Friday, August 15, 2008

Max Kolby - August 14

Max Kolbe died on August 14, 1941. Max lived a very good life, but he is remembered mostly for the heroic nature of how he died. He was a Catholic priest sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis for trying to secretly hide several thousand Jews. Being a Catholic priest was reason enough to get sent to the camps - so Max's "crime" was even more severe. A Catholic priest trying to harbor Jews made him a huge target. A double whammy as far as the Nazis were concerned.

A prisoner had escaped from his cell block and so, someone had to be punished. A prisoner was randomly chosen to die by starvation for this transgression. Max said - take me instead. Unlike the man who was selected, Max had no family. His story is quite remarkable and by all means, learn more about Maximilian Kolbe.

In honor of Max Kolbe, we recommend two movies. First - Escape from Sobibor starring Alan Arkin and Rutger Hauer. Sobibor was a concentration camp in Poland and unfortunately, not enough people have ever heard of what transpired there. It is an amazing movie about one of the greatest prisoner escapes in WWII. Just watch it. It's an A+ film of a heroic story, just like Max Kolbe's life. Second - we suggest Roberto Rossellini's Open City, which is another powerful World War II story, this time set in Rome. In this movie, Aldo Fabrizi plays a heroic Catholic priest. It also stars Anna Magnani.