Fritz Hartnagel

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Friedrich "Fritz" Hartnagel (born February 4, 1917 in Ulm ; † April 29, 2001 in Stuttgart ) was a German professional officer and lawyer during the Second World War . In the 1950s, Hartnagel, now a judge in Stuttgart, campaigned against the rearmament of the Federal Republic. He was Sophie Scholl's fiancé .


Fritz Hartnagel's parents, Friedrich Hartnagel (1879–1957) and Barbara Hartnagel b. Strobl (1878–1945) came from a modest background. His father had built a small company. Fritz Hartnagel himself volunteered for an officer career in the spring of 1936 after an early Abitur and was a career officer until the end of the Second World War.

Hartnagel met Sophie Scholl at a dance event in 1937. Under their influence and after experiences at the front (including the Battle of Stalingrad ), Hartnagel changed from an enthusiastic soldier to an opponent of war and the Nazi dictatorship . He supported the resistance activities with news about the course of the war and war crimes and with amounts of money (including 1,000 Reichsmarks ) without being privy to them. Hartnagel stood by the Scholl family even after the execution of Hans and Sophie on February 22, 1943. Initially, the parents Robert and Magdalena and the sisters Inge and Elisabeth were held in kin . In May 1943 Robert Scholl was sentenced to 18 months in prison for listening to foreign broadcasters. Fritz Hartnagel had previously submitted a pardon for him in vain and, despite the considerable pressure from the Ulm district leadership of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), appeared in public with the Scholl family and supported them financially. Fritz Hartnagel had seriously considered having himself transferred to the team stand after the execution of the Scholl siblings , but Robert Scholl in particular talked him out of this, as he feared that this could be blamed on him as a bad influence on Fritz Hartnagel.

On April 14, 1945 he surrendered to the US armed forces in Halle (Saale) and was a US prisoner of war until September 1945 . In October 1945 he married Elisabeth Scholl (1920–2020), a sister of the executed Sophie Scholl, in Ulm . The Hartnagel couple had four sons: Thomas (* 1947), Jörg (* 1949), Klaus (* 1952) and Martin (* 1956).

As part of the denazification, Fritz Hartnagel was initially classified as a “ fellow traveler ” by the Ulm-Stadt Spruchkammer and sentenced to a fine of 200 Reichsmarks . This would have excluded him from studying law, which he had already started in April 1946 at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . He appealed against it and submitted a detailed written statement in which he detailed, among other things, his role as an active officer and his friendship with Sophie Scholl and her family. On the basis of this statement and a number of testimonies, the Spruchkammer withdrew its decision and acquitted Hartnagel. The reason stated:

“The victim resisted wherever personal courage, commitment and willingness to make sacrifices were required. His resistance was not exhausted in criticizing, complaining and dropping derogatory remarks about the National Socialist tyranny, but by doing so he demonstrated his ideological opposition. "

Fritz Hartnagel was now able to continue and complete his law studies. From 1949 to 1952 he worked first as a trainee lawyer , then as an assessor at the Ulm District Court. In 1952 Fritz and Elisabeth Hartnagel became members of the SPD . He was particularly active against rearming and helped to set up the Organization International of Conscientious Objectors to advise conscientious objectors . He later left the IdK and joined the Association of Conscientious Objectors , to whose federal board he was elected in 1968. Hartnagel last worked as presiding judge at the Stuttgart Regional Court . Hartnagel was actively and widely involved in the peace movement . In September 1983, the retired judge took part in a lengthy non-violent blockade against the US Pershing II rockets stationed on Mutlanger Heide . For this he was reported for coercion and sentenced by the Schwäbisch Gmünd District Court to a fine of 20 daily rates. His closing words are also his political legacy: “I have a clear conscience. It would be too pathetic if I said I'm proud of it. But it gives me a feeling of satisfaction and relief to have been there with the many who have given their impotent protest against the madness of the nuclear arms race through a visible sign. "Hartnagel concluded with the appeal:" Stop it, to criminalize the peace movement, speak freely! "

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the death of Sophie Scholl, the correspondence between her and her fiancé Fritz Hartnagel was published.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ From: Justification of the Ulm-Stadt Spruchkammer, 23 September 1947, page 4 , quoted from: Hermann Vinke: Fritz Hartnagel. Sophie Scholl's friend , 2005, p. 232
  2. ^ The Federal Congress 1968 , Civil, Volume 13, No. 6, June 1968, p. 63