Sophie Scholl second interrogation
Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich
Continuation of the Interrogation of the Accused Sophie Scholl
After it has been disclosed to me that my brother Hans Scholl has decided to honor the truth and to tell the whole truth with regards to the origins of the motives of our conduct, I will likewise not suppress what I know about this matter and will state what I know for the record. Once again, being exhorted to tell the truth, I wish to make the following confession:
We were convinced that Germany had lost the war and that every life that is sacrificed for this lost cause is sacrificed in vain. The sacrifice demanded at Stalingrad especially moved us to undertake something in opposition to the (in our opinion) senseless shedding of blood.
The first conversations that my brother and I had regarding this problem took place the Summer of 1942. Initially, the only possibility that we had to combat the course of things was to be found solely in an exchange of words with people whom we took seriously regarding the things that moved us most deeply.
But my brother and I soon recognized that nothing was actually being accomplished by this conduct on our part. Nothing that is that would shorten the war by even one day. During a mutual exchange of views between my brother and me, we finally agreed in July of the previous year that we would find both method and means to effectively communicate our views to the masses.
We hit upon the idea of writing, producing, and distributing leaflets, without stopping to consider how we would realize this plan. Today I could not tell you whether my brother or I first came upon the idea of producing leaflets.
Around June 1942, we took Alexander Schmorell into our confidence. We have been friends with him for a long time and believed that he would be receptive to these ideas. I would like to add that Schmorell’s father is a German-Russian and that his mother was Russian (the latter is already deceased).
Before the outbreak of war against Soviet Russia, Schmorell was completely disinterested in politics. It was only later, that is after the beginning of hostilities against Russia that he began to take an interest in the course of the war, especially for militaristic events.
Schmorell loves Russia deeply, although his parents were forced to flee Russia in those days and immigrated to Germany. They obtained German citizenship, which the Schmorell son also possesses. Although he is an absolute opponent of Bolshevism with every fiber of his being, he still nurses strong feelings for his Fatherland, which makes him politically insecure.
During the initial conversations with Schmorell, he raised various objections to our plans in that he pointed out that all this would happen by itself and did not require our input. Schmorell did finally agree to help us realize our plans. But that is largely because he does not think soberly enough about political matters and is easily enthused.
Following numerous long conversations on this topic between my brother and me, the decision to write, produce, and distribute leaflets in large quantities finally matured in December 1942. Schmorell knew about our firm plans around this time, but never actively participated. He was more of an observer and confidant.
The first leaflet entitled “Leaflets of the Resistance Movement in Germany – Call to All Germans!” and the concluding sentence “Support the resistance movement, disseminate the leaflets!” were written by my brother and me shortly after New Year’s 1943.
We showed a typewritten rough draft of this leaflet to “Alex”. He accepted its contents without making any supplementary or editorial comments. After the matter had progressed to this point, the next task consisted of obtaining the necessary duplicating paper, envelopes, and stencils.
My brother and I got busy and purchased approximately 10,000 sheets of copy paper from the local stores, and in addition about 2000 envelopes. My brother also purchased a new duplicating machine (brand unknown) from a local specialty store. It cost about 200 Marks [$1600.00]. My brother also purchased the stencils, about 20 sheets. My brother also typed the stencils for the individual leaflets on the typewriter that “Alex” provided for us. He did this in my presence. We then jointly produced the leaflets on our duplicating machine.
My brother and I – and we alone – typed the addresses. I generally used Mrs. Schmidt’s typewriter and typed those addresses in which the addressee and address are not on top of one another in a straight line. Rather, for the addresses that I typed, each line is indented a little further to the right of the previous line. In contrast, my brother used “Alex’s” typewriter and typed name and address on top of one another in a straight line.
My brother and I copied out most of the addresses we used for Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt from the municipal directories that are available at the Deutsches Museum. These were the 1939-41 editions. “Alex” helped copy out addresses once.
It took us about 14 days to get the letters ready for mailing for the cities outside of Munich. Once we were finished with all of them, we mailed them in the cities for which the letters were destined.
On January 25, 1943, I took the express train to Augsburg at around 3 pm. I arrived about an hour later. I carried about 250 letters for Augsburg addresses in a briefcase. Since about 100 of these letters were not yet stamped, I purchased 100 8-Pfennig stamps at the post office at the train station in Augsburg. I then stamped the letters that needed it and mailed them at the post office at the train station. I mailed about half the letters at the mailboxes inside the post office next to the windows, and the other half in the mailboxes outside the post office.
After I was finished, I caught the 8:15 pm express train back to Munich, and arrived around 9:06 pm. The next morning (January 26, 1943) around 6 am, Schmorell took the express train to Vienna via Salzburg and Linz. He mailed the letters for Salzburg and Vienna in those cities, concluding in Vienna (he also mailed the letters for Frankfurt in Vienna).
We had prepared 200 for Salzburg, 200 for Linz, 1000 for Vienna, and 300 for Frankfurt. Only the letters for Frankfurt were not already stamped. We had originally intended to mail the letters for Frankfurt in Frankfurt, in order to save money on postage. But we abandoned this idea because we calculated that train fare to Frankfurt exceeded what we would have saved in postage, had someone traveled to Frankfurt. That is why the letters addressed to persons in Frankfurt bore full [not local] postage and were mailed by “Alex” in Vienna.
I took the letters that were designated for Stuttgart – between 600 – 700 pieces – to Stuttgart myself and mailed them there. I left on Wednesday, January 27, 1943 at 4:30 pm on an express train and arrived in Stuttgart’s main train station at 7:55 pm. I carried the leaflets in a small suitcase. All the letters were already stamped for local delivery.
The evening of January 27, 1943, that is as soon as I arrived, I mailed not quite half the leaflets in mailboxes at the train station and in South Stuttgart. I mailed the remainder in mailboxes in the suburbs of Stuttgart over the course of the day on January 28, 1943. I spent the night of January 27/28, 1943 in the 2nd or 3rd class waiting room [of the train station]. I did not spend the night anywhere.
[Beginning here, the text is crossed out with a diagonal, thick black line.] The return trip to Munich took place on January 28, 1943 at 11:25 pm. I arrived in Munich on January 29, 1943 at 3:05 am. Since the streetcars do not run at that hour, I had to walk all the way home.
Earlier when we were just talking [Note 1], I may have commented that I and my brother jointly undertook the leaflet operation the night of January 28/29 which resulted in the scattering of around 2000 leaflets. I must now admit that this is incorrect. The night of [January] 28/29, I was on the way to Munich from Stuttgart. My brother and Schmorell carried out the distribution or scattering of leaflets in Munich. I have been advised that they began distributing [the leaflets] around 11 pm on January 28, 1943 and by shortly before 4 am had succeeded in scattering about 2000 leaflets. My brother allegedly distributed leaflets north of the train station, while Schmorell worked the southern part of the city.
I have been given the description of a man between 30 – 35 years old, about 1.7 m [5’8”], thin, etc., who allegedly was placing leaflets of the resistance movement in Germany in telephone books located in the foyer of the main post office in Munich on the morning of February 4, 1932 between 7 and 8 am. I can only say to this that I cannot imagine who this may have been, inasmuch as my brother is not a possibility. My brother is by all means taller than 1.7 m, he does not own a gray mackintosh with wide collars, and he has never had a moustache or so-called “Menjou” [Note 2]whiskers. I also cannot think of any of my friends who would match this description even slightly.
I also admit that when running errands in the city between January 30 and February 6, 1943, I placed leaflets “of the resistance movement” in telephone booths, parked autos, and the like on about 4 – 6 occasions. I do not remember where specifically I did this. In any case, I always made it a point to carry several extra copies of the leaflets with me whenever I was walking through the city specifically for that purpose. Whenever I saw an opportune moment, I took it.
The student Willi Graf, residing in Munich, Mandel [sic] Str. 1, in no way participated in the production and distribution of the leaflets. I assume that he knew about our leaflet operation, but I must say that I never told him about it. I deduced from remarks he made during our occasional conversations that he knew about it and also assumed that we were occupied with producing and distributing leaflets, due to the circumstances. But I can no longer remember specific comments of this nature. [The thick black line crossing out the text ends here.]
Recently, we ran off around 1200 more copies of the leaflet entitled “Fellow Students!” in Munich – around February 6 – 15, 1943. We addressed the envelopes or rather prepared a bulk mailing and got these leaflets ready to mail. For this operation, Schmorell only helped my brother and me affix the postage. He also provided us with the brown adhesive tape for sealing bulk mail and he gummed down the letters that were being sent by bulk mail.
I would also like to tell the truth about the events in the University of Munich this morning. I hereby confess that my brother and I brought these leaflets into the university in the suitcase that was confiscated upon our apprehension. We also scattered the leaflets. In my estimation, there were about 1500-1800 leaflets entitled “Fellow Students!” and about 50 entitled “Call to All Germans”.
We transported most of the leaflets in the above-mentioned suitcase. But my brother’s briefcase was also filled with these leaflets. Inside the university building, my brother carried the suitcase while I stacked or scattered the leaflets in various places. In my high spirits or stupidity I made the mistake of throwing about 80 – 100 leaflets from the third floor down into the Lichthof, whereupon my brother and I were discovered.
I readily knew that our conduct was intended to put an end to the current regime. I wished to achieve this goal by reaching broad classes of the population with suitable propaganda. In addition, we intended to continue our work in a suitable manner. At least in the beginning, but also later, we did not intend to take others into our confidence and recruit active conspirators. We decided not to do so because this seemed to be too dangerous. My brother and I discussed precisely this question a short while ago. After weighing the pros and cons, we reached the conclusion that it would be too dangerous.
If I am now asked whether I still believe that I acted correctly, I must answer yes, namely for the reasons given at the outset. I resolutely deny that my brother and I were induced, challenged, or financially supported by third parties. My brother and I acted solely out of idealistic [Note 3] reasons and personally bore all the expenses associated therewith. I estimate that these costs ran between 800 – 1000 Marks [$6400 – $8000]. Schmorell lent us 150 – 200 Marks [$1200 – 1600] for the leaflet operation, which we intended to repay over the course of the next few months.
We hid the duplicating machine (that my brother had purchased for purposes of duplicating the leaflets) in the studio of the artist Eyckemeir [sic], Leopold Str. 38, rear entrance, about 14 days or 3 weeks ago. Eyckemeir is currently in Cracow working as an architect and has been renting the studio to the artist Wilh. Geyer for some time now.
Geyer is from Ulm residing in Syrlin Str. ?. Geyer gave us the key to this studio so that we would be able to show our friends and acquaintances several of the pictures that Geyer has displayed in this room. Geyer has no idea that we hid our duplicating machine in the basement of the studio mentioned above. Moreover, Geyer works in Munich only a few days a week. The rest of the time, he works in Ulm.
Finally, I would like to say that Mrs. Schmidt, our landlady, is favorably disposed to National Socialism and has no idea at all about our goings-on. As much as is possible, I request that you break the news of these events to Mrs. Schmidt and her daughter as gently as possible, especially since Mrs. Schmidt’s daughter is with child and is about to be delivered. I would therefore ask that all agitation be avoided with these people.
Recorded by: /Signature: Mohr/ Chief Crim. Secr.
Read and signed by: /Signature: Sophie Scholl/
Present [Note 4]: Administrative employee/
Note 1: That is, not part of the official interrogation.
Note 2: Menjou was an actor who was especially known for his very thick, wide, and dark moustache. The better-known character we would most closely associate with this moustache style would be Groucho Marx.
Note 3: Idiell – typo? Neither idealistic nor ideological.
Note 4: No name or signature given.
Source: ZC13267 (171 – 177)