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

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Martyrology of the clergy — Poland

XX century (1914 – 1989)

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  • BYRECKI Simon; source: thanks to Mr Veslav Byrecki and Ms Stanislava Puchała kindness (private correspondence, 26.09.2018), own collection; CLICK TO ZOOM AND DISPLAY INFOBYRECKI Simon
    source: thanks to Mr Veslav Byrecki and Ms Stanislava Puchała kindness (private correspondence, 26.09.2018)
    own collection

surname

BYRECKI

surname
versions/aliases

BYK BYRECKI

forename(s)

Simon (pl. Szymon)

function

laybrother

creed

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

congregation

Society of Christ Fathers for Poles Living Abroad SChrmore on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2013.05.19]

(i.e. Christ Fathers)

date and place
of death

07.04.1945

KL Natzweiler—Struthofconcentration camp
today: n. Natzwiller, Bas‑Rhin dep., Grand Est reg., France

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

alt. dates and places
of death

1945, 08.04.1945

details of death

After German invasion of Poland on 01.09.1939 (Russians invaded Poland 17 days later) and start of the II World left together with co‑friars and novitiate Potulice Congregation's motherhouse — where Germans set up later UWZ Lager Lebrechtsdorf resettlement camp.

Moved to German–run General Governorate and settled in Warsaw in a Salesians of Don Bosco Fr Siemiec Orphans' House, together with a group of co‑religious.

Worked as a nurse in Malta Hospital in Warsaw.

To survive traded devotional articles around Warsaw travelling frequently.

Arrested on 07.02.1944 together with a group of priests and religious at Fr Siemiec Orphans' House in Warsaw.

Taken to Pawiak prison.

Prob. released.

Prob. after Warsaw Uprising outbreak on 01.08.1944 interned in Durchgangslager 121 Pruszków, a German transit camp for Warsaw residents.

On 17.09.1944 transported to KL Auschwitz concentration camp.

From there on 01.10.1944 moved to KL Buchenwald concentration camp.

On 24.10.1944 taken to Bernburg / Plömnitz sub–camp where prob. slaved at Solvay factory at concrete production.

Prob. forced into one of the „death marches” in south–westerly direction (towards KL Buchenwald), attempts to avoid approaching Russian troops.

Registered as prisoner of a „virtual” KL Natzweiler concentration camp.

Prob. perished in one of its sub–camps, functioning under KL Natzweiler name, in unknown location.

cause of death

extermination

perpetrators

Germans

date and place
of birth

01.01.1911

Baryschtoday: Buchach urban hrom., Chortkiv rai., Ternopil, Ukraine
more on
uk.wikipedia.org
[access: 2023.03.02]

religious vows

19.03.1938/19.03.1939 (temporary)
19.03.1941 (permanent)

positions held

c. 1939 – 1944

friar — WarsawPowiśle neighborhood in Śródmieście district
today: Warsaw city pov., Masovia voiv., Poland

more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2022.07.16]
⋄ Society's House (Fr Siemiec Salesians' Institute), Salesians of Don Bosco SDB — unable to return to the directly incorporated into Germany new province of Germ. Warthegau (Eng. Warta region), where the houses of the Society were located (closed anyway by the Germans), took advantage of the kindness of the Salesian Society SDB; also: paramedic at the Malta Hospital

1938 – 1939

friar — Potulicetoday: Nakło nad Notecią gm., Nakło nad Notecią pov., Kuyavia–Pomerania voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.07.18]
⋄ Motherhouse, Christ Fathers SChr — distributor of „good books

1937 – 19.03.1938

novitiate — Potulicetoday: Nakło nad Notecią gm., Nakło nad Notecią pov., Kuyavia–Pomerania voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.07.18]
⋄ Motherhouse, Christ Fathers SChr

1936 – 1937

aspirant — Potulicetoday: Nakło nad Notecią gm., Nakło nad Notecią pov., Kuyavia–Pomerania voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.07.18]
⋄ Motherhouse, Christ Fathers SChr

01.10.1936

accession — Potulicetoday: Nakło nad Notecią gm., Nakło nad Notecią pov., Kuyavia–Pomerania voiv., Poland
more on
en.wikipedia.org
[access: 2021.07.18]
⋄ Motherhouse, Christ Fathers SChr

biography (own resources)

Click to read biography details from our resourcesClick to read biography details from our resources

others related
in death

DUNAKClick to display biography Boleslav, GŁOWICKIClick to display biography Leo, KRUPIŃSKIClick to display biography Louis, KOWALCZYKClick to display biography Vladislav

murder sites
camp 
(+ prisoner no)

KL Natzweiler: German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL Natzweiler‑Struthof n. Natzweiler in French Vosges Mountains, in operation from 21.05.1941. Liberated by the Allies on 25.11.1944. The total number of prisoners, from many countries, reached an c. 52,000 over the three years. C. 4,500 perished. At liberation the camp was empty — prisoners were moved earlier do satellite camps on the other side of Rhine river, into Germany proper. Keeping the name of KL Natzweiler the camp’s administration was moved to KL Dachau, then to Guttenbach and Binau. More then 20 new camps with KL Natzweiler name (such as Mannheim‑Sandhofen, Kochendorf) were set up, and in the period from 09.1944 to 01.1945 19,833 new prisoners were registered. They were forced to slave for German companies, such as Daimler, Krupp or Mauser, many times in underground bunkers or caves. In 04.1945 in the face of fast approaching Allies prisoners were constantly on the move, from camp to camp, forced to run in „death marches”… (more on: www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.frClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.10.04]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2015.05.09]
)

AL Leopard (Plömnitz): German concentration camp Außenlager Leopard in Plömnitz (and nearby Leau, Peißen, Bernburg villages and towns), a sub‑camp of KL Buchenwald concentration camp. Founded on 22.08.1944 and in the first transport on this day filled in with Polish political prisoners arrested during Warsaw Uprising, among others. Initally prisoners lived — it was late autumn and beginning of winter — in tents and until in 01.1945 they constructed wooden barracks. They had to slave at the salt mine run by Solvay company, c. 500 m below the ground, constructing huge halls that were to be used for manufacturing of Juncker airplane parts. The death rate was high. On 08‑12.04.1945 remaining prisoners were marched out of the camp, some of the weaker ones were executed. The camp was liberated on 14.04.1945 by American troops. (more on: asso-buchenwald-dora.comClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2021.06.20]
)

KL Buchenwald (prisoner no: 90574Click to display biography): In German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL Buchenwald concentration camp, founded in 1937 and operational till 1945, Germans held c. 238,380 prisoners and murdered approx. 56,000 of them, among them thousands of Poles. Prisoners were victims of pseudo‑scientific experiments, conducted among others by Behring‑Werke from Marburg and Robert Koch Institute from Berlin companies. They slaved for Gustloff in Weimar and Fritz‑Sauckel companies manufacturing armaments. To support Erla‑Maschinenwerk GmbH in Leipzig, Junkers in Schönebeck (airplanes) and Rautal in Wernigerode Germans organized special sub‑camps. In 1945 there were more than 100 such sub‑camps. Dora concentration camp was initially one of them, as well as KL Ravensbrück sub‑camps (from 08.1944). On 08.04.1945 Polish prisoner, Mr Guido Damazyn, used clandestinely constructed short wave transmitter to sent, together with a Russian prisoner, a short message begging for help. It was received and he got a reply: „KZ Bu. Hold out. Rushing to your aid. Staff of Third Army” (American). Three days later the camp was liberated. (more on: www.buchenwald.deClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.08.10]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.08.10]
)

KL Auschwitz (prisoner no: 197260Click to display biography): German Germ. Konzentrationslager (Eng. concentration camp) KL and Germ. Vernichtungslager (Eng. extermination camp) VL Auschwitz was set up by Germans around 27.01.1940 n. Oświęcim, on the German territory (initially in Germ. Provinz Schlesien — Silesia Province; and from 1941 Germ. Provinz Oberschlesien — Upper Silesia Province). Initially mainly Poles were interned. From 1942 it became the centre for holocaust of European Jews. Part of the KL Auschwitz concentration camps’ complex was Germ. Vernichtungslager (Eng. extermination camp) VL Auschwitz II Birkenau, located not far away from the main camp. There Germans murder possibly in excess of million people, mainly Jews, in gas chambers. Altogether In excess of 400 priests and religious went through the KL Auschwitz, approx. 40% of which were murdered (mainly Poles). (more on: en.auschwitz.org.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2012.11.23]
, www.meczennicy.pelplin.plClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.07.06]
)

DL 121 Pruszków: Germ. Durchgangslager 121 Pruszków (Eng. Transit Camp) — transit camp where Germans herded Warsaw (and its vicinity) civilian population captured during and after Warsaw Uprising. Set up on 06.01.1944 functioned till 12.1944. C. 390,000‑410,000 people were held captive. Most of them were sent subsequently to concentration camps and forced slave labour in Germany. Few hundred ‑ few thousands of them perished in the camp. (more on: pl.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2015.03.01]
)

Warsaw Uprising: Lasted from 01.08.1944 till 03.10.1944. Was an attempt to liberate Polish capital from occupying Germans by the Polish Clandestine State — a unique in the history of the world political structure on the territories occupied by the Germans, effectively governing clandestinely in Poland — and by fighting on its behalf underground military units, mainly of Home Army (former Armed Struggle Association ZWZ) and National Armed Forced (NSZ). At the same time Russians stopped on purpose the offensive on all front, halted on the other bank of Vistula river and watched calmly the annihilation of the city, refusing even the mid‑landing rights to the Allied planes carrying weapons and supplies to the insurgents from Italy. During the Uprising Germans murdered approx. 200,000 Poles, mainly civilians. Approx. 200 priests and nuns died in fighting or were murdered by the Germans, many in mass executions. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2013.08.17]
)

Pawiak: Investigative prison in Warsaw, built by the Russian occupiers of Poland in 1830‑1835. During the Poland partition's period, a Russian investigative prison, both criminal and political. During World War II and the German occupation, the largest German prison in the General Government. Initially, it was subordinate to the Justice Department of the General Governorate, and from 03.1940 Germ. Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheitsdienst (Eng. Security Police and Security Service) of the Warsaw District — in particular the German Secret Political Police Gestapo. c. 3,000 prisoners were kept in Pawiak permanently, of which about 2,200 in the men's unit and c. 800 in the women's unit (the so‑called Serbia) — with a „capacity” of c. 1,000 prisoners. In total, in the years 1939‑1944, c. 100,000 Poles passed through the prison, of which c. 37,000 were murdered in executions — from 10.1943 Pawiak prisoners were murdered in open executions on the streets of Warsaw (sometimes several times a day) — during interrogations, in cells or in a prison „hospital”, and c. 60,000 were taken in 95 transports to concentration camps (mainly KL Auischwitz), other places of isolation or to forced labor. The prison Germans demolished during the Warsaw Uprising in 08‑10.1944. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2022.08.17]
)

07.02.1944 arrests: In apparent in retaliation for the successful attempt on the head of the Warsaw Gestapo and the SS gen. Kutschera (01.02.1944) German political police (Gestapo) arrested many priests and religious in Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin and Radom, including 17 priests, 14 religious and many pupils and staff members of the Fr Siemiec orphans' house run by Salesian Fathers in Warsaw and 14 Vincentian (Lazarists) priests, 5 Vincentian religious and 3 lay people ministering in the Holy Cross church in Warsaw. They were taken to infamous Pawiak prison in Warsaw and next some of them were transported to Groß‑Rosen concentration camp.

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]
)

Lebrechtsdorf (Potulice): In the autumn of 1939 after invasion of Poland Germans — i.e. „East” branch of Treuhandanstalt, Main Trust Office — took over the Society of Christ Fathers for Poles Living Abroad Congregation’s house in Potulice, following eviction of all remaining friars. Initially the estate was given to SS unit and SS non‑commissioned officer's school was set up. In 1940 the estate was taken over by Resettlement Headquarters in Gdańsk and used as a transit camp for Poles prior to deportation to General Governorate. In 1941 the camp was made a sub‑camp of KL Stutthof concentration camp. From 01.02.1942 it was made an independent UWZ Lager Lebrechtsdorf resettlement camp for Poles. Till 1945 more than 1,297 Poles perished there, most of them children. After German defeat and end of World War II hostilities the Commie‑Nazi authorities set up there Central Labour Camp for Germans. From overall population of c. 34,932 German prisoners c. 4,495 perished, including many children and elderly. From 1950 the buildings were used a prison for Polish political prisoners. (more on: en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.10.04]
, en.wikipedia.orgClick to attempt to display webpage
[access: 2018.10.04]
)

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:
www3.tchr.orgClick 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
Ms Stanislava Puchała, private correspondence 01.02.2016
A martyrology of Polish clergy under German occupation, 1939‑1945”, Fr Szołdrski Vladislaus CSSR, Rome 1965

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