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The Butcher of Poland: Hitler's Lawyer Hans Frank Hardcover – 1 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Spellmount Publishers Ltd (1 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752498134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752498133
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


'I know no other biographer except Boswell who reveals so intimate and vivid a knowledge of the beliefs, certainties, strangenesses, quiddities, strengths and achievements of his subject as does O'Connor.' Sir Harold Hobson (Sunday Times).
Garry O'Connor was born in London into a family of well-known singers. From St Alban's School he won a scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, where he read English and was President of University Actors. He worked in the theatre for a while as a director before reviewing for the Financial Times, and then became a full-time writer. He is married with six children, and lives on a farm on the Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire border.
He has published nearly twenty books; his first biography was that of his great-aunt Dame Maggie Teyte. His Universal Father: A life Of Pope John Paul II has sold worldwide in English-speaking countries, and been translated into Polish and Swedish. It was selected by the Irish Independent as part of its 'Great Biography' collection (2007), marketed with the newspaper. It is now also a Kindle book. A.N. Wilson wrote in the Mail on Sunday, 'O'Connor, whose previous books include superb biographies of Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Ralph Richardson and Paul Scofield, is very much at home in this warm portrait of the greatest actor manager of them all.' The Glasgow Herald called it 'A fine, enduring biography'. Damion Thompson's review in the Daily Telegraph claimed that the biography was the 'only life of the late Pope that is an artistic achievement in its own right. None of O'Connor's predecessors has matched his exposition of the literary, philosophical and dramatic sources of John Paul's pontificate, or his nimble untangling of the strands of theological argument.'
Of the theatre lives, Simon Callow in the Financial Times called the Ralph Richardson life, 'A masterpiece'. Darlings of the Gods, the account of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Oliver's marriage and Australian tour of 1948, was filmed in 1991 for television as a three-part mini-series, and shown all over the world. The highly praised biography of Shakespeare (1990, revised in US edition 2001), hailed by Publisher's Weekly as 'a gem', and by the Mail on Sunday as 'illuminating and entertaining', is still in print. Others include his longest work, Sean O'Casey, 'written with tenderness and great technical skill'--Richard Holmes, The Times, and 'well and honestly done and it is highly recommended'--Anthony Burgess, Independent.
Of his most recent works, The Literary Review called O'Connor's second biography of Alec Guinness (The Unknown, 2004) 'A brilliant detective of the truly great actor biographies of our time.' The Independent said it was 'riveting', while the Guardian claimed that O'Connor's openness to Guinness's hitherto unexplored sexuality 'has resulted in a theatrical biography that goes far beyond the reach of such books, and is his best so far'.
The Darlings of Downing Street: the Psycho-Sexual Drama of Power (Politico's 2007), a joint biography of the Blairs during their tenure of power, describes how, according to Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail 'the geo-political game, it seems, was but a sideshow to the Blairs' marital dynamic and Mr Blair's narcissistic urges'. Harry Reid in the Glasgow Herald said that it was 'Eloquent, a climactic tirade, a credible mountain of condemnation...presented with coruscating force.' Geoffrey Goodman said it 'provided a flavour of Blairism in power which is unlikely to be bettered'. But the Blairite Financial Times viewed it as 'the high-water mark of political pornography'. For the Contemporary Review it was 'an interesting perspective on the politics of the UK over the last ten years...[and] a highly entertaining read with countless quotations offering surprising perspectives'. To sum up, the Sunday Express called it 'a highly charged assessment of a pair of ham actors who saw politics as a performance art,' recommending it with five stars.
In the other recent book, the novel Chaucer's Triumph, Penelope Middleboe describes on Booktribes how O'Connor 'takes on Chaucer at his own game--with a cast of tellers, this time on a journey from Leicester to London, teasing out a tale of eroticism and intrigue'. Chaucer's Triumph is Garry O'Connor's triumph,' writes Roger Lewis, 'Epic, comic, pastoral, tragical, and crammed with living energy.' 'O'Connor's greatest achievement,' says the Historical Novel Society, 'is his warm, wise, and humorous portrayal of the poet Chaucer'. Peter Curran on Radio 4 Loose Ends said it 'cries out for television adaptation'. 'This is a book,' comments Faith Magazine, 'I can imagine D.H. Lawrence writing if he were a Catholic.'
Garry O'Connor is working on The Ultimate Doctor Faust, the biography of Hans Frank, the 'Butcher of Poland'. He has just finished a new novel, The Book That Kills. He has written and presented programmes for Radio 4 and 3, adapted his earlier novel about John Donne, Campion's Ghost, for Radio 4, and been interviewed frequently on TV and radio. His website is

Product Description

About the Author

Garry O'Connor is a theater director and the author of more than a dozen books including "Universal Father: A Life of Pope John Paul II." Michael Holroyd is the author of "A Book of Secrets."

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By saint michael on 14 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book lacking in any real substance considering the subject matter. This book will not go down has the ultimate authority on the "butcher of Poland" but if you desire a more basic knowledge of Frank it is worth buying. The work, and crimes of Frank during his tenure in Poland is only briefly covered and this is naturally the area where Frank merited his infamy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Persson on 1 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not even going to waste my time writing a list of reasons not to buy this book because the list will go on forever !!

One question the writer ask himself is: How about the sex-life of Hans ??

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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TJ wILKIE on 9 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting subject so am looking forward to reading it. Arrived quickly and was well protected by the wrapping. it is however one of a list of books I have ready to read, so it will be a little while before i can say whether I will be recommending it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ok not great 12 Oct. 2014
By Bruce D. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok not great. Author kept mentioning subject kept dairy through out war. Thought he could have used that material a lot more. Should have been a more in depth bio than what we got here.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Nazism in Context: The Personal and Professional Life of the Butcher of Poland. Atypical Insights on Stauffenberg 7 May 2014
By Jan Peczkis - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One major shortcoming of this book, for which reason I give it three stars, is the information and quotations that are not linked to any of the sources in the bibliography. This makes it difficult for the reader to conduct further research, and s/he must resort to other books on Hans Frank.

Author O'Connor puts emphasis the role of the Bavarian Catholic Church in supporting Hitler. However, he sees this as a church that had allowed itself to be shaped by the popular culture, as he comments, "`The Church which is married to the Spirit of the Age will be a widow in the next'. Dean Inge's judgment is often quoted today in support of Catholic traditional values. In many disastrous ways the Catholic Church in the late 1920's and the 1930's was married to the `Spirit of the Age'." (p. 103).

In time, the Nazis showed their true anti-Christian colors. Already in 1934, the song of the Hitler Youth included stanzas that were anti-Christ, anti-papist, and openly stated that the singer is not a Christian and not a Catholic. (p. 97). Hitler repeatedly made snide remarks about Christianity. (pp. 98-on). The Nazis abolished mandatory prayer in schools in 1935, and eliminated religious education for 14-15 year olds in 1940. (p. 95, 105).

The author touches on the sexuality of the Nazis. They modeled their homosexuality on that of the male bonding of the Spartans. (p. 57). He considers it inconclusive as to whether Hans Frank was a homosexual or bisexual. He also puts the later Nazi persecution of gays in perspective, "Later the Nazis prosecuted homosexuals and sent them to concentration camps, though this did not happen with the thoroughness of the destruction of Jews, Catholics, intellectuals, opponents of the regime, and the disabled." (p. 95).

What about the possible Jewish ancestry of some of the Nazi leaders, including Hitler? The author notes that this question is not answerable because the Nazis had destroyed the relevant records. (p. 87).

Unfortunately, this book repeats the old canard about Polish cavalry charging German tanks during the 1939 German-Soviet conquest of Poland. (p. 124). On the other hand, author Gary O'Connor has a good grasp of the Nazi German crimes in occupied Poland, especially for a non-Polish author. These crimes were hardly limited to Jews as victims. The author features the destruction of Poland's intelligentsia, and mass shootings of Poles, the systematic confiscation and destruction of Polish cultural treasures, the mass deaths (by starvation and cold) of Poles expelled from the Reich-annexed territories, the thorough German destruction of Warsaw after the fall of the Soviet-betrayed Warsaw Uprising, etc. One minor point: the genocidal "Zamosc experiment" against Poles is misspelled as Zamosz. (p. 171).

The author demythologizes Claus von Stauffenberg, notably as portrayed in the movie VALKYRIE. The would-be assassin of Hitler supported the German conquest, exploitation, and colonization of Poland. Even in 1944, Stauffenberg wanted a peace with the Soviet Union that would return Poland to the partitioned state of 1914. (p. 130). This reminds us once again that being anti-Hitler does not make one an anti-Nazi, and that being an anti-Nazi does not prevent one from being a German imperialist.

At the Nuremberg trials, the Nazi defendants commonly attempted to exculpate their conduct by blaming it on the "injustices" of Versailles, and by adopting an "Allies were just as bad" line of rationalization. Some tried to equate the authoritarianism of the Nazis with that of the Catholic Church. Psychologist Douglas Kelley, accused of being the one who smuggled the cyanide capsule to Goering, later (December 1957) himself committed suicide by taking the same poison--an alleged souvenir from the Nuremberg trials. (p. 238).

Hans Frank warned that Hitler was but the first stage of a "new man"--one that is amoral. The author then juxtaposed it with the warnings of Pope John Paul II about the emergence of a "culture of death", albeit one that manifests itself in many different forms, and not only totalitarian ones. (p. 220).
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
good book 21 May 2014
By Bill - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the book to be good, because Frank is a member only mentioned in numerous works, until this book where he is the featured subject. I have been studying the third reich for 15 plus years and I found some of the claims in the book to be wrong due to typos. other than that the book was good.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Four Stars 29 Oct. 2014
By Steven L. Pinheiro - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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