Wilm Hosenfeld was born Wilhelm Albert Hosenfeld on May 2,1895 in Mackenzell, Hesse-Nassau, Germany. He was born into a pious, devout Catholic family. His father was a Catholic schoolmaster. He was a devout Catholic his entire life inspired by Catholic Action. He served in the German Army during World War I (1914-1918) and was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. After the war, he became a school teacher. In 1933, he joined the SA and in 1935, he joined the Nazi Party. In 1939, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht and was stationed in Poland. Even though he was a member of the SA and the Nazi Party, he grew disillusioned with party policies, after seeing how the Poles and Jews were being treated. He did everything he could to help the Poles and Jews. He even befriended them and learned how to speak Polish. He attended Holy Mass, received Holy Communion, and went to confession in Polish Catholic Churches, even though this was forbidden by Nazi Party policy. He helped shield many Poles and Jews who were being persecuted among them was the Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman during the last months of the war. He was captured by the Soviet Red Army. He was wrongfully sentenced to 25 years hard labor for alleged war crimes and was tortured by the Red Army. He asked his wife in 1946, to ask the people he saved to come help arrange his release. Many did come to his assistance, however, the evil Communistic Red Army officials refused to believe it. He died on August 13,1952, from a ruptured thoracic aorta, sustained by torture by the Communists. On June 19,2009, he was named “Righteous among the Nations”.
Wilm Hosenfeld: The Hero behind The Pianist