Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-08-04 Last-Modified: 1997/03/27 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XVI [Page 642] Whatever encroachments there were on private property rights in the General Government fell squarely within the policy which Frank in an interview on 3 October 1939 stated he intended to administer as General Governor: "Poland can only be administered by utilizing the country through means of ruthless exploitation, deportation of all supplies, raw materials, machines, factory installations etc. which are important for the German war economy. *** [It was Frank's opinion] that the war would be a short one and that it was most important now to make available as soon as possible raw materials, machines and workers to the German industry, which was short in all of these. Most important, however, in Frank's opinion, was the fact that by destroying Polish industry, its subsequent reconstruction after the war would become more difficult, if not impossible, so that Poland would be reduced to its proper position as an agrarian country which would have to depend upon Germany for importation of industrial products." (EC-344-16 & 17) The basic decree under which property in the General Government was sequestered was promulgated by Frank on 24 January 1940. This decree authorized sequestration in connection with the "performance of tasks serving the public interest," the seizure of "abandoned property," and the liquidation of "antisocial or financially unremunerative property." It permitted the Higher S.S. and Police Chief to order sequestrations "with the object of increasing the striking power of the units of the uniformed police and armed S.S." No legal recourse was granted [Page 643] for losses arising from the enforcement of the decree, compensation being solely in the discretion of an official of the General Government- It is clear that the undefined criteria of this decree empowered Nazi officials in the General Government to engage in wholesale seizure of property. (2540-PS) (4) Principle of collective responsibility. It was no part of Frank' policy in administering the General Government that reprisals should be commensurate with the gravity of the offense. Frank was, on the contrary, an advocate of drastic measures in dealing with the Polish people. At a conference of Department Heads of the General Government on 19 January 1940, he explained: "My relationship with the Poles is like the relationship between ant and plant louse. When I treat the Poles in a helpful way, so to speak tickle them in a friendly manner, then I do it in the expectation that their work performance redounds to my benefit. This is not a political but a purely tactical-technical problem. *** In cases where in spite -of all these measures the performance does not increase, or ! where the slightest act gives me occasion to step in, I would not even hesitate to take the most draconic action." (2233-PS) At a subsequent meeting of Department Heads on 8 March 1940 Frank became even more explicit: "Whenever there is the least attempt by the Poles to start anything, an enormous campaign of destruction will follow. Then I would not mind starting a regime of terror, or fear its consequences." At a conference of District Standartenfuehrer at Cracow on 18 March 1942 Frank reiterated his policy: "Incidentally, the struggle for the achievement of our aims will be pursued cold bloodedly. You see how the state agencies work. You see that we do not hesitate before anything, and stand whole dozens of people up against the wall. This is necessary because here simple consideration says that it cannot be our task at this period when the best German blood is being sacrificed, to show regard for the blood of another race. For out of this one of the greatest dangers may arise. One already hears today in Germany that prisoners-of-war, for instance with us in Bavaria or in Thuringia, are administering large estates entirely independently, while all the men in a village fit for service are at the front. If this state of affairs continues then a gradual [Page 644] retrogression of Germanism will show itself. One should not underestimate this danger. Therefore, everything revealing itself as a Polish power of leadership must be destroyed again and again with ruthless energy. This does -not have to be shouted abroad, it will happen silently." (2233-R-PS) And on 15 January 1944 Frank assured the political leaders of the NSDAP at Cracow: "I have not been hesitant in declaring that when a German is shot, up to 100 Poles shall be shot too." (2233-BB-PS) (5) Rigorous methods of recruiting workers. Force, violence, and economic duress were all advocated by Frank as means for recruiting laborers for deportation to slave labor in Germany. Deportation of Polish laborers to Germany was an integral art of the program announced by Frank for his administration of the General Government (See EC-344-16 & 17), and as Governor General he authorized whatever degree of force was required for the execution of his program. Voluntary methods of recruitment soon proved inadequate. In the spring of 1940 the question of utilizing force came up, and the following discussion took place in the presence of Seyss-Inquart: "The Governor-General stated that the fact that all means in form of proclamations etc. did not bring success, leads to the conclusion that the Poles out of malevolence, and guided by the intention of harming Germany by not putting themselves at its disposal, refuse to enlist for working duty. Therefore, he asks Dr. Frauendorfer, if there are any other measures, not as yet employed, to win the Poles on a voluntary basis. "Reichshauptamtsleiter Dr. Frauendorfer answered this question negatively. "The General Governor emphasized the fact that he now will be asked to take a definite attitude toward this question. Therefore the question will arise whether any form of coercive measures should now be "The question put by the General Governor to SS Lieutenant General [Obergruppenfuehrer] Krueger: does he see possibilities of calling Polish workers by coercive means, is answered in the affirmative by SS Lieutenant General Krueger." (2233-N-PS) At the same conference Frank declared that he was willing to agree to any practical measures, and decreed that unemployment [Page 645] compensation should be discontinued on 1 May 1940 as a means of recruiting labor for Germany. "The General Governor is willing to agree to any practical measure; however, he wishes to be informed personally about the measures to be taken. One measure, which no doubt would be successful, would be the discontinuance of unemployment compensation for unemployed workers and their transfer to public welfare. Therefore, he decrees that, beginning 1 May, claim for unemployment compensation will cease to exist and only public welfare may be granted. For the time being only men are to report and above those men living in cities. There might be a possibility of combining the moving of the 120,000 Poles from the Warthe district with this measure." (2233-N-PS) In March 1940 Frank assured the authorities in Berlin that he was prepared to have villages surrounded and the people dragged forcibly out. He reported that, in the course of his negotiations in Berlin regarding the urgent demand for larger numbers of Polish farm workers, he had stated: "*** if it is demanded from him, [he] could naturally exercise force in such a manner, that he has the police surround a village and get the men and women in question out by force, and then send them to Germany. But one can also work differently, besides these police measures, by retaining the unemployment compensation of these workers in question." (2233-B-PS) At a conference of Department Heads of the General Government on 10 May 1940 Frank laid down the following principles for dealing with the problem of conscription labor: "Upon the demands from the Reich it has now been decreed that compulsion may be exercised in view of the fact that sufficient manpower was not voluntarily available for service inside the German Reich. This compulsion means the possibility of arrest of male and female Poles . . . . The arrest of young Poles when leaving church services or the cinema would bring about an ever-increasing nervousness of the Poles. Generally speaking, he had no objection at all if the rubbish, capable of work yet often loitering about, would be snatched from the streets. The best method for this, however, would be the organization of a raid, and it would be absolutely justifiable to stop a Pole in the street and to question him what he was doing, where he was working, etc." (2233-A-PS) [Page 646] Frank utilized starvation as a method of recruitment. At a conference on 20 November 1942 the following plan was agreed: "Starting 1 February 1942 the food ration cards should not be issued to the individual Pole or Ukrainian by the Nutrition Office [Ernaehrungsamt], but to the establishments working for the German interest. 2,000,000 people would thus be eliminated from the non- German, normal ration consuming contingent. Now, if those ration cards are only distributed by the factories, part of those people will naturally rush into the factories. Labor could then be either procured for Germany from them or they could be used for the most important work in the factories of the General Government." (2233-Y-PS) On 18 August 1942 Frank informed Sauckel that the General Government had already supplied 800,000 laborers to Germany, and that a further 140,000 would be supplied by the end of the year. Regarding the quota for the next year he promised: "*** you can, however, next year reckon upon a higher number of workers from the General Government, for we shall employ the Police to conscript them." (2233-W-PS) Six months after Frank promised Sauckel to resort to police action to round up labor for deportation to Germany, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Main Committee reported to Frank that the program was being carried out as follows: "The wild and ruthless man-hunt carried on everywhere in towns and country, in streets, squares, stations, even in churches, at night in houses, has badly shaken the feeling of security of the inhabitants. Everybody is exposed to the danger of being seized anywhere and at any time by members of the police, suddenly and unexpectedly, and being brought into an assembly camp. None of his relatives knows what has happened to him, only weeks or months later, one or the other gives news of his fate by a postcard." (1526-PS) (6) Closing of schools. The program outlined by Frank on 3 October 1939 as the program he intended to administer as Governor General "closing of all educational institutions, especially technical schools and colleges in order to prevent the growth of the new Polish intelligentsia." (EC-344-16 & 17) This decision was taken by Frank before it was determined what schools, if any, might be closed because of failure of instructors to refrain from reference to politics, or refusal to submit to inspection by the occupying authorities. Moreover, the policy was [Page 647] determined. as indicated, in furtherance of the purpose of preventing the rise of an educated class in Poland. (7) Other rimes. There were other grounds for uneasiness in Poland which Frank does not mention in his report to Hitler. He does not mention the Concentration Camps -- perhaps because, as the "representative jurist" of National Socialism, Frank had himself defended the system in Germany. As Governor General Frank is responsible for all concentration camps within the boundaries of the General Government. As indicated above, he knew and approved that Poles were taken to concentration camps in connection with the resettlement projects. He had certain jurisdiction, as well, in relation to the notorious extermination camp Auschwitz, to which Poles from the General Government were committed by his administration, although the camp itself lay outside the boundaries of the General Government. In February 1944, Ambassador Counsellor Dr. Schumberg suggested a possible amnesty of Poles who had been taken to Auschwitz for trivial offenses and kept for several months. The report of the conference continues: "The Governor General will take under consideration an amnesty probably for 1 May of this year. Nevertheless, one must not lose sight of the fact that the German leadership of the General Government must not now show any signs of weakness." (2233-BB-PS) G. CONCLUSION. As legal adviser of Hitler and the leadership corps of the NSDAP, Frank promoted the conspirators' rise to power. In 18 various juridical capacities, both in the NSDAP and in the German government, Frank advocated and promoted the political monopoly of the NSDAP, the racial program of the conspirators, -and the terror system of the concentration camp and of arrest without warrant. His role in the common plan was to realize "the National Socialist Program in the realm of law", and to give the outward form of legality to this program of terror, persecution and oppression, which had as its ultimate purpose mobilization for aggressive war. As a loyal adherent of Hitler and the NSDAP, Frank was appointed Governor General in October 1939 of that area of Poland known as the General Government, which became the testing ground for the conspirators' program of "Lebensraum." Frank had defined justice in the field of German law as that which bene- [Page 648] fited the German nation. His five year administration of the General Government illustrates the same principles applied in the field of International Law. Frank took the office of Governor General under a program which constituted in itself a criminal plan or conspiracy, as Frank well knew and approved, to exploit the territory ruthlessly for the benefit of Nazi Germany, to conscript its nationals for labor in Germany, to close its schools and colleges to prevent the rise of a Polish intelligentsia, and to administer the territory as a colonial possession of the Third Reich in total disregard of the duties of an occupying power toward the inhabitants of occupied territory. Under Frank's administration this criminal plan was consummated. But the execution went even beyond the plan. Food contributions to Germany increased to the point where the bare subsistence reserved for the General Government under the plan was reduced to the level of mass starvation; a savage program of exterminating Jews was relentlessly executed; resettlement projects were carried out with reckless disregard of the rights of the local population; the terror of the concentration camp followed in the wake of the Nazi invaders. It has been shown that all of these crimes were committed in accordance with the official policies established and advocated by Frank. This summary of evidence has been compiled almost entirely from statements by Frank himself, from the admissions found in his diaries. official reports, records of his conferences with his colleagues and subordinates, and his speeches. It is therefore appropriate that a final passage from his diary should be quoted in conclusion. In January 1943, Frank told his colleagues in the General Government that their task would grow more difficult. Hitler, he said, could only help them as a kind of "administrative pillbox". They must depend on themselves. "We are now duty bound to hold together [he continued] *** We must remember that we who are gathered together here figure on Mr. Roosevelt's list of war criminals. I have the honor of being Number One. We have, so to speak, become accomplices in the world historic sense." (2233-AA-PS)
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