Biography of Father Bolesƚaw Blechman

Born into the family of a poor bureaucrat in Kalwaria, Siedlce district, Suwaƚki province, in 1876. Graduated from gymnasium in 1899 and Zhytomyr Theological Seminary in 1903; ordained in 1903 for the Diocese of Lutsk-Zhytomyr. Studied at the Theological Academy but did not complete a degree. In 1904-1905 he was vicar at the cathedral parish in Zhytomyr. From 1905 he served as religion teacher in the Zhytomyr schools; from 1906 he was administrator of a parish in Vladimir, Kowel deanery; from 1909, religion teacher in the Lutsk high schools; from 1914, administrator of a parish in Motovilovka, Kiev deanery; from 1916, military chaplain in Kiev, vicar at St. Nicholas parish and religion teacher at the high schools; he also taught in an illegal school for Polish youth sponsored by the educational society, Macierz Polska; from 1917 he was pastor of parishes in Irpen and the surrounding area; from 1920, pastor of Most Holy Virgin Mary of the Rosary in Byshev, and he also served St. Stanislaus parish in Vishnevetsk; in 1923 he moved to Krymok, Radomyshl region, Kiev oblast, where he served at St. Anthony of Padua parish as well as the parish in Vishevichi; he later became dean of Radomyshl deanery; from 1927 he was vicar at St. Alexander Church in Kiev; after the arrest of Father Nicholay Shchepanyuk he also conducted liturgy in the Greek-Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Appointed Apostolic Administrator of Zhytomyr Diocese. Through the Polish consulate, he regularly transmitted information to Father Bolesƚaw Betkiewicz concerning the persecutions of the faithful and the famine in Ukraine; in 1930 he was the only priest left in Kiev. August 29, 1933 – arrested in Krymok as a “participant in a counter-revolutionary organization.” Drawn into a case against Catholic clergy and laity, placed in a special section of Kharkiv Prison; December 7, transported to Kiev Prison (Blechman, Woronicz et al). Charged by the investigation with “informing the Polish consulate and a representative of the Vatican about the political and economic situation in Ukraine, carrying out nationalistic agitation among the Polish population, and preparing believers for an armed struggle with the Soviet regime.” February 24, 1934 – sentenced under Articles 54-6 and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to three years in corrective labor camps [Special Board, GPU Collegium, UkrSSR, Kiev oblast]. June 18 – sent to Karlag; released May 28, 1936, and banished to Northern Caucasus. As of June 19 he was residing in Ordzhonikidze [Vladikavkaz], where he was arrested December 2, 1936, on charges that, “being a member of a counter-revolutionary group, he had disseminated slanderous information about collective farms, about the difficult material state of collective farm peasants and workers in the USSR.” At a closed judicial proceeding November 1-2, 1937, Father Bolesƚaw was sentenced under Article 58-8 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camp with confiscation of property [Military Tribunal, Northern Caucasus District]. December 7, 1937 – sentence affirmed in Moscow [Military Collegium, USSR Supreme Ct.]. Sent to the camps. Fate thereafter unknown. Sources: Archive of the Directorate of FSB for Republic of Northern Ossetia-Alania; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 385; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 164-166; Osipova (1996), p. 152; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Investigatory Matter 1733 fp, Archive TsGAOO (Ukraine); Sokolovskyi, p. 15; Madała, p. 25; Parafiial'na gazeta, 1995, No. 59, p. 8
Variant Names:
Blekhman, Boleslav Konstantinovich; Blechman, Bolesƚaw
Kalvarija (Lithuania); Lut︠s︡ʹkyĭ raĭon (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; fate unknown