Katharina Schüddekopf’s “C.V.”
My political thinking and my attitudes towards the National Socialist State are conditioned by and based on the understanding of an academically educated person and on the understanding of a woman. [Note 1]
For me, studying at the university does not mean the accumulation of historical knowledge; rather, it means life. As it has always been, [education] is learning about that which is independent and free, with as little outside influence of time and space and the wisdom of mankind and books as possible.
The freedom of German universities has always been treasured in every European nation. It is the symbol of the most prominent feature of Germans in general. The battle for the very last freedom – whether the battle is waged with the sword of the spirit or the sword of iron – has made us into a tragically heroic people. We know no peace, no self-contentment. We know only the battle for an idea and the unwavering faith in victory.
I study neither history nor politics. And I must openly admit that in school, history interested me little, except as I needed it as the basis for my majors. Politics interest me even less (is that “unfortunately” or “thank God”?). For me, politics is merely something that has been made an unavoidable necessity because of war. I have been forced to have a political attitude and therefore to make political decisions.
If we were not at war, I probably would not have either an attitude or a decision regarding the current regime. But now that we are at war, I can see an absolute necessity for a decisive political position to the National Socialist State.
We must submit ourselves to the State as the representative of Germanness [Note 2], regardless of whether we as individuals are in agreement with every decree. We must freely and consciously submit to the State, because it embodies the greatest and most immediate governing body in the world.
We must not see this “acquiescence to law” as enslavement, but rather as protection for the security of the general population. The individual who freely and consciously submits to the State must also direct his personal thoughts first and foremost to the wellbeing of the entire nation, and only in second place to his personal wellbeing.
He must reckon with the weaknesses of that which is all-too-human. He must see the weaknesses of his beloved neighbor and bear them. Of course, every person has his faults. But that has nothing at all to do with the inviolability of the idea. A person is always subordinate to his ideals. The greater the ideal, the greater the person – despite his weaknesses.
The idea of a National Socialist State is the most perfect one for the German nation. Whether the representatives of this idea are equally as perfect is a whole other question. I must answer it negatively, as I have all too often experienced the human inadequacies. However, this knowledge of human inadequacy may not disturb my ideal of the National Socialist State.
There is a third question: How shall I behave towards people who consciously reject the current regime? Here I must answer like a woman, because a man would probably have a different understanding.
Whenever I meet people, I usually act based on impulsive feelings of congeniality or antipathy. Friendship is a mutual understanding that does not require speech or explanation. As a woman, I do not delude myself by thinking that I can and would influence another person’s views. A person’s maturity is not seen in his putting forth his opinion as if it alone were correct, but rather that he learns to understand other people through a different psyche and then waits until the other person finds the correct path. Force, fear, and threats never lead to a proper goal.
These are the reasons that led me to the Scholl circle. I treasured Prof. Huber purely as a person. His political attitude did not affect me at all. I had a “community of interests” with Miss Lafrenz for study purposes, particularly questions about modern literature, philosophical viewpoints, theater, and concerts. I was indirectly connected to Scholls because of my friendship with Miss Lafrenz, and their affinity to art and scholarship.
I am a stranger in Munich, and I clumsily landed in the Scholl circle, of all places. My attitude to this circle [of friends] would most certainly have not been any different (except perhaps more positive) if those people had had a more positive attitude towards the current regime. Huber, Miss Lafrenz, and the Scholls did not influence me in the least with their political attitudes, even if that sounds too unbelievable. It is possible to see life and people through glasses other than political ones.
March 27, 1943
Signed by: Schüddekopf
Note 1: Both the original handwritten version and a typed copy (not properly identified as transcription) are in Katharina Schüddekopf’s file.
Note 2: Deutschtum.
Editor’s note: Both Katharina Schüddekopf and Traute Lafrenz (along with Susanne Hirzel) well understood how to turn misogynist Nazi ideology – women as worthless – to their advantage. In an interesting turn of events, Eduard Geith and the rest of the Gestapo did not “buy” their helpless-girls routine. Trenker got involved with their case, and apparently was coordinating a special trial just for them (which would have ended badly, to read his notes about these women).
Source: Schertling/Schüddekopf (128 – 129)