The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Hans Frank
(Part 6 of 10)

[Page 636]


What had happened in the General Government in the first three and a half years of Frank's administration was summarized by Frank in a report to Hitler on the situation in Poland, dated 19 June 1943:

"In the course of time, a series of measures or of consequences of the German rule have led to a substantial deterioration of the attitude of the entire Polish people in the German Government. These measures have affected either individual professions or the entire population and frequently also -- often with crushing severity -- the fate of individuals. "Among these are in particular:

"1. The entirely insufficient nourishment of the population, mainly of the working classes in the cities, whose majority is working for German interests.

"Until the war of 1939, its food supplies, though not varied, were sufficient and generally secure, due to the agrarian surplus of the former Polish state and in spite of the negligence on the part of their former political leadership.

"2 -- The confiscation of a great part of the Polish estates and the expropriation without compensation and resettlement of Polish peasants from manoeuvre areas and from German settlements.

"3 -- Encroachments and confiscations in the industries, in commerce and trade and in the field of private property.

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"4 -- Mass arrests and mass shootings by the German police who applied the system of collective responsibility.

"5 -- The rigorous methods of recruiting workers.

"6 -- The extensive paralyzation of cultural life.

"7 -- The closing of high schools, junior colleges, and universities.

"8 -- The limitation, indeed the complete elimination of Polish influence from all spheres of State administration.

"9 -- Curtailment of the influence of the Catholic Church, limiting its extensive influence -- an undoubtedly necessary move -- and, in addition, until quite recently, the closing and confiscation of monasteries, schools and charitable institutions." (437- PS)

In order to illustrate how completely Frank as Governor General is identified with the criminal policies whose execution is re-ported in the foregoing document, and the extent to which they were the official policies of his administration, it is proposed to annotate several of the items with passages from Frank's own diary.

(1) Undernourishment of Polish population. The extent of the undernourishment of the Polish population was reported to Frank in September 1941 by Obermedizinalrat Dr. Walbaum:

"Obermedizinalrat Dr. Walbaum expresses his opinion of the health condition of the Polish population. Investigations which were carried out by his department proved that the majority of Poles eat only about 600 calories, whereas the normal requirement for a human being is 2,200 calories. The Polish population was enfeebled to such an extent that it would fall an easy prey to spotted fever. The number of diseased Poles amounted today already to 40. During the last week alone 1000 new spotted fever cases have been officially recorded. *** If the food rations were to be diminished again, an enormous increase of the number of illnesses could be predicted." (2233-P-PS)

It was clear from this report that starvation was prevalent in the General Government. Nevertheless, in August 1942, Frank approved a new plan which called for much larger contributions of foodstuffs to Germany at the expense of the non-German population of the General Government. Methods of meeting the new quotas out of the already grossly inadequate rations of the General Government, and the impact of the new quotas on the economy of the country were discussed at a Cabinet meeting of the General Government on 18 August 1942 in terms which leave no

[Page 638]

doubt that not only was the proposed requisition far beyond the resources of the country, but its impact was to be distributed on a discriminatory basis.

Frank's opening remarks at this meeting defined the scope of the problem and its solution:

"Before the German people are to experience starvation, the occupied territories and their people shall be exposed to starvation. In this moment therefore we here in the General Government must also have the iron determination to help the Great German people, our Fatherland.... The General Government therefore must do the-following: The General Government has taken on the obligation to send 500,000 tons bread grains to the Fatherland in addition to the foodstuffs already being delivered for the relief of Germany or consumed here by troops of the armed forces, Police or SS. If you compare this with our contributions of last year you can see that this means a six fold increase over that of last year's contribution of the General Government. The new demand will be fulfilled exclusively at the expense of the foreign population. It must be done cold- bloodedly and without pity; *** "

President of the Main Department for Food and Agriculture Naumann (apparently an official of the General Government) then described how the reduced quantity of food available for feeding the population of the General Government should be distributed:

"The feeding of a Jewish population, estimated heretofore at 1.5 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.

"Non-German normal consumers will receive, from 1 January 1943 to 1 March 1943, instead of 4.2 kg. bread per month, 2.8 kg; from 1 March 1943 to 30 July 1943 the total bread ration for these non-German normal consumers will be cancelled.

"Those entitled to be supplied [Versorgungsberechtigten] are composed as follows. We estimate that 3 million persons come into consideration as war workers, the A- and B-card holders and their kin, and that somewhat more than 3 million persons are non-German normal consumers, who do not work directly or indirectly in the interests of Germany. The war workers, A- and B-card holders and their families, about 3 mil-

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lion persons, will however continue to be supplied, up to the harvest of 1943, at the prevailing rates." (2233- E-PS)

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