Niepolomice


Just east of Krakow lies a suburb called Niepolomice where in a wooded area the Germans murdered about 1600 people on two occasions. On August 27, 1942, more than 600 local Jews were shot and buried in mass graves. On December 11, 1943, about 1,000 Poles were shot in the same area, including the mayor of Krakow, Stanislaw Klimecki.

A railway line runs through the forest area, where the Polish home army (Armija Krajowa) carried out an attack on the Governor-General’s leader Hans Frank. Frank had been appointed by Hitler as the supreme civilian leader of the General Government (GG) in occupied Poland. Frank installed his office in Krakow and Wawel Castle and instituted a reign of terror. Frank hated not only Jews but also Poles whom he more or less equated with Jews. As governor general, Frank bore overall responsibility for all the acts and murders committed within the GG.

His main goal was to destroy every Jew within GG, enslave the Poles and repopulate GG with Germans. As governor-general, he was also a target of the Polish home army, which compiled a list of German leaders sentenced to death in an underground trial. At the top of the list was Hans Frank. But Frank was well guarded and hard to access. On the night of January 30, 1944, Frank travelled in a special train en route to Lviv (now Ukraine). When the train passed through the forest area, an explosive device was triggered that caused the train to derail but without either Frank or anyone else died.

Current status: Monument (2019).

Location: 50°00'40.11"N 20°13'19.31"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The monuments are located in a large hiking area. Had the attack on Frank succeeded, it would have been comparable to the attack on Heydrich in May 1942. Both were high in the Nazi hierarchy and both were hated in the countries they housed in and were thus potential targets for resistance groups. If Frank had fallen victim, the Germans’ revenge would probably have been on par with the revenge they took after the murder of Heydrich.

Follow up in books: Lukas, Richard C: Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939–1944 (2008).