The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-12/tgmwc-12-112.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-12/tgmwc-12-112.03
Last-Modified: 2000/01/23

Q. I now turn to another subject.

THE PRESIDENT: We might adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, your Honours, before I continue
the interrogation of the witness Dr. Buehler, I should like
to inform you that I forgo the interrogation of the witness
Helene Kraffezyk; so this witness is going to be the last



Q. Witness, the defendant Dr. Frank has been accused by the
prosecution of not having done everything within his power
to take care of the feeding of the population of the
Government General. What can you say about that?

A. The decisive reason why the population in the Government
General could not be provided for as efficiently and as
satisfactorily as in Germany, was the lack of co-operation
on the part of the Polish population to the measures taken
by the Germans in order to bring about a just and equal
distribution of food quotas. This lack of co-operation was
caused by patriotic considerations, the hatred of German
domination and the continuous, effective propaganda from the
outside. I do not believe that there was a single country in
Europe where so much was pillaged, stolen and handed over to
the black market, where so much was destroyed, so much
sabotaged, in order to sabotage the food programme, as in
the Government General.

To give one example: All the dairy machinery, which had been
provided with great pains, and the large system of dairies,
organised with difficulty, were again and again destroyed,
so that even a more or less satisfactory handling of milk
and fat could not take place. I estimate that the fat being
sold on the free market and the black market was several
times the quantity handled and distributed officially.
Another decisive reason lies in the fact that the Government
General had

                                                  [Page 151]

been cut out of a hitherto closed economic and political
unit and that no sufficient effort had been made to bring
about a proper economic balance.

The large consumer centres in the Government General, that
is to say, the cities such as Warsaw, Cracow, later Lemberg,
and also the industrial area in the centre of Poland, had
previously received their supplies to a very large extent
directly from the country through the permanent market.
There was a lack of grain in this area, a lack of
warehouses, of cold-storage buildings, of a network of
dairies, and of store-houses of all kinds - all necessary
for a supply economy directed by the State.

The Government General had to construct all these
establishments step by step, and therefore the supplying of
the population was proportionately difficult. It wasn't
intended to supply the population in full at once, the
supplies were to be improved gradually. I have always seen
to it that the directives issued for combating the black
market provided margins for the acquisition of foodstuffs,
and that the inhabitants of the cities should be given the
opportunity of finding a way to the producer. In 1942 the
rations were to be increased; then an order came from the
Trustees for the Four-Year Plan which ordered that rations
should not be increased and that certain quotas of
foodstuffs be sent to the Reich; most of these foodstuffs
were not taken from the area, but were used up by the Armed
Forces on the spot. The Governor General fought continually
against the offices of the Four-Year Plan, in order to
achieve an increase and an improvement in the food supplies
for the Polish population. That struggle was not without
success. In many cases it was possible to increase the
rations considerably, especially those of the workers in
armament industries and other privileged groups of the
working population.

In brief I should like to say that it was not easy for the
population of the Government General to get its daily food
requirements. On the other hand there were no famines and no
hunger epidemics. A Polish and Ukrainian Auxiliary Committee
which had delegations in all districts of the Government
General cared for the supplying of foodstuffs to those parts
of the population in greatest need. I took the stand that
this committee should be supplied with the largest possible
amounts of foodstuffs, in order to be able to pursue its
welfare work most successfully, and it is known to me that
that committee took special care of the children of large

Q. Witness, what were the measures that the Governor General
took to safeguard art treasures in the areas under his

A. With a decree of 16 December, 1939, the Reich Leader
S.S., in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the
strengthening of Germanism, without informing the Governor
General, ordered all art treasures of the Government General
to be confiscated and transported to the Reich. The
Government General was successful in preventing the
transport, or most of it.

Then a man arrived in the Government General from the
Trustee for the Four-Year Plan, State Secretary Muehlmann,
who claimed to have plenary authority from the Trustee for
the Four-Year Plan. I asked to see that authorisation. It
was signed, not by Goering himself, but by somebody in his
circle, Kritzbach. He was charged with the task of
safeguarding the art treasures of the Government General in
the interest of the Reich. In order to bring this
commissioner, provided as he was with plenary authority from
the Reich, into line with the Government General, the
Governor General entrusted to him, in addition, the task of
collecting the art treasures of the Government General. He
collected these art treasures and also had catalogues
printed, and I know from conferences which took place with
the Governor General, that the latter always attached the
greatest importance to having these art treasures retained
within the area of the Government General.

Q. The prosecution, as Exhibit USA-378 - Document 1709-PS,
submitted a report about the investigation of the entire
activity of the Special Com-

                                                  [Page 152]

missioner for the Collection and Safeguarding of Art and
Cultural Treasures in the Government General. Page 6 of that
report reads:-

  "Reason for investigation: Order from the State Secretary
  of the Government of the Government General of 30 July,
  1942, to investigate the entire activity of the Special
  Commissioner appointed for the collection and
  safeguarding of art and cultural treasures in the
  Government General according to the decree of the
  Governor General of 16 December, 1939.

I ask you now what caused you in 1942 to give this order for
investigation, and did the report lead to serious charges?

A. The investigation was found necessary because of the
possible clash of duties in the case of State Secretary
Muehlmann - the order given by the Reich and the order given
by the Governor General. I had also heard that some museum
pieces had not been properly taken care of. The
investigation showed that State Secretary Muehlmann could
not be blamed in any way.

Q. The prosecution has submitted Document 3042-PS, Exhibit
USA-375. It is an affidavit by Doctor Muehlmann, and I

  "I was the Special Commissioner of the Governor General
  of Poland, Hans Frank, for the safeguarding of art
  treasures in the Government General from October, 1939,
  until September, 1943. This task was given me by Goering
  in his capacity as chairman of the Reich Defence Council.
  I confirm that it was the official policy of the Governor
  General, Hans Frank, to safeguard all important art
  treasures which belonged to Polish public institutions,
  private collections and the Church.
  I confirm that the art treasures mentioned were actually
  confiscated, and I am aware that in case of a German
  victory they would not have remained in Poland, but would
  have been used for the completion of German art

I ask you now: Is it correct that the Governor General from
the very beginning considered all art treasures which had
been safeguarded the property of the Government General?

A. In so far as they were State property, yes. In so far as
they were private property, they were temporarily
confiscated and safeguarded; but never did the Governor
General think of transferring them to the Reich. If he had
wanted to do that, he could have taken advantage of the war
situation itself in order to send these art treasures to
Germany. But where the witness got his information as
contained in the last sentence of his affidavit, I do not

Q. The prosecution submitted Document L-37 as Exhibit USA-
506. It is a letter from the Commander of the Security
Police and the S.D. of the District Radom, to the outlying
office Tomaszow, of 19 July, 1944. There it says among other

  "The Higher S.S. and Police Leader Ost issued the
  following order on 28 June, 1944:"

I omit a few sentences and then quote:-

  "The Reichsfuehrer S.S. had, with the approval of the
  Governor General, ordered that in all cases where
  assassinations or attempts at assassination of Germans
  took place, or where vital installations were destroyed
  by saboteurs, not only should the culprits caught be shot
  but, beyond that, all the men of the family likewise
  should be executed, and the women over sixteen sent to
  concentration camps."

Is it known to you whether the Governor General ever spoke
about this question with the Reichsfuehrer S. S., and
whether he had given such an approval?

A. I know nothing about the issuing of an order of that
kind. Once during the second half of 1944 an order came
through my hands, about the joint responsibility of kin, but
I cannot say whether that concerned the Reich or the
Government General; it was a police order, I should say. If
it had had

                                                  [Page 153]

that formula, "with the approval of the Government General,"
then I should have questioned the Governor General about it.

Q. Would such an approval have been consistent with the
fundamental attitude of the Governor General to this
question as you knew it?

A. The fundamental attitude of the Governor General was, on
the contrary, opposed to all executions without trial and
without legal reasons.

Q. Is it correct that from 1940 on the Governor General
complained continually to the Fuehrer about the measures
taken by the Police and the S.D.?

A. Yes; I myself sent at least half a dozen memoranda of
about the size of the one submitted, addressed to the
Fuehrer directly or to him through the Chief of the Reich
Chancellery. They contained repeated complaints in regard to
executions, encroachment in connection with the recruiting
of workers, the importation of inhabitants of other regions
without the permission of the Governor General, the food
situation, and happenings in general which were contrary to
the principles of an orderly administration.

Q. The prosecution submitted one of these memoranda under
the Exhibit number USA-610. That is a memorandum to the
Fuehrer of 19 June, 1943. Is this memorandum essentially
different from any previous or later memoranda, and what,
basically, was the attitude of the Fuehrer to such
complaints and proposals?

A. This memorandum, which has been submitted, is somewhat
different from the previous ones. The previous memoranda
contained direct accusations in regard to these happenings
and the encroachment by the police. When these memoranda
remained unsuccessful, I, acting on the order of the
Governor General, drew up the complaints contained in this
memorandum of June in the form of a political proposal. The
complaints listed there were not caused by any action of the
government of the Governor General; rather they were
complaints about interference on the part of other offices.

Q. In the diary we find, on 26 October, 1943, a long report
about the four years of German construction work in the
Government General which was made by you yourself. On the
basis of what documents did you compile that report?

A. I compiled that report on the basis of the material which
the thirteen main departments of the government had given

Q. Now a question of principle: What, basically, was the
attitude of the Governor General to the Polish and Ukrainian
people, as you know it from your five years' activity with
the Chief of the government?

A. The first principle was that of keeping peace in this
area and of increasing its usefulness by improving the
substance, economically speaking. In order to achieve that,
decent treatment of the population was necessary; freedom
and property should not be infringed on. Those were the
principles of policy according to which, acting on the order
of the Governor General, I always carried out my functions
as State Secretary of the government.

Q. Is it correct that the Governor General also tried within
the framework of war-time conditions to grant the population
a certain minimum of cultural development?

A. That was the desire of the Governor General, but the
realisation of this desire very frequently met with
resistance on the part of the Security Police or the
Propaganda Ministry of the Reich, or it was made impossible
by the conditions themselves. The Governor General did not
want basically, to prohibit cultural activity among the
Polish and Ukrainian populations.

Q. Is it correct that he tried particularly to revive higher
education and that in disregard of directives from the
Reich, he instituted so-called trade courses in schools of
higher education?

A. Subjects were taught at the trade schools by Polish
professors in Warsaw and Lemberg - subjects corresponding to
those of a university. As a matter of principle, the
Governor General also wanted to open secondary schools and

                                                  [Page 154]

seminaries for priests, but always failed in that object
because of opposition from the Security Police. Since no
agreement could be reached, and acting on the order of the
Governor General in October, 1941, I arbitrarily gave
promises of the opening of secondary schools, and I believe
of seminaries for priests, with a certain amount of advisory
autonomy for the Poles. Two days after this announcement it
was transmitted to me, as the opinion of the Fuehrer, that I
had no authority to announce such measures.

Q. Dr. Frank's diary often mentions the principle of the
unity of administration and the fact that the Governor
General is the deputy of the Fuehrer in this territory and
the deputy representative of the authority of the Reich.
Does this conception tally with the facts? What other
offices of the Reich and the Party assumed a role in the
administration of the Government General?

A. The plenary authority of the Governor General was limited
from the very beginning in many important respects. Thus,
for instance, before the establishment of the Government
General, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. had been invested with
plenary power to care for the strengthening of Germanism in
all occupied territories. The Trustee for the Four-Year Plan
had equal authority and power to issue decrees in the
Government General. But many other offices as well, as
armaments, post, railways, buildings, and other departments
tried, and tried successfully, to take over parts of the
administration of the Government General or to gain some
influence over them. After the Governor General had lost his
office as Reichsleiter in 1942, there was a special rush in
this direction. I might almost say that it became a kind of
sport to take part in the game.

Q. Who appointed, dismissed and paid the police officials in
the Government General and took care of them in other
matters according to Civil Service Law.

A. That was done exclusively by Himmler's administrative
office in Berlin.

Q. Is it correct that even officials of the administration
of the Government General were arrested by Kruger and that
it wasn't possible even for the Governor General to effect
their release. I remind you of the case of Scipessi.

A. Yes. I can confirm that from my own experience. Even from
my own circle people were arrested without my being
notified. In one such case I informed the Commander of the
Security Police that the official was to be released within
a certain space of time. He was not released, and I demanded
the recall of the Commander of the Security Police. The
result was that Himmler expressed his special confidence in
this Commander of the Security Police and the recall was

Q. Witness, how long was the Government General able to work
at al under normal conditions?

A. I might almost say, never at any time. The first year
called for repairing destruction caused by the war. There
were destroyed villages, destroyed cities, destroyed means
of transportation; bridges had been blown up in very large
numbers. After this destruction, in so far as it was
possible under conditions of war, had been repaired, the
Government General became again a deployment area for the
war against the East, against the Russians, and then a
through-area to the front and the rear-front area. It was
the great repair shop for the front.

Q. Another question: During the war, Himmler presented to
the Reich Government the draft of a law about the treatment
of foreign elements. What was the attitude of Dr. Frank
towards this draft?

A. As far as I remember ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, the Tribunal thinks that the
matters which the witness is going into are really matters
of common knowledge. Everyone knows about that. I think you
might take the witness over this ground a little bit faster
than you are doing.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.