Rome (Fides Service) - Pope John Paul II who in his youth lived not far from the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland, called in 1994 for the Martyrology of the Church to be updated to include the martyrs of the 20th century well aware that the Church of the end of the second millennium had become once again in a ‘Church of Martyrs’.
The ‘German Martyrology’, Zeugen für Christus - das Deutsche Martyrologium des 20. Jahrhunderts 2 volumes, circa 1500 pages, over 500 photographs ISBN 3-506-75778, published in two volumes and elaborated by Mgr. Dr. Helmut Moll at the request of the German Bishops’ Conference, was a response to this call. Working closely with dioceses and religious orders for four years more than 135 experts collected and checked information on the lives of over 700 German Catholics martyred for the faith. Also included the names of other Christian martyrs who were witnesses to the faith and collaborated with ecumenical groups.
For the territory of the German Bishops’ Conference, taking into account also Germans resident in other countries, after careful checking the list of biographies was divided into four categories:
1. Witnesses to the faith persecuted by the terror of Hitler.
2. Witnesses to the faith at the time of Communism.
3. The “martyrium puritatis” of girls, women and women religious and those who protected them . 4. Witnesses to the faith in mission territories.
Each biography includes - where possible - a photograph of the martyr and bibliographical references for further study. Some of the most outstanding biographies of martyrs under the Nazi regime will be translated and published by San Paolo publishers. In 2005 Dr Moll published a Compendium of the German Martyrology (Die katholischen deutschen Märtyrer des 20. Jahrhunderts - Ein Verzeichnis, Helmut Moll, Schöningh, 2005, 83 pages) as a sort of introduction to the complete work. (M.S.)