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June 28, 2010

New book about Catholic priests at Dachau — “Time of An Ordeal: The Story of Polish Clergy imprisoned and killed at Dachau”

Filed under: Dachau — Tags: — furtherglory @ 11:43 am

A new book entitled Time of An Ordeal: The Story of Polish Clergy Imprisoned and Killed at Dachau by Kazimierz Majdanski, archbishop emeritus of Warsaw, has just been published.

I haven’t read the book, but here is a quote from a blog which you can read here:

Half of the Polish priests imprisoned by the Nazi’s died at the Dachau concentration camp. The death of more than 2,000 Polish clergy, including five bishops, at the start of World War II seems to be forgotten by many history books, says a survivor of Dachau. Kazimierz Majdanski, now archbishop emeritus of Warsaw, was arrested Nov. 7, 1939, by the Nazis, when he was in the seminary of Wloclawek. He was arrested with other students and professors, and taken first to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and later to Dachau. In Dachau, he was subjected to pseudoscientific criminal experiments. Archbishop Majdanski: Half of the Polish priests died who were imprisoned in Dachau. I saw so many priests die in a heroic way. All of them were faithful to Christ who said to his disciples: “You will be my witnesses.”

The Memorial Site at Dachau sells a book entitled What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, a Catholic priest, who wrote that there was a total of 2,720 clergymen at Dachau, including 2,579 Catholic Priests. According to Dr. Neuhäusler, there were 1,780 Polish priests and 447 German priests at Dachau. Of the 1,034 priests who died in the camp, 868 were Polish and 94 were German.

So it is true that half of the Polish priests at Dachau died, but they weren’t killed; the Polish priests volunteered to help the sick during the typhus epidemic at Dachau.  Some of the Polish priests died as a result of malaria experiments conducted at Dachau.  The results of the malaria experiments done at Dachau by Dr. Schilling were confiscated by the American liberators, even though he begged the Americans to allow him to publish his research and take credit for it.

If Kazimierz Majdanski, the author of the book, was arrested on November 7, 1939, it was because he was helping the Polish resistance, not because he was a student in a Catholic seminary. He was fighting as “an illegal combatant” under the Geneva Convention of 1929 and he could have been legally shot, but he was allowed to live.

If 2,000 Polish priests were killed at the start of World War II, it was because they were fighting in a war, either legally or illegally.  They were not killed by the Germans because they were priests.

It has been 65 years since Kazimierz Majdanski was released from Dachau.  Why has he waited so long to tell his story?  Is he jumping on the band wagon now and cashing in because the history of Dachau is changing, due to popular demand?

There is a video that goes along with the book, which you can see here.  The video contains numerous photos that were not taken at Dachau.