Hans Frank: Lebensraum and the Holocaust
They considered selling what was left of the sensitive collections overseas. Perhaps it would have been the only morally correct approach to putting an end to Hitler's mad looting expedition. But the opportunity was missed. In the mids, Germany began selling off portions of the Hitler collection.
Hans Frank : Lebensraum and the Holocaust
In doing so, it resorted to traditional channels. According to the federal government, some paintings, 47 works of graphic art, 10 sculptures and 24 articles of furniture from Nazi estates were sold at the time "to explore marketability. Once again, the money was not paid to victims' rights groups but ended up in the federal budget instead, even though the provenance of the artworks that had been sold off had by no means been adequately investigated.
On the contrary, in some cases the origins were deliberately covered up, as a number of sales by the State of Bavaria show. The Allies found the painting -- clearly looted art -- in his possession in It was then transferred to the State of Bavaria. By the time the rightful owners began searching for the painting, it had long since been sold off. The new owner had no idea about its true origins.
In the end, the rightful owners were paid the paltry 2, deutschmarks that the painting had fetched at auction. Under the leadership of then Governor Alfons Goppel, a former member of the SA, the State of Bavaria sold paintings in this dubious manner. Most were hawked at up to 40 percent below their appraised value. And the proceeds? They were invested in new artworks, specifically those with untainted provenance. In , the Bavarian state parliament had approved the purchase of the work, valued at 1. The public was given a vague account of how the purchase was to be financed: with a contribution from the state, a contribution from the Association of Friends of the Collections and "sales from the property of the state gallery.
Much of what went wrong in the restitution debate, that is, what should have happened or what shouldn't have been allowed to happen, is reflected in the case of one individual: Heinrich Hoffmann, born in , Adolf Hitler's personal photographer since Hoffmann, who Werner Friedmann, founder of the Munich Abendzeitung newspaper, described as one of "the greediest parasites of the Hitler plague," was one of the main profiteers of the Nazi state. In , his personal fortune was valued at almost 6 million reichsmarks. Four years later, the Americans listed works of art that Hoffmann claimed, untruthfully, to have acquired legally.
Hoffmann spent five years in prison after the war. In , the Allies classified him as a "Major Offender," which meant that his assets were to be fully confiscated, a penalty he fought until Ultimately, he was permitted to retain 20 percent of his assets. In October , the Bavarian Finance Ministry ordered "that all art objects belonging to Hoffmann under administration of the Bavarian State Paintings Collections" were to be "turned over to Mr.
Heinrich Hoffmann, Nazi Party photographer. Steffen Winter. Back 1 2 3 4 Next. Related Topics. Discuss this issue with other readers!
Nuremberg Trial Defendants: Hans Frank
Share your thoughts. Sign in Register. For example at a meeting of Department Heads of the General Government on 8 March in the Bergakademie, Frank clarified his status as follows:. The authority of General Government as the representative of the Fuehrer and the will of the Reich in this territory is certainly strong, and I have always emphasized that I would not tolerate the misuse of this authority.
I have allowed this to be known anew at every office in Berlin, especially after Herr Field Marshall Goering on Even the Wehrmacht has no governmental or official functions of any kind in this connection; it has only security functions and general military duties -- it has no political power whatsoever. The same applies here to the Police and SS. There is here no state within a state but we are the representatives of the Fuehrer and of the Reich. In final conclusion, this applies also to the Party which has here no far-reaching influence except for the fact that very old members of the National Socialist Party and loyal veterans of the Fuehrer take care of general matters.
This the Reichsfuehrer SS has recognized; in the written agreement all these points are mentioned word for word and signed. It is also self-evident that we cannot set up a closed shop here which can be treated in the traditional manner of small states. It would, for instance, be ridiculous if we would build up here a security policy of our own against our Poles in the country, while knowing that the Polacks in West Prussia, in Posen, in Wartheland and in Silesia have one and the same movement of resistance.
The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police thus must be able to carry out with the aid of his agencies his police measures concerning the interests of the Reich as a whole. This, however, will be done in such a way that the measures to be adopted will first be submitted to me and carried out only when I give my consent. As a result of this, the leader of the Police system will be called by me into the government of the General Government; he is subordinate to me, or to my deputy, as a State Secretary for the Security Systems.
The protocol of the conversation between Keitel and Hitler, which was dated 20 October and initialed by General Warlimont, regarding "The Future Shape of Polish Relations with Germany" provided in part as follows:. The standard of living in the country is to remain low; we only want to draw labor forces from there. Poles are also to be used for the administration of the country.
However the forming of national political groups may not be allowed.
We don't want to do there what we do in the Reich. The responsibility does not rest with the Berlin Ministries since there is no German administrative unit concerned.
The methods will be incompatible with the principles otherwise adhered to by us. The 'Polish muddle' [polnische Wirtschaft] must be allowed to develop. The government of the territory must make it possible for us to purify the Reich territory from Jews and Polacks, too.
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Frank's own statements regarding the purposes of his administration in Poland should be considered in connection with the foregoing document. The economic and political responsibilities which had been conferred on Frank by Hitler, and according to which he "intended to administer Poland" were explained by Frank as follows in an interview that took place on 3 October The Hitler-Keitel protocol should also be construed in the light of various passages in Frank's diary relating to German policy in Poland.
Illegality had been made in effect a canon of administration by the protocol, which provided that Frank's task involved "a hard racial struggle which will not allow any legal restrictions. The Pole must feel here that we are not building him a legal state, but that for him there is only one duty, namely, to work and to behave himself. It is clear that this leads sometimes to difficulties, but you must, in your own interest, see that all measures are ruthlessly carried out in order to become master of the situation.
You can rely on me absolutely in this. It was the German purpose from the beginning to administer the General Government as colonial territory in total disregard of the duties imposed by International Law on an occupying power, and Frank's administrative policies were shaped in accordance with this policy.
The "hard racial struggle" which Keitel and Hitler agreed could be solved only if attacked without "legal restrictions," developed into the struggle which had as its ultimate purpose the Germanization of the General Government. Frank's adherence to the conspirators' Germanization policy was clearly expressed by him at an official meeting of political leaders of the NSDAP in krakow on 5 August Frank explained on that occasion:. Expediency, and expediency only, tempered Frank's treatment of the non-German population of the General Government in the "hard racial struggle" he was charged with administering.
The General Government was destined to become "pure German colonized land" the valley of the Vistula to be as "German as the valley of the Rhine. As for the Poles and Ukrainians, Frank's attitude was clear. They were to be permitted to work for the German economy as long as the war emergency continued. Once the war was won, he told the District Standortfuehrung and Political Leaders at a conference at krakow on 14 January Frank's diary makes it clear that the complete annihilation of Jews, in accordance with the racial program of the Nazi conspirators was one of the objectives of his administration as Governor General.
In the fall of Frank urged German soldiers to reassure their families in Germany with regard to the hardships of life in the General Government:. Of course, I could not eliminate all lice and Jews in only one year's time public amused. But in the course of time, and above all, if you help me, this end will be attained. After all, it is not necessary for us to accomplish everything within a year and right away, for what would otherwise be left for those who follow us to do? A year later at a Cabinet Session of 16 December Frank restated the official policy of his administration with respect to Jews:.
We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain here the structure of the Reich as a whole. This will, naturally, be achieved by other methods than those pointed out by Bureau Chief Dr. Nor can the judges of the Special Courts be made responsible for it, because of the limitations of the framework of the legal procedure. Such outdated views cannot be applied to such gigantic and unique events. We must find at any rate, a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction.
We have now approximately 2,, of them in the General Government, perhaps with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,, Jews. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,, Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation, and this in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich. The General Government must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich. Where and how this is to be achieved is a matter for the offices which we must appoint and create here.
Their activities will be brought to your attention in due course. An earlier passage in the report of this session of the Cabinet explains the references to Dr. Hummel had complained that legal formalities were obstructing the process of liquidation:. A further sentences were demanded and are under consideration.
An effective isolation of the ghetto is not possible by way of the Special Court Procedure. The procedure to be followed up to the liquidation takes too much time; it is burdened with too many formalities and must be simplified.
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Frank himself ordered that every Jew seen outside the Ghetto should be executed:. Death sentences pending against Jews for this reason must be carried out as quickly as possible. This order according to which every Jew found outside the Ghetto is to be executed, must be carried out without fail.
When ways and means of meeting the food deficit in the General Government created by the increase in quotas to be requisitioned for export to Germany were discussed in August , Frank approved a program which provided in part as follows:. For these the Jewish rations, including certain special allotments which have proved necessary for the maintenance of working capacity, will be retained. The other Jews, a total of 1.