August Frank memorandum
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. 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
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6 copies--4th copy
26 September 1942
To the Chief of the SS Garrison Administration Lublin
Without taking into account the overall regulations which are expected to be issued during October, pertaining to the utilization of mobile and immobile property of the evacuated Jews, the following procedure has to be followed with regard to the property carried by them — property, which will in all orders in the future be called goods originating from thefts, receiving of stolen goods, and hoarded goods:
2. The SS WVHA will establish all prices under observation of the legally controlled prices. This estimation, however, can be made later on. Petty evaluations which only waste time and personnel may be eliminated. Average prices for single items have to be established in general. For instance, one pair of used men's trousers 3.00 RM, one woolen blanket 6.00 RM, etc. For the delivery of useless items to the Reich Ministry for Economics, average Kilo prices will have to be established.
It has to be strictly observed, that the Jewish Star is removed from all garments and outer garments which are to be delivered. Furthermore, items which are to be delivered have to be searched for hidden and sewed-in values, this should be carried out with the greatest possible care.
- 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
- 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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