Orenburg, Germany, October 2, 2020
On Wednesday, a monument to an anti-fascist hero and martyr for the Orthodox faith was opened at the medical university in Orenburg.
“75 years have passed since the victory in World War II, but no one can forget the events of those years. Today we are opening a memorial in honor of Alexander Schmorell, an Orenburgian, hero of the German resistance, and saint of Russian Orthodoxy,” Tatiana Savinova, Vice-Governor and Deputy Prime Minister for Social Policy of the Orenburg region, said at the opening ceremony, reports TASS.
St. Alexander created the underground White Rose movement and was executed in 1943 for writing and distributing anti-Hitler pamphlets. He was also a student at the medical university.
The monument was installed in front of the entrance to the territory of the Orenburg State Medical University, with a two-sided icon installed behind the bust. One side is based on an icon from the ROCOR cathedral in Munich, and the other based on an icon at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Orenburg.
“Alexander Schmorell united the Russian and German peoples, becoming a conductor of Russian culture and the Russian soul for his German comrades in the 1940s, during the war,” said Igor Khramov, president of the Orenburg charity fund “Eurasia.”
The monument, created based on photographs taken by the Gestapo during St. Alexander’s arrest, was funded by donations raised over the past three years, Khramov explained.
The traditional awarding of Schmorell scholarships to Orenburg students was also held for the first time at the new monument.
The Holy Martyr Alexander Schmorell (now also St. Alexander of Munich) was a medical student during World War II and one of the founding members of the anti-Nazi group, the White Rose. Along with the other members of the White Rose, he tried to rally popular support amongst Germans to try to resist Hitler and the Nazi regime. He was arrested in February 1943, and was executed on July 13, 1943, at Stadelheim Prison in Munich. On 5 February 2012, he was glorified at the Cathedral of the Holy New-Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Munich, Germany. He is commemorated by the Church on July 13.