Biography of Father Jerzy Moskwa, SJ

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1910. In 1935 he graduated from the philosophy department of Kraków University, and in 1939, from the theology department of the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Eastern Rite. He served in Albertyn, outside Slonim (at that time in Poland), where the Jesuits had their novitiate; he then became a professor and rector of the seminary in Dubno. In December 1939 – during the Soviet occupation – he illegally went to Lviv and, using a false passport, got himself a job at a petroleum depot [neftebaz]. August 15, 1940 – arrested by the Hungarian border guards in an attempt at an illegal border crossing. Sent to Budapest Prison, where through the prison chaplain he informed the Jesuits of his arrest and with their help he was released two months later. He departed for Rome, where he wrote a detailed report on the situation of Catholic clergy and laity in the USSR, after which it was proposed to him that he return to the USSR to continue his pastoral ministry. January 29, 1941 – arrested by Soviet border guards in an attempt at an illegal border crossing from Hungary and sent to Lviv Prison, and then to Kiev Prison. Over the course of several months he stubbornly gave statements that he had been recruited by Hungarian intelligence for espionage; furthermore, he did not give his real name – all in the hope that he would be given the death sentence as a spy before the investigators learned that he was a priest. 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. 185; Investigatory Matter G.I. Moskva, Archive TsGAOO (Ukraine); list compiled by R. Dzwonkowski, SAC; Madała, p. 111
Variant Names:
Moskwa, Jerzy; Moskva, Georgiĭ Iosifovich
Zurich (Switzerland); Kraków (Poland); Rome (Italy); Slonim (Belarus); L'viv (Ukraine); Budapest (Hungary); Kiev (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; executed