Katharina describes Mertens’ party

When I am asked whether and at which additional meetings I was present within the Scholl circle, I just remembered that before the meeting at the Schmorell’s villa, I met Lafrenz and Scholl one evening at Prof. Dr. Mertens’ [house]. Therefore I must also correct my previous statement in which I said that I met Lafrenz and Scholl for the first time at Schmorell’s villa.

However, my statements in this matter at the beginning of the interrogation were certainly not consciously false. I am doing my doctoral dissertation with Prof. Huber. He invited me to the evening at Dr. Mertens’ house. At that time, Huber told me that this would be the first time he himself participated in an evening at Dr. Mertens’ house, and that I could come along without any reservations.

As far as I had been told, the evenings at Dr. Mertens’ house were of a purely musical, philosophical, and social nature. I would estimate that around 25 – 30 persons (primarily students) were there. I can recall that of the Scholl circle, Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Miss Lafrenz, and Dr. Ellermann were present.

In general, politics was not discussed, at least not in the format of the meetings of the closer circle at Schmorell’s villa and at Eickemeyer’s studio. At that time, I only noticed Probst, who said that we Germans did not carry that strong sense of homeland within ourselves as e.g. the French. Ellermann countered that one must educate himself inwardly, but purely in scholarly matters. On that evening, there certainly were no references to an activity against the current regime or passive resistance.

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Source: Initial interrogation of Katharina Schüddekopf, March 23, 1943

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