Death of Antisemitic Priest Maximilian Kolbe in Auschwitz Hot

Maksymilian (Maximilian) Kolbe dies in Auschwitz. A Franciscan priest from Poland, Kolbe offered to take the place of another prisoner on his way to be executed.

The inmate whom Kolbe volunteered to take the place of was not a Jew, though, and Kolbe was no friend of the Jews; in fact, he was editor of a viciously anti-Semitic journal.

Kolbe will be the first victim of the Nazi concentration camps to be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Yet Kolbe was not in Auschwitz because of his Christianity, nor did he die for his faith — conditions which are normally prerequisites for canonization.

It will be argued that he is canonized in part to help create the impression that Catholics are as much victims of the Holocauast as the Jews, rather than in fact being among the victimizers. The belief that Christians in Germany were victimized by the Nazis just as much, or more than, the Jews is one which takes root very early on after the war.

The canonization of Kolbe serves to perpetuate this myth. Christians in Germany are unwilling to face the fact that not only were they not so victimized as the Jews, but even worse, they were often enthusiastic participants in the victimization, oppression, and even murder of others.


Saint Maximilian Kolbe-Saint of Auschwitz

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