The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Thirty-First Day: Thursday, January 10th, 1946
(Part 3 of 10)


[Page 144]

These facts, if the Tribunal please, are from the diary of the man himself. We do no more here than tabulate the results. The supreme authority within a certain geographic area admits that, in a period of four years' time, up to 3,400,000 persons from that area have been annihilated, pursuant to an official policy and for no crime, but only because of having been born Jews. No words could possibly reveal the inferences of death and suffering which must needs be drawn from these stark facts.

It was a Nazi policy that the population of occupied countries should endure terror, oppression, impoverishment and starvation. The defendant Frank succeeded so well in this regard that he was forced to report to his Fuehrer, in 1943, that, in effect, Poles did not regard the Government General with affection. This report to Hitler was a summary of the first three and one-half years of the defendant Frank's administration. It, better than anything else, can show the conditions as they then existed as a result of the conspiratorial efforts of the defendants.

[Page 145]

The report is contained in our document 437-PS, at Page 2 of the document book, and I now offer the original into evidence as Exhibit USA 610. In the German text, the extract to be quoted appears at Pages 10 and 11 of this report by Frank to Hitler dated 19th June, 1943, regarding the situation in Poland. Frank says:
"In the course of time, a series of measures or of consequences of the German rule have lead to a substantial deterioration of the attitude of the entire Polish people to the Government General, These measures have affected either individual professions or the entire population and frequently also - often with crushing severity - the fate of individuals."
He goes on:
"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.

4. Mass arrests and mass shooting by the German Police who applied the system of collective responsibility.

5. The rigorous methods of recruiting workers.

6. The extensive paralysation 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."

Indeed, the Nazi plan for Poland succeeded all too well.

THE PRESIDENT: This is only an extract here. Was he saying that these measures were inevitable or that he justified them, or what was he saying in the report?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: He was saying, Sir, that the Polish people's attitude to the Government General had substantially deteriorated. The reasons for that deterioration are the listings I gave to the Court. In other words -

THE PRESIDENT: Is that all he said?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: No, Sir, that is just taken from Pages 10 and 11 of the report. The report is an extremely long one.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I suppose you know what the general tenor of the report was.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: The general tenor of the report, Sir, was in the nature of a complaint to Hitler, that he, Frank, was having an extremely difficult time in the Government General because of these measures, and because of these happenings in the Government General.


LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: In order to illustrate how completely the defendant Frank is identified with the policies -

[Page 146]

DR. SEIDL (Counsel for defendant Frank): After the Tribunal has already asked the prosecutor what purpose should be served by presenting this document, I would like to emphasise here that this is a document of 40 typewritten pages addressed to Hitler, and that Frank criticises these conditions which the prosecution has pointed out, and that in this document he makes large and wide propositions in order to remedy the situation, to which he severely objects.

I shall, when it will be my turn, read the whole document.

THE PRESIDENT: Exactly. You will have full opportunity, when it is your turn, to explain this document, but it is not your turn at the moment.

DR. SEIDL: I only mention that now because the Tribunal itself drew my attention to this point.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin, I asked you what was the whole contents of the document from which you were reading this paragraph. According to counsel for Frank, the document, which is a very long document, shows that Frank was suggesting remedies for the difficulties which he here sets out. Is that so ?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: That is so, yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the -

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: May it please the Tribunal, I did not cite this portion of that document, as I will later demonstrate, to show that Frank did or did not suggest a remedy for these conditions, but only to explain that these conditions existed at a certain period.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, when you cite a small part of the document, you should make sure that what you cite is not misleading as compared to the rest of the document.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: I see, your Honour. I had not considered it to be such in view of the purpose for which I introduced it, which, as I said, was only to suggest a set of conditions which existed at a certain time. I naturally assumed that the defence, as Dr. Seidl has indicated, would carry on with the rest of the document as a defence matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, of course, that is all very well, but the defendant Frank's counsel will speak at some remote date, and it is not a complete answer to say that he will have an opportunity of explaining the document at some future date. It is for counsel for the prosecution to make sure that no extracts which they read can reasonably make a misleading impression upon the mind of the Tribunal.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: I shall now state, then, that the extract which was just read was read solely for the purpose of indicating that at a certain period, namely, June, 1943, those conditions existed in Poland, as the result of statements by the Governor-General of Poland.

Would that be satisfactory to the Tribunal?

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Well, it was not satisfactory to the Tribunal if you did not give us the purport of the document.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: Well, Sir, I have not the complete document before me now. Therefore, I cannot read all of it.

THE PRESIDENT: No. What we would like would be, if possible, that when, an extract is made from a document, counsel who are presenting that extract should acquaint themselves with the general purport of the document, so as to make certain that the part that is read is not misleading.


In order to illustrate how completely the defendant Frank is identified with the policies of which the execution is reported in this document, and how thoroughly they were his own policies, and this, if the Tribunal please, regardless of what remedies he may have had in mind in 1943, it is proposed in this last

[Page 147]

section to take passages from Frank's own diary in proof of his early espousal and execution of these self-same policies.

As to the insufficient nourishment of the Polish population, there was no need for the defendant Frank to have waited until June, 1943, to have reported this fact to Hitler. In September, 1941, defendant Frank's own Chief Medical Officer reported to him the appalling Polish health conditions. This appears in "Frank's Diary" and in our Document 2233-PS-P, at Page 46 in the document book, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 611. The German text is to be found in the 1941 volume of the diary at Page 830.

I quote:

"Overmedizinalrat Dr. Walbaum expressed his opinion of the health condition of the Polish population. Investigations which were carried out by his department proved that the majority of Poles had only about 600 calories allotted to them, whereas the normal requirement for a human being were 2,200 calories. The Polish population was weakened to such an extent that it would fall an easy prey to spotted fever."
Parenthetically, I think we know that as typhus.
"The number of diseased Poles already amounts to 40 per cent. During the last week alone, 1,000 new spotted fever cases have been officially recorded. That represents so far the maximum number. This health situation represented a serious danger for the Reich and for the soldiers who are coming into the Government General. A spreading of pestilence into the Reich is quite feasible. The increase in tuberculosis, too, is causing anxiety. If the food rations were to be diminished again, an enormous increase of the number of illnesses can be predicted."
While it was crystal-clear from this report that in September, 1941, disease affected 40 per cent. of the Polish population, nevertheless the defendant Frank approved in August, 1942, a new plan which called for a much larger contribution of foodstuffs to Germany at the expense of the non-German population of the Government General. Methods of meeting the new quotas out of the grossly inadequate rations of the Government General and the impact of the new quotas on the economy of the country were discussed at a cabinet meeting of the Government General on 24th August, 1942, in terms which leave no possible doubt that not only was the proposed requisition beyond the resources of the country, but its force was to be distributed on a grossly discriminatory basis. This appears from the "Frank Diary" and in our Document 2233-PS-E, which is at Page 30 in the document book, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 283. The German text appears in the 1942 conference volume at the conference entry for 24th August, 1942.

I quote the following extract:

"Before the German people" - Frank says - "are to experience starvation, the Occupied Territories and their people shall be exposed to starvation. In this moment, therefore, we here in the Government General, must also have the iron determination to help the Great German people, our Fatherland.

The Government General, therefore, must do the following: The Government General has taken on the obligation to send 500,000 tons of bread grain 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 S.S. 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 Government General.

The new demand will be fulfilled exclusively at the expense of the foreign population. It must be done cold- bloodedly and without pity...."

Defendant Frank was not only responsible for reducing the Government General to starvation level, but was proud of the contribution he thereby made

[Page 148]

to the Reich. I refer to a statement made to the political leaders of the N.S.D.A.P. on 14th December, 1942, at Cracow. It is contained in the "Frank Diary" and is our Document 2233-PS-Z, at Page 57 in the document book, and I now offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 612. In the German text the extract appears in the 1942 volume of the diary, Part IV, at Page 1331.

Defendant Frank is speaking:

"I will attempt to get out of the reservoir of this territory everything that is yet to be got out of it ...."
He continues:
"When you consider that it was possible for me to deliver to the Reich 600,000 tons of bread grain, and, in addition, 180,000 tons to the Armed Forces stationed here; further, an abundance amounting to many thousands of tons of other commodities, such as seed, fats, vegetables, besides the delivery to the Reich of 300 million eggs, etc., you can estimate the significance this territory possesses for the Reich. In order to make clear to you the significance of the consignment from the Government General of 600,000 tons of bread grain, you are referred to the fact that the Government General, by this achievement alone, covers the raising of the bread ration in the Greater German Reich by two- thirds during the present rationing period. This enormous achievement can rightfully be claimed by us."
Now, as to the resettlement of Polish peasants which defendant Frank mentions secondly in the report to Hitler, although Himmler was given general authority in connection with the conspirators' project to resettle various districts in the conquered Eastern Territories with racial Germans, the projects relating to resettling districts in the Government General were submitted to and approved by the defendant Frank. The plan to resettle Zamosc and Lublin, for example, was reported to him at a meeting to discuss special problems of the district Lublin by his infamous State Secretary for Security, Higher S.S. and Police Leader, Kruger, on 4th August, 1942. It is contained in the "Frank Diary" and in our Document 2233-PS-T, at Page 51 in the document book, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 607. The German text appears in the 1942 volume of the diary, Part 111, Pages 830, 831 and 832.

I now quote from the report of the conference:

"State Secretary Kruger then continues, saying that the Reichsfuehrer's next urgent plan until the end of the following year would be to settle the following German racial groups in the two districts (Zamosc and Lublin): 1,000 peasant settlements (1 settlement per family of about 6) for Bosnian Germans; 1,200 other kinds of settlements; 1,000 settlements for Bessarabian Germans; 200 for Serbian Germans; 2,000 for Leningrad Germans; 4,000 for Baltic Germans; 500 for Wolhynia Germans, and 200 settlements for Flemish, Danish and Dutch Germans, in all 10,000 settlements for 50,000 to 60,000 persons."
Upon hearing this, the defendant Frank directed that - and I quote:
"... the resettlement plan is to be discussed co-operatively by the competent authorities, and declared his willingness to approve the final plan by the end of September after satisfactory arrangements had been made concerning all the questions appertaining thereto (in particular the guaranteeing of peace and order) so that by the middle of November, as the most favourable time, the resettlement can begin."
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: May it please the Tribunal: The way in which the resettlement at Zamosc was carried out was described to defendant Frank by Kruger at a meeting at Warsaw on 25th January, 1943. The report is

[Page 149]

contained in the "Frank Diary" and is our Document 2233-PS- AA, and appears at Page 58 in the document book. I offer the original of it in evidence as Exhibit USA 613. The German text appears in the Labour Conference Volume for 1943, at Pages 16, 17 and 19. Kruger, in this excerpt, reports that they had settled the first 4,000 in the Kreis Zamosc shortly before Christmas; that, understandably, friends were not made of the Poles in the resettlement programme, and that the Poles had to be chased out. He then stated to Frank, and I quote:
"We are removing those who constitute a burden in this new colonisation territory. Actually, they are the asocial and inferior elements. They are being deported; first brought to a concentration camp, and then sent as labour to the Reich. From a Polish propaganda standpoint, the entire action has an unfavourable effect. For the Poles say:
'After the Jews have been destroyed, then they will employ the same methods to get the Poles out of this territory and liquidate them just like the Jews.'"

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