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Frank's headquarters at Wawel castle

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.519 | RG Number: RG-60.1416 | Film ID: 2980

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    Frank's headquarters at Wawel castle


    Wawel Castle where Hans Frank set up residence after being named Governor General of the German-occupied (General Government) Polish territories in October 1939. LS and CU of Nazi flag waving from the castle. Pans of Wawel's open courtyard. View of courtyard of Jagellonian University's Collegium Maius, and a memorial statue of Nicolaus Copernicus. 01:04:32 Pan down stone sign for the Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit (established at Krakow on April 20, 1940 as a German-dominated scientific and historical arm of the General Government of Poland to investigate race and nationality in Poland. It was head quartered in Collegium Maius). A guard stands on duty in the courtyard. Nazi official and a civilian in a suit pose for the camera. Presumably the civilians are members of the staff of the institute. INTs of Wawel castle offices with staff secretaries and men at work at desks. A German official teases and kisses a laughing secretary. CU of official document envelope with a Nazi stamp. Another Nazi (he looks like Himmler but is not) and two women smile and pose for the camera. CU of fingers typing. A woman drinks from teacup. Nazi officials and a few women depart from Wawel Castle. Several officials, SS officer, and some secretaries stay behind in the courtyard and pose for portraits. One man is wearing a cap with a death's head insignia (01:07:01). INT official (possibly the chief of consular, Mr. Keith) on the telephone. Pan of the dark interior of the Wawel offices.

    01:07:30 Hans Frank, the Governor-General of the occupied Polish territories, conducts a meeting on a balcony in Wawel, likely in May or July of 1940. Dr. Josef Friedrich Bühler, Frank's deputy-governor, and Frank review folders labeled "Treuhand" and "Vierjahresplan." 01:07:50 Richard Schalk, a Nazi official sent to the region in April 1940, speaks with Frank. One of the family dogs roams the balcony. CUs, Frank speaking.
    Event:  April-July 1940
    Krakow, Poland
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Niklas Frank and Erika Noebel
    Subject: Hans Frank
    Hans Frank (1900-1946) was Governor-General of Poland and Hitler's personal attorney. Frank joined a Freikorps unit to fight the Communists, after serving just one year in World War I. In 1919 Frank joined the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which was later absorbed into the NSDAP. In 1923 he participated in the Beer Hall Putsch as a stormtrooper. In 1926 he passed the bar exam and soon became a star lawyer for the NSDAP, successfully defending Hitler on more than one hundred occasions. He was rewarded with high positions such as Reich Minister of Justice, President of the Academy of German Law, and President of the International Chamber of Law. Frank also became head of the NSDAP legal office and took charge of the research to prove Hitler was not a Jew. In October 1939, soon after the outbreak of World War II, he was named Governor-General of occupied Poland. He was responsible for the exploitation of the civilian population, both Jews and non-Jews; the plundering of Polish cultural treasures for his personal benefit; and the deportation and execution of Jews. He was never included in Hitler's inner circle because Hitler mistrusted lawyers and rejected his middle-class background. In 1942, in a lecture to university students, Frank called for a return to constitutional law, a statement which led to his demise. He was stripped of all party honors and legal positions, except for Governor-General of Poland, because Hitler considered it the worst possible job. After the war Frank converted to Catholicism and confessed his guilt before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. He accused Hitler of deceiving the German people, but he was not spared from a death sentence on three counts of war crimes and four counts of crimes against humanity. He was executed on October 16, 1946.

    On April 2, 1925, Hans Frank married Brigitte Herbst (December 25, 1895-March 9, 1959). They had five children: Sigrid Frank (March 13, 1927-1973 by suicide); Norman Frank (June 3, 1928- 2010); Brigitte Frank (January 13,1935-1981); Michael Frank (February 15, 1937-1990); and Niklas Frank (March 9, 1939- ).

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:03:04:00 to 01:08:20:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2980 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w and color - acetate - camera original - Perutz - AGFA
      Master 2980 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 2980 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w and color - acetate - camera original - Perutz - AGFA
      Master 2980 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 2980 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w and color - acetate - camera original - Perutz - AGFA
      Master 2980 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 2980 Film: positive - 16 mm - b&w and color - acetate - camera original - Perutz - AGFA
      Master 2980 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Conditions on Use
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    This film was captured in 1945 (probably at the same time as Hans Frank's diary in May 1945) by the U.S. intelligence officer Walter Stein who later interrogated Mr. Frank. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum obtained a digital copy of the film from Mr. Stein's niece, Erika Noebel, in Fall 2012. The original 16mm film and rights were donated to the Museum in June 2016 by Hans Frank's son, Niklas.
    This sequence of film (the reel 2980) contains a mix of color (Perutz non-flammable film) and black and white (AGFA Sicherheitsfilm) stock as well as several original splices and projection scratches. Refer to SSFVA files for detailed information.
    Film Source
    Niklas Frank
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 5636
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:06:58
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