|Name Bernhard Lichtenberg||Party Centre Party|
|Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 23 June 1996, Germany, by Pope John Paul II
Major shrine St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Berlin, Germany
Died November 5, 1943, Berlin, Germany
Bernhard lichtenberg 70 todestag
The Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (3 December 1875 – 5 November 1943) was a German Roman Catholic priest and theologian, who died while in the custody of forces of the Third Reich. He has been awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations and has been beatified by the Catholic Church.
Lichtenberg was born in Ohlau (now Oława), Prussian Silesia, near Breslau (now Wrocław), the second of five children. He studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria-Hungary and was ordained in 1899. Lichtenberg began his ministry in Berlin in 1900, as the pastor of Charlottenburg. He served as a military chaplain during World War I.
In 1931, the Bishop of Berlin appointed him as a canon of the Cathedral chapter of St. Hedwig. His encouraging Catholics to view a screening of the film version of Erich Maria Remarques' anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front, prompted a vicious attack by Joseph Goebbels' paper Der Angriff.
Active in the Centre Party, in 1935 he went to Hermann Göring to protest the cruelties of the concentration camps.
Named provost of the cathedral, in 1938, Lichtenberg was put in charge of the Relief Office of the Berlin episcopate, which assisted many Catholics of Jewish descent in emigrating from the Third Reich. After Kristallnacht, the first organized Nazi pogrom in Germany, Lichtenberg warned at the Berlin Church of Saint Hedwig: "The burning synagogue outside is also a house of God!" Until his arrest in October 1941, Lichtenberg would pray publicly for the persecuted Jews at the daily Vespers service. Bishop Konrad von Preysing later entrusted him with the task of helping the Jewish community of the city.
He protested in person to Nazi officials the arrest and killing of the sick and mentally ill, as well as the persecution of the Jews. At first, the Nazis dismissed the priest as a nuisance. Father Lichtenberg was warned that he was in danger of being arrested for his activities, but he continued nonetheless. Deploring the regime of concentration camps like that of Dachau, he organized demonstrations against them outside certain camps.
In 1942, Lichtenberg protested against the euthanasia programme by way of a letter to the chief physician of the Reich
I, as a human being, a Christian, a priest, and a German, demand of you, Chief Physician of the Reich, that you answer for the crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding, and with your consent, and which will call forth the vengeance of the Lord on the heads of the German people."
Lichtenberg was arrested and condemned to prison. Because he was considered incorrigible, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, but he collapsed and died while in transit, on 5 November 1943 in Hof, Bavaria.
On 23 June 1996, Pope John Paul II declared Lichtenberg and Karl Leisner blessed martyrs. The beatification ceremony took place during a Mass celebrated in the Olympic stadium in Berlin.
Lichtenberg's tomb is situated in the crypt of St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin. After the war, the building with the office of the archbishop of Berlin was named Bernhard Lichtenberg house.
In the memorial area of the former concentration camp Esterwegen a memorial plaque was installed to honor Bernhard Lichtenberg for his activities for the prisoners of the camp.
In the historic center of the town of Hof, the area in front of St. Mary's church has since 2013 been named Bernhard-Lichtenberg-Platz and on the initiative of pastor Hans-Jürgen Wiedow a new parish center named after Bernhard Lichtenberg was constructed in 2016/17 under the St. Konrad's church in the town.