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October 4, 2010

Priests killed in the gas chamber at Dachau

In a video entitled Time of An Ordeal: Story of Polish Clergy at the Nazi Dachau Concentration Camp the archbishop emeritus of Warsaw, Kazimierz Majdanski, tells about the Catholic priests who died in the gas chamber at Dachau, and he names names.  After he rattles off a long list of names, Majdanski says the Dachau gas chamber was “crowded with priests from Poland.”   You can see the video here.

In the narration of the video, Archbishop Majdanski said:

Some of them (the priests) could have saved themselves, but none of them lowered themselves to such pacts. In 1942 the authorities of the camp offered Polish priests the possibility of special treatment, on the condition of declaring that they belonged to the German nation.

The priests were offered the possibility of “special treatment”? Special treatment (Sonderbehandlung) was a Nazi euphemism which meant death in the gas chamber.  Did the Commandant of Dachau actually use the term Sonderbehandlung to mean a bribe for the Polish priests becoming German? For a Pole to become a German would have been a fate worse than death.  The Poles hate the Germans and the Germans hate the Poles.  Always have and always will.

Did  the German word Sonderbehandlung actually have various meanings for the Nazis, not just death in the gas chamber?  How is a person supposed to know when the Nazis were speaking in euphemisms, and when they were not?

Then Archbishop Majdanski said in the video:

When Father Dominik Jedrzejewski was offered his freedom on the condition that he give up his priestly functions, he calmly answered “no,” and died.

A Polish priest at Dachau was offered his freedom in exchange for giving up the priesthood?  This implies that Catholic priests were brought from Poland to Germany simply because they were priests and for no other reason.  If the Nazis were putting priests into concentration camps just because they were priests, why didn’t they round up all of the 20,000 priests in Germany and send them to camps?  Hitler himself was Catholic; he didn’t target priests because they were priests.

Kazimierz Majdanski had been arrested on Nov. 7, 1939 when he was a student in the seminary of Wloclawek. Wait a minute!  November 7th?  That was about six weeks after the Polish Army was defeated in the field and the Poles decided to begin fighting as illegal combatants, aka Resistance fighters. Was Majdanski sent to Germany, and first put into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and then transferred to Dachau, because he was a priest or because he was a member of the Polish Resistance?

The video is long, but try to watch the whole thing. You will get a lesson on how to make a disingenuous propaganda film by putting together photos from other locations that are not part of your story and using photos that show something other than what you are saying.


  1. I am very sorry to write that wasn’t Hitler to kill the priests, but the Vatican itself because they helped Hitler to rise, he couldn’t rise without the agreement with them through Von Papen (one of the few saved at Nurnberg trial, and after this still working for Vatican), and the only Church which they wanted to eliminate was the Evangelic Church…and they made to escape the worse nazi criminal too, just a reported at this link

    Comment by Gianluigi Tamburini — March 24, 2014 @ 4:13 am

  2. I don’t know what makes you think so.

    I urge you to read the Papal Encyclical “Mit brenneder Sorge”, in it Nazism was condemned by the Pope as a dangerous paganism and dangerous nationalism, so no Catholic can support Nazism with a good conscience.

    Comment by teresa — October 5, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    • Himmler tried to promote paganism, but even so, the SS men were allowed to practice their Catholic religion. After Dachau was liberated, the camp became a prison for alleged German “war criminals.” The SS men built a Catholic chapel on the roll-call square in the camp and Father Peter Roth stayed and served the SS men as their priest.

      Kazimierz Majdanski named the priests that he said had been killed in the gas chamber. Why didn’t he testify at the American Military Tribunal when the staff of the Dachau camp was prosecuted for war crimes? The staff at Dachau was prosecuted for crimes against persons who were soldiers or civilians on the side of the Allies, which would have included the Polish priests. The Dachau staff was not charged with killing people in the gas chamber because the names of the victims were allegedly not known.

      Majdanski should have come forward and given the names of the priests who were gassed to the American prosecutors.

      One of the most prominent Catholic prisoners at Dachau was Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, who wrote this on page 17 of his book “What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau?”:

      With the new crematorium a gas chamber was also connected. The whole construction of the crematorium with its gas chamber was completed in 1943. It contained an “undressing room”, a “shower bath”, and a “mortuary”. The “showers” were metal traps which had no pipelines for a supply of poisonous gas. This gas chamber was never set in action in Dachau. Only the dead were brought to the crematorium for “burning”, no living for “gassing”. And yet thousands of the inmates of Dachau were gassed. For this purpose they were brought as “Invalids-Transport” (from 1942 – 1944 alone, 3166 prisoners) to Hartheim near Linz (Austria).
      End Quote

      The gas chamber at Dachau was only a few hundred yards away from the courtroom, where the Dachau staff was on trial. The gas chamber could easily have been used as Exhibit A in the trial, but the gas chamber was not mentioned by the prosecution. If the gas chamber had been mentioned at the proceedings, it is conceivable that the German defense attorney could have demanded a demonstration of the gas chamber. There were still rabbits in the hutches at the Dachau camp and a couple of them could have been put into the gas chamber to test it by introducing poison gas, using the method described in the film that was shown at the Nuremberg IMT on November 29, 1945. This film was shown at Nuremberg as evidence of the German war crimes in the camps.

      On November 15, 1945, the first day of the proceedings against the Dachau staff, the American defense attorney made a motion to dismiss all the charges because “Neither the names and nationalities of the victims nor whether the nations of the victims were at war with Germany at the material time have been disclosed.”

      At this point, the prosecuting attorney should have spoken up and said, “We have the names of the priests who were gassed and we are going to put Kazimierz Majdanski on the witness stand to state, under oath, the names of the Polish priests who were gassed.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 5, 2010 @ 7:32 am

    • That’s a self-serving statement and doesn’t mean much. Some also did support Nazis. They also opposed Communism.

      “John Cornwell asserts that Pius XI and his new secretary of state, Eugenio Pacelli, were determined that, at a time that saw the church persecuted by Communists and socialist regimes from Russia to Mexico and later Spain, no accommodation was to be reached with Communists. At the same time, Cornwell alleges that Pius XI and Pacelli were more open to collaboration with totalitarian movements and regimes of the right.”

      Do you have any criticisms of Communists?

      Comment by Kageki — October 6, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  3. another link:

    The Bishop’s Cry of Protest

    We must be prepared that in the near future such terrifying news will accumulate — that even here one religious house after another will be confiscated by the Gestapo and that its occupants, our brothers and sisters, children of our families, loyal German citizens, will be thrown on to the street like outlawed helots and hunted out of the country, like vermin. — Bishop August von Galen, homily, 1941

    Many times, and again quite recently, we have seen the Gestapo arresting blameless and highly respected German men and women without the judgment of any court or any opportunity for defense, depriving them of their freedom, taking them away from their homes interning them somewhere. In recent weeks even two members of my closest council, the chapter of our cathedral, have been suddenly seized from their homes by the Gestapo, removed from Munster and banished to distant places. — Bishop August von Galen, homily, 1941

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  4. sorry, I meant the population didn’t know exactly why and who was imprisoned.

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  5. As for the provocation. I don’t think the population didn’t know exactly who and why was imprisoned in a camp.

    Here is a link:

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    • “They offered Cardinal Hlond his freedom if he would send a message to Polish Catholics urging them to join the Germans in the fight against the invading Soviet army, but he refused.”

      Does that mean they were supporting the Communists? What do you think the Soviets did? They did also invade Poland after all.

      You do realize the Nazis took the ideas of the eugenics movement from America right?

      You do realize the Jehovah’s witness agreed with the Nazis right? Read their declaration of facts.

      “Inexplicably, the priests were to have a chapel in Dachau where Mass could be celebrated every day. To this day, no one can say for certain what prompted the Nazis to make this extraordinary concession to their priest prisoners. ”

      Inexplicably alright because it makes no sense in the context of this murderous regime.

      Maybe it’s true the people at the time didn’t know, but you can read about these things now.

      Besides that it is interesting to note the use of the word “special treatment” because it would be contradictory.

      I don’t see how common sense supports your position.

      Comment by Kageki — October 4, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  6. The natural death! If hungered and died of disease which could be easily cured by simple medication could be called a natural death!

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    • A “natural death” would be dying from some other cause besides murder or execution. For example, typhus or tuberculosis.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 4, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  7. P.S. in the comment above I meant to see it you only need to apply some common sense. But many German priests were cross questioned by Gestapo. One of our city was arrested by the Gestapo, and another was killed by the Nazis by the end of the war.

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    • When people write about the concentration camps, everyone was “killed” or “murdered.” No one who was in a concentration camp died a natural death, according to the stories. Why was the priest from your city “killed by the Nazis”?

      Comment by furtherglory — October 4, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  8. one of the reason why German priests were not sent en mass into concentration’s camp was that Hitler was afraid of provoking his own German population too much. In a captured country like Poland he could do it more easily. He needed the support of his own countrymen. It is only common sense.

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    • Are you saying that the Polish priests, and the seminary students in Poland, were sent to concentration camps in Germany just because they were Catholic priests, but this didn’t provoke the German population? Dachau is in Bavaria which is mostly Catholic. Hitler was from Austria, which is mostly Catholic. In 1938, Germany and Austria were joined together, but the Catholic Austrians weren’t provoked by the arrest of Polish priests, just because they were Catholic?

      Comment by furtherglory — October 4, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  9. well, actually German priests were also killed, one of the captured in Dachau, Pater Leisner, was German.

    If you don’t believe the video. I recommend you to read some historical book written by non-catholics. Fact is fact. What is shown on the video is true.

    Comment by teresa — October 4, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    • I looked up Father Leisner on Wikipedia and learned that he died of tuberculosis after he was liberated from Dachau, where he was a prisoner for four years.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 4, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

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