This statement forms a part of what I am calling, The Dortmund Hearings, which commenced in 1962 and ran on for several years. This particular hearing was used to try and determine the involvement and guilt (if any) of Otto Erich Kahn, who had been the second-in-command during the attack on Oradour-sur-Glane.
This particular statement has been paraphrased from the original document, which was obtained from the German National Archives on the understanding that it would not be directly copied or distributed. All such documents will be displayed here as paraphrased translations and will give all the necessary facts without having been directly copied from the originals. I appreciate that some people may find this unsatisfactory, but I was only allowed access to the documents by agreeing to this condition. I assure you that what follows below is an accurate rendition of the content of the statement. Should the situation change in the future then the full translated version will appear here in place of the paraphrased version. For comments on this statement, see the foot of this page and notes made in italics throughout.
All these statements were taken by means of a face-to-face interview between the subject and a Prosecuting Attorney, with a Justice Secretary present to take a transcript of the proceedings.............
The man previously known as Georges René Boos and now signing himself as Georg René Boos made at least three statements concerning Oradour, of which this is the third. This particular statement is different to the previous two, in that it concerns the involvement of Hauptsturmführer Otto Erich Kahn, rather than that of Brigadeführer Lammerding, the commanding officer of the 2nd SS-Panzer Division Das Reich. During the later part of the German investigation into the affair of Oradour, some time was spent in determining the degree of guilt and involvement of people other than Lammerding and Kahn was one of them. There are further statements shown in these Appendices, made by Kahn, which are in response to accusations made in Germany, which would have denied him his war pension, on the ground that he was a war-criminal.
Boos began by stating that he was not related in any way to Kahn and that in early 1944 he had become a member of the 3rd Company of the SS-Panzer Grenadier Regiment Der Führer (part of the Das Reich Division). Previous to 1944, he had been with various SS units. When he arrived at the Regiment, Stadler was the commander, Diekmann (spelled correctly for once) had been a Battalion Commander and Kahn the leader of the 3rd Company. During 1944, the command of the Regiment was handed over to Weidinger, who held it until the wars end. (all these statements are correct and agree with many other sources).
Boos went on to say that prior to the attack on Oradour, the Regiment was quartered around Limoges and that he, "as a simple soldier" could not say where the plan for the destruction of Oradour originated (this sounds entirely believable to me; Boos was not privy to the deliberations of the senior ranks, he was, as he stated, just a "simple soldier"). He went on to say that they got their orders in the usual way, from their next-in-line superiors.
The rest of Boos statement took the form of answers to questions put by the interrogator and curiously, the questions are not in the file, only the answers. Nevertheless, the questions can be easily inferred and Boos supplied answers to the effect that:
1) At Oradour, Diekmann was the senior officer present and that he was responsible for what happened.
2) Hauptsturmführer Kahn was also present and he was the commander of the 3rd Company.
3) Diekmann was in command and everyone, including Kahn, had to do as he ordered. Kahn had no choice, but to obey. Kahn could possibly have hindered the execution of orders, but would have had to have taken responsibility for doing so and Boos had not seen any evidence that this had happened.
4) Boos stated that he got his orders from his next-in-line superior, who got his from his next-in-line and so on all the way to Diekmann and that this was just like any other war-time deployment.
Boos's final point was that as the case of Oradour was held before the Military Court at Bordeaux in 1953, much more information could be had from the file there than he could personally provide. (and this was undoubtedly true).
© Michael Williams: 21 February 2015 ... revised 19 August 2016.