The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Hans Frank
(Part 4 of 10)

[Page 631]


The protocol of the conversation between Keitel and Hitler, which was dated 20 October 1939 and initialed by General Warlimont, regarding "The Future Shape of Polish Relations with Germany" provided in part as follows:

"1) The Armed Forces will welcome it if they can dispose of Administrative questions in Poland.

"On principle there cannot be two administrations."

"3) It is not the task of the Administration to make Poland into a model province or a model state of the German order or to put her economically or financially on a sound basis.

"The Polish intelligentsia must be prevented from forming a ruling class. The standard of living in the country is to remain low; we only want to draw labor forces from there. Poles are also to be used for the administration of the country. However the forming of national political groups may not be allowed.

"4) The administration has to work on its own responsibility and must not be dependent on Berlin. We don't want to do there what we do in the Reich. The responsibility does not rest with the Berlin Ministries since there is no German administrative unit concerned.

"The accomplishment of this task will involve a hard racial struggle [Volkstumskampf] which will not allow any legal restrictions. The methods will be incompatible with the principles otherwise adhered to by us.

"The Governor General is to give the Polish nation only bare living conditions and is to maintain the basis for military security."

"6) *** Any tendencies towards the consolidation of conditions in Poland are to be suppressed. The 'Polish muddle' [polnische Wirtschaft] must be allowed to develop. The government of the territory must make it possible for us to purify the Reich territory from Jews and Polacks, too. Collaboration with new Reich provinces (Posen and West Prussia) only for resettlements (Compare Mission Himmler).

"Purpose: Shrewdness and severity must be the maxims in

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this racial struggle in order to spare us from going to battle on account of this country again." (864-PS)

Frank's own statements regarding the purposes of his administration in Poland should be considered in connection with the foregoing document. The economic and political responsibilities which had been conferred on Frank by Hitler, and according to which he "intended to administer Poland" were explained by Frank as follows in an interview that took place on 3 October 1939:

"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, availability of all workers for work within Germany, reduction of the entire Polish economy to absolute minimum necessary for bare existence of the population, closing of all educational institutions, especially technical schools and colleges in order to prevent the growth of the new Polish intelligentsia. 'Poland shall be treated as a colony; the Poles shall be the slaves of the Greater German World Empire.' " (EC-344-16 & 17)

The Hitler-Keitel protocol should also be construed in the light of various passages in Frank's diary relating to German policy in Poland. Illegality had been made in effect a canon of administration by the protocol, which provided that Frank's task involved "a hard racial struggle which will not allow any legal restrictions." Frank emphasized this point to his Department Heads at a conference on 19 December 1940:

" In this country the force of a determined leadership must rule. The Pole must feel here that we are not building him a legal state, but that for him there is only one duty, namely, to work and to behave himself. It is clear that this leads sometimes to difficulties, but you must, in your own interest, see that all measures are ruthlessly carried out in order to become master of the situation. You can rely on me absolutely in this." (2233-O-PS)

It was the German purpose from the beginning to administer the General Government as colonial territory in total disregard of the duties imposed by International Law on an occupying power, and Frank's administrative policies were shaped in accordance with this policy. At the first conference with Department Heads of the General Government on 2 December 1939, Frank stated:

"Decisive in the administrative activities of the General Gov-

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rnment is the will of the Fuehrer that this area shall be the first colonial territory of the German nation." (2233-K-PS)

The "hard racial struggle" which Keitel and Hitler agreed could be solved only if attacked without "legal restrictions," developed into the struggle which had as its ultimate purpose the Germanization of the General Government.

Frank's adherence to the conspirators' Germanization policy was clearly expressed by him at an official meeting of political leaders of the NSDAP in Cracow on 5 August 1942. Frank explained on that occasion:

"The situation in regard to Poland is unique insofar as on the one hand -- I speak quite openly -- we must expand Germanism in such a manner that the area of the General Government becomes pure German colonized land at some decades to come; and, on the other hand under the present war conditions we have to allow foreign racial groups to perform here the work which must be carried out in the service of Greater Germany." (2233-V- PS)

Expediency, and expediency only, tempered Frank's treatment of the non-German population of the General Government in the "hard racial struggle" he was charged with administering. The General Government was destined to become "pure German colonized land" the valley of the Vistula to be as "German as the valley of the Rhine." (2233-H-PS)

As for the Poles and Ukrainians, Frank's attitude was clear. They were to be permitted to work for the German economy as long as the war emergency continued. Once the war was won, he told the District Standortfuehrung and Political Leaders at a conference at Cracow on 14 January 1944:

" then, for all I care, mincemeat [Hackfleisch] can be made of the Poles and the Ukrainians and all the others who run around here it does not matter what happens." (2233-BB- PS)

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