Gerlach's assessment of 31st May 1944

    It is noteworthy that this assessment was completed 10 days before Gerlach was temporarily kidnapped by the Resistance on the 9th of June. As you can read, he was described as being, "physically somewhat handicapped" and also as having, "quite outstanding nerve". He was to need his nerve during his captivity and the handicap caused by his lung wound did not prevent him escaping from his captors on foot as you can read in his statement to the court at Bordeaux. At the time of this assessment Gerlach was substantively an Untersturmführer, he was officially promoted to Obersturmführer on 21st June and to Hauptsturmführer on 9th November 1944. Comments below are in italics.

Judgement: (Assessment)

    Gerlach possesses an honest, straight, determined character and a friendly, modest, civil nature. He is of a considerable, soldierly appearance with positive, assured manner.

    Through having endured a wounding (lung-shot), Gerlach is physically somewhat handicapped (Diekmann also had suffered a lung wound and was described as being "somewhat handicapped" by it: see Diekmann's assessment). Besides a healthy common sense, he owns good human-knowledge and an assured judgement. Gerlach possesses a sufficient general education, is mentally active, always attempting to even out existing gaps and to continue education.

    On nearly all theatres of war of this war, he has proven himself again and again through quite outstanding nerve and distinguished himself very well by personal bravery. Gerlach is a brave officer and possesses good teaching ability.

    He has enjoyed a thorough soldierly education, which comes to (assist) him in the implementation of his duty again and again. Partially, something of the NCO still sticks to him. He takes instructions gladly however and tries. Gerlach has high hopes of education and openings after further instruction and support in foreseeable future to become an active, excellent company-leader.

    Since the 12th May 1944, he has done his duty to my fullest satisfaction as Ordnance Officer of the Sturm Abteilung.

    Gerlach is a positive national socialistic fighter and lives according to national socialistic points of view.(Again and again in all full assessments we see this constant affirmation that the person is a political soldier and by implication that the SS as a whole is a politicised organisation).

    His private and economic circumstances are orderly.

    Gerlach is not penalised.

    Gerlach has heard from me in sober knowledge, all his shortcomings outlined in this assessment.

    Krag… SS-Sturmbannführer and detachment commander … 31st May 1944 (Ernst Krag was one of the Division's Knight's Cross winners and a notable personality in his own right).

    Agreed … Lammerding (actually all Lammerding did was to sign his name on a blank part of the assessment, which I am assuming means that he agreed with it).


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© Michael Williams February 2004