The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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A lawyer by training, the defendant Hans Frank was one of those who hked
to talk about revising the " ancient German " law for Germans, about
"Principles of Justice" for the "select," about the "right of the chosen
people" to annihilate nations and countries.

In 1939, he was that man who, for a long time past, had been corrupting
the German legal concept, and to whom Hitler entrusted the fate of
subjugated Poland. Frank arrived in Poland to realize practically his
entire programme for the enslavement and extermination of the people on
the territory of a country with an age-old history and with a high and
original standard of culture.

I should like to remind the Tribunal of some of Frank's views expressed
during the first months of his stay in Poland, taken from his so-called
"diary." It is hardly worth while to discuss with the defence counsel
the probative value of this document.

Frank himself declared to the magistrate that "this document was of
historical importance," and to the question "whether all his statements
contained in the diary were true," he replied, "They fully correspond to
what I know."

On 19th January, 1940, Frank declared with cynical frankness, at a
conference of the Departmental Leaders:

     "On 15th September, 1939, I was entrusted with the task of
     governing the conquered Eastern territories, and received a special
     order to ruin this territory ruthlessly as a war territory and a
     war trophy, and to turn it into a heap of rubble from the viewpoint
     of the social, economic, cultural and political structure."

On 31st October, 1939, in the presence of Goebbels, at a conference
uniting the leading officials of the Government General, he declared:

     "A perfectly clear differentiation must be made between the German
     people -- the master race -- and the Poles."

He then remembered that Polish culture which Frank, as defence counsel
Dr. Scidl has said here, cared for so greatly. He stated:

     "The Poles can be allowed only those possibilities for educating
     themselves which would prove the hopelessness of the destiny of
     their nation. Bad films alone or films demonstrating the might and
     greatness of the Germans can be taken into consideration for this

One of Frank's first instructions was the order to shoot hostages. Later
on similar orders were to be counted by the hundred and by the thousand
until they finally culminated in the edition of " regulations " dated
2nd October, 1943.

                                                               [Page 52]

On 10th November, 1939, Frank was informed that the day of Polish
independence was approaching, and that posters were to be hung up on
certain houses to remind the Poles of their national holiday. The
following entry then appeared in Frank's "diary": "The Governor General
decrees that one inhabitant of the male sex is to be taken from every
house on which a poster of this kind is hung up and is to be shot. The
Pole must feel that we do not intend building a lawful State for him."
The short extract we are quoting from the speech Frank made at the
conference of the Chiefs of Departments of the Government General
characterizes this Hitlerite "lawyer" far better than any lengthy
excerpts taken from his full-dress speeches which we were obliged to
listen to here....

Frank's criminal activities in Poland were so very manifold that there
is no possibility, in a short speech, to reconstruct for the Tribunal
the innumerable proofs of his guilt which have been submitted in this
courtroom and which are evidently still fresh in the memory of the

But from Frank's criminal activities in Poland we must segregate that
pre-dominant trait which is Frank's connivance at the murder of millions
of people.

Of course he looted, he was Goering's Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year
Plan and he looted, so to say, "be it merely in this capacity."

He sent over two million Poles to Germany for forced labour. The attempt
of the defence to represent Frank as "the enemy of coercive methods of
recruitment " can be based only on the assumption that nobody excepting
counsel had studied Frank's diaries. For Frank never can escape
documents such as the minutes of the meeting of the Departmental
Leaders, dated 12th April, 1940, or the notes of Gauleiter Sauckel of
the 18th August, 1942, or the transcript of the meeting with Buehler,
Krueger and others of the 21st April, 1940.

But he sent people to forced labour in order to wring them dry in the
interests of the "Reich" before sending them to their doom. The regime
established by Hans Frank throughout Poland during all the stages of the
temporary German domination in this country was a regime for the inhuman
destruction of millions of people by varied but invariably criminal

It is not merely incidental that the German-Fascist assassins who
annihilated eleven thousand Polish prisoners of war in Katyn Forest
should refer to the regime which Frank instituted in Poland as an
example of his own activities (as the Tribunal has been able to
ascertain not so very long ago in this courtroom from the evidence
presented by the former deputy to the Mayor of Smolensk -- Professor

I consider it to be particularly important, at this point, to emphasize
the concept Frank had of the relations with the Polish population after
the war:

     "I insistently draw your attention," said Frank, " to the fact
     that, should peace be concluded, nothing would change in our
     treatment. This peace will signify that we, as a world power, will
     conduct more firmly than hitherto our general line of policy. This
     peace would signify that we will have to carry out colonization on
     a grandiose scale, but the principle will not have changed."

This was stated in 1940 when Frank was contemplating the first mass
murder of the Polish "intelligentsia," the so-called "AB" action.

In 1944, at the meeting of the agricultural leaders at Zakopane, Frank

     "If we win the war, then, in my opinion, we could make mincemeat of
     the Poles and Ukrainians and of all those who are idling around the
     Government General. If only we keep them in subordination during
     war time ... come what may."

It was not Frank's fault that as far back as 1944, dreaming to make "
mince-meat " of Poles and Ukrainians, he was compelled to add: "If we
win the war." At this time he could not be so emphatic in his utterings
as on 2nd August, 1943, when at the reception of the Party speakers in
the Royal Palace in Cracow he spoke about the exterminated Polish Jews.

                                                               [Page 53]

     "Here.we started out with 3,500,000 Jews, now but a few workers
     remain of this number. All the others, we shall some day say,

Both Frank and his counsel attempted to prove that the defendant had
known nothing about the happenings in the concentration camps of the
Government General. However, in this very "secret report," addressed by
Frank to Hitler, which defence counsel tried to utilize on Frank's
behalf, we may find a confirmation of the fact that Frank was well
informed about what was occurring in the camps. It is said there:

     "The majority of the Polish intellectuals have not reacted to the
     news from Katyn and quote in answer similar atrocities in

Frank then quotes a highly characteristic passage describing the
reaction of the Polish workers to the provocative communications of the
Germans about Katyn:

     "There are concentration camps in Auschwitz and Maidanek, where
     mass murder of the Poles was carried out on chain-production

And further:

     "Today, unfortunately, Polish public opinion, and not the
     intellectuals alone, compares Katyn to the mass death rate in the
     German concentration camps, as well as to the shooting of men,
     women, and even of children and old people, during the infliction
     of collective punishment in the districts."
After the " secret report " addressed to Hitler, no other " new course
', was adopted by Frank. On the contrary, Frank published his regulation
Of 2nd October, 1943, which the defendant himself termed as " dreadful "
when questioned by his counsel. After his " regulation " had been
carried into effect, many thousands of innocent people became the
victims of this decision. The number of executions increased steadily
till it amounted to 200 persons executed at one time in Warsaw.

The same happened in the streets of all the Polish towns where the
so-called "police courts" carried out executions, as stated in the text
of the regulation itself, immediately following the verdict. The people
doomed to die were brought to the execution grounds, bled white in the
prisons, wearing paper clothing, their lips glued together with adhesive
tape, their mouths stuffed with plaster. At the State conference held in
Cracow on 16th December, 1943, where Frank stated, with great
satisfaction, that the executions had had " favourable consequences,"
another question was simultaneously discussed. In the records of this
conference it is stated:

     "One must perhaps also consider whether special places of execution
     should not be created for this, for it had been ascertained that
     the Polish population streamed to places of execution which were
     accessible to all, in order to put the blood-soaked earth into
     containers and take these to the church."

Defence counsel tried to speak here about the interminable dissensions
of Frank with the police; he had allegedly disagreed with their action.
Let us see what kind of dissensions these were.

The first "Sonderaktion" carried out in Poland, namely Operation AB the
extermination of several thousands of Polish intellectuals -- had not
been initiated by the police, but by Frank himself. According to
Hitler's decree of 2nd May, 1942, the Chief of Police was subordinated
to the Governor General. When some dissensions between Frank and the
Chief of Police did arise, it was Krueger who had to leave his post of
Police Chief, whereas Frank remained Governor General of Poland. As for
" Obergruppenfuehrer " Koppe, who took over from Krueger, who else but
Frank expressed his thanks to him on 16th December, 1943, for shooting
the hostages, his " gratitude for his fruitful work," and noted with
satisfaction " a great specialist is at the head of the police in the
Government General." It is incomprehensible what dissensions with the
police Counsel Seidl was talking about.

The defence even tried to represent Frank as "a kind of peaceful
anti-Semite," who, while entertaining a negative attitude towards the
Jewish people, never

                                                               [Page 54]

initiated massacres of the Jews or even instigated them. It is
incomprehensible in this case how the following words of Frank would be
interpreted by counsel:

     "The Jews are a race that should be exterminated. Wherever we catch
     even one ... we shall do away with him."

Or his declaration at the Government session of i 2th August, 1942, when
he said:

     "The fact that we have condemned one to two million Jews to
     starvation is quite comprehensible. It stands to reason that if
     these Jews do not die of starvation, it will precipitate active
     measures against the Jews."

The criminal activity of this henchman of the Polish nation led to the
extermination of millions.

"You see how the State organs are working, you see that they do not
shrink before anything, and people by the dozen are put up against the
wall." This is the manner in which Frank himself, at a conference of the
Standartenfuehrers held on the 18th March, 1942, characterized the
bloody regime of terror set up throughout Poland.

     "I did not hesitate to declare that for one German killed, up to a
     hundred Poles would be shot."

These words were pronounced by Frank on the 15th January, 1944, at a
meeting of the political leaders of the NSDAP.

     "Had I gone to the Fuehrer and told him: `My Fuehrer, I report that
     I have destroyed another 150,000 Poles,' he would have said: `Fine,
     if it was necessary.'"

Frank stated this on the 18th March, 1944, whilst making a speech at the
Reichshof, that same Frank who now tries to convince the Tribunal that
he had some " differences of opinion on matters of principle " with
Hitler . and Himmler.

Those declarations that Frank made during the first months of his stay
in Poland constituted a genuine murder programme perpetrated by the
defendant methodically, ruthlessly and according to plan.

Frank, of course, was fully aware of the fact that should war not lead
to victory, he would have to bear the full responsibility for the crimes
committed in Poland, as well as for his participation in the Fascist

As far back as 1943, Frank spoke about this at a meeting with his
accomplices. We must give credit where it is due: as a lawyer, he was
far more correct in his depiction and formulation of the concepts of a
criminal conspiracy than certain lawyers at this trial who, basing
themselves on obsolete ideas, endeavour to dispute  the foundation for a
conspiracy put forward by the prosecution.

It was at this Government meeting, held jointly with the police on the
25th January, 1943, that the then Governor General declared to Himmler's

     "... I should like to state one thing: we must not be squeamish
     when we learn that a total of 17,000 people have been shot. After
     all, these people who were shot are also war victims.... We must
     remember that all of us who are gathered together here figure on
     Mr. Roosevelt's list of war criminals. I have the honour of being
     Number One. We have therefore become, so to speak, accomplices in
     the sense of world history. For this very reason we must keep
     together, we must share the same general ideas, and it would be
     ridiculous if we were to let ourselves get involved in any
     squabbles over methods."
This appeal to murder is very far from the "interminable quarrels with
the police" which defendant Frank has mentioned here.

The defendant made a mistake . about one thing: he was incorrect in
defining his place in the dock. But he was not mistaken about the
fundamental facts: he took his place in the dock as a "criminal in an
historical sense on a world-wide scale."

The history of the development of the Nazi movement in Germany and the
numerous crimes of the Hitlerites are indissolubly connected with the
name of the defendant Wilhelm Frick.

As Minister of the Interior of the Hitlerite Government, Frick
participated in the promulgation of numerous laws, decrees and other
acts directed at the destruction of democracy in Germany, the
persecution of the Church, the discrimination against the Jews, etc.

In this capacity, the defendant Frick contributed very actively to the
creation in Germany of the Hitlerite totalitarian State.

Over a period of many years, the German Secret State Police (Gestapo),
which was to acquire agrim reputation, was subordinated to the defendant

The directive concerning the extermination of old people and of the
insane was issued in 1940 by none other than the defendant Frick.

In his function of Minister of the Interior in Hitlerite Germany, as
testified by the witness Gisevius in this Court, Frick was fully
cognizant of the vast system of concentration camps spread throughout
the Reich, as well as of the existence in these camps of an inhuman

The part played by the defendant Frick in the preparation and
realization of the Hitlerite Government's aggressive plans was very
considerable. He was a member of the State Defence Council as well as
Plenipotentiary for General Administration.

All the documents by which the Hitlerite conspirators legalized the
incorporation by Germany of the territories seized were signed, among
others, by the defendant Frick.

In his capacity of Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, the defendant Frick
bears personal responsibility for all the crimes committed on that
territory by the Hitlerites.

After the treacherous attack of Hitlerite Germany on the Soviet Union,
the defendant Frick's Ministry of the Interior participated extremely
actively in creating the administration of the territories seized in the
USSR. The machinery of the German occupational authorities in the East
was mainly staffed by officials of the Ministry of the Interior.

There is no need to dwell once again on the part played by this
machinery, which had been created with the active co-operation of the
defendant Frick, for the extermination, the driving into slavery and the
other inhuman actions carried out against the civilian population of the
occupied territories.

Frick bears full and direct responsibility for all these crimes,
inasmuch as he was an active participant in the Nazi conspiracy.

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