He told her what he witnessed. What she did with the truth would change history.
The truth was not an easy thing to know as Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel came of age in Germany during the late 1930s. As a middle school student and even youth leader in the League of German Girls, Sophie Scholl would turn against the Nazis' racial ideologies and plans for taking over the world. She eventually would make the ultimate sacrifice demonstrating against them.
Fritz's journey, however, would become increasingly more difficult and complex as his role grew as an officer in the German Army. Throughout six years during the war, and despite the opposite sides that they found themselves on, Sophie and Fritz wrote to one another almost daily. Together they bravely sought to make sense of the incomprehensible.
Their correspondence proves that Sophie had first hand knowledge of SS atrocities and that this proof, unbeknownst to her friend, fueled her mortal imperative. Officer Hartnagel would go on to fight one of the war's most horrific battles.
Amsterdam, Winter 1941
The German SS shot and killed Dutch civilians demonstrating against the exportation of Jews from their city.
Lieutenant Fritz Hartnagel, officer in the German Army, was in Amsterdam in February, 1941.
"Alexandra Lehmann has substantial knowledge of the facts about Munich's student resistance group. More impactful, however, is how Alexandra's powerful narrative brings the facts to life. The story of how Sophie Scholl learned first hand about Nazi atrocities on both fronts from Officer Hartnagel provides not just a vital historical account, but an essential understanding of the German experience during World War II." - Nicholas von Moltke