Review of Boos's statements

    To date I have found three statements made by Boos concerning his and others involvement in the attack on Oradour-sur-Glane on Saturday 10 June 1944. All these statements were made at Saarbrücken and for each one Boos had to be summonsed to testify. Boos's reluctance to give evidence in the matter of Oradour was understandable as he was the man who had served the longest prison sentence of any of the defendants from the trial at Bordeaux in 1953. He had narrowly escaped with his life and then been condemned to life imprisonment (with compulsory labour), only finally to be released in 1959 and banned from living in Alsace-Lorraine for 25 years. His crimes were, firstly, volunteering for the German armed forces (which made him a traitor in the eyes of the French, post-war) and secondly, being involved in the killings at Oradour.

    Boos had a sense of grievance about his treatment and to some extent this is understandable. He had been born French on the 25th August 1923 in Keskastel (in the Department of Alsace) on the banks of the Saar river, close to the German border. Following on from the armistice of June 1940, his nationality had been involuntarily changed to that of German and so he saw nothing wrong with volunteering for the Wehrmacht at that time. Following on the German surrender in May 1945, his nationality was of course changed back to French and he then found himself on trial for treason.

    It is noticeable that Boos gave his address as being Saarbrücken (in Germany and close to the border with France) in each of his statements (from 1962 to 1966) and this does seem to indicate a feeling of closeness in his mind with the country of his birth. I do not have any further information, but perhaps family ties kept him living close to the border where he grew up.

    The purpose of the first two interrogations was to find out if Brigadeführer Lammerding had a case to answer concerning his responsibility for the massacre at Oradour, whist the third was to examine Hauptsturmführer Kahn's involvement. It is significant that Boos made no accusations against either man; he never attempted to lay any blame on them. Boos, quite obviously followed the chain of command; if an order was given, it was obeyed and questions as to its origin, or validity, were not asked.

    Diekmann's name was not mentioned at all in the first statement, consistently misspelled in the second and spelled correctly in the third.

    Boos seems to have changed his first name from Georges (French) to Georg (German). By the time of the first statement in 1962, the implication is that Boos was married and had a family (this is stated clearly in the second statement of 1963). He was also gainfully employed in the field of insurance. Boos was starting to put the past behind him and move on with his life. He was not a hero, not even a particularly good man trying to do the right thing, but he does seem to have been someone rather helplessly caught up in the great affairs of others.

    Reading Kahn's statement of December 1962, in which he tries to portray himself as virtuously trying to deflect Diekmann away from destroying Oradour, it is obvious that it would be to Kahn's benefit if another member of the group would speak up in support of him. In his January 1966 statement, Boos specifically says that he knew nothing about this supposed action by Kahn and that Kahn was as involved as the rest of them.

    Georg René Boos was born 25 August 1923 at Keskastel in the Alsace Department of France and died on 25 September 2015 at Völklingen, (close to Saarbrücken) Germany.

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© Michael Williams: 21 February 2015 ... revised 17 September 2022.