Schmorell interrogation (March 11)

II A/So. [Special Commission] –  Munich, March 11, 1943


Led forth from prison, Alexander Schmorell (personal data known) made the following supplementary statements:

If I am asked why Scholl and I visited Harnack in Chemnitz, I will state: I learned from Berndl that Harnack’s brother had been arrested in Berlin on seditious grounds. I told Scholl about this verbally. We finally agreed that we should visit Harnack in Chemnitz to recruit him for our goals. I expressly emphasize that Mrs. Berndl knew nothing of our intentions of recruiting Harnack.

During our discussion in Chemnitz, we intentionally steered the conversation to general political matters and understood that Harnack is more of a Socialist and stands in opposition to National Socialism. I can still recall that during this first discussion in Chemnitz, Harnack refused to cooperate with us. I must mention beforehand [Note 1] that we had told Harnack that we wanted to get rid of the current form of government and set up a democracy in its place. After Harnack had assumed his negative attitude (he expected to be transferred to the front at any time), we took our leave from him without making any arrangements for another meeting. We only said that perhaps we could meet again in Munich (Harnack has a close relationship with Mrs. Berndl in Munich). But we did not make any definite plans.

When Harnack came to Munich in February 1943 to visit Mrs. Berndl, I encountered Harnack once again. This meeting occurred as follows:

I was eating lunch in the pub “Zur Klause” on Kaulbach Street around that time. I coincidentally ran into Mrs. Berndl there. She told me that Harnack was in Munich. We then agreed that Mrs. Berndl and Harnack would eat lunch at that same restaurant the next day. And indeed, both of them showed up the next day at that restaurant, and I met Harnack there.

I was the first person there. Then Mrs. Berndl arrived, followed a short time later by Harnack. After we exchanged greetings, I tried to reach Hans Scholl by telephone. Since that was not possible, after we finished eating we went to Scholl’s residence, where we did in fact meet him. After lunch, Mrs. Berndl returned to her studies as a dancer; she came to Scholl’s residence later to pick up Harnack. We continued our conversation in Scholl’s residence. Willy Graf joined us later.

During the course of the conversation, we showed Harnack the leaflet “Call to All Germans” and in so doing, told him that we had produced it and that we had sent these leaflets to a particular circle of people. Harnack thought the content of the leaflet was good. At this meeting as well, Harnack showed himself to be a Socialist and not completely in agreement with the current form of government. We did not develop a plan to overthrow the current form of government at that time.

After we had talked for about two hours, Mrs. Berndl came to Scholl’s residence, at which time she (Berndl) left with Harnack. Before they left, we agreed to meet Harnack the next day at 11 am in front of the university, so we could introduce him to our collaborator, Prof. Huber. We hoped that would make for an interesting discussion.

The next day, we met as agreed at the university. Prof. Huber was the last person to join us, at which time we introduced Harnack to him. After the usual exchange of greetings, we (Scholl, Prof. Huber, Harnack, Willy Graf, and I) went directly to Scholl’s residence. It is possible that Willy Graf joined us there [and not at the university]. I forgot to mention these details during my previous interrogation.

Once we were all together in Scholl’s residence, the first things we discussed were general political topics. That was followed by an exchange of ideas between Prof. Huber and Dr. Harnack. During that conversation, Harnack championed the socialist form [of government] (nationalization of large-scale business). Prof. Huber tended to more democratic views.

It is possible that Harnack occasionally championed Communistic ideas that Prof. Huber rebuffed. In this matter, Harnack referred to a book by Stalin. This conversation eventually made the impression on us that both men preferred a democratic form of government. I believe I have already mentioned once before that Harnack was not in agreement with the National Socialist form of government or rather that he had said so at some point.

Also during this conversation, we did not reach any agreement regarding the manner and method in which Harnack would participate in anything seditious. Harnack also said nothing to the topic of how we could work together as opponents of National Socialism. We ended the conversation between 1 pm and 2 pm so we could finally eat lunch.

To the question as to whether during that conversation in Scholl’s residence, Harnack championed the idea of a total socialization of all means of productions according to the Russian example, I could not answer completely in the affirmative. I can recall namely that now and then Harnack would say that he did not like this or that action of the Soviet Union. I cannot recall that Prof. Huber warned us that we should not get together with Harnack in future. Perhaps Prof. Huber said something like that to Scholl alone.

In contrast, I can well remember that after Harnack left, Prof. Huber gave us the draft of the “Students!” leaflet, so that as far as I know, Harnack would not know anything about it. I coincidentally met Harnack on one other occasion on the streets (of Munich), and we talked briefly. This was between the two conversations at Scholl’s residence. After the second conversation when Prof. Huber and Harnack met in Scholl’s residence, I did not see Harnack again. I am positive that there has been no contact between Harnack and us after that time.

Mrs. Berndl did indeed introduce us to Harnack, but she did not know that we (Scholl and I) are engaged in seditious activities and were therefore interested in Harnack.

If I am asked whether I know a medical student named Janitschek from the Bergmannschule, I must reply that I do not know that man very well. In any event, he has nothing to do with my seditious attitude or with my activities. The writer Bergengrün and a certain Sommerfeld likewise have nothing to do with my criminal case. At the meeting at my parents’ house in early summer 1942, a Dr. Heinrich Ellermann (not Petermann) participated in addition to Prof. Huber, the Scholl siblings, Miss Lafrenz, and Miss Schüttekopf [sic].

I know this Ellermann from Hamburg. But it is also possible that I met him at the Probst’s house in Ruhpolding. Ellermann was a teacher at the boarding schools Marquartstein where Christoph Probst was his pupil. At that meeting, we discussed exclusively cultural and scholarly matters. Political remarks or those directed against the regime most certainly did not take place. Dr. Ellermann belongs to the Air Force in Munich. However, I have not seen him or talked to him in a long time. At that time, my parents were not at home; they were on a trip.

I do not know an older gentleman named Wagner, who supposedly repeatedly procured stationery for Prof. Huber. I do not know the two medical students Stoll and Federhofer very well. Neither of them has anything to do with my criminal case. I also do not know a certain Mr. Przyvara. I have already said what my connection was to Prof. Muth.

I cannot make any more statements with regards to this matter.

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

Read and signed by: /Signature: Schmorell/


Note 1: Anticipating the next question.


Source: RGWA (34 – 36)

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