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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Max Kolby - August 14, 1941

Max Kolbe died today on August 14, 1941. While most people are remembered for their life, Max Kolbe is remembered mostly for the heroic nature of his death. He was a Polish Catholic priest sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis for trying to secretly hide several thousand Jews. Back in those dark days, just being a Catholic priest was reason enough to get sent to the camps - so Max's "crime" was even more severe. A Catholic priest trying to harbor Jews made him a huge target.

In late July 1941 Max Kolbe asked to take the place of a man with a family who had been condemned to death. A prisoner had escaped in his cell block and so, people were randomly chosen to die by starvation for this transgression. Max said - take me instead. His story is quite remarkable and I suggest you learn more about Maximilian Kolbe if you are unfamiliar with the man.

In honor of Max Kolbe, we recommend two movies. First - Escape from Sobibor starring Alan Arkin and Rutger Hauer. Sobibor was a concentration camp in Poland and unfortunately, not enough people have ever heard of what transpired there. It is an amazing movie about one of the greatest prisoner escapes in WWII. Just watch it. It's an A+ film of a heroic story, just like Max Kolbe's life. Second - we suggest Roberto Rossellini's Open City, which is another powerful World War II story, this time set in Rome. In this movie, Aldo Fabrizi plays a heroic Catholic priest. It also Anna Magnani.