August Hlond

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August Hlond (July 5, 1881 – October 22, 1948) was a Polish cardinal, who was Archbishop of Poznań and Gniezno in 1926 and primate (highest ranking church official) in Poland, Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw in 1946.


Early life and Ordination

Second son of a simple railway worker, he was born in the Upper Silesian village Brzęczkowice (German: Brzenskowitz), now part of Mysłowice (German: Myslowitz) in 1881. After finishing school education in Poland, he was sent to Italy, where he studied philosophy at the Papal University. Completed his baccalaureate grade in 1904 in Poland. Consecrated to Bishop in 1926, and Cardinal in 1927.

Bishop and Cardinal

In 1939 Hlond spent several months in Rome for the conclave of 1939. In January 1940, Vatican Radio broadcast Hlond's reports of German persecution of Jews and the Catholic clergy in Poland. These reports were included in the report of the Polish government to the Nuremberg Trials after the war.

In 1932, together with Ignacy Posadzy founded Society of Christ Fathers.

Cardinal August Hlond reported in August 1941 to the secretary of state that the Polish people believed Pope Pius XII had abandoned them. This was said in light of the Nazi persecution of the Polish church and clergy.

He lived in southern France from 1940 to 1944 during most of World War II. He was arrested by the Gestapo on February 3, 1944, but was freed by the Allies on April 1, 1945. He returned to Poznań on July 20, 1945. He was transferred to Warsaw and named primate of Poland on June 13, 1946. He strongly opposed the communist regime there.

Relations with ethnic Germans

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