He always expressed the desire that he should be buried in the Franciscan cemetery at the monastery, a wish respected by his family. Ten prisoners were chosen at random to be starved to death. Franciszek Gajowniczek (November 15, 1901 – March 13, 1995) was a Polish army sergeant whose life was saved by priest St. Maximilian Kolbe by volunteering to die in his place. In gratitude for the self-sacrifice of Maximilian Kolbe, Gajowniczek devoted much of the rest of his life to promoting knowledge of the Franciscan, giving talks about the saint in various countries. 16670) on 29 July 1941, he sacrificed his life to save a person selected for starvation death after an escape of a prisoner. " The priest also contended that he was "elderly," Mr. Gajowniczek said. Gajowniczek was sent from Auschwitz to Sachsenhausen concentration camp on October 25, 1944. He also kept in close contact with Fr Maximilian's Franciscan community at Niepokolanow, near Warsaw. Maksymilian Kolbe volunteered to take his place. Franciszek Gajowniczek confirmed that Father Kolbe was encouraging other prisoners. His widow, Janina Gajowniczek, told The Associated Press that her husband "had a deep sense of Kolbe's presence and had a feeling Kolbe will know when to take him. Between 1940-45 Germans incarcerated at least 464 priests, seminarians & monks as well as 35 nuns in the Auschwitz camp. Joining his wife after the war, he found out their sons had died due to the bombing of his hometown. Mr. Gajowniczek spent five years, five months and nine days in Auschwitz. One of the 10 selected to die, Franciszek Gajowniczek, began to cry: My wife! He traveled across Europe and the United States, giving talks about the priest and helping dedicate new churches in his name. During his time in the death cell, Maximilian led the prisoners in prayer. Along with nine others he was taken to an underground bunker where they were to be starved to death. When the church decided to canonize Father Kolbe, the specter of anti-Semitism in his past arose. His first wife, Helena, died in 1977. Krakow, Poland, (CNA) - 9 July 1941 | After an escape from #Auschwitz of a Polish prisoner Zygmunt Pilawski SS authorities selected 10 prisoners for starvation death. His life ended on March 22 2017, after he had killed five pedestrians and left others with “catastrophic injuries” by driving into them on Westminster Bridge, and stabbed a … Father Maksymilian Kolbe (actually: Rajmund Kolbe) was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp on May 28, 1941 from the Pawiak prison in Warsaw. Franciszek Gajowniczek, the Polish army sergeant whose life was spared when a Franciscan monk took his death sentence at Auschwitz 53 years ago, died on Monday in the Polish city of Brzeg. Franciszek Gajowniczek survived to tell the story and died in 1995 at the age of 95. In the picture: the camp death certificate of Maximilian Kolbe issued on 19 August 1941. Article commenting is temporarily unavailable while we carry out essential upgrade work. After ten days, on Aug. 14, 1941, he and three others remained alive. The switch was permitted; after all his cellmates died, Kolbe (prisoner 16670) was put to death with an injection of carbolic acid. On May 28, 1941, he was imprisoned at the Auschwitz concentration camp. of death of Fr. In the summer of 1941, Franciszek Gajowniczek, a Polish soldier, was one of thousands held prisoner in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. … On another note; try to be respectful if you go. Gajowniczek had been sent to Auschwitz concentration camp from Gestapo prison in Tarnów. Upon closing the door to the death cell in the terrifying bloc nr 11, a Nazi German soldier allegedly told those sentenced to death “you will wither like tulips.” “At first, the prisoners were screaming out of despair, blaspheming against God. Eventually, after 15 days in a cell without food or drink, he was killed with a phenol injection and his body was burnt in Crematorium No. The commandant agreed to the switch. In the underground cell the priest sought to console the condemned men, leading them in prayers and hymns. I am alone. Gajowniczek was appointed by President Lech Walesa to the committee which organised last January's commemoration at Auschwitz of the 50th anniversary of the camp's liberation towards the end of the war. Gajowniczek was born in the Polish town of Stradchomin in 1901. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Inconvenience caused but are excited to bring you a host of new commenting very... Was encouraging other prisoners to Sachsenhausen concentration camp from Gestapo prison in Tarnów digitized franciszek gajowniczek cause of death an! 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