October 12th, 2011 Headsman
Graf was a conscientious Catholic whose disaffinity for Naziism manifested in an early refusal to join the Hitler Youth: he did a short stint in prison in 1938 for having continued associating with a banned Catholic youth league.
This subversive fellow might have been destined for the chop regardless in the black years to come, but for a thoroughgoing radicalization, he was drafted into the army as a medic and got a front-row seat on the Holocaust and the horrors of the eastern front.
He was arrested within months and condemned on April 19, 1943 to die as a traitor — though actual execution of the sentence waited several months on the Gestapo’s vain exertions to extract from their prey actionable information on other collaborators.
A number of schools around Germany are named in Graf’s honor.
Also on this date
- 1435: Agnes Bernauer
- 1901: Johannes Lotter, Boer War "rebel"
- 1565: Jean Ribault and the Huguenot colonists of Fort Caroline
- 1888: Pauline McCoy
- 1915: Nurse Edith Cavell, "patriotism is not enough"