Karl Leisner

Karl Leisner was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996 in Berlin. For Karl Leisner, who as a student for the priesthood joined a Schoenstatt Federation group – one member of this group being the later Bishop of Münster, Heinrich Tenhumberg -, the “moments spent in the Blessed Mother’s Shrine of Grace”, the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt, were decisive hours of grace on turning points of this life.

Christ – my passion: led by this ideal, he worked as a committed youth leader, and fought his way towards the decision for the priesthood. A remark on the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, uttered during a recovery stay in a sanatorium, brought the recently ordained deacon first to jail and then to the concentration camp. The almost healed tuberculosis broke out again in Dachau. Although his health rapidly deteriorated, his contagious joy – he asked to send his guitar to Dachau- remained unbroken.

When a French Bishop was confined to the concentration camp, Karl Leisner’s dream came true. On December 17, 1944, he was ordained priest in Dachau, and celebrated his first and only Holy Mass on December 26, 1944. He died soon after he was freed from the concentration camp in a sanatorium in Planegg.


  • Karl Leisner. A biography Karl Leisner Diary