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

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    St Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
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    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
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    XIX c., feretory
    St Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
    source: own collection
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    St Sigismund parish church, Słomczyn, Poland
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Martyrology of the clergy — Poland

XX century (1914 – 1989)

personal data

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surname

RATAJCZAK

forename(s)

Leo (pl. Leon)

  • RATAJCZAK Leo - Commemorative plaque, Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań, source: own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFORATAJCZAK Leo
    Commemorative plaque, Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań
    source: own collection
  • RATAJCZAK Leo - Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań, source: own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFORATAJCZAK Leo
    Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań
    source: own collection
  • RATAJCZAK Leo - Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań, source: own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFORATAJCZAK Leo
    Underground Resistance State monument, Poznań
    source: own collection

function

diocesan seminarian

creed

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

diocese / province

Gniezno and Poznań archdiocese (aeque principaliter)more on
www.archpoznan.pl
[access: 2012.11.23]

date and place
of death

10.12.1941

TA HartheimSchloss Hartheim „euthanasia” center
today: Alkoven, Eferding dist., Salzburg state, Austria

more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2022.07.18]

alt. dates and places
of death

16.12.1940

KL Mauthausenconcentration camp
today: Mauthausen, Perg dist., Salzburg state, Austria

more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2022.01.09]

details of death

After German and Russian invasion of Poland in 09.1939 and start of the World War II, after start of German occupation, arrested by the Germans in the spring of 1940.

Imprisoned in Goruszki cloister (Miejska Górka) transit camp.

On 24.05.1940 jailed in KL Dachau concentration camp.

Finally on 02.08.1940 transported to KL Gusen I concentration camp — part of KL Mauthausen‐Gusen concentration camps' complex — where slaved in quarries.

Finally totally exhausted transported to a nearby TA Hartheim Euthanasia Center and murdered in a gas chamber.

cause of death

extermination: exhaustion and starvation

perpetrators

Germans

date and place
of birth

02.06.1916

Miejska Górkatoday: Miejska Górka gm., Rawicz pov., Greater Poland voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.12.18]

positions held

till 1939

student — Poznańtoday: Poznań city pov., Greater Poland voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.07.18]
⋄ philosophy and theology, Archbishop's Theological Seminary (Collegium Leoninum)

others related
in death

KRYSIAKClick to display biography Thaddeus, SZUMNARSKIClick to display biography Steven, SZYMANOWSKIClick to display biography Stanislav, WILGOCKIClick to display biography Thaddeus

murder sites
camp 
(+ prisoner no)

TA Hartheim: From 05.1940, in the Germ. Tötungsanstalt (Eng. Killing/Euthanasia Center) TA Hartheim, at the Schloss Hartheim castle in Alkoven in Upper Austria, belonging to KL Mauthausen‐Gusen complex of concentration camps, as part of «Aktion T4» program, the Germans murdered victims — people mentally retarded and disabled — in gas chambers with carbon monoxide. Till 24.08.1941 and the formal end of the «Aktion T4» program, c. 18,000 people were murdered in TA Hartheim. In 04.1941 the program was extended to include concentration camp prisoners. Most, if not all, of the murdered clergy from the KL Dachau concentration camp were taken to TA Hartheim in the so‐called Germ. „Invalidentransport” (Eng. „transport of invalids”), prisoners who were sick and, according to the Germans, „unable to work” (initially under the pretext of transfer to a better camp) — after the formal end of «Aktion T4» as part of the program codenamed «Aktion 14 f 13». It is estimated that at this stage — until 11.12.1944 — c. 12,000 prisoners were gassed at TA Hartheim.
Note: The dates of death of victims murdered in Schloss Hartheim indicated in the „White Book” are the dates of deportations from the last concentration camp the victims where held in. The real dates of death are unknown — apart from c. 49 priests whose names were included in the niem. „Invalidentransports”, but who did not arrive at TA Hartheim. Prob. perished on the day of transport, somewhere between KL Dachau and Munich, and their bodies were thrown out of the transport and cremated in Munich. The investigation conducted by Polish Institute of National Remembrance IPN concluded, that the other victims were murdered immediately upon arrival in Schloss Hartheim, bodies cremated and the ashes spread over local fields and into Danube river. In order to hide details of the genocide Germans falsified both dates of death (for instance those entered into KL Dachau concentration camp books, which are presented in „White Book” as alternative dates of death) and their causes. (more on: ipn.gov.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2019.05.30]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2019.05.30]
)

«Aktion T4»: German state euthanasia program, systematic murder of people mentally retarded, chronically, mentally and neurologically ill — „elimination of live not worth living” (Germ. „Vernichtung von lebensunwertem Leben”). At a peak, in 1940‐1941, c. 70,000 people were murdered, including patients of psychiatric hospitals in German occupied Poland — German formalists noted then that, among others, „performing disinfection [i.e. gassing] of 70,273 people with a life expectancy of up to 10 years saved food in the amount of 141,775,573.80 Deutschmark”. From 04.1941 also mentally ill and „disabled” (i.e. unable to work) prisoners held in German concentration camps were included in the program — denoted then as «Aktion 14 f 13». C. 20,000 inmates were then murdered, including Polish Catholic priests held in KL Dachau concentration camp, who were murdered in Hartheim gas chambers. The other „regional extension” of «Aktion T4» was «Aktion Brandt» program during which Germans murdered chronically ill patients in order to make space for wounded soldiers. It is estimated that at least 30,000 were murdered in this program. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2014.10.31]
)

KL Gusen I: German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL „Grade III” (Germ. „Stufe III”), part of KL Mauthausen‐Gusen complex, intended for the „Incorrigible political enemies of the Reich”. The prisoners slaved at a nearby granite quarry, but also in local private companies: at SS guards houses' construction at a nearby Sankt Georgen for instance. Initially opened in 05.1940 as the „camp for Poles”, captured during the program of extermination of Polish intelligentsia («Intelligenzaktion»). Till the end most of the prisoners were Poles. Many Polish priests from the Polish regions incorporated in the Germany were brought there in 1940, after start of German occupation of Poland, from KL Sachsenhausen and KL Dachau concentration camps. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2014.03.10]
)

KL Mauthausen‐Gusen: A large group of German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL camps set up around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, c. 30 km east of Linz, operational from 1938 till 05.1945. Over time it became of the largest labour camp complexes in the German‐controlled part of Europe encompassing four major camps concentration camps (Mauthausen, Gusen I, Gusen II and Gusen III) and more than 50 sub‐camps where inmates slaved in quarries (the granite extracted, previously used to pave the streets of Vienna, was intended for a complete reconstruction of major German towns according to Albert Speer plans), munitions factories, mines, arms factories and Me 262 fighter‐plane assembly plants. The complex served the needs of the German war machine and also carried out extermination through labour. Initially did not have a its own gas chamber and the intended victims were mostly moved to the infamous Hartheim Castle, 40.7 km east, or killed by lethal injection and cremated in the local crematorium. Later a van with the exhaust pipe connected to the inside shuttled between Mauthausen and Gusen. In 12.1941 a permanent gas chamber was built. C. 122,000‐360,000 of prisoners perished. Many Polish priests were held, including those captured during the program of extermination of Polish intelligentsia («Intelligenzaktion»). The camp complex was founded and run as a source for cheap labour for private enterprise. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2014.03.10]
)

KL Dachau (prisoner no: 11224Click to display biography): KL Dachau in German Bavaria, set up in 1933, became the main German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL for Catholic priests and religious during World War II: On c. 09.11.1940, Reichsführer‐SS Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, Gestapo and German police, as a result of the Vatican's intervention, decided to transfer all clergymen detained in various concentration camps to KL Dachau camp. The first major transports took place on 08.12.1940. In KL Dachau Germans held approx. 3,000 priests, including 1,800 Poles. The priests were forced to slave labor in the Germ. „Die Plantage” — the largest herb garden in Europe, managed by the genocidal SS, consisting of many greenhouses, laboratory buildings and arable land, where experiments with new natural medicines were conducted — for many hours, without breaks, without protective clothing, no food. They slaved in construction, e.g. of camp's crematorium. In the barracks ruled hunger, freezing cold in the winter and suffocating heat during the summer, especially acute in 1941‐1942. Prisoners suffered from bouts of illnesses, including tuberculosis. Many were victims of murderous „medical experiments” — in 11.1942 c. 20 were given phlegmon injections; in 07.1942 to 05.1944 c. 120 were used by for malaria experiments. More than 750 Polish clerics where murdered by the Germans, some brought to Schloss Hartheim euthanasia centre and murdered in gas chambers. At its peak KL Dachau concentration camps’ system had nearly 100 slave labour sub‐camps located throughout southern Germany and Austria. There were c. 32,000 documented deaths at the camp, and thousands perished without a trace. C. 10,000 of the 30,000 inmates were found sick at the time of liberation, on 29.04.1945, by the USA troops… (more on: www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.deClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.08.10]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2016.05.30]
)

IL Görchen: The Franciscan monastery „Goruszki” in Miejska Górka, c. 10 km from Rawicz, became a place of internment for Polish priests and friars from surrounding counties (including Leszno County). On 15.02.1940 became, officers of the murderous Germ. Geheime Staatspolizei (Eng. Secret State Police), i.e. Gestapo, entered the monastery, bringing the first 18 priests to be interned and demanded that the Franciscan Fathers took over responsibility for their stay in the monastery, forbidding them and the friars to leave the monastery. The monastery became de facto Germ. „Internierungslager” (Eng. „internment camp”) IL Görchen. On 01‐02.04.1941 the Germans entered the monastery by force and transferred all the internees — priests and monks – to the internment camp in Lubiń. They turned the monastery buildings into a prison — a branch of the prison in Rawicz, i.e. Germ. Außenkommando Tbc‐Station (Eng. external ward for patients with tuberculosis). It became the place of execution of hundreds of Poles — today there are 453 graves of the murdered in the monastery cemetery. The prison functioned until 1945 and the fall of national–socialist Germany. (more on: www.franciszkanie-goruszki.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2021.12.19]
)

02‐03.1940 arrests (Warthegau): First large wave of arrests in 1940 of Polish clergy from German occupied Warthegau region (Greater Poland), started in fact in 01.1940 but the largest numbers of priest were held in 02‐03.1940. In accordance with a plan of „Ohne Gott, ohne Religion, ohne Priesters und Sakramenten” — „without God, without religion, without priest and sacrament” — drafted by the Gaulaiter of Warthegau, Artur Greiser, few hundred of Polish priests were interned in transit camps in Puszczykowo, Bruczków, Goruszki, Chludowo and KL Posen (Fort VII) concentration camp prior to transfer to concentration camps deep within Germany.

«Intelligenzaktion»: (Eng. „Action Intelligentsia”) — extermination program of Polish elites, mainly intelligentsia, executed by the Germans right from the start of the occupation in 09.1939 till around 05.1940, mainly on the lands directly incorporated into Germany but also in the so‐called General Governorate where it was called «AB‐aktion». During the first phase right after start of German occupation of Poland implemented as Germ. Unternehmen „Tannenberg” (Eng. „Tannenberg operation”) — plan based on proscription lists of Poles worked out by (Germ. Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen), regarded by Germans as specially dangerous to the German Reich. List contained names of c. 61,000 Poles. Altogether during this genocide Germans methodically murdered c. 50,000 teachers, priests, landowners, social and political activists and retired military. Further 50,000 were sent to concentration camps where most of them perished. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2014.10.04]
)

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:
www.wtg-gniazdo.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2012.11.23]
, konradkierys.comClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2012.11.23]
, www.gedenkstaetten.atClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.10.04]

bibliographical:
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
A martyrology of Polish clergy under German occupation, 1939‐1945”, Fr Szołdrski Vladislaus CSSR, Rome 1965

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