In 1930, Hilter entrusted Frank to research his ancestry in order to dispell rumors that Hitler had Jewish blood. The discription of his progress, below, is from the book, The Trial of the Germans, by Eugene Davidson, University of Missouri Press, 1966:
"Frank undertook this delicate task, and he declared in the autobiography written in his cell at Nuremberg that what he discovered made it appear possible, if not likely, that Hitler's father had been half Jewish. The main facts are clear enough. Hitler's grandmother, a Fraulein Maria Anna Schicklgruber, worked as a cook for a well-to-do Jewish family named Frankenberger. The Frankenbergers had a son who was nineteen years old at the time Hitler's forty-two-year-old grandmother bore a child out of wedlock, and the Jewish family paid for the support of the child up to the time it was fourteen years old. Frank wrote that the money was given to avoid a public scandal. Apparently, although Frank does not say so, Fraeulein Schicklgruber had threatened to bring a suit against the Frankenbergers. Frank wrote that many letters were subsequently exchanged between them and Hitler's grandmother, which seemed to him to be evidence of a cordial relationship. Nevertheless, both he and Hitler were convinced that the child was actually the offspring of a millworker, Johann Georg Hiedler, a second cousin of Fraeulein Schicklgruber, who five years after the birth of the child married her and legitimized her son. But Frank, writing in Nuremberg no longer for the benefit of the Fuehrer, was also of the opinion that it was not out of the question that Hitler's father, who later changed his name from Hiedler to Hitler, was half Jewish."1
Hans Frank describes Hitler's effect on him to a prison psychologist:
"I can hardly understand it myself. There must be some basic evil in me. In all men. Mass hypnosis? Hitler cultivated this evil in man. When I saw him in that movie in court, I was swept along again for a moment, in spite of myself. Funny, one sits in court feeling guilt and shame. Then Hitler appears on the screen and you want to stretch out your hand to him . . . . It's not with horns on his head or with a forked tail that the devil comes to us, you know. He comes with a captivating smile, spouting idealistic sentiments, winning one's loyalty. We cannot say that Adolf Hitler violated the German people. He seduced us."2
1 Eugene Davidson, The Trial of the Germans , University of Missouri Press, p. 430.
2 Joseph E. Persico, Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, Viking, p. 184.