- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
- Vol. VI
Translation of document 3815-PS
The Commander of the Security Police and of the Security Service in the
Commander of Security Police — Journal No. 89/42. Secret.
Cracow, 25th. April 1942
Re: The former Governor, Dr. Lasch.
On 26.4.1942 I personally interviewed Dr. Lasch at his own request. On
this occasion Dr. Lasch learnt — for the first time.
according to him — that the Reichsfuehrer-SS had duly given him the
opportunity of proving himself in the front line. He was furious that
Secretary of State Buehler had not only said nothing of this offer of
the RFSS but, in reply to his question as to whether he could not make
up his lapses by employment at the front, had said that it was now too
late. After his memory had been further assisted Dr. Lasch declared he
would drop his reserve with regard to his former friends, and speak the
truth about them frankly. He asked for my support in approaching the
RFSS, as he proposed to send a plea to the Reichsfuehrer SS, requesting
him to give him once more the opportunity of proving himself at the
front. He said he had recognized the true feelings of Secretary of State
Buehler and the clique at the Castle and no longer had any intention of
sparing them. He recognized that they had dropped him and tried to put
all the blame on him. He could only state in his defense that his lapses
were not the only ones, but that nearly all leaders in the
administration of the Generalgouvernement had enriched themselves in
this way and even more extensively.
I requested Dr. Lasch to write down everything he knew himself. Up to
now Dr. Lasch has written as follows:
"Dr. Frank’s attitude to the Party, the SS and the State is, to a very
great extent, influenced by his Secretary of State Buehler who is,
again, agreeable to Dr. Frank simply because he is entirely lacking in
any creative power. Dr. Buehler owes his position to the fact that he
can do nothing, has no initiative and in emergencies is presented with a
fait accompli. The assertion is continually being made that there is a
struggle between Bormann and Dr. Frank. It can be assumed that
Reichsleiter Bormann knows nothing about it. Dr. Frank is a pronounced
adversary of Bormann.
Between the Reichsfuehrer and Dr. Frank and also between SS-Lieutenant
General Heydrich and Dr. Frank lies, in the opinion of Frank/Buehler, a
whole world of injustice, police authority, oppression of the people,
concentration camps, cruelty! Dr. Frank preaches a State controlled by a
legal code, and by that he means a Legal State. RFSS Himmler desires a
police state! By means of speeches and writings, propaganda is said to
be made for a Ministry of Justice which excludes police influence which
has become so strong. According to Dr. Frank’s interpretation, it's
"justice” is opposed to the RFSS Himmler’s “injustice.” The dangerous
influence of the SS in the judicial sphere was considered proven by the
example of the Prague Trials. An
SS Fuehrer is said to have acted as Public Prosecutor at these. (Trial
of the former Prime Minister of the Protectorate). The dangerous
influence of the SS in the State is considered proven by the fact that
SS rank was conferred on all leading men in the Reich — Ribbentrop,
Lammers, Bormann, Seyss-Inquart, etc. Herein lies the danger of the
leading position of the SS in the State. Dr. Frank wishes, after the
war, when the Fuehrer is no longer in such great need of the RFSS, to
inaugurate the greatest fight for justice, with the assistance of the
Armed Forces and the SA! A fight against the SS in the
Generalgouvernement will take this course! Krueger and Schoengarth must
be dismissed. Perhaps they know too much. Dr. Buehler’s ambition plays a
great part here. Moreover these efforts will be vigorously furthered by
Dr. Keith. the “Golen” Gutbred (SS-Sergeant) [SS-Unterscharfuehrer] and
Waechter. Since Waechter has been in Galicia he may have changed his
attitude. He always wanted SS-Lieutenant-General [Obergruppenfuehrer]
Krueger’s post and tried to get it. Waechter is SS-Brigadier-General
[SS-Brigadefuehrer] but was always less friendly disposed towards the SS
than all other Governors. In token of his power, Dr. Frank, in October
charged Buehler and Boepple with the duty of assembling the Special
Service and of settling the quarrel between Zoerner and Globocnik in
Lublin by banning the “Globus.” Later on exactly similar things were to
be done in Cracow. Buehler and Boepple were to be in command and were
charged with making strategic plans. After much discussion, it was
possible to impress upon Buehler the craziness of such action. I
suggested telephoning Dr. Wendler, inviting him to this conference.
Buehler saw the advantage of this. Wendler came to Cracow after my
arrest. He is said to he completely under Buehler’s thumb now! At first
against Krueger-Schoengarth and then against others. In the meantime
Buehler quickly dismissed his SS Adjutant, he suddenly became a private
-- such things take place at the Castle.”
In this connection a statement by Minister Ruemelin (retired) regarding
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, made on the occasion of a visit on
22.4.42, is interesting. Ruemelin happened to say that people had been
struck by the fact that, on the occasion of the establishment of the SA
in the Generalgouvernement on 20.4.42 and the taking over of the
leadership of the SA by the General Governor as SA-Obergruppenfuehrer,
no leader of the SS was represented. Ruemelin declared that there was
already talk of a Roehm situation. Since 3 Police Officers had replaced
the 3 Wehrmacht officers who retired from the Special Service.
he had now learnt that the Wehrmacht (General von Gienanth) had offered
the Special Service 12 Wehrmacht officers who were no longer fit for
active service. Ruemelin enquired of Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger if Lasch
was still alive.
It is evident from the letter of the General Governor to
SS-Obergruppepfuehrer Krueger, copy of which is attached, that Dr.
Keith’s efforts to liquidate the SS-Escort Command have succeeded. The
Castle is being cleared of all SS-troops whom they suspect of spying on
Dr. Lasch continues:
The Amnesty Commission [Gnadenausschuss] of which Keith is executive is
a proof of “justice” in the Generalgouvernement, for the SS can no
longer remove anyone they wish! The Amnesty Commission is to act as a
brake on so-called arbitrary acts by the SS against Poles and Jews. Dr.
Frank is ruler in Poland, head of an independent State, he will brook no
interference. This is, of course, all fancy, but it clearly shows the
tendency all through the Government. From this point of view the unity
of the administration is merely a slogan, intended to prove the
necessity of gathering up all the reins into one hand. The Reich must
not be allowed to interfere.
There is no question of a just distribution of food. The heads can have
everything, need deny themselves nothing, even live better than in peace-
time, the others must buy with coupons and exist with those.
Frank, Buehler, and Waechter have probably the best furnished kitchens
of the whole German Reich, including all subsidiary territories.
The big dinners with many, many courses were only discontinued after my
case, when I reported to him the arrests in my circle of acquaintances.
But in January, dinner at the Castle with meat, magnificent salads,
fruit, and dessert was always a feast. The shorthand-typists, as well as
Keith’s staff, led a life such as one reads about in the Arabian Nights.
It is an oasis where no one notices the war. When the war with Russia
broke out, everybody at the Castle was terrified. It was looked upon as
an act of heroism that Dr. Frank’s son (13 years old) wished to be in
Munich on 9 November to hear an air raid warning, as Frau Frank had
maintained that the English would come on that day. She therefore
remained in Schliersee with her whole family. The children are not
allowed to be in Berlin but are taught at home or attend the school at
Miesbach * * *.
In this family the principle of enrichment at all costs is the ruling
factor. Everything that can be grabbed is got hold of.
The only person who is welcome is the man who brings something. Woe to
him who possesses something more beautiful or who owns more. When Dr.
Ley furnished his estate, there was tremendous gossip, also regarding
Dr. Goebbels, Funk, etc.
He was no example to us, for his day consists of running round from
castle to castle in a magnificent carriage with guards of honour, books,
music, plays, and banquets. The best value is to be got out of every
reception. There is nothing natural, no simplicity, all is pose,
playacting and serves to satisfy his intoxication, brought about by
ambition and lust for power and, at the same time, his likeness to
Mussolini, of which he is convinced by his flatterers, is interpreted as
fate and destiny.
Astrology, palmistry, telling fortunes by cards, lead melting, all
methods of looking into the future are employed. Frau Frank has often
gone to two women in one day, in order to see if what has been said
tallies. Fortune smiles on him. Jupiter is his lucky star. That being
so, nothing can happen to him. Others will fall, he will always remain
on top. Frau Frank has often said in large circles that she intends to
die a Minister’s wife. It is a Prince’s Court in which we, his closest
colleagues, live as strangers. It is cold magnificence in which, as at
the Castle, one is smothered in the Gothic style * * *.
His attitude to the other Reich Ministers is determined by his
exaggerated ambition, by his overweening opinion of himself and his
autocracy. He waves everybody aside, some more than others. Thus he
often says that Dr. Lammers owes his position to him. He would like to
have been Foreign Minister in succession to Baron von Neurath, after
having realized for some time that there was no prospect of becoming
Minister of Justice during Dr. Guertner’s lifetime and so he tried hard
to obtain a post as Ambassador. He wished to be Ambassador in Rome.
His spiritual opposition to Himmler and Heydrich is deep-rooted. Before
he became General Governor and as only Reichsminister, he was always
criticizing the fact that the Fuehrer did not summon the Reich Cabinet.
He even did this publicly in the sessions of the Council of the Academy
for German Law and referred to it as being the kind of Cabinet in which
everyone could speak openly. He also did this as General Governor. His
Cabinet meetings do not consist of deliberations but of lectures, with
much affectation, about fictitious conditions, and conclude with a long
monologue by Frank, praising the achievements of the General Governor in
all strains * * *.
Particularly interesting are his efforts to create, after the war, a
Reich Law Ministry [Reichsrechtsministerium] which is to
house the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Church and Education, and
Public Worship, as well as a number of subsidiary authorities. This is
to become the principal Command Post for all transactions of domestic
policy in the Reich, which are all to be based on “justice.” For justice
is the most valuable possession of the nation. True, everything is a
conglomeration of legislation, jurisdiction and administration, but it
must all be given a fine name. It is his desire to amalgamate
everything-over and above judicial law — under the title of justice,
everything which can be understood by the moral conception of justice.
The saying: “Everything is right which is of use to the nation” is
cleverly utilized here. Accordingly, everything was to be under the
control of the Reich Law Leader [Reichsrechtsfuehrer]. In his modesty he
does not call himself Leader of the Legal Profession
[Rechtswahrerfuehrer] but Reich Law Leader. Legislation, that will of
the Fuehrer or the people which is made standard, would have to go
through him. In this sphere too, he hopes to be given special
assignments by the Fuehrer after the war. Frau Frank often says: “You
see, if my husband had the opportunity of having long talks with the
Fuehrer, it would be a good thing for the Fuehrer, for there is no one
with whom he could speak so well as with my husband.”
Every little token given him by the Fuehrer is immediately magnified a
thousand fold and utilized for his ambitious plans. If he ever has the
opportunity to talk for example to Schaub or Prof. Hoffmann or anyone
else in the Fuehrer’s entourage, he repeats what he has been told as if
it originated from the Fuehrer himself.
His conversations with foreign statesmen are also on this plane, and
have often made our blood boil. If, in his capacity as resident of the
Academy for German Law, he travels abroad and is received by the Duce,
Count Ciano, King Boris of Bulgaria, or the Bulgarian Prime Minister, he
always acted as if, in his capacity as Reichsminister, he had received
instructions from the Fuehrer; he discussed foreign policy but was
always able to turn the conversation when it became dangerous. He did
this also in Hungary and in France before the war, where he met the
former Premier, Chautemps, in Paris.
After the shooting of Roehm he violently criticized Dr. Guertner's
statement in the Reich Cabinet, according to which, the execution of the
sentences passed was legal * * *.”
Lasch gives the following details regarding the personal relations
between Dr. Frank and his wife:
Through Dr. Heuber, Frau Frank received regular monthly donations during
1935/36. For several years she received RM. 750.-- monthly from the
Academy for German Law, but the Treasurers of the Academy for German Law
put an end to that. Furthermore Frau Frank had, for over a year, a free
ticket from Berlin to Munich which had to be paid for by the Academy for
German Law * * *.
When travelling abroad she bought principally in Ghettos and from Jews.
First of all clothes — baskets and then their contents. The foreign
exchange was taken from the combined quota of her co-travellers. The
articles were brought duty free across the frontier under diplomatic
Otto Herbst (brother of Frau Frank) was called up at the beginning of
the Polish campaign. Applications for his release were immediately made,
although he was only a clerk in a Veterinary Company which collected
horses far behind the front line. He was reserved for the
Generalgouvernement, but so far has not done a day’s service in the
Generalgouvernement. He keeps his post. In the meantime he has become
the director of the Academy for German Law. He had only been reserved
for this post. Richard Schneider-Edenkoben, cousin of Frau Frank, was
called up as N.C.O. and immediately requested a reserved job. He was
given that of film expert for the Generalgouvernement. He once drew up a
short memorandum (four pages), then disappeared and was never seen
Above all, Frau Frank’s relations, as well as her women friends, are
given posts everywhere.
Pictures, as well as great quantities of food of all kinds, were
despatched regularly to the Reich in the General Governor’s Pullman car.
The whole family often travelled in the coach without tickets. The guard
often had trouble in this way. At the frontier it is known as the
Frau Frank received a large diamond ring of 5 carats from the Governor,
Dr. Fischer. It is said to have cost RM. 5000 — (Note: it is rumoured
in Warsaw that Dr. Fischer has so far tried in vain to get back from
Frau Frank the money said to have been spent on this ring).
Dr. Fischer also gave the General Governor a Rembrandt which was brought
by County-Court Judge [Landgerichtsrat] Dorn to Schliersee where it was
hung. It is, however, no longer there. Dorn is said to have objected and
the picture was then returned.
As soon as Dr. Lasch had written down, without prejudice, everything he
knows, I intend to examine him exhaustively on
his depositions in order to complete and gain more basic information on
his statements regarding some points. I have had to allow a few days'
grace as, at present, Dr. Lasch is not feeling well. I wish to avoid any
objection by Dr. Lasch that when in ill health he revealed facts, the
effects of which he could not perceive in his condition. After Lasch has
been interrogated on these lines I will submit a final copy of Lasch's
2. Submitted to SS-Lieutenant General [SS-Obergruppenfuehrer] Krueger
requesting him to note contents.
SS-Brigadier General [SS-Oberfuehrer]