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Hans Frank on the record in 1945

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Hans Frank

Conversation with an American Officer 4 and 5 August 1945


*The following conversations took place between Hans Frank and an American Army Officer on 4 and 5 August 1945



Hans Frank in captivity Nov. 24th, 1945

Frank; I was so stupid all these years. You know we are so guilty. Look here I saw the moving-pictures of those concentration camps and I saw how these people had been treated.


American Army Officer; Who organised all those concentration camps?


Frank; Always the same gang, Himmler, Heydrich and the whole rotten clique. No opposition was possible. For me it was a real torture all these years. And the Fuhrer degraded me and threw me out. In 1942 he simply chased me away.


I was then stripped of all my offices in the Party, because I always protested against these procedures. We could do nothing…. I was thrown into a cellar and beaten up. My papers were taken away from me in Augsburg. Well, we did it too, it’s bad everywhere. What bothers me most – (Weeps)


It’s a catastrophe such as the world has never yet seen…. In the beginning all was so different. You mustn’t judge National Socialism by those concentration camps. You have to go back to the Party program of 1920 ….. if Hitler had stepped before the entire German people and had announced: When I assume the power I will set up concentration camps and rule by sheer force. But he said; When I assume the power justice will prevail. I will set up new courts and install new judges.


At the time in my capacity as his legal advisor in Leipzig I induced him to take the oath of legality; “I shall strive to come to power by legal means and after the assumption of power I shall rule by legal means. So help me God.”


I have recalled that to his mind. But you know all that so much better than I…..


And then always those speeches of Churchill preaching hatred, the Fuhrer always spoke of peace, but Churchill’s everlasting hate-speeches against National Socialism, in turn, induced Hitler to make other speeches…..


The worst thing for me was the rise of Himmler…. If it hadn’t been for the outbreak of war and for the fact that I was sitting in Warsaw as Governor General, trying to straighten out the situation there, I wouldn’t be here at all today.


As a lawyer I understand very well that it is quite difficult to bring all these men to trial. I understand that world opinion clamours for it and I assume that many hundreds of trials are in the process of preparation. What you have here in Mondorf is from the judicial viewpoint the last supreme selection.


You might well call it that and yet the original perpetrators who are connected with those atrocities are not amongst them. They are Globocnik and Kaltenbrunner and the SS leaders.


We all are worried about being extradited to Moscow, and then it would be all over. Should such an extradition be contemplated, I would ask as a favour to be questioned just once more by an American judge.


You see there are three viewpoints: The viewpoint of the enemy which sees quite understandably in Hitler and National Socialism the arch criminal who disturbed world peace etc. That is the viewpoint not only of the enemy, the Russians and Americans, but also of a majority of the German people.


That’s what many colleagues and ministers over in ASHCAN constantly forget. They are actually of the opinion that if they were released and returned to Germany, many people would say, “Thank God, you are back” I am convinced that the reverse would be the case. If today men like Streicher or Ley or any of those notorious fanatics were released they would be slain, the reason being, I think that it is too well known that they enriched themselves personally


American Army Officer; Where is your wife? Where were you arrested?


Frank; In Fischhausen on the Schliersee (Chiemsee) …. You know, I and my whole family are Catholics. I am a very devout Catholic. To me it’s a spiritual matter. I was brought up as a Catholic. I am very much upset.


Look here, I sat for five years at my reduced post over in Krakow, which was unbelievably difficult, what with the SS being granted special powers and carrying out all those dreadful atrocities. I had to put up a constant fight against those people to avert the worst. The fight against the resistance movement and the Jews. (Weeps).


Dr. Ludwig Fischer

I took care of the legal matters of the Party and defended Hitler and the Party members. Politically I was never active. I confined myself to the purely legal end.


American Army Officer; Who else was with you?


Frank; Dr Fischer and several others


American Army Officer; Is Dr Fischer still alive?


Frank; I believe so. Then there was Schwarz in charge of the Party administration centres. At the time he (?) issued a report against all the parties which did not stand on the grounds of the Constitution and which desired something different. So Schaub declared, “We renounce this Weimar Constitution, we desire a different regime,” and then there was the so-called “Law for the Protection of the Republic.”

Any speaker who made any statement against the Republic or against Weimar or against anyone was brought before the judge.


American Army Officer; But did you always win your trials?


Frank; We won most of the trials …. The Party was prohibited then and was dissolved, and the SA was dissolved; then there were different incidents during the elections for the diet. In short, this was this judicial activity.


American Army Officer; And that is why you never became a professor?


Frank; Otherwise I should be a full professor today. My conscience is quite clear even though I couldn’t put it through, when I say to myself that my aim was the constitutional state. I wanted the Fuhrer to do it properly. At least I prevented a good deal.


It would have been much worse if I hadn’t continually struggled at the time when I was still “Reichsleiter.” I was able to help so many persons. I was in the Party and I had a high position. I could make my influence felt and for this reason Himmler strove to throw me out of this position.


And that it only succeeded in 1940 is significant. And then I was bruskly thrown out. One day the Fuhrer let it be known through Lammers. I held four important speeches publically before the students and professors at my universities, Heidleberg, Munich, Vienna and Berlin. I got up and said that Adolf Hitler hadn’t kept his word. Just imagine, I gave the four speeches in one week, otherwise they would have arrested me already. I was briefly being investigated.


American Army Officer; When was that?


Frank; That was in 1942 after the speech in Munich. I was investigated by the Gestapo and then the Fuhrer wrote me quite an indignant letter – how could I do such a thing? You are hereby degraded with prejudice as “Reichsleiter of the Party,” and since that time I have been quite an ordinary Party member.


In 1933 I became Minister of Justice in Bavaria. Then, because I spoke out against Roehm as Minister of Justice during the Roehm trial – that was the first time that Adolf Hitler had men shot without trial, and I protested against it.


I put myself in prison, in Stadelheim, just imagine the Bavarian Minister of Justice sitting in prison and I kept 200 persons from being shot. I sat in the prison and told my associates, “No one is to leave the prison.” I saved 200 SA leaders and the Fuhrer never forgave that.


The Fuhrer wanted to have 240 SA leaders shot at once, the SS platoons were there and I declared, “No I am still Minister of Justice, the prison is under my control.” And then they said, “We are fools and idiots. Why did we lock up the prisoners in a prison?”


Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/HansFrankTestimony.html


The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team



Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2011

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010

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