August Frank memorandum

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The Reichsbank banked for the SS the gold rings of Buchenwald victims

The August Frank memorandum of 26 September 1942 was a directive from SS Lieutenant General (Obergruppenführer) August Frank, a higher official of the SS concentration camp administration department. The memorandum provides a measure of the detailed planning that Frank and other Nazis put into the carrying out of the Holocaust. For example, it includes instructions as to the disposition of postage stamp collections and underwear of the murdered Jews. It is clear that the Nazis were intent in removing everything of value from their murdered victims, and indeed, went further than the memo itself. Hair, for example, was removed before execution to be made into mattresses.

The memorandum contains an instruction that the yellow stars that the Nazis forced the Jews to wear on their clothing were to be removed before the clothing was redistributed to ethnic Germans whom the Nazis were resettling into occupied Poland. This memorandum, when it came to light after the war, played a key role in refuting Frank's claims that he had no knowledge that Jews were being murdered en masse in the extermination camps of Operation Reinhard.[1] It is also notable as an example of the use of the Nazi euphemism "evacuation" of the Jews, which meant their systematic murder.

Text of the memorandum[edit]

The Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (English: Main Office for the Welfare of Ethnic Germans), in Lodz, Poland, then occupied by Germany. On September 26, 1942, SS Lieutenant General (Obergruppenführer) August Frank, an official of the SS concentration camp administration department directed that all property of the Jews murdered in Operation Reinhard be diverted to this office.[2]
Jews in the Ghetto Lodz ghetto in 1940. The yellow star can be clearly seen sewn on their clothing. By order of August Frank, once these people were murdered, their clothing would be salvaged and redistributed to ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche), but only after care was taken to be sure the yellow star was removed.[2]


  1. ^ Nuremberg Military Tribunal, "Judgment of the Tribunal (regarding August Frank), 3 November 1947,", United States of America v. Oswald Pohl, et al. (Case No. 4, the "Pohl Trial) V, pp. 992–997 
  2. ^ a b c Frank, August, "Memorandum, September 26, 1942, Utilization of property on the occasion of settlement and evacuation of Jews", in NO-724, Pros. Ex. 472, United States of America v. Oswald Pohl, et al. (Case No. 4, the "Pohl Trial) V, pp. 965–967 

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