Saturday, January 08, 2011

In Memoriam: Helmuth Hübener

First, he was a Boy Scout; after the Nazis suppressed that organization, Helmuth Hübener was more or less compelled to join Hitler Youth. However, the events of 1938's Kristallnacht soon enough crystallized his opposition to the atrocities of National Socialism; in his mind both anti-Semitism and totalitarianism ran counter to his Mormon beliefs.

PhotobucketBorn on this day in 1925, Hübener was the youngest person ever sentenced to die by the Volksgerichtshof when, in October 1942, he was beheaded at Berlin's Plötzensee Prison; he was only 17.

Along with friends Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, Rudolf Wobbe, and later Gerhard Düwer, Hübener aided in the delivery of about 60 different pamphlets throughout the city of Hamburg decrying the futility of Germany's erstwhile attempts to conquer the world. He had also been monitoring broadcasts of the BBC, which was strictly verboten and considered treasonous; much of the content of his inflammatory literature was gleaned from this activity. 'Through their unscrupulous terror tactics against young and old, men and women, they have succeeded in making you spineless puppets to do their bidding,' ran one courageous screed.

Although his friends were merely given long prison sentences for the part they played in undermining the Third Reich, the authorities allowed Hübener's death sentence to stand, on account of his extraordinary level of intelligence, brains being the greatest enemy of Fascism.

Today his name lives on in his hometown, where a youth centre and a pathway between Greifswalder Straße and Kirchenweg in the Hamburg neighbourhood of Sankt Georg - appropriately enough, the patron saint of the Boy Scouts - commemorate one teenager's heroic battle against the forces of evil. A movie tentatively entitled Truth & Treason - which has been in various stages of pre-production since 2008 and now seems set for release in 2011 or 2012 - stars Haley Joel Osment as the boy who stood against Hitler while all around him grown men cringed in silence; the short life of Helmuth Hübener is also the basis of Hübener vs Hitler by Richard Lloyd Dewey, which examines these events through a distinctly Christianist lens.
share on: facebook


Wynn Bexton said...

Another incredibly interesting bio. An important story to be told. I wonder if anyone has written a play/script/story about him?

michael sean morris said...

Just the movie (upcoming) and the book; I'll be interested to see the film but having read a few reviews of the book I think I'll pass on that, unless I find it for two bucks on a remainder table somewhere.

Every time I uncover a gem like this story it gladdens my heart more than anyone could know...