Maximilian Kolbe

1894 - 1941

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Maximilian Maria Kolbe (born Rajmund Kolbe; Polish: Maksymilian Maria Kolbe [maksɨˌmʲilʲan ˌmarʲja ˈkɔlbɛ]; 8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941), venerated as Saint Maximilian Kolbe, 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 2,074,832 page views. His biography is available in 51 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 50 in 2019). Maximilian Kolbe is the 224th most popular religious figure (up from 309th in 2019), the 27th most popular biography from Poland (up from 50th 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

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  • 78.66

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 51

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.64

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.90

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among religious figures, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 224 out of 2,272Before him are Pope Urban I, Pope Benedict IX, Pope Adrian I, Pope Siricius, Longinus, and Pope Sixtus I. After him are Pope Alexander III, Pope Urban III, Cyprian, John of the Cross, Saint Veronica, and Pope Felix I.

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Among people born in 1894, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 6Before him are Nikita Khrushchev, Gavrilo Princip, Rudolf Hess, Edward VIII, and Aldous Huxley. After him are Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Georges Lemaître, Boris III of Bulgaria, Jean Renoir, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, and Norbert Wiener. Among people deceased in 1941, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 8Before him are Rabindranath Tagore, Henri Bergson, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, and Alfonso XIII of Spain. After him are James George Frazer, Walther Nernst, Arthur Evans, Emanuel Lasker, Robert Delaunay, and Maurice Leblanc.

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In Poland

Among people born in Poland, Maximilian Kolbe ranks 27 out of 1,231Before him are Wernher von Braun (1912), Erich Ludendorff (1865), Stanisław Lem (1921), Fedor von Bock (1880), Marie Leszczyńska (1703), and Zygmunt Bauman (1925). After him are Günther von Kluge (1882), Władysław IV Vasa (1595), Bronisław Malinowski (1884), Kurt Lewin (1890), Wisława Szymborska (1923), and Vladislaus II of Hungary (1456).


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), Itzhak Stern (1901), Stanislaus Kostka (1550), Stanislaus of Szczepanów (1030), Hyacinth of Poland (1185), Stefan Wyszyński (1901), and Stanisław Dziwisz (1939).