Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-frank.07-00 Last-Modified: 1997/11/25 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Treatment of Jews in Government General of Poland Excerpts from Testimony of Hans Frank, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 6 September 1945, 1430-1700, by Lt. Col. Thomas S. Hinkel, IGD. Also present: Herbert Sherman, Interpreter; Pvt. Clair van Vleck, Court Reporter. [Page 1367] Q. What was your job in September 1939? A. I was drafted and I was a lieutenant in the Army. Q. What was your job in October 1939? A. I was nominated by the Fuehrer as Governor General at Cracow. Q. Why did he give you that job? A. There were many who say that he liked to see me in such an exposed place. Q. Never mind what many of them say. What do you think? Why do you think you got that job? A. I sincerely believe at that time that Hitler wanted to give me a chance to prove to him what I was able to do, as a man of administration, but I lost his confidence already after one week when I saw what kind of responsibility Hitler gave to Himmler and to Goering in the same area I was supposed to be the responsible man. My first action was that I resigned. Q. It is pretty hard to believe, isn't it, that you had all this opposition to Hitler from 1933 to 1939, and that he would give you such a nice job? You don't think that is odd, do you? [Page 1368] A. I was a member of the Party. I was known as a man of law. I was known on an international basis. I visited Poland twice. The same way he made von Neurath Protector in Prague, he nominated myself a Governor for Poland. He told me that this was not a situation for me to be a lieutenant in the Army during the war. I was the only minister and Party leader who was active in the military force. I told him, "I am an officer in a very proud regiment and now we are at war, and now we have to give an example with a gun in the hand." Hitler said, "I don't care about that. You will have a special war task and you just have to take your assignments." Hitler said, "I promise you I will help you to overcome all difficulties, and you may see me any day you want to discuss anything with me." Q. What did he tell you he wanted you to do in Poland? A. For Hitler the most necessary thing was to get order in economy and travel. It was general administration and to take care that all troubles we found in Poland would be erased. Q. What special instructions did he give you with reference to the treatment of the Polish population? A. He only said that the situation in Poland was especially difficult right then. He said I must understand that, therefore, he would have to give special jurisdiction to Himmler and to the Army to guarantee that order will be reestablished as soon as possible. Q. What was your first official action when you were appointed Governor? A. After my entry into Cracow, on November 1st or November 7th, a proclamation to the inhabitants of Cracow. Q. What did you do about getting labor? A. It was a voluntary demand to the population. Q. As a matter of fact, your first official action really was on the 26th of October 1939. Isn't that right? A. No. Q. And it wasn't on entering into Cracow, was it? A. I was nominated on the 26th of October. Q. You were appointed that day, weren't you? A. Yes. Q. Do you remember a decree introducing forced labor for all Polish nationals of Jewish descent? A. If I signed it, it came from me. I don't know if it was the 26th of October. Q. Was it the 27th? A. That I don't know. [Page 1369] Q. Do you remember the decree? A. Yes, I remember. Q. What else do you remember about it? A. It was not forced labor; it was an obligation to work. Q. Did you order that all Jews be brought together in special places for this voluntary work, as you describe it? A. I would like to see the decree, if it was a general order, or if I have signed this special order. Q. You will be shown it soon enough. In the meanwhile, I want to test this memory you spoke about this morning. A. At the very beginning, Buehler (nominated by Frank as chief of his office) and some other representatives of different ministries handed to me decrees I had to sign. Q. Did you read these decrees? A. I did not only read the decrees, but I studied them. I agreed entirely, that during a war, it was quite all right to use this kind of labor the way we did, naturally, in the interests of the Reich. Q. I am not talking about that right now; I am just talking about whether you did, or did not, on or about the 26th day of October 1939, issue the kind of decree I just told you about. [Document referred to did not form part of prosecution case as finally prepared and hence is not published in this series.] Did you or didn't you? A. If that is my signature, then I did. Q. Don't you remember? A. Yes; it was a special wish of Adolf Hitler that under any condition we had to start at once with the work. Q. So you did issue those decrees, didn't you? A. Yes. Q. Of course you did, and it was your first official act, too, wasn't it? A. No. Q. It was the second decree you signed. Is that it? A. It seems that all those decrees were together on the first number, where different laws were passed. Q. When did Hitler tell you to issue this decree? A. Already during the conversation I mentioned before. Q. Why didn't you mention this decree when you told me about that conversation? A. I told you that it was Hitler's special wish, to reconstruct as soon as possible, Poland, and to get order into this country. Q. How about the Polish Jews, did they like you? A. I was not responsible for the Polish Jews. It was Himmler who was charged with all the rules referring to the treatment of Jews in Poland. In a case where the Poles were part of a resist- [Page 1370] ance movement, even those Poles were under the jurisdiction of Himmler. As a result, the Polish Jews worked under police supervision, and you must find it in one of these decrees. Q. You had something to do with the Polish Jews though, didn't you? A. Yes, I tried to save some of them at my residence. Q. Did you save many of them? A. During the time I went to the Reich, they took them away from me. I had a possession near Cracow. I was living on a summer residence near Cracow, and there a Jewish couple were in charge of my stable, and I tried to save them, too, but during the time I had to leave for Germany they were taken away from me.
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