Reinhold Frank (lawyer)

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Memorial plaque for Reinhold Frank at the parish church of his birthplace Bachhaupten

Reinhold Frank (born July 23, 1896 in Bachhaupten ; † January 23, 1945 in Berlin-Plötzensee ) was a German lawyer . He resisted National Socialism and was sentenced to death and executed in connection with the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 .


Reinhold Frank was born on July 23, 1896 in the then independent Hohenzollern community of Bachhaupten near Ostrach . With his twin sister, he was the youngest of seven children of the Catholic farmer Franz Frank and his wife Theresia. He attended the Archbishop's High School Convict in Sigmaringen and volunteered for military service as a senior prime minister.

After working as a military service volunteer in World War I , he studied law in Freiburg im Breisgau and Tübingen . He was a member of the KDSt.V. Arminia Freiburg im Breisgau in CV . After his legal traineeship, he settled as a lawyer in Karlsruhe in 1923 and ran a law firm together with the lawyer Franz Xaver Honold (1881–1939). Reinhold Frank was a member of the Catholic Center Party and was a member of the Karlsruhe City Council for ten months until it was dissolved by the National Socialists.

Out of Christian conviction he was opposed to the Nazi ideology. He defended persecuted people from all political and religious backgrounds on several occasions, including social democrats , Roman Catholic priests who had been accused of critical comments about National Socialism , and Alsatian resistance fighters. Reinhold Frank belonged to the circle of the resistance group founded by Carl Friedrich Goerdeler . He had agreed to be available in Baden in a leading position in the reconstruction, if the coup should succeed (see shadow cabinet Beck / Goerdeler ). That is why he was arrested the day after the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler . The People's Court sentenced him to death on January 12, 1945 on charges of high treason and treason . The death sentence was carried out on January 23, 1945 by hanging in Berlin-Plötzensee prison .

Reinhold Frank left a wife and four children. One of his sons, Klaus Frank, was pastor of the Catholic parish of St. Martin in Ettlingen until his retirement in 2005 .


Memorial stone in Karlsruhe

A memorial stone with the following inscription has been erected in his honor at the main cemetery in Karlsruhe :

Out of Christian faith
for human dignity and freedom
Reinhold Frank
Born on July 23, 1896
Executed on January 23, 1945
In Berlin Plötzensee in the resistance to
National Socialist injustice.

The street in which the Karlsruhe Bar Association has its seat bears his name. Sigmaringen, where Frank went to school, also has Reinhold-Frank-Straße.

In 2011, the school center in Ostrach was renamed Reinhold-Frank-Schulzentrum Ostrachtal. There is also a Reinhold-Frank-Straße in Ostrach.

In Bachhaupten, a memorial plaque on the Sankt Michaelskirche reminds of the native son and courageous fighters for freedom and truth.

In 1999, the Catholic Church accepted Reinhold Frank as a martyr in the German Martyrology of the 20th Century .

Memory lecture

Reinhold Frank memorial lectures have been held around July 20 since 2000. The first events were carried out jointly by the cities of Karlsruhe and Rastatt, the Federal Archives (memorial for the freedom movements in German history in Rastatt) and the research center "Resistance against National Socialism in the German Southwest" at the University of Karlsruhe. Since 2009 the lecture has been sponsored by the City of Karlsruhe together with the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the Bar Association at the BGH, the Higher Regional Court, the Bar Association, the Regional Court and the District Court. The focus has also been changed: in future, Reinhold Frank's example will serve to bring the subject of "resistance" closer to the present and to focus on totalitarian regimes, primarily in Eastern European countries.

See also


  • Klaus Frank: Reinhold Frank. A victim of the 3rd Reich . In: Local history supplement to the communiqué ball of Ostrach, 5th year (1984) , No. 3, pp. 1–6, No. 4, pp. 1–6.
  • Horst Rehberger , Reinhold Frank. Lawyer in Karlsruhe , in: The Resistance in the German Southwest 1933–1945. ed. by Michael Bosch and Wolfgang Niess, Stuttgart, 1984
  • Michael Kißener , The resistance group around the Karlsruhe lawyer Reinhold Frank , lecture on the occasion of the scientific symposium as part of the 12th European Culture Days Karlsruhe 1994.
  • Reinhold Frank on the fiftieth anniversary of his death , ed. v. of the City of Karlsruhe / City Archives, Karlsruhe 1995.
  • Detlev Fischer : Lawyers in the Resistance to the Nazi Regime , RuP 2002, 181.
  • Uwe Schellinger , Reinhold Frank (1896–1945), in: Helmut Moll , (Ed. On behalf of the German Bishops' Conference): Witnesses for Christ. Das deutsche Martyrologium des 20. Jahrhundert , Paderborn et al. 1999, 7th revised and updated edition 2019, ISBN 978-3-506-78012-6 . Pp. 292-296.
  • Angela Borgstedt: Reinhold Frank (1896–1945) - lawyer from Karlsruhe . In: Angela Borgstedt et al. (Ed.): Courage proven. Resistance biographies from the southwest (= writings on political regional studies of Baden-Württemberg , published by the State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg, vol. 46), Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-945414-37-8 , pp. 73-80 .

Web links

Commons : Reinhold Frank  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e F. Müller: Ostrach-Bachhaupten Reinhold Frank . In: Denkstättenkuratorium NS-Documentation Oberschwaben (ed.): Places of thought on Upper Swabian paths of remembrance in the districts of Lake Constance and Sigmaringen . 2012. p. 31.
  2. ^ Stadtarchiv Karlsruhe, 8 / PBS III / o1684: Frank, Klaus - Pastor in Ettlingen, son of Reinhold Frank  in the German Digital Library , accessed on March 17, 2015
  3. ^ Website of the memory lecture at the City of Karlsruhe , accessed on July 7, 2011.