Initial interrogation of Katharina Schüddekopf
Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich
II A Sondk./Gei. [Special Commission / Geith]
Fingerprint taken*): [blank]
Fingerprint not necessary *): [blank]
Personal data has – not – been determined *) [blank]
Office Ref: [blank]
*) Cross out whatever is not applicable.
(Bureau of the official carrying out the interrogation) [blank]
Munich, March 23, 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 her personal data
1a) Family name, including additional designations [Note 1] (for women, also maiden name, or if appropriate, name of previous husbands): Schüddekopf.
1b) Given names: Katharina.
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. Student, PhD candidate in philosophy. University of Munich. 11th semester. Musicology, philosophy, and French.
2b) Income. [blank].
2c) Unemployed? If so, since when. [blank].
3) Born on February 8, 1916 in Magdeburg. Administrative region: [blank]. Upper district court of [blank]. State: [blank].
4) Residence or most recent domicile in Munich 2. Administrative region: [blank]. State: [blank]. Theresien Str. 25/III c/o Gth. Popper. Telephone number: [blank].
5) Citizenship: German Reich. Citizen of the Reich? Yes.
6a) Religion (including prior) Catholic. 1) 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? Yes. Are the grandparents of German blood? Yes.
7a) Marriage status (single – married – widowed – divorced – separated): Single.
7b) First and last name of spouse (for women, include maiden name): —
7c) Residence of spouse (if different residence): [blank].
7d) Are or were the parents – grandparents – of the spouse of German blood? [blank].
8) Children: Legitimate: a) Number: — b) Ages: [blank]. Illegitimate: a) Number: — b) Ages: [blank].
9a) First and last name of father: Friedrich Schüddekopf (deceased). Occupation and residence: Engineer with Firma Grupp (sic), Magdeburg, Stassfurter Str. 2.
9b) First and maiden name of mother: Katharina Schüddekopf nee Ohlmeier. Occupation and residence: Magdeburg, Stassfurter Str. 2.
(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 by the Erfurt Police, on 1935, No. [blank].
11b) Permission to drive a motor vehicle – motorcycle – was granted by the [blank] on [blank].
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? Membership ID for the German Reich Student Body [Note 2], No. 149572, issued by the University of Munich, summer semester 1941.
12a) Has this person been chosen or selected as a juror [Note 3] 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 4] since: No. Last local [Party] organization: [blank].
14b) With which organizations? NSD League of Students [Note 5] since June 15, 1939.
15) Reich Labor Service: Where and when reviewed? Exempted because of physical handicap. Results: [blank]. Member of the Labor Service from [blank] to [blank].
16) Military experience
16a) Drafted or volunteered for which unit? –.
16b) Excluded [from military service] due to unworthiness [Note 6]? [blank]. When and why? [blank].
16c) Served from [blank]. Unit: [blank]. Location: [blank]. Discharged as: [blank].
17. Decorations and medals (list individually): [blank].
18. Prior convictions? (Short statement by the accused. Insofar as possible, these statements shall be supplemented by a search of official documents.) No.
II. To the Case:
As stated, I was born in Magdeburg, daughter of the married couple Friedrich (corporate engineer) and Katharina Schüddekopf. I attended elementary school in Quedlenburg am Harz for 4 years. I continued my education at the upper girls’ high school [Note 7] in Erfurt until I took the Abitur in 1936.
In 1938, I entered the University of Kiel and studied musicology, philosophy, and French [there] until 1939. After that, I continued my studies at the University of Berlin for 3 semesters, in Vienna for 2 semesters, and then came to Munich in the summer semester of 1941. I am currently in my 11th semester and am working on my doctoral dissertation.
I have been afflicted with a diplegic hip joint dislocation since birth, and therefore am physically handicapped.
I have one sister, Anna Schüddekopf. She is married to Dr. Allinger-Csollich, District Attorney. She is 30 years old and lives in Vienna, Schreyvogelgasse No. 3/Door 11.
My father, who was employed as a corporate engineer with the Grupp [sic] Corporation in Magdeburg, died of a middle ear infection in Magdeburg in 1942. My 52-year-old mother gets her income from his pension. I receive my living and study expenses from my mother’s slightly higher pension (increased due to my studies).
Before I joined the NS League of Students, I did not belong to any political party or organization. I have never been politically active. I volunteered for propaganda work, preparing translations from the French and quotations from philosophical writings of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. I did this work for the university in Berlin. Because of my physical handicap, I was exempted from all activities of the League of German Girls and related Party organizations.
To the case:
I am aware of the reason for my interrogation. I am prepared to make statements to the best of my knowledge and in good conscience. In particular, I know that my interrogation is connected to the Scholl matter.
Miss Lafrenz introduced me to the Scholl circle. I met her around May 1942 in one of Professor Huber’s lectures [Note 8] at the University of Munich. Lafrenz and I became friends, and we visited one another in our apartments. Our mutual visits were based on our friendship, but they were also partly dedicated to our scholarly work. Lafrenz became my friend because she has a wide range of interests and I think she is very gifted.
The first time I had contact with the Scholl circle was in Schmorell’s villa. Around the end of June 1942, Lafrenz invited me there for a community reading of the book The Satin Slipper. As best as I can recall, I went alone to Schmorell’s villa after Lafrenz told me in advance where Schmorell’s villa was located in Harlaching. As I recall, that evening the Scholl siblings (Hans and Sophie), Schmorell, Probst, Prof. Huber, Dr. Ellermann, and my friend Lafrenz took part. The book The Satin Slipper was read aloud after roles had been assigned. Prof. Huber came later, and [therefore] did not take part in the reading.
In the course of the evening, politics became a topic of discussion, particularly the contrast between the political attitudes of North and South. Dr. Ellermann energetically represented the Northern viewpoint. He essentially said that especially now during a time of war, it was not the right time to concern oneself with politically oppositional thoughts. Particularly Hans Scholl and Probst were involved in this debate, which was more or less in the form of a free discussion [Note 9].
The reason that Dr. Ellermann spoke out so strongly against politically oppositional thoughts was because Scholl had said that he was ready to put up posters. I was under the distinct impression that the posters Hans Scholl considered putting up were to have the goal of inciting anti-Nazi sentiments. I came to this conclusion because I often heard the form of speech Nazis. Additionally, Scholl said that the current regime is not a nation [Staat], but rather a nation of criminals. This form of speech preceded a discussion about the various forms of government. [Note 10]
That evening, there was also talk of leaflets and activity,
as well as or passive resistance. Only Prof. Huber, Hans Scholl, Probst, and Ellermann participated in this conversation.
Prof. Huber championed the point of view that activity was out of the question, but only passive resistance if necessary. Also within this context, the discussion of the contrast between North and South resurfaced. Prof. Huber said he believed that a division [between the two] was impossible, if for no other reason than economic and national supplementary essentials [Note 11].
Probst actively participated in this discussion, but without the same resolution as Scholl. From Dr. Ellermann’s conduct, I concluded that he was not only resolutely opposed to any activity that was directed against the current regime, but also completely against any thoughts that were directed against the government.
I did not take any of the political discussion seriously. I believed that they were merely toying with ideas. At that time, I never would have believed that some of those involved could have transformed their words into reality.
On that evening, I also learned of the leaflet “White Rose”. It came about as follows: Prof. Huber publicly declared before all those present that he had received a leaflet [entitled] “White Rose”. To that time, I had no idea of the existence of such a leaflet. Therefore I asked what that was.
Hans Scholl replied (acting very surprised) something to the effect of: “What, you still don’t know anything about the existence of the ‘White Rose’.” He then pulled a copy out of his briefcase and showed it to me. On the basis of the editions of the “White Rose” [leaflets] that I am being shown, I can say for certain that this was Edition 3 that Scholl showed me.
I read it and saw that it was political. In particular, I could determine that it was directed against the current regime. I was upset and silently gave it back to Hans Scholl. I could tell from the content that it had to have come from academic circles. I had the impression that everyone present knew about the existence of this leaflet. I came to this conclusion because Hans Scholl immediately took back the leaflet, and the rest of those present seemed to be rather uninterested in it. I believe that if anyone else there had not known about the leaflet, they would have at least expressed an interest in it. At the very least, everyone present could have seen that Hans Scholl gave me the leaflet to read and that I openly read the leaflet as I was holding it in my hand. There was no further discussion about the content of the leaflet.
When I asked Hans Scholl where the leaflet came from, he replied merely by shrugging his shoulders. I never thought that Hans Scholl was connected to the leaflet in any manner. As already stated, I saw and met Hans Scholl for the first time that evening. Therefore I could not draw any hard and fast conclusions, even though I was able to determine that evening that Scholl had political leanings against the current regime. I never saw the 1st, 2nd, and 4th editions of the leaflet “White Rose”.
I believe it was in the first half of July 1942 that I learned from my friend Lafrenz that a 4th or rather an additional edition of the “White Rose” had appeared. Lafrenz told me this either at her or at my apartment. She did not go into any detail about how she knew about the appearance of a new edition. I nevertheless was under the impression that Scholl had told her about it, since she and Scholl were still dating at that time.
I know nothing else about the leaflet “White Rose” or the further developments of this matter. On the evening I have described above, there was no discussion about the leaflet “White Rose” or about leaflets at all.
In addition, I participated in an event of the extended circle around Scholl. This was shortly before the [male] students went to the front. The meeting was planned as a so-called farewell party. It took place in Eickemeyer’s [Note 12] studio around the middle of July 1942. I believe Miss Lafrenz invited me to this party. While I was [at the party], everyone who had been present at the evening at Schmorell’s villa was also present with the exception of Dr. Ellermann. I can also recall that Eickemeyer was also present. As I recall, Prof. Huber arrived late.
Politics was never discussed that evening in my presence. At least while I was present, the evening was dedicated to general discussion. Since I was exhausted on the day in question, I left the party early, perhaps around 9:30 pm. I believe that I left the party alone, although it is not impossible that Miss Lafrenz accompanied me. However, I recall for sure that no one from the party went home with me. I later learned from Lafrenz that on the evening in question, politics was discussed. Lafrenz did not give any more details. Also, I myself was not interested in knowing anything else.
To the remonstrance that my statement is not true (with regards to political discussions at the so-called farewell party at Eickemeyer’s) because other statements made by persons who left the studio with me unanimously confirm that politics was strongly debated that evening, I must make a small correction to my statement. I do not know that the respect of the SS [Note 13] was generally attacked with regards to respect and honor. I only know and recall that during the course of the conversation, passive resistance was once against discussed. No matter how hard I try, I am not able at this moment to give further details [Note 14] with regards to passive resistance as it was discussed that evening. I only know additionally that Prof. Huber and Hans Scholl were actively involved in this topic. As I stated before, I still believe that I left the party at most with Miss Lafrenz. But I cannot say for certain.
When I am asked whether and at which additional meetings I was present within the Scholl circle, I just remembered that before the meeting at the Schmorell’s villa, I met Lafrenz and Scholl one evening at Prof. Dr. Mertens’ [house]. Therefore I must also correct my previous statement in which I said that I met Lafrenz and Scholl for the first time at Schmorell’s villa. However, my statements in this matter at the beginning of the interrogation were certainly not consciously false. I am doing my doctoral dissertation with Prof. Huber. He invited me to the evening at Dr. Mertens’ house. At that time, Huber told me that this would be the first time he himself participated in an evening at Dr. Mertens’ house, and that I could come along without any reservations. As far as I had been told, the evenings at Dr. Mertens’ house were of a purely musical, philosophical, and social nature. I would estimate that around 25 – 30 persons (primarily students) were there. I can recall that of the Scholl circle, Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Miss Lafrenz, and Dr. Ellermann were present.
In general, politics was not discussed, at least not in the format of the meetings of the closer circle at Schmorell’s villa and at Eickemeyer’s studio. At that time, I only noticed Probst, who said that we Germans did not carry that strong sense of homeland within ourselves as e.g. the French. Ellermann countered that one must educate himself inwardly, but purely in scholarly matters. On that evening, there certainly were no references to an activity against the current regime or passive resistance.
I did not participate in any other meetings of the Scholl circle wherein political discussions took place. I never went to the Scholls’ residence. Hans Scholl briefly looked me up once at my residence at the beginning of January 1943 to invite me to additional readings that had been planned. At that time, Hans Scholl stayed with me for around five minutes. I never personally talked to Scholl about political matters.
After I had gotten the impression at the so-called farewell party in Eickemeyer’s studio that particularly Scholl was going astray in political matters, I felt obliged to avoid that circle. Afterwards, I did not associate with Scholl’s inner circle any longer. Therefore I cannot say what developed within that circle politically. I never would have thought it possible that Scholl as well as Schmorell were involved with seditious activities.
During the incident on February 18, 1943 at the university, I was in a lecture in the building. I learned about the incident as such during a quiet assignment [Note 15] in the Romance [neo-Latin] seminar. [Male] students told me that leaflets had been distributed, and that in that context, two male students and 1 female student had been arrested. [Note 16] Later I learned that those arrested were Hans and Sophie Scholl. However, I still would not have believed that the Scholl siblings were capable of such a thing.
I met Lafrenz for lunch. She was also indignant about the entire incident. She particularly could not believe that the Scholl siblings would have undertaken that type of political degeneracy [Note 17].
Regarding the relationship between Lafrenz and Hans Scholl, I know that Lafrenz slowly became estranged from Hans Scholl during the summer of 1942. She then grew closer to me. I believe that Lafrenz more and more withdrew from Scholl for personal reasons. I do not believe that Lafrenz left Scholl for political reasons, because I firmly believe that Lafrenz knew Scholl’s actual political attitudes as little as I myself did. I will never believe that Lafrenz was in any way an active participant in Scholl’s machinations.
The interrogation was interrupted for official reasons.
Recorded by: /Signed: Geith/, Crim. Secr.
Read and signed by: /Signed: Käte Schüddekopf/
Schüddekopf Katharina is taken into temporary police custody.
By order of [blank].
Note 1: E.g., Junior, II.
Note 2: Not the same organization mentioned by Susanne Hirzel. Schüddekopf referred to the Deutsche Studentenschaft [des] Reichs.
Note 3: The original document used two different words that mean the same thing (juror). The first is archaic (Schöffe), the second contemporary usage (Geschworener).
Note 4: National Socialist Party.
Note 5: NSD-Studentenbund.
Note 6: Not the same as “unfit for duty” – not related to physical ability.
Note 7: Not a Gymnasium, but rather a Lyzeum (Oberlyzeum).
Note 8: Kolleg, course of lectures or smaller, more intimate setting for a lecture (that is, generally not an introductory level lecture with hundreds of students).
Note 9: That is, a conversation instead of a debate. Lose Unterhaltung.
Note 10: In these two sentences, Staat had to be translated regime, government, and nation for better understanding. The original said, “Scholl sagte, der heutige Staat ist kein Staat, sondern ein Staat von Verbrechern. Dieser Redewendung ging ein Gespräch über Staatenformen und Staatenbildung voraus.”
Note 11: Völkischer Ergänzungsnotwendigkeiten.
Note 12: Throughout Schüddekopf’s interrogations, Agent Geith routinely wrote Eickemeyer’s name as Eickemayr. Instead of duplicating the error followed by “sic”, left as Eickemeyer throughout.
Note 13: The typewritten “SS” was crossed out, and the runic SS handwritten over it.
Note 14: Mich an was crossed out, as if she had originally said she could not remember.
Note 15: Stille Arbeit. In other words, not in a classroom or lecture hall.
Note 16: The second male student was not Christoph Probst, but rather the Count. He had no connection with the White Rose and was released the same day.
Note 17: Ausartungen.
Source: Schertling/Schüddekopf (92 – 101)