Scholls see Traute Lafrenz and Willi Graf

When we entered the university building, my brother and I met several male and female students on the stairs to the second floor. They were just leaving Dr. Huber’s lecture.

Among the people I knew from among these students was Traute Laffrenz [sic] from Hamburg. She is in her 7th or 8th semester of medical studies. I have known Laffrenz for about a year; I met her through my brother.

As we passed one another, I said hello and she returned my greeting. I can assume then that she saw me as well. As we neared Prof. Huber’s lecture hall, the lecture was not quite ended.

Question: In the course of your interrogations, you have stated that you saw no one whom you knew on the way to the university. Yet you say that you met the medical student Traute Laffrenz on the stairs leading to the second floor. Did you not in fact meet other persons whom you knew inside the university?

Answer: In addition to Lafrenz, I saw another female student from Ulm on the stairs leading to the second floor. But I cannot think of her name at the moment. I saw this woman for the first time in the university building, but I do not know what lectures she frequents.

Question: Do you not recall having seen the medical student Willi Graf inside the university?

Answer: There were several medical students in uniform who passed us on the stairs leading to the second floor. It is possible that Graf was among them without my having noticed him. But I do know for a fact that Lafrenz and the other student from Ulm who met us on the stairs were among that group of students of whom several individuals already had copies of the leaflets in question in their hands. Since these students were leaving Prof. Huber’s lecture, and his lecture hall is on the second floor, I must assume that the leaflets had already been distributed on the second floor before my brother and I came up the stairs.

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Note: This part of Sophie Scholl’s initial interrogation was likely true. Therefore the legend that has grown up around White Rose history – where the university was completely empty as they distributed leaflets – is false. They carried out this dangerous operation recklessly and with total disregard for secrecy.

It is also puzzling why Sophie betrayed Traute Lafrenz as she did here. She could have mentioned people she knew who were reliably pro-Nazi and protected Traute and Willi. – Ed.

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Source: First interrogation of Sophie Scholl, February 18, 1943

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