By August 1944, he will have noted and commented on a total of 863 executions that he witnessed. Franz Stock provided spiritual support and last respects to those executed. The Wehrmacht had designated him as the pastor of those whom the occupying forces had imprisoned in the Paris prisons and condemned to death: Resistance fighters, hostages, and spies. For a few, Franz Stock became a lifesaver. He gives back what was first taken from those condemned to death: their dignity. Franz Stock's "Diary of the Shot" from Paris is as important as the records of Anne Frank from Amsterdam and Adam Czerniaków from the Warsaw Ghetto. It is a documentary indictment of Nazi barbarism and, at the same time, a historical testimony with timeless significance that brings to mind the wars and occupations of today. "Abbé" Stock, a Catholic German priest in occupied Paris, was revered as a hero in France after the war for his actions and humanity. He was a pioneer of reconciliation between Germans and the French. The forecourt leading to the Mémorial de la France combattante on Mont-Valérien is named after him.
Photo: Franz Stock in 1947, to the left of the Apostolic Nuncio Cardinal Roncalli and later Pope John XXIII.