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Maximilian Kolbe


A photograph of the monument to the Catholic Priest, Maximillian Kolbe, in the village of Wielen, Wielkopolskie, Poland.

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who died as prisoner 16770 in the Auschwitz concentration camp. When a prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected 10 others to be killed by starvation in reprisal for the escape. One of the prisoners selected to die, Franciszek Gajowniczek, began to cry: My poor wife! My poor children! I will never see them again! At this Maximilian Kolbe stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted and following two weeks of forced starvation, Father Kolbe was executed on 14 August, 1941 at the age of forty-seven years. Maximilian Kolbe was canonized as Martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1981. 

See also: Auschwitz

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