In Wurzburg, the martyr-priest Georg Hafner, who died in the Dachau concentration camp, will be beatified on Sunday. The Pope had officially recognized Hafner as a martyr in 2009. Hafner was arrested in October 1941 because of his unwavering support for the Church and died shortly afterwards in a concentration camp.
"It is ordained by the Lord God that I continue to walk the way of the cross. On Thursday I will probably come to Dachau." Georg Hafner wrote these lines on 9. December 1941 shortly before his incarceration. A good nine months later, on 20. August 1942 at 7.20 o'clock, the priest was dead. Died in concentration camps, from disease, malnutrition and abuse. His unwavering commitment to the church during the Nazi era had brought him there. Now the former concentration camp inmate with the number 28876 will be arrested on 15. May in the Wurzburger Kiliansdom beatified.
It is the first celebration of this kind to take place in the diocese of Wurzburg. At the same time, Hafner is the second blessed after 1945 after Liborius Wagner (1593 to 1631), who was raised to the honor of the altars in 1974. To the celebration on 15. May more than 2.000 faithful expected. Since December, the diocese has been preparing for the "simply" event.faithful.Consistent" in preparation for the big day. In addition to a series of sermons, church services at Hafner's places of work and a traveling exhibition, the future beatified even got his own Facebook page.
"We beatify a man from the people of God who lived simply, faithfully and consistently," says Wurzburg Auxiliary Bishop Ulrich Boom as head of the preparatory commission for the beatification. Hafner was beatified on 19. October 1900 born in simple circumstances in Wurzburg. The Third Order of Mount Carmel shaped him spiritually; since childhood he had contact with the Carmelite convent at Himmelspforten. After military service in the First World War, Hafner began to study theology in Wurzburg in the winter semester 1919/20.
Standing up for the faith On 13. He was ordained priest in April 1924. Chaplain years followed in Motten, Goldbach, Mursbach and Altglashutten before Hafner became pastor of Oberschwarzach. His parish experienced him as withdrawn, concentrated on prayer. In school lessons, however, he is said to have occasionally become violent with children, as the diocese itself pointed out in its preparations. Nevertheless, he is beatified – an encouragement, since no human being is perfect, finds the auxiliary bishop.
"Georg Hafner stands for many people who stood up for the faith and suffered during the Nazi era," Boom said. In Oberschwarzach, the priest soon came into conflict with the Nazi regime, as can be seen from his Gestapo file. He refused the Hitler salute, on 9. June 1938 was spoken of the "Oberhetzer parish priest Hafner".
The state authorities eventually banned the priest from holding religious instruction classes. When Hafner then announced at the funeral of a chief forester that the latter had declared his second, state marriage invalid on his deathbed, the measure was full. The leader of the local group demanded "to take action here". The arrest of the priest as a political prisoner took place on 31. October 1941. The accusation: "conduct detrimental to the state".
"Hafner could have survived if the parlor elder had been more courageous," recalls Hermann Scheipers. The priest was his fellow sufferer in the concentration camp, block 26, room 3. The convinced communist should have reported that the clergyman was ill, according to Scheipers, who is now 97 years old. "I can still remember how Father Hafner sat at the table weeping with pain."The following night he died. On 18. September 1942 Hafner's urn was buried in Wurzburg's main cemetery.
On 9. December 1982 the then bishop Paul-Werner Scheele transferred her into the Kiliansgruft of the Neumunster. Since 2007 a stumbling stone at the entrance of the crypt reminds of Hafner. The Dachau Priests' Community and the Priests' Association of the Diocese of Wurzburg filed an application for beatification in 1985, and in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI recognized the priest's death. Hafner officially as a martyr to. Scheipers sees the upcoming beatification as a tribute to those persecuted by the Nazis. He also wants to die on 15. May come to Wurzburg.