The Story of Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel

© A.K. Lehmann 
Fritz Hartnagel - World War II context and personal life

 November 5, 1937. Hitler makes a speech about his foreign policy goals to the Supreme Commanders of the German Army, including taking over Austria and Czechoslovakia. 500,000 Germans are sentenced to prison terms for "political reasons". Fritz Hartnagel , a cadet, just finished his military studies at Potsdam Military Academy where Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is one of his teachers. He graduates as a lieutenant dreaming of joining the Air Force but instead is commissioned into a communications company stationed in Augsburg.
February 4, 1938. German War Ministers, von Blomberg and von Fritsch, are let go. Hitler makes himself the head of the German Army. "Reichskristallnacht." Jewish passports must be identified with a "J."
Fritz Hartnagel is sick with typhus.
November, 3, 1938. German Army invasion of Austria.
January 30, 1939. Hitler announces in German parliament the "annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe" in the upcoming war.
February - March - Hartnagel receives a driver's instructor's license.
March 15, 1939. German Army invades Czechoslovakia. 
 April 1939. Fritz Hartnagel is transferred to Munich to teach in an educator's core.  
September 1939. Hitler declares war on Poland. England and France declare war on Germany.
November 1939. Hartnagel stationed in the Black Forest and transferred to Duesseldorf.
March 1940. Hartnagel in Gelsenkirchen to set up a communications company for the invasion of France.
 June 1940. "Blitzkrieg" Denmark, Norway, France.  
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"Freiheit! Freedom! The Story of Fritz Hartnagel and
Sophie Scholl (1937-1943)
" is endorsed by the von Moltke Foundation and the White Rose Institute at the University of Munich.

Alexandra Lehmann has a Masters in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. With a Fulbright grant, she went to Germany and spent three years researching in Ulm, Munich and Berlin archives. Over ten eyewitness interviews and 100 secondary sources, most of them in their original language, inform this book. Fluent in German, Alexandra translated Fritz Hartnagel's letters to Sophie Scholl into English for the first time.

She was invited, as a guest writer, to attend the Bavarian Senate's Sixty Year Anniversary of German Resistance in 2005 and won the Wesleyan Writers' Conference Nonfiction fellowship in 2008.

In 2011, Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, requested a copy of her work for their research library.

As a guest lecturer and historian at Mt. Holyoke College in 2012, Alexandra took part in the first American college consortium to host the University of Munich's (LMU) photography exhibition on the White Rose German Resistance Group.

She works in transmedia storytelling and branded entertainment as an independent consultant. 

Alexandra is currently producing Fritz Hartnagel and Sophie Scholl's storyworld contained within a blog, and real life events.

"I have dedicated over ten years of my professional life working on this story. Fluent in German, I could read and ask questions in the language this history took place in. That was a very powerful advantage. Because my Prussian parents both survived World War II, I needed to find out more about what life was like in Germany from 1933-1945. Researching in archives was often tough going. Finding out what my grandparents experienced was very difficult - including overcoming an incident with a Professor who asked me if my grandmother deserved what happened to her when the Red Army bore down on Berlin in 1945. This is a complex and devastating legacy. But learning about Sophie Scholl's life and how she went to her death makes it all almost palpable. Here was a person in love with life - despite the horrors of what was going on around her. So much so that she was capable of sacrificing it in order to do what was right. And then. To ask myself, who was this person she was always writing to? Fritz. Fritz who? He, in fact, was almost more brave and noble than I ever could have imagined or hoped him to be."  Alexandra Lehmann