Biography of Joseph Erler

Born in Yegoriyevka, Taurida province. During the Civil War he served in the Volunteer Army in Crimea; he later began to work on his own farmstead; he was a parishioner of the local church. In 1930 he was arrested on charges of “non-payment of taxes” and sentenced to one year, eight months of forced labor. After his release he appealed for assistance to the charitable organizations “Fast i K” and “Karitas Ferbrant” in Germany. In 1931 he was brought to court for “systematic receipt and disbursement of monies from fascist organizations in Germany, distribution of the addresses of these organizations, carrying out agitation about the superiority of life in fascist Germany and [organizing] collective readings of the newspaper Kölnische Zeitung among the collective farm workers.” He was later deprived of voting rights for “having fulfilled the duties of a priest.” [Footnote: According to Sokolovskyi, he fulfilled the duties not of a priest, but a deacon/elder - he organized the baptism of childen, he conducted Christian burials and led communal prayer.] In 1935 he was arrested in a case against Catholics (Erler et al.). January 1-2, 1936 – a closed trial at which he was sentenced to death [Extraordinary Session, Supreme Ct., Crimean ASSR]. Shot (exact date of death unknown). Source: Sokolovskyi, p. 66
Variant Names:
Erler, Joseph; Erler, Iosif Fridrikhovich
Crimea (Ukraine)
male; laity; executed