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Joseph Rossaint

August 05, 1902 - April 16, 1991
Joseph Rossaint Joseph Rossaint 

Joseph Rossaint lived and worked as a chaplain in Oberhausen from 1927 on and in Dusseldorf from 1932 on. He joined the German Catholics’ Peace Association in 1928 and the Center Party in 1929. He concentrated particularly on the Young Men’s Catholic Association, which developed into the Sturmscharen (“Attack” Youth Organization) in Oberhausen. In April 1932 Rossaint already began arguing against National Socialism in the name of the Sturmscharen. In 1933 he left the Center Party in protest against its parliamentary group’s acceptance of Hitler’s “Enabling Act”. He continued organizing meetings of young Catholics and later had contact to members of the Young Communist League. Both sides agreed on their rejection of the National Socialist policy of preparing for a war. In 1935 they produced a joint leaflet against compulsory military service, which had just been reintroduced in Germany. Rossaint was arrested on February 6, 1936. On April 28, 1937 the People’s Court sentenced seven leading members of the Catholic youth movement, including Joseph Rossaint, to eleven years in a penitentiary. The trial aroused protest abroad. Rossaint was imprisoned in Lüttringhausen Penitentiary in Remscheid until April 1945. He was fortunate in escaping the mass murder of prisoners from this penitentiary shortly before the Liberation. Joseph Rossaint survived the war.