This shadow box represents the life of Kurt Huber, a philosopher at the Ludwig University of Munich, and a White Rose enthusiast. Looking at the highest part of the shadow box you can see a small excerpt of the fourth White Rose leaflet. It describes the sacrifice and effort Huber put into the White Rose. Move a few inches to the left and you see an image of the Vitruvian Man designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. This image represents Kurt’s philosophical and academic aspects. To the right you will see what looks like a medieval logo (white), and it is the emblem of the university that Kurt worked at-Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Go right another two inches and you’ll find Kurt Huber’s face. Looking at the burned pieces of paper below the top section you can see a small glimpse of what his life was like after he was initiated into the White Rose. Looking back up you see another burned scrap of paper labeled diseased, and the purpose of the word is to refer to his sickness that saved him from being drafted to war. One of the most obvious parts of this shadow box is the red rose which represents his connections to the White Rose, and the blood that was spilled from their unwarranted execution. Almost everyone who had a connection or supported them was executed for jailed of life. The music sheets throughout the physical memoir refer to his musical talent for which he was recognized for, and was even invited to write for the Nazi regime. The bow laying on the bloody music sheets(bottom left) represents that he played the fiddle, which is a folk music instrument. In the polished part of the top box you can see the reflection of the Swedish flag(his origin) with a broken Nazi flag that represents how his efforts were not in vain and that he did help in the fight against Hitler.
I dashed through my apartment snatching everything I saw and stuffing it into a briefcase. I must have been found out by now, I thought. It’s been a week since Sophie was caught, and they’ll be here any moment. I continued through my apartment, tipping over drawers and flipping mattresses, desperately searching for every incriminating piece of evidence I could find in order to eradicate it. A loud rap on the door startled me. I stopped moving, staring at the entrance. Their timing is uncanny. I thought grudgingly. But so soon? I mustn’t let them get this info. I desperately searched for the matches in my pocket. I would have to burn it all. My hands shook so intensely that I couldn’t align the match with the strip. A cold sweat slithered down my back. They knocked again, more franticly this time. It was futile. I dropped the matches and moved furniture over to the door in a desperate attempt to buy more time. I can’t burn; if I burn, everyone in this building will burn. Lost in thought, I put too much force on a chair and it spun to the floor, cracking against the furnished panels. “Hüber? Ist everything alright?” the sweet accented voice of my land lord Wendelin inquired.
I slumped against the wall relieved that it was only my landlord. The night’s exhaustion flowed through me. “Ja, just fine. I was startled by the morning finch,” I replied lying through my teeth. I'd gotten too used to it.
The passage above is a small clip from Kurt Huber’s life a few weeks before he was arrested for treason by the Gestapo in 1943. He was part of a passive aggressive resistance against Hitler called the White Rose. When the leaders of the White Rose were captured, the rest of the organization soon fell into disarray. As soon as Kurt Huber caught wind of this he desperately tried to destroy all the documents and letters pertaining to the White Rose that he could find to avoid anyone else's persecution.
Kurt Huber was born in Chur, Switzerland on October 24, 1893, to German parents and loving siblings. When he was four years old he moved to Stuttgart, Germany for his father’s work. His father died a few years later, leaving his mother a widow and his children fatherless. She moved them to Munich in order to lead an educated life in the city. Kurt suffered from the diseases rickets, a lack in vitamin D that causes people’s bones to weaken at increasing rates, and diphtheria, a bacteria that causes your throat to inflame, constricting breathing and swallowing. He was excused from military service.
In the following years of his life, Kurt showed exceptional talent in the musical field. He went on to become one of Germany’s experts in German folk music. He attended The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 1920, and developed an affinity for, and went on to earn a degree in, the philosophical field. Nine years later in 1929, Huber married Clara Schlickenrider and had two children named Birgit and Wolfgang.
He was offered a job in Berlin to write music for the German regime, but he did not fully use his position there as intended, and was fired after a year. He moved back to Munich with his family and then took back his previous job as a professor at his old university, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
His intellectual and audacious lectures at the university soon became popular and attracted students from all over the campus to come and listen to him. The allure of his speeches was derived from speaking about the Nazi party, WWII, and other political affairs in sarcastic and demeaning tones. Among these students, he enticed the attention of Sophie and Hans Scholl, the founders of the White Rose, a passive aggressive resistance against the Nazi Party. They soon approached him to join their organization knowing that he would make a useful asset with his experience and foresight. In 1942 they asked him about their idea of sending out leaflets, but Kurt shot them down saying it was too risky. He thought the splash wouldn’t create a large enough ripple to affect the pond. He was eventually persuaded to go along with the leaflet plan, however.
The fall of Stalingrad, located in south-western Soviet Union, shook the professor, leading him to fervently write a treatise about Germany's lies and false promises about the war and the senseless fog that the Fuhrer blindly led their armies through. Germany disseminated propaganda among their citizens about how they were winning the war; they kept their citizens ignorant on their falling position in the war.
While Hans and Sophie were distributing the sixth leaflet in LMU’s hallways, a stray janitor saw them and turned them over to the Gestapo(Nazi main police). They violently interrogated and detained Hans and Sophie until they relinquished info on the White Rose. After Huber received info of their capture, he went about burning and eradicating every incriminating piece of evidence against the White Rose. The Gestapo found and arrested him on Friday, February 26th, 1943.
He was accused of treason against the Fuhrer and put on trial on the 19th of April. Kurt was sentenced to death on July 13th, 1943. In the following months, he furiously worked on the biography of a respected mathematician and philosopher, Gottfried Leibniz. He wasn’t able to finish it and was executed three weeks before the book could be completed. Halfway into the trial his lawyer quit because of the injustice of the court. His lawyer’s words had no power; he was only there because the law required him to be. His family was billed for the use of the guillotine.
It's fair to say that Kurt Huber led a renowned life as a philosopher, musician, husband, father, and White Rose member. I've been inspired, no, enticed to research him because he had everything going for him, but he stood away from the other professors and students and spoke out against Hitler's tyranny over the people. It's reasonable to call Kurt Huber a role model of a German citizen. He was a naturally talented musician, a brilliant mind, audacious, intuitive and so much more. But why, why did he turn his back on the Nazi regime and follow a path that would surely lead to his persecution? It was because of these traits that he was able to realize what he stood or for better yet, with whom he stood. He spoke out, got noticed, and was initiated into a greater-than-self struggle against the Nazi oppression.