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Bernhard Lichtenberg
Born December 3, 1875
Died November 5, 1943, In transit to Dachau concentration camp
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Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (December 3, 1875 – November 5, 1943) was a German Catholic priest and theologian.

Lichtenberg was born in Ohlau (Oława), Prussian Silesia, near Breslau (Wrocław), and studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria. He was then ordained priest in 1899.

Lichtenberg began his ministry in Berlin in 1900 as parson in Charlottenburg. For a time he also was a member of the local parliament for the Centre Party. In 1931, the bishop of Berlin appointed him as Canon of the Cathedral Chapter of St Hedwig and in 1938 provost of the cathedral and committed him to help Jews.

After the Kristallnacht, the first organized Nazi pogrom in Germany, he used to pray publicly for Jews at Evening prayer. He also protested against the euthanasia programme, and was condemned to prison in 1942. Because he was considered incorrigible, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, but he collapsed and died while in transit.

On 23 June 1996, Pope John Paul II, during his visit to Germany, beatified Lichtenberg as "Blessed". The process of his canonization is pending.

His tomb is situated in the crypt of St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin.

Bibliography

  • Bernhard Lichtenberg article at Yad Vashem.
  • Kevin P. Spicer, “Resisting the Third Reich: The Catholic Clergy in Hitler's Berlin,” (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2004). See chapter 7, "The Unique Path of Bernhard Lichtenberg."







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