Khramov: Alexander Schmorell

Igor Khramov, ed. Alexander Schmorell: Gestapo Verhörprotokolle, Februar - März 1943. RGWA I361K-I-8808. Orenburg, Russia: Orenburg Charity Foundation "Eurasia", 2005.

If you've followed our work for very long, you know that most "scholarly" works on the White Rose tend to disappoint. Too many researchers still toe the Scholl-centric line and avoid commentary on continuing censorship of Nazi-era documents. Even the alleged documentation that accompanied the recent Sophie Scholl movie was at best highly edited to present her in only the most favorable light, and at worst consciously censored to circumvent critical controversy.

So we opened the package from the scholars in Orenburg, Russia with trepidation, fearing that Igor Khramov (alt. Chramov - the Schmorell biographer) would have similarly short-changed Alex in his presentation of Schurik's interrogations. Because we already knew that the Gestapo had played Willi Graf against Alex, Alex against Willi, and both against everyone else. Leaving out any of the painful cross-examination would have limited our view of Alex and thereby limited our view of truth.

To Dr. Khramov's credit, this volume exceeds even our high standards for accuracy with its faithful portrayal of the young freedom fighter with strawberry blond hair. The Russian National Military Archives granted Dr. Khramov permission to publish actual facsimiles of the interrogation transcripts, accompanied by Russian translation of same. (It should be noted that the quality of those documents greatly surpasses the quality of Bundesarchiv documents, which at times can be all but illegible, especially those in the NJ1704 series.)

Dr. Khramov took his attention to detail one step further. Not only did he ensure that this hard-cover book contained everything in Alex's files, he also bound in samples of the envelopes with leaflets as they mailed them. Complete with replication of the Hitler postage stamps, postmarks from Munich and Vienna, and the different type "styles" that arose from use of either the Remington or Erica typewriters as well as preferences for addressing an envelope.

This neat little feature - an unexpected bonus -  affected us more than we would have believed possible. It makes their act more immediate, something tangible that bridges the gap of time.

If you wish to order this book, contact us here at the Center for White Rose Studies. We will forward your request to Igor for processing.

(c) 2006 Ruth Hanna Sachs. All rights reserved. Please contact Exclamation! Publishers for permission to quote.