St Sigismund parish
85 Wiślana Str.
Warsaw archdiocese, Poland
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Martyrology of the clergy — Poland
XX century (1914 – 1989)
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date and place of death
on Wystruć - Ural railway linetoday: Russia
alt. dates and places of death
details of death
During Russian winter 1945 advance at the end of II World War, started by German and Russian invasion of Poland in 09.1939, Russians captured Święta Lipka on 28.01.1945.
In mid 02.1945 forced to leave the village and its monastery and found refuge at a farmer's place in nearby Staniewo.
Few days later received an order to „volunteer” for slave labour.
Through Klawno village reached gathering point in Reszel village.
Next day marched in a group of c. 52 people to Kętrzyn, 20 km east.
Locked up in coal cellar.
There cut his hand while trying to cut the loaf of bread in darkness — did not have a chance to clean the wound and secur it.
After few days — through Korsze where a major Prussian railway crossing point was situated and where joined another group of prisoners, including 5 Catholic priests — transported on c. 22.02.1945 to Wystruć transit camp.
There loaded by Russians onto a cattle cars of the rail train, with c. 100 prisoners in each car, heading — through Smoleńsk — deep inside Russia, into northern Ural mountains.
When the transport reached its destination 36 prisoners out of 100 in the train car were dead — from exhaustion, lack of food and water.
Among them were four priests who did not survive: Fr William Schnarkowski, Fr Herbert Schulz (perished prob. before even reaching Smoleńsk), Fr Gerhard Thidigk and Fr Hugh Wessolek.
One, Fr Felix Zimmerman, perished in Russian concentration camp.
Prob. another Catholic priest, Fr Martin Jabłoński perished in the same transport, though not in the same car.
cause of death
date and place of birth
Dobre Miastotoday: Dobre Miasto gm., Olsztyn pow., Warmia–Masuria voiv., Poland
presbyter (holy orders)/
others related in death
JABLOŃSKIClick to display biography Martin, SCHNARKOWSKIClick to display biography William, THIDIGKClick to display biography Gerard, WESSOLEKClick to display biography Hugh Augustus, ZIMMERMANNClick to display biography Felix, BOCKClick to display biography Gilbert, ZIEGLERClick to display biography Richard
camps (+ prisoner no)
Ural: In Ural mountains there were a numer of Russian concentration camsp and forced labour camps (part of Gulag penal system), eg. SevUralLag, TagilLag, VosUralLag, etc., and POW camps. (more on: www.gulagmuseum.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
Gulag: Network of Russian slave labour concentration camps. At any given time up to 12 mln inmates where held in them, milions perished. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
Wystruć: Russian transit camp set up in 1945 for German population of East Prussia — one of concentration centers of defeated Germans marked for slave work in Russia. In Wystruć (now: Chernyakhovsk) and in nearby Jurbork c. 60,000 people were held: men, women, girls and old. All were transported — in rail transfers lasting 4‑7 weeks, without hot food, proper sanitation — to Russians slave labour camps. Many perished before reaching destination… (more on: bazhum.muzhp.plClick to attempt to display webpage
Deportation of Germans to Russia in 1945: On 06.02.19454 Russian State Defence Committee issued an order to intern all Germans, mainly men, able to work from the German territories captured by Russian army and transport them into Russia — to slave labour camps in Donbas region in Ukraine, to industrial centers in Ural mountains, to Russian occupied Belarus, etc. — in order to rebuild destroyed by the war Russia. It was planned to use c. 500,000 Germans, 17‑50 years old, although in practice much older were also arrested. From Upper Silesia only c. 90,000 Germans and Poles were deported 20% of which returned after many years. Among the victims were members of Polish clandestine Home Army AK (part of Polish Clandestine State) fighting with Germans. Tens of thousands were deported from Warmia and Mazurian regions. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
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. 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 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.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
gross-kleeberg.deClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.05.19], files.bildarchiv-ostpreussen.deClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.11.18], archive.todayClick to attempt to display webpage
thema.erzbistum-koeln.deClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.02.15], www.bildarchiv-ostpreussen.deClick to attempt to display webpage
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