Schertling names White Rose circle
Gisela Schertling, personal data known, continued to be interrogated on April 2, 1943. She made the following statements:
Following I will describe Hans and Sophie Scholl’s circle of friends [Note 1] as best as I can recall:
I have seen the following persons in [Hans] Scholl’s apartment:
Schmorell Alexander, Graf Willi, Geier [Note 2] from Ulm, Furtmeier from Munich, Christoph Probst, Professor Huber, Falk Harnack, Traute Lafrenz, Karin [sic] Schüddekopf, Jäger [sic] from Munich, Otto Aicher from Ulm, Eickemayr [Note 3][sic], Bäuerle or Feuerle from Ulm (work colleague of Geyer).
The circle of friends described above – with the exception of Professor Huber, Jäger, and Harnack – was also present on the occasion of the invitations to Eickemeyer’s studio. Also present on the occasion of the invitations in Eickemeyer’s studio:
Dohrn (father-in-law of Christoph Probst), the bookstore owner Söntken [Note 4] [sic] from Munich, Anneliese Graf, Furtwängler from Munich (1st Student Company), Dr. Ellermann, publisher from Munich, along with his wife, Hecker [Note 5] [sic], writer from Munich, a bookstore owner from Aulendorf near Ulm [Note 6], whose name I do not know, and in addition, the French teacher from the University of Munich [Note 7], whose name I also do not recall at present. Several [male] students I do not know also took part in these events. I myself attended these events approximately four times and determined that the meetings were more of a social nature.
The extent of Schmorell’s association with Hans Scholl is surely well enough known by now. I saw him with Scholl very often. He probably worked at Scholl’s apartment. One could tell that he was completely sympathetic to Russia. He sought the company of [female] Russians. I do not know which Russians he associated with. I can now recall that he brought girls to Scholl’s apartment on several occasions. Sophie Scholl told me that they were Russians. But these girls appeared harmless to me. I do not believe that they talked about political or treasonous matters in their presence. I did not note the names of these girls. I only know that one of them was called Natasche. I also know that at the beginning of February, Schmorell met with several Russian women (he said it was 30) in Eickemeyer’s studio. But I do not know what they did there.
I do not know whether he [Schmorell] had a love affair with Sophie Scholl. I myself was not especially close to Schmorell. He also probably did not know that they had told me about the leaflets.
Willi Graf likewise was often in Scholl’s apartment, but not as often as Schmorell. He also worked with Hans Scholl and Schmorell. But I never knew what they were working on. Graf never brought anyone with him when he came to visit. Graf was very reserved and I actually never came into contact with him personally. Once I saw him at the university accompanied by Lafrenz. That was the day of Scholl’s arrest.
I saw the artist Geyer nearly every day, Tuesday to Friday (when he usually was in Munich), in Scholl’s apartment. He ate breakfast and supper there. Geyer liked to talk politics. I could tell that he was against National Socialism. Among other things, he told me that he deserted or rather allegedly had been declared a deserter at the end of the world war [WWI].
Already before 1933, he had [publicly] opposed a National Socialist speaker at an assembly, where he had pushed his way through. Although he constantly complained about current events, I could not generally tell that he would have ever done anything against the leadership and the State in a specific form. I do not believe that Geyer knew that the Scholl siblings were involved in illegal activities. I believe that because Geyer was never present at the times when Scholl and his circle were working. Geyer also was not in Munich when the leaflets were taken to Eickemeyer’s studio.
I only saw Furtmeier in Scholl’s apartment once, and that was late afternoon on either February 5 or 6. I do not know why he came to visit. But I believe I could tell that his political attitudes were the same as Scholl’s. That certainly was the case with regards to church interests. But I could not see specific attacks on the State or Party in that conversation. I do not know why Hans Scholl sought out Furtmeier’s acquaintance.
I only saw Christoph Probst at Hans Scholl’s [apartment] on two evenings. They talked about politics on both those occasions. Probst made it clear that he actually did not see himself as a political person. But I could see that Hans Scholl was able to persuade him. I do not know why he continued to associate with Hans Scholl. Hans and Sophie liked him a lot. They also told me that they had gotten together often during their studies.
I have only seen Professor Huber in Scholl’s apartment on the occasion of the discussion with Falk Harnack. Hans Scholl told me that he had also been there for a discussion in mid-February. But I also remember seeing him there once in January. On that occasion, I saw him for about half an hour. Lafrenz was there as well. But on that occasion I could not tell whether treasonous conversations were held. I do not know anything else about Professor Huber’s participation. I only know that he brought him a directory from which students’ addresses were taken to mail the leaflets.
As far as I know, Dr. Harnack was only [in Scholl’s apartment] two or three times. I was present during only one conversation, and I have already made statements about that. Hans Scholl did not tell me much about the friendship [Note 8] with Harnack.
I saw Traute Lafrenz in Scholl’s apartment twice, and likewise in Eickemeyer’s studio twice. Lafrenz was deeply interested in Hans Scholl, but he did not want to be with her any more. I do not know how much Hans Scholl influenced her politically, or how much she knew about his plans. They never talked politics in her presence as far as I know.
As I have already said, Lafrenz showed a great deal of interest in the Scholl matter when he was arrested. But as far as I can tell from talking to her, I do not think she knew much about the leaflets.
Schüddekopf was in Scholl’s apartment only once while I was there. She brought a book back to him. At that time, she stayed in his room only about 10 minutes. I also saw her in Eickemeyer’s studio twice. I recall that there were no political discussions in her presence. I do not know what her other connections were to the matter.
I believe I saw Jaeger – probably a student from Munich, address unknown – in Scholl’s apartment only once. On that occasion, Jaeger brought Hans Scholl a book by Gerhard Ritter. I have already said that Hans Scholl talked to him about the possibility of meeting with Ritter. But I do not believe that other political topics were discussed in his presence.
Otto Aicher was probably Sophie Scholl’s close friend [Note 9]. I only saw him at Scholl’s apartment once. Afterwards, we went for a walk in the English Gardens. From that conversation, I only learned that he and Inge Scholl were visiting Professor Muth. I do not believe that he pursued any particular political interests, because I could not tell that from his conversations.
Eickemeyer is the owner of the studio by the same name on Leopold Str. I met him at the beginning of January when Hans Scholl invited me to his residence. The next day he came to Scholl’s apartment. The two of them talked politics in my presence. I can say that the two of them agreed regarding politics. Eickemeyer particularly said that many Jews and Poles had been shot in Poland, and that he thought that was terrible. In any case, I could tell from his utterances that he was against National Socialism.
Bäuerle or Feuerle (a work colleague of Geyer) was in Scholl’s apartment once or twice. I could not tell if there were any particular reason that he was introduced to Scholl. I could only tell from their conversation that he is a painter (artist). There were no political discussions that evening.
I have already said that I saw Dohrn (Christoph Probst’s father-in-law) only in Eickemeyer’s studio. That was on three specific evenings. One was when Theodor Haecker read aloud, and twice at other meetings. I have already characterized his political attitude and cannot say anything else about that.
Söhngen, bookstore owner from Munich, was present only once in Eickemeyer’s studio, on the occasion of Theodor Haecker’s reading. I do not know whether he spoke to Hans Scholl on that occasion. Hans Scholl introduced him to me only briefly. I only know that Hans Scholl visited him often in his bookstore on Maximilianplatz and in his apartment. Hans did not tell me anything else about this acquaintance.
I actually never got to know Anneliese Graf well. I saw her only twice in Eickemeyer’s studio. From her conversations with Hans Scholl, I could not tell whether they had a close relationship [Note 10]. But I do not think that she had any connection to the matter.
I saw Furtwängler – medical student in Munich, probably 1st Student Company – in Eickemeyer’s studio probably three times. I believe that Hans Scholl had met him during his military time. Hans Scholl told me that they had been stationed in the field together in the same unit. I do not believe that Furtwängler knew Hans Scholl in any way other than socially. In any case, I could not tell whether he ever made any political statements.
The publisher Dr. Ellermann was only around Hans Scholl on the occasion of the reading by Theodor Haecker in Eickemeyer’s studio. I do not know how Hans Scholl knew him. I only knew that he was under consideration as publisher for the works of the artist Geyer. I do not know what else Hans Scholl could have wanted from him. I did not come into contact with him personally. I therefore could not know what his [political] attitudes were. Sophie Scholl, however, told me that he is politically fickle and that he always takes the side that is best for his business.
The writer Theodor Haecker was there only one evening. He read aloud from his book “Creator and Creation” in the larger circle. I learned that Haecker is a Catholic writer. Hans Scholl probably made Haecker’s acquaintance only because he knew that he championed the interest of the church. I believe that otherwise, they did not know one another well. I never saw Haecker with Scholl again.
The publisher [sic] from Aulendorf and the French teacher from the University of Munich were only present at Haecker’s reading. But the French teacher himself later gave a reading.
I also know that Hans Scholl
still had a close friendship [Note 11] with Professor Muth. But I never saw him in Scholl’s apartment or in Eickemeyer’s studio. Hans Scholl probably only visited him at his residence in Solln. I myself was there, once with Sophie and once with Hans. Hans Scholl told me that Muth used to be politically active and that he was known as the publisher of a strongly Catholic magazine. I myself could not tell much about his political orientation on those occasions, because he was only involved with his work and was otherwise very reserved.
I do not personally know Miss Ulla Claudius from Hamburg. Sophie Scholl told me that the previous year, they had gotten together with Miss Claudius quite often. I once saw a letter from Miss Claudius to Hans Scholl. Therefore I assume that they corresponded. I do not know whether they had a close relationship.
I believe that I have now made a [full] statement regarding Hans Scholl’s circle of acquaintances.
Recorded by: /Signed: Beer/, Crim. Secr.
Read and signed by: /Signed: Gisela Schertling/
Present: /Signed: Elfr. Maier/ Employee.
Note 1: Bekannten (acquaintances), not Freunden (close friends).
Note 2: Throughout Gisela Schertling’s interrogations, incorrectly written as Geier.
Note 3: Throughout Gisela Schertling’s interrogations, incorrectly written as Eickemayr.
Note 4: Throughout Gisela Schertling’s interrogations, incorrectly written as Söntken.
Note 5: Throughout Gisela Schertling’s interrogations, incorrectly written as Hecker.
Note 6: This was Josef Rieck. He owned a book store and sold banned books.
Note 7: Katharina Schüddekopf’s friend Monsieur Rousset.
Note 8: Bekanntschaft (acquaintances), not close friends.
Note 9: Bekannter. Surprising that she did not use the word Freund, because Otl Aicher had been very chummy with Sophie Scholl in Gisela’s presence shortly before the February 18 arrests.
Note 10: Freundschaft, implying a close friendship. Likely that Gisela Schertling worried that Anneliese Graf was a rival.
Note 11: Freundschaft, implying a close friendship.
Editor’s note: The omission of Jürgen Wittenstein’s name in this interrogation is one of the most damning pieces of evidence against his claims to have been part of the White Rose. Gisela Schertling mentions people who were fringe of the fringe, e.g. Gerhard Feuerle and Monsieur Rousset. Despite Wittenstein’s claims to have frequented the Scholls’ residence often in 1943, Gisela never saw him!
Source: Schertling/Schüddekopf (47 – 52)