Polish Composers and Music at Auschwitz

Electric Fence at Auschwitz

Photo by author, 2013

The first transport of 728 Polish prisoners arrived at Auschwitz eighty years ago, on June 14, 1940.  In honor of those first Polish prisoners, I want to highlight what may seem incongruous to many: music in Auschwitz. Two recent reports highlight Polish political prisoners who composed music at Auschwitz. It’s fascinating history, and a reminder that even in the darkest of places, the human soul  can stay alive through the power of music. Continue reading

World Youth Day 2016 runs July 25-July 31 in Kraków

wyd 2016 imageAfter three years of planning, World Youth Day 2016 begins this week in Kraków. Organizers expect the event will draw more than two million people from around the world. Poland’s archdioceses and dioceses have pledged to offer accommodations for over 373,000 foreign visitors. The festive gathering of youth and young adults represents the chance to share in prayer, worship, and a celebration of the Catholic faith. From Pope Francis to dancing nuns, Catholic leaders will welcome everyone in attendance.

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Saint Maximilian Kolbe of Auschwitz

Fr.Maximilian_Kolbe_1939A film about the Polish Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894 – 1941) is in final production by a Mexican film and production company. The company plans to premier the film next summer at the 2016 Catholic World Youth Day in Krakow. On July 31, 1941 the humble Catholic priest volunteered to take another man’s place who was sentenced to die by starvation.  Pope John Paul II canonized Father Kolbe as a martyr of charity on October 10, 1982.

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