Biography of Father Alois Schönfeld

Born April 13, 1872, in the German colony of Pfiefer (Gnilushka) on the Lower Volga, Kamyshyn district, Saratov province. Graduated from Saratov seminary in 1895 and was ordained for the Diocese of Tiraspol. From 1895 to 1898 he was vicar of the parish in Kostheim; from 1898 to 1903, in Rozhdestvenskoye; from 1903 to 1905, in Stavropol; from 1905 to 1911, in Simferopol; from 1911 to 1923, in Yamburg; and from 1923 in Odessa. In 1924 he was arrested and sentenced to three years’ exile, which he served in Vyatka. After his release he returned to Zinovievsk, Odessa oblast. In 1932 he was under investigation; later released from prison, deprived of voting rights. In 1934 he went more than once to Kiev to say Mass at St. Aleksander Church and St. Nicholas Church, as well as at the Greek Catholic Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, where not a single priest remained. Franciscan Tertiaries looked after him and often gave him donations. April 5, 1934 – the Polish consul wrote that Father Alois, after a month in prison, had come from Zinovievsk to Kiev to say Mass on the first day of Easter. The authorities warned him more than once that he was not to be in Kiev, and after his third summons from the NKVD he advised the faithful that he would no longer be able to come to them. July 29, 1935 – arrested in the case against a “Fascist counter-revolutionary organization of Roman Catholic and Uniate clergy in Right-Bank Ukraine.” Charged with “creating a counter-revolutionary group; preaching sermons from the pulpt with a counter-revolutionary content; making plans for protests against the Soviet regime; organization of support of those who had been convicted.” May 14, 1936 – sentenced under Articles 54-4 and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to five years in corrective labor camp [Special Board, NKVD, UkrSSR]. September 9 he was sent to Ortauzsk sector of Karlag, where he died April 6, 1938, at age sixty-six. Buried in the camp cemetery. Sources: Archive of the Directorate of the KNB, Republic of Kazakhstan; Archive of the Center for Legal and Statistical Information (TsPSIP), Karaganda oblast; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 5255; Dzwonkowski, pp. 430-432; Madaƚa, p. 150; Osipova (1996), p. 212; Investigatory Matter 1733 fp, Archive of TsGAOO (Ukraine); Sokolovskyi, pp. 230-231; Schnurr, p. 352
Variant Names:
Schönfeld, Alois; Shenfel'd, Aloiziĭ Matveevich
Saratovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); Tiraspol (Moldova); Rozhdestvenskoye (Russia); Stavropolʹ (Stavropolʹskiĭ kraĭ, Russia); Simferopolʹ (Ukraine); Kingisepp (Russia); Odesa (Ukraine); Kirov (Kirovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Kirovohrad (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine); Qaraghandy (Kazakhstan)
male; clergy and religious; died in prison