Sixth interrogation of Willi Graf
II A/So. Mo. [Special Commission/Mohr]
Munich, March 1, 1943 [Note 1]
Continuation of the interrogation of Wilhelm Graf (personal data as already known):
Question: At the end of July 1942 before you were transferred to Russia, there was a going-away party at the studio of Eickemayer (sic) on Leopold Street. You took part in that party. In addition to yourself, who else took part in this party and what political topics were discussed thereby?
Answer: Hans Scholl invited me to this party. In addition to him, the following were present: his sister Sophie Scholl, the architect Eickemayer, Schmorell, Professor Huber, and I think Propst. I could not say who the other two or three persons were. The name Otto Aicher is completely strange to me. However, the name Hirzel was mentioned once in a conversation between Sophie and Hans Scholl, but I cannot recall in what context.
I cannot recall any details about the conversation that evening. After I have been shown the statements of Professor Huber with regards to this matter, I admit that it is possible that these topics and others like them were covered. I believe I can now recall that with regards to our assignment on the front, Schmorell championed the idea that we should behave passively, and that the others who were present contradicted him. As far as I know, I did not participate in this debate at all, and if I did, very little.
Question: Do you know a Professor Mertens? If so, what is your relationship to him etc.?
Answer: I know a professor by that name solely as the publisher of the “Munich Medical Weekly”. I have never had any contact with this man. I also do not know whether the Scholl siblings maintained contact with Dr. Mertens.
Question: Shortly after New Year’s 1943, you and Hans Scholl visited Professor Huber at his residence and discussed the advisability of producing leaflets with Huber. Please tell what you know about this discussion? [Note 2]
Answer: It is correct to say that this discussion took place between Huber, Scholl, and me. I think it was a Saturday afternoon when I met Scholl at his apartment. He then suggested that I accompany him to Gräfelfing to visit Professor Huber.
I initially thought that this was a so-called formal visit. Later in the conversation with Huber, leaflets were discussed for the first time (as far as I know), and I was initially very surprised. Scholl described the general economic, political, and militaristic situation, which he deemed to be extremely unfavorable and dangerous. He championed the point of view that the nation or rather the broad masses must be respectively enlightened, because in broad portions of the populace, there was a feeling of absolute security (due to one-sided propaganda), which could never be achieved.
In this context, Scholl contemplated the possibility of producing and distributing leaflets to enlighten the nation in that manner. Huber initially said that he was against leaflet propaganda namely because this means was not suited for reaching the broad masses, namely due to technical difficulties, first because there would not be a print shop available for duplication, second because of material shortages, and finally because it was a daring matter and that the leaflet [format] in and of itself had lost its propagandistic value due to earlier abuses.
Huber finally decided that he wished to consider the matter further and then give his opinion thereto. Scholl had already attempted to distract Huber’s contemplations with his enthusiasm and to give the illusion that the production and distribution of leaflets represented the best and most successful means of enlightening the nation.
When discussing the details of technical execution, Scholl emphasized the fact that one could use a duplicating machine for the production of leaflets and make the leaflets available to broad sections of the populace by mailing them or scattering them. I do not recall that the text of such leaflets was discussed in this context. However, it was discussed that propaganda should be limited to Southern Germany.
Question: When were you introduced to Harnack, what do you know about him, and what is your relationship to him?
Answer: The afternoon of either February 9 or 10, 1943, between 4 and 5 pm, I happened to stop by Scholl’s apartment. At that time, a certain Harnack – around 30 years old – was present. He was introduced to me.
During the ensuing brief conversation, I learned that he had studied economics in Munich earlier. A few minutes after my arrival, a lady (whose name I do not know) appeared to pick up Harnack.
The next day, or the day after, I think it was Thursday February 11, 1943, shortly after 11 am, I went to Scholl’s apartment. After the lecture, he had told me that I should come with him, that Harnack would be stopping by. When we arrived at Scholl’s apartment, Schmorell and Harnack were already standing in front of the door. A few minutes later, Professor Huber arrived as well.
After Huber appeared, Scholl introduced him. In closing, Scholl mentioned – without any kind of segue or introduction – that for the sake of the entire group, Harnack should expound upon his thoughts and plans regarding the form of government that he envisioned. Harnack basically said that the future nations of Europe had to have an authoritarian forms of government in which industry and economics (and particularly heavy industry [Note 3]) were socialized, because that would be the only way that prestige and prosperity could be reinstated in those nations. He pointed to Russia and its nationalization of both train and postal services by way of example.
Huber contradicted this view and championed the notion that this development would in the end empower the destruction of the middle class and the invalidation of private ownership. Scholl was of the same opinion. Despite the disagreement, Harnack would not be moved from his plans. He additionally proposed that it would be necessary to dispense with the middle class and private ownership to the benefit of a centrally led and administered economy. Huber replied: “Yes, and if it were to come to that, then we would have the same conditions as in Bolshevist Russia, and that would be terrible.”
In the course of the conversation, Harnack mentioned that there had been groups and circles in Berlin that had concerned themselves with these questions, and that they were represented in the highest ranks [of government]. His (Harnack’s) brother had been involved in this matter. From that I concluded that the groups in Berlin had been cleaned out and where possible, prosecuted.
I was present at this discussion for about an hour. I left before it ended. During the conversation, I was more of a listener, because I could hardly get a word in edgewise. I only know that I openly opposed the thoughts of socialization.
Question: I must once again pose the question to you: Did you make any financial contributions to the leaflet operation?
Answer: At the end of January – it was the last week in January – Scholl left his apartment to buy postage stamps. This was at a time when a large number of propaganda letters were being prepared for mailing. Before leaving, he counted his money and determined that he did not have enough cash to pay for the desired-for quantity of postage stamps. He then asked me to lend him some money, at which point I gave him 50 Marks [$400.00]. I believed that I would be repaid this sum of money, especially since I have to keep house with the cash that is available to me, or since I do not have anything left over.
I am aware that Schmorell also financially supported this matter, but of course I do not know to what extent. In addition to myself and Scholl, I do not know of any other financial supporters.
Question: From January 21 to 25, 1943, you were in Bonn. What was the purpose of this trip and with whom did you come in contact in Bonn or other locations in the Rhineland?
Answer: I have already stated that I traveled to Bonn to organize a fencing tournament that is supposed to take place in Munich soon. That was why I went to Bonn. I needed to speak with possible partners.
Tangentially I wished to visit a friend – Miss Marita Herfeldt, residing in Bonn, Postelsdorfer Alley 98 / Second Floor.
I left Munich either January 20 or 21, 1943 at 11 pm – I do not remember exactly which day it was. I arrived in Bonn around noon. Before I left Bonn on Saturday morning, January 23, 1943, I was able to visit an old college friend named Karl Bisa, who resides with his mother at Luisen Str. 9. Bisa is also a member of the armed forces who has been furloughed to continue his studies. He is a member of the Student Company in Bonn.
In addition to Bisa and his mother, I came in contact with the following persons in Bonn: Miss Herfeldt; a Mr. [Illegible] [Note 4] who is likewise a student and a member of the armed forces, address unknown; a Mr. Jacobs, Heinrich, an acquaintance of Miss Herfeldt; and with a young soldier who was transferred to Russia a few days later (I cannot recall his name – he was an acquaintance of the Bisa family).
From Bonn, I traveled to Freiburg i.Br. on January 23, 1943 and arrived between 4 and 6 pm. I wanted to visit an old college friend named Rudi Alt, residing in Freiburg, Ludwig Str. 22?, but I did not meet up with him. Instead, I visited the medical student Helmut Bauer, who is from Saarbrücken, my homeland. I spent the evening with him.
I spent the night with the Kistner siblings, Schwarzwald Str. 100 or 108. A friend of mine named Dr. Heinz Bollinger used to live with the Kistners, and in fact he still does, but he was not there. I did not encounter any other persons in Freiburg whom I have not already named. On January 24, 1943 around 10 am, I left Freiburg. After a short layover in Ulm, I arrived in Munich the night of January 24/25, 1943 around 1 am.
In Ulm, I visited Dr. Max Müller from around 3 to 10 pm. He resides in Ulm, Wilhelm-Murr Str. (house number unknown). Müller is Privy Councillor, namely with the Department of Labor in Ulm. When I was at Müller’s, I also met up with Dr. Heinz Bollinger from Freiburg.
Question: During the conversation between yourself, Scholl, and Dr. Huber at the latter’s residence at the beginning of January 1943, you volunteered to use your connections to the Rhineland to distribute the leaflets in question. It is therefore likely, if not completely certain, that your trip to Bonn, Freiburg i.Br., and Ulm served that primary purpose. I therefore ask you: Which persons from your circle of friends in the above-named places did you approach about the distribution of leaflets?
Answer: I admit that at the suggestion of Hans Scholl I undertook this trip to Bonn and Freiburg for the purpose of seeking out people from among my circle of friends who would possibly participate in the distribution of our leaflets. I covered these expenses out of my own pocket.
However, I can assure you that I never discussed – not even one word – about our leaflet propaganda with my acquaintances in Bonn. I did not do so, because I could not bring myself to burden these people with that matter. However, I must admit that I did talk to Dr. Heinz Bollinger, whom I
visited sought in Freiburg and met up with in Ulm, about the matter and asked him to participate in the distribution of leaflets. Since Bollinger refused to be involved in the matter due to his fundamental attitudes, I did not even show him one of the leaflets (I had three copies of it with me).
I wanted to try to talk Bollinger into participating in this operation that I was implementing and that opposes the current regime. I told him that not only I, but other persons in Munich collaborated in this operation. I told him that it involved propaganda that would be set in motion simultaneously in several cities across Southern Germany, and that that was the reason that he – Bollinger – should take over the distribution of leaflets that we would deliver to him. Before I could even finish my speech, Bollinger told me that he fundamentally did not wish to have anything to do with such a matter. Therefore I was not able to give him additional reasons for our activities.
I will repeat: I did not speak with anyone in Bonn regarding the distribution of leaflets.
Recorded by: /Signature: Mohr/
Read, approved, and signed by: /Signature: Wilhelm Graf/
Present: /Signature: [Illegible] Maier/
Note 1: The previous interrogation dated February 27, 1943 was completely illegible.
Note 2: The question is formulated as a statement with a question mark at the end.
Note 3: Mining, iron, and steel industries.
Note 4: Could be Eckrath.
Source: NJ1704 (135 – 140)