Third interrogation of Alexander Schmorell
II A/So. [Special Commission] – Munich, March 1, 1943
Led forth from prison, Alexander Schmorell (personal data known) made the following statements:
The communication from the Postal Savings Bank in Vienna is regarding my monthly military pay in the amount of RM 135.15 [$1,081.20], which in accordance with my wishes is deposited into my savings account No. 2-370-146. I would then go to a post office on the first of the month and have this amount posted to my savings passbook. Then I could withdraw that amount. [This communication] is with regards to my military pay for March 1943. However, I must leave the disposal of these funds to others, since as a prisoner I have nothing at my disposal.
Question: [Note 1] Do you not now wish to finally make precise statements regarding who wrote, revised, or distributed the individual leaflets?
Answer: In my previous statements, I particularly wished to spare Prof. Huber. Therefore I actually placed much [of the blame] on me and Scholl; that was not truthful. Scholl and I alone wrote and distributed the treasonous “White Rose” leaflet, as I have repeatedly stated.
Hans Scholl and I told Prof. Huber about this only after we returned from serving on the Eastern Front (November 1942).
During the farewell party in question in June [sic] 1942 at Eickemayr’s [sic] studio, Leopold Str. 38, when Prof. Huber was also present, Hans Scholl and I told Prof. Huber nothing regarding the fact that we were the publishers and distributors of the “White Rose”. It is possible that even Sophia Scholl knew nothing about it at that time.
As far as I know, the [female] student Traude [sic] Lafrenz learned absolutely nothing about the publishers and distributors of this leaflet. In any case, I stand by my statement that Hans Scholl and I told Prof. Huber that we were the publishers of the “White Rose” for the first time around Christmas 1942.
Question: How did the second leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany” come about, who worked on it, and who distributed it?
Answer: Initially Hans Scholl and I agreed to publish a leaflet. When I was finished with it (this took place in Scholl’s residence, and Prof. Huber joined us later), we compared our drafts. I recall precisely that Hans Scholl and Prof. Huber did not like my draft and objected to it. As long as I was in Scholl’s residence on the evening in question, Prof. Huber himself did not write a treasonous leaflet.
I read my draft aloud for Hans Scholl and Prof. Huber and could sense their rejection. Since I had been planning on attending a concert at the Odeon anyway, I did not stay in Scholl’s residence much longer, and left without having achieved my purpose. I therefore cannot say how the discussion between Scholl and Prof. Huber unfolded.
Both of them stayed in Scholl’s residence after I left and wrote the leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany” during my absence. Several days later when I was helping Scholl duplicate the leaflet, I determined that the content of the leaflet had absolutely nothing to do with my draft. I can no longer recall what my draft said.
In any case, Scholl and Prof. Huber did not agree with it and wrote a leaflet themselves, and that is the same leaflet in question here. The distribution of this leaflet took place as I have already described.
Question: Would you not like to finally state how the leaflet “Students!” came about, who wrote it, and why you have clearly withheld the truth about it till now?
Answer: Prof. Huber wrote the draft of this last leaflet. When he brought the leaflet draft to Scholl’s residence, Hans Scholl and I were present. Hans Scholl and I took notice of it [Note 2] and even criticized a few passages. In the end, we struck a few passages; I cannot recall now what they said. Prof. Huber agreed with us.
But I would like to particularly emphasize that in his absence, we objected to an additional passage, the one Prof. Huber mentioned, [that says]: so that our glorious army may be saved. We therefore struck it. It is possible that we (Scholl and I) struck another similar passage as well, one we did not like. But I cannot presently recall the exact wording.
After we struck these passages, I typed the last leaflet and helped with the duplication and distribution of it, as I have already stated in great detail. Scholl and I were in complete agreement with the publication of this leaflet. I do not know how Prof. Huber construed the revised leaflet after its publication, because I have not spoken with him since then.
If I have not credited Prof. Huber as the intellectual property owner of this leaflet till now and if I have taken it all upon myself, it is solely because I wished to shield Prof. Huber. I cannot say what particular motivation Prof. Huber had for writing this leaflet. I did not recognize that Prof. Huber could have possibly been annoyed by a prominent personality. Therefore I cannot give a satisfactory answer to this question.
If in this context it is said that the revision of the last leaflet draft demonstrates my Communist leanings and my fanatical opposition to National Socialism, I must defend myself against such accusations with all my being because in reality, I am a firm opponent of Bolshevism.
Question: In addition to you and the Scholl siblings, who financed the entire treasonous undertaking, who made funds available, and where are the remaining funds deposited?
Answer: In January 1943, Hans Scholl and I went to Stuttgart. There we met Dr. Grimminger in his office; he is around 50 years old and a tax advisor by trade. We told him that we badly needed money for the publication and distribution of treasonous leaflets, and asked whether he could give us some.
I assume that Scholl
had known knew this man and his political attitudes from earlier, because he had mentioned him. Dr. Grimminger told us that he did not have any money at that time. But in the end he told us to ask him again, that is later, about this. Although Dr. Grimminger did not make any obvious allusions as to what he thought of the current regime, I can only assume that he is an opponent of National Socialism, because otherwise he would not have heard us out.
We returned to Munich without having received any money. About 8 days later, Hans Scholl traveled alone to visit Dr. Grimminger in Stuttgart to get money from him. When Scholl returned, I did not see any money, but I remember that Scholl said he had gotten RM 500 [$4,000] from Dr. Grimminger. I do not know what individual items were purchased with this money, because Sophia Scholl was the treasurer at that time. I believe she paid me back RM 50 [$400] once, because I spent at least RM 230 [$1,840] to purchase the duplicating machine etc. The rest of the money surely was spent to buy stamps, paper, envelopes, etc.
There were no other donors. I cannot name any persons or agencies where money would have been deposited for our cause. Spiritual or other clerical dignitaries have nothing to do with our treasonous action. Even influence [from them] is out of the question. I myself am a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church. However, there is no personal connection with that agency.
My father does not understand my political leanings. My father has not had the least bit of influence on my becoming an opponent of the State, rather we always ended up fighting when I would follow my propensity for the Russian people. My stepmother has also always agreed with my father’s viewpoint.
Question: How much does Otto Aicher know?
Answer: In my opinion, Aicher knows nothing about our intrigue. I hold fast to my opinion, even though I am told that the rest of the co-defendants have made other statements. Perhaps the Scholl siblings could say more about this.
Question: How do matters stand with [a man named] Harnack [sic, throughout] and his circle of friends?
Answer: The last 4 years, I have known the dancer Lilo Berndl, who resides in Munich at Prinzen Str. 30. Mrs. Berndl is well acquainted with Dr. Valk [sic] Harnak from East Prussia. I met him mid-January 1943 in Chemnitz through Berndl’s mediation.
For this reason, Hans Scholl and I went to Chemnitz from Munich, to meet Harnak. I pursued no other purpose therewith. In Chemnitz, we met Harnak in a hotel. I believe Harnak is a Lance Corporal. During our first meeting, he was wearing an army uniform (signal corps in Chemnitz). Hans Scholl and I openly proclaimed to Harnak that we were opponents of National Socialism. We asked him to work together with us; in so doing, we also talked about the production and distribution of treasonous leaflets. From the ensuing discussion, we deduced that he is also an opponent of National Socialism.
Before Harnak was sent to the Eastern Front, he visited Berndl once again – at the beginning of February 1943. I must mention that during our conversation in Chemnitz, Harnak did not say that he agreed with us nor did he agree to help us, nor was he prepared to give us names of people who might work with us (treasonous activities).
At the beginning of February 1943, I met Harnak in Munich and invited him to come to Scholl’s residence, which Harnak did. At that meeting, we (Hans Scholl, Harnak, and I) discussed the ways and means by which one could overthrow Hitler and strive for and usher in a socialist form of government. We let Harnak read our leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany”. Harnak thought the content was good.
We also told Harnak that we were the publishers and distributors of this leaflet and that we intended to publish a new leaflet soon. Harnak made his train of thought very clear, that something else must arise in place of Hitler. He also agreed that in order to overthrow Hitler, it would be necessary to win over the masses of the nation. Harnak did not tell us in what matter he wished to contribute to the revolution as a soldier.
As far as I know, Harnak was at Scholl’s residence twice. At both meetings, revolutionary thoughts were contemplated. Mrs. Berndl was not present. She does not concern herself with politics at all. To what extent she is aware of Harnak’s oppositional attitudes is beyond my knowledge. When we took our leave, we had not agreed if and when we would get together again. I do not know where Harnak is now. One of Harnak’s (sic)
lives lived in Berlin. He was executed a short while ago.
Question: In addition to Dr. Grimminger, who also provided financing for your [plural] cause?
Answer: I can only name Willy Graf, who donated around RM 50 – 60 [$400 – 480] for the purchase of postage stamps. I cannot name any other persons in this regards.
I have stated everything that I can remember.
Recorded by: /Signature: Schmauß/ Crim. Secr.
Signed by: /Signature: Alexander Schmorell/
Note 1: Format suddenly changes, although Schmauß is still the interrogating agent. Perhaps someone else took over secretarial duties, because formats were distinctive and unique to each agent / secretary, down to whether punctuation were underlined along with the words. Here the switch was to a Question and Answer format, with the questions and answers indented.
Note 2: Not “read it”, but “wir haben davon Kenntnis genommen.”
Note 3: Missing the “read and approved” portion. No witness.
Source: RGWA (23 – 26)