When the “Butcher of Poland” is your own father

Nicklas Frank

On April 19, 1943 the revolt in the Ghetto of Warsaw started. Men and women with makeshift equipment resisted the Nazi-oppressors for four weeks, while the Nazis systematically burned down house after house and deported or killed tens of thousands of innocent Jewish citizens and finally stopped the revolt with the burning of the central synagogue in the Ghetto. These have been atrocities that shall never be forgotten and on the day of the anniversary of the beginning of the revolt, Nicklas Frank spoke to some 150 members and guests of the American Club. Nicklas Frank is the son of Hans Frank, the Generalgouvernor of Poland under Hitler, who was responsible for the cruelties committed and earned the name “the butcher of Poland”. He was sentenced to death and hanged during the Nuremberg trials.

Nicklas Frank delivered a brutally honest view at his childhood as a privileged child of someone with a status comparable to a King. He was seven years old and saw the atrocities through childrens eyes, not realizing what happened. But in 1945, when his father was caught and imprisoned and he saw the pictures of the dead of Auschwitz and other crimes, he realized that his father was responsible and made it his duty to make sure that the truth is known, so history does not repeat itself.

The evening was most insightful and intense, but also with a touch of fine humor. Making it a very direct experience, which then led to many questions and a lively discussion.