Biography of Father Jan Kölner-Brinsko

Born December 26, 1912, in Gradisko, Levochsk district (Slovakia). He completed the 5-grade elementary school and in 1931 he graduated from the 8-class gymnasium in Levochi; from 1931 through 1938 he took two years of philosophy and four years of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome; ordained a priest of the Eastern Rite on December 25, 1936. In 1938 he was studying at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome; in September 1939 he was sent to the Augustinian monastery in Prague, where he served at a Russian Catholic parish. At the beginning of the war, on demand of the Gestapo and under threat of forceful deportation, he was forced to leave for Slovakia, where he worked in a paper factory in Ruzhembork. December 9, 1939 – arrested during an illegal crossing of the border with the USSR and sent to Kiev Prison for further investigation. At the first interrogation, he told in detail that he had begun much earlier to prepare for an illegal trip into the USSR; he planned to “cross the border in the region of Sambor, then secretly make his way to Lwów, and from there he would go to Moscow and get a job at some factory, and then he planned to attend meetings of militant atheists and speak out against atheism.” He also dreamed of “preaching the teaching of Christ among young people, in order to foster the work of unifying the Churches.” There were no documents regarding his sentence in his file. July 7, 1941 – sentenced to death as “an enemy of the people” during the time of military actions in Ukraine. Shot, in Kiev Prison, on the very same day. Sources: Osipova (1996), p. 174; Investigatory Matter J. Kelner-Brinsko, Archive of TsGAOO (Ukraine); Sokolovskyi, p. 90; list compiled by R. Dzwonkowski, SAC
Variant Names:
Kölner-Brinsko, Jan; Kel'ner, I︠A︡n Andreevich; Kel'ner-Brinsko, I︠A︡n Andreevich
Gradisko (Slovakia); Rome (Italy); Prague (Czech Republic); Slovakia; Kiev (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; executed