Catholic Priests of Dachau

Saturday, June 18, AD 2016


A very brave man has died:

The last surviving Catholic priest imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp has died at the age of 102, more than 70 years after surviving a Nazi death march.

 The Rev. Hermann Scheipers died on June 2 in Ochtrup, Germany, the Catholic website Aleteia said.

 He spent more than four years at Dachau after being arrested in 1940, reportedly for supporting Polish forced laborers. “Here, you are defenseless, without dignity or rights,” Scheipers recalled being told on arriving at the Nazi camp.

Go here to read the rest.


2,579 Catholic priests, seminarians and brothers were thrown by the Nazis during World War II into Dachau.  1,780 of these were from Poland.  Of these, some 868 priests perished, 300 in medical “experiments” or by torture in the showers of the camp.

The remaining priests, seminarians and brothers came from 38 nations.  Besides the Poles the largest groups were 447 German and Austrian priests, 156 French priests and 46 Belgian priests.

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6 Responses to Catholic Priests of Dachau

  • Hero’s all, these Holy souls that managed through hell lasting “five years a day.” What a description. To have so many priests and deacons suffering along with the Jews imprisoned, I can only imagine that the offerings made during those horrific years helped countless souls. Redemptive suffering. May those who benefited from their prayers and sacrifices continue the offerings.

    Today one of our deacons, Chris Jarvis, is being ordained into the priesthood.

    Please say a prayer for his vocation.

    May Blessed Karl Leisner and St. Kolbe help guide his future flock to the glory of God’s love.

  • Many years ago, Mother (RIP) gave me Bennett’s Book of Virtues. I have as a bookmark at Father Kolbe’s pages the NYT obituary for the Polish man whose life Father Maximilian Kolbe saved with his death. In a moment, I will take out the book and prayerfully read both.
    St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.
    “Live, Jesus, in our hearts. Forever.”

  • Polish sergeant Francis Gajowniczek.

    His life was the life given him by Christ through the gift of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

    He travelled the world giving his testimony about a stranger who sacrificed himself to save his own life. By his testimony and the free gift of Kolbe, I have come to experience God’s Love and forgiveness.

    Glory to God in the highest!

  • In recent years much has been made of the death toll of Catholic priests in Dachau. It remains a fact that more priests died in the other German camps and prisons combined than in Dachau. Sometimes I wonder if the recent fixation by non-Christian historians is an attempt not to recognize the true numbers but to deflate them.

  • Sometimes I wonder if the recent fixation by non-Christian historians on Dachau…

  • I am not sure that the work of preparation for the re-establishment of the Diaconate to the Church as a distinct ministry in Dachau is known of very well. Fr Otto Pies was among the group of clerics and others which considered the question, “How will we rebuild the Church in Germany after the war?” The Diaconate was seen as a definite pathway to follow. The issue was raised with Pius xii who reportedly said that “the time was not yet right”. The work of discernment went on and the Fathers of the Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) were asked the question and responded positively. As a result the College of Bishops have over 30,000 extra pairs of hands to assist them today.