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Hans Frank

Last Update 20 September 2005

Hans Frank
Hans Frank
Dr Hans Frank was born in 1900 in Karlsruhe, Germany. In June 1918 he was conscripted into the army. He has seen no action by the time the war ended in November 1918, but remained in service for another year.

On leaving army service, he joined the "Freikorps Epp". He belonged to the "Thule Gesellschaft", a Bavarian group of racists who acted against the Soviet rulers of München (Munich). In addition, he became a member of the "Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" (German Workerís Party), a small organisation just beginning to become active in München politics. Despite his personal engagement in these fringe organisations, Frank resumed his studies in law and political economy. Attending the universities of München and Kiel, he received his Ph.D. 1924 in Kiel. His studies were temporarily interrupted when he had to flee the country to escape the fall-out of the München Putsch of 1923.

Frankís position in the Nazi Party was unique as he was one of the very few who had a long-term association with Hitler at the commencement of his rise to power.

Frank married in 1925, subsequently having five children. In 1926 he passed the state law examinations and joined his fatherís law practice in München. He later superseded his father due to inappropriate accounting problems within the firm.

At the Office
At the Office
Frank's Residence near Krakow
Frank's Residence near Krakow
Frank joined the Nazi Party in 1926 but left in the following year after a disagreement with Hitler et al., on their policy concerning South Tyrol. Strongly influenced by the charisma of Hitler, he returned to the Party in 1928 whereupon he formed the "National Socialist Jurist Association" with himself as leader. In 1929 Hitler appointed him director of the headquarters legal department of the Nazi Party. He won an election to the Reichstag (German parliament) as a National Socialist representative in 1930 and shared his experience with Friedrich Krüger who entered the Reichstag in 1932. In 1931 Hitler showered more accolades upon him by designating him as a Reichsleiter (high Party official). By 1933, when the National Socialists came to power, Frank was a leading protagonist of the New Order by being appointed Bavarian Minister of Justice, Reich Commissioner and reformer of the Nazi state legal system. In 1934, he aspired to Reichsminister without portfolio, the high point of his political career as from then on, others Himmler, Göring, Goebbels et al.), were ally vying for Hitlerís personal recognition and favours. Frank was never subservient when it came to the interpretation of the law and because of this, he had many fallings out over the draconian measures being introduced. In 1939, because of Frankís legal contribution to the Führerstaat, Hitler made him president of the German Academy of Law.

From this point on, Frankís political career veered off course when he came into direct confrontation with Himmler and his SS, including Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger.
His hitherto special relationship with Hitler protected him up to a point but finally even Hitler lost patience and dismissed one of his longest serving disciples from office.
After the war Frank was hanged after being found guilty at the Nürnberg (Nuremberg) trials.

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