Monday, November 1, 2010

Ancestor of Priest Helps to Liberate Concentration Camp in World War II

by Staff

Christians around the world must uphold the faith and oppose all that is against the freedom of mankind.
- Abp. Johnson

John Loyd, the grandfather of one of the priests of the Archdiocese of the Southwest, served in the Army of the United States in World War II. He served in the European theatre. One of his greatest and most significant acts of service, though, benefited humanity as a whole. He was involved in the liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp.

Brief History of the CampsThe Dachau camp was the first regular camp of its type established by the Nazis, and it housed not only Jews, but political prisoners opposed to Hitler's government (sources generally state that two-thirds were political prisoners, and one-third were Jews). Its format provided the blueprint for later camps. Auschwitz and other notorious camps were part of the regime's actions against decent human behavior.

Some Dachau Statistics as an ExampleAccording to That Was Dachau 1933 - 1945, by Stanislav Zámecník, more than 25,000 prisoners were believed to have died in the camp. A particularly important point to note for Christians is that the camp had a special "Priest Block" for the clergy. At least three thousand priests were held there, and more than a third did not survive. The camp stands as a bleak symbol of religious persecution.

John Loyd, discharged in 1945, was part of the liberating force of humanity in the 20th century. The men who freed the death camps did a service to the people of the world and to freedom. John Loyd's great grandson inherited this legacy. The defense of freedom of all mankind is a key mission of the Archdiocese. All the Christian faithful are called to this mission.