, known as the General Government, when Płock became part of the Germ. Regierungsbezirk Zichenau (Eng. Ciechanów regency), part of the Germ. Provinz Ostpreußen (Eng. Province of East Prussia).

In order to get to Warsaw, where the German repressions at that time were not as strong as in the lands directly incorporated into Germany, one had to cross the border, probably illegally.

He did not stay there long and decided to return to Płock.

Again illegally.

Continued to work, celebrating Masses.

and preaching in the church of St John the Baptist in Płock.

Finally on 18.02.1941 was arrested by the Germans again.

Transported to prison in Płock and then to KL Soldau concentration camp, where was murdered in a mass execution.

cause of death

mass murder

perpetrators

Germans

date and place
of birth

06.11.1875

Ruszkowotoday: Gołymin‐Ośrodek gm., Ciechanów pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]

presbyter (holy orders)
ordination

1900

positions held

till 1941

canon of the chapter — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Cathedral Chapter ⋄ Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RC cathedral church

1919 – 1939

professor — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Theological Seminary — lecturer of Latin language, liturgy, scripture, philosophy, dogmatics; also: seminary's libarian

1922 – 1931

Bishop's master of ceremonies — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RC cathedral church

1918 – 1919

pro–synodal judge — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Bishop's Diocesan Court — surrogate

1903 – 1918

professor — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Theological Seminary — lecturer of Latin language, liturgy, scripture, philosophy, dogmatics; also: seminary's libarian

1902 – 1903

vicar — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary RC cathedral parish — also: deputy custodian, teacher and singing teacher at Mary Gutowska private school

1898 – 1902

student — Sankt Petersburgtoday: Saint Petersburg city, Russia
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2020.07.31]
⋄ philosophy and theology, Imperial Roman Catholic Spiritual Academy (1842‐1918)

1893 – 1898

student — Płocktoday: Płock city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]
⋄ philosophy and theology, Theological Seminary

author of many specialist studies and translations, specifically on liturgy

others related
in death

DMOCHOWSKIClick to display biography Peter Julian, KALISZKAClick to display biography Thaddeus, KLIMKIEWICZClick to display biography Francis, KURDZIELClick to display biography John, KUŚMIERCZYKClick to display biography Anthony, ŁUCZECZKOClick to display biography Emil, MODZELEWSKIClick to display biography Adolph, PŁYWACZYKClick to display biography Adalbert, STĘPKOWSKIClick to display biography Stanislav, SZYDŁOWSKIClick to display biography John

murder sites
camp 
(+ prisoner no)

KL Soldau: German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL Soldau (in modern Działdowo city) — since the pre‐war Polish Działdowo county was incorporated into Germ. Regierungsbezirk Allenstein (Eng. Olsztyn regency) the camp was located in occupied territories where general German law was in force, i.e. in Germany proper — was founded in 09.1939, when in former barracks of 32nd Infantry Regiment of Polish Army Germans set up a temporary camp for POW captured during September 1939 campaign. In autumn 1939 was also used as police jail. In 1939‐1940 changed into Germ. Durchgangslager für polnische Zivilgefangene (Eng. Transit Camp for Polish Civilians), prior to transport to other concentration camps. In reality it was used then as a place of extermination of Polish intelligentsia within Germ. «Intelligenzaktion» genocidal program and extermination of sick and disabled within «Aktion T4» program. Next in 05.1940 the camp was changed again into Germ. Arbeitserziehungslager (Eng. Work Education Camp), and finally into penal comp for criminal and political prisoners, most of whom were sentenced to death. In 1939‐1941 Germans imprisoned, maltreated and tortured in KL Soldau hundreds of Polish priests and religious. Approx. 80 priests, religious and nuns perished. They were murdered in the camp itself, by a shot into a head, or in places of mass executions in nearby forests — Białuty forest, Malinowo forets, Komorniki. Dates and precise locations of these murders remain unknown. Altogether in KL Soldau approx. 15,000 prisoners were murdered, including thousands victims — patients of psychiatric institutions (within «Aktion T4» plan). (more on: mazowsze.hist.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.08.17]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.09.02]
)

Płock: In its present location, the prison in Płock was built in 1803 by the Prussians (after the Third Partition of Poland, Płock was initially part of the Prussia). From 1815, it functioned as a Russian prison (among others, the November insurgents were detained there). During World War II, during the German occupation — Płock found itself in the so‐called Germ. Regierungsbezirk Zichenau (Eng. Ciechanów regency), part of the Germ. Provinz Ostpreußen (Eng. East Prussia province) — it was managed by the Germans. The jail ran by the German political police Gestapo was located in a different place — initially in the basement of the present town hall in Płock. From 1941 it was transferred — as an investigative prison — to a building at 1st of May Str., built in 1905. Many of the Polish prisoners were next transported to German concentration camps, mainly KL Soldau, where they perished. After the German defeat, this building was taken over by the Russians, and then by the Polish Commie‐Nazis in the service of the Russian KGB, and treacherous murders of former soldiers of the Polish Clandestine State were prob. carried out there. In 1991, the main prison was visited by Pope St John Paul II, who said to the inmates: „You are condemned, but not doomed”.

02‐03.1941 arrests (Zichenau region): In the night of 17/18.02.1941 and night of 06/07.03.1941 Germans arrested dozens of Catholic priests and nuns from Regierungsbezirk Zichenau, a occupied region belonging to German East Prussia province. All were transported through Płock prison to KL Soldau concentration camp. Among the arrested were two Catholic bishops of Płock diocese, abp Nowowiejski and bp Wetmański. Few priests were murdered in KL Soldau (including both bishops), more later on in other concentration camp, mainly in KL Dachau. Most of the nuns were subsequently released.

General Governorate: A separate administrative territorial region set up by the Germans in 1939 after defeat of Poland, which included German‐occupied part of Polish territory that was not directly incorporate into German state. Created as the result of the Ribbentrop‐Molotov Pact, in a political sense, was to recreate the German idea of 1915 (after the defeat of the Russians in the Battle of Gorlice in 05.1915 during World War I) of establishing a Polish enclave within Germany (also called the General Governorate at that time). It was run by the Germans till 1945 and final Russian offensive, and was a part of so‐called Big Germany — Grossdeutschland. Till 31.07.1940 formally known as Germ. Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete (Eng. General Governorate for occupied Polish territories) — later as simply Germ. Generalgouvernement (Eng. General Governorate). From 07.1941 expanded to include district Galicia. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.12.04]
)

Collective responsibility („Hostages”): A criminal practice implemented by the Germans in the occupied territories of Poland, applied from the very first day of World War II. At its core was an appointment and public announcement of a list of names of selected people whose lives depended on absolute compliance with German orders. Any violation of these ordinances, by any person, regardless of the circumstances, resulted in the murder of the designated „hostages”. In the first days of the war and occupation, it was used i.a. by the German Wehrmacht army to prevent acts of continuation of the defense by the Poles. Later, especially in the German‐run General Governorate, it was part of the official policy of the occupation authorities — collective responsibility for any acts of resistance to the occupier's practices. For the life of one German, even if death was due to customary reasons, the Germans carried out executions from a dozen to even a hundred Poles previously designated as „hostages”.

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 World War II in 09.1939. In a political sense, the pact was an attempt to restore the status quo ante before 1914, with one exception, namely the „commercial” exchange of the so‐called „Kingdom of Poland”, which in 1914 was part of the Russian Empire, fore Eastern Galicia (today's western Ukraine), in 1914 belonging to the Austro‐Hungarian Empire. Galicia, including Lviv, was to be taken over by the Russians, the „Kingdom of Poland” — under the name of the General Governorate — Germany. The resultant „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 Stanislav 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.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2015.09.30]
)

Pius XI's encyclicals: Facing the creation of two totalitarian systems in Europe, which seemed to compete with each other, though there were more similarities than contradictions between them, Pope Pius XI issued in 03.1937 (within 5 days) two encyclicals. In the „Mit brennender Sorge” (Eng. „With Burning Concern”) published on 14.03.1938, condemned the national socialism prevailing in Germany. The Pope wrote: „Whoever, following the old Germanic‐pre‐Christian beliefs, puts various impersonal fate in the place of a personal God, denies the wisdom of God and Providence […], whoever exalts earthly values: race or nation, or state, or state system, representatives of state power or other fundamental values of human society, […] and makes them the highest standard of all values, including religious ones, and idolizes them, this one […] is far from true faith in God and from a worldview corresponding to such faith”. On 19.03.1937, published „Divini Redemptoris” (Eng. „Divine Redeemer”), in which criticized Russian communism, dialectical materialism and the class struggle theory. The Pope wrote: „Communism deprives man of freedom, and therefore the spiritual basis of all life norms. It deprives the human person of all his dignity and any moral support with which he could resist the onslaught of blind passions […] This is the new gospel that Bolshevik and godless communism preaches as a message of salvation and redemption of humanity”… Pius XI demanded that the established human law be subjected to the natural law of God , recommended the implementation of the ideal of a Christian state and society, and called on Catholics to resist. Two years later, National Socialist Germany and Communist Russia came together and started World War II. (more on: www.vatican.vaClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2023.05.28]
, www.vatican.vaClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2023.05.28]
)

sources

personal:
mazowsze.hist.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2012.11.23]
, www.straty.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2015.04.18]

bibliographical:
Płock diocese clergy martyrology during II World War 1939‐1945”, Fr Nicholas Marian Grzybowski, Włocławek–Płock 2002
original images:
radioolsztyn.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2021.08.06]

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