|Birth Day:||January 8, 1925|
|Death Date:||Oct 27, 1942 (age 17)|
As per our current Database, Helmuth Hubener died on Oct 27, 1942 (age 17).
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During his childhood, he belonged to the Hitler Youth.
Since early childhood, Hübener had been a member of the Boy Scouts, an organization strongly supported by the LDS Church, but in 1935 the national socialists banned scouting from Germany. He then joined the Hitler Youth, as required by the government, but would later disapprove of Kristallnacht, when the Nazis, including the Hitler Youth, destroyed Jewish businesses and homes.
In 1937, the president of the LDS Church, Heber J. Grant, had visited Germany and urged the members to remain, get along, and not cause trouble. Consequently, some church members saw Hübener as a troublemaker who made things difficult for other Latter-day Saints in Germany. This recommendation did not change after Kristallnacht, which occurred the year following Grant's visit, after which he evacuated all non-German Latter-day Saint missionaries.
After Hübener finished middle school in 1941, he began an apprenticeship in administration at the Hamburg Social Authority (Sozialbehörde). He met other apprentices there, one of whom, Gerhard Düwer, he would later recruit into his resistance movement. At a bathhouse, he met new friends, one of whom had a communist family background and, as a result, he began listening to enemy radio broadcasts. Listening to these was then strictly forbidden in Nazi Germany, being considered a form of treason. In the summer of that same year, Hübener discovered his older half-brother Gerhard's shortwave radio in a hallway closet. It had been given to Gerhard early that year by a soldier returning from service in France. Helmuth began listening to the BBC on his own, and he used what he heard to compose various anti-national socialist texts and anti-war leaflets, of which he also made many copies. The leaflets were designed to bring to people's attention how skewed the official reports about World War II from Berlin were, as well as to point out Adolf Hitler's, Joseph Goebbels's, and other leading Nazis' criminal behaviour. Other themes covered by Hübener's writings were the war's futility and Germany's looming defeat. He also mentioned the mistreatment sometimes meted out in the Hitler Youth.
In late 1941, his listening involved three friends: Karl-Heinz Schnibbe and Rudi Wobbe, who were fellow Latter-day Saints, and later Gerhard Düwer. Hübener had them help him distribute about 60 different pamphlets, all containing typewritten material from the British broadcasts. They distributed them throughout Hamburg, using such methods as surreptitiously pinning them on bulletin boards, inserting them into letterboxes, and stuffing them in coat pockets.
On 5 February 1942, Helmuth Hübener was arrested by the Gestapo at his workplace, the Hamburg Social Authority in the Bieberhaus in Hamburg. While trying to translate the pamphlets into French and have them distributed among prisoners of war, he had been noticed by co-worker and Nazi Party member Heinrich Mohn, who denounced him.
On 11 August 1942, at age 17, Hübener was tried as an adult by the Special People's Court (Volksgerichtshof) in Berlin, which was in charge of matters of treason. Hübener was sentenced to death. After the sentence was read, Hübener faced the judges and said, "Now I must die, even though I have committed no crime. So now it's my turn, but your turn will come." He hoped his confrontational tactics would focus the judge's wrath on him and spare his companions.
Hübener's lawyers, his mother, and the Berlin Gestapo appealed for clemency in his case, hoping to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. In their eyes, the fact that Hübener had confessed fully and shown himself to be still morally uncorrupted were points in his favour. The Reich Youth Leadership (Reichsjugendführung) disagreed, however, and stated that the danger posed by Hübener's activities to the German people's war effort made the death penalty necessary. On 27 October 1942, the Nazi Ministry of Justice upheld the Special People's Court verdict. Hübener was told of the Ministry's decision at only 1:05 p.m. on the scheduled day of execution.
Local Latter-day Saint branch president, Arthur Zander, was a supporter of the Nazi Party, and had affixed a notice to the meetinghouse entrance stating "Jews not welcome". Ten days after the arrest of Hübener, on 15 February 1942, Zander excommunicated the young man demonstratively, without consulting his church superiors or holding the church court normally prerequisite for excommunication or other discipline.
In 1946, four years later and after the war, Hübener was posthumously reinstated into the LDS Church by new mission president, Max Zimmer, saying the excommunication was not carried through with the proper procedures. He was also posthumously rebaptized, ordained an elder, and endowed in 1948.
Hübener's story has been the subject of various literary, dramatic, and cinematic works. In 1970, German author Günter Grass published the book Local Anaesthetic, about the Hübener group.
In 1979 Thomas F. Rogers, a university teacher at Brigham Young University, wrote a play titled Huebener, which has had several runs in various venues. The Hübener's two co-accused friends, Karl-Heinz Schnibbe and Rudi Wobbe, attended some of the performances, albeit in different circumstances. Wobbe died of cancer in 1992; Schnibbe died in 2010. In February 2014, Huebener made its high school premiere in St. George, Utah.
Rudolf Gustav Wobbe (Hübener's other co-resistance fighter) wrote the book Before the Blood Tribunal. Published in 1989, the book provides a personal account of his own trial before the Special People's court of Nazi Germany where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his participation in anti-Nazi resistance. Rudi, as he was known, also describes events leading up to the trials of the three German youths and his own experience as a prisoner. This book was later republished as Three Against Hitler.
In 1995, the first-hand account When Truth Was Treason was published, narrated by Karl-Heinz Schnibbe and written by Blair R. Holmes, a professional historian, and Alan F. Keele, a German-language specialist. A newer edition was published in 2003 (see Holmes & Keele 2003).
Hübener's story was documented in the 2003 documentary Truth & Conviction, written and directed by Rick McFarland and Matt Whitaker.
The 2008 juvenile novel The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, while fictional, is based on Hübener's life. Bartoletti's earlier Newbery Honor book, Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, also covers Hübener's story.
Currently, Helmuth Hubener is 96 years, 8 months and 12 days old. Helmuth Hubener will celebrate 97th birthday on a Saturday 8th of January 2022.
Find out about Helmuth Hubener birthday activities in timeline view here.