The Chief Prosecutor of the Reich, People’s Court
6J 24 / 43
Berlin, April 8, 1943
I hereby indict:
1. Alexander Schmorell from Munich, born on September 16, 1917 in Orenburg (Russia), single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on February 24, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 243/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1753/43),
2. Dr. Kurt Huber from Munich, born on October 24, 1893 in Chur (Switzerland), married, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on February 27, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 246/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1748/52a),
3. Wilhelm Graf from Munich, born on January 2, 1918 in Kuchenheim, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on February 18, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 252/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1757/38),
4. Hans Hirzel from Ulm, born October 30, 1924 in Untersteinbach (Stuttgart), single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on February 21, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 247/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1750/61),
5. Susanne Hirzel from Stuttgart, born on August 7, 1921 in Untersteinbach (Stuttgart), single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on February 22, 1943; warrant for her arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 251/43); she has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich [Note 1],
6. Franz Josef Müller from Ulm, born on September 8, 1924 in Ulm, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 17, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 250/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1753/41),
7. Heinrich Guter from Ulm, born on January 11, 1925 in Ulm, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 17, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 250/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1752/125a),
8. Eugen Grimminger from Stuttgart, born on July 29, 1892 in Crailsheim, married, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 2, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 245/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1751/90),
9. Dr. Heinrich Philipp Bollinger from Freiburg, born on April 23, 1916 in Saarbrücken, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 5, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 248/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1749/135),
10. Helmut Karl Theodor August Bauer from Freiburg, born on June 19, 1919 in Saarbrücken, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 3 [Note 2], 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 249/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1754/77),
11 [Note 3]. Dr. Falk Erich Walter Harnack, from Chemnitz, born on March 2, 1913 in Stuttgart, single, no prior convictions, taken into temporary custody on March 6, 1943; warrant for his arrest was issued on March 25, 1943 (3 Gs 253/43); he has been in interrogative custody since that day in Neudeck Prison in Munich (1756/112).
They are herewith charged with the following crimes in Munich and in other places during the years 1942 and 1943.
I. The accused Schmorell, Huber, Graf, Hans Hirzel, Müller, and Grimminger are charged with the same actions:
1. Continued and partially conspiratorial – among themselves and with others – treasonous activities in preparation for the purpose of overthrowing the Constitution of the Reich by force whereby the deed:
a) was focused on high treason by means of setting up an organizational and cooperative effort,
b) in addition was focused on making the armed forces unfit for fulfilling their duty of protecting the German Reich against attacks on its foreign and domestic assets,
c) was focused on influencing the masses by production and distribution of documents,
2. Within the boundaries of the Reich having undertaken to aid and abet the enemies of the Reich during a time of war and to inflict damage on the military might of the Reich,
3. To attempt to publicly cripple and destroy the will of the German nation for self-determination,
II. The accused Susanne Hirzel committed the crimes enumerated in I above by knowingly rendering assistance,
III. The accused Guter, Bollinger, Bauer, and Harnack had credible knowledge of the treasonous intentions and yet failed to report same to the authorities at the appropriate time,
VI. [sic] The accused Bollinger and Bauer likewise independently committed the crime of listening to foreign broadcasts,
Crimes according to §80, paragraph 2, §83 Paragraph 3 No. 1, 2, and 3, §§91B, 139, 47, 49, 74 St.GB., §5 Er.1 KSSVO, §§ 1, 5 of the measures regarding extraordinary radio reception.
In June 1942, four different “Leaflets of the White Rose” were disseminated in Munich. These contained demands for sabotage of armaments and for the overthrow of the National Socialist government. Authors, producers, and disseminators of these leaflets were Hans Scholl – who has already been condemned by the People’s Court – and the accused Schmorell.
In January and February 1943, two new leaflets with similar content appeared. One was a leaflet of the resistance movement with the subtitle “Call to All Germans!”, and one leaflet that was directed to students. The accused Schmorell, Huber, and Graf participated in the writing, the production, and the dissemination of these leaflets in Munich.
The leaflets were also disseminated outside of Munich, namely in Salzburg, Linz, Vienna, Augsburg, and Stuttgart. In addition to Sophie Scholl – who has already been condemned by the People’s Court – the accused Schmorell, the Hirzel siblings, and Müller also participated.
In addition, the accused Schmorell and Graf carried out several graffiti operations together with Hans Scholl. These were slogans in opposition to the Führer. The accused Grimminger contributed the sum of 500 Marks [$4,000.00] towards the expenses of the leaflet propaganda. The accused Guter, Bollinger, Bauer, and Harnack knew about these activities and failed to report them timely. In addition, Bollinger and Bauer listened to foreign broadcasts.
I. Facts of the Case.
A. The Leaflets of the White Rose
Author of the leaflets of the White Rose is the accused Schmorell – together with Hans Scholl, who has already been condemned by the People’s Court.
Schmorell attended a private school in Munich, and the Gymnasium. His father is a medical doctor and owns a villa in Munich. His father is German, his deceased mother was a Russian.
Schmorell feels like a Russian, though he rejects Bolshevism. He describes himself as a Russian monarchist.
Following his time with the Labor Service, he joined the army. He had qualms about swearing the oath of loyalty to the Führer. A short while later, he revealed his political attitudes to his commanding officer. His request to be discharged from the armed forces was unsuccessful, however. Easter 1939, the accused Schmorell began his medical studies. In Spring 1940, he was drafted into a medical division. He served on the Western Front as a medical non-com. In autumn of 1940, he was furloughed and continued his studies. He registered with the university in Munich and received a monthly salary from the armed forces in the amount of 253 Marks [$2,024.00]. In addition, his father paid for his tuition; he lived at home.
The accused Schmorell was a close friend of the condemned Scholl. He knew that Scholl opposed National Socialism and agreed with him to the extent that he believed that National Socialism was the enemy of the Russian people. Despite the political system that holds power in Russia, his sympathies remained with the Russians even after the outbreak of war with the Soviet Union. He was oppressed by the thought that Russia would suffer a great loss of its land by the advances of the German armies.
In the summer of 1942, Scholl and Schmorell decided to publish leaflets that opposed the National Socialist government. Each of them prepared a draft of a leaflet independent of one another. From this originated the collaborative effort that resulted in the first “Leaflet of the White Rose”. The accused Schmorell procured a typewriter and purchased a duplicating machine. Together with Scholl, he then ran off around 100 copies of a leaflet that was entitled “Leaflet of the White Rose No. I”. Schmorell and Scholl mailed this leaflet to acquaintances and to addresses that they looked up in telephone directories and address books.
They subsequently produced three additional leaflets of the “White Rose” in quick succession. They likewise mailed these. Since they were both transferred to the Eastern Front as medics, they had to interrupt their activity for the time being.
B. The Origin of the Leaflet of the Resistance Movement and the Student Leaflet.
One of the recipients of the leaflets of the White Rose – mailed by Schmorell and Scholl – was the accused Huber. Huber was born in Switzerland. He attended the Gymnasium in Stuttgart. Childhood illnesses left him partially paralyzed [Note 4] in his joints and in his face. This resulted in a speech impediment.
Huber studied musicology and philosophy. He was never a soldier since he was physically disabled. In January 1921, he qualified as a university lecturer in Munich, and in 1926 he became an associate professor. He had to turn down an appointment to be department chairman at the National Institute for Musicology in Berlin, as he was unable to obtain permission from his competent government office [Note 5].
Most recently, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Munich with a teaching contract for experimental psychology and the psychology of music.
The father of the accused Huber was a National Liberal. Huber himself was a member of the Bavarian People’s Party [Note 6], until they became too religious [Note 7] for him. Though he was raised Catholic, the accused has no close ties to the church. According to his statements, he has turned down two appointments to Catholic professorships. In 1940, he joined the NSDAP, but he did not agree with certain points of National Socialist cultural policies.
Early the summer of 1942, Huber met Hans Scholl at a party. This resulted in occasional contact. Eventually, Huber was invited to the villa of the accused Schmorell’s father. There a political discussion arose in which Huber championed the notion that the NSDAP would continue to drift to the left, asserting that Northern Germany already exhibited strong Bolshevist tendencies, while Southern Germany generally leaned more towards an established democratic form of government.
They discussed how young people in the field should conduct themselves, and the accused Schmorell declared that he would take a passive stance. Subsequently there were additional political conversations.
Around Christmas 1942, the accused Huber learned from Scholl and Schmorell – who in the meantime had returned from the Eastern Front – that they were the authors and disseminators of the “White Rose” leaflet. Huber had received the first two leaflets. In January 1943, they met in the apartment of the accused Huber. At that time, they discussed whether it made sense to generate propaganda against National Socialism by means of leaflets. The accused Graf was present at that meeting.
Graf was born in Saarbrücken, the son of the director of a dairy. His father later became the Managing Director of a wine wholesaler. He attended the Gymnasium in Saarbrücken. After completing his Labor Service duty, he began to study medicine in Bonn. He came to Munich from there. In January 1940, he was drafted into a medical company. Following a short stint as medic on the front lines in Serbia and Russia, he was transferred to the Second Student Company in Munich where he was a Sergeant (medic) until the time of his apprehension. Graf was raised a strict Catholic. He was briefly a member of the NSFK [Note 8] and is a member of the Red Cross.
Graf met Scholl and the accused Schmorell while he was stationed on the front in the summer of 1942. He continued these relationships after they returned from the front. Since Graf had occasionally let it be known that he was not in agreement with some of the provisions of the National Socialist State, Scholl considered him a like-minded friend and took him along for the conference at Huber’s house.
The accused Huber was initially against the idea of producing leaflets, because he – apart from any other considerations – did not feel that they could reach the broad masses. Scholl attempted to dispel his misgivings and the accused Huber finally promised to think about the matter. After several additional meetings and political debates, Huber declared his agreement with the publication of leaflets. However, their distribution was to be limited to Southern Germany, because it alone was accessible for thoughts of an established, freedom-oriented form of government.
In January 1943, Schmorell and Scholl each drafted a leaflet which they then presented to the accused Huber. The accused Huber did not approve of Schmorell’s draft, because he believed he glimpsed Communist reasoning therein. Huber made a few revisions in Scholl’s leaflet draft, but in general found it to serve the intended purposes. The draft of Scholl’s leaflet that Huber edited formed the basis for the leaflet of the resistance movement entitled “Call to all Germans”.
A short time later, the accused Huber – allegedly induced to do so by the events of a student assembly – decided to go public with a leaflet opposing the National Socialist government. Following a discussion with Scholl, during which Huber evidently presumed to scandalously insult the Führer as he also did during his interrogation on February 27, 1943, the accused Huber wrote a leaflet and gave it to Scholl. Scholl struck several sentences in this draft that had to do with the German armed forces, incidentally not in a derogatory manner. The “Students” leaflet originated with this draft, or as it was called in later editions, “Fellow Students.”
C. The Dissemination of Leaflets in Munich In 1943
With the aid of a borrowed typewriter and a new duplicating machine – incidentally, no one knows where the old one that had been used previously ended up and which the accused Schmorell had likewise purchased – Scholl and Schmorell produced copies of the leaflet of the resistance movement and the “Student” leaflet. The first one was produced in January, the second in February 1943.
The accused Graf aided in the duplication of the first leaflet (according to his own statement) or the second leaflet (according to Schmorell’s statement). Several thousand copies of the leaflet of the resistance movement were produced. Of these, several hundred were mailed in Munich. Scholl and Schmorell typed the addresses and saw to their mailing. Graf procured some of the envelopes.
At Scholl’s request, the accused Huber gave him a student directory to copy out addresses. An additional portion of this edition of the leaflet – probably numbering in the thousands – was scattered on the streets of Munich at night. The accused Schmorell and Graf participated in this, along with Scholl.
Approximately 3000 copies of the Student leaflet were run off. The title on the second edition was changed, since the stencil tore. A portion of these distributed through the mail in Munich. Scholl and the accused Schmorell typed the addresses. Graf assisted in folding the leaflets and getting them ready to mail. He and the others also took the leaflets to various post offices to mail. Scholl and his similarly condemned sister Sophie scattered the remainder of the leaflets in the university. The accused Graf knew that Scholl intended to set out leaflets in the university.
D. The Dissemination of Leaflets Outside Munich
Letters that included the leaflet of the resistance movement also showed up in other cities across Southern Germany. They bore postage for local delivery and had been mailed from the respective cities. This plan originated with Scholl and with the accused Schmorell. They decided not to mail the leaflets from Munich. Instead, they would courier them out of town and mail them in mailboxes there. This was supposed to leave the impression that an organization existed that had its foot in the door of several cities.
The accused Schmorell and Sophie Scholl acted as couriers. Schmorell mailed letters containing leaflets in Salzburg, Vienna, and Linz. In Vienna, he also mailed letters to Frankfurt am Main. In addition, Sophie Scholl traveled to Augsburg and Stuttgart. She herself mailed the letters that were ready to be posted in mailboxes there. The accused Hirzel siblings took care of the ones in Stuttgart for her.
The accused Hans Hirzel, son of a Lutheran pastor, attended a Gymnasium in Ulm up to the time of his arrest. He has been a member of Hitler Youth since 1936.
After finishing the Gymnasium in Ulm, Susanne Hirzel passed her exams for certification as a kindergarten teacher. Most recently, she has been attending the academy of music in Stuttgart. From 1934 to 1939, she belonged to the League of German Girls.
The parents of the condemned Scholl [siblings], who [Note 9] live in Ulm, have known the Hirzel family since the beginning of the war [Note 10]. They took in two of the Hirzels’ children because it seemed that the children would be safer in the Scholl’s house than in Rev. Hirzel’s house, which was next to the train station in Ulm.
The parents of the accused Hirzels quickly realized that the entire Scholl family opposed National Socialism. They were unhappy about their children’s association with the Scholl family. When Hans Scholl’s father was punished for perfidy, they finally forbade their children to associate with the Scholls.
Nevertheless, the children did not cut off their association with one another. In June 1942, Hans Hirzel received two “Leaflets of the White Rose” in rapid succession. He immediately suspected that Hans Scholl had something to do with the leaflets and decided to look him up in Munich. When he did not find him in his apartment, he was directed to Eickemayer’s studio where a party was going on.
In addition to the Scholl siblings and others, the accused Huber was also present, and Hans Hirzel met him. A belletristic conversation was already underway, however, talk soon turned to politics. The prevailing opinion was that Germany had already lost the war. Someone asked the question whether it would be appropriate to create placards expressing opposition to National Socialism.
Subsequently, Hans Hirzel frequently met with the Scholl siblings. In the summer of 1942, he received the sum of 80 Marks [$640.00] from Sophie Scholl with the request to procure a duplicating machine. He then purchased an inexpensive duplicating machine, paper, and stencils.
In the autumn of 1942, Hirzel met Hans Scholl in Ulm. At that time, placards were nailed up in Ulm with a Star of David and the caption, “He who wears this symbol is an enemy of the people!” Hans Scholl then asked the accused Hirzel to make a placard with the Party symbol and the same caption. The accused Hans Hirzel attempted to produce such a placard with the aid of a store-bought stencil, but it came to nothing. Later he threw the duplicating machine into the Danube out of fear that he would be found out. He hid the paper and the stencils with an acquaintance.
Christmas 1942, Hans Scholl asked the accused Hirzel to assist him in the distribution of leaflets and to assume responsibility for dissemination of leaflets in Stuttgart.
At the end of January 1943, Sophie Scholl brought [him] around 2000 leaflets. Thereupon, Hirzel turned to his friend the accused Müller. Together, they put some of the leaflets in envelopes that Hirzel had gotten from Hans Scholl and Müller. Müller dictated addresses to him, which he typed on the envelopes. Hirzel stole the telephone book they used for these addresses. They did this in the Martin Luther Church in Ulm.
Then he traveled to Stuttgart and mailed some of the letters in mailboxes there. He gave the remainder to his sister, whom he had called in the meantime. She received around 200 letters which she mailed from several mailboxes as instructed. She did not know what was contained in the leaflets. But she knew that they were from Scholl and were connected to the circle in Munich that her brother had told her about. Indeed she believed that the matter was shady and that she would actually like to know more about it. But she took care of things after all while her brother traveled back to Ulm, so that their parents would not realize he was missing. Hirzel burned a good part of the remaining leaflets and then gave the rest to Sophie Scholl when she asked about the success of the matter.
E. The Participation of the Accused Müller and Guter
The father of the accused Müller has been Director of the County Farmers’ Coop in Ulm since 1933. Müller attended the Gymnasium in Ulm. He was then drafted into the Labor Service. He has been a soldier since February 4, 1943. He intends to study theology or philosophy later on. Müller was a member of Jungvolk and Hitler Youth.
The accused Müller is a classmate of the accused Hirzel. As early as 1942, he learned from Hirzel that seditious leaflets were being circulated, but he never saw one. In conversations with his classmates, Hirzel often made statements that were injurious to the State; he also criticized some of the policies of the National Socialist government.
At the end of January 1943, Hirzel told the accused Müller that he wished to undertake something in opposition to the State. Soon thereafter, Hirzel asked him to help him type addresses for a mailing of leaflets that were to be disseminated in Stuttgart. In contrast to earlier conversations, Hirzel spoke of an operation that targeted the Party, not the State.
At Hirzel’s invitation, Müller came to the Martin Luther Church and dictated several hundred addresses to the accused Hirzel out of the telephone book. That same evening, Hirzel and Müller met to discuss the continuation of the work. At that time, Hirzel asked Müller to procure envelopes and stamps and showed him one of the leaflets that was to be mailed.
The next day, Müller procured envelopes and stamps, which he paid for out of his own resources. He then helped the accused Hirzel stuff the leaflets in the envelopes and get them ready to mail. He knew that Hirzel himself intended to mail the letters in Stuttgart. He waited for him at the train station upon his return so he could learn how the matter turned out.
The accused Guter is also a classmate of Hirzel and Müller. He is the son of a Reich Bahninspektor. He has been a member of Hitler Youth since 1934. In addition, he was a member of the Catholic Parish Youth.
In January 1943, Hirzel showed him a leaflet during school. Guter refused to read the leaflet, since he thought that was too dangerous. A little later, Hirzel told him in the presence of the accused Müller that he had taken leaflets from a woman at the train station in Ulm and had received the assignment to disseminate leaflets in Stuttgart. Hirzel asked the accused Guter to help him type the addresses, but Guter refused. However, he learned from both Hirzel and Müller how the matter had turned out.
At an undetermined time – perhaps at the end of 1942 – Hirzel had asked the accused Guter to procure a larger amount of envelopes and stationery. Guter said he was not able to do so.
F. The Graffiti Operation in Munich.
At the end of January, as well as on the 8th and 15th of February 1943, the following slogans were painted on public buildings in Munich with tar-based paint and green oil-based paint: “Down with Hitler!”, “Hitler the Mass Murderer”, and “Freedom!” The accused Schmorell procured the paint for the first operation and carried out the painting of the graffiti together with Scholl. Schmorell painted the inscriptions while Scholl stood watch. Scholl was armed. Schmorell claims that he never carried the revolver that was seized from his belongings. Scholl and the accused Graf carried out the second operation; Graf was the lookout. The third time, Scholl and the accused Schmorell and Graf participated. Schmorell and Scholl painted the inscriptions, while the accused Graf secured the operation. Scholl was once again armed.
G. The Financing
Considerable expenses – amounting to at least 1000 Marks [$8,000.00] – arose from the procurement of the duplicating machine, paper, envelopes, as well as the trips to Linz, Vienna, Salzburg, Stuttgart, and Augsburg. The Scholl siblings and the accused Schmorell paid for part of these. The accused Graf also paid about 50 Marks for the purchase of postage stamps; in addition (as already mentioned) the accused Müller purchased postage stamps, for which he paid between 20 [$160.00] and 22 Marks [$176.00]. Müller and Graf also procured some envelopes. Finally, the accused Grimminger contributed the amount of 500 Marks [$4,000.00].
Grimminger, whose wife is completely Jewish, fought in the World War [Note 11] and was decorated with the Württemberg Silver Medal as well as with the KK II. He then became a mid-level official in an [agricultural] co-op in Württemberg. Finally, he attained certification as a chief auditor of agricultural cooperatives. Due to the measures taken to reinstate career civil service, he lost that job and then became a CPA specializing in audits. Before Hitler came to power, Grimminger did not belong to a political party. He always voted for the German People’s Party.
Grimminger has known the Scholl family for many years. When the father of the condemned Hans Scholl was taken into custody for crimes against the perfidy laws (the father was an auditor in Ulm), Grimminger looked after his practice. He therefore knew the political leanings of the Scholl family, which agreed with his own.
Around November 1942, Hans Scholl and Schmorell sought out the accused Grimminger and advised him that students in Munich who had returned from the front were fed up with the war. Leaflets bearing the title “White Rose” had already appeared. Hans Scholl also said that he intended to visit the universities of the Reich to determine what mood prevailed. In Munich, a movement had allegedly taken shape that had as its slogan, “Justice For All!” It supposedly had found wide-scale acceptance.
Scholl then asked the accused Grimminger to support the movement with money. From Scholl’s statements, the accused Grimminger understood – as he admitted in the political [Note 12] interrogation – that Scholl was contemplating shortening the war or attempting a Putsch. At first he requested time to think about it, but he hinted that he would be prepared to give them money.
A few weeks later, Scholl and Schmorell visited the accused Grimminger once again. Scholl said that they had made a connection to Stuttgart and that they had found like-minded friends there. He intended to have leaflets distributed in Stuttgart. Then Scholl asked for money again and noted that without outside assistance, the students in Munich would not be in a position to finance such an operation. Thereupon, Grimminger gave Scholl the sum of 500 Marks [$4,000.00]. He did not require a receipt. There was also no discussion about repayment.
H. The Accused Graf’s Trip To Freiburg and His Meeting With Bollinger and Bauer.
At the beginning of 1943, Scholl requested that the accused Graf travel to Bonn and Freiburg where Graf had studied or where his former fellow students were now residing. He was supposed to find like-minded friends who would take over the dissemination of leaflets. The accused Graf was unable to approach anyone in Bonn, because all of his acquaintances were studying for exams. Since he had already met up with an old schoolmate named Bollinger in his hometown of Saarbrücken, he traveled to Freiburg in January 1943 to look Bollinger up there. When he did not find Bollinger in Freiburg, he followed him to Ulm where Bollinger was visiting an acquaintance.
Bollinger attended the Gymnasium in Saarbrücken and had studied philosophy in Freiburg. He had been an assistant since April 1941, most recently at the Institute for Philosophy and Education. Bollinger has not been politically active since the return of the Saarland to the Reich. Previously, he had been a member of a Catholic youth group. Bollinger only served a very brief stint in the army. He was discharged because he had tuberculosis.
In Ulm, Graf advised Bollinger about a circle of students who intended to become politically active and fight against the existing form of government. In addition, he spoke about a leaflet that was to be disseminated soon in Munich. He asked the accused Bollinger whether he would be willing to see to the dissemination of the leaflet in Freiburg. Bollinger refused. During this conversation, Graf gave Bollinger a carbon copy of the draft of the leaflet of the resistance movement. Bollinger took the draft to Freiburg and read it aloud to the accused Bauer.
Bauer attended the Gymnasium in Saarbrücken and studied medicine in Munich and Freiburg. Subsequent to a [partial] amputation of his leg, he was discharged from the military and released to study. Before the Saarland returned to the Reich, he belonged to the Bündische Jugend, and later Hitler Youth.
In January 1943, the accused Bollinger told Bauer that he had met with Graf in Saarbrücken and that a visit from Graf was imminent. When Graf came to Freiburg, he visited the accused Bauer and discussed the war with him. But there was no talk of leaflets. When Bollinger returned from Ulm, he read the draft of the leaflet aloud for Bauer and advised him that there were plans in Munich to disseminate leaflets. Bauer also learned that Graf had asked Bollinger about disseminating leaflets in Freiburg.
At a ski hut in Breitnau, the accused Bollinger and Bauer listened to foreign broadcasts on several occasions, especially Swiss and English broadcasts.
I. The Meeting Between Scholl and Schmorell And the Accused Harnack
Around January 1943, Scholl and Schmorell looked up the accused Harnack in Chemnitz. Harnack’s uncle is the famous professor Adolf von Harnack, and his deceased father was likewise a professor. Harnack attended the Gymnasium and the intermediate school, and then he studied theater, German literature, journalism, and economics at the universities in Berlin and Munich. Upon receiving his doctorate, he was hired as stage manager and director of the National Theater in Weimar. He also worked with other theaters until he was drafted in May 1941. After suffering from dysentery, he was transferred to active duty in Chemnitz. Shortly before his arrest, he was due to leave for the battlefield.
Harnack belonged to Hitler Youth from 1937 to 1941. However, he was critical of its leadership. His brother Arvid was court-martialed in 1942 and sentenced to death for high treason. He has been executed.
When they met in Chemnitz, Scholl and Schmorell told the accused Harnack that they were aiming to put an end to the current form of government and replace it with a democracy. They tried to recruit him for their cause or to convince him to name suitable co-conspirators. Harnack refused them on both counts.
From February 6 to 12, 1943, Harnack was in Munich on vacation. During this time, he met with Scholl and the accused Schmorell on several occasions and learned that they were politically active and had produced leaflets. He received a leaflet of the resistance movement from either Scholl or Schmorell and he thought it was good.
During this time, Harnack had a political discussion with the accused Huber, during which Huber championed federalist ideas and Harnack – at least from the accused Huber’s point of view – championed Communist ideas. Huber and Harnack agreed however that the war was lost. The topic of this discussion was what new form of government should exist once Germany lost the war. At a subsequent meeting, Harnack learned that Scholl and his friends had painted the graffiti in Munich. Finally, he also learned that they planned to publish a new leaflet that was also subversive.
The details regarding how the accused were involved are as follows:
I [Note 13]. The accused Schmorell:
a. He is a co-author, co-producer, and co-distributor of the leaflets of the “White Rose”,
b. He participated in the drafting, production, and distribution of the two leaflets in 1943 in Munich,
c. He also disseminated the latter leaflets outside of Munich,
d. He participated in the graffiti operations,
e. He himself gave money to cover the costs of the propaganda; he traveled with Scholl to meet Grimminger to ask that person for contributions,
f. Together with Scholl, he tried to recruit the accused Harnack;
2. The accused Huber:
a. In the summer of 1942, he received two leaflets of the “White Rose” and later learned who the authors were,
b. He met with Scholl and Schmorell; during these meetings, they decided to produce leaflets,
c. He chose between two drafts of leaflets that were submitted to him, and selected the one entitled “Call to All Germans”; and he edited that leaflet,
d. He drafted the “Students” leaflet,
e. He gave Scholl a student directory, from which Scholl took addresses that were used for the mailing of leaflets;
3. The accused Graf:
a. He participated in discussions about leaflet production,
b. He aided in the duplication of leaflets in 1943,
c. He procured envelopes, helped to mail the leaflets, and contributed 50 Marks for the procurement of postage stamps,
d. He participated in two of the graffiti operations,
e. He attempted to recruit like-minded friends in Bonn and Freiburg and gave a leaflet to the accused Bollinger;
4. The accused Hirzel:
a. He received 80 Marks [$640.00], which he used to purchase a duplicating machine, paper, and stencils,
b. He unsuccessfully tried to make a placard bearing the Party symbol and the caption, “He who wears this symbol is an enemy of the state,”
c. He stole a telephone directory, stuffed and addressed several hundred leaflets, and mailed them in mailboxes located in Stuttgart,
d. He enlisted Müller to help him get the leaflets ready to mail and gave him a leaflet;
5. The accused Hirzel:
She mailed about 200 letters containing leaflets in mailboxes located in Stuttgart;
6. The accused Müller:
a. He helped stuff leaflets in envelopes and aided in the addressing of the envelopes,
b. He procured envelopes and postage stamps,
c. He was given a leaflet to read;
7. The accused Guter:
a. He received a leaflet from Müller, refused to read it; he also refused to procure envelopes,
b. He was told the details of the plans to disseminate leaflets in Stuttgart;
8. The accused Grimminger:
He contributed 500 Marks for the financing of leaflet propaganda;
9. The accused Bollinger:
a. He learned from Graf that the circle in Munich was planning to overthrow [the government] and was unsuccessfully recruited for participation in that activity,
b. He received a leaflet from Graf and read it aloud to the accused Bauer,
c. He listened to foreign broadcasts;
10. The accused Bauer:
a. Bollinger told him details about the plans of the circle in Munich and about Bollinger’s meeting with Graf,
b. Bollinger read the leaflet aloud to him,
c. He listened to foreign broadcasts;
11. The accused Harnack:
a. He met with Scholl and Schmorell on two occasions, learned about their plans, and refused to allow them to recruit him,
b. He had knowledge of a leaflet and agreed with its contents.
III. The Leaflets
The leaflets of the “White Rose” contain attacks on National Socialism, particularly against its cultural-political efforts. They are occupied with alleged atrocities committed against Jews and Poles.
In addition, the leaflets contain the challenge to exercise passive resistance and to prevent the continuation of the “atheistic” war machine before it is too late and before every last city lies in ruins just like Cologne and before the youth of the nation bleed to death for the “hubris of a subhuman” (White Rose No. 1). “If” – according to Leaflet No. II – “a wave of insurrection surges through the country, if it is in the air, if many join us, then this system can be cast aside with one last mighty effort.”
In Leaflet No. III, it is postulated that the fall of National Socialism is the meaning and goal of passive resistance. In this war, one may not be deterred from any course of action or from any deed, no matter what the scope. National Socialism must be attacked in every place in which it is vulnerable. The first concern of every German should not be a military victory [Note 14], but rather the defeat of the National Socialists. Every resolute opponent of National Socialism must ask himself the question, how he could most effectively contend with the current “State”, how he could deal it the severest blow. To do so, sabotage would be required: sabotage of the armaments industry, prevention of the smooth operation of the war machine, and sabotage in all scholarly and intellectual realms.
The “White Rose” Leaflet No. IV occupied itself with the progress of the war. It postulated that German successes had evoked consternation and pessimism among Hitler’s opponents in Germany, “therefore among the better part of the nation.” But the German victories were purchased at a high price. Thousands fell daily in Russia. Hitler supposedly was lying to those from whom he had stolen their most precious possession and driven them to a senseless death. For a Christian, there could be no procrastination in making the decision [to resist] in the hopes that someone else would take up arms. Rather, one had to attack the Evil One where it was most powerful, namely in the power of Hitler.
The leaflet of the resistance movement with the subtitle “Call to All Germans!” promotes strongly defeatist ideas. In that leaflet it states that the war is coming to its certain end. Of course the German government was trying to divert attention to the growing submarine danger. In the meantime, in the East the armies endlessly retreat and an invasion is expected in the West. America’s mobilization supposedly has not even reached its zenith, yet even now it surpasses anything that has gone before in history. Hitler could not win the war, he could only prolong it.
The German nation had blindly followed its seducers to destruction. Now it must separate itself from the subhumanity of National Socialism and prove by their deeds that they thought differently. One may not believe the National Socialist propaganda that had driven the fear of Bolshevism into one’s very being. One should also not assume that Germany [Note 15] is wed to a victory of National Socialism for better or for worse!
The leaflet “Students!”, that was later entitled “Fellow Students!” occupied itself with the events in the East and blamed the Führer for that. It primarily directed its call to the student body to force the day of reckoning with the “most abominable tyranny” that our nation has ever endured. It called on the students to crush the National Socialist terror with the power of the spirit.
IV. The Answers of the Accused
Except for Grimminger, all of the accused have essentially confessed to everything contained in this document. Schmorell added that his purpose with the leaflets – especially the ones that called for sabotage – was to cause German soldiers to retreat, which would bring about a favorable solution of a settlement between Germany and Russia. But he did not consider that in so doing, he would be aiding and abetting the enemy and putting the armed forces of Germany at a disadvantage.
Huber claimed that he only wished to bring about a strong political swing to the right. When he saw that – at a time when there was the greatest concern about the welfare of the nation – a schism had arisen between the student body and the political leadership, he understood that to be a portentous incentive for that step. And in addition, he is an opponent of Bolshevism. He had included several sentences in his draft of the “Student” leaflet that were later stricken by Scholl. In these sentences, he called on the student body to resolutely join the “rank and file of our glorious armed forces”. However, this assertion contradicts the remaining content of the leaflet.
Graf said that he did not participate in the activities of his own free will, but rather because he was under Scholl’s influence and due to his good nature. He now sees that he made a mistake that he cannot easily make right.
Hans Hirzel stated that initially he did not attach any great significance to the matter. He did not assume that Scholl would follow anything but strictly theoretical goals. When he finally was conscious of the fact that Scholl’s actions would endanger Germany, he knew he faced the choice of either reporting Scholl or severing the relationship with him and allowing the matter to run its course. But he could not decide to do either. Therefore he continued to participate even though he did not approve of the contents of the leaflet. But he always felt bad about so doing and even confided in several people, although he was aware than any one of them could denounce him.
Susanne Hirzel told the court interrogators that she could not have assumed that the leaflets contained treasonous content. In contrast, she told the police interrogators that she knew the leaflet was against the current State and against National Socialism because otherwise the matter would not have to be carried out in secret. She assumed that the content of the leaflet targeted either the Führer or internal political measures of the regime. In addition, she admitted that she knew that the leaflet came from Scholl. She knew of his political leanings from her own personal experience as well as from what her brother told her. Her brother had also told her about his meeting with the circle in Munich.
Müller insisted that he initially said that it was vile to stab the front in the back in this manner. But then Hirzel explained to him that the whole affair was only targeting the Party, and not even just the Party, but specifically those Party officials who had been exempted from military service. And only then would he agree. However, this can be countered by the fact that the accused Müller read and comprehended the leaflet. He therefore recognized its treasonous character.
Guter said that he could not bring himself to report Hirzel for moral reasons and out of camaraderie.
During his court interrogation, Grimminger said that he did not feel that he had committed a punishable offense because when he gave them the money, he did not know that Scholl and Schmorell intended to overthrow the government. However, the statements he made during his police interrogations and by the admissions of the accused Schmorell contradict this.
Bollinger insisted he did not file a report because he wanted to steer clear of the entire matter. He did not think he had committed any offense except for listening to illegal foreign broadcasts. And he did not even consider that to be an offense, though it technically was one, because he did not use the news to agitate the populace.
Bauer insisted that what he knew about Graf was not enough for him to recognize the scope or the meaning of the matter. In addition, there was no way he could have known that the dissemination of the leaflets was even possible. He also said he was not in agreement with the leaflet. Finally, since he was studying for his exams at the time, his ability to act and powers of perception were greatly reduced.
Harnack admitted that he knew that Scholl and Schmorell planned a treasonous activity. But because of the events surrounding his brother and under the influence of what was going on with the war, he failed to report.
In accordance with an agreement made with the Supreme High Command of the Armed Forces and the Reich Minister of Justice, the trial against the accused who are soldiers has been remanded to the jurisdiction of the People’s Court. Their decision shall stand.
I. The answers of the accused in Supplementary Volumes I and II [Note 16];
II. Excerpts from the sentence registry (to follow);
III. The sentences demanded by the prosecutor from the State Police Headquarters in Munich, Primary Volume Bl.6R;
IV. The items that were seized:
1. The postage stamps, paper, revolver with ammunition that were seized from the [room of the] accused Schmorell: S I 2 and the sum of money S I [illegible].
2. The paper and stencils that were seized from an acquaintance of Hirzel S IV 36, 37 R;
V. The leaflets found in the enclosed file 8 J 35/43.
I [hereby] request that,
The trial before the People’s Court shall be so ordered, that the continuance of interrogative custody pending trial shall end, and that the accused shall be assigned court-appointed attorneys if they have not already retained defense counsel.
Note 1: No prisoner number for Susanne Hirzel.
Note 2: Could be March 5 – date is smeared and hard to read.
Note 3: Katharina Schüddekopf, Traute Lafrenz, and Gisela Schertling were never indicted.
Note 4: Lähmung can be crippled, paralyzed, or a form of “palsy” (e.g., cerebral palsy).
Note 5: Teachers and professors were and are government employees in Germany.
Note 6: This was also a “National Liberal” or moderate organization.
Note 7: Specifically, affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Note 8: National Socialist Frei Corps.
Note 9: The parents.
Note 10: September 1, 1939.
Note 11: World War I.
Note 12: Typo – should be “police”.
Note 13: Roman numeral, though the rest are not.
Note 14: The original leaflet said “military victory over Bolshevism”.
Note 15: The original leaflet said Germany’s salvation or Heil.
Note 16: Scholl/Probst.
Source: NJ1704 (21 – 43)