In Memoriam: Hermann Krings

Hermann Krings, September 25, 1913 - February 19, 2004

Dr. Hermann Krings, good friend to Willi Graf, died in Munich on February 19, 2004. We never met face-to-face, as he was already too ill to grant us an interview as planned in April 2002.
    But his correspondence accorded us insights into Willi's person and character. He wrote simply and honestly about his friend and the small community of faith that met in Krings' Munich apartment (better known as "the Siegfriedstrasse").
    After years of dealing with those who tried to insinuate themselves into the inner circle of the White Rose, I found Hermann Krings to be a breath of fresh air. He would be the first to tell you he did not participate in their resistance; it was clear he had thought and rethought that 1943 decision to stay away.
    Dr. Krings' post-war work validates Willi's efforts. A philosophy professor at the university in Munich from 1968 - 1980, Krings kept returning to the idea of freedom as the basis of human reason. He wrote: Freedom is not a political program. Rather, it is a name by which mankind bestows dignity upon itself.
     - Ruth Hanna Sachs.

Note, October 12, 2021: When Ruth Hanna Sachs penned Abandonment, she returned over and over to Krings' postwar writings as inspiration for and underpinnings of her understanding of Willi Graf's motivation to risk his life for freedom. The play came together when she allowed Hermann Krings to speak directly to the audience as Willi Graf's friend.
     Perhaps Krings' direct statement about the White Rose best defines his importance:
     The White Rose is a sign. The death of the friends is a sign. Signs are hard to read. But no matter how we read this sign, we have a sign of hope. It reveals that when we have done all that is humanly possible, there is still something else we can do – something that cannot be touched and is eternal.

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