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Amersfoort ceremony recalls 1942 arrival of now beatified priest

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMERSFOORT - A recent ceremony at the notorious former Amersfoort concentration camp marked the arrival there in 1942 of Dutch anti-Nazi priest and Nijmegen professor Titus Brandsma who had been arrested by the Germans two months earlier after completing a tour of the editors of four Roman Catholic papers and periodicals during which Nazi censorship of the press was discussed. Brandsma who taught philosophy and history of devotion, especially Dutch mysticism, served as spiritual advisor to the RC Journalists' Association, an appointment by the archbishop of Utrecht. He toured the editors following a meeting with Archbishop Dr J. de Jong, who also frustrated the Germans with his anti-Nazi stance. Following his Amersfoort imprisonment, Brandsma arrived after jail time in Scheveningen and Kleve, where he was tried, in Dachau in June. He died a month later. He is seen as a martyr for the Christian faith and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Rome in November 1985.