Fritz Hartnagel Writes to Sophie Scholl, October 1938

Fritz Hartnagel references Friedrich Schiller in a letter, October 1938

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), German writer, poet, philosopher

With You There is Light, Alexandra Lehmann

Fritz Hartnagel was stationed in Augsburg barracks before the war.

Historical Context: October, 1938. German troops invade the Sudetenland (north, southwest and western Czechoslovakia). Jews must identify themselves in their passports with a “J.” Approximately 30,000 German “political suspects/undesirables” flee the Sudetenland; 17,000 German-Polish Jews are deported to the border. 

Augsburg, October 21, 1938

Dear Sophie! […] Although it was very difficult in the first days to get back to life here, I am very happy about the nearly 150 new recruits, who will come on Monday. I am once again excited about my profession; and while it may be a paradox when Schiller says, “only the soldier alone is a free man,” it actually is true.  […]


Hartnagel’s quote is from Schiller’s “Reiterleid (Horserider’s Song)”:


Der dem Tod ins Angesicht schauen kann,

Der Soldat allein, ist der Freie Mann.

Who looks death in the face,

the soldier alone is the freest man.

Fritz Hartnagel writes to Sophie Scholl.

Based on the true story about Fritz Hartnagel and Sophie Scholl, “WITH YOU THERE IS LIGHT” is ultimately a love story about two brave individuals caught on opposite sides of war.” – Author Alexandra Lehmann

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