Center for
              White Rose

Primary Sources

When Ruth Sachs began her research into the White Rose resistance movement in July 1994, initially she relied on secondary sources - the books penned by Richard Hanser, Harald Steffahn, and Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn. Her intention at that time: Write a short historical nonfiction young adult novel.
    During her 1995 research trip to Germany, interviewing surviving family members, reading in dusty archives, talking to perfect strangers, she learned the absolute value of primary sources. The Hanser, Steffahn, and Dumbach-Newborn books that had captured her imagination proved to be unreliable at best, and in some cases outright misleading.
    As Sachs began to meet family members from the White Rose circle, she understood how skewed the story had been told. How little she had believed to be true could stand up to reasonable scrutiny. How many questions remained unanswered, and how much had been swept under the carpet to maintain perfect complexions and haloes.
    But when she shared her findings with others in the field of Holocaust education, specifically with people concerned with documenting the history of German resistance, she encountered either skepticism or apathy. The skeptics could not believe that the story was as dark - as human - as it is. Others simply did not care to learn anything but a simplistic fairy tale that did not challenge their black-and-white notions of White Rose as saintly martyrs.
    It therefore became top priority to gather as much primary source material as possible, translate it into English so it could be read and understood by all American scholars, and make it widely available.
    In the beginning, this goal applied solely to White Rose resistance. But a serendipitous mistake by the Bundesarchiv in Berlin gave birth to Center for White Rose Studies' emphasis on other resistance, on the stories that have not been told.
    You see, when they filled Sachs' order for all White Rose documents, she asked them to include every scrap of paper in the files, not just the things that looked important.
    The good people in Berlin complied. They copied tiny scraps of paper. And they copied back sides of interrogation transcripts.
    Those back sides - recycled interrogations - contained names, deeds, words that should not be forgotten.
    The list below, the pieces of paper we do have in our archives, is way too short. The more we really know about the courage displayed during the Shoah, the better we can learn how to arm ourselves inside and out.

To learn about Ruth's process for evaluating accuracy of dates and information, see her descriptions of preparation and methodology.

To ask questions, please contact us!
To learn more about our specific approach to primary sources, see:

Gestapo interrogation transcripts (White Rose only)

Gestapo interrogation transcripts (other resistance movements and individuals)

Other primary sources - beyond the Protokolle and trial transcripts

To discuss this topic, click here.
Selected resources defining and describing primary sources and the historical process:

Lafayette College Library's Primary Sources: What Are They? - A good overview.

University of Maryland guide to primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. Geared to students.

Library of Congress Web page: Using Primary Sources. Written for teachers. How to use primary sources in the classroom. 

Primary sources in our archives (mainly White Rose at present):
[Legend: M = memoir; L = Letter or written memorandum; B = Published book of collected letters, diaries, or other primary source documents; I = Interview; O = Other; P = Document from the period. 1 = reliable, 2 = mostly reliable, 3 = partially reliable; 4 = questionable.]

  • Ahr, Hans (Ed.). Ahr Family History: August 1935-November 1940. Translation by Ruth Sachs. Sangerhausen: Hans Ahr, 1935-1940. Donated by Mr. Howard M. Itz, Houston, Texas. P1.
  • Aicher, Otl. “Bericht Otl Aicher.” Unpublished. September 22, 1968. L2.
  • Aicher, Otl. Innenseiten des kriegs. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag GmbH, 1985. M2.
  • Aicher-Scholl, Inge.  Sippenhaft: Nachrichten und Botschaften der Familie in der Gestapo-Haft nach der Hinrichtung von Hans und Sophie Scholl. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag GmbH, 1993. B1.
  • Alphubel. Alfred von Martin’s skiing accomplishment. O1.
  • Alt, Karl. “Wie sie starben: Die letzten Stunden der Geschwister Scholl.” Unpublished. ND. L3.
  • Benz, Richard. Geist und Reich. Jena: Eugen Diederichs Verlag, 1933. P1.
  • Berggrav, Eiwind. Letter to Inge Scholl, dated September 30, 1952. Unpublished. L2.
  • “Bericht eines ehemaligen Studenten von Professor Huber (Eduard H.).” Unpublished. ND. L2.
  • Blow, Susan E. The Songs and Music of Friedrich Fröbel’s Mother Play (Mutter und Kose Lieder). New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895. P1.
  • Frau Braun, “honorary archive employee!”. Ulm, April 1995. Interview in the Ulmer Stadtarchiv. I1.
  • Brenner, Heinz A. Dagegen: Widerstand Ulmer Schüler gegen die deutsche Nazi-Diktatur. Leutkirch im Allgäu: Rud. Roth & Cie. KG, ND [1987?]. M1.
  • Buchhandlung L. Werner in neuen Räumen. August 27, 1953. O1.
  • The Daub family, Ulm, April 1995. Sister and brother-in-law of Fritz Hartnagel. I1.
  • Deisinger, Siegfried. “Alexander Schmorell: Ein deutscher Student und Freiheitskämpfer!” Letter to Inge Scholl. Unpublished. ND. L2.
  • Drude, Lothar. Der aufgeschobene Tod des Gerhard F.: Ein Bericht nach Originaldokumenten aus den Jahren 1943-1945. Dortmund: Weltkreis-Verlags GmbH, 1986. B2.
  • Die Ehestandshilfe: Ausgabe Nürnberg-Fürth. Frankfurt am Main: G.F.C. Laue, 1934. P1.
  • Eyre, Lincoln. “Renascent Germany.” National Geographic, December 1928, Volume LIV, No. 6, 639-723. With photographs by Hans Hildenbrand. P1.
  • Fietz, Helmut. Inge Scholl’s transcription of her conversation with him in either autumn of 1945 or spring of 1946. L2.
  • “Flugblatt des Nationalkomitee ‘Freies Deutschland’ als Antwort auf die Ermordung der Münchner Studenten: Senkt die Fahnen.” Unpublished, ND. O1.
  • Fürst-Ramdohr, Lilo. Freundschaften in der Weiβen Rose. Munich: Verlag Geschichtswerkstatt Neuhausen, 1995. M1. Except for dates, which have been corrected through subsequent interviews and correspondence.
  • Fürst-Ramdohr, Lilo. Letter to Inge Scholl. Unpublished. ND. L1.
  • Lieselotte Fürst-Ramdohr, Starnberg. April 2002. I1.
  • Gerngross, Rupprecht. Aufstand der Freiheits Aktion Bayern 1945. Augsburg: Der Verlag Heidrich, 1995. B3.
  • The Geyer family, Ulm (Clara, Wilhelm Jr., Elisabeth, Hermann, Martin). April 1995, April 2002. I1.
  • Geyer, Clara. “Wie Wilhelm Geyer die Folgen der Studentenrevolte der Geschwister Scholl auf wunderbare Weise überstanden hat”. In Rottenburger Jahrbuch für Kirchengeschichte Band 7. Rottenburg: Geschichtsverein der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, 1988. M1.
  • Geyer, Wilhelm. “Bericht von Professor Wilhelm Geyer, Ulm.” Letter to Inge Scholl, dated September 21, 1968. Unpublished. L1.
  • Goetz, Helmut. Letter to Inge Scholl, dated December 28, 1953. Unpublished. L2.
  • Grossmann, Kurt R. Letter to Inge Scholl, dated February 22, 1969. Unpublished. L1.
  • Grote, Lisa. Fragment of an undated, unpublished letter from Lisa Grote to Inge Scholl. L2. Inge's transcript only, otherwise L1. Who knows what was censored?
  • Guardini, Romano. “Die Waage des Daseins.” Tübingen: Rainer Wunderlich Verlag (Hermann Leins), 1946. O3.
  • Friedrich and Ursula Haenssler, Neuhausen a.d.F., April 1995. I1.
  • Frieder Haenssler, April 1995. I1.
  • Harnack, Arvid. Letter from Arvid to Mildred Harnack, dated December 14, 1942. L1.
  • Harnack, Arvid. Last letter to his family, dated December 22, 1942. L1.
  • Harnack, Falk. “Anhang.” Letter to Inge Scholl, dated October 8, 1978. Unpublished. L2.
  • Harnack, Falk. “Dokumente: Die Weiβe Rose. ‘Es war nicht umsonst’: Erinnerungen an die Münchner revolutionären Studenten.” 1947. Unpublished. L2.
  • Daniel Hartert, New York. January 1999. I1.
  • Hartnagel, Elisabeth. “Bericht von Elisabeth Hartnagel, geb. Scholl.” Unpublished. Dated “1968/1980.” L1.
  • Fritz and Elisabeth Hartnagel, Stuttgart. April 1995. I1.
  • Jörg Hartnagel, Crailsheim. April 2002. I1.
  • Rosemarie Hilpert, Ulm, April 1995. I1.
  • Hirzel, Hans. “Das groβe Miβverständnis. Warum die Mehrzahl der Deutschen sich Hitler unterordnete”. In Hinrich Siefken (Ed.). Die Weiβe Rose: Student Resistance to National Socialism 1942/43, Forschungsergebnisse und Erfahrungsberichte (pp. 147-182). Nottingham: The University of Nottingham, 1991. M1.
  • Hirzel, Hans. “Flugblätter der Weiβen Rose in Ulm und Stuttgart”. In Rudolf Lill (Ed.). Hochverrat? Die “Weiβe Rose” und ihr Umfeld (pp. 89-119). Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz, 1993. M1.
  • Hirzel, Hans. Letter to Inge Scholl, dated November 27, 1947. Unpublished. L1.
  • “Hirzel kommt Ausschluβ zuvor”. Schwäbische Zeitung, February 26, 1994. O1.
  • Susanne Hirzel, Stuttgart. May 2002. I1.
  • Hirzel, Susanne. Vom Ja zum Nein: Eine schwäbische Jugend 1933-1945. Tübingen: Klöpfer, Mayer und Co. Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998. M2.
  • Holler, Eckard. “Die Ulmer ‘Trabanten’: Hans Scholl zwischen Hitlerjugend und dj.1.11”. Puls (22). Stuttgart: Verlag der Jugendbewegung, 1999. B1.
  • Huber, Kurt, & Kiem, Paul. Oberbayerische Volkslieder. Munich: Verlag Knorr & Hirth GmbH, 1930. Illustrated by Eduard Thöny. P1.
  • Huber, Kurt. Volkslied und Volkstanz: Aufsätze zur Volksliedkunde des bajuwarischen Raumes. Ettal: Buch-Kunstverlag Ettal (undated). P1.
  • Dr. Wolfgang Huber, Eichstätt. May 2002. I1.
  • Howard Itz. Summer 1994, Houston, Texas. I1.
  • Jaeger, Wolfgang. “Persönliche Erinnerungen an Kurt Huber.” Unpublished. ND. M1.
  • Dr. Inge Jens, Tübingen. April 1995. I1.
  • Jens, Inge (Ed.). At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl. Translation by J. Maxwell Brownjohn. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1987. B2. Would be B1 (it's Inge Jens, after all), but Inge scholl censored too much.
  • Anneliese Knoop-Graf, Bühl. May 1995. I1.
  • Knoop-Graf, Anneliese. Diary Entry Following Theodor Haecker’s February “Reading”. Unpublished. P1.
  • Knoop-Graf, Anneliese and Jens, Inge (Eds.). Willi Graf: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, 1994. B1.
  • Hellmut Kohlermann, May 1995. I1.
  • Krings, Hermann. “Gedenkrede für Willi Graf.” In Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, ed. by K. D. Erdmann and F. Messerschmid. Issue 5, 1974. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag, 1964. M1.
  • Krings, Hermann. Letter to Inge Scholl, dated November 16, 1981. Unpublished. L1.
  • Cornelia Küffner, autumn 1994. I1.
  • Dr. Silvester Lechner, Ulm. April 1995, and May 2002. I1.
  • Wolfgang Lipp, Ulm, April 1995. I1.
  • “List of Winners.” Hohenloher Zeitung, January 12, 1944. Konrad Hirzel won in the cello division. P1.
  • “Man of the Year.” Time Magazine, January 2, 1939, pp. 11-15. P1.
  • Mann, Thomas. “Deutsche Hörer.” Transcription of Mann’s BBC London radio address from June 17 (27?), 1943. Unpublished. P2.
  • McCaffrey, M. E. Letter from M. E. McCaffrey of the Regents of The University of Wisconsin, to the registrar’s office. September 20, 1921. The Archives of the University of Wisconsin. P1.
  • Mohr, Robert. “Niederschrift.” Letter to Inge Scholl, dated February 19, 1951. Unpublished. M3. The authenticity of the document is not in question. Merely that the "memory" is self-serving.
  • Franz Josef Müller, Munich. March 1995. I4.
  • Oldham, Joseph, and Moberly, Walter. The Churches Survey Their Task: The Report of the Conference at Oxford, July 1937, on ‘Church, Community, and State’. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1937. P1.
  • Dr. Traute Page (nee Lafrenz), South Carolina. October 1996. I1.
  • Pope Pius XI. Mit brennender Sorge. Encyclical delivered March 14, 1937. P1.
  • Pope Pius XII. The Internal Order of States and People. Christmas message of 1942. P1.
  • Dr. Michael (son of Christoph) and Herta Probst, Ammersee. May 2002. I1+!
  • Reifezeugnis: Wilhelm Graf. Dated February 1, 1937. Unpublished document. P1.
  • Riester, Albert. Gegen den Strom: Das Leben eines streitbaren Bürgers. München: Universitas Verlag, 1987. M4.
  • Samberger, Leo. “Augenzeugenbericht von Dr. Leo Samberger.” Abendzeitung, February 17/18, 1968. M1.
  • Gustel Saur, Ulm. April 1995. I1.
  • Winfried Scheffbuch, Stuttgart, April 1995. I1.
  • Schmid, Jakob. “Bitte um Freilassung.” Unpublished. ND, but shortly after the end of the war (probably 1945). P1.
  • Dr. Erich and Herta Schmorell, Munich. March 1995, April 1995, April 2002. As with Probst, I1+!
  • Inge Scholl. Refused interview.
  • Scholl, Robert. Letter to an attorney in Munich named [illegible], dated July 19, 1964. Unpublished. P1.
  • Johanna Schulz, Berlin, May 1995. I1.
  • Söhngen, Josef. “Dokumente Weiβe Rose: Bericht Josef Söhngen, Buchhändler in München (I and II).” 1945/1952. Unpublished. M2.
  • Ulmer Sturm. July 24, 1933, “Hitler zu den Kirchenwahlen”; and “Das Reichskonkordat”. P1.
  • Ulmer Tagblatt. Janaruy 30, 1933, “Schleichers Rücktritt – Papens Mission”; January 31, 1933, “Das Kabinett Hitler-Papen”. P1.
  • “Wie lange noch Scholl? – eine berechtigte Frage.” Ulmer Sturm, October 8, 1943. P1.
  • Dr. Jürgen (George J.) Wittenstein and his wife Christel Bejenke, California. January 2001. Three-day interview at their home. I4.
  • Wittenstein, Jürgen. Telegram from his mother to him dated November 23, 1942 advising that house and factory in Stuttgart had burned. Unpublished. P1.
  • Wittenstein, Jürgen. “Reconstructed” diary (identified as such by Wittenstein) covering the White Rose period. Completely unreliable so-called primary source. M4.
  • Wittenstein, Jürgen. Written request for Gestapo interrogation, dated November 16, 1943. Unpublished. P1.

Note that correspondence involved in research is also in our archives, but is not listed here

Bundesarchiv or National Archives: BA.
Stadtarchiv Ludwigsburg or City Archives of Ludwigsburg: SAL.
Stadtarchiv München or City Archives of Munich: SAM.
Stadtarchive Nürnberg or City Archives of Nuremberg: SAN.
Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich: IFZ.

  • BA, ZC13267, Volumes 1 – 16. Trial and interrogations of Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, with attachments. Trial and interrogation of Traute Lafrenz, Gisela Schertling, Katharina Schüddekopf, and Eugen Grimminger. Execution documents for Scholl-Scholl-Probst. Clemency proceedings for Scholl-Scholl-Probst. Costs associated with first trial.
  • BA, ZC14116, Volumes 1 – 2. Extra documentation for Hans Hirzel, Susanne Hirzel, and Helmut Bauer.
  • BA, ZC19601. Verdict transcript.
  • BA, NJ1704, Volumes 1 – 33. Transcript of verdict for first and second trials. Indictment for the second trial. Witness statements re Eugen Grimminger and Kurt Huber. Notifications regarding Hans and Susanne Hirzel. Request for special consideration for honors received by Willi Graf, Kurt Huber, and Eugen Grimminger. Interrogations of Traute Lafrenz, Kurt Huber, Willi Graf, and Falk Harnack. Costs associated with second trial. Clemency proceedings for Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, Willi Graf, Susanne Hirzel, Katharina Schüddekopf, Gisela Schertling, and Traute Lafrenz. Execution of sentence for Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, Willi Graf, Eugen Grimminger, Hans Hirzel, Susanne Hirzel, Franz Müller, Heinrich Bollinger, Helmut Bauer, Heinrich Guter, Katharina Schüddekopf, Traute Lafrenz, and Gisela Schertling.
  • BA, NJ6136. Interrogation of Heinrich Guter.
  • BA, NJ5189, NJ6736, NJ866, NJ17214, R3017, NJ 486138, NJ 11831. Kucharski, Leipelt et al.
  • IFZ, SKMs. 299/43. Verdict and trials proceedings of third trial (Dohrn, Eickemeyer, Geyer, and Söhngen).
  • IFZ, Fa 215, Volume 1. Josef Söhngen’s post-war “memoirs.”
  • IFZ, Fa 215, Vol. 3, No. 42. Memories of Hans Scholl. Anonymous. This document is included in both Inge Scholl’s documentation and the IfZ archives. However, the “cleaned-up” version in the IfZ archives incorrectly mixes the anonymous writer’s memories with those of Xaver Kuhn. It is possible that both were from the same source, but it is nowhere so noted. The IfZ document is entitled “Erinnerungen über Hans Scholl”, and bears the reference Fa 215, Vol. 3, No. 42. Undated.
  • SAL (information illegible). Interrogation of Hans Scholl. Proceedings of “bündische” trial, 1937/38.
  • SAL, E3569, Volume 4325. 1942 trial and verdict for Robert Scholl.
  • SAM, Stanw. No. 12.530. Interrogation of Josef Söhngen, Wilhelm Geyer, Manfred Eickemeyer, and Harald Dohrn.
  • SAN, KV-Prozesse, Fall 3. 3282.


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