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The Righteous Among the Nations:
Fourteen Jesuit Priests++

-- By the Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S.J.
Note: These fourteen Jesuit priests have been formally recognized by Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, in Jerusalem, for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust of  World War II.  Adam Sztark (1907-1942) is the latest to be recognized (March 8, 2001).  He was  the rector of the Jesuit church in Slonim, located in Belarus, and pastor of the Zyrowice Parish who was executed, on 2 December 1942, at Gorki Pantalowickie by the Nazis for helping Jewish children escape the Holocaust by obtaining refuge for them at the convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Two nuns, Maria Ewa Noiszewska  (1885-1942) and Maria Marta Wolowska (1879-1942), from this convent who had helped Father Sztark in protecting the Jewish children were among the 108 victims of the Nazis beatified by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw's central square, on 13 June 1999. His cause for beatification, with a number of other Jesuit victims of the Nazis,  was inaugurated by the Jesuits in 2000. Joseph W. Kolkman (1896-1944), a native of the Hague in the Netherlands, and a Jesuit Scholastic for ten years, was recognized by Yad Vashem in mid-May of 2013 for helping Jews escape the Nazis during the Second World War, years after he had left the Society of Jesus.

++  Rev. James W. Bernauer, S. J., reported from Jerusalem, on April 28, 2007, that he discovered that three more Belgian Jesuits were recognized, on June 24, 1975,  because of their assistance in the rescue efforts of the network operated by Benedykt Grynpas (1902-1979).  The latter was an expert in Chinese philosophy and was recognized as a Righteous among the Gentiles at the same time as the Jesuits and all are listed on Yad Vashem's list ( of Belgians so recognized .

Other Jesuits who Helped Jews

There are other Jesuits who risked their lives to save Jews and have yet to be recognized
by Yad Vashem. Some of the more prominent are listed here:
Antoni Grzybowski (1904-1943), a Jesuit priest who was originally thought to have been executed by the Nazis, on 20 October 1943, at Albertyn, for helping Jews seek refuge at the Jesuit novitiate.   However, later evidence indicates that he was executed by Russians in German uniforms.

Jesuits like  Louis de Jabrun (1883-1943), Victor Dillard (1897-1945), and Henri Van Oostayen (1906-1945), died in concentration camps for helping Jews. 

  And there were other Jesuits like Ludger Born (1897-1980) in Austria; Maurice Robinet (1907-1977) in Belgium; Cardinal Henri de Lubac(1896-1991), Gaston Fessard (1897-1978),  and Michel Riquet (1898-1993)  in FranceAlfred Delp (1907-1945), and  Georg von Sachsen  (1893-1943), former Prince of Saxony  in Germany; Gerard de Jong (1892-1970) in Holland; Pietro Boetto (1871-1946), Paolo Dezza (1901-1999), and Pietro Tacchi Venturi (1861-1956) in ItalyJonas B. Borevicius (1906-1989), Karl Fulst (1903-1991),  and Jonas B. Paukstys (1899-1965) in Lithuania; Jerzy Mirewicz (1909-1996), and Jozef Warszawski (1903-1997) in Poland; Rudolf Mikus (1884-1972) in Slovakia; and Karlo Leopold (1885-1956) in Yugoslavia who helped Jews.  For more, see Vincent A. Lapomarda, "Jesuits and Jews During the Holocaust,"Yearbook of the Society of Jesus 2000,156-158. 

       For more information on those who risked their lives, see site on the Righteous Gentiles
and the Bibliography on  the subject in addition to a list of more than 700 Poles who were killed in helping Jews and the edition under Israel Gutman and Lucien Lazare, Dictioinnaire des Justes de France (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem and Paris: Fayard, 2003).
  Indicates link to book listing in library catalog. 

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      Write to:  Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S. J.   ( with comments or questions.
Last updated January 20, 2012.   Copyright 1997-2012, College of the Holy Cross.