The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. I am now talking about the defendant Frank, yes.

A. Frank had an office in Berlin where ministerial matters
were delivered to him.

Q. So that the Reich Cabinet did not actually meet, but it
continued to exist, did it not?

A. The Reich Cabinet existed only for those legislative and
administrative matters which were handled in writing and by
means of circulating letters.

Q. And the members of the Reich Cabinet, like Frank,
continued to receive communications as to the legislative
tasks and performances of the Reich Cabinet, even though
they were not available for conferences or meetings?

A. They got such communications.

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: I think it's time to break off.


(The Tribunal adjourned until 14.00 hours.)




Q. Witness, I want to ask you some questions about the
defendant Frank. Frank is a friend of yours, is he not?

A. Frank?

Q. Yes.

A. No, I have no very close connection with Frank.

Before answering this question, I would like permission to
return to a document which you submitted to me previously,
and which I have just now been able to finish reading. I
would like to read just two sentences in connection with
that document.

                                                  [Page 161]

Q. If the counsel for the defence desires you to return to
it, I have no doubt they will draw your attention to the
matter in due course.

Will you now deal with the question that I put to you on the
defendant Frank? You say he is not a friend of yours?

A. I did not know him particularly well, and I had no
particular connection with him - not more than any of the
other people in the Reich Government.

Q. Would it be right to say, like yourself, he was one of
the leading Nazi jurists?

A. Well, I never really thought of myself as a leading
National Socialist jurist.

Q. Are you saying that you were not a leading jurist, or
that you were not a National Socialist?

A. I considered myself in the first place as a lawyer - an
expert on constitutional law, which I have been for many
years in fact, since the year 1920 and under other
governments; then I joined the National Socialist Party and
naturally, in my position in the National Socialist State, I
made every effort to represent the National Socialist idea
of law.

Q. And you have said that, so far as Frank was concerned, he
was a jurist who opposed the arbitrary use of power by the

A. He did that in some of his speeches; and the Fuehrer did
not approve of these speeches.

Q. He was a man who believed in fair trials, was he?

A. What kind of trials do you mean? I cannot hear you; there
is such a lot of noise.

Q. Criminal trials.

A. I did not hear the word.

Q. He was in favour of fair trials and he resisted the
arbitrary power of the S.S.? That is your evidence, is it?

A. He told me that repeatedly, and he frequently expressed
this view in his speeches, too.

Q. And you say he was a man who favoured a liberal
administration in the territory of which he was Governor
General? Is that so?

A. I am sorry, but I can't follow this; there is so much
noise that I can barely hear half of what you are saying;
the other half is completely lost.

Q. Well, we will try again. Did you ever hear of the AB
Action, for which Frank was responsible in the Government

A. That is an action of which I know nothing at all. Someone
mentioned this name to me about a week ago and said that
Frank was accused of this AB Action; I do not know of any AB

Q. You were getting frequent reports through Frank as to the
administration of his territory, were you not?

A. Reports were occasionally sent in.

Q. Are you saying that Frank never informed you about the AB

A. Yes, I do not know what the AB Action is.

Q. I will remind you. It was an action which resulted in the
slaughter of the flower of the Polish race, of the Polish

A. I know nothing about such an action.

Q. If you will look at the Document 2233-PS, which has
already been exhibited as USSR 223, and which is Frank's
diary, you will see that history of this action and perhaps
you will then remember something of the circumstances of it.

A. Which page is that, please?

Q. On Page 8 of the annex to that text. You will see on that
page that the action started on 16th May with a conference
at which Frank, the Governor General and Reich Minister Dr.
Seyss-Inquart, Secretary of State Buehler, S.S. Brigadier
Streckenbach, and a Colonel Muller were present. You will
see there that Frank decreed, with immediate effect, that
the task of carrying out an extraordinary pacification
programme be given to the Chief of the Security Police, to

                                                  [Page 162]

immediately. The more important details of the action were
then discussed, and Brigadier Streckenbach was formally
given the necessary authority by the Governor General. The
Governor General ordered a detailed report to be made on
30th May.

Then, I want you to look at Page 2 of that text, at a report
of the conference on 30th May, from which you, and, what is
more important, this Tribunal, may be able to judge what
kind of jurisprudence Nazi jurists believed in.

You will see, on Page 43 of the English text of Document
2233-PS, a report of the police conference on 30th May,
where Frank and Kruger and others were present.

A. I was never present at these conferences of the

Q. I want you to see how far removed Frank, the apostle of
decency in administration, was from the true Frank when he
was Governor General of Poland. You will see there that
Frank states: "If I had not the old Nazi guard of fighters
of the police and S.S. here in the country, with whom could
we then carry out this policy?"

The report, with which the Tribunal is already familiar,
goes on to describe how, now that the German aggressions in
the West were in full swing, it was possible for Frank to go
through with this action against the Polish intelligentsia.

A. If the entries in the Governor General's diary do not
agree with what I gathered from the speeches which he made
in public, I cannot make any comment. I do not know what he
said about this. It may be that many of his speeches
contradict other speeches which he made at a different time.
What I said concerned only those speeches of which the
Fuehrer disapproved, to which he objected, and which led to
his being forbidden to make speeches or to print those he
had made. I was referring to those speeches. I cannot say at
the moment what other speeches the Governor General made and
what he entered in his diary.

Q. Let us be quite clear, Do you know that the regime of
Frank in the Government General was a murderous one?

A. I never heard anything about that.

Q. Did you receive any reports from him, or from other
sources, of misgovernment in the Government General?

A. Complaints about misgovernment in the Government General
came in frequently from Frank himself, and from other
departments against Frank.

Q. Did you have knowledge of the utter ruthlessness of
Frank's methods in the Government General?

A. I only heard half your question.

Q. You were receiving reports from Frank as to what he was
doing in the Government General, were you not?

A. Yes. Reports came in frequently and I immediately passed
them on to the Fuehrer as transit matters. Most of them went
to Reichsleiter Bormann or the adjutant office of the
Fuehrer. These were reports -

Q. Just a moment. If you deal with the questions I put to
you, we shall get on much faster, you know. Just answer the
questions I put, briefly. I am going to put to you one
message which Frank's diary indicated that you received.

At Page 41 of the English text of Frank's diary there is
this entry of 5th August:

  "The Governor General sends the following teletype to
  Reich Minister Dr. Lammers:
  The city of Warsaw is for the most part in flames.
  Burning down the houses is the surest way of depriving
  the insurgents of hiding places. After this rising and
  its suppression, its deserved fate of complete
  annihilation will rightfully - overtake Warsaw or be
  imposed upon it."

Do you recollect receiving that teletype?

A. To my knowledge this report did come in and was
immediately transmitted to the Fuehrer. However, I was not
concerned in the action itself; that was a military measure
and military reports normally went straight to the Fuehrer.

                                                  [Page 163]

all probability I passed on this teletype message not only
to the Fuehrer, but also to the Chief of the High Command.

Q. I am not concerned with the action which you took in
these circumstances; I am concerned with your knowledge,
because you have denied to this Tribunal, time and time
again, that you ever knew anything of these abominations
that were going on under the Nazi regime. So just deal with
the question of your knowledge at the moment.

You have said -

A. I know that this report was received -

Q. And that was a characteristic Frank message, was it not?

A. And that an annihilation action had been decreed in
Warsaw and that there was fighting in Warsaw. After all, I
had no right to give orders to the Governor General. I could
only transmit his report to the Fuehrer. The report was
meant for the Fuehrer and not for me personally.

Q. You say that Frank was opposed to the institution of
concentration camps. That is your evidence, is it not? Is it
your evidence that Frank was opposed to concentration camps?

A. Yes. Frank himself told me that in principle he was
opposed to internment in concentration camps, for he agreed
with my view that such a proceeding must at least have a
legal basis.

Q. That is what he told you?

A. Yes, he told me that. Yes.

Q. Just let me read to you one brief extract from his diary
to show why he disapproved of concentration camps. I am
reading from Page 45 of the diary. He is referring to the
Polish intelligentsia, and he says:

   "We do not need first to deport these elements to the
   concentration camps in the Reich, because then we should
   only have annoyance and unnecessary correspondence with
   their families. Instead we shall liquidate matters in
   the country itself."

Then he goes on to say that:

  "... we do not intend to set up concentration camps, in
  the real sense of the term, here in the Government
  General. Any prisoners from the Government General who
  are in concentration camps in the Reich must be put at
  our disposal for the AB Action, or dealt with there. Any
  one who is suspect here must be liquidated immediately."

That is why Frank opposed the institution of concentration
camps. He believed in immediate murder, did he not?

A. It may be that Frank's diary and his actions do not agree
with what he told me, but I only know what he told me was
his opinion of concentration camps. I do not know what he
wrote in his diary nor do I know what he did in practice. I
had no right to exercise supervision over the Governor

Q. You have spoken of the battle between Frank and various
other Reich Commissars and Reich Ministers and the S.S. I
suggest to you that the battle between Frank and the S.S.
Brigadier Kruger was a battle for power, a battle between
personalities, and was not connected in any way with Frank's
desire to see decency and justice determine the
administration of the Government General.

A. If you mean that Frank's statements to me do not agree
with his actions, you must question Herr Frank on the point.
I am not responsible for his actions. I can only say what
Herr Frank told me.

Q. You see, you were receiving reports not only from Frank
himself but from the S.S., were you not?

A. A great many reports came in to me and were passed on in
the routine way, for which I was only a transit station for
such reports. In any case, reports from the S.S. in most
cases did not go through my office.

                                                  [Page 164]

Q. You were another of these highly placed post offices on
which the Nazi Reich was founded, were you?

A. I am sorry, I did not understand that.

Q. Do you remember communicating with Himmler about the
situation in the Government General?

A. Yes, certainly. I know that Himmler would have liked to
remove Governor General Frank from the Government General.
He would rather have had someone else as Governor General.

Q. You submitted a report to Himmler on the strength of a
discussion you had had with S.S. Lieutenant General Kruger,
did you not?

A. I cannot recall a discussion with General Kruger at the
moment, unless I am given more exact information as to when
it took place.

Q. Will you just look at the Document 2220-PS, which is
Exhibit USA 175. That is your report to Himmler. You will
see that that report is dated 17th April, 1943, addressed to
Himmler, with reference to the situation in the Government
General. I will read some of it; it has not been read

  "Dear Reich Leader:
  We had agreed at our conference on 27th March of this
  year that written reports should be prepared on the
  situation in the Government General, on which our
  intended mutual report to the Fuehrer could be based."

That was the mutual report of the S.S. and yourself, and
then the next paragraph reads: "The material ..."

A. That was a report made on instructions given me by the
Fuehrer to investigate certain complaints made against
Frank. A series of complaints against Frank had been
received and the Fuehrer had given instructions that Himmler
and I should investigate the matter. That is the matter we
are concerned with now.

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