A Unique Opportunity to Learn More About ‘Nuremberg’s Voice of Doom’
Guest post from author Paul Hooley about this upcoming event.
Pen & Sword Books’ publication of my titles Nuremberg’s Voice of Doom and The Undercover Nazi Hunter has led to the awarding of a Blue Plaque in honour of (Hugh) Wolfe Frank – the subject of the books – who is now widely accepted as having been ‘a wrongfully forgotten hero of the twentieth century’ and one of its bravest and most charismatic characters.
The two books are based upon Frank’s memoirs, which had remained hidden in a Gillingham (Dorset) attic for over a quarter of a century following his death in 1988, and the plaque, conferred by Salisbury Civic Society, has been mounted upon the façade of his former home The Malt House, Castle Street in the neighbouring town of Mere.
Those who may be interested in the Wolfe Frank story are now cordially invited to join the audience of a Zoom lecture I will be giving (followed by a Q&A session) at 6.00 pm on 17th January 2022. My presentation will outline Frank’s astonishing life and achievements and provide details of the outstanding service he gave to Britain and the free world in his personal crusade against the Nazis prior to, during and following the Second World War.
To be hosted by Dr Toby Simpson, director of The Wiener Holocaust Library, the programme is one of a number of broadcasts being arranged by The Association of Jewish Refugees in the fortnight leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January). There is no charge for this service and gaining access to the talk is very simple. All viewers need to do is to click on, or input, the link below to register their interest. A Zoom code will be sent out soon after and then reminders 24 hours and 2 hours prior to the broadcast.
ABOUT THE BOOKS, THE SUBJECT, THE BROADCAST & THE PARTICIPANTS
The son of a Jewish industrialist Wolfe Frank became the Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials where, following his pronouncements of the death sentences imposed upon Nazi war criminals, the world’s media dubbed him ‘The Voice of Doom’. He was also THE leading pioneer of the simultaneous interpretation process and an intrepid investigative reporter. These achievements added to his good looks, intelligence service involvements, maverick tendencies, charismatic character and colourful private life (he was married five times and had countless affairs) have led many to see Frank as having been a real-life version of James Bond.
A pre-war playboy turned resistance worker Frank fled his native Germany for England in 1937 having been branded ‘an enemy of the state – to be shot on sight’. Initially interned as an ‘enemy alien’, he later joined the British Army, where he rose to the rank of Captain. Unable to speak English when he arrived by the time of the trials he was considered to be the finest interpreter in the world. Described as ‘the greatest trial in history’ and the ‘last battle of WWII’ the undoubted success of Nuremberg owes much to Frank’s skills. As an interrogator he drew horrifying confessions out of some of the war criminals that later led to their convictions and it was he who brought the final curtain down on the Third Reich with his pronouncements of the sentences imposed upon some of the most evil men in history – including Hermann Goering, Commander of the Luftwaffe, Hitler’s designated deputy and architect of the Holocaust who was the first of the war criminals to learn from Frank that his fate was to be ‘death by the rope’.
Following his service at Nuremberg, Frank became increasingly alarmed at the misinformation coming out of Germany. In 1949, backed by the New York Herald Tribune and to the knowledge of USA military and intelligence services, he once again risked his life by returning to the country of his birth to make an ‘undercover’ survey of the main facets of post-war German life and viewpoints. During his enterprise he worked as a German alongside Germans in factories, on the docks, in a refugee camp and elsewhere. Equipped with false papers he sought objective answers to many questions concerning refugees, anti-Semitism, morality, de-Nazification, religion, and nationalism. This led to the publication of a highly acclaimed series of articles that appeared in the NYHT under the generic title ‘Hangover After Hitler’. Of great importance, and having been set the task of finding out what had happened to over 2,000 ‘missing’ war criminals, Frank single-handedly tracked down, arrested, interrogated and took the confession of one of the most highly ranked Nazi Generals on the Allies ‘Most Wanted’ list before handing the captured officer over to the Admiralty.
Paul Hooley was born and educated in Surrey. He founded a printing company that grew to be ranked amongst the industry’s top 1%. He has been a director of a building society and a private hospital, and companies involved in advertising, publishing, entertainment, finance, building, transport, property and engineering. He retired from business in 1990 since when he has devoted much of his time to studying, writing and lecturing on a wide range of historical and military subjects. A former town and district councillor, he was Mayor of Bedford in 1978/9. Amongst other involvements he has been a magistrate, a tax commissioner and a prison visitor. He was appointed MBE in 2003.
Dr Toby Simpson is Director of The Wiener Holocaust Library, the world’s oldest archival and library collection relating to the Holocaust and Nazi era. He recently led the project Testifying to the Truth: Eyewitnesses to the Holocaust, which has catalogued, digitised and translated over 1,000 eyewitness accounts gathered by the Library between 1954 and 1961. Dr Simpson joined the Library in 2011, setting up a new programme of exhibitions, tours and events. Between 2011 and 2016, he curated or co-curated over a dozen exhibitions for the Library including Humanity After the Holocaust: The Jewish Relief Unit, 1943-1950, and Four Thousand Lives: The Kitchener Camp Rescue.
The Association of Jewish Refugees is the national charity supporting Holocaust refugees and survivors living in Great Britain. Primarily providing social, welfare and care services, the AJR also has a nationwide network of regional groups offering members a unique opportunity to socialise in their local area. Members receive support from volunteers and can obtain advice and assistance on welfare rights as well as on Holocaust reparations. The AJR is committed to the education of future generations about the Holocaust and is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of programmes and projects which promote teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Over recent months the AJR’s Zoom presentations have attracted ever-growing audiences and past speakers include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Esther Rantzen, and Judge Robert Rinder.
You can order both books here.