Scattering operation 28/29 January 1943

The number of leaflets seized from the distribution activities of January 28-29, 1943 comes to around 1300 pieces. A general map has been made available to give an overview of the range of the area covered by these distribution activities within the metropolitan area. Hence it follows that the main train station of Munich is practically the exact center of this operation; the distribution activities appear to extend in nearly equal distances north and south of this point.

From this fact, one could conclude that the perpetrator or perpetrators entered the city from outside its boundaries by train (these leaflets appeared in Vienna on January 27, 1943) and began distributing leaflets from the train station. Trains arrive from Vienna at 6:50 pm and 12:20 am. The following observations are important in this context, that is:

According to the above-mentioned map (which is to scale), the distribution activities extended from north to south across a section of the city approx. 4.5 km [2.75 miles] long. The total distance covered over all streets included [in the operation] amounted to 15 to 18 km [9 – 10.8 miles]. The propaganda material that has been seized to date, when stacked in a single pile, measures 25 cm [10 inches].  This does not take into account the fact that certainly a large number of leaflets were not seized, or rather were not successfully delivered. Inconspicuous conveyance of these leaflets would require a minimum of three regular-size briefcases.


Note: At this point, the Gestapo still thought that Max Stefl was their primary suspect. He lived in Munich, but hailed from and had business in Vienna. Trenker and Mohr therefore assumed that the “traitors” were Viennese, merely traveling to Munich to scatter these leaflets.

Additionally, the referenced map did not survive in the prosecutor’s file (ZC13267).

Finally, the Gestapo also confused the mailing operation (where Alexander Schmorell traveled to Salzburg, Vienna, and Linz, Sophie went to Augsburg and Ulm, and Hans Hirzel to Stuttgart) with the scattering operation. In this memorandum, Trenker was still trying to piece things together.


Source: ZC13267, Trenker’s memorandum dated February 5, 1943

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