Johannes Frank. Collection

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The collection contains pages from the Frank family photo album ; pictures of the Frank family showing family life before, during and after the war ; pictures of Johannes Frank, Dossin barracks camp commander, in SS uniform, in Belgium and France ; pictures of Johannes Frank as a policeman ; newspaper articles regarding the Holocaust commemoration work done by Achim Frank.
Achim Frank, son of Johannes Gerhard Frank, camp commander at the Dossin barracks from March/April 1943 until September 1944
Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
Achim Frank, Private collection, Leipzig. The three leather adornments made by detainees at the Dossin barracks are on permanent display at the Kazerne Dossin museum.
123 digitised images : 24 documents, 57 photographs and 3 adornments in leather
Achim Frank was born in Leipzig in 1935, as the son of Johannes Gerhard Frank (Dresden, 1905) and Johanna Brandt. Johannes Frank had been a policeman in Dresden since 1925. He was added to the Polizeipräsidium in Leipzig in 1929 and to the Landessicherheitspolizei in 1931. He married Johanna Brandt in 1933. Achim would remain their only child. Johannes Frank joined the Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) a year after his son was born. In 1937, he became NSDAP party member. After Nazi Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940, Johannes Frank was sent to Brussels where he worked for the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst (Sipo-SD).
When Philipp Schmitt, camp commander of the Dossin barracks, went on vacation in March 1943, SS Sturmscharführer Johannes Frank replaced him. During this period, Frank discovered the illegal operations led by Schmitt at the Dossin barracks and he reported Schmitt to the authorities. In April 1943, Johannes Frank became the second camp commander at the Dossin barracks. Under Frank’s reign the camp was reorganized and the violence used by the guards decreased. During that period, Johannes Frank visited his wife and son twice a year in Leipzig. He brought them gifts, such as a purse with leather adornments and a complete SS children’s uniform, tailored by Jewish prisoners at the Dossin barracks.
In September 1944 Johannes Frank left Belgium and was sent to the Netherlands to track down “terrorists”. He was arrested in Amsterdam on 7 May 1945 and was convicted to six years in prison by the court in Arnhem. That same year he divorced Johanna Brandt. Johannes Frank was released from prison in April 1950. He was never prosecuted for his role in the deportation of Jews, Roma and Sinti from the Dossin barracks. After the war, Achim Frank and his mother remained in Leipzig (German Democratic Republic or DDR), while Johannes Frank moved to Essen-Altenessen (Federal Republic of Germany or FRG). He remarried Gretel Schmelter in 1957. The couple had two more children. Johannes Frank passed away on 16 October 1964. His son Achim Frank never saw his father again after 1945. Achim studied in Berlin to become a graphic artist. He retired in 1995 and still lives in Leipzig today.
Upon the arrival of the Soviet Army in Leipzig, Johanna Brandt, wife of Dossin barracks camp commander Johannes Frank, destroyed most of the evidence of her husband's activities in Belgium during the war. Among those items burned in her kitchen stove were the SS children’s uniform tailored by Dossin detainees and a pile of pictures taken at the Dossin barracks. However, Johanna Brandt kept two leather adornments with her initials from one of the purses her husband gave her and the little dog in leather from a satchel given to Achim. Achim collected as much of the remaining items and photos as possible. His main goal remains to combat all forms of discrimination.
Achim Frank, 2013

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