Message in a bottle

Have you ever put a message in a bottle and thrown it into the ocean?  Buried it to be retrieved later?  Or not?

Message in a bottle from the Holocaust
On September 9, 1944 seven young men buried a message in a bottle at the Auschwitz death camp.

By Spero News 

Near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Polands, workers found a message in a bottle written by prisoners, Written in pencil and sealed in a bottle, the message was dated September 9, 1944 and bears the names, camp numbers and hometowns of seven young detainees hailing from Poland and France. Officials of the museum at the site said that the bottle had been buried in a concrete wall in a school that slave laborers were forced to repair.

The note reads “All of them are between the ages of 18 and 20,” in reference to the young men who left a trace of their existence in a place where 1.1 million people were exterminated. The victims were largely Jews from throughout Europe, but also Gypsies and non-Jewish Poles.

Six of the prisoners were from Poland and one was from France. The note gives the names as: Bronislaw Jankowiak, Stanislaw Dubla, Jan Jasik, Waclaw Sobczak, Karol Czekalski, Waldemar Bialobrzeski and Albert Veissid.

Albert Veissid, one of the young men mentioned in the letter, is alive and now resides in France. Two of the others definitely survived the Holocaust. Karol Czekalski remained in contact with the museum at Auschwitz until the 1960s but has not been heard from since. It is not known whether Czekalski or Wachaw Sobczak – the other survivor – are still alive.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sarah says:

    I can’t decide if that’s more chilling, fascinating or amazing. Wow.

  2. Matt Q says:

    Sarah wrote:

    “I can’t decide if that’s more chilling, fascinating or amazing. Wow.”


    For me, it’s all three. Glad those guys–or most of them–survived. All of it is says just how willing people are to be instruments of Satan just as there are those who want to be of God. I believe though there are more good people in the world than bad, but the bad nowadays get themselves into power by way of apathy on the part of the good. Bishop Tobin’s letter, which Father Z posted earlier, speaks loud and clear. As Father also said, death by incrementalism–killing the frog one degree at a time.

  3. Mark VA says:

    The story checks out. The premier Polish- Jewish website confirms it, and quotes the full terse message. Link below, for those who can read Polish:

  4. Amy says:

    Wow. As WWII history buff, I find the story quite fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Supertradmom says:

    I just finished reading The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal, a book about forgiveness and unforgiveness. This bottle is an important reminder to all of us of the Holocaust-“Lest we forget”.

  6. Lee says:

    Well, in the midst of the ongoing “Lest we forget” campaign which focusses on the Holocaust, we have forgotten and are in the middle of a holocaust that overwhelms the Holocaust by a factor of at least 7, and that is just in the United States. I read “Ann Frank” in the early sixties and “got” it. Never again!

    But does that slogan refer only to Jews? If so, frankly I don’t have time for it. Or does it refer to all the inconvenient “untermenschen” subject to systematic extermination? If so, then why are not the Jews in the forefront of the fight against abortion?

    The answer is that they do not believe that a fetus is a person until “quickening.” Their theology does not recognize the personhood of the these unborn. Considering the ideology that led to the slaughter of half the Jews in the world, that fact is unbelievably ironic, for it was an ideology that did not recognize the personhood of the Jew.

    Well, in the face of such a sad situation, it is hard to be too indignant. The absence of the Jews from the pro-life ranks is a terrible loss. If they were pro-life, there would be no abortion holocaust. There is plenty of reason to mourn their absence from the pro-life movement, which makes no sense, and from the Church, too, for that matter, for that makes no sense either..

    For the conversion of the Jews, let us pray…

  7. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    Lee, Im confused. And not sure if the comments are accurate or appropriate here. I would reiterate, “Lest we forget”. Requiescat in pace to all who suffered.

  8. Bogna says:

    Thank you for not naming it \”a Polish death camp\”. Indeed it was a nazist, Gwerman death camp, placed in Poland.

  9. This is simply fascinating.

    BTW, if you are looking for an incredible read, you might consider purchasing “Kolbe and the Kommandant.” It is a dual biography by Ladislaus Kluz, O.C.D. of Raymond Kolbe (later St. Maximilian Kolbe) and Auschwitz Kommandant, Rudolph Hoess. The parallels in their early life are fascinating, and it is amazing how the choices each made sent their life into completely different trajectories which finally converge in the Auschwitz Death Camp. PLUS there is a bit of a surprise ending regarding the end of Hoess’ life. I have read the book twice and may pick it up again.

    St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us and for the souls of all who suffered and perished!

  10. jacques says:

    Forgive but don’t forget.
    Moreover don’t forget the Gulag’s victims.
    Sometimes we are overfed regarding the Nazi horrors while the Communist terror (that lasted SEVENTY years instead of 15 years for the other, and made much more victims) was denied and later was and still is downplayed in the media.
    Don’t forget also that although the communist Gulag is officially closed, it still blossoms in China where a lot of our Catholic brothers are tortured and are dying TODAY. On that issue the media are dumb too.

  11. Ray from MN says:

    The revelation that these men were Poles is important. Everybody knows that 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust, 3 million of them from Poland.

    Few know that 3 million Poles also died during the Holocaust of WWII. All the Slavic peoples were considered to be sub-human by the Nazis.

  12. I would like to hear what the still-living Frenchman has to offer about this message. He can bring it much more to life with a commentary.


  13. Joseph says:

    We are being reminded; Bishop Williamson, this. I say it again: WE ARE BEING REMINDED. It can happen again…

  14. Rudolf Hess says:

    Seems like we have another Hoaxacaust, miracle here!!! It just seems like this whole industry just sparks one miracle after another. Like the miracle of the bones and ashes of 12, 14, 25 millions just disappearing. Like the miracle of Germany sustaining a war effort against just about the whole world and still having the resources to gas and cremate all those people. Or the miracle of the fact that were it not for the armed forces of the Third Reich, Stalin would have swept straight across Europe all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, and yet there is no one grateful for this. Oh well…..THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOAH BUSINESS!!!

  15. Paladin says:

    Don’t feed the trolls, y’all; it just makes them grow and hand around… (pointing to the tropp at 30 April 2009 @ 10:51 am)

  16. Paladin says:

    Oy. Talk about typo city…

    It should have read:

    Don’t feed the trolls, y’all; it just makes them grow and hang around… (pointing to the troll at 30 April 2009 @ 10:51 am)

  17. Immaculatae says:

    Just before reading this post I was reading this weeks Friday Fax from C-FAM.
    I was looking at the picture of H. Clinton. but we can extend it to others…
    like the S.S. and Hitler’s minions…

    I was thinking/praying/asking God…
    does anyone really choose evil knowing it is evil?
    Is it truly somehow wrongly perceived as an apparent good?
    It the solution to better explain the truth of what is holy and good?
    Is the problem in the lack of understanding?
    Do we see evil as good because we are lying to ourselves
    and our sins have blinded us?
    Is it because we have sinned and also been sinned against and
    are attempting to hide the wounds of the sin from ourselves
    and others?

    I ask you, do you think anyone really chooses
    to participate in these evils
    knowing full well how heinous they are?

    Or is it the series of compromises and then feeling trapped in
    the machinery set in motion?
    St. Maximilian with God’s grace was able to treat the
    captors with the love of God in the face of all
    these evils, and then hold his arm out to be killed himself
    by their lethal injection.I have read that none of the soldiers
    who came into the starvation bunker could stand his gaze.
    Not because it was hateful but because it was as if God was
    looking at them through his eyes.

    Please pray for us St. Maximilan.

  18. Kimberly says:

    Lee, I totally agree. Has anyone seen “After the Truth?” Lest WE Forget.

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