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THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): Dr. Seidl.
DR. ALFRED SEIDL (Counsel for Defendant Hans Frank): Mr. President, Members of the Tribunal, on 9 April of this year, deviating from the rule made by the Tribunal, I made the application that I should first be allowed to present the documents, then call the witnesses, and then at the end examine the defendant as a witness. I do not know whether the Tribunal is already in possession of the document books. I have ascertained that Volume I of the document book was translated by 8 April Volume II and III on 11 April, and Volume IV and V a few days later. At any rate, I have not yet received any document books myself, for the reason that the office concerned has not yet received permission to bind the books.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I thought I asked about this, not yesterday, but the day before yesterday-yes; and you said you were perfectly ready to go on.
DR. SEIDL: I had been told that the books had been translated, and I naturally assumed that these books would also be bound. Yesterday I discovered that this is not the case. At any rate, the fault is not mine.
THE PRESIDENT: I was not suggesting that there was any fault on your part.
MR. THOMAS J. DODD (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): In the first place, we did not have much to go over with Dr. Seidl. The agreement was reached with him the night before last about 6 o'clock or a little afterwards. Thereafter the materials were put into the process of preparation, and there are 500 pages. They have just not been completed, and it is not so that the people did not receive authority to go ahead. They have not been able to complete their work and there will be some delay.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, you can go on with your witnesses. You have the defendant himself to call and several other witnesses.
DR. SEIDL: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: And the documents will no doubt be ready by then. We are rising this evening at half past four, and by the
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time that the Tribunal reassembles, by Tuesday morning, no doubt all the documents will be ready. As to your application, the Tribunal has considered the application and sees no reason to depart from its ordinary rule that the defendant should be called first; that is to say, if you intend to call the defendant.
DR.SEIDL: Oh yes, I intend to examine the defendant; but in the interests of accelerating the proceedings, I suggested that the other witnesses should be heard first so that the examination of the defendant might be as short as possible. It is possible that he can then answer a number of questions merely by saying "yes" or "no." Another reason why I consider this procedure to be the most expedient is because a proper examination of the defendant is only possible if I have the document books at hand at the same time. That necessity does not apply to the other witnesses. I should, therefore, beg the Tribunal to give me permission so that I can first examine the witnesses who are already in the witnesses' room.
THE PRESIDENT: The documents are all, or nearly all, I imagine, in German and can be put to the defendant in the course of his examination; and the Tribunal think, as they have already said, that calling the defendant first is in the interests of expedition; and they, therefore, feel they must adhere to their rule.
DR. SEIDL: Very well. In that case, with the permission of the Tribunal, I call the Defendant Dr. Hans Frank to the witness stand. [The Defendant Frank took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you give your full name?
HANS FRANK (Defendant): Mans Frank.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:
I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you sit down, please.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, when and where were you born?
FRANK: I was born on 23 May 1900 at Karlsruhe, in Baden.
DR. SEIDL: Will you please give the Tribunal a brief outline of your education?
FRANK: In 1919 I finished my studies at the Gymnasium, and in 1926 I passed the final state law examination, which completed my legal training.
DR. SEIDL: And what profession did you follow after that?
FRANK: I had several legal posts. I worked as a lawyer; as a member of the teaching staff: of a technical college; and then I worked
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principally as legal adviser to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party.
DR. SEIDL: Since when have you been a member of the NSDAP?
FRANK: I joined the German Labor Party, which was the forerunner of the National Socialist German Workers Party, in 1919, but did not join the newly formed National Socialist Workers Party at the time. In 1923 I joined the Movement in Munich as a member of the SA; and eventually, so to speak, I joined the NSDAP for the first time in 1927.
DR. SEIDL: Were you ever a member of the SS?
FRANK: I have never been a member of the SS.
DR. SEIDL: That means you have never had a rank of an SS Obergruppenfuehrer or General of the SS?
FRANK: I never had the rank of an SS Obergruppenfuehrer or SS General.
DR. SEIDL: Not even honorary?
FRANK: No, not even honorary.
DR. SEIDL: You were a member of the SA. What was the last position you held in that?
FRANK: I was Obergruppenfuehrer in the SA at the end, and this was an honorary position.
DR. SEIDL: What posts did you hold in the NSDAP during the various periods, and what functions did you exercise?
FRANK: In 1929 I became the head of the legal department of the Supreme Party Directorate of the NSDAP. In that capacity I was appointed Reichsleiter of the NSDAP by Adolf Hitler in 1931. 1 held this position until I was recalled in 1942. These are the principal offices I have held in the Party.
DR.SEIDL: Until the seizure of power you concerned yourself mainly with legal questions within the Party, did you not?
FRANK: I dealt with legal questions in the interest of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP and its members during the difficult years of struggle for the victory of the Movement.
DR. SEIDL: What were your basic ideas regarding the concept of a state controlled by a legal system?
FRANK: That idea, as far as I was concerned, was contained in Point 19 of the Party program, which speaks of German common law to be created. In the interest of accelerating the proceedings, I do not wish to present my ideas in detail. My first endeavor was to save the core of the German system of justice: the independent judiciary.
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My idea was that even in a highly developed Fuehrer State, even
under a dictatorship, the danger to the community and to the legal rights of the individual is at least lessened if judges who do not depend on the State Leadership can still administer justice in the community. That means, to my mind, that the question of a state ruled by law is to all intents and purposes identical with the question of the existence of the independent administration of law. Most of my struggles and discussions with Hitler, Himmler, and Bormann during these years were more and more focused on this particular subject. Only after the independent judiciary in the National Socialist Reich had been definitely done away with did I give up my work and my efforts as hopeless.
DR. SEIDL: You were also a member of the Reichstag?
FRANK: In 1930 I became a member of the Reichstag.
DR. SEIDL: What posts did you hold after 1933?
FRANK: First, I was Bavarian State Minister of Justice, and after the ministries of justice in the various states were dissolved I became Reich Minister without portfolio. In 1933 I became the President of the Academy of German Law, which I had founded. I was the Reich Leader of the National Socialist Jurists Association, which was later on given the name of "Rechtswahrerbund." In 1933 and 1934 I was Reich Commissioner for Justice, and in 1939 I became Governor General of the Government General in Krakow.
DR. SEIDL: What were the aims of the Academy of German Law of which you were the founder?
FRANK: These aims are written down in the Reich Law regarding the Academy of German Law. The main task, the central task, of that Academy was to carry out Point 19 of the Party program to bring German Common Law into line with our national culture.
DR. SEIDL: Did the Academy of German Law have definite functions, or could it act only in an advisory capacity?
FRANK: The Academy of German Law was the meeting place
of the most prominent legal minds in Germany in the theoretical and practical fields. Right from the beginning I attached no importance to the question whether the members were members of the Party or not. Ninety percent of the members of the Academy of German Law were not members of the Party. Their task was to prepare laws, and they worked somewhat on the lines of an advisory committee in a well-organized parliament. It was also my idea that the advisory committees of the Academy should replace the legal committees of the German Reichstag, which was gradually fading into the background in the Reich.
In the main the Academy helped to frame only laws of an economic or social nature, since owing to the development of the
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totalitarian regime it became more and more impossible to cooperate in other spheres.
DR. SEIDL: If I understand you correctly, then the governmental administration of law was solely in the hands of the Reich Minister of Justice, and that was not you.
FRANK: No, I was not Reich Minister of Justice. The Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. Guertner, was, however, not competent for the entire field of legislation but merely for those laws which came within the scope of his ministry. Legislation in the Reich, in accordance with the Enabling Act, was in the hands of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor and the Reich Government as a body. Consequently my name appears in the Reichsgesetzblatt at the bottom of one law only, and that is the law regarding the Reintroduction of Compulsory Military Service. However, I am proud that my name stands at the end of that law.
DR. SEIDL: You have stated earlier that during 1933 and 1934 you were Bavarian Minister of Justice.
DR.SEIDL: In that capacity did you have an opportunity of voicing your opinion on the question of concentration camps, and what were the circumstances?
FRANK: I learned that the Dachau concentration camp was being established in connection with a report which came to me from the Senior Public Prosecutor's Office in Munich on the occasion of the killing of the Munich attorney, Dr. Strauss. This Public Prosecutor's Office complained to me, after I had given them orders to investigate the killing, that the SS had refused them admission to the Dachau concentration camp. Thereupon I had Reich Governor, General Von Epp, call a meeting where I produced the files regarding this killing and pointed out the illegality of such an action on the part of the SS and stated that so far representatives from the German Public Prosecutor's Office had always been able to investigate any death which evoked a suspicion that a crime had been committed and that I had not become aware so far of any departure from this principle in the Reich. After that I continued protesting against this method to Dr. Guertner, the Reich Minister of Justice and at the same time Attorney General. I pointed out that this meant the beginning of a development which threatened the legal system in an alarming manner.
At Heinrich Himmler's request Adolf Hitler intervened personally in this matter, and he used his power to quash any legal proceedings. The proceedings were ordered to be quashed I handed in my resignation as Minister of Justice, but it was not accepted.
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DR. SEIDL: When did you become Governor General of the occupied Polish territories, and where were you when you were informed of this appointment?
FRANK: On 24 August 1939, as an officer in the reserve, I had to join my regiment in Postdate. I was busy training my company; and on 17 September, or it may have been 16, I was making my final preparations before going to the front when a telephone call came from the Fuehrer's special train ordering me to go to the Fuehrer at once.
The following day I traveled to Upper Silesia where the Fuehrer's special train was stationed at that time; and in a very short conversation, which lasted less than ten minutes, he gave me the mission, as he put it, to take over the functions of Civil Governor for the occupied Polish territories.
At that time the whole of the conquered Polish territories was under the administrative supreme command of a military commander, General Von Rundstedt. Toward the end of September I was attached to General Von Rundstedt's staff as Chief of Administration, and my task was to do the administrative work in the Military Government. In a short time, however, it was found that this method did not work; and when the Polish territories were divided into the part which was incorporated into the German Reich and the part which then became the Government General, I was appointed Governor General as from 26 October.
DR. SEIDL: You have mentioned the various positions which you held over a number of years. I now ask you: Did you, in any of the positions you held in the Party or the State, play any vital part in the political events of the last 20 years?
FRANK: In my own sphere I did everything that could possibly be expected of a man who believes in the greatness of his people and who is filled with fanaticism for the greatness of his country, in order to bring about the victory of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist movement.
I never participated in far-reaching political decisions, since I never belonged to the circle of the closest associates of Adolf Hitler, neither was I consulted by Adolf Hitler on general political questions, nor did I ever take part in conferences about such problems. Proof of this is that throughout the period from 1933 to 1945 I was received only six times by Adolf Hitler personally, to report to him about my sphere of activities.
DR. SEIDL: What share did you have in the legislation of the Reich?
FRANK: I have already told you that, and there is no need to give a further answer.
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DR. SEIDL: Did you, as a Reich Minister or in any other State or Party post want this war, or did you desire a war in violation of treaties entered into?
FRANK: War is not a thing one wants. War is terrible. We have lived through it; we did not want the war. We wanted a great Germany and the restoration of the freedom and welfare, the health and happiness of our people. It was my dream, and probably the dream of every one of us, to bring about a revision of the Versailles Treaty by peaceful means, which was provided for in that very treaty But as in the world of treaties, between nations also, it is only the one who is strong who is listened to; Germany had to become strong first before we could negotiate. This is how I saw the development as a whole: the strengthening of the Reich, reinstatement of its sovereignty in all spheres, and by these means to free ourselves of the intolerable shackles which had been imposed upon our people. I was happy, therefore, when Adolf Hitler, in a most wonderful rise to power, unparalleled in the history of mankind, succeeded by the end of 1938 in achieving most of these aims; and I was equally unhappy when in 1939, to my dismay, I realized more and more that Adolf Hitler appeared to be departing from that course and to be following other methods.
THE PRESIDENT: This seems to have been covered by what the Defendant Goering told us, by what the Defendant Ribbentrop told us.
DR. SEIDL: The witness has already completed his statement on this point.
Witness, what was your share in the events of Poland after 1939?
FRANK: I bear the responsibility; and when, on 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler ended his life, I resolved to reveal that responsibility of mine to the world as clearly as possible.
I did not destroy the 43 volumes of my diary, which report on all these events and the share I had in them; but of my own accord I handed them voluntarily to the officers of the American Army who arrested me.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, do you feel guilty of having committed crimes in violation of international conventions or crimes against humanity?
THE PRESIDENT: That is a question that the Tribunal has got to decide.
DR. SEIDL: Then I shall drop the question.
Witness, what do you have to say regarding the accusations which have been brought against you in the Indictment?
FRANK: To these accusations I can only say that I ask the Tribunal to decide upon the degree of my guilt at the end of my case.
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I myself, speaking from the very depths of my feelings and having lived through the 5 months of this trial, want to say that now after I have gained a full insight into all the horrible atrocities which have been committed, I am possessed by a deep sense of guilt.
DR. SEIDL: What were your aims when you took over the post of Governor General?
FRANK: I was not informed about anything. I heard about special action commandos of the SS here during this trial. In connection with and immediately following my appointment, special powers were given to Himmler, and my competence in many essential matters was taken away from me. A number of Reich offices governed directly in matters of economy, social policy, currency policy, food policy, and therefore, all I could do was to lay upon myself the task of seeing to it that amid the conflagration of this war, some sort of an order should be built up which would enable men to live. The work I did out there, therefore, cannot be judged in the light of the moment, but must be judged in its entirety, and we shall have to come to that later. My aim was to safeguard justice, without doing harm to our war effort.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did the police, and particularly the Security Police and SD, come under your jurisdiction in the Government General?
FRANK: The Higher SS and Police Leaders were in principle subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler. The AS did not come under my command, and any orders or instructions which I might have given would not have been obeyed. Witness Buehler will cover this question in detail.
The general arrangement was that the Higher SS and Police Leader was formally attached to my office, but in fact, and by reason of his activities, he was purely an agent of the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler. This state of affairs, even as early as November 1939, was the cause of my first offer to resign which I made to Adolf Hitler. It was a state of affairs which made things extremely difficult as time went by. In spite of all my attempts to gain control of these matters, the drift continued. An administration without a police executive is powerless and there were many proofs of this. The police officers, so far as discipline, organization, pay, and orders were concerned, came exclusively under the German Reich police system and were in no way connected with the administration of the Government General. The officials of the SS and Police therefore did not consider that they were attached to the Government General in matters concerning their duty, neither was the police area called "Police Area, Government General." Moreover the Higher SS and Police Leader did not call himself "SS and Police
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Leader in the Government General" but "Higher SS and Police Leader East." However, I do not propose to go into details at this point.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did the concentration camps in the Government General come under you, and did you have anything to do with their administration?
FRANK: Concentration were entirely a matter for the police and had nothing to do with the administration. Members of the civil administration were officially prohibited from entering the camps.
DR. SEIDL: Have you yourself ever been in a concentration camp?
FRANK: In 1935 I participated in a visit to the Dachau concentration camp, which had been organized for the Gauleiters. That was the only time that I have entered a concentration camp.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, in 1942, by a decree of the Fuehrer, a State Secretariat for Security in the Government General was created. The date is 7 May 1942. What was the reason for creating that State Secretariat?
FRANK: The establishment of this State Secretariat was one of the many attempts to solve the problem of the police in the Government General. I was very happy about it at the time, because I thought now we had found the way to solve the problem. I am certain it would have worked if Himmler and Krueger had adhered to the principle of this decree, which was co-operation and not working against each other. But before long it transpired that this renewed attempt, too, was merely camouflage; and the old conditions continued.
DR. SEIDL: On 3 June 1942, on the basis of this Fuehrer decree, another decree was issued regarding the transfer of official business to the State Secretary for Security. Is that true?
FRANK: I assume so, if you have the document. I cannot remember the details of course.
DR. SEIDL: In that case I shall ask the witness Bilfinger about this point.
FRANK: But I should like to add something to that. Wherever the SS is discussed here, the SS and the police are considered as forming one body. It would not be right of me if I did not correct that wrong conception. I have known during the course of these years so many honest, clean, and upright soldiers among the SS, and especially among the Waffen-SS and the police, that when judging here the problem of the SS in regard to the criminal nature of their activities, one can draw the same clear distinction as in the
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case of any of the other social groups. The SS, as such, behaved no more criminally than any other social groups would behave when taking part in political events. The dreadful thing was that the responsible chief, and a number of other SS men who unfortunately had been given considerable powers, were able to abuse the loyal attitude which is so typical of the German soldier.
DR. SLIDE: Witness, another question. In the decree concerning the creation of the State Secretariat for Security, it is ordered that the State Secretary-which in this case was the Higher SS and Police Leader-before making basic decisions, had to ask you for your approval. Was that done?
FRANK: No, I was never called upon to give my approval and that was the reason why before long this, my last, attempt proved to be a failure.
DR. SEIDL: Did the Higher SS and Police Leader and the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, in particular, obey orders which you had given them?
FRANK: Please, would you repeat the question? It did not come through too well. And please, Dr. Seidl, do not speak quite so loudly.
DR. SEIDL: Did the Higher SS and Police Leader Krueger, who at the same time was the State Secretary for Security, obey orders which you gave him in your capacity as Governor General?
FRANK: Not even a single order. On the strength of this new decree I repeatedly gave orders. These orders were supposedly communicated to Heinrich Himmler; and as his agreement was necessary, these orders were never carried out. Some special cases can be confirmed by the State Secretary Buehler when he is here as a witness.
DR. SEIDL: Did the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, before he carried out security police measures in the Government General, ever obtain your approval?
FRANK: Not in a single case.
DR. SEIDL: The Prosecution has submitted a document, L-37, as Exhibit Number USA-506. It is a letter from the Commander of the Security Police and SD of the District Radom, addressed to the branch office at Tomassov. This document contains the following: "On 28 June 1944 the Higher SS and Police Leader East issued the following order:
"The security situation in the Government General has deteriorated so much during the recent months that the most radical means and the most severe measures must now be employed against these alien assassins and saboteurs. The Reichsfuehrer SS in agreement with the Governor General, has
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given order that in every case of assassination or attempted assassination of Germans, not only the perpetrators shall be shot when caught, but that in addition, all their male relatives shall also be executed, and their female relatives above the age of sixteen put into a concentration camp."
FRANK: As I have said that I was never called upon by the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler to give my approval to such orders, your question has already been answered. In this case, I was not called upon either.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, were you at least informed of such orders from the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler or from the Higher SS and Police Leader East before they were carried out?
FRANK: The reason why this was not done was always the same. I was told that as Poles were living not only in the Government General but also in those territories which had been incorporated into the Reich, the fight against the Polish resistance movement had to be carried on by unified control from a central office, and this central office was Heinrich Himmler.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, what jurisdiction did you have in the general administration?
FRANK: I think it would accelerate the proceedings if the Witness Buehler could testify to these details. If the Tribunal so desires I will of course answer this question now. In the main I was concerned with the setting up of the usual administrative departments, such as food, culture, finance, science, et cetera.
DR. SEIDL: Were there representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian population in the Government General?
FRANK: Yes. The representation of the Polish and Ukrainian population was on a regional basis, and I united the heads of the bodies of representatives from the various districts in the so-called subsidiary committees. There was a Polish and an Ukrainian subsidiary committee. Count Ronikie was the head of the Polish committee for a number of years, and at the head of the Ukrainian committee was Professor Kubiowicz. I made it obligatory for all my offices to contact these subsidiary committees on all questions of a general nature, and this they did. I myself was in constant contact with both of them. Complaints were brought to me there and we had free discussions. My complaints and memoranda to the Fuehrer were mostly based on the reports from these subsidiary committees.
A second form in which the population participated in the administration of the Government General was by means of the lowest administrative units, which throughout the Government General were in the hands of the native population. Every ten to
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twenty villages had as their head a so-called Wojt. This Polish word Wojt is the same as the German word "Vogt"-V-o-g-t. He was, so to speak, the lowest administrative unit.
A third form of participation by the population in the administration was the employment of about 280,000 Poles and Ukrainians as government officials or civil servants in the public services of the Government General, including the postal and railway services.
DR. SEIDL: In what numerical proportion did the German civil servants stand to the Polish and Ukrainian civil servants?
FRANK: The proportion varied. The number of German civil servants was very small. There were times when, in the whole of the Government General, the area of which is 150,000 square kilometers-that means half the size of Italy-there were not more than 40,000 German civil servants. That means to one German civil servant there were on the average at least six non-German civil servants and employees.
DR. SEIDL: Which territories did you rule as Governor General?
FRANK Poland, which had been jointly conquered by Germany and the Soviet Union, was divided first of all between the Soviet Union and the German Reich. Of the 380,000 square kilometers, which is the approximate size of the Polish State, approximately 200,000 square kilometers went to the Soviet Union and approximately 170,000 to 180,000 square kilometers to the German Reich. Please do not ask me for exact figures that was roughly the proportion.
That part of Poland which was taken over into Soviet Russian territory was immediately treated as an integral part of the Soviet Union. The border signs in the east of the Government General were the usual Reich border signs of the Soviet Union, as from 1939. That part which came to Germany was divided thus: 90,000 square kilometers were left to the Government General and the remainder was incorporated into the German Reich.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think there is any charge against the defendant on the ground that the civil administration was bad. The charge is that crimes were committed, and the details of the administration between the Government General and the department in the Reich are not really in question.
DR. SEIDL: The only reason, Mr. President, why I put that question was to demonstrate the difficulties with which the administration had to cope right from the beginning in this territory, for an area which originally represented one economic unit was now split into three different parts.
[Turning to the he defendant.] I am coming now to the next question. Did you ever have hostages shot?
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FRANK: My diary contains the facts. I myself have never had hostages shot.
DR. SEIDL: Did you ever participate in the annihilation of Jews?
FRANK: I say "yes;" and the reason why I say "yes" is because, having lived through the 5 months of this trial, and particularly after having heard the testimony of the witness Hoess, my conscience does not allow me to throw the responsibility solely on these minor people. I myself have never installed an extermination camp for Jews, or promoted the existence of such camps; but if Adolf Hitler personally has laid that dreadful responsibility on his people, then it is mine too, for we have fought against Jewry for years; and we have indulged in the most horrible utterances-my own diary bears witness against me. Therefore, it is no more than my duty to answer your question in this connection with "yes." A thousand years will pass and still this guilt of Germany will not have been erased.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, what was your policy for the recruiting of laborers for the Reich when you were Governor General?
FRANK: I beg your pardon?
DR. SEIDL: What policy did you pursue for the recruiting of labor for the Reich in your capacity as Governor General?
FRANK: The policy is laid down in my decrees. No doubt they will be held against me by the Prosecution, and I consider it will save time if I answer that question later, with the permission of the Tribunal.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did Hitler give you any instructions as to how you should carry out your administration as Governor General?
FRANK: During the first 10 minutes of the audience in his special train Adolf Hitler instructed me to see to it that this territory, which had been utterly devastated-all the bridges had been blown up; the railways no longer functioned, and the population was in a complete turmoil-was put into order somehow; and that I should see to it that this territory should become a factor which would contribute to the improvement of the terribly difficult economic and war situation of the German Reich.
DR. SEIDL: Did Adolf Hitler support you in your work as Governor General?
FRANK: All my complaints, everything I reported to him, were unfortunately dropped into the wastepaper basket by him. I did not send in my resignation 14 times for nothing. It was not for nothing that I tried to join my brave troops as an officer. In his heart he was always opposed to lawyers, and that was one of the most serious shortcomings of this outstandingly great man. He did not want to admit formal responsibility, and that, unfortunately,
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applied to his policy too, as I have found out now. Every lawyer to him was a disturbing element working against his power. All I can say, therefore, is that, by supporting Himmler's and Bormann's aims to the utmost, he permanently jeopardized any attempt to find a form of government worthy of the German name.
DR. SEIDL: Which departments of the Reich gave instructions to you regarding the administration of the Government General?
FRANK: In order to expedite the proceedings I should like to suggest that the witness Buehler give the whole list.
DR. SEIDL: Did you ever loot art treasures?
FRANK: An accusation which is one that touches my private life and affects me most deeply, is that I am supposed to have enriched myself with the art treasures of the country entrusted to me. I did not collect pictures and I did not find time during the war to appropriate art treasures. I took care to see that all the art treasures of the country entrusted to me were officially registered, and had that official register incorporated in a document which was widely distributed; and, above all, I saw to it that those art treasures remained in the country right to the very end. In spite of that, art treasures were removed from the Government General. A part was taken away before my administration was established. Experience shows that one cannot talk of responsibility for an administration until some time after it has been functioning, namely, when the administration has been built up from the bottom. So that from the outbreak of the war, 1 September 1939, until this point, which was about at the end of 1939, I am sure that art treasures were stolen to an immeasurable extent either as war booty or under some other pretext. During the registration of the art treasures, Adolf Hitler gave the order that the Veit Stoss altar should be removed from St. Mary's Church in Krakow, and taken to the Reich. In September 1939 Mayor Liebel came from Nuremberg to Krakow for that purpose with a group of SS men and removed this altar. A third instance was the removal of the Duerer etchings in Lvov by a special deputy before my administration was established there. In 1944, shortly before the collapse, art treasures were removed to the Reich for storage. In the Castle of Seichau, in Silesia, there was a collection of art treasures which had been brought there by Professor Kneisl for this purpose. One last group of art treasures was handed over to the Americans by me personally.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did you introduce ghettos, that is, Jewish quarters in the Government General?
FRANK: I issued an instruction regarding the setting up of Jewish quarters. I do not remember the date. As to the reasons
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and the necessity for that, I shall have to answer the Prosecutor's questions.
DR. SEIDL: Did you introduce badges to mark the Jews?
DR. SEIDL: Did you yourself introduce forced labor in the Government General?
FRANK: Forced labor and compulsory labor service were introduced by me in one of the first decrees; but it is quite clear from all the decrees and their wording that I had in mind only a labor service within the country for repairing the damage caused by the war, and for carrying out work necessary for the country itself, as was of course done by the labor service in the Reich.
DR. SEIDL: Did you, as was stated by the Prosecution, plunder libraries in the Government General?
FRANK: I can answer that question plainly with "no." The largest and most valuable library which we found, the Jagellon University Library in Krakow, which thank God was not destroyed, was transferred to a new library building on my own personal orders; and the entire collection, including the most ancient documents, was looked after with great care.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did you as Governor General close down the universities in the Government General?
FRANK: The universities in the Government General were closed because of the war when we arrived. The reopening of the universities was prohibited by order of Adolf Hitler. I supplied the needs of the Polish and Ukrainian population by introducing university courses of instruction for Polish and Ukrainian students-which were actually on a university level-in such a way that the Reich Authorities could not criticize it. The fact that there was an urgent need for native university-trained men, particularly doctors, technicians, lawyers, teachers, et cetera, was the best guarantee that the Poles and Ukrainians would be allowed to continue university teaching to the extent which war conditions would allow.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for 10 minutes.
[A recess was as taken.]
DR. SEIDL: Witness, we were last speaking of the universities. Did you yourself, as Governor General, close the secondary schools?
FRANK: My suggestion to reopen the Gymnasiums and secondary schools was rejected by Adolf Hitler. We helped to solve the problem by permitting secondary school education in a large number of private schools.
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DR. SEIDL: Now, a basic question. The Prosecution accuse you of having plundered the country ruled by you as Governor General. What do you have to say to that?
FRANK: Well, evidently by that accusation is meant everything that happened in the economic sphere in that country as a result of the arrangements between the German Reich and the Government General. First, I would like to emphasize that the Government General had to start with a balance sheet which revealed a frightful economic situation. The country had approximately twelve million inhabitants. The area of the Government General was the least fertile part of the former Poland. Moreover, the boundary between the Soviet Union, as well as the boundary between the German Reich, had been drawn in such a way that the most essential elements, indispensable for economy, were left outside. The frontiers between the Soviet Union and the German Reich were immediately closed; and so, right from the start, we had to make something out of nothing.
Galicia, the most important area in the Republic of Poland from the viewpoint of food supplies, was given to the Soviet Union. The province of Posen belonged to the German Reich. The coal and industrial areas of Upper Silesia were within the German Reich. The frontier with Germany was drawn in such a way that the iron works in Czestochowa remained with the Government General, whereas the iron-ore basins which were 10 kilometers from Czestochowa were incorporated into the German Reich.
The town of Lodz, the textile center of Poland, came within the German Reich. The city of Warsaw with a population of several millions became a frontier town because the German border came as close as 15 kilometers to Warsaw, and the result was that the entire agricultural hinterland was no longer at the disposal of that city. A great many facts could be mentioned, but that would probably take us too far. The first thing we had to do was to set things going again somehow. During the first weeks the population of Warsaw could only be fed with the aid of German equipment for mass feeding. The German Reich at that time sent 600,000 tons of grain, as a loan of course, and that created a heavy debt for me.
I started the financial economy with 20 million zlotys which had been advanced to me by the Reich. We started zenith a completely impoverished economy due to the devastation caused by the war, and by the first of January 1944 the savings bank accounts of the native population had reached the amount of 11,500 million zlotys, and we had succeeded by then in improving the feeding of the population to a certain extent. Furthermore, at that time the factories and industrial centers had been reconstructed, to which
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reconstruction the Reich authorities had made outstanding contributions; Reich Marshal Goering and Minister Speer especially deserve great credit for the help given in reviving the industry of the country. More than two million fully paid workers were employed; the harvest had increased to 1.6 million tons in a year; the yearly budget had increased from 20 million zlotys in the year 1939 to 1,700 million zlotys. All this is only a sketch which I submit here to describe the general development.
DR.SEIDL: Witness, in your capacity as Governor General did you persecute churches and religion in the areas which you had under your administration?
FRANK: I was in constant personal contact with the Archbishop, now Cardinal, Sapieha in Krakow. He told me of all his sufferings and worries, and they were not few. I myself had to rescue the Bishop of Lublin from the hands of Herr Globocznik in order to save his life.
DR. SEIDL: You mean the SS Gruppenfuehrer Globocznik?
FRANK: Yes, that is the one I mean.
But I may summarize the situation by quoting the letter which Archbishop Sapieha sent to me in 1942, in which, to use his own words, he thanked me for my tireless efforts to protect the life of the church. We reconstructed seminaries for priests; and we investigated every case of arrest of a priest, as far as that was humanly possible. The tragic incident when two assistants of the Archbishop Sapieha were shot, which has been mentioned here by the Prosecution, stirred my own emotions very deeply. I cannot say any more. The churches were open; the seminaries were educating priests; the priests were in no way prevented from carrying out their functions. The monastery at Czestochowa was under my personal protection. The Krakow monastery of the Camaldulians, which is a religious order, was also under my personal protection. There were large posters around the monastery indicating that these monasteries were protected by me personally.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, when did you hear for the first time about the concentration camp at Maidanek?
FRANK: I heard the name Maidanek for the first time in 1944 from foreign reports. But for years there had been contradictory rumors about the camp near Lublin, or in the Lublin District, if I may express myself in such a general way. Governor Zoerner once told me, I believe already in 1941, that the SS intended to build a large concentration camp near Lublin and had applied for large quantities of building materials, et cetera. At that time I instructed State Secretary Buehler to investigate the matter immediately, and I was told, and I also received a report in writing from Reichsfuehrer
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SS Himmler, that he had to build a large camp required by the Waffen-SS to manufacture clothes, footwear, and underwear in large SS-owned workshops. This camp went under the name of "SS Works," or something similar.
Now, I have to say I was in a position to get information, whereas the witnesses who have testified so far have said under oath that in the circles around the Fuehrer nothing was known about all these things. We out there were more independent, and I heard quite a lot through enemy broadcasts and enemy and neutral papers. In answer to my repeated questions as to what happened to the Jews who were deported, I was always told they were to be sent to the East, to be assembled, and put to work there. But, the stench seemed to penetrate the walls, and therefore I persisted in my investigations as to what was going on. Once a report came to me that there was something going on near Belcec. I went to Belcec the next day. Globocznik showed me an enormous ditch which he was having made as a protective wall and on which many thousands of workers, apparently Jews, were engaged. I spoke to some of them, asked them where they came from, how long they had been there, and he told me, that is, Globocznik, "They are working here now, and when they are through-they come from the Reich, or somewhere from France-they will be sent further east." I did not make any further inquiries in that same area.
The rumor, however, that the Jews were being killed in the manner which is now known to the entire world would not be silenced. When I expressed the wish to visit the SS workshop near Lublin, in order to get some idea of the value of the work that was being done, I was told that special permission from Heinrich Himmler was required.
I asked Heinrich Himmler for this special permission. He said that he would urge me not to go to the camp. Again some time passed. On 7 February 1944 I succeeded in being received by Adolf Hitler personally-I might add that throughout the war he received me three times only. In the presence of Bormann I put the question to him: "My Fuehrer, rumors about the extermination of the Jews will not be silenced. They are heard everywhere. No one is allowed in anywhere. Once I paid a surprise visit to Auschwitz in order to see the camp, but I was told that there was an epidemic in the camp and my car was diverted before I got there. Tell me, My Fuehrer, is there anything in it?" The Fuehrer said, "You can very well imagine that there are executions going on-of insurgents. Apart from that I do not know anything. Why don't you speak to Heinrich Himmler about it?" And I said. "Well, Himmler made a speech to us in Krakow and declared in front of all the people whom I had officially
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called to the meeting that these rumors about the systematic extermination of the Jews were false; the Jews were merely being brought to the East." Thereupon the Fuehrer said, "Then you must believe that."
When in 1944 I got the first details from the foreign press about the things which were going on, my first question was to the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe, who had replaced Krueger. "Now we know," I said, "you cannot deny that." And he said that nothing was known to him about these things, and that apparently it was a matter directly between Heinrich Himmler and the camp authorities. "But," I said, "already in 1941 I heard of such plans, and I spoke about them." Then he said that was my business and he could not worry about it.
The Maidanek Camp must have been run solely by the SS, in the way I have mentioned, and apparently, in the same manner as stated by the witness Hoess.
That is the only explanation that I can give.
DR.SEIDL: Therefore you did not know of the conditions in Treblinka, Auschwitz, and other camps? Did Treblinka belong to Maidanek, or is that a separate camp?
FRANK: I do not know; it seems to be a separate camp. Auschwitz was not in the area of the Government General. I was never in Maidanek, nor in Treblinka, nor in Auschwitz.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, the Prosecution has presented under Number USA-275 the report of the SS Brigadefuehrer Stroop on the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. Before that action was initiated, did you know anything about it and did you ever come across this report?
FRANK: I was surprised when the American Chief Prosecutor said in his opening speech, while submitting a document here with pictures about the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, that that report had been made to me. But that has been clarified in the meantime. The report was never made for me, and was never sent to me in that form. And, thank Heaven, during the last few days it has been made clear by several witnesses and affidavits that this destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto was carried out upon direct orders of Himmler, and over the head of all competent authorities of the Government General. When in our meetings anybody spoke about this Ghetto, it was always said that there had been a revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto which we had had to quell with artillery; reports that were made on it never seemed to me to be authentic.
DR. SEIDL: What measures did you take to see that the population in the Government General was fed?
FRANK: An abundance of measures were taken to get agriculture going again, to import machinery, to teach farmers improved farming
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methods, to build up co-operative associations, to distribute seeds in the usual way.
DR. SEIDL: The Witness Buehler will speak about that later.
FRANK: Moreover the Reich helped a great deal in that respect. The Reich sent seeds to the value of many millions of marks, agricultural experts, breeding cattle, machines, et cetera.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, you have told us what you did for the welfare of the population of the Government General The Prosecution, however, has charged you with a number of statements which they found in your own diary, and which seem to contradict that. How can you explain that contradiction?
FRANK: One has to take the diary as a whole. You can not go through 43 volumes and pick out single sentences and separate them from their context. I would like to say here that I do not want to argue or quibble about individual phrases. It was a wild and stormy period filled with terrible passions, and when a whole country is on fire and a life and death struggle is going on, such words may easily be used.
DR. SEIDL: Witness . . .
FRANK: Some of the words are terrible. I myself must admit that I was shocked at many of the words which I had used.
DR.SEIDL: Witness, under Number USA-297 the Prosecution has submitted a document which deals with a conference which you apparently had in 1939 or 1940 with an office of the Chief of the Administration Ober-Ost. I shall have the document handed to you and ask you to tell me whether the report of that man, as it is contained in the document, agrees with what you have said. It is on Page 1, at the bottom, the second paragraph.
FRANK: That is a shortened summary of a speech, which perhaps in an address...
THE PRESIDENT: What is the PS-number?
DR. SEIDL: Dr. Frank, what is the number?
FRANK: 297, I believe.
DR. SEIDL: No, on the cover, please.
FRANK: On the cover it says 344. I will return the document to you. Would you kindly ask me about individual phrases. It is impossible for me to read all of its contents.
DR. SEIDL: The number is 297, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is USA-297. It is EC-344, (16) and (17), is that right?
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[Turning to the defendant.] It says here that during the first conversation which the chief of the central department had with the Reich Minister Dr. Frank-on 3 October 1939 in Posen, the latter explained the task which had been given him by the Fuehrer and the economic-political principles on which he intended to base his administration of Poland. This could only be done by ruthless exploitation of the country. Therefore, it would be necessary to recruit manpower to be used in the Reich, and so on.
I have summarized it, Mr. President.
FRANK: I am sure that these utterances were not made in the way it is put here.
DR. SEIDL: But you do not want to say that you have never spoken to that man?
FRANK: I cannot remember it at ale
DR. SEIDL: Then, I come to the next question.
FRANK: Moreover, what actually happened seems to me to be more important than what was said at the time.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that your actions as Governor General, and undoubtedly also many excesses by the police and the SD, were due to the guerrilla activities?
FRANK: Guerrilla activities? It can be said that it was the resistance movement, which started from the very first day and was supported by our enemies, which presented the most difficult problem I had to cope with during all these years. For this resistance movement perpetually supplied the police and the SS with pretexts and excuses for all those measures which, from the viewpoint of an orderly administration, were very regrettable. In fact, the resistance movement-I will not call it guerrilla activity, because if a people has been conquered during a war and organizes an active resistance movement, that is something definitely to be respected-but the methods of the resistance movement went far beyond the limits of an heroic revolt. German women and children were slaughtered under the most atrocious circumstances. German officials were shot; trains were derailed; dairies were destroyed; and all measures taken to bring about the recovery of the country were systematically undermined.
And it is against the background of these incidents, which occurred day after day, incessantly, during practically the entire period of my activity, that the events in that country must be considered. That is all I have to say to that.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, in the year 1944 a revolt broke out in Warsaw under the leadership of General Bor. What part did the
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administration of the Government General have, and what part did you have in putting down that revolt?
FRANK: That revolt broke out when the Soviet Russian Army had advanced to within about 30 kilometers of Warsaw on the eastern bank of the Vistula. It was a sort of combined operation; and, as it seems to me, also a national Polish action, as the Poles at the last moment wanted to carry out the liberation of their capital themselves and did not want to owe it to the Soviet Russians. They probably were thinking of how, in Paris, at the last moment the resistance movement, even before the Allies had approached, had accomplished the liberation of the city.
The operation was a strictly military one. As Senior Commander of the German troops used to quell the revolt, I believe, they appointed SS General Von dem Bach-Zelewski. The civil administration, therefore, did not have any part in the fighting. The part played by the civil administration began only after the capitulation of General Bor, when the most atrocious orders for vengeance came from the Reich.
A letter came to my desk one day in which Hitler demanded the deportation of the entire population of Warsaw into German concentration camps. It took a struggle of 3 weeks, from which I emerged victorious, to avert that act of insanity and to succeed in having the fleeing population of Warsaw, which had had no part in the revolt, distributed throughout the Government General.
During that revolt. unfortunately, the city of Warsaw was very seriously damaged. All that had taken years to rebuild was burned down in a few weeks. However, State Secretary Buehler, in order to save time, will probably be in a better position to give us more details.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, you are also accused of having suppressed the cultural life of the population of the Government General, especially as regards the theater, broadcasting, films. What have you to say about that?
FRANK: The Government General presented the same picture as every occupied country We do not have to look far from this court room to see what cultural life is like in an occupied country.
We had broadcasting in the Polish language under German supervision. We had a Polish press which was supervised by Germans, and we had a Polish school system, that is, elementary schools and high schools, in which at the end, 80,000 teachers taught in the service of the Government General. As far as it was possible Polish theaters were reopened in the large cities, and where German theaters were established we made sure that there was also a Polish theater at the same time. After the proclamation of the so-called
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total war in August 1944, the absurd situation arose in which the German theater in Krak6w was closed, because all German theaters were closed at that time, whereas the Polish theaters remained open.
I myself selected composers and virtuosos from a group of the most well known musicians of Poland I found there in 1939 and founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Government General. This was in being until the end, and played an important part in the cultural life of Poland. I established a Chopin Museum in Krakow, and from all over Europe I collected relics of Chopin. I believe that is sufficient on this point.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, you deny, therefore, having taken any measures which aimed at exterminating Polish and Ukrainian culture.
FRANK: Culture cannot be exterminated. Any measures taken with that intention would be sheer nonsense.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that as far as it was in your power you did everything to avoid epidemics and to improve the health of the population?
FRANK: That State Secretary Buehler will be able to confirm in detail. I can say that everything humanly possible was done.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, the Prosecution, under Number USSR-223, has submitted an excerpt from the diary, which deals with the report about a police conference of 30 May 1940, and we find here in Pages 33 to 38 the following...
FRANK: [Interposing.] Unless the Court orders it, it is not necessary to read that.
DR. SEIDL: No, I only want to read one sentence, which refers to the Krakow professors. "Apparently, if the diary is correct, you said . . .
FRANK: [Interposing.] May I say something about the Krak6w professors right away?
DR. SEIDL: Yes.
FRANK: On 7 November 1939 I came to Krakow. On 5 November 1939 before my arrival, the SS and the police, as I found out later, called the Krakow professors to a meeting. They thereupon arrested the men, among them dignified old professors, and took them to some concentration camp. I believe it was Oranienburg. I found that report when I arrived and against everything which may be found there in my diary, I want to emphasize here under oath that I did not cease in my attempts to get every one of the professors released whom I could reach, in March 1940. That is all I have to say to this.
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DR. SEIDL: The same police meeting of 30 May 1940 also dealt with the so-called "AB Action," that is, with the Extraordinary Pacification Action. Before I put to you the question which is concerned with it, I would like to read to you two entries in the diary. One is dated 16 May 1940, and here, after describing that extraordinary tension then existing, you stated the following: That, first of all, an action for pacification would have to be started, and then you said:
"Any arbitrary actions must be avoided; in all cases the safeguarding of the authority of the Fuehrer and of the Reich has to be kept in the foreground."-I omit several sentences and quote the end-"The action is timed for 15 June."
On 12 July a conference took place with the Ministerialrat Wille, who was the chief of the Department of Justice, and there you said in your own words:
"Regarding the question as to what should happen to the political criminals who had been arrested during the AB Action, there is to be a conference with State Secretary Buehler, Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach and Ministerialrat Wille."
End of quotation.
What actually happened during that AB Action?
FRANK: I cannot say any more or any less than what is contained in the diary. The situation was extremely tense. Month after month attempted assassinations increased. The encouragement and support given by the rest of the world to the resistance movement to undermine all our efforts to pacify the country had succeeded to an alarming degree, and this led to this general pacification action, not only in the Government General, but also in other areas, and which I believe was ordered by the Fuehrer himself.
My efforts were directed to limiting it as to extent and method, and in this I was successful. Moreover I should like to point out that I also made it clear that I intended to exercise the right of reprieve in each individual case; for that purpose I wanted the police and SS verdicts of death by shooting to be submitted to a reprieve committee which I had formed in that connection. I believe that can be seen from the diary also.
DR. SEIDL: Probably the witness Buehler knows something about it.
FRANK: Nevertheless, I would like to say that the method used at that time was a tremendous mistake.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, have you at any time recognized the principle introduced by the SD and SS of the liability; of kin?
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FRANK: No, on the contrary. When I received the first reports about it, I complained in writing to Reich Minister Lammers about that peculiar development of the law.
DR. SEIDL: The first SS and Police Leader East was Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger. When was this SS leader recalled and how did it come about?
FRANK: The relations between him and myself became quite impossible. He wanted a peculiar kind of SS and police regime, and that state of affairs could be solved only in one way-either he or I had to go. I think that at the last moment, by the intervention of Kaltenbrunner, if I remember correctly, and of Bach-Zelewski, this remarkable fellow was removed.
DR.SEIDL: The Prosecution once mentioned that it was more a personal struggle for power. But is it more correct to say that there were differences of opinion on basic questions?
FRANK: Of course it was a struggle for power. I wanted to establish a power in the sense of my memoranda to the Fuehrer, and therefore I had to fight the power of violence, and here personal viewpoints separated altogether.
DR. SEIDL: The successor of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Charger was SS Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe. Was his basic attitude different?
FRANK: Yes. I had that impression; and I am thinking of him particularly when I say that even in the SS there were many decent men who also had a sense of what was right.
DR.SEIDL: Were there Polish and Ukrainian Police in the Government General?
FRANK: Yes, there were 25,000 men of the Polish security, criminal, and uniformed police, and about 5,000 men of the Ukrainian police. They also were under the German police chief.
DR. SEIDL: 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?
FRANK: The speeches can be read. It was the last effort that I made to bring home to Hitler, by means of the tremendous response of 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. As 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.
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DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that after this you tendered your resignation? And what was the answer?
FRANK: I was, so to speak, in a permanent state of resigning, and I received the same answer: that for reasons connected with foreign policy I could not be released.
DR. SEIDL: 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 forego 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?
CHIEF COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE L. N. SMIRNOV (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): 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 state. Please answer me: When were you promoted to the post of Governor of occupied Poland? To whom were you directly subordinated?
FRANK: The date is 26 October 1939. At least on that day the directive concerning the Governor General became effective.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You will remember that by Hitler's order of 12 October 1939 you were directly subordinated to Hitler, were you not?
FRANK: I did not get the first part. What was it, please?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you remember Hitler's order concerning your appointment as Governor General of Poland? This order was dated 12 October 1939.
FRANK: 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 I was Chief of Administration with the military commander Von Rundstedt. I have explained that already.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: By this order of Hitler you were directly subordinated to him. Do you remember? Paragraph 3, Sub-paragraph 1, of this order.
FRANK: The chiefs of administration in the occupied territories were all immediately under the Fuehrer. I may say in elucidation hat Paragraph 3 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
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this withdrawal, that is, the coming into force of this decree took place on 26 October.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I fully agree with you, and we have information to that effect in the book which you evidently remember. It is Book 5. You do remember this book of the Government General?
FRANK: It is of course in the decree.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well, when this order came into force, to whom were you directly subordinate?
FRANK: What shall I read here? There are several entries here. What is your wish? To what do you wish me to answer?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It states that this order came into force on the 26 October. Well, when this order actually became valid, to whom were you subordinated? Was there, or was there not, any further order issued by Hitler?
FRANK: There is only one basic decree about the Governor General. That is this one.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Quite correct. There were no further instructions?
FRANK: Oh yes, there are some, for instance...
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I understand that, but there was no other decree determining the system of administration, was there?
FRANK: 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.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Quite right.
FRANK: And it says also in Paragraph 9, "This decree shall come into effect..." and so on, and that date was the 26th of October.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, that is quite correct. That means that after 26 October you, as Governor General for occupied Poland, were directly subordinate to Hitler?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then perhaps you may remember when, and by whom, you were entrusted with the execution, in occupied Poland, of the Four Year Plan?
FRANK: By Goering.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That means that you were Goering's plenipotentiary for the execution of the Four Year Plan in Poland, were you not?
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FRANK: 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 . . .
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, it was in December.
FRANK: Yes, it was later, according to this decree.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This means that as from the beginning of December 1939 you were Goering's plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan?
FRANK: Goering's? I was the plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Now perhaps you can remember that in October 1939 the first decree regarding the organization of administration in the Government General was promulgated?
FRANK:- Yes. That is here, is it not?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Perhaps you recall Paragraph 3 of that decree.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It says that "The sphere of action of the State Secretary for Security will be determined by the Governor General in agreement with the Reichsfuehrer SS and"-this is the passage which interests me-"the Chief of the German Police."
Does that not coincide with Paragraph 3 insofar as from the first day of your appointment as Governor General you undertook the control of the Police and SS, and, consequently, the responsibility for their actions?
FRANK: No. I definitely answer that question with "no," but I would like to make an explanation....
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: What interests me, Defendant, is how could that be explained otherwise?
THE PRESIDENT: Let him make his explanation.
Defendant, you may make your explanation.
FRANK: 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 how 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 have decided, did not make that decree. I did
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not have the power nor the authority to put into effect this decree which I had so carefully formulated.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then do I understand you k say that this Paragraph 3 was an ideal which you strove to attain but which you were never able to attain?
FRANK: I beg your pardon, but I could not understand Thai question. A little slower please, and may I have the translation into German a little slower?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Shall I repeat the question?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I asked you a question; does this mean that the 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?
FRANK: 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 e difficulty.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Perhaps you will recall that in April 1942, special negotiations took place between you and Himmler. Did these negotiations take place in April 1942?
FRANK: Yes; certainly. I do not know on what you base your question. I cannot tell you the date offhand, but it was always my, endeavor ., .
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: To confirm these facts, 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.
FRANK: Yes, an understanding was reached.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In order to refresh your memory on the subject I shall ask that the corresponding volume of your diary be handed to you, so that you may have the text before you.
FRANK: Yes, I am ready.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would refer you to Paragraph 2 of this agreement. It states:
THE PRESIDENT: Where can we find this? Is it under the date 21 April 1942?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes; that is quite right; 21 April 1942.
THE PRESIDENT: I think we have got it.
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MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It is Document Number 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.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It is on Page 18 of the English text.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Go on.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would ask you to recall the contents. It says: "The Higher SS and Police Leader (the State Secretary) is 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?
FRANK: 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 SS, 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 direct. And then comes the matter of the agreement...
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is true, but in that case I must ask you to refer to another part of the document...
FRANK: May I say in this connection that this agreement was never put into effect, but that this decree 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.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, I was just proceeding to that subject. You agree that this decision was practically a verbatim decree of the Fuehrer?
FRANK: 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.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes.
[Turning to the President.] Incidentally this decree appears in your document book, Mr. President.
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FRANK: 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.
[The book was submitted to the defendant.]
FRANK: Very important changes have been made, unfortunately.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would request you to turn to Paragraph 3 of Hitler's decree, dated 7 May 1942. It is stated here Hat the State Secretary for Security is directly subordinate to the Governor General. And does this not confirm the fact that the police of the Government General were, nevertheless, directly subordinate to you? That is Paragraph 3 of the decree.
FRANK: 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 drawn up in my absence, of course. 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 SS and Chief of the German Police gave direct instructions to the State Secretary for Security in the field of security and for the preservation of German nationality. If you compare the original agreement with this, 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 Commissioner for the Preservation of German Nationality. This title embraces the Jewish question and the question of colonization.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: 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 Krueger-"must receive the consent of the Governor General before carrying out the directives of the Reichsfuehrer SS 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 SS and the German Police, my decision is to be obtained through the Reich Minister and the Head of the Reich Chancellery." In this connection I would ask you, does not this paragraph testify to the
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very considerable rights granted by you to the leaders of the police and the SS in the Government General and to your own responsibility for the activities of these organizations?
FRANK: The wording of the decree testifies to it, but the actual development was quite the contrary. I believe that we will come to that in detail. I maintain therefore that this attempt to gain some influence over the police and the SS also failed.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then may I ask whose attempt it was? In this case it is evidently an attempt by Hitler for he signed this decree. Krueger was evidently more powerful than Hitler?
FRANK: That question is not quite clear to me. You mean that Krueger went against the decree of the Fuehrer?, Of course he did, but that has nothing to do with power. That was considered by Himmler as a tremendous concession made to me. I want to refer to a memorandum of the summer of 1942, I think, shortly after the decree of the Fuehrer came into force.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have the following question to ask you: Is it possible that you . . .
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Tell us, Defendant, who was the actual leader of the National Socialist Party in the Government General?
FRANK: I hear nothing at all.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I ask you...
FRANK: I hear nothing at all.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have the following question to put to you: After 6 May 1940 in the Government General...
FRANK: 6 May?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, 6 May 1940, after the Nazi organization had been completed in the Government General, who was appointed its leader?
FRANK: I was.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Thus the leadership of the administration of the National Socialist Party and of the Police was concentrated in your hands. Therefore you are responsible for the administration, the Police, and the political life of the Government General.
FRANK: Before I answer that question, I must protest when you say that I had control of the Police.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I believe that that is the only way one could interpret the Fuehrer's orders and the other documents which I have put to you.
FRANK: No doubt, if one disregards the actual facts and the realities of the situation.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well, then, let us pass on to another group of questions. You heard of the existence of Maidanek only in 1944, isn't that so?
FRANK: In 1944 the name Maidanek was brought to my knowledge officially for the first time by the Press Chief Gassner.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I will now ask that you be shown a document which was presented by your defense counsel, which was compiled by you, and which is a report addressed to Hitler, dated June 1943. I will read into the record one excerpt, and I wish to remind you that this is dated 19 June 1943:
"As a proof of the mistrust shown to the German leadership, I enclose a characteristic excerpt from the report of the Chief of the Security Police and SD in the Government General. . ."
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FRANK: Just a moment. The wrong passage has been shown me. I have the passage here on Page 35 of the German text, and it is differently worded.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Have you found the place now?
FRANK: Yes. But you started with a different sentence. The sentence here starts "A considerable part of the Polish intelligentsia . . ."
THE PRESIDENT: Which page is it?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Page 35 of the German text, last paragraph.
FRANK: It starts here with the words "A considerable part..."
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: All right. Then I will continue:
"As a proof of the degree of the misfit shown to the German leadership I enclose"-these are your own words, this passage comes somewhat higher up in the quotation- "a characteristic excerpt from the report of the Chief of the Security Police and SD in the Government General for the period from 1 to 31 May 1943, concerning the possibilities of propaganda resulting from Katyn."
FRANK: That is not here. Would you be good enough to show me the passage? Now, what you are presenting here is not in my text.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: No, it is there; it comes somewhat earlier in your text.
FRANK: I think it has been omitted from my text.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I begin now at that part which you find lower down at the bottom. Follow the text:
"A large part of the Polish intelligentsia, however, as before, will not allow itself to be influenced by the news from Katyn and holds against the Germans alleged similar cruelties, especially in Auschwitz."
I omit the next sentence and I continue:
"Among that portion of the working classes which is not communistically inclined, this is scarcely denied; at the same time it is pointed out that the attitude of Germany towards the Poles is not any better."
Please note the next sentence:
"It is said that there are concentration camps at Auschwitz and Maidanek where likewise the mass murder of Poles is carried out systematically."
How can one reconcile this part of your report which mentions Auschwitz and Maidanek, where mass murder took place, with your
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statement that you heard of Maidanek only at the end of 1944. Well, your report is dated June 1943; you mentioned there both Maidanek and Auschwitz.
FRANK: With reference to Maidanek we were talking about the extermination of Jews. The extermination of Jews in Maidanek became known to me during the summer of 1944. Up to now the word "Maidanek" has always been mentioned in connection with extermination of Jews.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Consequently, we are to understand-I refer to the text submitted to you-that in May 1943 you heard of the mass murder of Poles in Maidanek, and in 1944 you heard of the mass murder of Jews?
FRANK: I beg your pardon? I heard about the extermination of the Jews at Maidanek in 1944 from the official documents in the foreign press.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And you heard of the mass killings of the Poles in 1943?
FRANK: That is contained in my memorandum, and I protest; these are the facts as I put them before the Fuehrer.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I will ask that another document be shown to you. Do you know this document, are you acquainted with it?
FRANK: It is a decree dated 2 October 1943. I assume that the wording agrees with the text of the original decree.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, it is in full agreement with the original text. In any case your defense counsel can follow the text and will be able to verify it. I have to ask you one question. What do you think of this law signed by you?
FRANK: Yes, it is here.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You were President of the Reich Academy of Law. From the standpoint of the most elementary standards of law, what do you think of this law signed by you?
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the number of it?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: It is Exhibit USSR-335, Mr. President.
FRANK: This is the general wording for a court-martial decree. It provides that the proceedings should take place in the presence of a judge, that a document should be drawn up, and that the proceedings should be recorded in writing. Apart from that I had the power to give pardons, so that every sentence had to be submitted to me.
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MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like you to tell us how this court for court-martial proceedings was composed, who the members of this court were. Would you please pay attention to Paragraph 3, Point 1 of Paragraph 3?
FRANK: The Security Police, yes.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You were telling us of your hostile attitude to the SD. Why then did you give the SD the right to exert oppression on the Polish population?
FRANK: Because that was the only way in which I could exert any influence on the sentences. If I had not published this decree, there would have been no possibility of control; and the Police would simply have acted at random.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You spoke of the right of reprieve which was entrusted to you. Would you please note Paragraph 6 of this law. I remind you that a verdict of a summary court-martial by the SD was to be put into effect immediately according to the text. I remind you again that there was only one possible verdict: "death." How could you change it if the condemned person was to be shot or hanged immediately after the verdict?
FRANK: The sentence would nevertheless have to come before me.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, but a sentence had to be carried out immediately.
FRANK: Those were the general instructions which I had issued in connection with the power given me to grant reprieves, and the committee which dealt with reprieves was constantly sitting. Files were sent in...
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Since you have spoken of the right to reprieve, I will put to you another question. Do you remember the AB Action?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Do you remember that this action signified the execution of thousands of Polish intellectuals?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Then what did it signify?
FRANK: It came within the framework of the general action of appeasement and it was my plan to eliminate, by means of a properly regulated procedure, arbitrary actions on the part of the Police This was the meaning of that action.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I do not understand very well what you mean. How did you treat persons who were subject to the AB Action? What happened to them?
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FRANK: This meeting really only dealt with- the question of arrests.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I ask you what happened to them later?
FRANK: They were arrested and taken into protective custody.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And then?
FRANK: Then they were subjected to the proceedings which had been established. At least, that is what I intended.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Was this left to the Police exclusively?
FRANK: The Police were in charge.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: In other words, the Police took over the extermination of these people after they had been arrested, is that so?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well, then tell us, please, why you did not exercise your power of reprieve while they were carrying out this inhuman action?
FRANK: I did make use of it.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I will put before you your statement, dated 30 May 1940. You certainly remember this meeting with the Police on 30 May 1940, when you gave final instructions to the police before carrying out this action?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: You stated the following:
"Any attempt on the part of the legal authorities to intervene in the AB Action, undertaken with the help of the Police, should be considered as treason to the State and to German interests."
Do you remember this statement?
FRANK: I do not remember it, but you must take into account all the circumstances which spread over several weeks. You must consider the statement in its entirety and not seize upon one single sentence. This concerns a development which went on for weeks and months, in the course of which the reprieve committee was established by me for the first time. That was my way of protesting against arbitrary actions and of introducing legal justice in all these proceedings. That is a development extending over many weeks, which you cannot, in my opinion, summarize in one sentence.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I am speaking of words which in my opinion can have only one meaning for a jurist. You wrote:
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"The reprieve committee which is part of my office is not concerned with these matters. The AB Action will be carried out exclusively by Higher SS and Police Leader Krueger and his organization. This is a purely internal action for quieting the country which is necessary and lies outside the scope of a normal legal trial."
That is to say you renounced your right of pardon?
FRANK: At that particular moment; but if you follow the further development of the AB Action during the following weeks you will see that this never became effective. That was an intention, a bad intention, which, thank God, I gave up in time. Perhaps my defense counsel will be able to say a few words on the subject later.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: One single question interests me. Did you renounce your right of pardon while carrying out this operation or not?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well then, how can you account for your words, this one sentence: "The reprieve committee is not concerned with these matters."?
How should we interpret these words?
FRANK: This is not a decree; it is not the final ruling on the matter. It is a remark which was made on the spur of the moment and was then negotiated on for days. But one must recognize the final stage of the development, and not merely the various motives as they came up during the development.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, I understand that very well, Defendant. But I would like to ask you, was this statement made during a conference with the Police and did you instruct the Police in that matter?
FRANK: Not during that meeting. I assume it came up in some other connection. Here we discussed only this one action. After all, I also had to talk to State Secretary Buehler.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Well, all right. While discussing the AB Action with the Police you stated that the results of this action would not concern the reprieve committee which was subordinated to you, is that right?
FRANK: That sentence is contained in the diary. It is not, however, the final result, but rather an intermediate stage.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Perhaps I can recall to you another sentence, in order that you may judge the results of this action. Perhaps you can recall this part which I will put to you. You stated the following:
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"We need not bring these elements into German concentration camps, for in that case we would only have difficulties and an unnecessary correspondence with their families. We must simply liquidate matters in the country, and in the simplest way."
What you mean is that this would simply be a question of liquidation in the simplest form, is that not so?
FRANK: That is a terrible word. But, thank God, it did not take place in this way.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, but these persons were executed. What do you mean by saying that this was not carried out? Obviously this was carried out, for the persons were executed.
FRANK: When they were sentenced they were killed, if the right to pardon them was not exercised.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: And they were condemned without application of the right of pardon?
FRANK: I do not believe so.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Unfortunately these people are no more, and therefore obviously they; were executed.
FRANK: Which people?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Those who were arrested under the AB Action. I will remind you of another excerpt connected with this AB Action. If you did not agree with the Police with regard to certain police actions it would be difficult to explain the
celebrations in connection with the departure of Brigadefuehrer SS Streckenbach when he left for Berlin. Does this not mean that you were at least on friendly terms with the Police?
FRANK: In connection with political relations many words of praise are spoken which are not in keeping with the truth. You know that as well as any other person.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I will allow myself to remind you of only one passage of your speech addressed to the Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach, one sentence only. You said:
"What you, Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach, and your people, have done in the Government General must not be forgotten; and you need not be ashamed of it."
That testifies, does it not, to quite a different attitude toward Streckenbach and his people?
FRANK: And it was not forgotten either.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I have no further questions to put to the defendant.
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THE PRESIDENT: Does that conclude the cross-examination?
MR. DODD: I have only one or two questions, if Your Honor pleases
[Turning to the defendant.] In the course of your examination understood you to say that you had never gathered to yourself an, of the art treasures of the Government General. By that I do not suppose you to mean that you did not have them collected ant registered; you did have them collected and registered, isn't that so.
FRANK: Art treasures in the Government General were official!: collected and registered. The book has been submitted here in Court
MR. DODD: Yes. And you told the Tribunal that before you go there one Duerer collection had already been seized-before you too} over your duties.
FRANK: May I ask you to understand that as follows:
These were the Duerers which were removed in Lvov before the civilian administration was set up there. Herr Muehlmann went to Lvov at the time and took them from the library. I had never heel in Lvov before that. These pictures were then taken directly to the Fuehrer headquarters or to Reich Marshal Goering, I am not sun which.
MR. DODD: They were collected for Goering, that is what I an driving at. Is that not a fact?
FRANK: State Secretary Muehlmann, when I asked him, told me that he came on orders of the Reich Marshal and that he had taker them away on orders of the Reich Marshal
MR. DODD: And were there not some other art objects that were collected by the Reich Marshal, and also by the Defendant Rosenberg, at the time you told the Tribunal you were too busy with tasks to get involved in that sort of thing?
FRANK: I know of nothing of that sort in the Government General. The Einsatzstab Rosenberg had no jurisdiction in the Government General; and apart from the collection of the composer Elsner and a Jewish library from Lublin I had no official obligaton to demand the return of any art treasures from Rosenberg.
MR. DODD: But there were some art treasures in your possession when you were captured by the American forces.
FRANK: Yes. They were not in my possession. I was safeguarding them but not for myself. They were also not in my immediate safekeeping; rather I had taken them along with me from burning Silesia. They could not be safeguarded any other way. They were art treasures which are so widely known that they are Numbers 1 to 10 in the list in the book-no one could have appropriated them. You cannot steal a "Mona Lisa."
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MR. DODD: Well, I merely wanted to clear that up. I knew you had said on interrogation there were some in your possession. I am not trying to imply you were holding them for yourself, if you were not. However, I think you have made that clear.
FRANK: I should like to remark in this connection, since I attach particular importance to the point, that these art treasures with which we are concerned could be safeguarded only in this way. Otherwise they would have been lost.
MR. DODD: Very well. I have one other matter I would like to clear up and I will not be long.
I understood you also to say this morning that you had struggled for some time to effect the release of the Krak6w professors who were seized and sent to Oranienburg soon after the occupation of Poland. Now, of course, you are probably familiar with what you said about it yourself in your diary, are you?
FRANK: Yes, I said so this morning. Quite apart from what is said in the diary, what I said this morning is the truth. You must never forget that I had to speak among a circle of deadly enemies, people who reported every word I said to the Fuehrer and Himmler.
MR. DODD: Well, of course, you recall that you suggested that they should have been retained in Poland, and liquidated or imprisoned there.
FRANK: Never-not even if you confront me with this statement. I never did that. On the contrary, I received the professors from Krakow and talked to them quietly. Of all that happened I regretted that most of all.
MR. DODD: Perhaps you do not understand me. I am talking about what you wrote in your own diary about these professors, and I shall be glad to read it to you and make it available to you if you care to contest it. You are not denying that you said they should either be returned for liquidation in Poland, or imprisoned in Poland, are you? You do not deny that?
FRANK: I have just told you that I did say all that merely to hoodwink my enemies; in reality I liberated the professors. Nothing more happened to them after that.
MR. DODD: All right.
Were you also talking for special purposes when you gave General Krueger, the SS and Higher Police official, that fond farewell?
FRANK: The same applies also in this case. Permit me to say, sir, that I admit without reservation what can be admitted; but I have also sworn to add nothing. No one can admit any more than I have done by handing over these diaries. What I am asking is that you do not ask me to add anything to that.
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MR. DODD: No, I am not asking you to add anything to-it; rather, T was trying to clear it up, because you've made a rather difficult situation, perhaps, for yourself and for others. You see, if we cannot believe what you wrote in your diary, I don't know how you can ask us to believe what you say here. You were writing those things yourself, and at the time you wrote them I assume you didn't expect that you would be confronted with them.
THE PRESIDENT: Does he not mean that this was a record of a speech that he has made?
MR. DODD: In his diary, yes. It is recorded in his diary.
THE PRESIDENT: When he said, "I did that to hoodwink my enemies"?
MR. DODD: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: I presume that that particular record is a record of some speech that he made.
MR. DODD: It is. It is entered in the diary.
FRANK: May I say something about that. It wasn't that I put myself in a difficult position; rather the changing course of the war made the situation difficult for every administrative official.
MR. DODD: Finally, do you recall an entry in your diary in which you stated that you had a long hour and a half talk with the Fuehrer and that you had...
FRANK: When was the last conference, please?
MR. DODD: Well, this entry is on Monday, the 17th of March 1941. It's in your diary.
FRANK: That was probably one of the very few conferences; whether I was alone with him, I don't know.
MR. DODD: . . . in which you said you and the Fuehrer had come to a complete agreement and that he approved all the measures, including all the decrees, especially also the entire organization of the country. Would you stand by that today?
FRANK: No, but I might say the following: The Fuehrer's approval was always very spontaneously given, but one always had to wait a long while for it to be realized.
MR. DODD: Was that one of the times you complained to him, as you told us this morning?
FRANK: I constancy, complained. As you know, I offered TO resign on 14 occasions.
MR. DODD: Yes, I know; but on this occasion did you make many complaints and did you have the approval of the Fuehrer, or
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did he turn down your complaints on this occasion of the 17th of March, 1941?
FRANK: The Fuehrer took a very simple way out at the time by saying, "You'll have to settle that with Himmler."
MR. DODD: Well, that isn't really an answer. You've entered in your diary that you talked it out with him and that he approved everything, and you make no mention in your diary of any disappointment over the filing of a complaint. Surely, this wasn't a speech that you were recording in your diary; it seems to be a factual entry on your conversations with the Fuehrer. And my question is simply, do you now admit that that was the situation, or are you saying that it was a false entry?
FRANK: I beg your pardon, I didn't say that I made false entries. I never said that, and I'm not going to argue about words. I am merely saying that you must judge the words according to the entire context. If I emphasized in the presence of officials that the Fuehrer received me and agreed to my measures, then I did that to back up my own authority. I couldn't do that without the Fuehrer's agreement. What my thoughts were, is not made clear from this. I should like to emphasize that I'm not arguing about words and have not asked to do that.
MR. DODD: Very well, I don't care to press it any further.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, do you wish to re-examine?
DR. SEIDL: Witness, the first question put to you by the Soviet Prosecutor was whether you were the chief of the NSDAP in the Government General, and you answered "yes." Did the Party have any decisive influence in the Government General on political and administrative life?
FRANK: No. The Party as an organization in that sphere was, of course, only nominally under my jurisdiction, for all the Party officials were appointed by Bormann without my being consulted. There is no special Fuehrer decree for the spheres of activity of the NSDAP in the occupied territories, in which it says that these spheres of activity are directly under Reichsleiter Bormann's jurisdiction.
DR. SEIDL: Did your activity in that sphere of the NSDAP in the territory of the Government General have anything at all to do with any Security Police affairs?
FRANK: No, the Party was much too small to play any important part; it had no state function.
DR. SEIDL: The next question: The Soviet Prosecution showed you Document USSR-335. It is the Decree on Drumhead Courts-Martial of 1943. It states in Paragraph 6: "Drumhead court-martial sentences are to be carried out at once." Is it correct if I say that no
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formal legal appeal against these sentences was possible, but that a pardon was entirely admissible?
FRANK: Certainly; but, nevertheless, I must say that this decree is impossible.
DR. SEIDL: What conditions in the Government General occasioned the issuing of this decree of 2 October 1943? I am thinking in particular of the security situation.
FRANK: Looking back from the more peaceful conditions of the present time, I cannot think of any reason which might have made such a demand possible; but if one recalls the events of war, and the universal conflagration, it seems to have been a measure of desperation.
DR. SEIDL: I now come back to the AB Action. Is it true that in 1939 a court-martial decree was issued providing for considerably greater legal guarantees than that of 1943?
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that people arrested in the AB Action were, on the strength of this court-martial decree, sentenced or acquitted?
DR. SEIDL: Is it also true that all sentences of these courts were, as you saw fit, to be passed on to the competent reprieve committee under State Secretary Buehler?
DR. SEIDL: The prosecutor of the United States has laid it to your charge that in Neuhaus, where you were arrested after the collapse of the German Armed Forces, various art treasures were found, not in your house, but in the office of the Governor General. Is it true that you sent State Secretary Dr. Buehler with a letter to Reich Minister Dr. Lammers, and that this letter contained a list of these art treasures?
FRANK: Yes, not only that, I at once called the attention of the head of the Pinakothek in Munich to the fact that these pictures were there and that they should at once be safeguarded against bombing. He also looked at the pictures and then they were put in a bombproof cellar. I am glad I did so, for who knows what might otherwise have happened to these valuable objects.
DR. SEIDL: And now one last question. The Prosecution has submitted Document 661-PS. This document also has a USSR exhibit number, which I don't know at the moment. This is a document which has been made to have a bearing on the activities of the
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Academy for German Law, of which you were president. The document has the heading "Legal Formation of Germany's Polish Policy on Racial-Political Lines"; the legal part serves as a text for the Committee on the Law of Nationalities in the Academy for German Law. I'm having this document submitted to you. Please, will you tell me whether you've ever had this document in your hands before?
FRANK: From whom does it come?
DR. SEIDL: That is the extraordinary part; it has the Exhibit Number USA-300.
FRANK: Does it state anywhere who drew it up or something of the sort?
DR. SEIDL: The document has no author; nor does it show on whose order it was compiled.
FRANK: I can say merely that I've never seen the document; that I never gave an order for it to be drawn up; so I can say really nothing about it.
DR. SEIDL: It states here that it was found in the Ministry of Justice in Kassel. Was there a Ministry of Justice in Kassel in 1940?
FRANK: A Ministry of Justice in Kassel?
DR. SEIDL: Yes.
FRANK: That has not been in existence since 1866.
DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Then the defendant can return to his seat.
DR. SEIDL: In that case, with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall call witness Dr.Bilfinger.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: This document which you produced as USSR-223, which are extracts from Defendant Frank's diary; are you offering that in evidence? Apparently some entries from Frank's diary have already been offered in evidence; others have not. Are you wishing to offer this in evidence?
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This document has already been submitted in evidence under two numbers; the first number is 2233-PS, which was submitted by the American Prosecution, and the second is Exhibit USSR-223, and was already submitted by us on 15 February, 1946.
THE PRESIDENT: I see. Have these entries which you have in this document been submitted under USSR-223? You see, the PS number does not necessarily mean that the documents have been offered in evidence. The PS numbers were applied to documents
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before they were offered in evidence; but the USSR-223 does imply that it has been offered in evidence.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: This document has already been presented in evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, what the Tribunal wants to know is whether you wish to offer this USSR-223 in evidence, because unless it was read before it hasn't been offered in evidence, or it hasn't gone into the record.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: We already read an excerpt on 15 February, and it is, therefore, already read into the record.
THE PRESIDENT: well.
MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: May I retire, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
[The witness Bilfinger took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you stand up, please, and will you tell us your full name?
RUDOLF BILFINGER (Witness): Rudolf Bilfinger.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, since when were you active in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), and in what position?
BILFINGER: From the end of 1937 until the beginning of 1943 I was government councillor in the RSHA, and later senior government councillor and expert on legal questions, and legal questions in connection with the police.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that on two occasions and at different times you were head of the "Administration and Law" department attached to the commander of the Security Police and SD in Krakow?
BILFINGER: Yes. In the autumn of 1940 and in 1944 I was head of the department "Administration and Law" attached to the commander of the Security Police and SD in Krakow.
DR.SEIDL: What were the tasks you had to fulfil at different times in the Government General-in broad outline.
BILFINGER: In 1940 I had the task of taking over from the Government General a number of branches of the police administration and working in that connection under the Higher SS and Police Leader.
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DR. SEIDL: What was the legal position of the Higher SS and Police Leader, and what was his relation to the Governor General? Did the Higher SS and Police Leader receive his instructions concerning the Security Police and the SD from the Governor General? Or did he receive them direct from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the Police, that is, Himmler?
BILFINGER: The Higher SS and Police Leader from the very beginning received his instructions direct from the Reichsfuehrer SS, Himmler.
DR.SEIDL: Is it furthermore true that the commander of the Security Police and of the SD in the Government General also received direct orders and instructions from Amt IV, the Gestapo, and from Amt V, the Criminal Police in the RSHA?
BILFINGER: Yes, the commander of the Security Police received many orders direct from the various departments of the RSHA, particularly from departments IV and V.
DR. SEIDL: Did the institution of the State Secretariat for Security, which. occurred in 1942, bring about a change in the legal position of the Governor General with reference to measures of the Security Police and the SD?
BILFINGER: The appointment of a State Secretary as such did not alter the legal position of the Governor General or of the State Secretary. New spheres of activity were merely added to the State Secretariat for Security.
DR.SEIDL: Do you know of a decree of Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Himmler, in the year 1939, and what were its contents?
BILFINGER: I knew of a decree, probably dated 1939, dealing with the appointment of the Higher SS and Police Leader, which ruled that the Higher SS and Police Leader would receive his instructions direct from Himmler.
DR" SEIDL: The institution of the State Secretariat dated from 7 May 1942 and was based on a Fuehrer decree. The application of this decree called forth another decree dated 3 June 1942, which dealt with the transfer of official business to the State Secretary for Security. Do you know the contents of that decree?
BILFINGER: The essential contents of the decrees which you have mentioned are known to me.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that on the basis of this decree the entire Political Police and the Criminal Police, as had been the case before, were again subordinated to the State Secretary for Security within the framework of the Security Police?
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BILFINGER: These two branches from the very beginning were under the Higher SS and Police Leader, and later on under the State Secretary for Security. To this extent the decree did not bring about a change, but was merely a confirmation.
DR.SEIDL: Is it known to you that in Appendix B of that decree there are 26 paragraphs in which all the branches of the Security Police are transferred to the Higher SS and Police Chief as State Secretary for Security?
DR.SEIDL: Do you know that in this decree, in Appendix B. Jewish matters are also mentioned specifically?
DR. SEIDL: Do you know that in Paragraph 21 of Appendix B it is ruled:
"The special fields of the Security Police: Representation of the Government General at conferences and meetings, particularly with the central offices of the Reich, which deal with the above-mentioned special fields."?
BILFINGER: I know that as far as the sense is concerned, such a ruling was contained therein. Whether Paragraph 21 or another paragraph was worded this way I don't remember.
DR. SEIDL: Is it also true that on the basis of this decree the last remains of the administrative police were removed from the administration of the Government General and handed over to the State Secretary for Security, who was directly under Himmler.
BILFINGER: That was the intention and the purpose of this decree. But, contrary to the wording of that decree, only a few branches were taken away from the administration; concerning the remainder a fight ensued later. The result was, however, that all branches of the police administration were taken away.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, did the administration of the Government General have anything to do with the establishment and administration of concentration camps?
BILFINGER: To the best of my knowledge, no.
DR. SEIDL: You were with the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Krakow. When did you yourself hear of concentration camps at Maidanek, Treblinka, and Lublin for the first time?
BILFINGER: May I correct you, I was attached to the Commander of Security Police.
DR. SEIDL: Yes, the Commander of the Security Police.
BILFINGER: I heard of Maidanek for the first time when Lublin and Maidanek were occupied by the Russians; and through
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propaganda I heard for the first time what the name Maidanek meant, when the then Governor General Frank ordered an investigation regarding events in Maidanek and responsibility for these events.
DR. SEIDL: According to your own observation, generally speaking, what were the relations like between the Govern
or General and the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, and what were the reasons for those relations?
BILFINGER: Relations between them were very bad from the beginning. The reasons were partly questions of organization and of the use of the Police, and partly essential differences of opinion.
DR SEIDL: What do you mean by essential differences of opinion? Do you mean different opinions regarding the treatment of the Polish population?
BILFINGER: I can still recollect one example which concerned the confirmation of police court-martial sentences by Governor General Frank. I opposition to Krueger's opinion, he either failed to confirm a number of sentences or else mitigated them considerably. In this connection I remember such differences of opinion.
DR. SEIDL: Were these sentences which were passed in connection with the so-called AB Action?
BILFINGER: I know nothing of an AB Action.
DR. SEIDL: You came to the Government General later, did you?
BILFINGER: I came to the Government General in August 1940.
DR.SEIDL: I have no further questions for this witness.
Are PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel want to ask questions?
DR. RUDOLF MERKEL (Counsel for Gestapo): May I put a few questions to the witness?
Witness, the Prosecution states that the State Police was a circle of persons formed in accordance with a common plan, and that membership in it was voluntary. Since you had an especially high position in the RSHA, I ask you to tell me briefly what you know about these questions?
BILFINGER: Of the members of the Secret State Police only a small part were volunteers. The former officials, the officials of the former political department of the headquarters of the Commissioner of the Police, constituted the nucleus of the membership of the Secret State Police. The various local police head of flees were created from these former political departments of the central police headquarters, and at the same time practically all the officials from these former political departments were taken over. In Berlin, for example, it was Department I-A of the central police headquarters.
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Apart from that, administrative officials were transferred from other administrative authorities to the Secret State Police, or were detailed to go here. As time went on people from administrations and offices were forced to transfer to the Secret State Police. Thus, for instance, the entire frontier customs service was transferred to the Secret State Police in 1944 by order of the Fuehrer. At about the same time the whole of the intelligence service was transferred.
In the course of the war numerous members of the Waffen-SS who were no longer eligible for active military service were detailed to the Secret State Police. In addition many people who originally had had nothing to do with police work were drafted as emergency members to the Secret State Police.
DR. MERKEL: If I summarize it by saying that the Secret State Police was a Reich authority and that the German civil service law applied to its employees, is that correct?
DR. MERKEL: Was it possible for the officials to resign from the Secret State Police easily?
BILFINGER: It was extremely difficult and, in fact, impossible to resign from the Secret State Police. One could resign only in very special circumstances.
DR. MERKEL: It has been stated here with reference to the composition of the Secret State Police personnel that there was the following proportion: executive officers about 20 percent; administrative officials about 20 percent; and technical personnel approximately 60 percent. Are these figures about right?
BILFINGER: I have no general information about the composition of the personnel; but for certain offices about which I knew more these figures would probably apply.
DR. MERKEL: Under whose jurisdiction were the concentration camps in Germany and in the occupied countries?
BILFINGER: The concentration camps were under the jurisdiction of the Economic Administration Main office under SS Gruppenfuehrer Pohl.
DR. MERKEL: Did the Secret State Police have anything to do with the administration of the concentration camps?
BILFINGER: No. It may be that at the beginning certain concentration camps here and there were administered directly by the Secret State Police for a short period. That was probably the case in individual instances. But in principle even at that time, and later on without exception, the concentration camps were administered by the Economic Administration Main Office.
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DR. MERKEL: Do you know at all who gave orders for the liquidations which took place in the concentration camps?
BILFINGER: No, I know nothing about that.
DR. MERKEL: Can you say anything about the grounds for protective custody? On the strength of what legal rulings was protective custody decreed after 1933?
BILFINGER: Protective custody was based on the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State, of February 1933, in which a number of the basic rights of the Weimar Constitution were rescinded.
DR. MERKEL: Was there later a decree by the Minister of the Interior which dealt with protective custody, at the end of 1936 or the beginning of 1937?
BILFINGER: Yes, at that time the Protective Custody Law was drawn up. The legal basis as such remained in force. At that time power to decree protective custody was confined to the Secret State Police. Before that a number of other offices, rightly or wrongly, had decreed protective custody. To prevent this, protective custody was then confined to the Secret State Police.
DR. MERKEL: Is it correct that for some time you were in France. In what capacity were you there?
BILFINGER: In the late summer and autumn of 1943 I was commander of the Security Police in France, in Toulouse.
DR. MERKEL: Do you know anything about an order from the RSHA, or from the commander of the Sipo for France, or from individual district commanders, to the effect that ill-treatment or torture was to be applied when prisoners were interrogated?
BILFINGER: No, I do not know of such orders.
DR. MERKEL: Then how do you explain the ill-treatment and atrocities which actually took place in connection with interrogations, proof of which has been given by the Prosecution?
BILFINGER: It is possible that ill-treatment did occur; in a number of cases this either took place in spite of its being forbidden, or else it was committed by members of other German offices in France which did not belong to the Security Police.
DR. MERKEL: Did you, while you were active in France, hear of any such ill-treatment either officially or by hearsay?
BILFINGER: I never heard of any such ill-treatment at the hands of members of the German police or the German Armed Forces. I heard only of cases of ill-treatment carried out by groups consisting of Frenchmen who were being employed by some German authority.
DR. MERKEL: Were there so-called Gestapo prisons in France?
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BILFINGER: No, the Security Police in France did not have prisons of their own. They handed over their prisoners to the detention camps of the German Armed Forces.
DR. MERKEL: One last question: The Prosecution has given proof of a large number of crimes against humanity and war crimes
which were committed with the participation of the Security Police. Can one say that these crimes were perfectly obvious and were known to all members of the Secret State Police, or were these crimes known only to a small circle of persons who had been ordered
directly to carry out the measures concerned? Do you know anything about that?
BILFINGER: I didn't quite understand the question from the beginning. Were you referring to France or to the Security Police in general?
DR. MERKEL: I was referring to the Security Police in general.
BILFINGER: No ill-treatment or torture of any kind was permitted; and, as far as I know, nothing of the kind did happen, still less was it known generally or to a larger circle of persons. I knew nothing about it:
DR. MERKEL: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine? Is there nothing you wish to ask arising from Dr. Merkel's cross-examination, Dr. Seidl?
DR. SEIDL: I have only one more question to ask the witness.
Witness, in Paragraph 4 of the decree of 23 June 1942 the following ruling is made, and I quote:
"The SS and Police Leaders in the districts are directly subordinate to the governors of the districts, Just as the State Secretary for Security is subordinate to the Governor General."
Thus it does not say that the entire police organization is subordinate, but only the police leaders.
Now I ask you whether orders which had been issued by the commanders of the Security Police and the SD were forwarded to the governors or were sent directly to the district chiefs of the Security Police and the SD?
BILFINGER: These orders were always sent directly from the commander to the district chiefs d the Security Police and the SD. The commander could give no instructions to the governors.
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DR.SEIDL: If I understand you correctly you mean that the Security Police and the SD had their own official channels which had absolutely nothing to do with the administrative construction of the Government General.
DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions for the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
DR. SEIDL: With the permission of the Tribunal, I call as the next witness the former Governor of Krakow, Dr. Kurt von Burgsdorff.
[The witness Von Burgsdorff took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?
KURT VON BURGSDORFF (Witness): Kurt von Burgsdorff
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:
"I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing."
[The witness repeated the oath.]
DR.SEIDL: Witness, the Government General was divided into five districts at the head of each of which there was a governor; is that correct?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. SEIDL: From 1 December 1943 until the occupation of your district by Soviet troops you were governor of the district Krakow?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes. To use the correct official term, I was . . .
GENERAL R. A. RUDENKO (Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Mr. President, the defense counsel has put the question of the "occupation" of this region by Soviet troops. I energetically protest against such terminology and consider it a hostile move.
DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I have just been told that perhaps a mistake in the translation has crept in. All I intended to say was that, in the course of the year 1944, the area of which this witness was governor was occupied by the Soviet troops in the course of military action. I do not know what the Soviet prosecutor is protesting against; it is at any rate far from my intention to make any hostile statement here.
THE PRESIDENT: I think the point was, it was not an occupation, it was a liberation by the Russian Army.
DR. SEIDL: Of course; I did not want to say any more than that the German troops were driven out of this area by the Soviet troops.
Witness, will you please continue with your answer?
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VON BURGSDORFF: I was entrusted with exercising the duties of a governor-that is the correct official expression. Until a few months ago I was still an officer of the Wehrmacht, and during my entire activity in Krakow I remained an officer of the Wehrmacht.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, according to your observations, what basically was the attitude of the Governor General toward the Polish and Ukrainian people?
VON BURGSDORFF: I want to emphasize that I can answer only for the year 1944. At that time the attitude of the Governor General was that he wished to live in peace with the people.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that already in 1942 the Governor General had given the governors the opportunity of setting up administrative committees, comprised of Poles and Ukrainians, attached to the district chiefs?
VON BURGSDORFF: There was a governmental decree to this effect. Whether that was in 1942 or not I do not know.
DR. SEIDL: Did you yourself make use of the authorization contained therein, and did you establish such administrative committees?
VON BURGSDORFF: In the district of Krakow I had such a committee established at once for every district chief.
DR.SEIDL: Witness, according to your observations what was the food situation like in the Government General, and particularly in your district?
VON BURGSDORFF: It was not unsatisfactory; but I must add that the reason for that was that, in addition to the rations, the Polish population had an extensive black market.
DR. SEIDL: According to your observations what was the attitude of the Governor General on the question of the mobilization of labor?
VON BURGSDORFF: He did not wish any workers sent outside the Government General, because he was interested in retaining the necessary manpower within the country.
DR. SEIDL: Was the Church persecuted by the Governor General in the Government General; and what basically was the attitude of the Governor General to this question, according to your observations?
VON BURGSDORFF: Again I can answer only for my district and for the year 1944. There was no persecution of the Church; on the contrary, the relations with churches of all denominations were good in my district. On my travels I always received the clergy, and I never heard any complaint.
DR. SEIDL: Did you have any personal experience with the Governor General with regard to this question?
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VON BURGSDORFF: Yes. In the middle of January 1944 I was appointed District Standortfuehrer by the Governor General, who at the same time was the Party Leader in the Government General; that is, I was appointed to a Party, office for the district of Krakow. I pointed out to him, as I had pointed out to the Minister of the Interior, Himmler, before, that I was a convinced church-going Christian. The Governor General replied that he was in no way perturbed by that and that he knew of no provision in the Party program which prohibited it.
DR. SEIDL: What, according to your observations, were the relations like between the Governor General and the administration of the Government General on the one side, and the Security Police and the SD on the other side?
VON BURGSDORFF: Doubtlessly underneath they were bad, because the Police always ended by doing only what it wanted and did not concern itself with the administration. For that reason in he country districts also there was real friction between the administration offices and the Police.
DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that when you took office, or shortly after, the Governor General issued several instructions referring to the Police? I quote from the diary of the Defendant Dr. Frank, the entry of 4 January 1944:
"The Governor General then gave some instructions to Dr. Von Burgsdorff with reference to his new activities. His task will be to inform himself, as a matter of principle, of all decisive factors in the district. Above all the Governor should direct his efforts to opposing energetically any encroachments by the Police."
VON BURGSDORFF: Today I no longer remember that conversation of 4 January 1944, but it may have taken place. However, I do remember that after I took office, at the end of November 1943, I went to see the Governor General once more and told him that I had heard that the relations with the Police were not good and were scarcely tolerable for the administration. He replied that he was doing what he could in order, as I might put it, to bring the Police to reason. It was on the basis of this statement by the Governor General that I definitely decided to remain in the Government General. I had, as is known, told the Reich Minister of the Interior that I was unwilling to go there.
DR SEIDL: In your capacity as Governor did you have any authority to issue commands to the Security Police and the SD in your district?
VON BURGSDORFF: None whatsoever.
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DR. SEIDL: Did you yourself ever see a police directive?
VON BURGSDORFF: Never. With the Police, orders are passed down vertically, that is, directly from the Higher SS and Police Leader to the SS and Police Leader respectively-and that is probably the usual way-from the chief of the Security Police to the unit commander of the Security Police.
DR. SEIDL: In your activity as Governor did you have anything to do with the administration of concentration camps?
VON BURGSDORFF: Never.
DR.SEIDL: Do you know who administered the concentration camps?
VON BURGSDORFF: No, not from my own experience; but I have heard that there was some central office in Berlin under the Reichsfuehrer SS.
DR. SEIDL: When did you hear for the first time of the Maidanek concentration camp?
VON BURGSDORFF: From you, about a fortnight ago.
DR. SEIDL: You want to tell the Tribunal under oath . . .
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. SEIDL: . . . that you, although you were Governor of Krakow In the occupied Polish territory, did not learn about that until during your captivity?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes, I am firmly convinced that I heard about this concentration camp from you for the first time.
DR. SEIDL: When did you for the first time hear of the Treblinka concentration camp?
VON BURGSDORFF: Also from you on the same occasion.
DR.SEIDL: Witness, the Governor General is accused by the Prosecution of issuing a summary court-martial decree in the year 1943. What at that time was the security situation in the Government General?
VON BURGSDORFF: Again I can judge only for the year 1944. As the German troops came back from the East, it became worse and worse, so that in my district it became increasingly difficult to carry out any kind of administration.
DR. SEIDL: According to your observations what was the economic situation like in the agricultural and industrial sectors of your district, and is the statement justified that, allowing for wartime conditions, the administration of the Government General had done everything to promote economy?
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VON BURGSDORFF: Economy in my district was at full force in 1944 both in industry and in agriculture. Some industries had been transferred from the Reich to the Government General; and, as far as agriculture was concerned, the administration imported large quantities of fertilizers and seeds and the like. Horse breeding was also greatly promoted in my district.
DR. SEIDL: The Defendant Dr. Frank is accused of not having done everything that was necessary with regard to public health and sanitary conditions. What can you say about this point?
VON BURGSDORFF: I can say that in my district-again speaking of 1944-hospitals were improved and new ones installed. A great deal was done, especially in the. fighting of epidemics. Typhus, dysentery, and typhoid were greatly reduced by inoculation.
DR. SEIDL: The Defendant Frank is also accused of having neglected higher education. Do you know anything about the conditions in the Government General in regard to this?
VON BURGSDORFF: When I came into the Government General there was no longer any higher education at all. On the basis of other experiences I suggested immediately that Polish universities be opened again. I contacted the president of the main department for education, who told me that the government was already entertaining such plans. In every one of my monthly reports I pointed cut the necessity for Polish universities, because within a short time, or more correctly in a few years' time, there would be a shortage of technicians, doctors, and veterinarians.
DR. SEIDL: Now, one last question. There was a so-called sphere of activity of the NSDAP in the Government General; you were the District Standortfuehrer in the Government General?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. SEIDL: Witness, what, according to your observations, were the relations between the Governor General and the Head of the Party Chancellery, Bormann?
VON BURGSDORFF: I believe I can say without exaggeration that they were extremely bad. As District Standortfuehrer I combined this office with that of District Governor and witnessed the last great struggle of the Governor General against Bormann. The Governor General held the view, and in this he was justified, that it was wrong to combine the Party office with the government office. He was afraid there would be too much interference not only by the Police but also by the Party, and he wanted to prevent that. Bormann, on the other hand, wanted to establish the predominance
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of the Party over the State in the Government General as well. That led to the most serious conflict.
DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions for the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other Defense Counsel wish to ask any other questions?
DR. OTTO FREIHERR VON LUEDINGHAUSEN (Counsel for Defendant Von Neurath): Witness, you were at one time Under State Secretary in the Government of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia? When was that?
VON BURGSDORFF: From the end of March 1939 until the middle of March 1942.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: And to whom were you directly subordinate as Under State Secretary? The State Secretary Frank or the Reich Protector?
VON BURGSDORFF: State Secretary Frank.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: How did you come to know about the activities of Von Neurath as Reich Protector?
VON BURGSDORFF: From conferences with him and personal conversations.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: What kind of work did you have to do as Under State Secretary?
VON BURGSDORFF: I was in charge of the administration proper.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Were the Police and the various SS and police offices subordinate to you?
VON BURGSDORFF: No.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: To whom were they subordinate?
VON BURGSDORFF: To State Secretary Frank.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: What was State Secretary Frank's attitude to Von Neurath?
VON BURGSDORFF: You mean officially?
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Officially, yes, of course.
VON BURGSDORFF: Herr Von Neurath tried at first to get on with Herr Frank; but the stronger Frank's position became, the more impossible that was. State Secretary Frank, later Minister Frank, had behind him the entire power of the SS and the Police, and finally Hitler also.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: From whom did Frank get his orders directly?
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VON BURGSDORFF: As far as I know, from Himmler; however, I saw that on one or two or three occasions he received direct orders from Hitler.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: And that happened mostly without Von Neurath being consulted?
VON BURGSDORFF: That I cannot say, but I assume so.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Was it possible for Frank to perform his political functions independently within his sphere of activity, or did he have to have the approval of Herr Von Neurath?
VON BURGSDORFF: Whether he was authorized or allowed to do so, I should not like to decide, but at any rate he did so.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Were Herr Von Neurath and Herr Frank of the same opinion concerning the policy towards the Czech people?
VON BURGSDORFF: I did not understand your question.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Did Herr Von Neurath agree with the policy toward the Czech people pursued by Frank or his superior, Himmler?
VON BURGSDORFF: No.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Could he carry through his aims?
VON BURGSDORFF: He could not do anything, confronted as he was by Himmler's and Hitler's immense power.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: What was Herr Von Neurath's own policy and attitude?
VON BURGSDORFF: At the beginning I spoke very often about these things to Herr Von Neurath. On the basis of the decree of 15 March he hoped and believed he could get the Germans and Czechs in the Protectorate to live together reasonably and peacefully.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: But as Frank's position became stronger, that became more and more difficult?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you remember that in the middle of November 1939 serious disturbances broke out among the students in Prague?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you also remember that on the day after these incidents Herr Von Neurath and Frank flew to Berlin?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
18 April 46
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you remember that Frank returned from Berlin alone on the same day?
VON BURGSDORFF: I believe I can recall that Frank returned on the same day, but I do not know whether he returned alone.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: You don't know whether Herr Von Neurath returned with him?
VON BURGSDORFF: No.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know anything else about the incidents connected with the students' disturbances and what the consequences were?
VON BURGSDORFF: They resulted, as far as I remember, in the execution of several students and in the closing of the universities.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know whether the universities were closed on Himmler's order?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know anything about the attitude of Herr Von Neurath towards the Catholic and Protestant Churches?
VON BURGSDORFF: His attitude was always above reproach, and there were no difficulties with the churches during the time that I was in the Protectorate.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know that Herr Von Neurath was in contact with the Archbishop of Prague until the latter's death?
VON BURGSDORFF: No, I don't know anything about that.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know anything concerning whether, during the term of office of Herr Von Neurath, with his approval or upon his orders, art treasures of any kind, pictures, monuments, sculptures, libraries, or the like, belonging either to the State or to private owners, were confiscated and removed from the country?
VON BURGSDORFF: It is certain, absolutely certain, that he did not order anything of the sort. Whether he consented in any way to this I do not know, but I do not believe so. I remember one incident in the Malta Palace, where some Reich office-I don't remember today which it was-removed art treasures. Herr Von Neurath immediately did everything to make good this damage.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know that the customs union which had been ordered by Berlin from the very beginning between the Protectorate and Germany was not established for a long time because of Herr Von Neurath's intervention?
18 April 46
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes. I definitely know about that. However, in the interest of the truth, I have to add that State Secretary Frank also was against the customs union, because, like Herr Von Neurath, he believed that the economy of the Protectorate would be damaged by the stronger economy of Germany.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: While Von Neurath was Reich Protector, was there any compulsory deportation of workers?
VON BURGSDORFF: I am convinced that that did not happen. Workers were recruited, but in an entirely regular manner. That was the case while I was in the Protectorate.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know whether Von Neurath made travel in or out of the Protectorate dependent on official approval?
VON BURGSDORFF: Whether or not Von Neurath did that, I do not know.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know anything about the closing of the secondary schools?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: What do you know about it?
VON BURGSDORFF: I remember that the closing of the secondary schools was a necessary consequence of the closing of the universities. There were too many secondary schools in the Protectorate. Not all of them were closed by any means. On the other hand technical schools were greatly expanded and new ones established. I cannot remember anything more exact about it.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Do you know anything about Von Neurath's attitude towards the Germanization of Czechoslovakia as intended by Himmler?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes, I remember the memorandum which Von Neurath sent to Hitler about the whole affair. That memorandum was intended to defer Himmler's plans for forced Germanization. Von Neurath expressed the view, which he had frequently mentioned to me, that in the interest of peace in the Protectorate he did not advocate these attempts at Germanization.
DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I have no more questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
MR. DODD: Tell us, please, when you first joined the National Socialist Party?
VON BURGSDORFF: On 1 May 1933.
MR. DODD: And did you achieve office in any of its affiliated organizations?
18 April 46
VON BURGSDORFF: I was an honorary SA Gruppenfuehrer.
MR. DODD: Any other honors?
VON BURGSDORFF: Then for a few years, just as I had been during the democratic regime, I was legal advisor to the administration of Saxony.
MR. DODD: Weren't you also an Oberbannfuehrer in the HJ, the Hitler-Jugend ?
VON BURGSDORFF: I once became Oberbannfuehrer on the occasion of the Reich Youth Leader's visit to Prague. But that was purely a gesture of courtesy, which had no consequences.
I should like to mention again, since you speak of Party offices, that, as was said before, because of my post as Governor of Krak6w I was District Standortfuehrer from the middle of January 1944 until the end, that is the middle of January 1945.
MR. DODD: You also received the gold badge of the Hitler Youth, did you not?
VON BURGSDORFF: No.
MR. DODD: Weren't you in some way associated with Reinhard Heydrich when you were in Prague?
VON BURGSDORFF: I was with Heydrich until the middle of 1942. Then, as is generally known, because of the course pursued by Heydrich, I left the Protectorate, and at 55 years of age I went into the army.
MR. DODD: What position did you occupy with relation to Heydrich?
VON BURGSDORFF: The same as under Herr Von Neurath; I was Under State Secretary.
MR. DODD: Let me put it to you this way: You told us that you never heard of Maidanek, the concentration camp?
VON BURGSDORFF: Yes.
MR. DODD: And you never heard of Auschwitz?
VON BURGSDORFF: Of Auschwitz, yes.
MR. DODD: Had you heard of an installation known as Lublin?
VON BURGSDORFF: Of Lublin? Not of the concentration camp but of the city of Lublin, of course.
MR. DODD: Did you know of a concentration camp by the name of Lublin?
VON BURGSDORFF: No.
MR. DODD: You did know I assume, of many other concentration camps by name?
18 April 46
VON BURGSDORFF: Only of German camps, yes-of Dachau and Buchenwald.
MR. DODD: That is ale
THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions?
DR. SEIDL: I have no more questions for the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Who is your next witness?
DR. SEIDL: The next witness would be the former secretary of the Governor General, Fraulein Kraffczyk. However, if I understood the Tribunal correctly yesterday, this session will end at 1630 hours.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now until Tuesday morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 23 April 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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