Schertling interrogation

Secret State Police [Gestapo]
State Police Headquarters Munich

Munich, March 29, 1943

Vol. No. 13226/43 II A Sond. Be. [Special Commission / Beer]

Summoned, Gisela Schertling (personal data known) appeared and continued to be interrogated:

Remonstrance and question: Our additional investigations have determined that you and the Scholl siblings – but especially you and Hans Scholl – had a very close relationship. Therefore, your statements are no longer credible when you say you knew nothing about the entire activity. Do you not wish to finally tell the truth in this regard?

Answer: I admit that I was with the Scholl siblings, and particularly with Hans Scholl, nearly every day. My being with them was as follows:

Sophie Scholl and I attended Prof. Huber’s lectures together. The lectures were always from 10:15 am to 11 am. Afterwards, I would go eat lunch with Sophie Scholl. We usually ate at the “Brenessel” [Stinging Nettle], the “Deutscher Kaiser” [German Emperor] on Wilhelm Str., or in an Italian restaurant the “Bodega” in Schwabing. Sometimes we prepared a meal in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment. On those occasions, Hans Scholl was usually there.

We almost always hung out in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment, where we occupied ourselves with classical literature and magazines. It was then usually 2:30 pm when I left the apartment. Sometimes however I would stay all afternoon. In those cases, we usually ate supper together and often would talk until around midnight.

On those evenings – and it was probably about 10 times – Geyer was also present. And around 2 times, a work colleague of Geyer was there too, but I cannot recall his name. As best as I can recall, he was named either Bäuerle or Bäuerlein.

I can also recall that Schmorell was often there in the evenings. But that was also possible in the afternoons. I believe I saw the student named Graf at Scholl’s [apartment] only during the afternoon.

I also occasionally spent the night with Scholl, sometimes 2 – 3 times a week. This occurred pretty regularly in the time between Christmas 1942 and February 9, 1943. When I spent the night, I would go to bed with Sophie Scholl around midnight. I would sleep with her on the couch.

I can recall that on two occasions, Schmorell spent the night with Scholl. Once it was mid-January. I heard the two of them typing on the typewriter. I never learned what the two of them were working on that night. I also did not ask them.

Once Sophie stayed with them too and worked till 5:30 am with her brother Hans and Schmorell. In that case, Sophie only told me that they had something to work on. I certainly do not know what the three of them were doing. I also did not ask what they were doing those nights.

To the remonstrance that my statements are unbelievable, I must say that under these circumstances, it is understandable that they are not believable. But I certainly did not learn about the treasonous activity of these persons either directly or indirectly.

I must admit that politics was often discussed in this circle, namely treasonous politics. I heard them say that a democracy must replace the current regime. They indirectly made it clear that the current regime must be eliminated. But they certainly never told me that they were working to overthrow the current regime.

Their critique of the National Socialist State was always negative. They thought English democracy was the proper example. They particularly criticized the limiting of personal freedom. They thought they could bring about a transition to a new government by convincing individuals to revolt [Note 1] against the current regime. The figure of speech “revolt against the current regime” was only used once on the occasion of a meeting. But on that occasion, the participants did not go into greater detail as to how they imagined the revolution against the State.

The spokesman during these meetings was (as was usually the case) Hans Scholl. Geyer also participated energetically in the political discussions. I know for certain that he was present when they talked about a revolt against the current regime. However, it is possible that it was not Geyer, but rather Furtwängler, who was in the same company as Hans Scholl.

Furtwängler was only in Scholl’s apartment (sic [Note 2]) on two occasions. On those occasions, Schmorell, Sophie Scholl, Geyer, Christoph Probst’s father-in-law, and I were also present. I noticed from the conversations that this circle in general (with the possible exception of Furtwängler) was very negative towards the State.

I could also tell particularly that Scholl and Probst’s father-in-law were in agreement politically.

Geyer was also very active and negative towards the State. Geyer was in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment rather often, for example to eat breakfast and supper. On nearly every occasion, he spoke rather openly against the National Socialist State. I could describe his statements as general complaining. Incidentally, I could tell that the friendship [Note 3] between Scholl and Geyer was very close. But I do not know whether Geyer ever stayed late after I left at night and worked together with Hans Scholl.

I saw the student Graf less frequently in Scholl’s apartment. When he was there, it was usually in the morning or afternoon.

I saw Professor Huber at Scholl’s [apartment] only once. This was 14 days before Harnack’s visit.

Harnack was introduced to me on a Tuesday, either February 8 or 9, in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment. Schmorell was also present on that occasion. I was present for their conversation, and it lasted more than an hour. From Scholl’s greetings, I could tell that this was the first time he had seen him here. When Scholl greeted him, he said that he was happy to see Harnack here.

However it is possible that Harnack had been in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment before. I assume that, because Hans Scholl told me that Harnack would be coming to the apartment, and that he had already been there one morning.

Now I can recall that for that [first] visit of Harnack, Schmorell and Harnack were already in the apartment when Hans Scholl and I arrived around 3 pm. On the way there, Hans Scholl had already told me that Harnack would be waiting for him and that he [Note 4] actually should have been there earlier to receive them. But that it did not make a difference, because he would be coming with Schmorell, and Schmorell had a key to the apartment.

When we arrived, Schmorell and Harnack were already there and were already drinking tea. I do not remember whether Hans Scholl or Schmorell introduced me to Harnack. I could tell from their greeting that Scholl and Harnack already knew one another.

The conversation that followed was completely about politics and economics. On that occasion, Harnack was the chief spokesman. He mainly talked about general economic-political issues and particularly about questions of labor. He talked about the nationalization of industry. He thought that would create a correct social balance for the worker.

I could not say what all they said about the military or political situation. Since Harnack championed fairly Communist ideas, Schmorell countered him by saying that he should see the conditions that had brought about in Russia. I believe I can recall that before that, Harnack had championed a total socialization of all means of production according to the Russian example. I could not exactly say whether he actually said “according to the Russian example”. I could only tell that he championed Russian economic methodology, such as the nationalization of industry and of means of production.

I can no longer recall details of the conversation. I must decisively deny that Harnack was shown a leaflet in my presence, or that they talked about graffiti at the university or any place else.

If Harnack was shown a leaflet during this meeting, then it was while I was out of the room. During this conversation, I was briefly in the kitchen once on several occasions, where I prepared tea.

While I was present, Hans Scholl did in fact give Harnack a document to read that was several typewritten pages long. In that context, Scholl said that this was the speech of an English writer. The writer had given the speech on the occasion of the truce with France. But I never learned about another document or rather about a leaflet on this or any other occasion.

The interrogation was interrupted at 1:55 pm.

Read aloud and signed: /Signed: Gisela Schertling/

[No signature of the Gestapo agent.]


Note 1: Auflehnen. Also in following sentences. Rebel/rebellion, revolt/revolution. Less active than Umsturz (revolt leading to overthrow of the government) or Aufstand (insurrection).

Note 2: Should be Eickemeyer’s studio, not Hans Scholl’s apartment.

Note 3: Freundschaft. Close friends, not acquaintances.

Note 4: Gisela actually said “I”, but she is ‘quoting’ Hans Scholl.


Source: Schertling/Schüddekopf (19 – 23)

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