Gestapo comments about first leaflet

Yesterday’s expert analysis, page 3, number 4, Christian overtones: … C 38, once again the accusation of godlessness, atheistic war machine. … C 34, member of the Christian and western culture. …

Yesterday’s expert analysis, page 6, 2nd paragraph: I determined that the appeals did not have the tone of an embittered loner. … [As] in B – complains about their indifference ( C 3 ff., D 5 ff.). …

I described the author as an intellectual. In the new material, this is once again clearly evident. The author cites largely unknown passages from Goethe and Schiller, and in addition, Novalis, Aristotle, and Lao-Tse. … Other expressions stem from the same intellectual foundation, such as C 38, the vengeful Nemesis, C 41 hubris, C 32 the insatiable demon. Similarly, the polemic against the regularity of history (found in C 12). …

The intellectual soil from which this author originates reminds me most of Wilhelm Stapel: Here we have the same connection between nationalism [Note 1], modified anti-Semitism, and a political theology that stems from Protestantism, yet which demonstrates interdenominational tendencies. For further examination of these theses, I will first have to acquire the material.

In addition, the author apparently gets nourishment from steady, fairly banal, foreign propaganda, that I am familiar with from my domicile abroad. I would assume that this propaganda comes from foreign [radio] broadcasts, but I do not have any means to test this theory [Note 2]. The following belongs in this category: Preaching of passive resistance; the expression “fascist” with regards to National Socialism, since this expression originated with the Bolshevists; talk of the great losses on the Eastern Front as early as last summer; and finally, the critique of Adolf Hitler’s style in Mein Kampf. And when in C 26, it speaks of few supposedly heroic men who have died, then this assertion, if it is at all true, could only have been learned by the author in this manner [foreign broadcasts].

From the perspective of current history, C – F all reflect the same situation of last summer. They were likely written hastily one right after another. Air raids in Cologne …

On the basis of all 6 leaflets, it is possible to construct a sort of political biography [of the author]. The author starts out fairly primitively in C – F (compare the naïve demand [for readers to] duplicate the leaflets). He is decidedly romantic (the maudlin White Rose name). He is not cautious with regards to his political agenda and lets the Christian cat out of the bag. …


General Note: In Harder’s memorandum, C = Leaflet 1 by Hans Scholl, D = Leaflet 2 by Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell, E = Leaflet 3 by Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell, F = Leaflet 4 by Hans Scholl, A = Leaflet 5 by Hans Scholl, B = Leaflet 6 by Kurt Huber. I have extracted only the analysis of Leaflet 1 in this post. – Note that dating as June 25, 1942 is based the date the first leaflets were mailed (around June 28) minus a few days.

Note 1: Originally said Nationalsozialismus or National Socialism, but the “Sozial” has been crossed out in the original document.

Note 2: Listening to foreign broadcasts was a felony offense, and if Prof. Harder admitted he knew the contents of such broadcasts, he could have been prosecuted himself.


Source: ZC13267, Harder’s memorandum dated February 18, 1943

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