The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Hans Frank
(Part 2 of 10)

[Page 626]

What Frank as policy-maker in the field of law conceived as his task he explained in a radio address on 20 March 1934:

"The first task was that of establishing a unified German State. It was an outstanding historical and juristic-political accomplishment on the part of our Fuehrer that he reached boldly into the development of history and thereby eliminated the sovereignty of the various German states.... "The second fundamental law of the Hitler Reich is racial legislation. The National Socialists were the first ones in the entire history of human law to elevate the concept of race to the status of a legal term. The German nation, unified racially and nationally, will in the future be legally protected

[Page 627]

against any further disintegration of the German race stock....

"The sixth fundamental law was the legal elimination of those political organizations which within the state, during the period of the reconstruction of the people and the Reich, were once able to place their selfish aims ahead of the common good of the nation. This elimination has taken place entirely legally. It is not the coming to the fore of despotic tendencies but it was the necessary legal consequence of a clear political result, of the 14 years' struggle of the NSDAP. "In accordance with these unified legal aims in all spheres, particular efforts have for months now been made as regards the work of the great reform of the entire field of German law. ***" (2536-PS)

Frank concluded his remarks by pointing out that the outward forms of legality could be preserved in building the Nazi state:

"As a leader of the German Jurists I am convinced that together with all strata of the German people, we shall be able to construct the legal state of Adolf Hitler in every respect and to such an extent that no one in the world will at any time be able to attack this legal state as regards its laws" (2536-PS)

In his speech at the Congress of the Reich Group of University Professors of the National Socialist Jurists' League on 3 October 1936, Frank explained the necessity for excluding Jews from the legal

" this topic embraces all that which in our opinion will contribute to establishing National Socialism in the field of jurisprudence, thus eliminating any alien racial spirit therefrom. ***

"We National Socialists have started with anti-Semitism in our fight to free the German people, to re-establish a German Reich and to build our entire German spiritual, cultural and social life on the indestructible foundation of our race. We started a gigantic battle in 1919 *** It took all the self- confidence of German manhood to withstand and to triumph in this fight to substitute the German spirit for Jewish corruption over the concerted attacks of powerful world groups of which Jewry is a representative.

"Particularly we National Socialist Jurists have a mission of our own to accomplish in this battle. We construct German law on the foundations of old and vital elements of the German people. ***

[Page 628]

"It is so obvious that it hardly needs mentioning that any participation whatsoever of the Jew in German law - - be it in a creative, interpretative, educational or critical capacity -- is impossible. The elimination of the Jews from German jurisprudence is in no way due to hatred or envy but to the understanding that the influence of the Jew on German life is essentially a pernicious and harmful one and that in the interests of the German people and to protect its future an unequivocal boundary must be drawn between us and the Jews."

As the leading Nazi jurist, Frank accepted and promoted the system of concentration camps and of arrest without warrant. In an article on "Legislation and Judiciary in the Third Reich' published in the Journal of the Academy of German Law in 1936, Frank explained:

"To the world we are blamed again and again because of the concentration camps. We are asked, 'Why do you arrest without a warrant of arrest?' I say, put yourselves into the position of our nation. Don't forget that the very great and still untouched world of Bolshevism cannot forget that we have made final victory for them impossible in Europe, right here on German soil." (2533-PS)

Just as the other conspirators mobilized the military, economic, and diplomatic resources of Germany for war, Frank, in the field of legal policy, geared the German juridical machine for a war of aggression, which, as he explained in 1942 to the NSDAP District Standortsfuehrung Galicia at a mass meeting in Lemberg, had for its purpose:

" to expand the living space for our people in a natural manner" (2233-S-PS)

Frank was proud of this accomplishment. In a speech before the Academy of German Law in November 1939, he stated:

"Today we are proud to have formulated our legal principles from the very beginning in such a way that they need not be changed in the case of war. For the rule, that right is that which is useful to the nation, and wrong is that which harms it, which stood at the beginning of our legal work, and which established this collective term of nation as the only standard of value of the law -- this rule dominates also the law of these times." (445-PS)

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