Sophie Scholl third interrogation
II A / Sond. / Mo. [Special Commission / Mohr]
Munich, February 20, 1943
Continuation of the Interrogation of Sophie Scholl
[Beginning here, the text is crossed out with a diagonal, thick black line.]
Question: How long have you known Sergeant Willi Graf (medic)? What is your relationship to him? To what extent did he participate in the leaflet operation? During previous interrogations, you have already made a short statement with regards to this question. However, there is a strong suspicion that specifically to this point and for whatever reasons may be behind it, you have still not told the whole truth.
Answer: I saw Sergeant Graf for the first time – and perhaps even spoke briefly with him – when my brother Hans Scholl was transferred to Russia in mid-July 1942, along with the rest of the Student Company. I went to the East Train Station to say good-bye to my brother, who introduced me to Graf at that time. I can no longer recall whether I had a conversation with Graf at that time.
I saw Graf again when he and the other members of the Student Company returned from Russia in mid-November 1942; he lived in Munich again. The next time I met him was I believe at the beginning of December 1942 on the occasion of a concert. I do not know anything else.
I lived in Munich, Mandel [sic] Str. 1 c/o Berrsche until the end of July 1942. I gave up this residence because the room that was available to me was too small for me. I did not state any other reasons for changing residences. But I was looking for an opportunity to lodge with my brother in one and the same house.
I expressly declare that at that time, my brother and I were not even talking about any kind of propaganda against the current regime.
To come back to my former room at Mandel Str. 1, I will add that when Graf returned from Russia, he was looking for a room. My brother made him aware that my former room at Mandel Str. 1 was available at that time, because the landlady actually did not intend to look for another boarder.
Garf [sic] then got this room, where he resided till the end. Also Graf’s sister, the student Anneliese Graf, sublet a room from the Berrsche family at the beginning of January. [The thick black line crossing out the text ends here.]
From the beginning of December 1942 till recently, Willi Graf visited my brother and me [in our apartment] at Franz-Josef Str. 13 about 10 – 12 times. These were both longer and shorter visits, but mostly shorter visits. There were only 4 or 5 times when he stayed more than an hour on any particular evening. The longest visit was 2-1/2 hours.
I expressly declare that Graf was in no way an active participant in the propaganda activities (writing, production, and distribution of leaflets) that my brother and I carried out with Schmorell’s participation. My brother and I avoided taking other persons into our confidence. This was not only for our own safety, but also so we would not burden [Note 1] other people, or rather our friends and acquaintances therewith.
I will repeat: I told neither Willi Graf nor his sister Anneliese about our propaganda activities, nor did my brother Hans tell either of them about the activities, not even hinting at what we did.
It is correct to say that we (my brother and I) talked freely with Graf about current events or political and military situations. Graf largely shared our opinion that we could not win the war and that the current form of government must be and would be changed once it was overthrown.
We also discussed general questions, now and then interspersed with political, philosophical, or theological questions. I remember that once we thoroughly discussed the question as to whether the Christian and National Socialist ideologies could ever be reconciled. After a longer debate, we finally mutually agreed that the Christian person [Note 2] was more accountable to God than to the State.
Another time, we (my brother, Graf, and I) we argued the question – this debate emanated from current events with regards to the war – as to whether a Christian person who is bound by the laws of God may kill, as is expected of soldiers at the front. We came to the conclusion that even a Christian person may kill in a battle against an enemy, because the fighter is not responsible for his actions as an individual. He is merely acting as a dependent member of a superior power. We discussed these and similar topics frequently with Graf. I could tell through these conversations that he was generally in agreement with our opinions.
[Note 3] Due to the scope and relatively large quantity of leaflets that showed up all at once in different places across southern Germany, an uninitiated person would undoubtedly have been of the opinion that this propaganda was being methodically produced by a larger organization.
When we mailed the leaflets e.g. in Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Augsburg, and Stuttgart to local addresses, this was not merely to save money on postage. We also wished to give the impression that there was a local organization that opposed the current regime with this propaganda. We did not ever intend to distract attention away from Munich, that is, the locality where we were working.
Once my brother and I talked about this fact – actually, it was a frequent topic of conversation. We thought that once the leaflets started showing up, especially once they showed up in various places almost at the same time and in relatively large quantities, that the Gestapo would believe that a larger organization was behind this work. We even frequently made jokes about this deception, primarily once when my brother and I produced 6000 leaflets late at night.
All of the leaflets that were produced and distributed were produced by my brother and me alone during two different nights. The first time was for the approximately 6000 leaflets entitled “Leaflets of the Resistance Movement in Germany,” and entitled “Call to all Germans!” Those were produced either the night of January 21/22, 1943 or January 22/23, 1943. The title “Leaflets of the Resistance Movement in Germany” is missing from part of these leaflets, which otherwise are exactly alike textually. This is because the top of the stencil tore while we were working and we had to tape the stencil back together. Therefore the title did not appear on the rest of the copies, because it had been taped over.
If I am told that at least 8 different stencils had to have been used to produce these leaflets, then I will admit to the same. When we were running off the copies, the stencils kept tearing and had to be re-taped. When we could no longer use a stencil, we typed a new one.
We produced approximately 3000 copies in total of the second sort of leaflet. These bore the title “Fellow Students!” and “German Students!” These leaflets are also textually the same. The title was just changed on one occasion.
This change came about for the following reason: After the stencil had been used to produce maybe half of the leaflets, it was completely unusable. My brother had to type a new stencil. He used the opportunity to change the title. My brother and I produced these copies around the night of February 4/5, 1943. The first time we started around 8 pm and finished at around 3 or 4 am. The second time we worked from approximately 9 pm to 1 am.
I am stating so much detail about this work to demonstrate that the work needed to produce the leaflets could actually be carried out by only my brother and me within the scope of the set-up that we had available to us. It took more time and labor to procure and address the envelopes than it did to run off copies of the leaflets. Schmorell only helped us out last Sunday evening (February 14, 1943) when he affixed the brown adhesive tape to the bulk mailing that we had already folded and addressed. No one but Schmorell helped us with this work. Graf had absolutely nothing to do with it.
I have already mentioned that – given the circumstances – I believed Graf had to know or suspect that we possibly were the producers and distributors of these leaflets. This is merely my assumption. I do not know this for a fact. The only thing that I can say with absolute certainty is that I never told him about our activity – not in any way, not even hinting at it.
Question: What kind of relationship do you have to Willi Graf’s sister, Anneliese Graf, or rather what has she had to do with your propaganda activity?
Answer: I saw Anneliese Graf for the first time when I retrieved a suitcase from my previous landlady, Mrs. Berrsche. This was in December 1942 at the beginning of the month. On that occasion, Miss Graf was introduced to me by her brother. I talked with her briefly, however only about questions pertaining to her course of study.
Beginning here, the text is crossed out with a diagonal, thick black line.]
I have been in contact with Anneliese Graf only on 8 – 10 occasions. Our conversations revolved solely around literary, musical, or other fields of scholarship, never however around politics. Though I cannot say so conclusively, I believe that Miss Graf is completely apolitical. I insist now as I did before that Anneliese Graf did not have the slightest thing to do with our propagandistic activity, not with the production of the leaflets, or the procurement or addressing of envelopes. I am completely convinced that she never suspected a thing.
Question: When we searched the rooms of Eickemeyer’s studio, or rather its basement, we found among other things a template used to write the words “Down with Hitler.” In addition, we found 1 pair of gloves, paint, and paint brushes etc. What do you know about the procurement of the template and accessories and their use?
Answer: I am seeing the template in front of me for the very first time. I did not have the slightest idea of its existence.
In connection with this question, I can recall that about three weeks ago I saw small metal strips about 6 – 8 mm [1/4-1/3”] wide. At the time, I had no idea what they could be. Since I did not give it a second thought, I did not ask my brother where the metal strips came from. But now that I have seen this template, I believe that the metal strips originated with the cut-out of the letters. The metal strips [that I saw] were the same kind of tin that I see here in this template. [The thick black line crossing out the text ends here.]
In the course of our propagandistic activity, we have principally focused our recent thoughts on preparing leaflets that are directed at the student body. We believed that the majority of students are revolutionary and easily enthused, and above all that they dare to risk an undertaking [like this].
When I speak of “revolutionary” in this context, that should not be understood to mean that the student body wishes to revolt against the current regime. That is simply not the case. In any case, when my brother and I were contemplating these things, I suggested that inscriptions should be painted on the university and surrounding [buildings]. These inscriptions would demonstrate that there were forces at work against the current regime. I did not make any suggestions regarding what these inscriptions should be.
My brother responded to my suggestion by saying that we needed to stick to the distribution of the leaflets for now, wait to see if they had any effect, and then see what we would do from then on. But my brother casually noted that if one wished to paint inscriptions like that, one would first have to procure the paint, which would be difficult since paint is hard to come by these days.
When I arrived at the university on Thursday, February 4, 1943 around 10 am for Professor Huber’s lecture, I saw that the word “Freedom” had been painted twice on the right side of the entrance to the university in large letters. In addition, I saw that in various places on the buildings up and down Ludwig Street had been covered up with white paper. In one place, passers-by had torn away one of these papers so that I could see that someone had used a template to write the words “Down with Hitler”, and next to it a swastika that was crossed out twice.
When I came home following the lecture, I told my brother what I had seen. My brother did not seem surprised at my news, accepted it merely as an interesting tidbit. He asked me whether or not the inscription had been removed and what the reaction of the student body was to the inscription. I told my brother that numerous cleaning ladies were working at removing the inscription, but that they were having difficulty doing so. With regards to the student body, I told him that several had called the inscription “disgusting”, while others had laughed about it.
The evening before this event, my brother had told me while we were eating supper (around 7 pm) that he still had to go to the Women’s Clinic for a delivery. After supper, my brother, my sister Elisabeth – who was staying with us for a short time – and I went to the Bavarian Hof where we attended a concert.
After the concert, my brother accompanied us on the way home. About 1/2 an hour later, around 11 pm, he left the house in his everyday clothes. I do not know whether he took a briefcase or anything else that would hold [materials] along with him. I also could not say when my brother came home that night (February 3/4, 1943). The next time I saw him was when I got up the next morning. Whether a man had visited us the day before, I could not say now, but I do not think so.
Question: A notebook [Note 4] was found in your apartment. It contained a larger number of addresses and other notes. What would you like to say in this regards?
Answer: The symbols and numbers on the first page of this notebook contain expenditures (of a monetary nature) that I made for personal items and for the procurement of paper, envelopes, postage stamps, etc. that were used for the production of the leaflets and their mailing. The symbols and numbers that are underlined in red refer to expenditures for purposes of propaganda.
The total amount comes to 385 Marks [$3080.00], at least as far as my records indicate or rather regarding the things I accounted for. I would like to say that this amount is only a portion of our total expenditures for the purposes of political propaganda. I estimate that our total expenditures amounted to 800 – 1000 Marks [$6400 – $8000], including train fare.
In addition, this notebook contains 272 addresses of persons in Augsburg and 14 addresses of persons in Munich. I myself copied these addresses out of the address books (edition year unknown to me) that are set out in the Deutsches Museum.
All but 12 of the addressees in Augsburg received propaganda letters of the so-called “resistance movement in Germany”. I left out only persons whose addresses I could no longer read when I was typing the addresses. There were about 12 of these. The addressees in Munich that are listed in this notebook did not receive even one letter.
Question: A University of Munich student directory for the Winter Semester 1941/42 was also found in your apartment. How did you get this directory and how did you make use of it?
Answer: My brother furnished this directory last Sunday (February 14, 1943) for the preparation of the propaganda letters entitled “Fellow Students!” or “German Students!” I do not know whether my brother previously owned this directory. In any case, we used this directory to randomly copy out 1500 student addresses. Those addressees were then provided with a company of the above-mentioned propaganda leaflets by mail.
Question: Among others, members of the Student Company were provided with propaganda letters of this sort. Where did you get these addresses and who typed them?
Answer: I only know that various members of the Student Company which is stationed in the Bergmannschule received propaganda letters from us. My brother, who belongs to this company, typed those addresses. I do not know how many letters went out to members of the Student Company. I also am not able to state whether members of other Student Companies were supposed to receive such letters. As far as I know – actually, I am completely certain – no letters with leaflets were sent to anyone on the front.
Question: According to determinations made by experts it can be assumed that more than two different typewriters were used to write the letters or rather to type the addresses. In addition, I would like to know from you how you got the Remington typewriter.
Answer: To this I can only repeat that only two different typewriters were used to type the numerous letters (between three and four thousand). Namely, Mrs. Schmitt’s [sic] typewriter (the small Erica) and the typewriter that Schmorell obtained.
Also to the question as to where Schmorell got the Remington typewriter, I can only point to my earlier statements. In mid-January 1943, Schmorell brought the Remington typewriter over one day when I was not there. I never asked Schmorell to procure a typewriter. I therefore assume that the impetus to procure one came from my brother. I do not know to whom this typewriter belongs. However, I assume that Schmorell borrowed it from a friend or acquaintance. But of course, I do not know this for a fact.
Question: When and through whom did you first learn of the leaflet “The White Rose”? What did you have to do with this matter?
Answer: Last summer around the middle of July, Miss Traute Lafrenz, medical student (residence in Munich unknown) with whom I am well acquainted, gave me a leaflet entitled “Leaflet of the White Rose” to read during a break between lectures at the university. As far as I know, this leaflet had the number IV (Roman numeral) at the top.
I believe I can still remember that as Lafrenz was giving me this document, she told me that she had received it either that day or several days earlier. The document was mailed to her in an envelope. As I was reading through this leaflet, my brother– and if I recall correctly, the student Hubert Furtwängler (a nephew of the famous conductor) from the Black Forest, address unknown – was standing next to me. They read the leaflet over my shoulder.
My brother did not let on either through his demeanor, facial expressions, or remarks that he had anything to do with this document, that is with its production and distribution. Even while I was reading it, I asked the people standing around what the title “The White Rose” could possibly mean. If I recall correctly, my brother said that during the French revolution, the exiled aristocracy used a white rose as a symbol on their flags.
A few days later, I was talking to my brother once again about this leaflet. When I asked him who he thought the author of the leaflet could possibly be, he said it was not a good thing to ask about the writer [of the leaflet], because in so doing, the writer could be endangered.
I did not see or hear anything else related to the leaflet “The White Rose” in any manner. I must strongly dispute the accusation that I had even the least to do with the writing, the production, or the distribution of this document. In July 1942, a rumor was spreading among the student body – and I do not remember who told me about it back then – that the disseminator of the “White Rose” had been caught, that is, arrested, sentenced, and executed.
Question: The circumstances seem to indicate that you received donations from third parties to cover the costs arising from the carrying out of the leaflet propaganda.
Answer: I have already stated that this is not the case. All the costs that arose for the procurement of the necessary materials, of the duplicating machine, of the postage stamps, travel costs, etc. were covered by my brother and me alone.
Of course it is correct to say that the amount of money we had available for covering our living expenses, payment of tuition, and procurement of the materials necessary for the production of the leaflets would not have been enough to cover those costs. That is why I was forced to borrow money from various friends and acquaintances. I borrowed 200 Marks [$1600.00] from Schmorell shortly before Christmas 1942 and about 4 weeks ago, another 45 Marks [$360.00].
I did not tell Schmorell that these sums of money would be used to cover the costs of producing the leaflets. However, he could have or should have assumed that this was the case. I have known Schmorell for about 1 year, my brother has known him for about 2. I never borrowed money from Schmorell before now.
I have known Fritz Hartnagel for about 8 or 9 years. He is 26 years old, from Ulm. He is an officer in the Air Force (Captain), on active duty. He was stationed with the 6th Army in Stalingrad, suffered severe frostbite. Shortly before the battle was over, he was air-lifted out and has been in a field hospital in Lemberg since then. I have been involved in a romantic relationship with Hartnagel since 1937. We had been planning to be married later. In May 1942 during a short furlough, Hartnagel gave me the sum of 200 Marks [$1600.00] to use as I wished. Later – in July – I received another 100 Marks [$800.00] . From this total of 300 Marks [$2400.00], I used 40 Marks [$320.00] to buy him some books. The remainder of 260 Marks [$2080.00] was spent once we began working on our leaflet operation.
I would like to amend my above statement to add that my father paid tuition costs for me and my brother.
Question: How long have you known the medical student Christof Probst from Lermoos near Garmisch? What is your relationship with him? What did he have to do with the leaflet operation, or what, in what manner did he participate?
Answer: Probst was introduced to me at a concert in May 1942 by either my brother or Schmorell. In the time following that [introduction], I got together with him about 2 or 3 times a week, either at concerts or in his or our apartment. That went on till the end of the summer semester.
I talked with him. Sometimes my brother was there, sometimes he was not. Probst’s political views essentially are the same as my brother’s and mine. He is also of the opinion that we cannot win this war. But he held back in his utterances against the current regime when he was speaking with us, likely out of consideration for his large family. His wife only recently gave birth to their third child and now has puerperal fever. As far as I know, he had absolutely nothing to do with the writing, production, and dissemination of the leaflets.
When I am told that not long ago, Probst wrote and delivered a draft for a new leaflet, I will reply that I knew nothing of it till now, and that this response is the whole truth.
I am a very close friend of Probst and his wife. I have visited Probst’s wife around four times over the course of the last year, each time staying for the entire weekend. With regards to Probst, I believe he is above average – both in character and intelligence – in his stability and his talents. He appears to be more aware of his responsibilities than does Schmorell. Probst’s wife lives for her family and is wholly given to the care of her children. In my opinion, this woman is completely apolitical.
Question: In succession, name the people with whom you are well acquainted or with whom you are friends.
Answer: With the exception of those friends and acquaintances already named, the following should be added:
Muth Karl, Professor, residing in Munich-Solln, Dittler Str. 10. I met him through Otto Aicher a year ago. Visit him infrequently to find out how he is doing. Very religious man. No political discussions. 77 years old. Physically very weak.
Aicher Otto, member of the armed forces, currently furloughed due to illness. Unit unknown. Aicher is from Ulm, his parents reside at Glockengasse 10. He is the lover of my sister Inge. He has 8 semesters of Realschule [Note 5], however did not take the Abitur because he was not a member of Hitler Youth. He is very religious and not disposed towards National Socialism. However, he is apolitical because he has completely different interests (philosophical and artistic).
Reiff Erika, Ulm. Weinsteige 8. She took the Abitur and is now in her 7th or 8th semester studying medicine. She has been at the University of Munich since December 1942. Met her once at a concert, since then I have had no contact with her. Politically, she is favorably disposed to National Socialism.
Remppis Lisa, residing in Leonberg near Stuttgart, Adolf Hitler Street 16. She is a childhood friend, 19 years old, pupil at the Fröbel Seminar in Stuttgart. We maintain a lively correspondence of a personal nature. She herself is apolitical. Her fiancé is a former [military] officer (wounded in action) and is favorably disposed to National Socialism.
I do not have any other friends.
Question: During the course of the interrogation, I have shown you a shawl now and again and asked you whether it belongs to you or your brother, or whether you know who the owner of the shawl may be.
Answer: This shawl belongs to neither me nor my brother. In addition, I do not know to whom it could possibly belong. With a clear conscience, I have nothing further to say to this question.
When I am told that leaflets were wrapped up in this shawl, and that these leaflets were found shortly after we were apprehended in the university building, I cannot explain the connection.
Question: What do you know about a leaflet entitled “10 Years of National Socialism”?
Answer: A leaflet with this title was completely unknown to me till this moment. After an original of this leaflet was shown to me, I can say with certainty that this leaflet did not originate with either me or my brother. I am unable to give any additional information with regards to the producer or distributor [of this leaflet].
Question: When did Schmorell travel to Salzburg, Linz, and Vienna to take care of the propaganda mailing? When did he return? Where did he spend the night?
Answer: Schmorell took the express train from Munich to Salzburg, Linz, and Vienna on January 26, 1943. This was a Tuesday. He left at 6 am. He returned to Munich on January 28, 1943 at 4 am. I do not know whether Schmorell spent the night [Note 6] in one of these cities. I assume that he did not, since he was not carrying very much money. He could not have spent the night someplace, even if he had wanted to.
Question: I have already asked you the question regarding how much the duplicating machine cost. You said 200 Marks [$1600.00]. Is that correct?
Answer: My brother purchased the duplicating machine. I do not know precisely what it cost. I think it was around 200 Marks, maybe a little more.
Question: In conclusion of your now comprehensive interrogation I would pose the question to you, whether you would not perchance wish to make a statement of your own accord that could contribute to a better understanding of the matter, or of something that has not yet been clarified.
Answer: To this question I would like to state that after I had seen the inscription “Freedom” on the university on February 4, 1943, I got my brother alone on either February 5 or 6, 1943. I asked him privately, “You did that, didn’t you?” By that I meant the painting of the word “Freedom”. He confirmed it, laughing. I do not recall whether he nodded his head or whether he answered my question with a “yes”.
I then advised my brother that he should take me along on subsequent graffiti operations so I could shield him from possible surprises. I mentioned that should we be caught off guard, we could continue walking [down the street] arm in arm so that we would not be conspicuous. He saw my point, but he did not agree to let me help, because he was of the opinion that such work was not suited for a girl.
I also did not tell the truth in another point, and I would like to correct it before this interrogation comes to a close. The sums of money that were listed on page 1 of the notebook found in my room were solely and exclusively used for purposes of political propaganda (production of leaflets). On the top left side, there is the letter E, which stands for Income [Einnahmen]. On the right-hand side, there is the letter A, which stands for Expenditures [Ausgaben]. The numbers under E (income) total 1103.50 Marks [$8828.00]; the expenditures total 690.50 Marks [$5524.00]
I must stress that I did not note all our expenditures. In addition, I believe that I either entered one or more of the income amounts twice, or recorded some of the income as individual amounts when the revenue was already included in a larger sum, i.e., I double booked. The income and expenses should be about equal since I did not have any more money at my disposal than is shown and our treasury is nearly empty, except for a small sum of about 40 Marks [$320.00].
To conclude this statement, I would like to add that I have now confessed everything that is known to me with regards to the matter under inquiry. I have not knowingly withheld information, nor have I added anything thereto which does not correspond to the truth. Should I recall anything else that may have a bearing on this matter and that has not been thoroughly explained and discussed, I will voluntarily submit to an additional interrogation.
Final Question: During this entire interrogation, which has stretched over two full days, we have discussed various political and philosophical questions, touching only the high points. After these exchanges, have you not come to the conclusion that your conduct – and the concerted action you, your brother, and others undertook – must be viewed as a crime against the common good, as well as and especially against our troops who are fighting long and hard in the east? Especially in this phase of the war? And that this conduct and action must be met with the most severe sentence possible?
Answer: From my point of view, I must answer no. Now as before, I believe I have done the best that I could for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct. I wish to take upon myself the consequences of my actions.
Recorded by: /Signature: Mohr/ Chief Crim. Secr.
Dictated aloud; a second reading hereof as well as revision has been waived by: /Signature: Sophie Scholl/
Present: /Signature: Hebberling/ Administrative employee.
Note 1: In the sense of incriminate.
Note 2: Interesting that she chose to say der christliche Mensch instead of the shorter, more usual der Christ.
Note 3: This statement does not follow a question.
Note 4: Two different words were used in this question: Notizbuch and Notenheft. They both mean the same thing.
Note 5: Technical secondary school.
Note 6: In the sense of with a person or in a hotel, not merely “staying overnight” in a place.
Source: ZC13267 (178 – 191)