Biography of Monsignor Johannes Roth

Born in 1881 in Volmer [a German colony on the Lower Volga], Kamyshin district, Saratov province. Graduated from Saratov Seminary and was ordained April 28, 1904. From May 1904 he served at a German parish in Odessa; in 1905 he began studies in the Historical-Philological Department at Novorossiisk University but did not finish. He later served as pastor of the parish in Yekaterinodar and from 1915 he was pastor and dean in Pyatigorsk (northern Caucasus). Designated an “honorable canon.” May 23, 1926 – appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Northern Caucasus by Bishop Michel d’Herbigny, a secret envoy sent to Russia by Pope Pius XI. He was a candidate for bishop, but there was no opportunity for his episcopal consecration. August 1930 – arrested in Pyatigorsk; sentenced under Articles 58-6 and 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to three years’ exile [OGPU Collegium]; sent to Kazakhstan in 1931. There is information that he was in a camp outside Murmansk. From 1933, after his release he lived in Voroshilovsk; from December 1936, in Pyatigorsk. February 19, 1937 – arrested and drawn into a case against Catholic clergy and laity in Ordzhonikidze (Czerwiński et al.). Charged with “carrying out counter-revolutionary and fascist activity aimed at undermining Soviet power.” Indictment presented on August 17, 1937. Closed trial was held November 1-2, 1937, and Father Johannes was sentenced to death under Article 58-6 [Military Tribunal, Northern Caucasus Military District]. Sentence affirmed in Moscow December 7 [Military Collegium, USSR Supreme Ct.]. January 17, 1938 – shot, in Ordzhonikidze. Sources: Archive of the Directorate of the FSB, Republic of Northern Osetia-Alania; Osipova (1996), pp. 194-195; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Dzwonkowski, pp. 413-414; Madała, p. 133; Schnurr, p. 362
Variant Names:
Roth, Johannes; Rot, Ioann Iosifovich
Kamyshin (Volgogradskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Saratov (Russia); Odesa (Ukraine); Novorossiĭsk (Russia); Krasnodar (Russia); Pi︠a︡tigorsk (Russia); Kazakhstan; Murmansk (Russia); Stavropolʹ (Stavropolʹskiĭ kraĭ, Russia); Vladikavkaz (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed