Transcript of the Sentence of Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst, February 22, 1943.
I H 47/43
In the action against
1. Hans Fritz Scholl, Munich, born at Ingersheim, September 22, 1918,
2. Sophia Magdalena Scholl, Munich, born at Forchtenberg, May 9, 1921, and
3. Christoph Hermann Probst, of Aldrans bei Innsbruck, born at Murnau, November 6, 1919,
now in investigative custody regarding treasonous assistance to the enemy, preparing to commit high treason, and weakening of the nation's armed security, the People's Court, first Senate, pursuant to the trial held on February 22, 1943, in which the officers were:
President of the People's Court Dr. Freisler, Presiding,
Director of the Regional (Bavarian) Judiciary Stier,
SS Group Leader Breithaupt,
SA Group Leader Bunge,
State Secretary and SA Group Leader Koglmaier, and,
representing the Attorney General to the Supreme
Court of the Reich, Reich Attorney Weyersberg,
That the accused have in time of war by means of leaflets 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 Fuhrer, 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 honor and rights as citizens are forfeited for all time.
The accused Hans Scholl has been a student of medicine since the spring of 1939 and, thanks to the solicitude of the National Socialist government, has begun his eighth semester in those studies. He has served meanwhile on temporary duty in a field hospital in the campaign in France and again from July to November 1942 on the eastern front as a medical aide.
As a student he is bound by duty to give exemplary service to the common cause. In his capacity as soldier - on assignment to medical study -- he has a special duty of loyalty to the Fuhrer. This and the assistance which he was expressly granted by the Reich did not deter him in the first half of the summer of 1942 from writing, duplicating, and distributing leaflets of the "White Rose." These defeatist leaflets predict the defeat of Germany and call for passive resistance in the form of sabotage in war industries and for sabotage in general, to the end that the German people would be deprived of the National Socialist way of life and thus also of their government.
All this because he imagined that only in this way could the German people survive the end of the war!
Returning from Russia in November 1942, Scholl requested his friend, the accused Probst, to provide him with a manuscript which would open the eyes of the German people! In actuality Probst furnished Scholl with a draft of a leaflet as requested, at the end of January 1943.
In conversations with his sister, Sophia, the two decided to carry on leaflet propaganda in the in the form of a campaign against the war and in favor of collaboration with the plutocratic enemies of National Socialism. Brother and sister, who had quarters in the same rooming house, collaborated in the writing of a leaflet, "To All Germans." In it they predicted Germany's defeat in the war, they urged a war of liberation against "National Socialist gangsterism," and demanded the establishment of a liberal democracy. In addition, they drafted a leaflet, "German Students!" (in later versions, "Fellow Fighters!"), wherein they called for a struggle against the Party. They wrote that the day of reckoning was at hand, and they were bold enough to compare their call to battle against the Fuhrer and the National Socialist way of life with the War of Liberation against Napoleon (1813). In reference to their project, they used the military song, "Up, up, my people, let smoke and flame be our sign!"
The accused Scholls, in part with the help of the accused Schmorell, duplicated the leaflets and by common agreement distributed them as follows:
Hans Scholl and Schmorell also, on the nights of August 8, 1942, and February 14, 1943, defaced walls in many places in Munich, and particularly the university, with the words "Down With Hitler," "Hitler the Mass Murderer," and "Freedom." After the first incident Sophia Scholl learned of this action, was in agreement with it, and requested -- though without success -- to be allowed to help in the future!
Expenses were covered by the accused themselves - in all, about 1,000 marks.
Probst likewise began his medical studies in the spring of 1939 and is now in his eighth semester, a soldier on student duty. He is married and has three children aged two and a half, one and one fourth years, and four weeks. He is a "nonpolitical man" -- hence no man at all! Neither the solicitude of the National Socialist Reich for his professional training nor the fact that it was only the National Socialist demographic policy which made it possible for him to have a family prevented him from writing at the behest of Scholl -- in cowardly defeatism -- a "manuscript" which takes the heroic struggle in Stalingrad as the occasion for defaming the Fuhrer as a military swindler and which then progressing to a hortatory tone, calls for opposition to National Socialism and for action which would lead, as he pretends, to an honorable capitulation. He supports the promises in this leaflet by citing -- Roosevelt! And his knowledge about these matters he derived from listening to British broadcasts!
All the accused have admitted the facts stated above. Probst offers as excuse his "psychotic depression" of the time he drafted the leaflet, a depression which he claims arises from Stalingrad and the childbed illness of his wife. But such explanations do not excuse a reaction of this scope.
Whoever has, like the three accused, committed the acts of high treason, weakening the home front and thereby in time of war the security of the nation, and by the same token has aided the enemy (Par. 5 of Special War Decree and Par. 91 b of the Criminal Code), raises the dagger for a stab in the back of the Front! That applies also to Probst, though he claims that his manuscript was not intended for use as a leaflet -- since the tone and style of the manuscript proves the opposite. Whoever acts in this way -- and particularly at this time, when we must close our ranks -- is attempting to cause the first rift in the unity of the battle front. And German students, whose traditional honor has always called for self-sacrifice for Volk and fatherland, were the ones who acted thus!
If a deed of this sort were to be punished otherwise than by death, we would be forging the first links of a chain whose end -- in an earlier time -- was 1918. Therefore, for the protection of the Volk and the Reich at war, the People's Court has found but one just punishment: death. The People's Court knows that it is at one with our soldiers in this decision.
Through their treason to our Volk, the accused have forever forfeited their citizenship.
As criminals who have been found guilty, the accused will pay the court costs.
Source: Inge Scholl, The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943 (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1983), pp. 114-118.