Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Father Kolbe

I learned more about this amazing man yesterday, Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe. A man of honor and integrity who committed the ultimate selflesh act of sacrificing his life for another mans. The other man, Franciszek Gajowniczek, ended up living until 93 and never forgot the extraordinary gift Father Kolbe gave.

I learned more about Father Kolbe on watching the documentary film "The Labrynth" which is about the art work and life of Auschwitz survivor Marian Ko?odziej.

Father Kolbe, 1939
 The story of his death from his Wikipedia page.

Death at Auschwitz

At the end of July 1941, three prisoners disappeared from the camp, prompting SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!", Kolbe volunteered to take his place. According to an eye witness, an assistant janitor at that time, in his prison cell, Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer to Our Lady. Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe remained alive. “The guards wanted the bunker emptied, so they gave Kolbe a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Kolbe is said to have raised his left arm and calmly waited for the deadly injection.