Second interrogation of Manfred Eickemeyer
Continuation of the interrogation on April 7, 1943.
What I said yesterday about my acquaintance [Note 1] with Hans Scholl is correct. I thought about it overnight and came to the conclusion that I did not meet up with Hans Scholl eight times in Munich until Christmas 1942, but rather only six times. During the summer of 1942, he spent some time on the Front, where we naturally did not see one another.
When I met Scholl in the Spring of 1942 in Munich, I had already established my actual residence in Cracow. Therefore I was in Munich only on business. I now recall that I was briefly in Munich in June 1942, and that I returned for the first time in October to spend 10 – 12 days here.
Remonstrance: According to our previous determinations, during this meeting in your studio Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell talked about the seditious leaflet “White Rose” in addition to their political conversation. Both of them probably described themselves as the authors of this leaflet [Note 2] and intended to spur the remaining participants to the publication of additional seditious leaflets or to get ideas [for additional leaflets] from them. What do you say to this?
Answer: The existence of such a leaflet was never discussed in my presence. If Hans Scholl or Alexander Schmorell had identified themselves as publishers of this leaflet on that evening or on any other occasion, I would have broken off all future contact with them and denied them use of my studio.
During today’s interrogation I am hearing for the first time that Scholl and Schmorell had already published and distributed a seditious leaflet entitled “The White Rose” during the summer of 1942. No matter what, I stand by my statement and will only add that such a leaflet was not sent or handed to me. I am aware that this statement bears criminal consequences, but I cannot give any other explanation since I am hearing about the existence of this leaflet for the first time today.
I did not learn until the end of March 1943 that the Scholl siblings were caught as they distributed seditious leaflets at the University of Munich in February 1943 and that they were condemned. [At that time], I had come to Munich on business.
I suspected something of the sort at the beginning of March 1943. Mr. Grossmann, a [Financial] Controller [Note 3], had come from Munich to Cracow on business. He told me that there had been a student riot and that in connection with the riot, two siblings and a student from Innsbruck had been taken into custody.
Since I was aware that Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie studied in Munich and respectively that Christoph Probst studied medicine in Innsbruck, I automatically thought about this circle of people. Until the time of my trip to Munich, I did not undertake any measures to learn whether my suspicions were correct.
Only after I arrived in Munich did I make contact with the artist Wilhelm Geyer, whom I had temporarily granted access to my studio. I learned from him that the Scholl siblings and Christoph Probst had been executed for treason and that they (Scholl siblings and Probst) had been captured because of someone from Stuttgart named Hirzel.
Mr. Mayer, the janitor of the Leopold Str. 38 property, told me that the police had found a typewriter platen and other items in my basement and that they had taken them, because all kinds of things had taken place in my studio while I was gone.
When I parted ways from Scholl and his circle of acquaintances following the above-mentioned farewell party in the summer of 1942, I did not come to any agreement about further use of my studio. Because such an agreement did not exist, I left my only extra set of keys with the janitor named Mayer (as usual), and I took my original set of keys to the studio with me to Cracow. Therefore no one except for Mayer could have entered the studio without having obtained a key from Mayer.
When I came back to Munich in October 1942 for a few days, I noticed nothing that would make me believe that my studio had been opened or used while I was away.
On December 23, 1942, I traveled from Cracow to Munich to spend Christmas here and with my sister in Pöcking.
I believe it was after New Year’s 1943 that I visited the Scholl siblings in their apartment at Franz Josef Str. 13. I must also add that also during this visit, I noticed nothing that would make me believe the studio had been used without my permission.
Additionally I must amend my statement to say that I did not visit the Scholl siblings in their apartment; rather Hans Scholl called on me in my studio at the beginning of January.
A few days later, I visited the Scholl siblings in their apartment, that is, I reciprocated Hans Scholl’s visit. During both of these visits, political topics were not even touched upon, and in particular the measures taken by the current regime were not criticized.
Hans Scholl showed me among other things pictures (artist’s portfolio) of the painter named Geyer; these interested me very much. When I returned to Scholl’s apartment a few days later to meet the artist named Geyer, I was introduced to him.
Question: What can you say about the farewell party that Hans Scholl held in your studio in the summer of 1942?
Answer: As I already stated yesterday, at that time Scholl (and sometimes his buddies [Note 4]) came to my studio to talk about my work and about cultural things. I can also recall that once or twice he brought along women – his sister Sophie Scholl and I believe a student named Lafrenz.
I could not state today who and how many persons appeared at my studio to throw a farewell party for Hans Scholl and his buddies. I believe I can recall a married student named Probst; he told me he had two children.
As a photograph of Alexander Schmorell is shown to me, I believe that this man also was in my studio at that time. Except for Hans Scholl, the remaining participants were not known to me. With regards to this matter, I seem to recall that one of these women (probably Lafrenz) wrote me a short letter while I was in Cracow. Perhaps you could still find this letter somewhere in my studio.
When I am told that Prof. Dr. Huber took part in this farewell party, I cannot recall that he was there; I know this man from the university. The same thing goes for the names Willi Graf and Otto Aicher.
Also, a younger woman who supposedly came with Aicher, is not known to me. This is because I did not stay in my studio the entire evening. While the others stayed there, I ran errands. It is therefore possible that while I was gone, people came or went without my ever having seen them.
Remonstrance: It seems odd that you cannot recall Prof. Dr. Huber, though according to the statements made by Huber, you talked with him at length. What do you have to say to this?
Answer: I must insist that I only know Prof. Dr. Huber from the university and that I can only remember him from his last lecture. As well as I can recall, that was in 1941.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot recall that Huber took part in the farewell party or that he had a conversation with me. If Prof. Dr. Huber has stated during his interrogation [that he did], I will not say that he is lying; I would only like to reserve the possibility that it has escaped me.
If Huber stated that the party broke up around 11 pm and left my studio, I must say that I have a completely different recollection of the events. I believe that I can recall that the guests arrived around 6:30 pm and left my studio approximately two hours later. It is a mystery to me why there are different statements [regarding this matter]. I can only think that in this case, the witness Huber is wrong.
Question: During the farewell party in question, the conversation turned to political matters. Schmorell stated he would not behave actively on the battlefield, but rather passively. At that time, you and Hans Scholl represented the point of view that the actions of the SS-units [Note 5] on the front and in the occupied territories damaged the reputation of the armed forces in general, and that the shootings of Poles and Russians were the best examples of this. What do you have to say to this?
Answer: No matter how hard I try, I cannot recall this topic of conversation that supposedly took place on that evening. Rather, I assert that these accusations are completely new to me.
I admit without reservations that I talked about events in former Poland with Hans Scholl in private. But [that evening], I myself made no such statement, because I take care not to speak about such things. If facts are brought up, I will only answer in the affirmative. But I must continue to insist that I cannot recall that such matters were spoken about at length during this farewell party in my presence.
In addition, the statements supposedly made by Alexander Schmorell, who is said to have argued in favor of passive resistance, are completely unknown to me. Assuming that the statements made by the participants in the farewell party are true, I can only assume that all this happened during my absence. That is to say that I served tea and pastries and for that reason repeatedly left the party.
Finally Hans Scholl approached me about allowing Geyer to use the studio during my absence, since Geyer has a large family and in the moment he is working in Munich. When I agreed, Geyer came to the studio. I allowed him to live there free of charge and gave him my own key. Hans Scholl was present when I reached this agreement with Geyer or rather gave him the key. I got the impression from both of them that Geyer was rather critical of Scholl and that he was more of a paternal friend to him.
I think I can say with certainty that the date I gave the key to Geyer was January 12, 1943. By the way, I decided to give the studio to Geyer or rather temporarily make it available to him as a way of demonstrating my assistance to him. When I learned that Geyer is the father of six children, that made a big impression on me.
On the same day On the day that I handed the key over to Geyer, I left Munich for Cracow. I returned to Munich only at the end of March 1943. I cannot say what happened in my studio – for which Geyer had the keys and entered and exited the studio with my permission – during my absence.
Question: If you left Munich for Cracow on January 12, 1943 and Geyer has stated that you were present during at least one get-together, then that had to have taken place before your departure. Do you know a Harald Dohrn from Wiessee and what kind of meetings took place with him?
Answer: While I was staying in Munich during Christmas 1942/43, Hans Scholl introduced me to Dohrn in my studio. I do not know why Hans Scholl introduced me to this Dohrn, or why I met him. But it is not unusual for me as an architect to be recommended to various people or to be introduced to them. On the afternoon when I met Dohrn, the Scholl siblings, Geyer, and as best as I can recall another woman in my studio. They were there to talk.
During this meeting, primarily Dohrn talked, telling about his life, his [physical therapy] practice, and his stage productions in Hellerau, about trips abroad and other things as well. I could not tell from that conversation what Dohrn thinks of the current regime, or what his political viewpoints were.
When I am told that Dohrn is a fanatical adherent to and apologist for the Catholic Church, I believe I can confirm that question. I recall that Dohrn talked about the incompatibility of Catholics and National Socialists [Note 6]. He also took a stand against Prussiandom and let us know that he could not agree with National Socialistic ideology. But I did not see anything that suggested he undertook any activities against the current regime.
As usual, Hans Scholl remained withdrawn, even during Dohrn’s discourse. However, the last time I visited them in Scholl’s apartment, Sophie Scholl said that she could not reconcile [the notion of] man’s free will with thoughts of God’s omniscience.
I never allowed myself to be drawn into seditious statements on any occasion. I freely admit that many experiences in my life have caused me to be critical [of the current regime].
Recorded by: /Schmauβ/, Crim. Secr.
Read aloud and signed by: /Manfred Eickemeyer/
Note 1: Bekanntschaft. Not a close friend.
Note 2: Flugblatt – singular leaflet, not the series.
Note 3: Prokurist. While rarely the Chief Financial Officer, the Prokurist often serves as Secretary-Treasurer and fiduciary agent for a corporation.
Note 4: Kameraden. Literally, comrades.
Note 5: Typed runic SS.
Note 6: Katholiken und National Sozialisten, not the Church and the NSDAP or National Socialist ideology.
Source: Eickemeyer/Grimminger (7 – 12)