Eugen Grimminger and the "White Rose"
Dr. Michael Kißener
On February 18, 1943 Hans and Sophie Scholl distributed the sixth flyer of the "White Rose" in Munich. They were observed and arrested. Already on the 22nd of February, the National Socialist Peoples Court under Roland Freisler condemned them to death. On that same evening, they were executed. It took a week before the Gestapo stood at Eugen Grimminger's door. He was brought to Munich and was interrogated several times. The 52-year-old divulged that which he couldn't avoid. In the end, it was proven that he gave 500 RM to the "White Rose" as assistance. This was enough for the prosecutor to demand the death sentence. If it were not that Grimminger's secretary Tilly Hahn had the fortune to convince the court that her boss had believed that the money was supporting needy soldiers, then the decision of the prosecutor would have been heeded. Instead, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail, which he spent in a prison in Ludwigsburg. Much worse than his sentence was the one given to his wife: she was arrested and murdered.
Immediately after the end of the war, Grimminger again engaged himself in public life in Württemberg. Already in June, 1945, he was put into the position by the American military regime as the Secretary for Nutrition and Agriculture in Württemberg, and three months later was appointed to be a member of the Stuttgart City Council. At the first election of the city council members after the war in May, 1946, he, being critical of political parties, represented the "Free Party" and again was elected as a city council member. At an election rally, he exclaimed, "After all the difficulties which did not spare me, I could easily forego public office. But it is important to me to achieve a political and parliamentary reformation. Forbearance and cooperation should dominate. Unity should be placed higher than division, and with this in consideration, I could agree with the goals of the Free Party."
Throughout the years, Grimminger undertook many offices. Among other positions, he was president of the Raiffeisen Agricultural Cooperative, belonged to the board of directors of the Agricultural Bank of Southwest Germany, and was a founder of the School of Agriculture in Schrozberg. The University of Hohenheim honored his service by naming him an honored senator. Above and beyond this, he demonstrated his extraordinary generosity through numerous gifts and donations. Eugen Grimminger passed away in his home near Stuttgart at the age of 93.
(translated into English by Janice Langohr)