Hans Scholl fourth interrogation

Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich

II A/Sond./Ma. [Special Commission – Mahler] – Munich, February 20, 1943.

In a subsequent interrogation, the single male, medical student

Hans Fritz Scholl,

born on September 22, 1918 in Ingersheim, made the following statements:

My most recent statements substantially corresponding to the truth [of the matter]. However, I am now prepared to make additional statements regarding details of the case, as these occur to me.

I have known Prof. Karl Muth, residing in Munich-Solln, Dittler Street 10, since the end of October 1941. My sister Inge Scholl recommended him to me. In a letter dated October 24, 1941, he asked me to catalog his private library.

Prof. Muth is currently 76 years old. He was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the monthly magazine “Highland” which was published by Kösel and Bustek Publishing House in Munich. I never discussed political questions with Prof. Muth. Our common interests revolved around literary matters. I never spoke with him about the strategic situation of the war.

From October 1941 to June 1942, I was a frequent visitor in his house, 2 – 4 times a week. The only exceptions were a couple of longer breaks, such as New Year’s and Easter. Most of the time I was working in his library.

Since I returned from Russia (November 12, 1942), I have not resumed this work, because the library has been partially stored as a result of the threat of air raid. Nevertheless, I have met up with Prof. Muth several times, most recently two weeks ago. During the time (that I was working on his library), Prof. Muth gave me around 300 Marks [$2,400.00] to purchase books for myself. This was not payment for services rendered; rather, it was a gift, since it went without saying that I had promised to do the work gratis, simply because it interested me. Since June 1942, I have not received any additional gifts from Prof. Muth.

I have received no monetary gifts at all from any other person. I would like to mention here that in the Winter of 1939/1940, I worked for the Munich Streetcar [Company] for several weeks as a part-time student. I earned 70 Pfennig [$5.60] per hour.

Since November 1942, I have been auditing the lectures of Prof. Huber, Kurt, I believe residing in Gräfelfing. He holds these lectures at the university in Munich, philosophy department. Following one of his lectures, I was unclear about one of the points he had touched upon with regards to Leibnitz. I asked him to give me a more comprehensive explanation on the subject than he had given in his lecture. This is with regards to Leibnitz’s theodicy. I was namely unclear regarding his explanation about the origin of evil or rather Leibnitz’s explanation of original sin. I did not completely understand the answer that Prof. Huber gave me.

Since Prof. Huber maintains close contact with his pupils [Note 1] and invites them occasionally to his home, he also invited me to his house shortly before Christmas. In his apartment, I met his wife and both his children. We had a nice time over a cup of tea. The conversation was carried out in an easy [Note 2] lighthearted manner, with the children valiantly helping us out. His wife asked my advice about this childhood disease and the other, and I willingly gave her my counsel. At the time, the youngest child had whooping cough.

I can say the following about Prof. Huber’s political views: He is a great Nationalist. He regards bolshevism as the destroyer of European culture. He holds strong anti-Semitic views. I subsequently met up with Prof. Huber on several occasions. Our conversations primarily revolved around the following topic: How can a new Universalism arise out of the chaos of scientific specialization? The materialistic Natural Sciences of the past century no longer suffice us today. A longing to find the true basis for things rises up in revolt of all that materialism – a materialism that undoubtedly finds its reason for existence within the Natural Sciences.

There is therefore a demand for metaphysics. I myself view medicine as the way to approach these pressing issues, because spirit and substance come together in a single object, namely mankind. Prof. Huber is likewise of the opinion that philosophy and Natural Sciences must be reunified.

Regarding the religious views of Prof. Huber, I can only say that he sharply criticizes the conduct of the Catholic Church and represents the point of view that strict separation of church and state is necessary. I have not received any sort of financial support from Prof. Huber. Prof. Huber certainly knew nothing of my political views and activities.

I do not know a man named Paul Voreck, residing in Munich, Nymphenburg Str. 139 / Fourth Floor, rear entrance. I have never had anything to do with this man.

After my first leaflet operation that was carried out by Schmorell and me in Munich in the night of January 28/29, 1943, I could not see that these leaflets had any effect whatsoever. I saw no response of any kind from anyone following this operation. I therefore thought about what avenues of propaganda remained at my disposal. I hit upon the idea of writing slogans on the walls of houses.

During the first few days in February 1943, I told Schmorell that now we would make propaganda by writing slogans. I commissioned him to create a template with the text “Down with Hitler”, also with a crossed-out swastika. Schmorell created the template in his residence. I myself was not present. I only know about this, because he told me.

Schmorell also procured paint and paint brushes. I do not know where he purchased these items. I never asked him. The idea that a professional created the template in question is simply incorrect. Schmorell is a very good craftsman and he most certainly created this template himself. For the time being, we had no intentions of making other templates with similar texts.

As we had previously arranged, Schmorell and I met the evening of February 3, 1943 in my apartment. Schmorell brought the template, paint, and paint brushes. Shortly after midnight, we left my apartment with these things, intending to use the template to paint [our graffiti] in every suitable place. That night, we used black tar-based paint. I do not remember what path we took. We did not have any specific plan regarding which houses or places we wanted to paint [the graffiti]. Occasionally we would test the plaster to see whether it were suited for the graffiti.

We did not initially intend to paint inflammatory words on the university [building]. That thought crossed our minds on the way home, namely at a point in time when we considered the night’s operation complete. Nevertheless, we did in fact paint numerous things there. We did in fact paint graffiti on all the above-mentioned [Note 3] houses, but it is incorrect to say that we also painted graffiti on the “Brown House” [Note 4].

We did paint graffiti on a building that had something to do with Reich administration. I do not recall what street it was on, wherever it was, we turned left off of Kaufinger Street. I remember precisely that we painted the graffiti on a sign where we saw the words “Reich Administration”. I do not remember how many times we painted the graffiti.

The next day, I was able to determine that the words were still present on a barricade at the corner of Ludwig and Von-Der-Tann Streets. I also saw that several of the places where we had painted graffiti had been covered up. We painted the graffiti from around midnight to about 3:30 am. That night, the moon did not rise till about 3:30 am.

At the beginning of the evening, it was raining a little. I can not say that it was particularly bright that evening. After the operation, Schmorell spent the night at my apartment. My sister Sofie Scholl certainly had no knowledge of this operation. She had already gone to bed when we left the apartment. I had told her that I had to go to the Women’s Clinic on Mai Street to help deliver a baby.

During this operation, Schmorell and I were wearing civvies. I would like to expressly say that my sister also did not see the template, paint, and paint brushes that Schmorell brought with him, since he brought them all packed up. That same night, I also painted the word “Freedom” on the right- and left-hand sides of the entrance to the university two three four times. I used the same black tar-based paint, but painted in very large letters without the use of a template. Schmorell was standing next to me while I did this. He did not help me.

While Schmorell and I painted our graffiti, no one defaced property [Note 5], because I thought that was completely superfluous. I would also like to anticipate [your next question] and state for the record that I only worked with black tar-based paint and green oil-based paint. We did not use any other colors, nor did we use white chalk. We also only painted the words “Freedom” and “Down with Hitler”. If other smear campaigns took place in Munich recently, they did not originate with Schmorell and me. If they had, I would be more than willing to admit this to you today.

On February 8, 1943, Schmorell and I left my apartment at about 11:30 pm. We intended to refresh the graffiti at the university. We used green oil-based paint to paint graffiti on the university in several places, namely using the template that you already know about. In addition, I wrote the word “Freedom” on the wall five times and on the outside staircase [Note 6]. I also did not use a template on this occasion.

Schmorell watched me do this. We did not paint anything else in any other place on this night. My sister Sofie Scholl knew nothing about the operation on this night as well, since we did not take her into our confidence. I did not wish to burden [Note 7] her with this matter.

The piece of paper that I was just shown that bears the words “Down With Hitler” etc. concerns a test imprint I made using the template. I did this the night of February 3/4, 1943 on Ludwig Street. The words “Down With Hitler” that were painted on the Dresdner Bank building with red paint the night of February 3/4, 1943 were not painted by Schmorell and me. The “Down with Hitler” graffiti that was discovered on February 8, 1943 on the premises of Herzog-Spital Street 15 probably was done by Schmorell and me, but if so, most certainly on the night of February 3/4, 1943. I remember precisely that we were on Herzog-Spital Street that night, but not the night of February 7/8, 1943. The night of February 7/8, 1943 was a brightly moonlit night, so that if any guards had been posted at the building opposite [where we painted], we would have been observed.

The night of February 15/16, 1943, we painted the words “Down with Hitler” – again using the template in several places on the way back from the telegraph office, where we had deposited the last of our leaflet mailing. We used black paint black tar-based paint to do so. This was the same paint we had used for the first night of the operation. We painted the graffiti – using the template – in the streets named [above] or rather on houses located there (see note dated February 16, 1943).

Without using a template, we painted the words “Down with Hitler” and “Hitler, the Mass Murderer” on the wall between the glass windows of the Hugendubel Company [Note 8]. Schmorell wrote the first, and I the second. That night, it was also very bright. No one stood watch for us. My sister was at home this night as well, and she only knew that we were taking the leaflets to the post office.

When we were painting the graffiti or disseminating the leaflets, we never carried a pistol or any other defensive weapon with us. We had agreed that if the police or any other person should try to detain us, that we would immediately run away from the scene. We were of the opinion that this would be better than raising any kind of a ruckus.

It was probably January 24, 1943 – or it could have been one or two days earlier – that I purchased postage stamps at the Post Offices in area [Note 9] 23 and the main post office. I bought 2000 8-Pfennig stamps at Post Office 23, and 2000 8-Pfennig and 300 12-Pfennig stamps at the main post office [Note 10]. These postage stamps were to be used to mail the leaflets to Salzburg, Linz, Vienna, Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt/Main. We did not mail the leaflets to Frankfurt/Main from Munich, because we wanted to mislead the police. We had calculated that it was cheaper to put 12-Pfennig stamps on letters than it would be to travel by train to Frankfurt to post the letters [Note 11]. That is why Schmorell mailed them from Vienna. As already stated, I purchased an additional 1200 8-Pfennig stamps from Post Office 23 on Leopold Street. The stamps were used to mail the leaflets entitled “Fellow Students!”

I got the Remington typewriter that was used to type the leaflets from Schmorell at the beginning of January 1943. I had asked him to procure a typewriter for me. It took him at most one week to procure the typewriter. I do not recall that he ever told me where or from whom he got the typewriter. And I never asked him about it, either. I do not think that it was his own typewriter, since if I recall correctly, he told me he believed he could procure one.

I learned about the “White Rose” leaflet for the first time through the poet Dr. Schwarz, who lives in Solln. He received this anonymously through the mail and turned it over to the Secret State Police [Gestapo] when he received it. I do not recall any specifics regarding the content of the leaflet. I believe this has to do with the first leaflet, in case he received the second one as well. To this day, I do not know whether he received a second leaflet as well.

I heard about the dissemination of this leaflet from a colleague, Jörgen [sic] Wittenstein, currently in the Student Company at the Bergmannschule. As far as I know, my colleague Hubert Furtwängler, currently in the Student Company at the Bergmannschule, has also heard about this leaflet. If I am now being accused of having been shown such a leaflet by the female student Traude Lafrenz, residing in Munich at Steinsdorf Str. 7, I will admit that it is possible that this happened, but I cannot recall that event at this time. It is also possible that I – along with several other persons – read this leaflet in a corridor of the university. I cannot recall anything further today.

[Note 12 The accused was confronted with the fact that it had been possible to determine that the same person wrote the leaflets of “the White Rose” and the leaflets of the Resistance Movement “Call to All Germans” and “Fellow Students!”. He was shown that on the one hand, both [sic] leaflets had been typed on the same typewriter; and on the other, that the political concepts of all the leaflets were the same, leading to the compelling conclusion that the accused had also written the leaflet [Note 13] of the “White Rose”. Once he was confronted with these facts, he declared that he was [now] willing to make a candid and complete confession.

I am of the opinion that it was not the majority of the German people who failed politically in the time between 1918 – 1933, and above all in 1933. Rather it was that class of people in a nation that should lead a nation politically, [namely] the intelligentsia. Although a class of educated persons and specialists – in all spheres of intellectual life – was evolving into full bloom, it was precisely these people who were incapable of answering even the simplest political questions. This is the only way to explain that mass movements with their simple slogans were able to out-shout every deeper philosophical undertaking.

I felt that it was high time to seriously point out the national-political duties that this part of middle-class [Germany] was obligated to. Whom If the development of foreign policy had initially taken a more peaceable course, I perhaps would not have been faced with the alternative: Should I commit high treason or not? Rather, I would have attempted to mobilize the positive forces within the this nation in such a manner that they would have outflanked [Note 14] everything negative and led [Note 15] to a national form that would be worth striving for.

I procured the duplicating machine shortly before the publication of the first leaflet, namely from the Beierle Corporation. It was a Greif duplicating machine with a hand crank, and it cost 32 Marks [$256.00] . As best as I can recall, I bought paper and stencils from Kaut and Bullinger Company. Alexander Schmorell furnished me with a typewriter without knowing anything about my plans. I do not know where he got the typewriter. Despite repeated remonstrances, I cannot make any other statements with regards to this matter.

The draft of the leaflets – as well as their implementation and mailing – originated with me. I carried out this work in the little room at Athener Platz 4, where I resided at the time. At that time, I was living alone, ie, my sister was not yet studying in Munich. I published around 100 copies each of every leaflet of the “White Rose”, sealed them up in envelopes, and sent them to specific addresses that I got out of the Munich telephone directory. In total, there were four numbered leaflets (I – IV).

The motivation for my actions explains the criterion for choosing specific addresses. I wanted to call out the intelligentsia and therefore directed my energies to academicians etc. I also addressed the leaflets to several innkeepers in Munich. I wanted the leaflets to become popular, because I hoped that the innkeepers would tell their guests about them. The telephone directory used for these mailings had been procured specifically for this purpose by me [Note 16]. I destroyed it when I moved.

As I stated in one of the leaflets, I did not note the names of the people to whom I sent the leaflets. That is why not everyone who received a leaflet received all of them, although that was in fact my original intention. Especially for the later editions, I really do not recall who got a copy. I did not know most of the people who were sent copies of the leaflets. There were indeed several – few – professors whom I knew from their lectures, and two or three acquaintances.

I can recall only two of the acquaintances: The innkeeper Josef Poschenrieder in [Bad] Tölz, whom I know only as an innkeeper; and the poet Hermann Claudias (sic – should be Claudius), whose daughter Ursula was one of my girlfriends for a long time. I wanted to annoy Claudias with the leaflet, because he is disposed towards National Socialism. I am aware that he read his poetry aloud quite a while ago, namely within the scope of Strength Through Joy meetings. I know nothing about possible poetry readings that he could have given to students. I certainly did not ask him to do so. I am aware of the status of Claudias’ health.

Shortly following the France campaign, I corresponded briefly with the writer Benno von Mechow, residing in Brannenburg. We corresponded regarding one of his novellas that was published around that time in the Frankfurter Zeitung [newspaper]. I do not recall the title at present. Now I remember what it was: Novella to Sicily. I also briefly met the doctor of veterinary medicine, Josef Schneider, residing in [Bad] Tölz at Bahnhof Str. 13. I sent him editions I, II, and III of the leaflets. I never sent leaflets to police headquarters in Munich. If I am told that these leaflets were sent by “registered mail,” I can only reply that I most certainly did not do so. I suspect that someone to whom I sent the leaflets got rid of them in this manner. I happened upon the name of Franz Monheim in Aachen because I got to know his son in a field hospital. I also sent several leaflets to Zell near Ruhpolding. The addressees were either café owners or shopkeepers whom I had gotten to know when I stayed there.

When I was sent to Russia on July 20, 1942, I was prevented from publishing more of these leaflets. If I had not [been sent to Russia], I do not know whether I would have published and disseminated more of these leaflets, because at the time, I was doubtful that this was the right way to proceed.

I sold the duplicating machine that had been used in the production of these mass leaflets back to the Bayerle [sic] Company. I think I got 15 or 20 Marks [$120.00 or $160.00] for it. I gave the typewriter back to Alexander Schmorell. When asked, I will once again repeat that Schmorell had nothing to do with the production and distribution of these leaflets and did not even know about them. Certainly he learned about the leaflets later, but not from me, from other students. I wisely refrained from telling other students that I was the producer and distributor of these leaflets. I never showed the leaflets to other students or to bystanders. Neither my sisters nor other family members knew anything about this activity of mine.

I had nothing to do with the document I was just shown, “Victory at Any Price.” I will also say that I have heard nothing concerning the production and distribution of this leaflet. I would admit it had I produced and distributed this leaflet.

The same is true of the leaflet I was just shown, “January 30, 1933 – 10 Years of National Socialism! – January 30, 1943 [Note 17]”. I knew nothing of the existence of this leaflet. I do not have any connections to the Bavarian Motor Works [BMW], I was never in their offices, and I know none of their workers or employees.

During some conversation or the other, I learned that the sermons of the bishop in Münster, Count von Galen, had been duplicated and distributed. I can no longer recall what the occasion was or when I heard of this. But I never saw a copy of this document.

When asked, I will expressly state that except for the graffiti and propaganda operations to which I have already confessed, I did not carry out any others. I never affixed any sort of notices to placards and similar items.

I have heard nothing of the “V Propaganda” [Note 18] that has allegedly taken place in Munich and have no connection at all to it.

Coming back to my leaflet “The White Rose”: When asked why precisely this name was given to the leaflet, I will explain it as follows. The name “The White Rose” [Note 19] was randomly chosen. I acted on the assumption that certain concrete concepts must be present in effective propaganda – the concepts would mean nothing in and of themselves, but would sound good and would give the impression that there was an agenda to [the propaganda].

It is possible that I chose the name on an emotional basis because at the time, I was under the influence of Brentano’s Spanish ballad [Note 20] “Die Rosa Blanca”. There is no connection to the “White Rose” [Note 21] in English history. I also was unaware that there had been a girls’ organization of that name. The typewritten leaflets that had the same content as those of the “White Rose” did not originate with me.

I quickly abandoned thoughts of creating an effective organization, because such an undertaking was not possible due to time constraints. These thoughts only fleetingly crossed my mind at the beginning of January 1943. I did not talk to anyone else about it, nor did I make even the slightest effort to form such an organization.

In December 1942, I purchased the duplicating machine that was used for the operation in January and February 1943 from the Bayerle Company. This was a used “Roto Preziosa” machine, model no. 13 101. It cost 240 Marks [$1,920.00]. Schmorell and I paid for it, since Schmorell had given me about 500 Marks [$4,000.00]. When we purchased it, I was in uniform (Sergeant). When the sales clerk asked why I needed it, I briefly told him that we needed it for our work as students.

When painting “Down with Hitler,” Schmorell and I took turns. Therefore Schmorell carried the bucket of paint for a while and I used the paint brush, and vice versa.

I did not send any of the leaflets that I produced to soldiers who are serving on the front lines. I distanced myself from such action for fundamental reasons, because I know the psychological state of mind of a soldier on the front lines from firsthand experience, and I am convinced that one should not do such things to the front lines.

With regards to the literary letters that I wrote, this is about a newsletter entitled “Storm Lantern”. These letters were sent to a former circle of friends from Ulm, a circle that has been torn apart by the war. It was a means of building an intellectual bridge. [The newsletter] was apolitical and is in no way connected with the leaflets. One issue of the newsletter contained several essays written by my sister Inge Scholl, Otto Aicher and myself. I can remember that the addressees included the following names:

Sergeant Major Ernst Reden, killed in action
Captain Fritz Hartnagel (Stalingrad)
Lance Corporal Werner Scholl (brother), and
Lance Corporal Wilhelm Habermann.

I believe this newsletter was sent to only 8 people. My sister Inge Scholl in Ulm typed these letters in Spring 1942 in Ulm.

I disobeyed the orders given in my unit (Student Company) and did not participate in the student assembly at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, following which a demonstration broke out, because I was not interested in the Gauleiter’s speech. I likewise did not participate in the above-mentioned demonstration and only learned about it after the fact from various students.

I never set out leaflets at the main post office, and specifically, I never had a run-in with a member of the armed forces in so doing. Nor do I know anyone who matches the description in question.

I never carried the .08-pistol that was found in my apartment when I carried out our night-time operations. I acquired the pistol in Russia.

Recorded by: /Signature: Mahler/ Crim. Secr.

Read and signed by: /Signature: Hans Scholl/


Note 1: By German standards; not to be mistaken for camaraderie between students and professors often found on American campuses. Also interesting to note that Hans Scholl used the word Schüler (pupil) instead of Student (university student).

Note 2: The word “easy” was repeated in the original document, likely a typo.

Note 3: There are no “above-mentioned” houses.

Note 4: Hitler’s residence in Munich – equivalent to the White House in Washington, DC.

Note 5: Schmieren literally means “smear” – such as wildly extravagant graffiti, or smearing substances other than paint, e.g. grease, on a surface.

Note 6: Freitreppe can also mean front steps.

Note 7: Not merely in the sense of “bother”, but also to make her an accomplice.

Note 8: Hugendubel was and is a large book store (chain).

Note 9: Like a zip code. “Munich 23” denoted the part of the city where the post office was located, just as e.g. Houston, 55 Texas denoted the Spring Branch area of Houston until ZIP codes were introduced in the USA.

Note 10: A handwritten note in the margins calculates amount: “320 + 36 = 356!” This was $2,848 in postage.

Note 11: 1937 Baedeker’s explains that postage for letters up to 20 grams (approximately 1 oz.) was 12-Pfennig [$0.96], but the “Urban Rate” – i.e., for letters “dispatched and delivered” within the same town – was 8-Pfennig [$0.64].

Note 12: There are no grammatical indications – e.g., quotation marks or special offset of the paragraph – to prepare the ‘reader’ for the transition from first-person confession to third-person accusation. Same with next paragraph.

Note 13: Singular.

Note 14: Specifically uses the military term.

Note 15: Uses a medical term that can also be translated “transfuse”.

Note 16: Grammatical construction of this sentence is equally awkward in the original.

Note 17: January 30, 1933 was the date that Hitler came to power. January 30, 1943 was the date of the defeat at Stalingrad.

Note 18: No explanation given. Possibly refers to above paragraph, since “notices” is Vermerken in the original.

Note 19: Typo in original renders it “The Wise Rose” (Die Weise Rose instead of Die Weiβe Rose).

Note 20: Romanze is a poetic ballad; not a Roman or novel.

Note 21: Another typo – this time the original document says “Weisse Roe”.


Source: ZC13267 (133 – 145)

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