Biography of Father Adam Bellendir

Born in 1889 in Köhler [Karaulny Buerak], in the Volga colonies, [Kamensk district, Saratov province]. Finished Saratov Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1913 for the Diocese of Tiraspol. From 1914 he was administrator – and from 1916, pastor – of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Schuck [Griaznovatka, Saratov province], Kamensk deanery. In 1928 and 1929 he twice visited the German embassy in Moscow where he tried to ascertain the possibility of the emigration of Volga region clergy to Germany. In December 1929, with the beginning of mass arrests of clergy and laity, he was placed in an “illegal status.” January 10, 1930, he and Father Joseph Beilmann were arrested on a train in a border zone, attempting to cross the Polish border. Sent to Moscow and drawn into the investigation in a case against Volga German Catholic clergy Charged with creation of and active work in the “German Catholic Union.” April 20, 1931 – sentenced under Articles 58-4, -6, -10, and -11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camps [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. 1937 – transferred into the prison block. October , 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast]. November 3, 1937 – shot, in Sandormokh outside Medvezhegorsk. August 8, 1930 – one of the witnesses stated at the interrogation: “Pater Bellendir had a very strong influence on the populace; he was a fine educator of young people in the spirit of Catholicism. His influence on his flock was so great that even after his arrest, the parishioners re-hung the bells that the authorities had taken down to melt down for tractors.” October 9, 1930 – Fr. Adam stated at his interrogation: “I do not deny that up until the very last moment I directed my activity in the parish against visiting the reading huts, the House of People or the performances held there – I used sermons, personal conversations and confession as a means of admonishing peasants, young people and children against visiting these places. I also advised parents to give their children religious instruction, as such instruction is not allowed in Soviet schools.” We present excerpts from the denunciation of a secret informant who worked for the operative authority at Solovetsky: “Bellendir, being at Solovetsky, lives in the past, remembering with pleasure how he talked parishioners out of joining the collective farm, not closing the church, and in general how many intrigues he set up against the ‘atheistic Soviet regime.’ In the priest-convict group, he preaches about the imminent destruction of the Soviet regime … He has been observed organizing prayer services with other priests in the forest.” Source: Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, p. 89; Osipova (1996), pp. 150-151; Protocols of Sessions of a Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast; Reznikova, p. 20; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 157-159, 579; Schnurr, p. 370
Variant Names:
Belendir, Adam Petrovich; Bellendir, Adam
Köhler (Russia); Saratov (Russia); Tiraspol (Moldova)
male; clergy and religious; executed