The Angel of Dachau
Stand for Israel | July 18, 2022
A German Christian arrested for defending Jews during the Holocaust, Engelmar Unzeitig cared for fellow prisoners in Dachau concentration camp, where he ultimately lost his life.
Born in 1911 in the Czech Republic, Herbert 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, Engelmar 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, after helping his fellow prisoners at Dachau for nearly four years. Because of his actions, Father Engelmar Unzeitig became 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 obstacles…love 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!”