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White Rose was the name of a resistance group in Munich in the time of the Third Reich. The group, founded in June 1942, consisted of students from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich who distributed leaflets against the Nazis' war policy. Christoph Probst belonged, along with the Scholl siblings, Willi Graf and Alexander Schmorell to the tightest circle, into which university professor Kurt Huber also came.
The members of White Rose put together, printed and distributed, at the risk of their lives, six leaflets in all. On 18 February 1943, the Scholls were distributing the sixth leaflet at the university when they were discovered by a custodian, who delivered them to the Gestapo.
On 22 February 1943, Christoph Probst and the Scholls were tried and sentenced together at the Volksgerichtshof by judge Roland Freisler, who was known for often determining sentences even before the trial, and all three were sentenced to death by guillotine. Their sentences were carried out on the very same day at Stadelheim Prison, Munich.
Their grave may be found in the graveyard bordering the execution place, "Am Perlacher Forst".
Probst was born in Murnau am Staffelsee. His father, Hermann Probst, was a private scholar and Sanskrit researcher, fostered contacts with artists who were deemed by the Nazis to be "decadent". After his first marriage with Karin Katharina Kleeblatt, Christoph's mother, broke up in 1919, he married Elise Jaffée, who was Jewish. Christoph's sister, Angelika, remembers that her brother was strongly critical of Nazi ideas that violated human dignity.
Probst went to boarding school at Marquartstein and Landheim Schondorf, which was also not conducive to fostering Nazi German ideas, and at 17, he matriculated. After military service, he began his medical studies with great earnestness. Aged 21, he married Herta Dohrn, with whom he had three children: Michael, Vincent and Katja.
Christoph Probst came rather late into the White Rose as he did not belong to the same student corps as Hans Scholl, Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, and stayed for the most part in the background, as he had to think of his family. He wrote some of the text for the White Rose's leaflet which Hans Scholl was carrying with him when he and his sister Sophie went to the university on 18 February 1943 to distribute leftover copies of the sixth leaflet.
When the Scholl siblings were arrested at the University of Munich, the Gestapo acquired proof against Probst. Before his execution he requested to be and was baptized by a Roman Catholic priest. He was executed on 22 February 1943, along with Hans and Sophie Scholl, despite asking 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.
Christoph Probst was portrayed by Florian Stetter in the film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.
- Michael Probst (2001), "Probst, Christoph Ananda", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 20, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 733–734; (full text online)
- Schmied, Jakub. Gestapo Interrogation Transcripts: Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl, and Sophie Scholl. ZC13267, Volumes 1 – 16. Schmaus. 18 February 1943. E-Document.
- Christoph Probst Biographie (in German)
- "Christoph Probst" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 29, 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-21. p 3 (in German)
- Im Schatten der Geschwister Scholl. In: Die Welt, 18 June 2011 (in German)
- Christoph Probst, Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand, gdw-berlin.de
- Moll, Helmut (Hrsg. im Auftrag der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz), (2015). Zeugen für Christus. Das deutsche Martyrologium des 20. Jahrhunderts, 6., erweiterte und neu strukturierte Auflage Paderborn u.a., ISBN 978-3-506-78080-5, volume I, pp. 507–509
- Karin Amann, Thomas Ernst et al.: Die Weiße Rose – Gesichter einer Freundschaft. Arti Grafiche fiorin SpA, Mailand. (in German)
- Lilo Fürst-Ramdohr: Freundschaften in der Weißen Rose. Verlag Geschichtswerkstatt Neuhausen, München 1995, ISBN 3-931231-00-3. (in German)
- Jakob Knab: Die innere Vollendung der Person. Christoph Probst. In: Detlef Bald, Jakob Knab (Hrsg.): Die Stärkeren im Geiste. Zum christlichen Widerstand der Weißen Rose. Essen 2012. (in German)
- Christiane Moll (Hrsg.): Alexander Schmorell, Christoph Probst. Gesammelte Briefe. Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-065-8. (in German)
- Peter Normann Waage: Es lebe die Freiheit! – Traute Lafrenz und die Weiße Rose. Urachhaus, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-8251-7809-3. (in German)
- Inge Scholl: Die Weiße Rose. Fischer Verlag, ISBN 3-596-11802-6. (in German)
- Robert Volkmann, Gernot Eschrich und Peter Schubert: …damit Deutschland weiterlebt. Christoph Probst 1919–1943. (Christoph-Probst-Gymnasium) Gilching 2000, ISBN 3-00-007034-6. (in German)
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