Not every German supported the Nazis or signed up to their ideology. There were quite a few who were appalled by what their nation had become under the leadership of Hitler and his regime.
However there were only a handful of people who had the courage to stand up against the Nazis, at risk of their own lives. Some of these were an organisation that called themselves “White Rose”
It was a resistance group in Munich . The group, founded in June 1942, consisted of students from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich who distributed leaflets against the Nazis policies.
Sophie and Hans Scholl were the prominent members , and so much has already been written about the Scholl siblings. I want to focus a bit more on another member, Christoph Probst.
Probst had a lot more to lose the the Scholl siblings, although he was young, he was married with 3 children.
Born in Murnau/Upper Bavaria on November 6, 1919, Probst studied medicines in Munich after his labor and military service in 1939.
In 1941 Christoph he married Herta Dohrn, with whom he later had three children. Alexander Schmorell, a friend of his, introduced Probst to Hans Scholl and his group of friends in the summer of 1942.
Christoph Probst joined the White Rose rather late, as he did not belong to the same student group as Hans Scholl, Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, and stayed for the most part in the background. He had to consider the safety of his family. He belonged, together with the Scholl siblings, Graf and Schmorell to the tightest circle, into which university professor Kurt Huber also came.
The White Rose produced, printed and distributed, at the risk of their lives, six leaflets in all.
Although Probst had been transferred to Innsbruck in December 1942, he was still actively involved in the discussion of the fifth White Rose leaflet on his visits to Munich and was also prepared to write his own flyer. After Sophie and Hans Scholl were arrested, on February 18 1943, the Gestapo found a draft leaflet written by Probst in Hans Scholl’s jacket pocket, stating: “Hitler and his regime must fall so that Germany may live on.” Christoph Probst was arrested in Innsbruck on February 20, 1943. To his mother he wrote whilst in prison.
“By an unlikely mishap I have now found myself in an awkward position. I don’t sugarcoat anything when I tell you that I’m fine and that I’m very calm. The treatment is good and life in the cell seems so tolerable to me that I’m not afraid of a longer period of imprisonment… I’m only concerned for you, for the wife and the small children”
On 22 February 1943, Christoph Probst and the Scholls were tried and sentenced together at the Volksgerichtshof by judge Roland Freisler, who had already determined the sentences even before the trial had started.
All three were sentenced to death by guillotine. Their sentences were carried out on the very same day at Stadelheim Prison, Munich. Probst had asked for clemency during interrogation. He also requested a trial for the sake of his wife and three children, who were aged three years, two years and four weeks old. His wife, Herta Probst, was sick with childbed fever at the time.
Shortly before Christoph was executed, he was allowed a visit from a Catholic Priest. Christoph requested baptism into the Catholic faith.
The only consolation to this is that his wife Herta survived the war and died 21 September 2016 aged 102
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