Ephemeride of the Holocaust: January 15

If all the victims of Nazism were not Jewish, all Jews were victims.

Rev. Marian Jacek Dabrowski, Niewodowo, Poland January 15, 1905

January 15
1942 1 000 Jews were deported to the concentration camp Theresienstadt ghetto in Riga (Latvian SSR). Upon arrival, 924 of them are taken to a nearby forest, where they were shot.
27 Jews in 1943 to cheer Bilgoraj (province of Lublin, Poland) are caught and shot by the SS. In the forests surrounding the town, a group of young Jewish resistance constant struggle against the German occupiers. They were nevertheless able to survive until the end of the war.
1944 A twenty-third transport leaves the regroupment camp in Mechelen with 625 Jews, including 62 children, deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz, along with 351 Gypsies, 12 of which only survive until the liberation of the camp 1945.

Rev. Marian Jacek Dabrowski, Niewodowo, Poland
January 15, 1905

Marian was raised by Catholic parents in Niewodowo, a town in Poland’s Bialystok Province near Lomza. His family lived there under Tsarist rule until 1918, when Poland regained its independence. Following high school, Marian joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order of Friars. After eight years of study in France and Italy, he returned to Poland to teach philosophy to students of his order.

1933-39: When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, I was at our monastery near Grodno. We evacuated the monastery three weeks later when Soviet troops, invading from the east, reached Grodno. I returned to Lomza. Our new Soviet rulers rejected religion, claiming it exploited the working people. I challenged this in my sermons. When I learned that the Soviets were about to arrest me, I escaped to German-occupied Poland.

1940-45: In 1941 the Nazis arrested me in Warsaw. I was told that there was no real reason for my arrest, but that as an educated Pole, I couldn’t be trusted to cooperate. I was held in Pawiak Prison and then deported to Auschwitz. There, the commandant lectured us about working hard. An interpreter was translating his ranting into Polish, but I understood German. He yelled that we’d only be freed through the crematorium chimney. Instead of translating those words, the interpreter said, « You will overcome everything. »

Rev. Dabrowski was deported to Dachau where he was subjected to malaria experiments. He was liberated on April 29, 1945, by American troops and emigrated to the United States in 1949.


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