Initial interrogation of Eugen Grimminger
Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich
II A Sonderkommission [Special Commission]
Fingerprint taken *): [blank]
Fingerprint not necessary *): [blank]
Personal data has – not – been determined *) [blank]
Date: March 3, 1943
Office Ref: KS
*) Cross out whatever is not applicable.
Bureau: IIA/Sonderkommission (Bureau of the official carrying out the interrogation)
Munich, March 3, 1943
The following was summoned –
was brought in [for questioning]: The person named below, and gave the following statement, after having been instructed to tell the truth:
I. Regarding his personal data
1a) Family name, including additional designations [Note 1] (for women, also maiden name, or if appropriate, name of previous husbands): Grimminger. /Stamp: Reg/
1b) Given names: Eugen.
2a) Occupation. The following information shall be given: Whether owner, Master Craftsman, business manager or assistant, journeyman, apprentice, factory worker, office clerk, sales woman, etc.; for married women, the occupation of their husband; for minors who are not employed, the occupation of their parents; for civil servants and government employees, the exact address of their bureau; for university students, the address of the university and major; for those who have earned academic honors (M.Eng., Dr., PhD), when and where the title was obtained. Accountant [Note 2] (self-employed).
2b) Income. 8,000 RM [$64,000] annually.
2c) Unemployed? If so, since when. —
3) Born on July 29, 1892 in Crailsheim. Administrative region: Crailsheim. Upper district court of [blank]. State: Württemberg.
4) Residence or most recent domicile in Stuttgart. Administrative region: Stuttgart. State: [blank]. Altenberg Str. 42. Telephone number: [blank].
5) Citizenship: Member of the Reich [Note 3] [Reichsangehoriger]. Citizen of the Reich? [blank].
6a) Religion (including prior)Theist (previously Lutheran.
6a1) Member of a religious community or a philosophical society? If yes, which one. [blank]. 2) Theist: Yes or No. [blank]. 3) Agnostic: Yes or No. [blank].
6b) Are the parents of German blood? [blank]. Are the grandparents of German blood? [blank].
7a) Marriage status (single – married – widowed – divorced – separated): Married.
7b) First and last name of spouse (for women, include maiden name): Jenny Sara, nee Stern.
7c) Residence of spouse (if different residence): Stuttgart, Altenberg Str. 42.
7d) Are or were the parents – grandparents – of the spouse of German blood? [blank].
8) Children: Legitimate: a) Number: N/A. b) Ages: [blank]. Illegitimate: a) Number: –. b) Ages: [blank].
9a) First and last name of father: Franz Xaver Grimminger (deceased. Occupation and residence: Train Engineer.
9b) First and maiden name of mother: Rösle (deceased), nee Salzmann. Occupation and residence: [blank].
(This information should be provided even if parents are deceased.)
10) First and last name, occupation, and residence of guardian or trustee: –.
11a) Passport was issued the Police Chief in Ulm, on, No. [blank].
11b) Permission to drive a motor vehicle – motorcycle – was granted by the on, No. III Class.
11c) Peddler’s license was issued by [blank].
11d) Identity card in accordance with § 44a of the commercial code was issued: [blank].
11e) Hunting license was issued by [blank].
11f) Master Mariner’s Certificate or Pilot’s License was issued on [blank].
11g) Subsidy certification (civil service subsidy certification) was issued by [blank]. Pension decision: [blank]. Social security offices? [blank].
11h) Other forms of identification? [blank].
12a) Has this person been chosen or selected as a juror [Note 4] for this or the next electoral period? By which panel (§ 40 GDG)? –.
12b) Mediator (commercial, labor) or committee member of a social disciplinary court? —.
12c) Guardian or trustee for anyone else? If so, whom? —. Which Court of Chancery? [blank].
13) Membership in a division of the Reich Chamber of Culture (exact description)? –.
14a) In the NSDAP [Note 5] since: Not a member of the NSDAP, since wife is Jewish. Last local [Party] organization: [blank].
14b) With which organizations? [blank].
15) Reich Labor Service: Where and when reviewed? N/A. Results: [blank]. Member of the Labor Service from [blank] to [blank].
16) Military experience
16a) Drafted or volunteered for which unit? [blank].
16b) Excluded [from military service] due to unworthiness [Note 6]? .[blank]. When and why? [blank].
16c) Served from November 1914 to November 1918. Unit:Volunteered for Field Artillery Regiment 54. Location: Ludwigsburg. Discharged as: Non-Commissioned Officer.
17) Decorations and medals (list individually): Württemberg Silver Medal of Honor, Iron Cross II, and Medal for serving on the front lines.
18) Prior convictions? (Short statement by the accused. Insofar as possible, these statements shall be supplemented by a search of official documents.) No prior convictions.
II. To the Case:
I. Personal relationships:
I was born in Crailsheim, the legitimate son and 7th child of the train engineer Franz Xaver and his wife Rösle Grimminger. I have three brothers and three sisters. My oldest brother Alfred G. is a Master Baker in Crailsheim. The second oldest brother Gottlob died in the world war. My third brother is a chief inspector for the Reichsbahn in Bremen, currently delegated to Paris.
My oldest sister Pauline Winkler is the widow of a train engineer and lives in Crailsheim. My second sister Berta Grimminger has retired from the railroad, where she was a secretary. She lives in Crailsheim. My youngest sister Luise Haas is the widow of a train engineer in Stuttgart. She lives at Altenberg Str. 42. All of my siblings who are still living enjoy a good reputation [Note 7]. My deceased parents were respected civil servants.
I attended elementary school in Crailsheim for three years. After that I went to the Realschule. There I graduated after ninth grade. After completing this intermediate [secondary] school education, I entered the national civil service in Crailsheim. In 1917 [Note 8], I passed the intermediate civil service examination for Württemberg.
In November 1914, I volunteered for the Reserve Artillery Regiment 49 in Ulm. In the spring of 1915, I was sent to the Western Front. There I was active as a gunner and telephone operator. I received the above-mentioned honors for good performance in the trenches [Note 9]. In January 1918, I was transferred to the
infantry artillery. When the revolution started (November 1918), I was with a sound-ranging unit in Alsace. From that unit, I was discharged to Crailsheim.
I then registered with the District Authority [Note 10] in Crailsheim. The direction of the municipal cooperative was then transferred to me. In May 1922, I went to Stuttgart as the auditor of the Württemberg State Association of Agricultural Cooperatives. Around 1930, I became Director of the Audit Division for Productive Cooperatives, and simultaneously was promoted to Chief Auditor. I worked in that position until around April 30, 1935.
In that capacity, I implemented market regulation for the dairy industry in Württemberg. On April 30, 1935, I was discharged during the course of the reestablishment of career civil service, because my wife is Jewish [Note 11]. I receive a monthly settlement of around RM 390 [$3,120]. I married my wife in 1922 at the Justice of the Peace in Stuttgart. In May 1937, I passed the CPA examinations. I currently work [as a CPA] in Stuttgart.
II. Political Attitude:
I would like to mention beforehand that I have never belonged to a political party. When the war broke out, I was under my brother’s influence, who at that time belonged to the Naval Union of the All-German League [Flottenverein des Alldeutschen Verbandes]. That influenced my volunteering for duty. The terrible losses we suffered in the Battle of Flanders in 1917 deeply upset me. I suffered mentally from that.
After the end of the war, I did not turn to any [political] party. However, very early I took up the battle against a planned economy in my role as Managing Director of the municipal cooperative in my hometown. I admit that I cast my vote for the Stresemann party.
Although I married a Jewish woman in 1922, I had previously been basically anti-Semitic. However, I gave up that point of view during the world war, because a Jewish man rescued [Note 12] me and saved my life. The fact that I married a Jewish woman has little to do with my political attitude, because I respected this woman and married her for love.
In 1919, I left the Lutheran Church, because it was an inner battle for me whenever the Lutheran pastor would call for war. In my opinion, he should have been preaching about love of one’s fellow man. After the world war, I read a great deal. In the course of time, Eastern literature most appealed to me. More and more, I took on a Buddhist mindset. Because of that, I finally became a vegetarian as well. Through reading and studying the books of Gandhi, Neel David, etc., I became a disciple of nonviolence.
My discharge (1935) because of the reestablishment of the career civil service made an extraordinary impression on me. I tried to forget this suffering that had been inflicted on me by reading. The outbreak of the current war was another blow for me, because as a participant in the world war of 1914/18, I feel sorry for everything that is affected by war. The starting point for my thoughts: It had to have been possible to avoid this war. Nevertheless, I cannot directly oppose the leader of our people. I must come to terms with it by believing that it is fate.
Despite the discharge from my position as civil servant in 1935, I am not a direct opponent of National Socialism. However, I will not deny that I do not completely agree with the National Socialist worldview. In saying that, I would like to particularly emphasize that I have never in any way considered becoming an opponent of the State, or to appear to be one.
III. To the Case:
I met Robert Scholl in 1919 when I was the Director of the municipal cooperative in Crailsheim. At that time, Scholl Senior was mayor of Ingersheim, which was part of my district. In 1937, we both passed the CPA examinations in Stuttgart.
Since that time, we have met now and then. Scholl Senior helped me out a little at that time, so that I feel I owe him my gratitude. Scholl Senior has visited me several times in Stuttgart. We primarily talked business. As far as I know Scholl Senior through our discussion of current events, he is not a National Socialist.
In the summer of 1942, Scholl Senior came to me and told me that he had been summoned to the Gestapo because he had been accused of insulting the Führer. Scholl Senior asked me to take over his [accounting] practice in Ulm should he be taken into custody.
While Scholl was in prison, I represented him in Ulm. Since the residence and offices of Scholl Senior are in the same house, I naturally got to know his family better.
With regards to Inge Scholl, I can only say that she concerns herself with high philosophical questions or rather reads books like that. For example, when I was arrested, the book “Panorama” was found [in my house]. Inge Scholl had given it to me for Christmas. As could be seen from a letter dated December 23, 1942 that Inge Scholl had written me, I showed the Scholl family some kindnesses during the Scholl father’s imprisonment. In so doing, they felt drawn to me.
The telegram dated January 23, 1943 that was confiscated from me was from a Mrs. Hahn. She was in Munich and informed me that she was being put up at the Hotel “Wolf”, where she would be staying in case of an air raid. That telegram has nothing to do with the relationship to the Scholl family.
The four-page list that was found in my house [during the search] was generated by my secretary Miss Josenhans. At my request, she had taken an inventory [Note 13] of my private books in the office.
Back to the Scholl family: When I would go to the Scholls’ residence in September and October 1942 to help out with the business, I saw and talked to among others also Sophie Scholl. At that time, she was working in a factory in Ulm. I never talked to Sophie Scholl about political matters. It was not the right time for such things, since her father was in prison and the whole family was in a very sad mood [gestimmt] because of that. I can give absolutely no information about Werner Scholl, who as far as I know was previously with RAD.
When I am asked when and at what opportunity I met Hans Scholl, I can make the following statement: Up till November 1942, I only knew that Hans Scholl studied medicine. I had never had a discussion with him to that point that would have allowed me to know his political attitude. A while after his release [from prison] in 1942, Scholl Senior was at my office one more time. At that time, we primarily talked about the assistance I had given him. Scholl Senior did not come to my residence on that occasion.
I believe it was in November 1942 that Hans Scholl came to my office in Stuttgart completely unexpectedly. He did not come unannounced. He had called from Stuttgart to ask if he could speak to me. A [male] medical student accompanied him at that time. He was introduced to me. I cannot recall his name. When I asked what Hans Scholl’s relationship was to the person who accompanied him, I was told that both had served on the front together. Hans Scholl told me that he had been furloughed to study medicine, and that it had not yet been decided whether his father would have to close his accounting practice.
Finally Hans Scholl started talking about the real reason for his visit. He alleged that the [male] students in Munich who were returning from the front were sick of the war. A test balloon [Note 14] called “The White Rose” had appeared or been published to turn these sentiments into deed. I cannot recall whether Hans Scholl or the person accompanying him said anything about being the author of this test balloon. Neither of them showed me a copy.
In this context, Hans Scholl said that he intended to visit all the universities in the Reich to determine the mood of the student bodies everywhere. Hans Scholl also said that among the student body in Munich, the slogan “Justice For All” had already found great resonance.
In any case, I could tell from his statements that Hans Scholl was toying with the idea of shortening the length of the war
by force or instigating a putsch. When I asked what I personally had to do with this matter, Hans Scholl told me I did not need to do anything to participate, but that I should contribute money to their undertaking.
Without taking his request seriously, I half-jokingly asked Hans Scholl if he wanted me to reimburse him his train fare from Munich to Stuttgart. Hans Scholl replied that his coming had less to do with payment for the travel costs incurred. I asked Hans Scholl how much money I should give him. Hans Scholl did not reply.
To keep the conversation going, I then asked Scholl, do you maybe want 1000 Marks [$8,000] or 500 Marks [$4,000]? Scholl responded, “No, I don’t need that much. A smaller amount will suffice.”
Hans Scholl probably could not tell from my intimations whether I was prepared to give him money. I must admit that I should have given Scholl a clear answer in this case. In this uncertain situation, Scholl preferred to leave my office with the remark that he would come visit me again later. Scholl justified this abrupt termination of our conversation by saying it was high time they got to the train station, because they had someplace else to go. As best as I can recall, Scholl wanted to come visit me again in about three weeks.
I am being shown the photograph of Alexander Schmorell. This is the man who accompanied Hans Scholl during his first visit.
When the two of them had left my office, I decided that I would not donate any money to that kind of undertaking. However I must admit that I did not transmit my intentions to Scholl in any manner. I could not do so because I did not know Hans Scholl’s address. I did not even think about getting the address from Scholl’s parents, because I did not place much stock in the entire affair.
About three weeks later (to the best of my knowledge, it was before Christmas 1942), Hans Scholl returned to my office as he had said he would, alone. He told me that he had now made connections to the university in Stuttgart. In any case, from his additional statements, I concluded that in the meantime Hans Scholl had successfully found like-minded people for his undertaking within the University of Stuttgart.
Hans Scholl literally said in passing that he intended to have leaflets distributed at the University of Stuttgart so he could recruit students at that university for his cause. Since Scholl’s activities appeared dangerous during war-time, I thought about the weal and woe [Note 15] of his family. I warned him against additional activities of that sort.
However, I got the impression that my exhortations to Hans Scholl were useless, since I had to realize that he was a fanatic who could not be dissuaded from his ideas. Nevertheless, Hans Scholl requested that I give him money for his undertaking. Hans Scholl did not name a specific amount. He merely alleged that the [male] students in Munich were not able to finance this matter without outside help.
I told Scholl that I was not prepared to donate money for something like that. This negative stance depressed Hans Scholl very much, because he did not remain in my office much longer. After a brief farewell, he left.
Remonstrance: Your statements are not truthful. Wouldn’t you rather say how much money you gave Scholl on this occasion, or rather how much you promised him?
Answer: I did not give Scholl any money on this occasion nor did I promise him any.
After the recent remonstrance that my statements in this regards are not true,
but rather the I will tell the truth.
Scholl’s first visit went as I described above. I must add that at that time, Scholl also asked me about
people the mood in Stuttgart. In addition, I must correct my statement and say that I did not leave it up in the air regarding whether I would give Scholl money during his first visit. I therefore understand that that was the only reason Scholl visited me a second time.
When Scholl visited me the second time, he asked me whether he could get some money from me. I then gave him RM 500 [$4,000] (paper money). I did not ask for nor did I receive a receipt. I did not directly ask for repayment of this money, nor did Scholl make any representations to that effect. Scholl alleged that he would use the money to take an orientation trip. I therefore assumed that Scholl would not find any resonance for his ideas, because Scholl’s goals seemed to me to be far too fantastic [Note 16] and self-important.
I would like to particularly emphasize that I agreed to give him this money out of the goodness of my heart. I also assumed that when Scholl had spent all the money on his trips, his plans would come to an end.
In any case, Scholl and the person accompanying him during the first visit did not make any clear statements about their actual plans or rather about the fact that they would be writing and distributing seditious pamphlets. The statements were not clear enough for me to view the entire matter as a seditious operation.
For example, Scholl told me during his second visit that he would be traveling to Cologne on the Rhine and Berlin, so he could judge the mood of the people. I therefore must emphatically deny the allegation that Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell openly told me about their writing and distributing seditious pamphlets before I gave them money.
With regards to the date and whether the two of them could have been in Stuttgart in December 1942 or whether at least Scholl’s second visit could have been in January 1943, I cannot make any better statements at the moment. In any case, I believe I can recall that it was December 1942 when Scholl and Schmorell visited me together, and that Scholl’s second visit alone could have been in January 1943 or even at the end of December.
After I gave Scholl the amount of RM 500, he left my office. He did not return in the days following.
My office is located in Stuttgart, Tübinger Str. 1, third floor. That is where the transfer of money took place. Scholl and Schmorell did not come to my residence at all during either visit.
My wife knows nothing of the money transfer. Every month till now, I give my wife the usual housekeeping allowance. I do not talk to her any further about this matter [Note 17]. Merely after I was arrested, shortly before the train left Stuttgart, I told her when we were saying goodbye that I was needed in Munich due to a matter that was connected to the Scholl family, or rather that I was being taken into custody.
I am making these statements with regards to the guilt of my wife not to cover for her, but rather because she truly had no knowledge of the money transfer to Scholl. Incidentally, my wife does not make a habit of coming to the office or poking her nose into my business. That is why it was possible for me to keep the money transfer in the amount of RM 500 from her.
I have not talked about this with anyone else up till the day of my arrest (March 2, 1943). After the agents searched my office and I was made aware that I was being investigated, I briefly advised my cousin Albert Grimminger about it. This Grimminger is currently employed in my office on a stopgap basis.
I cannot make any statements regarding whether Scholl and Schmorell found additional financiers besides me for their highly treasonous plans. Scholl and Schmorell were in a hurry during their visit. They certainly did not name any other persons with whom they wished to come in contact.
In summary I would like to say that I gave [them] the money solely out of the goodness of my heart, and that I never assumed that both of them were capable of seditious activity. In addition, I was convinced that Scholl wanted to use the money to take a trip, and that the operation would come to an end following the experiences he would have throughout the Reich.
When I accidentally read about the Scholls’ deeds in the VB [newspaper], I was flatly upset about the way the two of them acted. I saw that I had gotten myself into a difficult situation.
Read aloud and signed: /Signed: Eugen Grimminger/
Additional statement made by the undersigned: Alexander Schmorell was asked what he had to say to Grimminger’s defense of himself. Schmorell stated that contrary to his statements of March 1, 1943, he actually could not recall what they had said when they asked Grimminger for money.
On March 1, 1943, Schmorell had stated that they (Scholl and Schmorell) had talked about the writing and distribution of seditious leaflets and asked Grimminger for money for that.
Present [as a witness]: /Signed: Elfriede Maier/ Administrative Employee
Recorded by: /Signed: Schmauβ/, Crim. Secr.
Note 1: E.g., Junior, II.
Note 2: Bücherrevisor. Chartered or certified public accountant.
Note 3: Reichsangehöriger.
Note 4: The original document used two different words that mean the same thing (juror). The first is archaic (Schöffe), the second contemporary usage (Geschworener).
Note 5: National Socialist Party.
Note 6: Not the same as “unfit for duty” – not related to physical ability.
Note 7: Leumund. Also can mean are of good character.
Note 8: Probably a typo. Should have been 1907. Born in 1892, plus six years before entering elementary school, plus nine years of school = 1907. Also makes more sense with the chronology, since the next year mentioned is 1914.
Note 9: Grabendienst.
Note 10: Oberamt. This term was used only until 1934, when it was replaced with Kreis (county), e.g. Kreisleiter. The Oberamt term dated back to medieval times when the duchy of Württemberg was broken up into administrative districts, which were called Ämter.
Note 11: Volljüdin. That is, not a so-called half-Jew.
Note 12: Grimminger never expounded on this event. He said the man excavated or unearthed him (ausgraben) – as if he had been buried alive.
Note 13: The four-page list is not attached to the document, nor is it anywhere to be found in Grimminger’s files.
Note 14: Aufklärungsschrift. Aufklärung is the military term for reconnaissance.
Note 15: Wohl und Wehe.
Note 16: Phantastisch, as in fantasy.
Note 17: Unclear from context whether he means the housekeeping allowance or giving Hans Scholl money.
Source: Eickemeyer/Grimminger (20 – 31)