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The Angel of Dachau

Engelmar Unzeitig (Photo: wikicommons)

Engelmar Unzeitig

Life: March 1, 1911 - March 2, 1945

Why you should know him: A German priest arrested for defending Jews during the Holocaust, he cared for fellow prisoners in Dachau concentration camp, where he ultimately lost his life.

Born in the Czech Republic, Hubert Unzeitig studied for the priesthood in Wurzburg, Germany, and took his vows as Father Engelmar. In 1940, he was assigned to serve in Austria.

As the Nazis began their persecution of the Jewish people, Unzeitig defended Jews during his sermons. This caused him to be arrested by the Gestapo in 1941. For his actions, Unzeitig was sent to infamous Dachau concentration camp.

At Dachau, however, he continued to minister to others. He learned Russian in order to help the many Eastern European prisoners in the camp. He also, despite the risk to his own health, helped the countless victims of typhoid.

This selfless choice would cost Unzeitig his life, as he contracted the deadly disease just before the war's end. Because of his actions, Father Engelmar Unzeitig was known as "the Angel of Dachau."

While incarcerated in Dachau, he wrote the following to his beloved sister:

Whatever we do, whatever we want, is surely simply the grace that carries us and guides us. God's almighty grace helps us overcome doubles our strength, makes us inventive, makes us feel content and inwardly free. If people would only realize what God has in store for those who love Him!"

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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