Christoph Probst

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Gestapo Photos of Christoph Probst

Christoph Probst (November 6, 1919-February 22, 1943) was one of the six core members of the White Rose Resistance Group. He was one of the later members to join. He played a passing role in the first four leaflets, but then began to distance himself from the group in order to protect his wife and three children.[1] In late January 1943, Probst, who wanted to play a more pivotal role in the Resistance, asked Hans Scholl if there was anything he could do to help. Scholl, who at first was reluctant to allow Probst to take part in more of the risky activities because of his family, suggested that Probst write a draft of the Seventh leaflet.[2] Probst happily did so, and gave it to Hans within a few days. This pamphlet was on Hans when he and his sister Sophie were arrested on February 18, 1943.[3] Hans tried to tear it up, but it was taken from him before he could finish tearing it. The Gestapo traced the handwriting to Christoph, who was captured on February 20.[3] On February 22, Hans, Sophie, and Christoph were put on trial. The trial was resided over by Roland Freisler, a hard judge who gave death sentences to about 90% of the trials he presided over.[4] When asked to speak, Christoph attempted to be released, stating that he suffered from a psychotic depression stemming from the fact that his wife was sick with child bed fever.[2] When this tactic didn't work, he pleaded with the judge to spare him on account of his children. Freisler didn't listen to his plea, even when Hans Scholl offered to take all the punishment for Christoph if only Freisler would let Christoph go free.[3] At around 2 pm, Freisler announced the verdict. Hans, Sophie, and Christoph were guilty. The punishment was death, to be carried out immediately that same day. Christoph was hustled to a prison cell, where he wrote his last letters. Christoph, who was technically not associated with any religion, although he had accepted Catholicism long ago, asked to be baptized into the Catholic faith before he died. For a few minutes before his death, Hans, Sophie, and Christoph were allowed to be together for a short time. While there, Christoph is credited with saying, "I didn't know dying could be so easy." A few minutes after 5 pm. Christoph was put under the guillotine. He didn't get to see his wife or children before he died.[3]

Legacy[change | change source]

In 1999, Probst (who had been baptized as a Catholic just minutes before his death) was inducted in the martyrology of the German Catholic Church.

References[change | change source]

  1. Gill, Anton (1995). An honourable defeat : a history of German resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945 (1st Owl book ed.). New York: H. Holt. ISBN 0-8050-3515-X. OCLC 34109115.
  2. 2.0 2.1 1917-1998., Scholl, Inge (2011). The White Rose : Munich, 1942-1943. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-7272-1. OCLC 767498250. {{cite book}}: |last= has numeric name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Stern, Fritz; Hanser, Richard (1979). "A Noble Treason: The Revolt of the Munich Students against Hitler". Foreign Affairs. 58 (2): 426. doi:10.2307/20040455. ISSN 0015-7120. JSTOR 20040455.
  4. Eltscher, Louis R. (2018). Traitors or Patriots? : a story of the German anti-Nazi resistance (Revised ed.). Bloomington, IN. ISBN 978-1-5320-4676-6. OCLC 1047795077.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)