Biography of Father Joseph Baumtrog

Born in 1872 in Neu-Kolonie [Kustarevo-Krasnorynovka], Rovnoye district, Samara province. Older brother of Father Augustine Baumtrog, Apostolic Administrator for Volga German Catholics. Graduated from Saratov Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1896 for the Diocese of Tiraspol. From 1897 he was administrator – and later, pastor – of a parish in Semenovskoye. He was an active public figure; represented the interests of German Catholics of the Russian Empire in Germany. Recognized with orders and medals. August 15, 1915 – forbidden by Bishop Joseph Kessler to continue his priestly service on account of serious charges that had arisen against him. He appealed to the authorities and Bishop Kessler had to explain his position to the director of the Department [of Affairs for Foreign Confessions]. According to Bishop Kessler’s explanations, Fr. Baumtrog had, by his actions, “brought anathema and other punishment upon himself,” and only the Pope could absolve him. In 1915 Father Joseph left for Germany, where he went to the Papal Nuncio in Munich with a request that the punishment be removed, but he received the response that only the Papal Nuncio in Warsaw, Achille Ratti, could resolve the matter. Father Joseph, under wartime conditions, managed to get to Warsaw on foot and on November 20, 1918, he appealed to the nuncio with a letter in which he asked that the punishment be removed, expressing his readiness to bear any penance. After removal of the punishment, he returned to the diocese and continued his service in the parish. In 1921, after the suppression of the uprising of German Catholics he was arrested in Semenovka, outside Kamyshin, along with 270 other “participants.” Charged with “espionage on behalf of the Whites.” Sentenced to death [Court of Expeditionary Brigade, Revolutionary Tribunal]. Shot (exact date of death unknown). Source: Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 155-156; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Schnurr, p. 355
Variant Names:
Baumtrog, Iosif Ivanovich; Baumtrog, Joseph
Samarskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); Saratov (Russia); Warsaw (Poland); Kamyshin (Volgogradskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed