The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/09/19

By Dr. SEIDL, Continued:

The Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan had the same
power. Article 6 provided that over and above all, the
highest Reich authorities could issue decrees necessary for
planning within the German living-space and economic area,
and that these would be effective also for the Government

Apart from this limitation of the authority of the Governor
General as provided in the Fuehrer Decree of 12th October,
1939, other powers were conferred at a later date, which
impaired to an equal degree the principle of a military
administration. That is particularly true of the position of
the Plenipotentiary for Labour. I refer at this point to the
appropriate documents presented by the prosecution and the
defence, in particular to the Fuehrer Decree of 21St March,
1942, in which it is expressly provided that the powers of
the Plenipotentiary for Labour extend to the territory of
the Government General. The whole armament industry in the
Government General was at first in the hands of the OKW, but
after the establishment of the Reich Ministry of Armaments,
it came under the jurisdiction of the latter.

The evidence has also shown that in other directions too the
principle of military administration was extensively
infringed upon. For this I refer to the statements of the
witnesses Dr. Lammers and Dr. Buehler and to the content of
the documents submitted by me, especially the Exhibit USA
135. This deals with the directives in "special matters
concerning Instruction No. 21" (case Barbarossa), in which
it is expressly provided that the Commander-in-Chief of the
Army shall be entitled "to order such measures in the
Government General as are necessary for the

                                                  [Page 282]

execution of his military duties and for safeguarding the
troops," and in which the Commander-in-Chief is empowered to
delegate his authority to the army groups and armies.

All these infringements on the principle of a unitary
administration of all special powers, however, pale beside
the special position allotted to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler,
even in respect of the territory of the Government General.
The evidence, and particularly the testimony of Dr.
Bilfinger, counsellor in the RSHA, shows that as early as in
1939, when the defendant was appointed Governor General, a
secret decree was issued in which it was provided that the
Higher SS and Police Leader East was to receive his
instructions direct from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of
the German Police Himmler. Similarly, it is provided in the
Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor for the
Consolidation of the German Nation that the Reichsfuehrer SS
should be directly empowered to effect the formation of new
German settlement areas by means of resettlements. These two
decrees conferred on the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler powers
which, from the very first day of the existence of the
Government General, were to confront its administration with
almost insurmountable difficulties. Very soon it became
evident that the general administration under the Governor
General had at its disposal no executive organs in the true
meaning of the term. Since the Higher SS and Police Leader
East received his instructions and orders direct from
Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and refused to carry out
instructions emanating from the Governor General, it was
very soon seen that in reality there were two separate
authorities ruling over the Government General. The
difficulties which thus arose were bound to become all the
greater as Higher SS and Police Leader Kruger, who for not
less than four years was Himmler's direct representative in
the Government-General, did not even inform the
administration of the Government General before carrying out
police measures.

It is a well-known experience in constitutional life that
any administration lacking executive police organs is in the
long run not capable of carrying out its appointed
functions. This is true even under normal conditions, but
must be especially so in the administration of occupied
territory. If we remember, moreover, not only that
Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler issued his instructions direct to
the Higher SS and Police Leader, ignoring the Governor
General, but that over and above this, the Offices III, IV,
V and VI of the RSHA also gave direct orders, namely to the
Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Cracow - then
we can assess the difficulties with which the civil
administration of the Government General had to wrestle day
by day.

Under these circumstances the Governor General had no choice
but to make every attempt to reach some form of co-operation
with the Security Police, unless he was prepared to
relinquish entirely any hope of building up a civil
administration in the Government General. And in fact the
history of the Administration of the Government General -
which lasted more than five years - is for the greater part
nothing but a chronicle of uninterrupted struggles between
the Governor General and the administration on the one hand,
and on the other, the Security Police (including the SD)
represented by Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and the Higher SS
and Police Leader East.

The same applies to the work of Himmler and his organs in
the field of resettlements. As Reich Commissioner for the
Consolidation of the German Nation, Himmler and his organs
carried out resettlement measures without even getting into
previous contact with the administration of the Government
General or informing the Governor General.

The numerous protests of the Governor General, addressed to
Dr. Lammers, Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich
Chancellery, with regard to the measures taken by the
Reichsfuehrer and the Higher SS and Police Leader East, and
the difficulties they put in the way of the administration
of that territory, have been established by the evidence.
These protests led in the year 1942 to an attempted new
regulation of the relationship between the administration
and the police. In

                                                  [Page 283]

retrospect, it can be said today as a result of the evidence
that even this attempt was only utilised by Himmler and the
Security Police to undermine internally and externally the
position of the Governor General and his civil

By decree of the Fuehrer, dated 7th May, 1942, a State
Secretariat for Security was established in the Government
General, and the Higher SS and Police Leader was appointed
State Secretary. According to Article II of this Decree, the
State Secretary for Security also became the representative
of the Reichsfuehrer SS in his capacity as Reich
Commissioner for the Consolidation of the German Nation. The
decisive provision of this decree is contained in Article
IV, in which it is stated:

  "The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of German Police can
  issue direct instructions to the State Secretary for
  Security in matters pertaining to security and the
  consolidation of the German nation."

Herewith, the contents of the secret decree issued in the
year 1939 on the establishment of the Government General -
which also provided that the Higher SS and Police Leader
East was to receive his instructions direct from the Berlin
central offices and above all from the Reichsfuehrer SS in
person - was expressly and now publicly confirmed. It is
true that Article V of the Fuehrer Decree of 7th May, 1942,
provided that in case of differences of opinion between the
Governor General and the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of
German Police, the Fuehrer's decision was to be obtained
through the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich

Chief of the Reich Chancellery Lammers was interrogated on
this subject when he appeared as witness before this
Tribunal. He testified that in so far as he found it
possible at all to gain the Fuehrer's ear in these matters,
the latter on principle invariably approved Himmler's view.
This is not surprising if we remember Himmler's position in
the German governmental system, particularly during the
later war years. This deprived the defendant Frank of the
last possibility of influencing in any way the measures
taken by Himmler and the Higher SS and Police Leader East.

In consequence of Article I, Paragraph 3, of the Fuehrer
Decree of 7th May, 1942, the scope of duties of the State
Secretary for Security had to be newly defined. Both the
Higher SS and Police Leader, and backing him, the
Reichsfuehrer SS, attempted to bring as much as possible
under their jurisdiction in connection with the new
regulation of the competence of the State Secretariat; on
the other hand, the Governor General, in the interest of the
maintenance of some sort of order in the administration,
naturally tried to obtain control of at least certain
departments of the Order Police and the Administration
Police. There is no doubt at all that it was the police who
emerged the victors in these struggles.

On 3rd June, 1942, the Governor General was obliged - in a
decree concerning the transfer of offices to the State
Secretary for Security - to declare himself willing to
transfer to the State Secretary all the departments of the
Security Police and the Order Police. I have submitted this
decree to the Tribunal (together with its two appendices A
and B) in the course of the evidence as Exhibit Frank No. 4.
The two appendices list all the departments of the Order and
Security Police that have ever existed in the German police
system. In Appendix A, which covers the departments of the
Order Police, there are twenty enumerated which not only
embraced all the departments of the Order Police, which were
transferred to the State Secretary for Security, but over
and above that, almost all the departmental functions of the
so-called Administration Police. I will only mention No. 18
as one example among many. This transfers to the Order
Police, and therewith to the Higher SS and Police Leader,
all matters connected with price control. What is true of
the Order Police is true in still greater measure of the
departments of the Security Police. No change as compared
with the earlier situation was brought about by placing
under the jurisdiction of the Higher SS and Police Leader
the whole of the political and criminal police, political
intelligence, Jewish affairs and similar departments; these
competencies were already his as Leader of the Security

                                                  [Page 284]

Police and the SD, and were made entirely independent of the
administration of the Government General under the secret
decree of the year 1939.

Departments were also transferred to the State Secretary for
Security which had only the remotest connection with the
tasks of the Security Police, matters such as the regulation
of holidays and so on.

Of no inconsiderable importance are the two last numbers in
the Appendices A and B, in which it is expressly provided
that at conferences and meetings, particularly with the
central Reich authorities, on all matters pertaining to the
Order and Security Police, the Government General - not the
Governor - should be represented by the Higher SS and Police
Leader. Therewith any competency possessed by the Governor
General, even in regard to comparatively unimportant
branches of the administrative police, was transferred to
the organs of Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, and the Government
General was thus deprived of even the last remnants of an
executive of its own.

Only by considering these facts and the development of the
conditions obtaining between administration and police in
the Government General, is it possible to form an
approximately correct appreciation of the events in the
Government General which form part of the subject of the
Indictment in this trial.

In the main, the prosecution seeks to prove its accusations
against the defendant Dr. Frank by quotations from the
defendant's diary. In this connection I have the following
basic observation to make.

That diary was not kept personally by the defendant Frank,
but was compiled by stenographers who were present at
Government conferences and other meetings with the Governor
General. The diary consists of 42 volumes containing not
less than 10,000 to 12,000 pages of typescript.

With one exception, the entries were made, not as a result
of dictation by the defendant, but in the form of
stenographers' notes. For the greater part - and this is
evident from the diary itself - the authors of this diary
did not record verbatim the various speeches and remarks,
but made a summarised version in their own words. The
entries in the diary were not checked by the defendant and -
again with one single exception - were not signed by him.
The attendance lists stapled into several volumes of the
diary - they are only contained in such volumes as relate to
Government conferences - cannot be looked upon as a
substitute for a confirmatory note.

Moreover, the evidence has established clearly that very
many entries in the diary were not made on the basis of
personal observations, but came about through the fact that
the author was told, by the participants, about the subject
of Government meetings or other conferences after they had
taken place, and then expressed it in the diary in his own

Moreover, by an examination of the diary, it can easily be
determined that the entries cannot be considered complete.

All these facts bring us to the conclusion that the material
evidential value of this diary must not be overestimated.
The evidential value of this diary stand in no way in
comparison to the evidential value of entries which have
been made personally by the persons affected.

Above all, however, it seems to me essential to point out
the following:

The content of any document is of material evidential
importance in so far a; the document is investigated in its
entirety. The diary of the defendant Frank with its 10,000
to 12,000 pages is one uniform document. It is improper to
put in as evidence certain single entries without showing
the context, when only it connection with some of them can
this be understood. But it is particularly improper - and
this infringes upon the principles of any presentation of
evidence - to select from some uniform whole, such as a long
speech, a few sentences and put them in as evidence. In
Document Book II, I have listed a few examples of this and
hereby refer to them.

As the defendant Frank himself rightly pointed out in the
witness-box, the diary is a uniform whole; only in its
entirety can it be probative, and form part of the

                                                  [Page 285]

presentation of evidence. I have read through that diary of
more than 10,000 pages, and can only confirm his opinion.
And that was why I did not use single entries in presenting
my evidence, but put in the whole diary.

If I myself, in presenting evidence, have read certain
single entries from the diary, and if in the course of my
present address I shall quote a few more passages from it,
then, just as in the case of the extracts put forward by the
prosecution, their evidential value can certainly be gauged
only within the framework of the whole diary.

The following may also be looked upon as having been
established by the evidence: As the diaries show, and as is
evident in particular from the testimony given by the
witnesses Buehler, Boepple and Meidinger, the defendant
Frank in his capacity as Governor General often made two or
three improvised speeches in. the course of one day.

The extracts from the diary presented by the prosecution
consist for the most part of single sentences from such
speeches. If we take into consideration both the temperament
of the defendant and his habit of expressing himself in an
incisive manner, then that is another reason which tends to
reduce the probative value of these extracts from the diary.
And we actually do find many diary entries, which flatly
contradict other entries on the same subject made a little
earlier or later.

In connection with the many speeches made by the defendant
Frank, the following must not be left out of consideration,
and this too may be looked upon as established by the
evidence; it was a foregone conclusion that the defendant
Frank, as open champion of the idea of a State based on law
and of the independence of the judiciary, would come into
increasingly sharp conflict with the representatives of the
Police-State system. This developed to an even greater
degree in the course of the war, both within the Reich
territory and in occupied country. The representatives of
the Police-State, however, were Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler,
and for the area of the Government General, the Higher SS
and Police Leader East, above all, and in particular SS
Obergruppenfuehrer and General of Police Kruger. The
relations between the defendant Frank, on the one hand, and
Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and his representative
Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger on the other, had been extremely
bad, even at the time the Government General was
established. They deteriorated still more as the divergence
of outlook concerning the tasks of the police came ever more
openly to the fore, and the defendant Frank was forced to
make increasingly strong protests to the Chief of the Reich
Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, and to the Fuehrer himself,
regarding the violent measures taken by the Security Police
and the SD.

As I have already mentioned, the Governor General, lacking
an executive of his own, had on the other hand no choice but
to make repeated attempts to co-ordinate the work of the
general administration with that of the police in order to
be in a position to carry out any administrative work at
all. Obviously, these objectives demanded - at least on the
face of things - a degree of conciliation towards the
general attitude of the Security Police, and, above all, of
the Higher SS and Police Leader East. Moreover, the evidence
has further established that the tension existing between
the Governor General and the Higher SS and Police Leader
often reached such a degree that the defendant Frank could
not but feel himself menaced and - to quote the words of the
witness Buehler - as being no longer a free agent and master
of his own decisions.

The testimony of the witnesses Bach-Zelewski and Dr.
Albrecht leave no doubt on this point. Quite rightly,
therefore, the witness Dr. Buehler also pointed out that the
defendant Frank expressed himself with particular vehemence
when the Higher SS and Police Leader, or the Commander-in-
Chief of the Security Police and the SD were present at
conferences, and that his utterances were made on quite a
different note when he was speaking to an audience composed
only of members of the administration. Even a cursory
perusal of the diary will confirm this. All these
circumstances must be taken into consideration in assessing
the substantive evidence value of the defendant Frank's

                                                  [Page 286]

It should also be noted that these diaries constituted the
only personal property that Frank was able to rescue from
the castle at Cracow. On his arrest, he handed all the
diaries to the officers who took him into custody. It would
have been an easy matter for him to have destroyed these

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