Maximilian Kolbe

1894 - 1941

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Maximilian Maria Kolbe (born Raymund Kolbe; Polish: Maksymilian Maria Kolbe; 1894–1941) was a Polish Catholic priest and Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. He had been active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, operating an amateur-radio station (SP3RN), and founding or running several other organizations and publications. On 10 October 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Kolbe and declared him a martyr of charity. The Catholic Church venerates him as the patron saint of amateur radio operators, drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, and prisoners. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Maximilian Kolbe has received more than 2,852,121 page views. His biography is available in 52 different languages on Wikipedia. Maximilian Kolbe is the 310th most popular religious figure (down from 241st in 2019), the 37th most popular biography from Poland (down from 30th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Polish Religious Figure.

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz.

Memorability Metrics

  • 2.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 71.13

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 52

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.21

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.18

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among religious figures, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 310 out of 3,187Before him are Pope Gregory V, Abu Dawood, Saint Sava, Jacques de Molay, Pope Agatho, and Amenhotep I. After him are Irenaeus, Pope Sergius III, Pope Gregory VI, Joseph of Arimathea, Pope Clement II, and Cyprian.

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Among people born in 1894, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 7Before him are Nikita Khrushchev, Gavrilo Princip, Rudolf Hess, Edward VIII, Aldous Huxley, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline. After him are Georges Lemaître, John Ford, Boris III of Bulgaria, Moshe Sharett, Jean Renoir, and Norbert Wiener. Among people deceased in 1941, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 9Before him are Henri Bergson, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Alfonso XIII of Spain, and Maurice Leblanc. After him are Emanuel Lasker, Walther Nernst, Arthur Evans, Robert Delaunay, James George Frazer, and Paul Sabatier.

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In Poland

Among people born in Poland, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 37 out of 1,694Before him are Zygmunt Bauman (1925), Yitzhak Shamir (1915), Sigismund II Augustus (1520), Günther von Kluge (1882), Andrzej Wajda (1926), and Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906). After him are Kurt Lewin (1890), Christian Wolff (1679), Vladislaus II of Hungary (1456), Irena Sendler (1910), Otto Stern (1888), and Bronisław Malinowski (1884).


Among religious figures born in Poland, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 2Before him are Pope John Paul II (1920). After him are Faustina Kowalska (1905), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906), Saint Casimir (1458), Angelus Silesius (1624), Stanislaus of Szczepanów (1030), Stanislaus Kostka (1550), Itzhak Stern (1901), Hyacinth of Poland (1185), Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947), and Stefan Wyszyński (1901).