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tv   Interview - Niklas Frank The Germans must have known where things were...  Deutsche Welle  August 26, 2018 9:02am-9:15am CEST

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environmental pressures. globalization affect biodiversity species exploitation. human rights displacement. the global impact of local and. global three thousand. side doors i'm here with nicholas khan son of hans frank who was executed as a war criminal at the member trials to talk about how he and how germany deals with its nazi past thank you for letting us visit you want to vacation there. and hunks mr frank and you have a common name and it's not him or gerbils you could have hidden behind it but you
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chose to come out as the son of a matter of when and why out i wanted to ask a time. do that well the initial reason was that i was increasingly by the stop and silence here in germany on the nazis crimes and the complicity of ordinary people called me i just couldn't take it anymore. so i told myself it was time to talk about how a family that i had been born into just by coincidence could because of the father's career lose all its morality. fully and. then this in the book you wrote the book in the shadow of the right published in one thousand nine hundred seventy the german title translates as a reckoning what kind of reckoning he wanted to show me you know i had a score to settle with him. it was like a son trying his father and confronting him with everything he had found out about him. with the ring people in the poke i address him directly
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to argue my case that although he was a highly educated man he was a real criminal means. nuclear power play. if your father was governor general of occupied poland and in berlin there was a saying about him france lies in the west and the east makes frank rich what did that imply. spirit of the you know we called it refers to the vast corruption in the way my mother and father both the rich themselves by appropriating coalition jewish property. that was its origin. currency and even though he's still carry the picture of your father after is death by hanging neatly may not always but when i wear my jacket i keep it close for two reasons. one is to be sure that is really the dog why the other is that it's more and more
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like he's grinning at him in the way he lies there with his broken neck on a blanket after his execution eco particularly his ideas and ideologies didn't die with. the live on here in germany if you look even if. the event the leap here in portland. if a few three or four siblings couldn't cope with your father's legacy your brother became an alcoholic one of your sisters killed herself in this book save your life . i don't think so. even at an early age i had a distant relationship with my father. i mean father initially didn't believe i was his son he suspected i'd been fathered by his best friend and so he was distant to me. and it was fortunate for me because it made me distance myself from him too. because that what saved me. it. always struck me
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is how we germans and i don't just mean my family i've experienced the same with friends acquaintances and colleagues. how we've dealt with the twelve years of nazi rule from one nine hundred thirty three to nine hundred forty five in. indiana the nazis made poland the center for the extermination of european jews. more than six million people were murdered there alone your father was the you will the soul ruler of poland in this farewell letter from noon but he wrote i was never a criminal and did that make you angry so what can you tell your people will cause that made me angry is illegally under the laws of the heist he was hitler's official representative in the general governor. politically he was responsible for every single person who died. and he never really expressed regret for that.
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but boy. if you can the nothing nazis were no men what role did women play when you look back at your model as a man with a lot my mother was an ice cold individual and i only really got to know her after the war with the loss of the frank family's wealth and life of convenience. she calculatingly took advantage of her husband's position. she reached her self with all sorts of stolen goods and she truly enjoyed it with. but after the war and this is why i have a different relationship with her than i do with my father. after the war when everything was over she never glorified the third time i saw. and that was very good for me as a child. she was one of the few people i have ever met who had both feet planted
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firmly in reality. so she suspected what she was doing was wrong. with the she knew full well it was wrong even the most nazi knew what was happening was wrong. and he was detained in one nine hundred forty five you wrote that you saw the american soldiers and thought to yourself. they're on the right side and we're on the wrong side of their files and how do you know that at the tender age of six. i don't know if i was ever attend. but i do know that when they lined up with my mother and three siblings the to have just one of them and we were about to be shot by an american soldier in our yard i got the distinct feeling if not in those words that they were somehow bright. red. at the time my father had already been
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arrested and i sense that they were actually the ones on the right side. i was the only one who stay calm my older siblings who started calling. maybe i didn't fully understand what death meant yet. to my mother when i scold my now upgraded soldier . not hysterically but coldly until he lowered his gun in shock. i was taken away by another american. who would. make you feel your mother was bringing you up he was very brave she wants to my father saying i know only one crime and that's cowardice my father had such cowardice led him to the gallows defines cowardice one of the main reasons that something like national socialism was able to take root in germany with absolutely it's a lack of civil courage everyone can work on their own civil courage. anything else with those fine speeches on taking responsibility is no nonsense it's personal
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civil courage that germany lacks. we've apparently always believed in over thirty and that's why until today we have the best democracy even though it's currently under threat because we enjoy following orders people want to pay the nazis join their dictatorship and then they said oh now it's suddenly time for democracy but that's not an internal process it's insincere that's why i don't trust. now nearly eighty years after germany's invasion of poland and the beginning of world war two on september first there's renewed anti foreign a sentiment in germany where is it coming from what how do you feel when you hear and see that the us must listen in now since it has. been. like a very angry every day. not a day goes by where i don't read something in the paper that makes me really mad. really. up give us an example. a line shouldn't like that recent
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comment by the state interior minister of north rhine-westphalia. they said judges should keep in mind that their decisions correspond with the population sense of justice people say things like that are not only not at all democratic they've also never really acknowledged what we germans perpetrated in those twelve years. they still gets to me how come people say things like that. and you can read things like that every day. of course we can have a discussion about human nature. but we germans know for well we're lack of civil courage leads us. to cast chambers. because. we should know better yet we haven't done anything about it. and nothing has changed in our consciousness now i've always suspected that it would break to the surface if we were to experience five or ten years of serious economic woes but suddenly it's the
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refugees bringing everything to light that there's always been or is still a part of it. but nationalism and chauvinism aren't unique to germany they're widespread in all of europe does that worry you to where in particular. one of my favorite countries is poland but what's happening in poland is awful. the damage president kaczynski is doing there is dreadful. but they've been elected. of course they were elected in germany we have the far right f.t. party they were elected to of course is a democracy we should deal with this subjectively but there's still something vile about it something we carry within as. it's not just germans. knowing the know they can all do whatever they want. when it comes to german history and the german people i'm a complete chauvinist into theory and i'm only concerned about the germans because
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we know better. we should know where this takes us we've gone through it before you know we played an active role to me with them if i say i'm not improve mr frank after writing that book about your father you went on to write a second book about your mother and then another one about your brothers. but your latest book has nothing to do with nazis it's a love story have you settled your score with national socialism and your family. i don't think so i continue to research my family history every day but. my latest book is about no grandfather who with his granddaughter revisits the twelve great loves of his life. i only wrote it as a way to one wind just so for once i wouldn't have to write words like. hans frank or holocaust even one day i found these old love letters i received from
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a girl when we were both seventeen and i asked her if she still had mine and we exchanged them over dinner with her husband sitting on the train on my way home i was instantly sober when i read what i'd written back then it was such vain nonsense and that's what gave me the idea for this book and i had so much fun writing it as enjoyable as it was relaxing would be she further relaxation here thank you for your time. but. what do we want. when we want to know the percent of americans or some people who are not. listening. wouldn't be fighting for the case to be taken seriously in the world of work here's what's coming up. though they do
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