The Dominican Liberator: Father Edward Paul Doyle, O.P.’s Response to the Holocaust

Jacqueline Michels, Providence College


Individual survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust each remember and reflect on their experiences differently. Some are angry at the Nazis for their inhumane actions. Some are angry at God for allowing these evils to take place. Others learned from their experience. Edward Paul Doyle, O.P. was one of the latter. A Dominican Friar at Providence College, he served as an army chaplain for the United States Army in Germany during World War II. While in Germany, Father Doyle helped to liberate Nordhausen concentration camp where he witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust. Father Doyle recorded his experience and reflections in photographs, speeches, and interviews which he donated to the Providence College Archives. In studying the documents that Father Doyle left to the college, his strong faith and trust in God stand out in contrast to others’ reactions and experiences. Father Doyle’s reactions are quite unique as his Dominican charism greatly influenced his actions and reactions during and following the liberation. Through his steadfast faith, his inclination to share his experience, his community values, and his love for people of all faiths, Father Doyle truly embodied the spirit of Saint Dominic in his reaction to the liberation of Nordhausen and to the Holocaust as a whole.