As ruler of rump Poland, Hans Frank instituted a reign of terror, featuring the segregation of Jews into ghettos. Then their wholesale extermination. It did not matter that he fathered five children. Frank reconciled affection towards his own kids with coldhearted indifference towards the murder of thousands of other people’s children. In December of 1941, he instructed his subordinates.
“Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feelings of pity. We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and whenever it is possible”.
Under Frank, the mass murder of Jews morphed from ad hoc massacres to deliberate policy. Of the Holocaust’s six extermination camps, four were located in Frank’s General Government. After the war, he tried to pretend he knew nothing about the millions of Jews killed in his territory. But documentary evidence exposed the lie in that claim. Captured by US troops in the war’s closing days, he faced trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity at Nuremberg. Convicted, sentenced to death, he hanged on October 16, 1946.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading