White Rose student hangouts

Starting at Marienplatz: Head north onto Weinstraße. Make a right (south). Alexander Schmorell’s father had his medical practice at Weinstraße 11.

Now keep heading north on Weinstraße. Where Weinstraße becomes Theatinerstraße (to the right will be Schrammerstraße), turn left. This will be a small street—pedestrian zone only—called Maffeistraße. Number 4 was the very, very favorite cheap restaurant of the friends of the White Rose: The Bodega. Not only was the Chianti cheap and plentiful, it was close to Dr. Schmorell’s office and a connection for most major streetcar lines. While they could not talk openly here, it was known as a hangout for dissidents. Note that it’s likely still some sort of restaurant or eatery, but it changes hands every few years.

After your meal or snack, keep heading down Maffeistraße. It dead-ends into what may or may not be labeled as Pacellistraße. Signage is notoriously bad in this part of the city. Turn right. At Salvatorplatz 2, you should see Hugendubel Bookstore. It is at the same location it occupied in 1943. [Note 1: It appears that Pacellistrasse has been renamed Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse. Note 2: Googling for this address in 2012 showed a different establishment – Hugendubel may have moved around the corner.]

Hugendubel Bookstore was important to them for two reasons. First, it’s where they purchased almost all of their textbooks. Hugendubel had a near-exclusive contract with the university. Likely for that reason, it was the target of the February 15, 1943 graffiti campaign, during which they painted anti-Hitler slogans freestyle on the glass storefront.

Next, either go a few yards back to Salvatorstraße, or continue past the bookstore and make a left (still on Salvatorplatz). Either way, you will end at Rochusberg (alternately, Rochusstraße), as Salvatorplatz is triangular. Barely turn right on Rochusberg, then immediately left. You should be on the very busy Maximiliansplatz — a huge, confusing traffic circle. House Number 13 was the site of the bookstore managed by Josef Söhngen. Söhngen and his mother lived in an apartment over the bookstore.

Back then, the bookstore (named Buchhandlung für Kunst und Architektur L. Werner) was painted green and had a massive storefront. Unbeknownst to the Werner family, Söhngen also kept banned books in this store. White Rose friends could trust him to find their favorite reading material.

Though devoutly Catholic, Söhngen was also gay. He was especially close to Hans Scholl, whose “final loving words” as mentioned by Inge Scholl were not for any of the women (likely “beards”) in his life, but rather for Josef Söhngen. This was mentioned postwar by Söhngen, and confirmed by none other than Hans Scholl’s mother, in a letter to her husband relating Hans’ last spoken words (for Söhngen). Hans told Söhngen about their plan to distribute leaflets on February 18 at the university, and Söhngen tried to talk him out of it.

From Maximiliansplatz, head north. You should end up at another confusing traffic circle: Briennerstraße. Go left. You will shortly come to a beautiful, almost peaceful circle named Karolinenplatz. Right past the obelisk on Briennerstraße, you will see Briennerstraße 8. This was home and office for Dr. Roman Simon. He applied for permission to represent his good friend Heinrich Bollinger at the April 19, 1943 trial.

However, Simon’s record was not spotless. He had been involved in anti-Nazi, Catholic activities in his youth and therefore had a criminal record. The People’s Court and Gestapo waited until after the trial to consider his application. “It would have been approved,” they said.

Note: Briennerstraße 50 was the site of the Wittelsbacher Palais, Gestapo headquarters in Munich in 1943. It is no longer standing.

Past Königsplatz, turn right on Augustenstraße. Turn left on Gabelsbergstr., then right on Schleißheimerstraße. Right at the intersection of Schleißheimerstraße and Theresienstraße, you will see Theresienstraße 93. When Kurt Huber was demoted from full professor to adjunct (nothing to do with anti-Nazi sentiments, everything to do with professional jealousy), he was stripped of his office on campus. He therefore rented a third-floor room from the Kreiler family at this address, where he kept his books and papers, and did most of his writing.

No students ever visited him here. It was his private getaway. It’s worth going to, however, to get an idea of the anger that motivated him against the university rector and university administration. He felt it was completely humiliating to have to maintain an “office” at his own expense so far from campus.

His anger even extended to the landlady who rented him the room. When Kurt Huber was arrested, he denounced her for rent fraud.

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2 comments

  1. Kristina Kargl

    Can you help me to find some more informationes to this theme? Where do you see the letter of the mother of Hans Scholl to Söhngen? (Though devoutly Catholic, Söhngen was also gay. He was especially close to Hans Scholl, whose “final loving words” as …..).

  2. Denise Heap

    Hi Kristina,
    Magdalena Scholl’s letter dated August 25, 1943 to Robert Scholl stated, “Söhngen ist noch nicht frei, die Haft wurde unterbrochen. Er ist sehr nervoes, dass ich nichts weiter fragen wollte, und er bat uns auch, nicht lange zu bleiben, weil er noch unter Aufsicht sei. Ich erfahre es gelegentlich von Geyer. Aber er war ergriffen, dass ihm Hans einen letzten Gruss sandte.” (Aicher-Scholl’s Sippenhaft, page 86)

    Söhngen’s account stated, “At once the most beautiful and the saddest approbation [Anerkennung], which moved me to tears – the words he said to his mother by way of greeting to me: ‘If I should survive this time, I hope I can be there for young people just as I [Söhngen] was ready to help students by risking my life for them if necessary.'”

    Hope this helps!

    Edited to add: Your question made me reword the above statement. It is correctly recorded in Ruth Hanna Sachs’ White Rose History, and simply misstated here. The letter was from Magdalena Scholl to Robert Scholl, recounting her visit with Söhngen. So I’ve corrected it above. Thanks!

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