Biography of Monsignor Peter Weigel

Born in 1892 in Herzog, Mariental district, Saratov province. Graduated from gymnasium in Pokrovsk and from Theological Seminary in Saratov. Ordained in 1916 for the Diocese of Tiraspol. He served in Herzog, outside Samara. He then completed theological and philological studies at Gottingen University and the missionary program at the Gregorian University in Rome. Until 1930 he was a missionary in Africa, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru, and then returned to Rome, where he was made a monsignor. In 1930, he was sent to the USSR on an assignment of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches. He served at Assumption parish in Mariental. August 18, 1930 – arrested in a case against German Catholic clergy; sent to Moscow for further interrogation and held in Butyrka Prison. April 20, 1931 – sentenced to death under Articles 58-2, -4, -6, and -10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR; commuted to ten years in corrective labor camps [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. In 1937, transferred to the prison block. October 9, 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast]. November 3, 1937 – shot, in Sandormokh, outside Medvezhegorsk. We present extracts from reports of a secret informant who worked for the Solovetsky authorities: “Weigel, now at Solovetsky camp, stated: ‘If they think that we’re going to change here, they’re mistaken. Once we get out of here we will agitate even more, we will attract the peasant masses even more, and we will take the youth by the hand to turn them from the path of atheism to the ‘right’ path and we will purge their minds of atheistic, communist ideas’ … he thinks that war or some kind of complication can hasten their release from the camp.” [Footnote in the Russian text: "Some of the facts in Fr. Weigel's biography arouse the suspicion that perhaps some of the information told to Chirkov and later recounted in Chirkov's book was either embellished or simply concocted."] Sources: Personal dossier, P.I. Weigel, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, p. 92; Osipova (1996), p. 157; Protocols of Sessions of a Special Troika of the Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast; Reznikova, pp. 20, 45, 70; Investigatory Matter 95215, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Chirkov, p. 80; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 508-509
Variant Names:
Weigel, Peter; Veĭgel', Petr Ivanovich
Saratov (Russia); Tiraspol (Moldova); Rome (Italy); Moscow (Russia); Africa; Paraguay; Braszil; Peru
male; clergy and religious; executed