1894: Emile Henry, because there are no innocent bourgeois 1832: Samuel Sharpe, “I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery”

1946: Karl Hermann Frank

May 22nd, 2009 Headsman

On this date in 1946, the Sudeten German whose fifth column had paved the way for the Nazi conquest of Czechoslovakia expiated his war crimes at Prague’s Pankrac Prison.

Karl Hermann Frank (English Wikipedia page | German) had been a prewar mover and shaker in the Sudeten German Party, increasingly the Reich’s stalking-horse as it bluffed European rivals into acceding to Czechoslovakia’s dismemberment.

The onetime Czechoslovakian MP did well by the Anschluss, gaining the rank of Obergruppenführer and becoming one of Bohemia and Moravia’s top evildoers.

Notably, he helped orchestrate (though the orders for it came from above) the notorious massacre of Lidice in revenge for the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich.

The Lidice operation formed a war crimes charge against Herr Frank after the war, and Frank’s own lasting badge of infamy: the systematic destruction of the entire male population of an arbitrarily chosen village remains the emblematic crime of the Nazi occupation to this day.

(Source of the video)

Thousands of spectators came to see the former “Protector of Bohemia and Moravia” executed in Prague’s Pankrac Prison by the Austro-Hungarian “pole hanging” method, as depicted in the film above.

Those of Lidice’s widows who were able to come — and widows of some of the 30,000 other Czechs for whose executions Frank had been adjudged indirectly responsible — occupied the second row of seats. …

Not the slightest gleam of compassion could be seen in that long row of unforgiving eyes as Frank, garbed in a ragged Nazi Elite Guard uniform, walked quietly between two guards. …

As the noose was adjusted about his neck, Frank muttered: “Deutschland wird leben auch wenn wir nicht leben” (“Germany will live even if we do not live.”)

The spectators, admitted by special cards, watched quietly in the bright sunshine. (New York Times)

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Czechoslovakia,Death Penalty,Execution,Hanged,History,Infamous,Mature Content,Occupation and Colonialism,Politicians,Public Executions,Racial and Ethnic Minorities,Soldiers,War Crimes

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49 thoughts on “1946: Karl Hermann Frank”

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  6. Erik says:

    “Deutschland wird leben auch wenn wir nicht leben” (“Germany will live even if we do not live.”)

    Germany sowed the seeds of her final destruction when she opened the gates to the moslem hordes.

    1. Nomennescio says:

      @Erik: yes, but what about the Western nations who did likewise?

  7. Ted says:

    Evil is evil, regardless of the uniform. There was two major divisions in the SS, the soldiers were Waffen SS. akin to special forces. By all accounts were fanatical, to the death types, but still soldiers who fought for their country. Although In the Waffen SS there were the special groups (Einsatgruppen) that came along after the army and committed murders and atrocities. notably in the USSR. Some units in the field killed prisoners, but so did the US and GB! The other major division of the SS to which the Gestapo were a part of, were the prison camps administrators.
    The sad note is much of the Jewish killings could have been slowed and even stopped had the Allies blown up the rail line to aushwitz which the flew over repeatedly (they knew what was there) only to bomb factories a few miles away.
    In addition, the London blitz would have never have happened had not England bombed citizens in Hamburg first (reprisal). Lots if innocents were killed by all sides if the conflict. The United States used WMD to annihilated two Japanese cities that were full of normal people like u and me. This was terror bombing. Terrorism was invented by all sides in WW II and refined by Jewish leaders when they took over Palestine, forcing out Great Briton and the Palestinians. Best to know some history so we do not repeat it, yet we are still choosing to remain ignorant! Watch a documentary called, “I am” that is the way to solve our world problems, not war. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandella, Gandhi and Mother Terresa, they figured it out!

    1. Alan says:

      You need to do some research. The Gestapo was NOT part of the SS. You’re ramblings trying to rationalize the nazi butchers by saying other people also killed innocents is nauseating. If you can’t see the differnece it’s withe because you’re a moron or a nazi sympathizer. Frankly I don’t care which it is as you’re views are less than those of a cockaroach

      1. K says:

        Agree with the comment

  8. Roman says:

    I just wunder why a traitor like that wasn’t hanged upon capture and died in prison. During May 1945 a lot less worse SS were shot upon capture because of thier affiliations, either way i dont believe he suffered enough

    1. Petru says:

      From where did you got the idea that he was not executed?

  9. Meaghan says:

    My god, Simon, he’s back from the dead! Someone alert the media! Dude, I’m a Holocaust scholar and I’ve got so many questions I want to ask you…

  10. Simon Wiesenthal says:

    There is one mistake in this article. Lidice was not arbitrarily chosen. There were at least 2 families known to live there that had members in the Czech resistance.

  11. Arnold Coda says:

    I read recently Prague Fatale by Bernie Gunther, based upon actual events in Prague, even though the story is a novel. I learned of Frank through this book. William Boyd’s comment at 8, above, is right on target. The war could have been prevented had the US, GB & France enforced the WW I armistice terms & acted in1937-38. More to the point, the Nazis were evil & I don’t care to differentiate between “good” & “bad” SS. They all participated in the evil. In my mother’s tiny town in the hills of northern Italy, there was one pharmacist. He & his family were Jews. The SS executed them. Because they were Jews; a “crime” to be that. One of my Italian cousins, who I visited & therefore knew, was drafted into the Italian army. Taken prisoner twice, he was in 2 German POW camps. He escaped from the first , was re-captured & put into the second before the surrender. When Italy surrendered, he related that POWS in the second camp were ordered killed. He escaped before his number came up. That time he made it. His “crime”? Being part of an ineffective Italian army – and country – that surrendered. So, the execution of Frank was well-deserved. That not more were executed was travesty. That many went on to work for the US Army, spy agencies & even our government was even worse. I shed no tears for Frank & his ilk, nor for that matter, for the greater number of men in the German army, for many had no conscience whatsoever.

    1. Emma says:

      Prague Fatale is written by the late Philip Kerr and part of the so-called “Bernie Gunther series” in which he is the lead character.

  12. paddy says:

    Not all ss men were evil, I have met several and they were ok.
    It doesn’t excuse the cruelty of other ss men.
    Frank got what he deserved.

  13. john Konarik says:

    You got just what you dealt out many of times HERR FRANK!!!!!!!

  14. Meaghan says:

    I wonder what Armin thinks the rest of the SS was up to, if only “a handful” were going around torturing and slaughtering people.

  15. Peter Gray says:

    “Handfull”? The great majority of Nazis were thugs and monsters. The SS, the “innocent” Weirmar–all killed innocents happily and without regret. Obviously some are still with us; may your deaths be agonizing.

  16. rob says:

    I see a coward a bully who nothing with out his SS lackys . Who killed civillians . and not soildiers who fight back .

    I hope he suffered when it was done .

  17. Steve AZ says:

    Amazing what governments can and still can do to villages of innocent people.

  18. radmund says:

    el que gana siempre hace la justicia como le conviene.
    ha pagado alguien por las fosas de katin??
    pagaron los rusos por la invasion de polonia y media europa?
    han pagado los aliados por los bombardeos a la poblacion civil de alemania cuando ya estaba vencida militarmente?
    ha pagado laguien por los miles de muertos en hiroshima??
    el que se proclama vencedor no siempre lleva la razon.

    1. Dead in DogYears says:

      Dos equivaqados no=uno correcto. ????

  19. Armin says:

    Most of you people don´t know what you are talking about.
    K.H. Frank never was a SS Soldier.He was a member of the”allgemeine SS” but a politician with the Rang of a SS Gruppenfuehrer. Like for exemple v. Ribbentrop, he was the foreigh minister, but also a Gruppenfuehrer of the allgemeine SS.So what I mean is, Frank did´t not deserve any kind of credit as a very brave SS Soldier,because he was not.On the other hand, you should not blame the whole SS, including all outfits, for all the crimes done by only a handfull or at least ordered by only a handfull of
    politicians waering the SS Uniform.

  20. Etienne says:

    Gordon Campbell: I suppose that you refer to the Kurt “Panzer” Meyer episode.

    Yes, He killed Canadian soldiers. It sucked. Amazingly because of the cold war, we commuted Meyer’s sentence to a prison sentence….. He should have been hanged for war crime.

    If I recall correctly, we could not prove that he ordered it. But he made no effort to punish the culprit.

  21. Etienne says:

    I am Canadian and I say that not all SS were evil.

    Some, not Hermann Frank, really believed that this was a war against bolchevism that needed to be won at all cost.

    This is why more than 800,000 non-German enrolled in the Waffen SS. They were anti-communist. No more, no less.

    Today we are being invaded by Islam, I certainly wish that these people were still with us. They would fight for us.

    Having said that, I agree that Frank was a murderer. He got what he deserved.

  22. The SS murdered in cold blood over 27 Canadian POWs on D-Day,Many from my home town.Thereafter the Canadians would allow Wermacht soldiers to surrender but shot or hung any SS man they captured.They should have killed everyone of those scumbags after making them eat their own testicles.Any motherfucker who says seig heil like that hispanic cocksucker above me ,please come to Canada and we’ll turn you into a greasy spot.

    1. Alan says:

      I agree totally with you Gordon.

    2. Josephine says:

      The Canadians must have been chuffed when they took out Michael Wittmann shortly after D-Day.

      The Canadian’s contribution to the allied victory has always been under-reported, and appreciated.

  23. radmund says:


  24. Alasdair Duncan says:

    I see a man submissive propelled to his death. I see an executioners very fingers push into his eyes, and force his head back. I see smiles on the faces of the executioners. I see consciousness lost, and a rapid end to life. Even to watch this, the end of an evil, evil creature, diminishes me, and I wonder by what right I watch it from the comfort of my home. I see uniforms, and the assumed right to take life, I see ritual, gross mankind, myself included.

    1. Paul Brower says:

      Having been an elected official of a lawful government, his loyalty was rightly to Czechoslovakia. He is thus a traitor for serving an occupying power and doing its dirtiest work. He was a ferocious colonial boss who ordered thousands of murders, even threatening to ‘flood Prague in blood’ if it rebelled against the Nazi regime whose Fuehrer had just offed himself.

      Eternal agony be upon this vile traitor and perpetrator of Nazi atrocities.

  25. Jam says:

    The SS was a criminal organisation established by a homicidal regime, so well described by Sir Alan Bullock as as a bunch of spivs an gangsters. Its ‘brave’ actions were mainly against civilians, including children and women, as well as prisoners of war. Its ‘battlefields’ were Babi Yar, Auchwitz, Dachau, the Warsaw ghetto, Licdice .. the list of ‘triumphs’ is long. Its strengths were logistics and adminstration – the industrial destruction of human populations – rather than battle; the operation of execution chambers rather than military field operations. As to whether this man is fearful at his own death, I prefer to think rather he overwhelmed by the burden of realising at the end the horror of his participation in THE most henous criminal enterprise in history which even Heinrich Himmler, knowing the extent of what had been done, descibed at Posen as “a glorious page in our history that could not and never would be written” … what kind of glory is it that can never be shown to world?

  26. Richard Petranek says:

    Those who praise Frank ought rot in hell

  27. Maurizio says:

    There is not dignity who – like Karl Hermann Frank – killed innocent people. A autentic soldier fight witch soldier, not wich innocents and inofensive people. Karl Hermann Frank was a coward and died like one.

  28. Mircea says:

    He died like a proud SS officer. We will never forget you Hermann.

  29. Stanley Gamero says:

    That Frank faced death stone cold? fearless? without a whimper?. Look again! The guy was catatonic; in stupor; expressionless; frozen at the proximity of his hanging!

  30. William Boyd says:

    Not all members of the SS were war criminals, a large part of the SS were like our SAS very well trained soldiers. However I must say that the second world war and the rise of Hitler would not have happened if America, GB and France had acted sooner, only an idiot would not have known what Hitler was up to when his party started on the Jews long before the war, and his build up of the military, airforce and navy. The second world war could have been prevented.

  31. Kevin M. Sullivan says:


    I find it depressing that, between the Russians, Americans, and the British, we were unable to kill every last member of the SS before the war ended!

    1. Niima says:

      What a pity that you are stil breathing, beardmug Sullivan. But as a great American like you ,it is easy to be smug, subanimal.

      Still, you have my sympathy, since your mother was the greatest c.mbucket ever to defile the face of the Earth, and your father was one of her regular customers, as well as being her own redneck brother.

  32. Konrad Moller says:

    He went to his death like a true SS man.Stone cold ,fearless and without a whimper. Long live the spirit of the SS.

  33. José Antonio says:

    Se lo merecia el aseseno de Lidice

  34. Kevin M. Sullivan says:

    The free world can’t help but love the story of the killing of Reinhard Heydrich. But oh, what a price was paid for it!

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