Fritz Hartnagel

Fritz Hartnagel

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Friedrich (Fritz) Hartnagel, the son of Frederick and Barbara Hartnagel was born in Ulm on 4th February 1917. His father was the owner of a small company in the town.

Hartnagel was a member of the Hitler Youth and during a picnic with the German League of Girls he met Sophie Scholl. They became close friends and when he joined the German Army they wrote to each other on a regular basis. Sophie found him "decent and attractive" and "sensitive and intelligent". (1)

Sophie wrote in one letter: "It is true, isn't it, that sometimes in the evening you think of me? You dream occasionally of our vacations together. But don't just think of me as I am; think of me also as I would like to become. Only then, if you still can care for me, will we truly understand one another." (2)

Robert Scholl, Sophie's father, was a strong opponent of Adolf Hitler. His children gradually developed similar beliefs. Elisabeth Scholl has argued that all the Scholl children gradually became hostile to the government: "First, we saw that one could no longer read what one wanted to, or sing certain songs. Then came the racial legislation. Jewish classmates had to leave school." (3)

Sophie's 19-year-old sister, Inge Scholl, was also beginning to question the policies of the Nazi government. "We went on trips with our comrades in the Hitler Youth and took long hikes through our new land, the Swabian Jura.... We attended evening gatherings in our various homes, listened to readings, sang, played games, or worked at handcrafts. They told us that we must dedicate our lives to a great cause.... One night, as we lay under the wide starry sky after a long cycling tour, a friend - a fifteen-year-old girl - said quite suddenly and out of the blue, Everything would be fine, but this thing about the Jews is something I just can't swallow. The troop leader assured us that Hitler knew what he was doing and that for the sake of the greater good we would have to accept certain difficult and incomprehensible things. But the girl was not satisfied with this answer. Others took her side, and suddenly the attitudes in our varying home backgrounds were reflected in the conversation. We spent a restless night in that tent, but afterwards we were just too tired, and the next day was inexpressibly splendid and filled with new experiences." (4)

Sophie Scholl also began to question the Nazi-trained teachers. As Richard F. Hanser, the author of A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979), has pointed out: "Her zest gradually diminished as it became more and more clear that the BDM, like all other National Socialist programs, was designed for conformity rather than liberation. The three K's that traditionally marked off the boundaries for the German female - Kinder, Kuche, Kirche (children, kitchen, and church) - would remain fully in force under the Nazis, despite the exertions of the Ideological Training Division to persuade everyone that a new day had dawned. The shoulder-to-shoulder marching, the continual sloganeering that emphasized the group rather than the individual, came to have a suffocating effect on Sophie, who always had a sure sense of herself that she never wholly lost even when the marching, singing, and saluting were at their height. The constant pressure to give herself over to organized activity became less and less tolerable." (5)

Hans Scholl also rebelled against Hitler Youth and some of his friends decided to form their own youth organization. Inge Scholl later recalled: "The club had its own most impressive style, which had grown up out of the membership itself. The boys recognized one another by their dress, their songs, even their way of talking... For these boys life was a great, splendid adventure, an expedition into an unknown, beckoning world. On weekends they went on hikes, and it was their way, even in bitter cold, to live in a tent... Seated around the campfire they would read aloud to each other or sing, accompanying themselves with guitar, banjo, and balalaika. They collected the folk songs of all peoples and wrote words and music for their own ritual chants and popular songs." (6)

Hans Scholl was conscripted into the German Army but in 1937 was arrested in his barracks by the Gestapo. Apparently, it had been reported that while living in Ulm he had been taking part in activities that were not part of the Hitler Youth program. Sophie, Inge and Werner Scholl were also arrested. (7)

As Sophie Scholl was only sixteen, she was released and allowed to go home the same day. One biographer has pointed out: "She seemed too young and girlish to be a menace to the state, but in releasing her the Gestapo was letting slip a potential enemy with whom it would later have to reckon in a far more serious situation. There is no way of establishing the precise moment when Sophie School decided to become an overt adversary of the National Socialist state. Her decision, when it came, doubtless resulted from the accretion of offences, small and large, against her conception of what was right, moral, and decent. But now something decisive had happened. The state had laid its hands on her and her family, and now there was no longer any possibility of reconciling herself to a system that had already begun to alienate her." (8)

The Gestapo searched the Scholl house and confiscated diaries, journals, poems, essays, folk song collections, and other evidence of being members of an illegal organisation. Inge and Werner were released after a week of confinement. Hans was detained three weeks longer while the Gestapo attempted to persuade him to give damaging information about his friends. Hans was eventually released after his commanding officer had ensured the police that he was a good and loyal soldier. (9)

Sophie's letters to Fritz Hartnagel became increasingly critical of the Nazi government. In one letter she said she hoped that he did not subscribe to the established idea that a soldier is obliged to serve his country's cause under any and all circumstances. "I think that right and justice are superior to other loyalties, which are often merely sentimental. It would certainly be better if, in a war, people could choose the side whose cause they felt to be the most just." (10)

Elisabeth Scholl remembers a conversation she had with Sophie Scholl in the summer of 1939: "As time went on Sophie became increasingly disillusioned with the Nazis. On the day before England declared war in 1939 I went with her for a walk along the Danube and I remember I said: Hopefully there will be no war. And she said: Yes, I hope there will be. Hopefully someone will stand up to Hitler. In this she was more decisive than Hans." (11) Sophie wrote to Fritz expressing her bitterness: "Now you'll surely have enough to do. I can't grasp that now human beings will constantly be put into mortal danger by other human beings. I can never grasp it, and I find it horrible. Don't say it's for the Fatherland." (12)

After leaving school in 1940 Sophie became a kindergarten teacher at the Frobel Institute in Ulm-Söflingen. During this period Sophie became very interested in politics. Sophie wrote to Fritz Hartnagel: "If I didn't know that I'll probably outlive many older people then I'd be overcome with horror at the spirit that's dominating history today... I'm sure you find what I'm writing very unfeminine. It's ridiculous for a girl to involve herself in politics. She should let her feminine feelings dominate her thoughts. Especially compassion. But I believe that first comes thinking, and that feelings, especially about little things that affect you directly, maybe about your own body, deflect you so that you can hardly see the big things anymore." (13)

Sophie Scholl continued to take risks by criticising the government. Her sister Inge Scholl later recalled: "We were living in a society where despotism, hate, and lies had become the normal state of affairs. Every day that you were not in jail was like a gift. No one was safe from arrest for the slightest unguarded remark, and some disappeared forever for no better reason... Hidden ears seemed to be listening to everything that was being spoken in Germany. The terror was at your elbow wherever you went." (14)

Sophie became convinced that it was time for German citizens to begin rebelling against the Nazi government. She told her boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel: "For me the relationship between a soldier and his people is roughly like that of a son who swears to stand by his father and his family through thick and thin. If it turns out that the father harms another family and then gets hurt as a consequence, must the son still stick by him? I can't accept it. Justice is more important than sentimental loyalty." (15)

Fritz Hartnagel came home on leave in late 1941. He was shocked by the changes that had taken place in Sophie concerning the war. "She was striking to see with what incisiveness and logic Sophie saw how things would develop, for she was warm-hearted and full of feeling, not cold and calculating... There was a big propaganda campaign in Germany to get the people to give sweaters and other warm woollen clothing to the Army. German soldiers were at the gates of Leningrad and Moscow in the middle of a winter war for which they weren't prepared... Sophie said, We're not giving anything. I had just got back from the Russian Front... I tried to describe to her how conditions were for the men, with no gloves, pullovers or warm socks. She stuck to her viewpoint relentlessly and justified it by saying, It doesn't matter if it's German soldiers who are freezing to death or Russians, the case is equally terrible. But we must lose the war. If we contribute warm clothes, we'll be extending it." (16)

Fritz Hartnagel, was now sent to the Soviet Union and had taken part in the fighting in Stalingrad. Elisabeth Scholl later explained: "In the letters home to Sophie he wrote about how horrified he was at the shooting of Jews. Then there was the architect Manfred Eickemeyer who provided Hans with use of studio in Munich while he was in Poland. Eickemeyer told him about the executions of Jews and the Polish intelligentsia." (17)

In May 1942, Sophie Scholl entered the University of Munich where she became a student of biology and philosophy. Soon afterwards she joined forces with Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Jugen Wittenstein to form the White Rose group. (18)

According to Elisabeth Scholl, the White Rose group was formed because of the execution of members of the resistance: "We learned in the spring of 1942 of the arrest and execution of 10 or 12 Communists. And my brother said, In the name of civic and Christian courage something must be done. Sophie knew the risks. Fritz Hartnagel told me about a conversation in May 1942. Sophie asked him for a thousand marks but didn’t want to tell him why. He warned her that resistance could cost both her head and her neck. She told him, I’m aware of that. Sophie wanted the money to buy a printing press to publish the anti-Nazi leaflets” (19)

The White Rose group began producing leaflets. They were typed single-spaced on both sides of a sheet of paper, duplicated, folded into envelopes with neatly typed names and addresses, and mailed as printed matter to people all over Munich. At least a couple of hundred were handed into the Gestapo. It soon became clear that most of the leaflets were received by academics, civil servants, restaurateurs and publicans. A small number were scattered around the University of Munich campus. As a result the authorities immediately suspected that students had produced the leaflets. (20)

The opening paragraph of the first leaflet said: "Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be "governed" without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure-reach the light of day? If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order in history; if they surrender man's highest principle, that which raises him above all other God's creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall." (21)

According to the historian of the resistance, Joachim Fest, this was a new development in the struggle against Adolf Hitler. "A small group of Munich students were the only protesters who managed to break out of the vicious circle of tactical considerations and other inhibitions. They spoke out vehemently, not only against the regime but also against the moral indolence and numbness of the German people." (22) Peter Hoffmann, the author of The History of German Resistance (1977) claimed they must have been aware that they could do any significant damage to the regime but they "were prepared to sacrifice themselves" in order to register their disapproval of the Nazi government. (23)

On 18th February, 1943, Sophie and Hans Scholl arrived at the University of Munich with a suitcase packed with leaflets. According to Inge Scholl: "They arrived at the university, and since the lecture rooms were to open in a few minutes, they quickly decided to deposit the leaflets in the corridors. Then they disposed of the remainder by letting the sheets fall from the top level of the staircase down into the entrance hall. Relieved, they were about to go, but a pair of eyes had spotted them. It was as if these eyes (they belonged to the building superintendent) had been detached from the being of their owner and turned into automatic spyglasses of the dictatorship. The doors of the building were immediately locked, and the fate of brother and sister was sealed." (24)

Jakob Schmid, a member of the Nazi Party, saw them at the University of Munich, throwing leaflets from a window of the third floor into the courtyard below. He immediately told the Gestapo and they were both arrested. They were searched and the police found a handwritten draft of another leaflet. This they matched to a letter in Scholl's flat that had been signed by Christoph Probst. Following interrogation, they were all charged with treason. (25)

Sophie, Hans and Christoph were not allowed to select a defence lawyer. Inge Scholl claimed that the lawyer assigned by the authorities "was little more than a helpless puppet". Sophie told him: "If my brother is sentenced to die, you musn't let them give me a lighter sentence, for I am exactly as guilty as he." (26)

Sophie was interrogated all night long. She told her cell-mate, Else Gebel, that she denied her "complicity for a long time". But when she was told that the Gestapo had found evidence in her brother's room that proved she was guilty of drafting the leaflet. "Then the two of you knew that all was lost... We will take the blame for everything, so that no other person is put in danger." Sophie made a confession about her own activities but refused to give information about the rest of the group. (27)

Friends of Hans and Sophie had immediately telephoned Robert Scholl with news of the arrests. Robert and Magdalena went to Gestapo headquarters but they were told they were not allowed to visit them in prison over the weekend. They were not told that there trial was to begin on the Monday morning. However, another friend, Otl Aicher, telephoned them with the news. (28) They were met by Jugen Wittenstein at the railway station: "We have very little time. The People's Court is in session, and the hearing is already under way. We must prepare ourselves for the worst." (29)

Sophie's parents tried to attend the trial and Magdalene told a guard: "I’m the mother of two of the accused." He responded: "You should have brought them up better." (30) Robert Scholl was forced his way past the guards at the door and managed to get to his children's defence attorney. "Go to the president of the court and tell him that the father is here and he wants to defend his children!" He spoke to Judge Roland Freisler who responded by ordering the Scholl family from the court. The guards dragged them out but at the door Robert was able to shout: "There is a higher justice! They will go down in history!" (31)

Later that day Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst were all found guilty. Judge Freisler told the court: "The accused have by means of leaflets in a time of war called for the sabotage of the war effort and armaments and for the overthrow of the National Socialist way of life of our people, have propagated defeatist ideas, and have most vulgarly defamed the Führer, thereby giving aid to the enemy of the Reich and weakening the armed security of the nation. On this account they are to be punished by death. Their honour and rights as citizens are forfeited for all time." (32)

Robert and Magdalena managed to see their children before they were executed. Their daughter, Inge Scholl, later explained what happened: "First Hans was brought out. He wore a prison uniform, he walked upright and briskly, and he allowed nothing in the circumstances to becloud his spirit. His face was thin and drawn, as if after a difficult struggle, but now it beamed radiantly. He bent lovingly over the barrier and took his parents' hands... Then Hans asked them to take his greetings to all his friends. When at the end he mentioned one further name, a tear ran down his face; he bent low so that no one would see. And then he went out, without the slightest show of fear, borne along by a profound inner strength." (33)

Magdalena said to her 22 year-old daughter: "I'll never see you come through the door again." Sophie replied, "Oh mother, after all, it's only a few years' more life I'll miss." Sophie told her parents she and Hans were pleased and proud that they had betrayed no one, that they had taken all the responsibility on themselves. (34)

Else Gebel shared Sophie Scholl's cell and recorded her last words before being taken away to be executed. "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause.... It is such a splendid sunny day, and I have to go. But how many have to die on the battlefield in these days, how many young, promising lives. What does my death matter if by our acts thousands are warned and alerted. Among the student body there will certainly be a revolt." (35)

They were all beheaded by guillotine in Stadelheim Prison only a few hours after being found guilty. A prison guard later reported: "They bore themselves with marvelous bravery. The whole prison was impressed by them. That is why we risked bringing the three of them together once more-at the last moment before the execution. If our action had become known, the consequences for us would have been serious. We wanted to let them have a cigarette together before the end. It was just a few minutes that they had, but I believe that it meant a great deal to them." (36)

With the arrival of Allied troops Robert Scholl was released and appointed mayor of Ulm. (37) On his return from the war Fritz Hartnagel helped Elisabeth Scholl to get a job. It was the beginning of a romance that led to marriage and the birth of four sons. (38)

Fritz and Elisabeth both joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and became active in the peace movement and gave advice to youthful conscientious objectors. This included involvement in the War Resisters' International. He was eventually appointed Chief Judge of the Regional Court of Stuttgart. In September 1983, he was arrested for protesting against the US Pershing II missiles. (39)

Fritz Hartnagel died on 29th April, 2001.

There are times when I dread the war and feel like giving up hope completely. I hate thinking about it, but politics are almost all there is, and as long as they're so confused and nasty, it's cowardly to turn your back on them. You're probably smiling at this and telling yourself "She's a girl".

If I didn't know that I'll probably outlive many older people then I'd be overcome with horror at the spirit that's dominating history today... But I believe that first comes thinking, and that feelings, especially about little things that affect you directly, maybe about your own body, deflect you so that you can hardly see the big things anymore.

For me the relationship between a soldier and his people is roughly like that of a son who swears to stand by his father and his family through thick and thin. Justice is more important than sentimental loyalty.

It was striking to see with what incisiveness and logic Sophie saw how things would develop, for she was warm-hearted and full of feeling, not cold and calculating. Here is an example: in winter 1941-42 there was a big propaganda campaign in Germany to get the people to give sweaters and other warm woollen clothing to the Army. Sophie said, "We're not giving anything." I had just got back from the Russian Front... She stuck to her viewpoint relentlessly and justified it by saying, "It doesn't matter if it's German soldiers who are freezing to death or Russians, the case is equally terrible. If we contribute warm clothes, we'll be extending it."

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(1) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 97

(2) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 17

(3) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed in The Daily Mail (18th January, 2014)

(4) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 7

(5) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 44

(6) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 13

(7) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed in The Daily Mail (18th January, 2014)

(8) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 69

(9) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 44

(10) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 97

(11) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed in The Daily Mail (18th January, 2014)

(12) Sophie Scholl, letter to Fritz Hartnagel (1st September, 1939)

(13) Sophie Scholl, letter to Fritz Hartnagel (28th June, 1940)

(14) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 92

(15) Sophie Scholl, letter to Fritz Hartnagel serving in the German Army (September, 1940)

(16) Hermann Vinke, The Short Life of Sophie Scholl (1986) pages 77-78

(17) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed in The Daily Mail (18th January, 2014)

(18) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 31

(19) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed by the Daily Mirror (17th January, 2014)

(20) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 56

(21) 1st White Rose leaflet (early June, 1942)

(22) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance to Hitler (1997) page 198

(23) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 23

(24) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 52

(25) Susan Ottaway, Hitler's Traitors, German Resistance to the Nazis (2003) page 118

(26) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 56

(27) Else Gebel, letter to Sophie Scholl, that was sent to her parents in November, 1946.

(28) Richard F. Hanser, A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl (1979) page 251

(29) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed by the Daily Mirror (17th January, 2014)

(30) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 58

(31) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 158

(32) Judge Roland Freisler, sentencing of Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst (22nd February, 1943)

(33) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 61

(34) Anton Gill, An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler (1994) page 194

(35) Else Gebel, letter to Robert Scholl (November, 1946)

(36) Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) page 61

(37) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 181

(38) Elisabeth Scholl, interviewed in The Daily Mail (18th January, 2014)

(39) Annette Dumbach & Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (1986) page 181

Fritz Hartnagel - History

Lehmann offers a historical novel based on the true story of young, Christian anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl.

As the German teenager grows into a young adult, her anti-Nazism swells, as does her romantic relationship with Fritz Hartnagel, a reluctant participant in the German army. She&rsquos also an eyewitness to Nazi violence: &ldquoThe police took fifty Jews out of their homes and ordered them into the empty fountain in front of the synagogue. They set it on fire. The police beat them.&rdquo After Nazi officials force her to go to a propaganda camp, she&rsquos allowed to attend a university, where she and her brother help form the White Rose student resistance group and clandestinely distribute anti-Nazi flyers. During these years, Sophie and Fritz explore love, politics, spirituality, and morality through letters and brief visits while Fritz is on leave. His descriptions of the Russian front, camps, and ghettos strengthen Sophie&rsquos anti-Nazi resolve and her understanding of moral complexities. Her Christianity is also a constant even after she&rsquos arrested and about to be executed on treason charges, &ldquothe pastor and Sophie read the psalm&rsquos verses slowly and deliberately. When they finished, they looked at one another with a peace that surpassed all understanding.&rdquo Lehmann uses well-researched details and imagery and a variety of narrative voices to create vivid portraits in this novel. Readers witness the lives of both civilians and soldiers that opposed the Nazi regime: &ldquo[The soldiers] were confused and everything was uncertain&hellip.The cold incessant rain came in sheets now. Followed by black flies, gnawing on their skin.&rdquo The story of a young couple in love during wartime also unfolds gracefully: &ldquo[Sophie] wanted to take every detail of those hours and put them away in a box which she could always open. A place where the memories of the trees and flowers, the gardener, the birds, wouldn&rsquot fade.&rdquo

A poignant story that&rsquos full of historical insight.

Click below for a letter of endorsement from the Director of The White Rose Institute at the University of Munich. Located in the foyer where Sophie and her brother, Hans Scholl, were caught distributing anti-Hitler leaflets, this organization is dedicated to preserving the memory of the White Rose resistance efforts and promoting personal freedoms. Dr. Kronawitter confirms Alexandra Lehmann's extensive research efforts, including eyewitness interviews, and commends the narrative as being "as close to the truth as possible."

"Alexandra Lehmann is imaginative, eloquent, and has a strong, constructive sensibility. Her long-term project, about German-Christian resistance to Hitler, embodied in the figure of the political activist Sophie Scholl, is a model of how the literary and historical visions of experience can be properly blended. This book adds to our collective wisdom and understanding." - Vijay Seshadri, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, 2015

With You There is Light, a historical novel by Alexandra Lehmann of Ridgefield, is currently available as an e-book at and will be available in paperback during her reading at the authors showcase at the Ridgefield Library on Oct. 1.

The was inspired by the lives of anti-Nazi political activist, Sophie Scholl, and her boyfriend, German army officer Fritz Hartnagel, and is based on translated letters from Hartnagel, who served on the Eastern and Western fronts during World War II.

&ldquoThe motivation for researching and writing this story began with the conviction that one voice can make a difference,&rdquo Lehmann said.

&ldquoSophie and Fritz&rsquos story shows how complicated life is for those growing up under totalitarianism &mdash also a form of terrorism. Their victorious battle to resist a regime &mdash through civil disobedience &mdash is a reminder that everything is possible with those who choose freedom,&rdquo she said.

Lehmann will also lecture on German resistance history at Fairfield University&rsquos Judaic Studies department on Oct. 25.


Alexandra Lehmann Alexandra Lehmann received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany in Political Science and German. Her German fluency is born of heritage and studying Germanistik at universities in Wuerzburg, Braunschweig, and Munich.​​ After nearly a decade of working in New York City as a copywriter and in Munich as a translator, Alexandra continued her Masters of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawerence College in Bronxville, New York. She completed her graduate thesis under the guidance of Vijay Seshadri. It compared the letters and diaries of Sophie Scholl and Anne Frank. Yad Vashem in Jerusalem requested a copy for their research library. With a Fulbright Scholarship, Alexandra began archival research in Germany for "With You There Is Light." She won a fellowship to the Wesleyan Writers' Conference and has guest lectured on German Resistance history at St. Paul's German Church in New York City, Mt. Holyoke College and Western Connecticut State University. She works as a business writer and lives in Connecticut. Praise for the author can be found in the book. White Rose History, Volume I: Coming Together (The 2007 Update). By Ruth Hanna Sachs. Topics covered in the 2007 update include:*How Fritz Hartnagel's military service influenced Sophie's political views*Robert Mohr's evolution from super-nationalistic cop to Gestapo officer, and his son's perspective on that life*Christoph Probst's youth, especially how his friendship with Alexander Schmorell mutually affected their desire to DO something*Sophie Scholl's troubled mental state and her problematic relationship with Fritz Hartnagel*Additional background information (parental home, schooling, Hitler Youth association, political development) for Hans and Susanne Hirzel, Gisela Schertling, and Falk Harnack and,*In the academic version only, a detailed analysis of Scholl censorship, comparing the recently released Scholl/Hartnagel correspondence to the 'edited' letters that Inge Scholl allowed Inge Jens to publish. While the Sophie-and-Fritz update fills in gaps, especially regarding Sophie's inability to love or be loved, it's the "Alex and Christl" sections that illuminate the true beginnings of the White Rose. You will comprehend why we fight so hard to keep the White Rose from being a Scholl-centric tale. What Alex and Christl thought, did, planned, and pondered while the Scholls were comfortably within the Nazi fold - you will be astounded. Please note: The updates to the regular edition are free and will ship automatically to individual customers who have purchased Volume I. This item is solely for libraries, wholesalers, and other corporate customers. Printed on acid-free paper. Three-hole punched for insertion in three-ring binders. 170 pages.

Scholl, Hans Fritz and Sophie Magdalena.

München, Friedhof Perlacher Forst, Stadelheimer Strasse 24. Feld 73-Reihe 1-Grab 18/19.

- Medals

Scholl, Hans Fritz and Sophie Magdalena, born 22-09-1918 in Ingersheim and 05-09-1921, in Forchterberg, from Robert and Magdalena Scholl, born Müller, were German teenagers in the 1930s. They had three more sisters, Thilde born 1925 died one year old in 1926, Inge, died in 1998 and Elisabeth Scholl, now 93 and one younger brother Werner , here with Hans />, went missing in 1944 (He was a soldier on the eastern front. Mogilev most likely). Although his body was never found it is assumed he was killed. (29) was missed in action in 1944. Like other young Germans, they enthusiastically joined the Hitler Youth (see Adolf Hitler ) . They believed that Adolf Hitler was leading Germany and the German people back to greatness. Their parents were not so enthusiastic.

Their father, Robert Scholl, a politician , a strong opponent of Adolf Hitler and was very upset when Werner and Hans joined the Hitler Youth and Sophie Inge and Elisabeth became members of the German League of Girls (BDM) in 1933. He argued against Hitler and the Nazi Party and disagreed with his children’s views that he would reduce unemployment: “Have you considered how he’s going to manage it? He’s expanding the armaments industry, and building barracks. Do you know where that’s all going to end… Don’t believe them – they are wolves and deceivers, and they are misusing the German people shamefully”. Scholl was sentenced to 18 months in prison for listening to enemy radio broadcast. Later, in 1942, he would serve time again in a Nazi prison for telling his secretary: “The war! It is already lost. This Hitler is God’s scourge on mankind, and if the war doesn’t end soon the Russians will be sitting in Berlin.” Gradually, Hans and Sophie began realizing that their father was right. They concluded that, in the name of freedom and the greater good of the German nation, Hitler and the Nazis were enslaving and destroying the German people. They also knew that open dissent was impossible in Nazi Germany, especially after the start of World War II. Most Germans took the traditional position, that once war breaks out, it is the duty of the citizen to support the troops by supporting the government. But Hans and Sophie Scholl believed differently. They believed that it was the duty of a citizen, even in times of war, to stand up against an evil regime, especially when it is sending hundreds of thousands of its citizens to their deaths. The Scholl siblings began sharing their feelings with a few of their friends, Christoph Probst , Alexander Schmorell , Willi Graf , as well as with Kurt Huber , their psychology and philosophy professor. One day in 1942, copies of a leaflet entitled “The White Rose” suddenly appeared at the University of Munich. The leaflet contained an anonymous essay that said that the Nazi system had slowly imprisoned the German people and was now destroying them. The Nazi regime had turned evil. It was time, the essay said, for Germans to rise up and resist the tyranny of their own government. At the bottom of the essay, the following request appeared: “Please make as many copies of this leaflet as you can and distribute them.” The leaflet caused a tremendous stir among the student body. It was the first time that internal dissent against the Nazi regime had surfaced in Germany. The essay had been secretly written and distributed by Hans Scholl and his friends. Another leaflet appeared soon afterward. And then another. And another. Ultimately, there were six leaflets published and distributed by Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends, four under the title “The White Rose” and two under the title “Leaflets of the Resistance.” Their publication took place periodically between 1942 and 1943, interrupted for a few months when Hans and his friends were temporarily sent to the Eastern Front to fight against the Russians. Sophie’s fiancé was Fritz Hartnagel,

born 1920 and they got four sons, Thomas (* 1947), Jörg (* 1949), Klaus (* 1952) und Martin (* 1956). Fritz died old age 84, on 29-04-2001, in Stuttgart. Elisabeth is now 93 years old. The members of The White Rose, of course, had to act cautiously. The Nazi regime maintained an iron grip over German society. Internal dissent was quickly and efficiently smashed by the Gestapo. Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends knew what would happen to them if they were caught. People began receiving copies of the leaflets in the mail. Students at the University of Hamburg began copying and distributing them. Copies began turning up in different parts of Germany and Austria. Moreover, as Hans points out, the members of The White Rose did not limit themselves to leaflets. Graffiti began appearing in large letters on streets and buildings all over Munich: “Down with Hitler! . . . Hitler the Mass Murderer!” and “Freiheit! . . . Freiheit! . . . Freedom! . . . Freedom!” The Gestapo was driven into a frenzy. It knew that the authors were having to procure large quantities of paper, envelopes, and postage. It knew that they were using a duplicating machine. But despite the Gestapo’s best efforts, it was unable to catch the perpetrators. One day, 18-02-1943, Hans’ and Sophie’s luck ran out. They were caught by Jakob Schmidt, the school concierge and a member of the Nazi Party in the entrance hall (Lichthof) of Munich University.They had left the bulk of leaflets outside the university lecture halls. Jacobs, later was sentenced to five years imprisoned, he died age 78, on 16-08-1964. He immediately told the Gestapo and they were both arrested. A search disclosed evidence of Christoph Probst’s participation, and he too was soon arrested. The three of them were indicted for treason. On February 22, four days after their arrest, their trial began. The presiding judge, Roland Freisler , chief justice of the People’s Court of the Greater German Reich, had been sent from Berlin, Gauleiter Josef Goebbels .

was in court in his German Army uniform. He managed to get to his brother and sister. “He shook hands with them, tears filling his eyes. Hans was able to reach out and touch him, saying quickly, Stay strong, no compromises.” Hans met with them first, and then Sophie. Hansen writes: His eyes were clear and steady and he showed no sign of dejection or despair. He thanked his parents again for the love and warmth they had given him and he asked them to convey his affection and regard to a number of friends, whom he named. Here, for a moment, tears threatened, and he turned away to spare his parents the pain of seeing them. Facing them again, his shoulders were back and he smiled. Then a woman prison guard brought in Sophie. Her mother tentatively offered her some candy, which Hans had declined. “Gladly,” said Sophie, taking it. “After all, I haven’t had any lunch!” She, too, looked somehow smaller, as if drawn together, but her face was clear and her smile was fresh and unforced, with something in it that her parents read as triumph. “Sophie, Sophie,” her mother murmured, as if to herself. “To think you’ll never be coming through the door again!” Sophie’s smile was gentle. “Ah, Mother,” she said. “Those few little years. . . .” Sophie Scholl looked at her parents and was strong in her pride and certainty. “We took everything upon ourselves,” she said. “What we did will cause waves.” Her mother spoke again: “Sophie,” she said softly, “Remember Jesus.” “Yes,” replied Sophie earnestly, almost commandingly, “but you, too.” She left them, her parents, Robert and Magdalene Scholl, with her face still lit by the smile they loved so well and would never see again. She was perfectly composed as she was led away. Robert Mohr [a Gestapo official], who had come out to the prison on business of his own, saw her in her cell immediately afterwards, and she was crying. It was the first time Robert Mohr had seen her in tears, and she apologized. “I have just said good-bye to my parents,” she said. “You understand . . .” She had not cried before her parents. For them she had smiled. No relatives visited Christoph Probst. His wife, who had just had their third child, was in the hospital. Neither she nor any members of his family even knew that he was on trial or that he had been sentenced to death. While his faith in God had always been deep and unwavering, he had never committed to a certain faith. On the eve of his death, a Catholic priest admitted him into the church in articulo mortis, at the point of death. “Now,” he said, “my death will be easy and joyful.” That afternoon, the prison guards permitted Hans, Sophie, and Christoph to have one last visit together. Sophie was then led to the guillotine. One observer described her as she walked to her death: “Without turning a hair, without flinching.” Christoph Probst was next. Hans Scholl was last just before he was beheaded, Hans cried out: “Long live freedom!” Unfortunately, they were not the last to die. The Gestapo’s investigation was relentless. Later tried and executed were Alex Schmorell (age 25), Willi Graf (age 25), and Kurt Huber (age 49). Students at the University of Hamburg were either executed or sent to concentration camps. Today, every German knows the story of The White Rose. A square at the University of Munich is named after Hans and Sophie Scholl. And there are streets, squares, and schools all over Germany named for the members of The White Rose. Their actions made them enduring symbols of the struggle, universal and timeless, for the freedom of the human spirit wherever and whenever it is threatened. Hans and Sophie are buried on the cemetery Perlacher Forst in Munich. Father Robert Scholl died old age 82, on 25-10-1973 and mother Magdalena died age 76, on 31-03-1958, both in Ulm .

PRINT EDITION AVAILABLE ONLY AT ALEXANDRALEHMANN.COM KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM He told her what he witnessed. What she did with the truth changed history. As a founding member of the White Rose student resistance in Munich during World War II, Sophie Scholl helped write, produce and distribute thousands of anti-Nazi leaflets all over Southern Germany and Austria.

PRINT EDITION AVAILABLE ONLY AT ALEXANDRALEHMANN.COM KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM He told her what he witnessed. What she did with the truth changed history. As a founding member of the White Rose student resistance in Munich during World War II, Sophie Scholl helped write, produce and distribute thousands of anti-Nazi leaflets all over Southern Germany and Austria.

Sophie's boyfriend, Captain Fritz Hartnagel, served on the Western and Eastern fronts. Fritz witnessed SS and army atrocities and wrote Scholl about them. This information propelled Sophie deeper into political activism against their country's dictator.

Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel's relationship demonstrates the moral complexity of living in a totalitarian society, and is ultimately, a love story.

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Fritz Hartnagel

Post by Pete26 » 29 May 2013, 05:12

A photo of Fritz Hartnagel, Sophie Scholl's fiancee in Amsterdam, 1941. After Sophie's execution he married her sister Elizabeth.

Fritz Hartnagel in his later years:

Fritz Hartnagel died on 29 April 2001 at the age of 84 in Stuttgart, Germany. Elizabeth Hartnagel, his wife, is still alive and at the age of 93 the only remaining living Scholl sibling. They were married 55 years and had 4 sons.

Elizabeth Hartnagel in the early 1940's:

Elizabeth Hartnagel in her late years:

Here is an interesting interview with Elizabeth Hartnagel, including some new to me details about the funeral of Hans and Sophie Scholl.

Elisabeth reiste von Ingolstadt an, ihre Eltern, Inge und Werner kamen aus Ulm. Auf dem Friedhof am Perlacher Forst wurden die enthaupteten Geschwister beigesetzt. Der Vater hatte ein Grab gekauft. Die Mutter stand wort- und tränenlos zwischen den Särgen. Ihre Hände streichelten das Holz. Schließlich sagte sie doch etwas, das Elisabeth Hartnagel sieben Jahrzehnte später wiederholt: „Jetzt trägt der Hans die Sophie.“ Der Bruder war zuerst beigesetzt worden.

Eine kleine Trauergemeinde erwies den „Hochverrätern“ die letzte Ehre. Neben der Familie und dem Pfarrer kam nur die Studentin Traute Lafrenz, die Freundin von Hans Scholl. Sonst war keiner der Münchner Kommilitonen bereit, am Grab derer zu stehen, die nicht nur über die Zustände geschimpft, sondern gegen die Diktatur ein sichtbares Zeichen gesetzt hatten. Die Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) überwachte die Beisetzung.

Note: Traute Lafrenz is still alive, is 94 years old at this time and lives in South Carolina, USA. She emigrated to the United States in 1947 and completed her medical studies.

Traute Lafrenz in early 1940's:

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by htk » 29 May 2013, 21:57

does anybody know why some beheaded where shipped of to an anonomous crematorium or uni and some like Scholl where given back for an official funural ?

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 30 May 2013, 01:40

Interesting facts about Traute Lafrenz

Post by Pete26 » 31 May 2013, 19:49

Traute Lafrenz was convicted in the People's Court on April 19, 1943 and sentenced to a year in prison for being associated with the Leaflets of The White Rose. Three of Lafrenz' twelve co-defendants, Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber and Willi Graf were convicted of treason, sentenced to death and subsequently executed. The leaflets were distributed around Germany in 1942 and 1943 and exposed crimes committed by the German government in the name of the German people. Lafrenz was able to conceal that she was the link between the Hamburg and Munich branches of the White Rose members, which is why she was only sentenced to a year in prison instead of being sentenced to death as Hans and Sophie Scholl and four other members of the White Rose were condemned and executed. Lafrenz was rearrested after she had completed her sentence and she spent the last year of WWII imprisoned awaiting her trial for treason, after which she could be expected to have been sentenced to death. The town where she was held prisoner was liberated by the Allies in April 1945 three days before her trial was scheduled to begin. The convictions of the White Rose participants were legislatively stripped of any legal force in 1983. Traute Lafrenz Page (married name) is the last surviving member of the White Rose and she is retired in Hollywood, SC. (As of May 2012)
Conviction Caused By:

The convictions of the White Rose participants were legislatively stripped of any legal force in 1983.

What I find absolutely hard to believe is that it took 40 years after the fall of Nazi Germany to clear her conviction. In the meantime all kinds of lawyers and judges who sent thousands of innocent people to their deaths lived out their lives without fear of any prosecution in post war Germany, many even worked in their former professions and received state pensions upon retirement.


Die Lebensgeschichte der Widerstandskämpferin wurde bereits mehrfach filmisch dargestellt.

Lena Stolze verkörperte die Figur der Sophie Scholl 1982 gleich in zwei Filmen: in der filmischen Gesamtdarstellung Die wei෾ Rose unter der Regie von Michael Verhoeven sowie in Fünf letzte Tage unter der Regie von Percy Adlon.

2005 kam der Spielfilm Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage von Marc Rothemund nach einem Drehbuch von Fred Breinersdorfer mit Julia Jentsch in der Titelrolle heraus. 2006 wurde Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage für einen Oscar als bester fremdsprachiger Film nominiert.

Fritz Hartnagels Eltern, Friedrich Hartnagel (1879–1957) und Barbara Hartnagel geb. Strobl (1878–1945), kamen aus bescheidenen Verhältnissen. Sein Vater hatte eine kleine Firma aufgebaut.

Fritz Hartnagel meldete sich im Frühjahr 1936 nach einem vorgezogenen Abitur freiwillig für eine Offizierslaufbahn und war bis zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs Berufsoffizier der Wehrmacht. 1937 lernte er bei einer Tanzveranstaltung Sophie Scholl kennen. Unter ihrem Einfluss und nach Erlebnissen an der Front (unter anderem in der Schlacht von Stalingrad) wandelte er sich vom begeisterten Soldaten zum Gegner von Krieg und NS-Diktatur. Er unterstützte die Widerstandsaktivitäten mit Nachrichten über Kriegsverlauf und Kriegsverbrechen und mit Geldbeträgen (unter anderem 1000 Reichsmark), ohne in sie eingeweiht zu sein.

Auch nach der Hinrichtung von Hans und Sophie am 22. Februar 1943 stand Hartnagel der Familie Scholl bei. Zunächst kamen die Eltern Robert und Magdalena sowie die Schwestern Inge und Elisabeth in Sippenhaft. [2] Im Mai 1943 wurde Robert Scholl wegen Hörens ausländischer Sender („Feindsender“) zu 18 Monaten Gefängnis verurteilt. Hartnagel hatte zuvor vergebens ein Gnadengesuch für ihn eingereicht, unterstützte die Familie Scholl finanziell und zeigte sich trotz erheblichen Drucks der Ulmer Kreisleitung der NSDAP mit ihr in der Öffentlichkeit. Nach der Hinrichtung der Geschwister Scholl erwog er ernsthaft, sich in den Mannschaftsstand versetzen zu lassen. Robert Scholl redete ihm dies aus, auch weil er befürchtete, dass ihm dies als schlechter Einfluss auf Fritz Hartnagel angelastet werden könnte.

Hartnagel stellte sich am 14. April 1945 in Halle (Saale) den US-Truppen und war bis September 1945 in US-amerikanischer Kriegsgefangenschaft. Im Oktober 1945 heiratete er in Ulm Elisabeth Scholl (1920–2020), eine Schwester von Sophie. Das Ehepaar bekam vier Söhne: Thomas (* 1947), später Historiker, Jörg (* 1949), Klaus (* 1952) und Martin (* 1956).

Im April 1946 begann Hartnagel ein Jura-Studium an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Im Rahmen der Entnazifizierung wurde er von der Spruchkammer Ulm-Stadt zunächst als „Mitläufer“ eingestuft und zu einer Geldbuße von 200 Reichsmark verurteilt. Dies hätte ihn von der Fortsetzung des Jura-Studiums ausgeschlossen. Er legte Einspruch dagegen ein und brachte eine ausführliche schriftliche Stellungnahme vor, in der er unter anderem detailliert auf seine Rolle als aktiver Offizier sowie seine Freundschaft zu Sophie Scholl und ihrer Familie einging. Die Spruchkammer nahm danach, auch angesichts von Zeugenaussagen, ihren Bescheid zurück und sprach Hartnagel frei. In der Begründung hieß es: „Der Betroffene hat Widerstand geleistet, wo persönlicher Mut, Einsatz und Opferbereitschaft dazu gehörten. Sein Widerstand war nicht darin erschöpft zu kritisieren, zu meckern und abfällige Bemerkungen über die nationalsozialistische Gewaltherrschaft fallenzulassen, sondern er hat durch die Tat seine weltanschauliche Gegnerschaft dargetan.“ [3]

Hartnagel führte sein Jura-Studium weiter und schloss es ab. Von 1949 bis 1952 arbeitete er zunächst als Referendar, dann als Assessor am Amtsgericht Ulm. 1952 wurden Fritz und Elisabeth Hartnagel Mitglieder der SPD. Er engagierte sich insbesondere gegen die Wiederbewaffnung und baute die Organisation Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner zur Beratung von Kriegsdienstverweigerern mit auf. Er verließ den IdK später und schloss sich dem Verband der Kriegsdienstverweigerer an, in dessen Bundesvorstand er 1968 gewählt wurde. [4]

Hartnagel wirkte zuletzt als Vorsitzender Richter am Landgericht Stuttgart. Er engagierte sich aktiv und vielfältig in der Friedensbewegung. Der Richter im Ruhestand nahm im September 1983 an einer längeren gewaltfreien Blockade gegen die auf der Mutlanger Heide stationierten US-amerikanischen Pershing-II-Raketen teil. Dafür wurde er wegen Nötigung vom Amtsgericht Schwäbisch Gmünd zu einer Geldstrafe von 20 Tagessätzen verurteilt. Sein Schlusswort kann als sein politisches Vermächtnis gelten: „Ich habe ein gutes Gewissen. Es wäre zu pathetisch, wenn ich sagen würde, ich bin stolz darauf. Aber es gibt mir ein Gefühl der Befriedigung und Erleichterung, mit dabei gewesen zu sein bei den vielen, die ihrem ohnmächtigen Protest gegen den Wahnsinn des atomaren Wettrüstens durch ein sichtbares Zeichen Ausdruck gegeben haben.“ Hartnagel schloss mit dem Appell: „Hören Sie auf, die Friedensbewegung zu kriminalisieren, sprechen Sie sie frei!“

Erst nach Fritz Hartnagels Tod wurde der umfangreiche Briefwechsel zwischen ihm und Sophie Scholl veröffentlicht.

Watch the video: BILD traf die letzte Weiße Rose in den USA (May 2022).


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