Katharina goes to Alex’s soiree
The first time I had contact with the Scholl circle was in Schmorell’s villa. Around the end of June 1942, Lafrenz invited me there for a community reading of the book The Satin Slipper.
As best as I can recall, I went alone to Schmorell’s villa after Lafrenz told me in advance where Schmorell’s villa was located in Harlaching. As I recall, that evening the Scholl siblings (Hans and Sophie), Schmorell, Probst, Prof. Huber, Dr. Ellermann, and my friend Lafrenz took part. The book The Satin Slipper was read aloud after roles had been assigned. Prof. Huber came later, and [therefore] did not take part in the reading.
In the course of the evening, politics became a topic of discussion, particularly the contrast between the political attitudes of North and South. Dr. Ellermann energetically represented the Northern viewpoint. He essentially said that especially now during a time of war, it was not the right time to concern oneself with politically oppositional thoughts.
Particularly Hans Scholl and Probst were involved in this debate, which was more or less in the form of a free discussion [Note 1]. The reason that Dr. Ellermann spoke out so strongly against politically oppositional thoughts was because Scholl had said that he was ready to put up posters. I was under the distinct impression that the posters Hans Scholl considered putting up were to have the goal of inciting anti-Nazi sentiments. I came to this conclusion because I often heard the form of speech Nazis.
Additionally, Scholl said that the current regime is not a nation [Staat], but rather a nation of criminals. This form of speech preceded a discussion about the various forms of government. [Note 2]
That evening, there was also talk of leaflets and activity, as well as or passive resistance. Only Prof. Huber, Hans Scholl, Probst, and Ellermann participated in this conversation.
Prof. Huber championed the point of view that activity was out of the question, but only passive resistance if necessary. Also within this context, the discussion of the contrast between North and South resurfaced. Prof. Huber said he believed that a division [between the two] was impossible, if for no other reason than economic and national supplementary essentials [Note 3].
Probst actively participated in this discussion, but without the same resolution as Scholl. From Dr. Ellermann’s conduct, I concluded that he was not only resolutely opposed to any activity that was directed against the current regime, but also completely against any thoughts that were directed against the government.
I did not take any of the political discussion seriously. I believed that they were merely toying with ideas. At that time, I never would have believed that some of those involved could have transformed their words into reality.
On that evening, I also learned of the leaflet “White Rose”. It came about as follows: Prof. Huber publicly declared before all those present that he had received a leaflet [entitled] “White Rose”. To that time, I had no idea of the existence of such a leaflet. Therefore I asked what that was.
Hans Scholl replied (acting very surprised) something to the effect of: “What, you still don’t know anything about the existence of the ‘White Rose’.” He then pulled a copy out of his briefcase and showed it to me. On the basis of the editions of the “White Rose” [leaflets] that I am being shown, I can say for certain that this was Edition 3 that Scholl showed me.
I read it and saw that it was political. In particular, I could determine that it was directed against the current regime. I was upset and silently gave it back to Hans Scholl. I could tell from the content that it had to have come from academic circles.
I had the impression that everyone present knew about the existence of this leaflet. I came to this conclusion because Hans Scholl immediately took back the leaflet, and the rest of those present seemed to be rather uninterested in it. I believe that if anyone else there had not known about the leaflet, they would have at least expressed an interest in it. At the very least, everyone present could have seen that Hans Scholl gave me the leaflet to read and that I openly read the leaflet as I was holding it in my hand. There was no further discussion about the content of the leaflet.
When I asked Hans Scholl where the leaflet came from, he replied merely by shrugging his shoulders. I never thought that Hans Scholl was connected to the leaflet in any manner.
As already stated, I saw and met Hans Scholl for the first time that evening. Therefore I could not draw any hard and fast conclusions, even though I was able to determine that evening that Scholl had political leanings against the current regime.
I never saw the 1st, 2nd, and 4th editions of the leaflet “White Rose”.
Note 1: That is, a conversation instead of a debate. Lose Unterhaltung.
Note 2: In these two sentences, Staat had to be translated regime, government, and nation for better understanding. The original said, “Scholl sagte, der heutige Staat ist kein Staat, sondern ein Staat von Verbrechern. Dieser Redewendung ging ein Gespräch über Staatenformen und Staatenbildung voraus.”
Note 3: Völkischer Ergänzungsnotwendigkeiten.