Friday, June 11, 2010

Peace Activist of the Week- Franz Jagerstatter

Last week I featured a WWII, American vet, who was a conscientious collaborator (as he called himself). This week I'm featuring Franz Jagerstatter, who was beautified by the Pope for refusing to be conscripted by the Nazis.

Franz Jagerstatter (1907-1943) was not a model person. He had fathered a daughter out of wedlock. He was an Austrian peasant. During the Anschluss, he was the only person from his village to vote against it. Jagerstatter was not a member of any political party and had briefly received military training, but he openly denounced the Nazis and refused to fight in the war. He was conscripted in 1943 but continued to refuse to fight. He was imprisoned and sent to trial where he was sentenced to the guillotine. He died at age 36.

Because he did not back down in his refusal to fight, I salute Franz Jagerstatter as my peace activist of the week.