The Boy Who Dared was written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and published in 2008. It is a historical novel based on a real person named Helmut Hübener. The setting is in the early years of Nazi Germany shortly after Hitler rises to power. Part of the Third Reich’s platform is for its youth to participate in the rebuilding of the country. Helmut Hübener, a teenager at the time, believes in this effort and enters the Hitler Youth program.
Hübener, a Mormon, cannot understand why the Third Reich conquers other countries or disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda. Hübener witnesses a Jewish classmate get beaten and sees a Jewish neighbor get apprehended by Nazi soldiers. He also cannot understand why his fellow Germans do not oppose these heinous actions. He knows in his heart that the atrocities being committed against Jews are morally wrong, and he wishes he could do something to stop it.
He becomes more and more skeptical of the teachings of Nazi propaganda. Hübener turns to the BBC's news because he can get reports of German as well as British losses in the war. He starts drafting a newsletter that contains information which he collects from BBC reports over illegal radio waves. In a daring and morally courageous move, he begins handing out flyers denouncing Hitler in his town. Shortly thereafter, he finds himself being arrested, beaten, and tortured for speaking out against the Nazis—a dangerous act considered treasonous in Nazi Germany. He wanted to be a detective to expose the evil nature of Hitler's brutal regime, the Nazis' dark secrets, and the horrible suffering caused throughout Europe.
He became intensely and actively opposed to the Nazis. He disseminated papers that were critical of the Nazis. The papers also urged the German people to oppose the war. He had hoped that his efforts would result in the German people turning against Hitler. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. Ultimately, he was sentenced to death for his actions. But people today regard him as a morally courageous hero.