The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Eleventh Day: Thursday, 18th April, 1946
(Part 5 of 10)

[DR. SEIDL continues his direct examination of Hans Frank]

[Page 117]

Q. Witness, I now come to one of the most important questions. In 1942, in Berlin, Vienna, Heidelberg, and Munich, you made speeches before large audiences. What was the purpose of these speeches and what were the consequences for you?

A. The speeches can be read. It was the last effort that I made to bring home to Hitler, by means of public speeches to the German people, the truth that the rule of law was immortal. I stated at that time that a Reich without law and without humanity could not last long and more in that vein. After I had been under police surveillance for several days in Munich I was relieved of all my Party offices. Since this was a matter of German domestic politics under the sovereignty of the German Reich, I refrain from making any more statements about it here.

Q. Is it correct that about this time you tendered your resignation? If so, what was the answer?

A. I was, so to speak, in a continuous state of resigning and always I received the same answer: that for reasons connected with foreign policy I could not be released.

Q. I originally intended to read to you from your diary a number of quotations which the prosecution has submitted, but in view of the fact that the prosecution may do that in the course of the cross-examination, I forgo it in order to save time. I have no more questions to put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of the defendants' counsel wish to ask any questions?

Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine?



Q. Defendant, I should like to know what precisely was your legal status and what exactly was the position you occupied in the system of the Fascist

[Page 118]

State. Please answer me: when were you promoted to the post of Governor of occupied Poland? To whom were you directly subordinate?

A. The date is 26 October, 1939. On that day, the directive about the Governor General was issued.

Q. You will remember, that by Hitler's order of 12 October, 1939, you were directly subordinated to Hitler, were you not?

A. I did not get the first part. What was it, please?

Q. Do you remember Hitler's order concerning your appointment as Governor General of Poland? This order was dated 12 October, 1939.

A. That was in no way effective, because the decree came into force on 26 October, 1939, and you can find it in the Reichsgesetzblatt. Before that, as Chief of Administration, I was with the Military Commander, von Rundstedt. I have explained that already.

Q. By this order of Hitler you were directly subordinate to him. Do you remember? Paragraph 3, sub-paragraph 1 of this order.

A. What kind of an order is that? I should like to see it. The chiefs of administration in the occupied territories were all immediately under the Fuehrer.

Well, I could say in elucidation that paragraph states:

"The Governor General is immediately subordinate to me."
But paragraph 9 of this decree states:
"This decree becomes valid as soon as I have withdrawn from the Commander in Chief of the Army the task of carrying out the Military Administration."
And this withdrawal, that is, the coming into force of this decree took place on 26 October.

Q. I fully agree with you, and we have information to that effect in the book which you evidently remember. It is Book "V." You do remember this book of the Government General?

A. It is of course in the decree.

Q. Well, when this order came into force, to whom were you directly subordinate?

A. What shall I read here? There are several entries here. What is your wish? To what do you wish me to answer?

Q. It states that this order came into force on 26 October. Well, when this order actually became valid, to whom were you subordinate? Was there, or was there not, any further order issued by Hitler?

A. There is only one basic decree about the Governor General. That is this one.

Q. Quite correct. There were no further instructions.

A. Oh yes, there are some, for instance -

Q. I understand that but there was no other decree determining the system of administration, was there?

A. May I say that you can find it best on Page A-100 in your book, and there you have the decree of the Fuehrer verbatim.

Q. Quite right.

A. And it says also in paragraph 9:

"This decree shall come into effect ..."
and so on, and that date was 26 October.

Q. Yes, that is quite correct. That means that after 26 October you, as Governor General for occupied Poland, were directly subordinate to Hitler?

A. Yes.

Q. Then perhaps you may remember when, and by whom, you were entrusted with the execution, in occupied Poland, of the Four-Year Plan?

A. By Goering.

[Page 119]

Q. That means that you were Goering's plenipotentiary for the execution of the Four-Year Plan in Poland, were you not?

A. The story of that mission is very briefly told. The activities of several plenipotentiaries of the Four-Year Plan in the Government General were such that I was greatly concerned about it. Therefore, I approached the Reich Marshal and asked him to appoint me trustee for the Four- Year Plan. That was later - in January -

Q. No, it was in December.

A. Yes, it was later, according to this decree.

Q. This means that as from the beginning of December, 1939, you were Goering's plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan?

A. Goering's? I was plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan.

Q. Now perhaps you can remember that in October, t939, the first decree regarding the organisation of Administration in the Government General was promulgated?

A. Yes. That is here, is it not?

Q. Perhaps you recall paragraph 3 of that decree.

A. Yes.

Q. It says that the Director of Administration of occupied Poland and also the chief of the S.S. and of the police were directly subordinate to you.

Does that not prove that, from the first day of your appointment as Governor General, you undertook the control of the Police and S.S. and, consequently, the responsibility for their actions?

A. No. I definitely answer that question with no, and I would like to make an explanation.

Q. What interests me, defendant, is how could that be explained otherwise?

THE PRESIDENT: Let him make his explanation.

Defendant, you may make your explanation.

THE WITNESS: I want to make a very short statement. There is an old legal principle which says that nobody can transfer more rights to anybody else than he has himself. What I have stated here was the ideal which I had before me and it is as it should have been. Everybody has to admit that it is natural and logical that the police should be subordinate to the Chief of Administration. The Fuehrer, who alone could decide, did not make that decree. I did not have the power and the authority to put this decree, which I drew up, into effect.


Q. Then do I understand you to say that this paragraph 3 was an ideal which you strove to attain but which you were never able to attain?

A. I beg your pardon, but I could not understand that question. A little slower please, and may I have the translation into German a little slower?

Q. Do you want me to repeat the question?



Q. I asked you, does this mean that your statement can be interpreted as follows: Paragraph 3 of this decree was an ideal which you persistently strove to attain, which you openly professed, but which you were never able to attain. Would that be correct?

A. Which I could not attain; and that can be seen by the fact that, later, it was found necessary to appoint a special State Secretary for Security in a last effort to find a way out of the difficulty.

Q. And that is what I mean to take up now. Maybe you recall that in April, 1942, special negotiations took place between you and Himmler. Did these negotiations take place in April, 1942?

A. Yes. Of course I cannot tell you the date offhand but it was always my endeavour -

[Page 120]

Q. To verify this, I can turn to your diary. Perhaps you will recall that as a result of these negotiations an understanding was reached between you and Himmler.

A. Yes, an understanding was reached.

Q. In order to refresh your memory on the subject I shall ask that the relevant volume of your diary be handed to you so that you may have the text before you.

A. Yes, I am ready.

Q. I would refer you to paragraph 2 of this agreement. It states:-

THE PRESIDENT: Where can we find this? Is it under the date 14 April, 1942?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes; that is quite right, 14 April, 1942.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we have it.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: It is Exhibit USSR-223. It has been translated into English and I shall hand it over immediately.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we have it now; we were only trying to find the place.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: It is on Page 18 of the English text.



Q. I would ask you to recall the contents. It says:-

"The Higher Chief of the S.S. and the S.D. and the State Secretary for Security are directly subordinate to the Governor General, and, if he is absent, then to his Deputy."
Does this not mean that Himmler, so to speak, agreed with your ideal in the sense that the police should be subordinate to you?

A. Certainly. On that day I was satisfied, but a few days later the whole thing was changed. I can only say that these efforts on my part were continued, but unfortunately it was never possible to put them into effect.

You will find here in paragraph 3, if you care to go on, that the Reichsfuehrer S.S., according to the expected decree by the Fuehrer, could give orders to the State Secretary. So, you see, Himmler, here, had reserved the right to give orders to Krueger directly.

Q. That is true, but in that case I must ask you to refer to another part of the document.

A. May I say in this connection that this agreement was never put into effect but was published in the Reichsgesetzblatt in the form of a Fuehrer decree. Unfortunately, I do not know the date of that, but you can find the decree about the regulation of security matters in the Government General, and that is the only authoritative statement. Here, also, reference is made to the "expected decree by the Fuehrer," and that agreement was just a draft of what was to appear in the Fuehrer decree.

Q. Yes, I was just proceeding to that subject. You agree that this decision was practically a verbatim decree of the Fuehrer?

A. I cannot say that offhand. If you will be good enough to give me the words of the Fuehrer decree I will be able to tell you about that.

Q. Yes. Incidentally this decree appears in your Document Book.

A. I haven't the document. It seems to me that the most essential parts of that agreement have been taken and put into this decree, with a few changes. However, the book has been taken away from me and I cannot compare it.

THE PRESIDENT: The book will be submitted to you now.

A. And very important changes made, unfortunately.

Q. I would request you to turn to paragraph 3 of Hitler's decree, dated 7 May, 1942. It is stated here that the State Secretary for Security is directly subordinate to the Governor General. Does this not confirm the fact that

[Page 121]

the police of the Government General were, nevertheless, directly subordinate to you? That is paragraph 3 of the decree.

A. I would like to say that that is not so. The police were not subordinate to me, even by reason of that decree, only the State Secretary for Security. It does not say here that the police are subordinate to the Governor General, only the State Secretary for Security is subordinate to him. If you read paragraph 4, then you come to the difficulties again. Adolf Hitler's decree was naturally drawn up in my absence. I was not consulted by Hitler, otherwise I would have protested, but in any case it was found impracticable.

Paragraph 4 says that the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police gave direct instructions to the State Secretary for Security in the field of security and the strengthening of Germandom. If with this you compare the original agreement, as contained in the diary, you will find that in one of the most important fields the Fuehrer had changed his mind, that is, concerning the Commissar for the Strengthening of Germandom. This title embraces the Jewish question and the question of colonisation.

Q. It appears to me, defendant, that you have only taken into consideration one aspect of this question and that you have given a rather one-sided interpretation of the excerpt quoted. May I recall to your memory paragraph 4 of this decree which, in sub-paragraph 2, reads as follows:-

"The State Secretary" - this means Kruger - "can receive the consent of the Governor General to carry out the directives of Reichsfuehrer S.S. and the German Police."
And now permit me to turn to paragraph 5 of this self-same decree of Hitler's which states that in cases of divergencies of opinion between the Governor General and the Reichsfuehrer of the S.S. and the German Police, his decision must be obtained and would be communicated by the Head of the Reich Chancellery. In this connection I would ask you, does not this paragraph testify to the very considerable rights granted to you in respect to the police and the S.S. in the Government General and to your own responsibility for the activities of these organisations?

A. The wording of the decree testifies to it, but the actual development was quite to the contrary. I believe that we will come to that in detail. I maintain, therefore, that also this attempt to gain some influence over the police and the S.S. failed.

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