Gestapo memorandum in support of indictment
Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich
Munich, March 23, 1943
Vol. No. 13226/43 II A Sond. [Special Commission]
With regards to: Matter of high treason Scholl.
Previous correspondence: File No., People’s Court: 1H 47/43
/Handwritten: 8 J 35/43/.
In July 1942, about 100 copies each of four editions of leaflets entitled “Leaflets of the White Rose” were sent out from Munich. In these leaflets, elimination of the National Socialist regime, sabotage of every realm of public life, and passive resistance were called for.
At the end of January and mid-February 1943, a large number of leaflets (altogether around 10,000 copies) entitled “Leaflets of the Resistance Movement in Germany” (subtitled “Call to All Germans!”) as well as those entitled “Students!” or “Fellow Students!” were disseminated throughout various cities in Southern Germany. In these leaflets, the German nation was called upon to sabotage munitions and to overthrow the National Socialist government; defeatist ideas were propagated; the Führer was vilified in the coarsest manner imaginable and was degraded in the public eye.
In addition, the nights of February 3, 8, and 15, 1943, inflammatory slogans were painted in several locations across Munich, but primarily at the university. Most of this graffiti consisted of the words “Down with Hitler!” with a crossed-out swastika.
For composition, production, and distribution of the leaflets, participation in the graffiti operations, as well as knowledge of or failure to report (§ 139 St. GB), the following persons have been investigated and – with the exception of #14 – have been taken into temporary custody:
1.) Scholl, Hans, single medical student, born September 22, 1918 in Ingersheim, German national, last residing in Munich, Franz-Joseph Str. 13 / First Floor,
2.) Scholl, Sophie, Magdalena, single student of Natural Sciences and Philosophy, born May 9, 1921 in Forchtenberg, German national, last residing in Munich, Franz-Joseph Str. 13 / First Floor,
3.) Probst, Christoph, Hermann, married medical student, born November 6, 1919 in Murnau, German national, last residing in Aldrans near Innsbruck,
4.) [Note 1] Schmorell, Alexander, single medical student, born September 3 (16), 1917 in Orenburg, German national, last residing in Munich, Benediktenwand Str. 12,
5.) Graf, Wilhelm, single medical student, born January 2, 1918 in Kuchenheim, German national, last residing in Munich, Mandl Str. 1,
6.) Huber, Kurt, PhD, married adjunct professor at the University of Munich, born October 24, 1893 in Chur, German national, last residing in Gräfelfing near Munich, Ritter-von-Epp Str. 5,
7.) Grimminger, Eugen, married accountant, born July 29, 1892 in Crailsheim, German national, last residing in Stuttgart, Altenberg Str. 42,
8.) Hirzel, Hans, single pupil, born October 30, 1924 in Untersteinbach, German national, last residing in Ulm, Schiller Str. 15 / Second Floor,
9.) Hirzel, Susanne, single music student, born August 7, 1921 in Untersteinbach, German national, last residing in Stuttgart, Römer Str. 41 / Third Floor,
10.) Müller, Franz Joseph, former pupil, born September 8, 1924 in Ulm [Note 2], most recently soldier with APO 20597 B,
11.) Harnack, Falk, Erich, Walter (Dr.), single stage manager and director, born March 3, 1913 in Stuttgart, German national, most recently Lance Corporal with the 3rd Infantry Company, Intelligence – transferred to Division 4 in Chemnitz,
12.) Bollinger, Heinrich PhD, single assistant at the University of Freiburg i.Br., born April 23, 1916 in Saarbrücken, German national, last residing in Freiburg i.Br., Schwarzwald Str. 80 / Fourth Floor,
13.) Bauer, Helmuth, single medical student, born September 19, 1919 in Saarbrücken, German national, last residing in Freiburg i.Br., Neumatten Str. 17 / First Floor,
14.) Alt, Rudolf, single philology student, born February 7, 1914 in Bildstock, German national, residing in Freiburg in Br., Ludwig Str. 22,
15.) Guter, Heinrich, single candidate for Abitur, born January 11, 1925 in Ulm, German national, last residing in Ulm, Kepler Str. 17 / Fourth Floor.
Those named in numbers 1 through 3 – Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst – were already sentenced to death and loss of civil rights for their entire lifetimes by the 1st Council of the People’s Court on February 22, 1943, for preparations for high treason, seditiously aiding and abetting the enemy, and demoralizing the armed forces. The sentence was executed on February 22, 1943.
Alexander Schmorell and Wilhelm Graf were transferred [Note 3] and confessed to conspiring with Hans and Sophie Scholl in the production and distribution of the leaflets [entitled] “Resistance Movement in Germany”; Schmorell also confessed to the production and distribution of the “White Rose” leaflets. In addition, in February 1943 Schmorell and Graf – together with Hans Scholl – more than once (using paint and paint brushes) painted graffiti on numerous places in the city of Munich, particularly at the entrance to the university, particularly the inflammatory slogan “Down with Hitler!”
Dr. Kurt Huber confessed to the composition of the draft of the leaflets “Resistance Movement in Germany” and “Students!” or “Fellow Students!” in collaboration with Hans Scholl and Schmorell. He edited the leaflet that Hans Scholl presented to him (“Resistance Movement in Germany”) stylistically in several places. But he gave Hans Scholl a draft of the “Students” leaflet, which Hans Scholl used for the production of leaflets after making a few small changes. Finally, at the request of Scholl Dr. Huber gave him a University of Munich student directory from the Winter Semester 1941/42, from which the addresses used to mail between 1200 and 1500 leaflets were taken. Dr. Huber was aware that it would be used for those purposes.
Eugen Grimminger confessed to having gained credible knowledge of the intentions for treasonous activity from Scholl and Schmorell at either the end of 1942 or the beginning of 1943, and to having given those named a sum of money totally around 500 Marks [$4,000.00] for the execution of their revolutionary intentions.
At the request of Sophie Scholl, Hans Hirzel received around 500 leaflets of the “Resistance Movement in Germany” which were to be distributed in Stuttgart. He was aware of their contents. Together with Franz Müller, whom he recruited, he addressed and affixed postage stamps to the necessary envelopes. Some of these envelopes had been handed over to him.
On January 27, 1943, he traveled to Stuttgart to mail the letters in mailboxes there. This was partly done together with his sister Susanne Hirzel. To get addresses, Hirzel stole a Stuttgart telephone directory from a telephone booth at the main train station in Ulm. In addition, he procured the envelopes and stamps needed to mail the leaflets.
As early as the summer of 1942, Hirzel had purchased a simple duplicating machine at Sophie Scholl’s request, so that he could run off leaflets. At Hans Scholl’s advice, he considered making a placard that bore the Party symbol with the caption, “Whoever wears this symbol is an enemy of our people!” However due to technical difficulties, it was never anything more than an attempt. Additionally, Hirzel procured a larger quantity (about 3,500 sheets) of duplicating paper, and in addition, wax stencils. Hirzel supposedly threw the duplicating machine into the Danube [River] in the autumn of 1942.
On January 27, 1943, Susanne Hirzel assisted her brother Hans Hirzel in mailing a portion of the leaflets from mailboxes in Stuttgart. Her brother visited her unexpectedly. She claims she did not have any knowledge regarding the content of the leaflets, that on the contrary she thought it was possible that the content of the leaflets was directed at domestic policies of the State (critique of modern art, student instruction, etc.). Her brother Hans Hirzel continues to insist that he did not tell his sister about the content of the leaflets.
Franz Müller was recruited by Hans Hirzel for cooperative effort in this matter. He helped Hirzel with the writing of addresses on January 25, 1943 in Ulm. The same day, he received a leaflet of the “Resistance Movement” from Hirzel so he could read it for himself. The next day, January 26, 1943, Müller spent about 4 hours helping Hirzel fold and stuff the leaflets, as well as with sealing the envelopes and affixing postage stamps. In addition and at Hirzel’s request, Müller provided around 250 8-Pfenning postage stamps and about 90 envelopes, of which around 50 were exchanged for other envelopes.
Dr. Falk Harnack confessed that in December 1942, Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell advised him something to the effect that they intended to put an end to the current form of government in order to enable the re-establishment of a democracy. To reach this goal, they were searching for like-minded individuals who would be willing to work with them – this is what Scholl and Schmorell said according to Harnack’s own statements. Dr. Harnack claims he refused their request to work with them and to provide them with names of like-minded persons.
On the occasion of a discussion between Scholl, Schmorell, and Harnack in Scholl’s apartment on February 8, 1943, the latter was advised in great detail regarding the plans of Scholl and Schmorell (production and distribution of leaflets, as well as the painting of seditious slogans). On this occasion, Harnack gained knowledge about the content of the leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany”, and additionally learned that Scholl and Schmorell were the producers and distributors of that leaflet. Harnack thought the content of the leaflets was good. He was further advised that the publication of an additional leaflet was planned.
Dr. Heinrich Bollinger received a copy of the leaflet of the “Resistance Movement in Germany” from Wilhelm Graf the night of January 24/25, 1943 in Ulm. This was subsequent to his learning about the treasonous activities planned by Graf and others. He discussed the content of this leaflet with the student Helmuth Bauer. Bollinger claims he resolutely rejected Graf’s invitation to participate in the dissemination of the leaflet and also took a stand against the content of the leaflet.
Dr. Heinrich Bollinger advised Helmuth Bauer regarding the content of the leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany”, in that he read the leaflet aloud to Bauer. In addition, Bollinger told Bauer about Graf’s plans, and also that Graf had approached Bollinger with the unreasonable request to collaborate in the dissemination of the leaflets and the philosophical train of thought contained therein.
Dr. Heinrich Bollinger and Helmuth Bauer likewise admit that they repeatedly listened to foreign radio broadcasts last winter at a ski hut in Breitnau. They did this together with Elsbeth Duwenhögger, who was still a minor at the time; she resides in Freiburg i.Br., Eck Str. 13. The proceedings against Miss Duwenhögger are being carried out separately.
I hereby propose that Dr. Heinrich Bollinger and Helmuth Bauer be prosecuted for listening to a foreign broadcast in accordance with §5 of the VO dated September 1, 1939.
<At the end of January or the beginning of February 1943, Heinrich Bollinger advised Rudolf Alt in detail that Graf, together with a circle of like-minded persons, wished to undertake a leaflet operation against the current State and that he had approached him – Bollinger – with the request to take charge of disseminating the leaflets in Freiburg. Bollinger advised Alt of the contents of the leaflet “Resistance Movement in Germany” in broad strokes. Alt deemed the matter to be irresponsible and therefore did not even consider reporting it to the police.>
Hans Hirzel told Heinrich Guter in fairly great detail about his participation in the dissemination of the “Resistance Movement in Germany” leaflets. Hirzel also showed him a leaflet. But Guter claims that when he saw the hostile nature of the leaflet – which he could tell just from its title – he refused to read it any further so that he would not become entangled in the matter. According to Guter’s statements, he knew that the leaflets being disseminated by Hirzel were of a seditious nature. But he failed to report the matter because he allegedly did not wish to betray his schoolmate Hirzel and himself get dragged into the matter or rather himself be subject to suspicion.
Dr. Falk Harnack as well as Dr. Heinrich Bollinger, Helmuth Bauer, Rudolf Alt, and Heinrich Guter failed to report a treasonous activity though they had credible knowledge concerning it. In contrast to Dr. Bollinger, Bauer, and Alt – who took a stand in opposition to the content of the leaflets – Dr. Harnack thought it was good and therefore emboldened the primary perpetrators in their continued activities.
Investigations are likewise still in progress with regards to suspicions of an infraction of § 1398 StGB against the following persons:
Bollinger, Wilhelm, student, currently Corporal (medic), born June 10, 1919 in Saarbrücken,
Hetzel, Walter, pupil, currently soldier, APO 17492 [illegible], born September 8, 1924 in Ulm,
Lafrenz, Traude, student, born May 4, 1919 in Hamburg, residing in Munich, Steinsdorf Str. 7 / Third Floor,
Geier [sic], Wilhelm, artist, born June 24, 1900 in Stuttgart, residing in Ulm, Syrlin Str. 16 / Third Floor,
Eickemayr [sic], Manfred, architect, born October 30, 1903 in Berlin, residing in Cracow,
Hirzel, Peter, single, Lance Corporal, born March 15, 1923 in Untersteinbach, currently with the Convalescence Division d. Kot. Art. Ers. Division 13 in Magdeburg.
A separate report will be filed on the above-named [suspects] insofar as the suspicions that have been stated are confirmed.
<The student Rudolf Alt has been released from police custody due to his severe war injuries. However, he has agreed in writing to maintain strictest confidentiality with regards to this matter and to notify the Gestapo branch office in Freiburg (i. Br.) of any change in residence.
By order of the Reich Central Security Office of the Supreme High Command, Dr. Falk Harnack and Franz Müller have been discharged and transferred to the Secret State Police [Gestapo].
The following have been sent to the Investigating Judge of the District Court in Munich: 14 case files and 11 re-transfer orders with simultaneous transfer of the following individuals:
Huber, Dr. Kurt,
Harnack, Dr. Falk,
Bollinger, Dr. Heinrich,
Bauer, Helmuth, and
I hereby request solution to the question of incarceration.
The Chief Prosecutor of the Reich, People’s Court, will be advised by telephone regarding the transfer of the files numbered 1H 47/43.
In the event that the reasons for arrest should lapse, re-transfer is herewith requested.
/Signature: [Illegible]/ Ma. [Mahler]
Note 1: Handwritten brackets set off this entry.
Note 2: The note about “German national” was omitted from this entry.
Note 3: Same word as “convicted”.
Source: NJ1704 (51 – 58)