23.05.

1900: Hans Frank: The Governor-General of Poland

1900: Hans Frank: The Governor-General of Poland
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 23 May 1900
  • Nazi Hans Frank was the Governor-General of a large part of the occupied Polish territory. He held an important position, and de facto dictatorial power over the people who lived in that area. He ruled over a total of 12,000,000 inhabitants. Frank's capital was Krakow - the medieval capital of Polish kings.

The famous Nazi official Hans Frank, one of the 23 defendants in the Nuremberg Trials, was born on this day in 1900.

During World War II, he held an important position, and responsible for the crimes which were committed in the areas under German occupation.

He was the Governor-General (Germ. “Generalgouverneur”) of a large part of the occupied Polish territory, and had de facto dictatorial power over the people who lived in that area.

Namely, after the German conquest, Poland was divided into two parts – one was directly annexed to the Reich, and the other part was organized as the so-called “General Government of the Occupied Polish Territories” (Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete).

The second part was given to Governor-General Frank. Because they wanted to erase the Polish name, the name of the area was changed to the “General Government” (Generalgouvernement).

After part of the USSR had been conquered, the western part of today’s Ukraine (the former Austro-Hungarian Galicia) was placed under the control of the Governor-General.

Frank’s “General Government” comprised the largest Polish cities – Warsaw and Krakow, and had a total of 12,000,000 inhabitants.

Frank’s capital was Krakow – the medieval capital of Polish kings. It is interesting to note that Frank’s ambitious wife allegedly considered herself the Queen of Poland (Königin von Polen).

It is also interesting that four of the six largest Nazi concentration camps in Europe, were located in Frank’s General Government.

However, Frank argued that he didn’t know about these camps till 1944, and that he submitted his resignation (as many as 14 times). But, Hans Frank was the first and only man who held the position of the Governor-General, from the beginning to the end of the war.

During the Nuremberg Trials, Frank was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He was sentenced to death and hanged. Before his death, he repented for the committed crimes.

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