The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Hans Frank
(Part 5 of 10)

[Page 633]


Frank's diary makes it clear that the complete annihilation of Jews, in accordance with the racial program of the Nazi conspirators was one of the objectives of his administration as Governor General. In the fall of 1940 Frank urged German soldiers to reassure their families in Germany with regard to the hardships of life in the General Government:

[Page 634]

"In all these weeks, they [i. e., your families] will be thinking of you, saying to themselves: My God, there he sits in Poland where there are so many lice and Jews, perhaps he is hungry and cold, perhaps he is afraid to write. *** It would not be a bad idea then to send our dear ones back home a picture, and tell them: well now, there are not so many lice and Jews any more, and conditions here in the Government General have changed and improved somewhat already. Of course, I could not eliminate all lice and Jews in only one year's time (public amused). But in the course of time, and above all, if you help me, this end will be attained. After all, it is not necessary for us to accomplish everything within a year and right away, for what would otherwise be left for those who follow us to do?" (2233-C-PS).

A year later at a Cabinet Session of 16 December 1941 Frank restated the official policy of his administration with respect to Jews:

"As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly, that they must be done away with in one way or another. The Fuehrer said once: should united Jewry again succeed in provoking a world war, the blood of not only the nations which have been forced into the war by them, will be shed, but the Jew will have found his end in Europe ***

"Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain here the structure of the Reich as a whole. This will, naturally, be achieved by other methods than those pointed out by Bureau Chief Dr. Hummel. Nor can the judges of the Special Courts be made responsible for it, because of the limitations of the framework of the legal procedure. Such outdated views cannot be applied to such gigantic and unique events. We must find at any rate, a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction.

"The Jews represent for us also extraordinarily malignant gluttons. We have now approximately 2,500,000 of them in the General Government, perhaps with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,500,000 Jews. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation, and this in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich.

[Page 635]

The General Government must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich. Where and how this is to be achieved is a matter for the offices which we must appoint and create here. Their activities will be brought to your attention in due course." (2233-D-PS)

An earlier passage in the report of this session of the Cabinet explains the references to Dr. Hummel. Hummel had complained that legal formalities were obstructing the process of liquidation:

"In Warsaw, in spite of the setting up of a third court chamber, we have been able to decree only 45 death sentences, only 8 of which have been carried out, since in each individual case, the Pardon Commission [Gnadenkommssion] in Cracow has to make the final decision. A further 600 sentences were demanded and are under consideration. An effective isolation of the ghetto is not possible by way of the Special Court Procedure. The procedure to be followed up to the liquidation takes too much time; it is burdened with too many formalities and must be simplified." (2233-Q- PS)

Frank himself ordered that every Jew seen outside the Ghetto should be executed:

"Severe measures must and will be adopted against Jews leaving the Ghettos. Death sentences pending against Jews for this reason must be carried out as quickly as possible. This order according to which every Jew found outside the Ghetto is to be executed, must be carried out without fail." (2233-Q-PS)

When ways and means of meeting the food deficit in the General Government created by the increase in quotas to be requisitioned for export to Germany were discussed in August 1942, Frank approved a program which provided in part as follows:

"The feeding of a Jewish population, estimated heretofore at 1.6 million, drops off to an estimated total of 300,000 Jews, who still work for German interests as craftsmen or otherwise. For these the Jewish rations, including certain special allotments which have proved necessary for the maintenance of working capacity, will be retained. The other Jews, a total of 1.2 million, will no longer be provided with foodstuffs." (2233-E-PS)

Frank's concurrence was expressed in the following terms:

"That we sentence 1.2 million Jews to die of hunger should be noted only marginally. It is a matter of course that should the Jews not starve it would, we hope, result in speeding up anti-Jewish measures." (2233-E-PS)

[Page 636]

At an official meeting of the political leaders of the NSDAP on 5 August 1942, Frank made the following progress report:

"What a dirty people made up of Jews swaggered around here before 1939! And where are the Jews today? You scarcely see them. If you see them they are working." (2233-V-PS)

In December 1941, Frank had pointed out that his administration could not shoot or poison all the three and a half million Jews in the General Government. He had promised, however, that he would be able to devise measures which would lead to their annihilation. Two years later, at a special press conference in January 1944, he was able to report that his mission was almost accomplished.

"At the present time we have still in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews." (2233-F-PS)

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