German Boy Remembered for His Sacrifice to Fight Nazi Regime

Mug Shot of Helbert Hubener taken after his arrest

October 27th marked the seventy-second anniversary of the execution of Helmuth Hübener, a Latter-day Saint youth who was executed by the Nazi regime for distributing anti-regime leaflets.  John F. from By Common Consent writes about Hübner’s life and times and on his legacy among the Saints in Germany.

Helmuth Hübener, a 16-year-old Mormon youth living in Hitler’s Germany, exhibited unprecedented moral courage in opposing the propaganda machine of the Nazi regime in the summer of 1941. For his trouble he was arrested on February 5, 1942 (less than a month after turning 17), brutally interrogated and later tortured in Gestapo prisons in Hamburg and Berlin, and then finally beheaded by guillotine in the Gestapo’s Berlin Plötzensee prison on October 27, 1942, as the youngest person (at age 17) to be sentenced by Hitler’s special “People’s Court” and executed for conspiracy to commit treason against the Nazi regime.

By all accounts, Helmuth Hübener was a remarkable boy — a worthy role model for any teenager, male or female, then or now. Unlike his peers in 1941 — most of whom were parading as Hitler Youth [1] or in the League of German Girls, not to mention the adults in his city of Hamburg (and Germany more generally), most of whom had stood agape on Kristallnacht (the “night of broken glass”) three years earlier in November 1938 as Jewish businesses were destroyed, their proprietors (man, woman, and child) dragged into the street and beaten[2] — Helmuth acted on his discomfort with the ever growing restrictions on civil rights and personal freedoms in the totalitarian dictatorship and specifically with the treatment of Jews. 

Continue reading on By Common Consent.