Breaking Down Barriers

Other inspiring stories . . .

Three against Hitler In 1941, during the heat of World War II, three brave LDS teens in Hamburg, Germany, risked their lives to begin a resistance movement against the Nazis.

Sixteen-year-old Helmuth Hübener, seventeen-year-old Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, and fourteen-year-old Rudi Wobbe had begun listening to BBC news broadcasts from England, although Hitler had passed a law in 1939 making it a capital crime to listen to enemy broadcasts. After discovering that the BBC reports contradicted broadcasts by the German news service, the three boys concluded that the German people were being deceived. Soon they launched a campaign to spread the truth.

The teens wrote and distributed flyers with titles such as, "Hitler the Murderer" and "The Voice of Conscience." They posted the leaflets on bulletin boards, placed them in mailboxes, and even slipped them into people's coat pockets.

Despite their many precautions, the three boys were arrested in February 1942. After being interrogated and tortured, the teens were tried for high treason. Hübener, the leader of the group, was executed on October 27, 1942; he was the youngest opponent of the Reich to be executed. Schnibbe and Wobbe were sentenced to five years and ten years in prison, respectively.

During the last weeks of the war, Schnibbe was released from prison and forced into the German army. He was captured by the Russians and spent four more years in a labor camp as a prisoner of war. Wobbe remained in German prison until the end of the war and was able to return to Hamburg in 1945.

Schnibbe and Wobbe, along with Hübener's two half brothers, immigrated to Utah in the 1950s. Wobbe co-authored a book about his experiences, titled Three Against Hitler. He died of cancer in 1992. Schnibbe lives in the Salt Lake City area.

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