Biography of Father Adolf Filipp

Born January 5, 1885, on the estate of Zabolote in Lepelsk district, Vitebsk province. Graduated from Seminary and was ordained in 1909. From May 1912 he was pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Luga and the religion teacher in the parish school; in April 1915 he was relieved of his position, at his request. He went to Vitebsk and served in a church there. January 10, 1927 – arrested on charges of “anti-Soviet agitation.” June 20, 1927 – sentenced under Article 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camp [OGPU Collegium]. Sent in the autumn to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. He worked there as a gardener and road foreman. In July 1929 he was transferred to Anzer Island as “a convict who was very resolute in the expression of his views.” July 5, 1932 – arrested in a case against Catholic clergy charged with “creating an anti-Soviet group that was carrying out anti-Soviet agitation, secretly celebrating liturgy and religious rituals and had established illegal contact with a free person for transmitting abroad information of an espionage nature about the situation of Catholics in the USSR.” The investigator recommended that he be transferred to the solitary confinement block at Yaroslavl Prison, but he remained at Solovetsky. November 10, 1936 – released from camp. Returned to Vitebsk, where he was arrested again in August 1937 and exiled. The Polish embassy received word at the end of the 1930s that he was still alive, living in exile. Fate thereafter unknown. We present an extract from a letter that Father Adolf sent from Solovetsky to the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, June 29, 1930: “Although almost all of us are elderly or invalids, we priests are often made to perform very heavy labor – for example, digging pits for building foundations, extracting huge boulders, digging the frozen ground in the winter, carting things as much as fifteen kilometers – a part of the way one must go by sea, where the salty sea water seeps through shoes and soaks one’s feet; sometimes we have to be on duty outdoors sixteen hours a day in the winter without a break […] After heavy work we need a long rest, but in our quarters there is sometimes less than one-sixteenth of the air required for a human being. Sometimes we have to stand a long time in the cold for roll call, not daring to make a single move and, in general, we are completely dependent on the criminal element, who make up our most immediate supervisors.” Sources: Archive of the Directorate of the Committee for State Security, Republic of Belarus; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 4941; Dzwonkowski, pp. 230-232; Madaƚa, p. 54; Nowicki, p. 7; Osipova (1996), p. 206; Shkarovskii, p. 241; Letter of Fr. Adolf Filipp to the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, June 29, 1930 (Archive of Fr. Roman Dzwonkowski)
Variant Names:
Filipp, Adolf; Filipp, Adol'f Gotlibovich
Vitsebsk (Belarus); Luga (Leningradskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Solovetski Island (Russia); Anzerski Island (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; fate unknown