Blessed Franz Jagerstatter

Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian farmer, was beheaded in 1943 after refusing to fight in the Nazi army. His 94-year-old widow, Franziska, attended his beatification ceremony Oct. 26 in Linz, Austria. (CNS photo) (Oct. 26, 2007)

1907 – 1943

This Austrian farmer and parish sexton had done his basic training in Hitler’s army in 1940-41, but refused to serve active duty in 1943. A military court in Berlin sentenced him to death as “an enemy of the state,” and he was beheaded Aug. 9, 1943. In prison awaiting his fate, he wrote about a dream he’d had in 1938. In it, many people were boarding a new train, but he heard the announcer say, “This train is bound for hell.” For him, the train symbolized the evils of Nazism, and he had become a conscientious objector. His wife and three daughters were still living when he was beatified in Austria in 2007.

About Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' news and information service.

Leave a Reply

*