Rau, Franz


Father Franz Rau, son of Peter Rau, was born in 1886 in Rothammel (some sources record that he was born in 1888 in Neu-Kolonie).

He studied theology at the Catholic Seminary in Saratov and was ordained in 1911. He was a teacher in the German colony of Karlsruhe in the Kherson region.

In 1913, he served as vicar of the Roman Catholic parish in Katharinenstadt. From 1914-1918, he served as the parish priest for the congregation in Marienfeld. From 1918-1923, he served the congregation in Josefstal. From 1923 until his arrest in 1930, he served in the congregation of Rothammel. In 1928, he also served the parish in Hölzel.

He was arrested on 8 April 1930 along with many other Catholic priests in the Volga region. On 20 April 1931, he was sentenced to 10 years of forced labor. In 1937, he was again arrested, and sent to prison where he was convicted on 14 October 1937 of anti-Soviet activities and sentenced to death. He was executed on 1 November 1937 in the prison at Sandarmokh near Medvezhy Gora.


- Rauh Franz (wolgadeutsche.ru) (online)
- Schnurr, Joseph. Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen - Katholischer Teil (Stuttgart, 1980): 366.

Prison photo of Father Franz Rau.
Source: Die Martyrer

A memorial to Father Rau, located near the place where he was executed.
Source: Marina Yufereva.