Today in Catholic History – Maximillian Kolbe arrives in Auschwitz

On 28 May 1941, Maximillian Kolbe arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp as prisoner #16670.

In July of 1941, in response to the disappearance of a prisoner from Kolbe’s barracks, the camp officials sentenced ten men to death by starvation in order to prevent further escape attempts – though the man who had disappeared was later found drowned in the latrine. One of the ten men selected, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out ‘My wife! My children!’ upon his selection and Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

Kolbe spent his time in his cell as he endured starvation in songs and prayer. After three weeks without water and food, Kolbe was the last of the ten men still alive. He was executed by an injection of carbolic acid on 14 August 1941.


An audio account of Kolbe’s death in Auschwitz by a fellow prisoner
courtesy of The SaintCast

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