Schertling – Clemency petition

Karl Götz
Admitted to the Bar before the Higher Regional Court
of Munich and Regional Courts
Munich I and II

Munich, November 17, 1943
Elisabeth Str. 48/0

Tel: 371023
Postscheck Munich Account No. 15239
P. O. Box 332
Consultation upon appointment

To the
Chief Prosecutor of the
People’s Court

Clemency Petition or Probation Petition in re Gisela Schertling, for failure to report a highly treasonous undertaking File No. 6 J 24/43

On April 19, 1943, the 1st Senate of the People’s Court sentenced my client Gisela Schertling to one year in prison less time served in investigative custody for failure to report a highly treasonous undertaking with regards to the student crimes in Munich. She is currently serving her sentence in Rothenfeld, Upper Bavaria.

In the name of my client and of her parents (married couple Schertling, publishers, Pössneck in Thuringia), I herewith request clemency, even if this should be granted in form of a reprieve with probation for Gisela Schertling for the remainder of her sentence. If it please the court, may I make reference to the verdict itself, and add:

Gisela Schertling lost her heart to the primary criminal, Hans Scholl. As the court itself noted, he had a fascinating effect on women. She largely became dependent on him. He camouflaged his behavior towards the young girl [Mädchen] with exaggerated concepts of religion and idealism. In this manner, the then-21-year-old student was confused. She could not comprehend either the reprehensibility or the far-reaching consequences of Scholl’s crimes, nor that of her own crime in all its gravity. The time between her realization of Scholl’s crimes and her own arrest was only a few days. Therefore Schertling only had a short time to wage the battle between her love [for Hans Scholl] and her duty to the Fatherland.

Before the deed, the condemned exhibited diligence, a sense of honor, and an understanding of her social responsibilities. As proof for this, may I introduce as a witness the director of the Girls Secondary School in Spetzgart near Überlingen on Lake Constance, [Mrs.] Dr. O. Engelhardt. Schertling took her Reifeprüfung there. I have already mentioned her [Dr. Engelhardt] in my letter dated April 6, 1943.

As a pupil in secondary school, Schertling repeatedly volunteered for the potato harvest. I am enclosing the report of the local agricultural director in Keila, Ziegenrück County where G. Schertling performed agricultural services. This report mentions her diligence and her attitude of camaraderie.

The farmers for whom G. Schertling later worked were all full of praise for her. May I name as witnesses on her behalf:
1) Farmer Hammer, Sigmaringendorf
2) [Farmer] Müller, Farm, Krauchenwies
3) [Farmer] Häberle, Sigmaringendorf
4) [Farmer] Falch, Krauchenwies
5) [Farmer] Dilger, Ettisweiler.

I am unfortunately unable to list all the places that the working girl [Arbeitsmaid] G. Schertling worked. However, these locations should suffice to create an image of G. Schertling’s person.

The leaders in Labor Service were so pleased with her that she was voted leader of the community. More information about this is available from the Labor Service camp in Krauchenwies near Sigmaringen.

As a student in Jena, where she joined the NS League of Students, as well as in Freiburg, Schertling lived a very reserved, diligent, and sober life.

For students’ war-time service in 1942, she chose the most difficult work, that is, employment at a munitions factory with Presswerk Unterwellborn near Saalfeld. Here as well, her conduct was praiseworthy (according to the enclosed report) from the aspect of her diligence as well as regarding her social conduct with other [female] workers.

In Munich, her friend [Note 1] from Labor Service introduced her to her brother. She became a victim of that man.

The hours that Schertling has suffered serving out her sentence, as well as permanent exclusion from attending a university, have been a hard lesson for Schertling.

I would like to briefly describe the relationships of the Schertling parents:

Schertling’s father publishes newspapers and magazines in Pössneck / Thuringia. He is also editor-in-chief of those publications (publisher-editor). After Hitler came to power, Mr. Paul Schertling joined the Circle of Martyrs [Opferring], and later the Party. Since 1933, he has been director of the Heimatschule in Pössneck. He has been the German Worker Party’s [DAP] Local Folk Education Warden for a long time. As such, he organizes lectures, poetry readings, and discussion evenings. These take place 2 – 3 times a month in autumn and winter, along with a concert once a month.

Since 1933, his leisure time has been filled with the selection of speakers and artists, as well as with the propaganda and set-up of the numerous events. In addition, Mr. Schertling made up for the frequent losses (especially in the first years) out of his own pocket.

G. Schertling’s mother has been a block leader, and later a cell leader, of the NS Women’s League for years.

Gisela Schertling has two sisters. One sister Renate was a Jungmädel leader when she was only 12 years old. She now belongs to BDM. She is a member of the Party. The second sister, Uta, was likewise a Jungmädel leader for many years until her current residence at the Secondary School in Spetzgart.

I believe that I have presented sufficient insight into the necessary circumstances. I also believe that I am not asking amiss when I request reprieve of the remainder of the sentence with probation.

/Signed: Götz/

Encl: 2 reports


[Enclosure 1 – Note that it is all handwritten.]


I hereby certify that I employed Miss Gisela Schertling from Pößneck in agricultural service for 4 weeks in July and August 1940.

She was diligent and was very interested in the harvest that she carried out on good terms with the other workers from July to August. She worked from early till late.

Keila, April 8, 1943

/Signed: Oskar Henniger/
Farmer and Local Agricultural Director



Eisenwerk-Gesellschaft Maximilanshütte [Ironworks Company M.]
Preβwerke Thüringen
Unterwellenborn / Thüringen
Telegraphic address: Preβwerke Unterwellenborn
Tel: Saalfeld / Saale No. 3047
Post office and train station: Unterwellenborn
Postscheck Account No. Erfurt 27100
Bank: Thüringische Staatsbank Saalfeld in Thür. No. 5642

To avoid delays in delivery, please include “Preβwerke Thüringen” in the delivery address.

Your reference: — Your letter dated: — Our reference: Da/Ff. Our department: Personnel

Date: September 26, 1942

Regarding: —


We herewith certify that the [female] student Miss Gisela Schertling (born February 9, 1922, residing in Pössneck, Georg Str.) performed her Voluntary War-Time Service here in our armaments factory from August 3 to August 29, 1942, as well as her [Mandatory] War-Time Auxiliary Service from August 30 to September 26, 1942.

Miss Schertling was employed as a machine-worker in various stages of manufacture on the swing shift. She always carried out her assigned tasks with the greatest conscientiousness, the greatest diligence, to the satisfaction of her supervisors.

Her employment was friendly, responsible, and exemplary.

/Stamped: Eisenwerk-Gesellschaft Maximilanshütte [Ironworks Company M.]
Division: Preβwerke Thüringen/

Signed for /Signed: [Illegible]/

[Note 1: Kamerad. Clearly trying to distance Gisela Schertling from Sophie Scholl.]

Source: NJ1704, Volume 17 (pages 169 – 174)


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