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Karl Hermann Frank

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Title: Karl Hermann Frank  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, Sudeten Germans, Prague uprising, Konrad Henlein
Collection: 1898 Births, 1946 Deaths, Austro-Hungarian Military Personnel of World War I, German Bohemian People, German Nazi Politicians, German People Executed by Hanging, Holocaust Perpetrators, Members of the Chamber of Deputies of Czechoslovakia, Members of the Reichstag of Nazi Germany, Nazi Germany Ministers, Nazis Executed in Czechoslovakia, Nazis Who Served in World War I, People Extradited from Germany, People Extradited to Czechoslovakia, People from Karlovy Vary, People from the Kingdom of Bohemia, Recipients of the Golden Party Badge, Recipients of the Honour Chevron for the Old Guard, Recipients of the Iron Cross (1939), 2Nd Class, Recipients of the Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross, Recipients of the SS Honour Ring, Recipients of the SS-Ehrenring, Recipients of the Sword of Honour of the Reichsführer-SS, Recipients of the War Victory Cross, Recipients of the War Victory Cross (Slovakia), SS and Police Leaders, SS-Obergruppenführer, Sudeten German Party Politicians, The Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, Waffen-SS Personnel
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Karl Hermann Frank

Karl Hermann Frank
Born 24 January 1898
Karlsbad, Austro-Hungarian Empire
(Present-day Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic)
Died 22 May 1946(1946-05-22) (aged 48)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Years of service 1918–1945
Rank SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS und Polizei
Awards Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross without Swords, Golden Party Badge, SS-Ehrenring

Karl Hermann Frank (24 January 1898 – 22 May 1946) was a prominent Lidice and Ležáky.


  • Early life 1
  • World War II 2
  • Lidice 3
  • Trial and death 4
  • Personal life 5
  • Summary of SS career 6
    • Dates of rank 6.1
    • Decorations 6.2
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8

Early life

Born in German language Charles University in Prague, Frank wished to served in the Austro-Hungarian Army at the end of World War I, but he was rejected due the eye injury. After the war, Frank operated a book store and joined various right wing groups and societies, such as the Kameradschaftsbund.

An extreme advocate of the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany, Frank joined the Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei (Sudeten German National Socialist Party or DNSAP) in 1919 and set up a book store from which he distributed Nazi propaganda. When the party was suppressed by the Czechoslovak government, Frank helped organize the Sudeten-German Homeland Front in 1933, which officially became the Sudeten German Party (SdP) in 1935.

In 1935, Frank became deputy leader of the SdP and was elected a member of the Czechoslovak Parliament. Coming to represent the most radical National Socialists in the SdP, Frank was made Deputy Gauleiter of the Sudetenland when it became part of Germany in October 1938. Frank's radicalism gained him the favor of Heinrich Himmler, who made Frank an SS-Brigadeführer in November 1938.

World War II

In 1939, Frank was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer and appointed Secretary of State of the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath. Himmler also named him the protectorate's Higher SS and Police Leader of the protectorate, making him its ranking SS officer. Although nominally under Neurath, Frank wielded great power in the protectorate due to his vast knowledge of Czech affairs and Himmler's support.

As Secretary of State and chief of police, Frank pursued a policy of harsh suppression of dissident Czechs and pushed for the arrest of Bohemia and Moravia's Prime Minister, Alois Eliáš. These actions by Frank were countered by Neurath's "soft approach" to the Czechs thereby encouraging anti-German resistance by strikes and sabotage.[1] This frustrated Frank and led to him secretly working to discredit Neurath.[2]

Hitler's decision to adopt a more radical approach in Bohemia and Moravia should have worked in Frank's favor. Hitler relieved Neurath of his active duties on 23 September 1941, though he still remained Reich Protector on paper. Frank hoped to be appointed as Deputy Protector and day-to-day head of the protectorate, but was passed over in favor of Reinhard Heydrich. The working relationship between Frank and Heydrich was initially tense, even though they both believed that the Czechs needed to be dealt with harshly. However, they soon put aside their differences and became an efficient and effective duo. They launched a reign of terror in the protectorate, arresting and killing dozens of opponents and ramping up the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.


Bodies of some of the men murdered in the Kurt Daluege.
Destruction of Lidice

When Heydrich was assassinated in May 1942, Frank was once again passed over for promotion to Deputy Protector; Kurt Daluege was chosen instead. Daluege and Frank were instrumental in initiating the destruction of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky in order to take revenge on the Czech populace for Heydrich's death. Under Daluege, Frank continued to consolidate his power and by the time Wilhelm Frick was appointed Reich Protector in 1943, Frank was the most powerful official in Bohemia and Moravia. In August 1942, he was made a Minister of State as Reich Minister for Bohemia and Moravia. In June 1943, he was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police in Prague. Frank was also made a General of the Waffen-SS.

From 30 April to 1 May 1945, before the Prague Uprising, Frank announced over the radio that he would drown any uprising in a "sea of blood". Later, as rumors of an impending Allied approach reached the city, the people of Prague streamed into the streets to welcome the victors. Frank ordered the streets to be cleared and instructed the German army and police forces in Prague to fire at anyone who disobeyed.

Trial and death

Frank surrendered to the U.S. Army in Pilsen on 9 May 1945. He was extradited to the People's Court in Prague and tried during March and April 1946. After being convicted of war crimes and the obliteration of Lidice, Frank was sentenced to death. He was hanged on 22 May 1946 with the Austro-Hungarian pole method in the courtyard of the Pankrác Prison in Prague, before 5,000 onlookers. [3] He was buried in an anonymous pit at Prague's Ďáblice cemetery.

Personal life

Frank was married twice. On 21 January 1925 he married Anna Müller (born 5 January 1899 in Karlsbad). They divorced on 17 February 1940 (later the same year Müller remarried Karl-Hermann's successor as deputy Gauleiter of Sudetenland, SA-Brigadeführer Dr. Fritz Köllner). The couple had two sons Harald, born 20 January 1926, and Gerhard, born 22 April 1931. Harald served as a SS-Panzergrenadier with the 1. SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and was severely wounded in March 1945 in Hungary. On 14 April 1940 Frank remarried a physician, Karola Blaschek (born 13 August 1913 in Brüx). They had one son, Wolf-Dietrich (born 20 August 1942), and two daughters Edda, (born 16 August 1941) and Holle-Sigrid (born 8 March 1944). After the war, Blaschek was held a prisoner by the Soviets until 1956 and her children grew up in care homes.

Summary of SS career

Dates of rank



  1. ^ Williams, Max. Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volumes 2, p 82.
  2. ^ Williams, Max. Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volumes 2, p 82.
  3. ^


  • Michael D. Miller (2007). Leaders of the SS & German Police, Volume I: Ahrens to Gutenberg, Bender Publishing, ISBN 9329700373.
  • Max Williams (2003). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 2, Ulric Publishing, ISBN 0-9537577-6-5.
  • Gordon Williamson (1994). The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror: The Full Story From Street Fighters to the Waffen-SS , Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-87938-905-2, ISBN 978-0-87938-905-5.
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