Franz Jaegerstaetter

1972

Franz Jaegerstaetter (Jägerstätter in German) was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II. When German troops moved into Austria in March 1938, he rejected the offered position as mayor and was the only person in the village to vote against the Anschluss. Although he was not involved in any political organization, he remained openly anti-Nazi.

In 1940 he joined the Third Order of Saint Francis, which resulted in his military service being deferred four times. He was conscripted in 1940 but refused to take the Hitler oath and was allowed to return home under exemption as a farmer.

He was finally called to active duty in 1943. He maintained his refusal to fight for Nazi Germany and offered to serve instead as a paramedic, but this was ignored. He was arrested and remanded to prison. Learning of the Austrian priest Franz Reinisch, who had been executed for his refusal to take the Hitler oath, Jägerstätter was determined to follow suit.

He was accused of undermining military morale and sentenced to death. Aged 36 he was executed by guillotine. ​

In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic exhortation declaring Jägerstätter a martyr. Hie feast day is the day of his baptism, 21st May.

Information taken from Wikipedia.

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