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In the face of death

These are the words Karl Friedrich Stellbrink writes to his wife on the afternoon of 10 November 1943.

“Now all waiting has an end, the way finally lies clearly before me again, and the aim is known to us Christians. How many times have I preached about it, and now it is near.”

Karl Friedrich Stellbrink

A few hours earlier the condemned had received the news that their death sentence would be carried out the same day. Before that, the clergymen are to receive Holy Communion. Eduard Müller writes to his sister:

“In a moment my Saviour will come to me once more in the form of bread, and then I hope to see him face to face.”

Eduard Müller

These words are in Hermann Lange’s farewell letter to his parents and his brother Paul.

“For me, now faith will pass into vision, hope into possession, and forever I will have a share in Him who is love.”

Hermann Lange

Johannes Prassek writes to his parents:

“Tonight is the night I am allowed to die. I am so happy, I cannot tell you how much. God is so kind that He has let me work as a priest for a few beautiful years. And this end, to be allowed to die with full consciousness and in preparation for it, is the most beautiful of all.”

Johannes Prassek

At 6 p.m., the executors arrive. For an endlessly long way, the clergymen are brought to the execution chamber one after the other with their hands tied behind their backs. The guillotine strikes four times within minutes and the blood of the four men flows into each other.

“He who can die, who will force him”.

Johannes Prassek wrote these words in his New Testament.

The last way (coloured in red) led the clergymen in the converted prison from the delinquent cell to the execution site.
Crematorium in Neuengamme. The bodies of Johannes Prassek and Eduard Müller were cremated there, the ashes were scattered in the concentration camp nursery.
Invoice to the Stellbrink widow with proof of payment to the Berlin court cashier’s office

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