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August Hlond

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August Hlond ( -1948), was from 1926 Archbishop of Gniezno and Poznan, from 1936 primate (highest ranking church official) in Poland and from 1946 Archbishop of Warsaw.

When the Polish leader Jozef Pilsudski died in 1935, Poland became more nationalistic. In 1935 Hlond called for a boycott of Jewish businesses with the words: "There will be a Jewish problem as long as Jews remain in Poland". In 1936, Cardinal Hlond wrote a letter very detrimental to Jewish people living in Poland. Officially sponsored Polish anti-Semitism took on a virulent and exclusionary character and received religious legitimacy from the Catholic church. Jewish citizens were directly harmed by Cardinal Hlond's letter of 1936. Jewish groups have strong misgivings about possible beatification and sainthood of Cardinal Hlond.

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

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

Hlond has been accused of overstepping his authority by forcing German officeholders to resign their church posts in 1945 in favor of Poles. Maximilian Kaller is one of the priests who were removed from their dioceses at this time.

Professor Franz Scholz, a German theologian as well as many others recorded their opposition to the beatification of Cardinal Hlond.

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