Debate Over Newly ‘Caught’ Nazi Who Was Himmler’s Aide

By JTA

Published December 08, 2010, issue of December 17, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

American self-styled Nazi hunter Mark Gould has filed a lawsuit against ex-SS officer Bernhard Frank for his role in the murder of Jews during World War II.

But some are criticizing Gould, who filed his suit December 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for exaggerating the role of a minor figure.

Gould, 43, disguised himself as a neo-Nazi in order to gain access to Frank, an SS lieutenant colonel who had worked closely with Heinrich Himmler. In the summer of 1941, Frank signed documents prepared by Himmler ordering that Jews associated in any way with partisans be killed.

Gould, who reportedly is not Jewish but was adopted by a Jewish stepfather, said his relatives were caught up in the ensuing massacre.

In early December, after interviewing Frank on video for several years in Germany, Gould revealed his identity. Gould and his cousin, Burton Bernstein, filed suit asking for “compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages.”

According to Martin Dean, one of three historians cited in the suit, Himmler’s orders “document the development of German genocidal policies in response to both real and imagined partisan threats.” Dean is a research scholar at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Los Angeles-based USC Shoah Foundation Institute, has commended Gould for highlighting the role of office perpetrators who signed off on murderous orders.

But Frank’s “signature is meaningless,” Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JTA. “His job was to see to it that the orders issued were formulated in a manner in accordance with National Socialist ideology. But the order was from Heinrich Himmler.”

Frank was unquestionably an “avid, zealous, passionate and committed Nazi,” Zuroff said. He added, however, that Frank also had written two books about his past, so Gould has not revealed anything surprising.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.