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February 18, 1943
Following are the events of February 18, 1943 on the basis of Ruth Sachs' research as of December 31, 2004.

  • 8 am, Sophie Scholl skips Professor Gerlach's physics class.
  • Hans and Sophie Scholl arise between 8:30 and 9 am and eat breakfast. Unlike most mornings, Wilhelm Geyer does not join them. Mail is delivered around 9:30 am.
  • 10 am, Gisela Schertling, Traute Lafrenz, and Willi Graf attend Professor Kurt Huber's lecture.
  • Around 10:30 am, Wilhelm Geyer meets with a painter and potential customer (the painting the customer wishes to buy is Geyer's The Guardian Angel) in Stuttgart.
  • 10:30 am, Hans and Sophie Scholl leave for the university, carrying between 1500-1800 leaflets in a suitcase and briefcase. They stop at the Siegestor (Arch of Triumph) to bid Alexander Schmorell good-bye. He plans to leave for Russia once the scattering operation is complete.
  • About fifteen minutes before class ends, Traute and Willi leave Prof. Huber's lecture to make it to Prof. Bumke's class in the Nervenklinik across town. They run into Hans and Sophie.
  • While Alex Schmorell stands watch outside, Hans and Sophie distribute most of the leaflets by stacking them in front of classrooms.
  • Though students are beginning to leave class and the Lichthof is hardly empty, Hans and Sophie decide to go up to the third floor to throw leaflets down from the balustrade.
  • In the streetcar on the way to Prof. Bumke's class, Traute and Willi discuss their discomfort at what Sophie and Hans were doing at the university. They fear the worst.
  • Shortly before 11 am, Jakob Schmid (janitor) sees the Scholls throwing the leaflets over the balustrade and starts up the stairs after them.
  • Hans and Sophie see Schmid approaching. Sophie quickly hides the key to Manfred Eickemeyer's studio in an ottoman in Room 238 (likely the women's restroom). Hans does not dispose of the incriminating evidence in his pocket: Christoph Probst's leaflet draft, and cigarette coupons directly traceable to the Geyer family. - Hans and Sophie make no attempt to escape out the back way, but rather stand and wait for Schmid to reach them.
  • 11 am, Otl Aicher goes to the Scholls' apartment as arranged to meet them for lunch. He finds it locked up, so leaves.
  • Schmid takes Hans and Sophie to Haefner's office, and the Gestapo is called. The university is immediately locked down.
  • Hans tries to destroy Christl's leaflet draft by tearing it up into little pieces and throwing it on the floor. His act is noticed and the pieces are collected as evidence.
  • Leo Samberger is in an upper level law course and hears the commotion. When he comes out, he learns that (to him as yet unknown) students had done something with leaflets. Police presence everywhere. He suspects these are the same students who had mailed him deliciously seditious leaflets only two days earlier.
  • Professor Huber witnesses the turmoil. He makes eye contact with another student (his sister-in-law) and later tells her that he was afraid that Hans Scholl's recklessness and drug use would result in something like this.
  • Traute and Willi can hardly concentrate on Bumke's lecture. She says that he usually sleeps through this class, but today he is restless.
  • Gestapo agent Robert Mohr arrives at the university around 11:30 am. Initial (undocumented) interrogation begins.
  • 11:30 am, the Gestapo begins its search of the Scholls' apartment. Otl comes back and is immediately taken into custody. He remains at the apartment while they search.
  • 12 noon, Alex Schmorell shows up at Lilo Ramdohr's apartment and tells her what happened. (She knew in advance what Hans and Sophie were planning and had advised Alex against participating in their scheme.)
  • Coincidentally, Professor Richard Harder's extraordinarily psychological profile of the White Rose writers arrived at Gestapo headquarters about this time.
  • Shortly after noon, Hans and Sophie are led away from the university. Hans calls out to Gisela Schertling. The Gestapo mistakenly thinks he is addressing a student named Metternich and arrests him on the spot.
  • The university rector (Wuest) appears to the students waiting inside the locked-down university and tells them what has happened. His announcement of the arrest of these "criminals" is met with applause.
  • 1 pm, Prof. Bumke's lecture is mercifully over. Willi returns to the barracks and Traute goes to the Scholls' apartment, but does not go inside.
  • 1 pm, the first batch of students are released from lock-down. Among them is Gisela Schertling. She goes to the Scholls' apartment and is immediately taken into custody, and to Gestapo headquarters. (Otl is still in custody, but evidently inside the Scholls' apartment.)
  • Around 1 pm, Jakob Schmid gives his statement to the Gestapo.
  • The first interrogations of Hans and Sophie Scholl, and Gisela Schertling, begin shortly after 1 pm.
  • Tilly Hahn (Eugen Grimminger's secretary) shows up at the Scholls' apartment with a new duplicating machine. She is warned not to go inside by a female student (Traute?).
  • The Gestapo in Ulm goes to the Scholl family's residence. At this time they only collect correspondence and do not perform a thorough search. They do not tell the parents about their children's arrest.
  • 2 pm, Alex calls Josef Soehngen to warn him about Hans' arrest.
  • Alex visits his Bulgarian friend Nikolai who gives him his passport. Lilo then calls on her neighbor Miele Roters to complete the forgery.
  • Mohr nearly releases Hans and Sophie. Reichstudentenfuehrer Scheel tells Mohr of his conversation with Sophie and warns Mohr against doing anything against a fellow German student.
  • 3:15 pm, Alex calls Willi Graf and asks to meet him.
  • 3:45 pm, Willi meets up with Alex. Together they try to call Hans Scholl.
  • 4 pm, university lock-down is finally lifted.
  • Shortly after 4 pm, Willi Graf leaves for the Munich suburb of Pasing to have dinner with his cousins, the Luible family.
  • Some of the evidence (such as a typewriter) is brought back to Gestapo headquarters and processing begins.
  • Around 5 pm, the Gestapo completes its search of the Scholls' apartment. They bring the remaining evidence along with Otl Aicher back to headquarters. Otl still does not know what is going on.
  • When Otl is led into the Wittelsbacher Palace (Gestapo headquarters), he briefly sees Hans Scholl.
  • Mohr is told about the damning evidence found in the Scholls' apartment. He is shocked, because he believes them innocent.
  • Around 6 pm, break in the interrogations for supper. Contrary to Else Gebel's postwar narrative, Hans and Sophie were allowed to eat too.
  • Sophie meets Else Gebel for the first time. [Else was likely a Gestapo mole and not the heroine she made herself out to be after the war.]
  • 6:30 pm, Metternich is released, having sufficiently proven his Nazi credentials.
  • Gerhard Feuerle is arrested under suspicion of having created the templates used in the graffiti campaign.
  • The Gestapo shows up at Wilhelm Geyer's house in Ulm to take him into custody. He is still in Stuttgart.
  • Willi Graf eats supper with the Luible family and asks them about new contacts who may be amenable to ideas of resistance.
  • 10 pm, the Gestapo searches Willi Graf's room. (He is not present.)
  • The Gestapo pieces together Christoph Probst's (unpublished) leaflet.
  • Wilhelm Geyer gets home late. Inge Scholl appears at the Geyers' door to ask him to take a message to Hans and Sophie in Munich the next day (Hans Hirzel's warning from February 17 - the day before!).
  • Midnight, Willi Graf comes home. He and his sister Anneliese are taken into custody.

(c) 2004 by Ruth Hanna Sachs. All rights reserved. Please contact Ruth for permission to quote.

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