Chaussy: Keine Stunde Null. Nirgends.
Ulrich Chaussy. Keine Stunde Null. Nirgends. Munich: Bayerischer Rundfunk, 2006.
When Ulrich Chaussy undertook his research for the Rothemund-Breinersdorfer movie, he was intrigued by the lack of information on the Gestapo agents involved in the White Rose case. We "see" them sitting across the table from their prey, and except for Eugen Grimminger's detailed descriptions of his interrogator, know little or nothing about them.
Chaussy decided to chase this particular rabbit. What he found pretty much annihilates the sympathetic Mohr character so pervasive in White Rose literature and film, including Breinersdorfer's script.
Robert Mohr's son Willi provided exceptional insight into his father's life, and why Robert Mohr became a Gestapo agent. Contrary to the self-portrayal contained in his post-war musings, Mohr was a staunch Nazi long before that affiliation was required. And he requested the transfer from regular police to Gestapo. He was also a fairly brutal man. His own son feared his violent streak.
While the debunking of the Mohr myth is useful to understanding White Rose history, what Chaussy learned about Anton Mahler debunks some of our own "American" mythology.
It seems that the Counter Intelligence Corps - predecessor to the CIA - took a liking to Anton Mahler, as he had edited a Gestapo report entitled High Treason and Combating Communism for that agency ("Bureau IIA") during the war. As we were gearing up for the McCarthy era, the CIC overlooked Mahler's egregious war crimes, for which he had been sentenced to four years penitentiary. The American CIC spirited him away to a safe house near Augsburg, where he assisted Klaus Barbie, another Nazi criminal protected and employed by the CIC.
Chaussy found that Mahler portrayed the White Rose as "a Marxist inspired conspiracy of a league of men who were homosexually oriented," hinting that he had gotten Hans Scholl to flip on Christoph Probst by threatening to out Hans for his Section 175(2) conviction.
This document - only thirty pages long - was written specifically for Chaussy's November 16, 2006 radio program on BR2. (And yes, he said the title is a direct reference to the Christa Wolf novel.) It provides a most valuable beginning to research on the topic, underscoring yet again how much we still do not know about the era in general, and about the White Rose in particular.
I personally hope either that Chaussy will expand his investigation of the subject, or that some PhD student will pick up where he left off.
(c) 2007 Ruth Hanna Sachs. All rights reserved. Please contact us for permission to quote.