Helmuth Hübener was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormons). Already uncomfortable with the repression of the Reich, he began an apprenticeship in administration at the Hamburg Social Authority 1941. It was there where he met other apprentices who got him listening to enemy radio broadcasts (considered to be an act of treason under the Reich). In the summer of 1941 he began listening to the BBC by himself, and used what he had heard to compose various anti-fascist texts and anti-war leaflets.
In the autumn of 1941, he recruited friends and fellow workers Karl-Heinz Schnibbe and Rudolf Wobbe, and later Gerhard Düwer, who helped him to distribute about 60 different pamphlets, containing material from the BBC broadcasts all over Hamburg. This is an example of what he wrote:
Who is Lying ??????????????????
The official report of the German
High Command of the Armed Forces
Quite a while ago they claimed
The roads to Moscow, Kiev
and Leningrad were opened
And today-six weeks after
Germany's invasion of the USSR,
Severe battles are still occurring
Far from these places.
This is how they are lying to us!
The President of his church, knowing about Helmuth’s good stenographic and typing skills, had asked him to type letters to soldiers on the front lines. This gave him access to a typewriter and paper.
Hubener was arrested at his workplace in February 1942 while trying to translate the pamphlets into French so that they could be distributed among POWs – he had been denounced by Nazi Party member, Heinrich Mohn. Hubener's case was tried by the People’s Court in Berlin and he was sentenced to death. He was executed at Berlin’s Plotenzee Prison on 26 October 1942..
Karl-Heinz Schnibbe was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. He was released early and drafted into the Army. He was taken prisoner by the Soviets and did not return to Germany until 1949. Rudi Wobbe survived the war and returned to Hamburg in 1945. In the early 1950s , both men, along with Hubener’s two half-brothers, went to live in Utah. Both have written accounts of their resistance.
A film about Helmuth Hubener called Truth & Treason is due to start filming early next year. Haley Joel Osment is scheduled to play the lead role. The film will bring Hubener’s story to a much wider audience.