The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Hans Frank
(Part 3 of 10)

[Page 629]


Certain of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi conspirators, and in particular by Frank in the General Government of Poland are discussed in Chapter X on the Slave Labor Program, Chapter XI on Concentration Camps, Chapter XII on Persecution of the Jews, and Chapter XIII on Germanization and Spoliation. This section will attempt to trace Frank's special responsibility, as Governor General, for the policies underlying the crimes committed in the General Government during the period of his

Frank was appointed Governor General of the Occupied Polish Territories by a Hitler decree dated 12 October 1939. The scope of his executive power was defined as follows:

"Section 1. The territories occupied by German troops shall be subject to the authority of the Governor General of the occupied Polish territories, except insofar as they are incorporated within the German Reich.

"Section 2. (1) I appoint Reich Minister Dr. Frank as Governor General of the occupied Polish territories. (2) As Deputy Governor General I appoint Reich Minister Dr. Seyss-Inquart.

"Section 3. (1) The Governor General shall be directly responsible to me. (2) All branches of the administration shall be directed by the Governor General ***." (2537-PS)

The jurisdiction and functions of Frank in the General Government are described by him in several passages of his diary. For example at a meeting of Department Heads of the General Government on 8 March 1940 in the Bergakademie, Frank clarified his status as follows:

"One thing is certain. The authority of General Government as the representative of the Fuehrer and the will of the Reich in this territory is certainly strong, and I have always emphasized that I would not tolerate the misuse of this authority. I have allowed this to be known anew at every office in Berlin, especially after Herr Field Marshall Goering on 12.2.1940 from Karin-hall had forbidden all Administrative Offices of the Reich, including the Police and even the Wehrmacht, to interfere in administrative matters of the General Government ***

[Page 630]

"There is no authority here in the General Government which is higher as to rank, influence, and authority than that of the Governor General. Even the Wehrmacht has no governmental or official functions of any kind in this connection; it has only security functions and general military duties -- it has no political power whatsoever. The same applies here to the Police and SS. There is here no state within a state but we are the representatives of the Fuehrer and of the Reich. In final conclusion, this applies also to the Party which has here no far-reaching influence except for the fact that very old members of the National Socialist Party and loyal veterans of the Fuehrer take care of general matters." (2233-M-PS)

At a conference of the District Standartenfuehrer of the NSDAP in Cracow on 18 March 1942, Frank explained the relationship between his administration and Himmler:

"As you know I am a fanatic as to unity in administration. *** It is therefore clear that the Higher SS and Police Officer is subordinated to me, that the Police is a component of the government, that the SS and Police Officer in the district is subordinated to the Governor, and that the Kreis [district] chief has the authority of command over the gendarmerie in his Kreis [district]. This the Reichsfuehrer SS has recognized; in the written agreement all these points are mentioned word for word and signed. It is also self-evident that we cannot set up a closed shop here which can be treated in the traditional manner of small states. It would, for instance, be ridiculous if we would build up here a security policy of our own against our Poles in the country, while knowing that the Polacks in West Prussia, in Posen, in Wartheland and in Silesia have one and the same movement of resistance. The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police thus must be able to carry out with the aid of his agencies his police measures concerning the interests of the Reich as a whole. This, however, will be done in such a way that the measures to be adopted will first be submitted to me and carried out only when I give my consent. In the General Government, the Police is the Armed Forces. As a result of this, the leader of the Police system will be called by me into the government of the General Government; he is subordinate to me, or to my deputy, as a State Secretary for the Security Systems." (2233-R-PS)

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