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 obtain background material from Kahn as to both his and other peoples war-time record of their employment within the armed forces.
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.
This statement made at Lüdinghausen on 5th November 1964, is just 3 pages long, and is thus considerably shorter than Kahn's first at Dortmund in 1962, which ran to 19 pages. It is a curious document in that The name of Oradour-sur-Glane does not appear at all and neither does that of Diekmann, or Stadler. Lammerding is mentioned only once (the date he took over command of Das Reich). Indeed the whole document is little more than a list of names of people that Kahn knew during his service with the Military Police and later with the SS-Division Das Reich. It is important to know that Kahn appeared for this interview because he had been subpoenaed, "by the criminal police of Lüdinghausen", so we can assume that he was a reluctant witness on this occasion.
Kahn's memory for names was perhaps understandably not very good after nearly 20 years and whilst he describes some people fairly well, in some cases he struggled to put a name to a face. The only specific incident mentioned during the interview was that of the shooting of three Belgian police officers in January 1945. However as Kahn had left the Division by that time (following his wounding and the loss of his left arm), he was unable to say anything about the matter. Kahn's memory was quite good when it came to field-post numbers for both the Military Police of the Das Reich Division and that of the Divisional Staff (rather like remembering telephone numbers).
The purpose of the statement is a little unclear, as it does not mention Oradour, or ask any questions relating to war-crimes (other than the brief mention of the Belgian police officers). No direct questions were put to Kahn as to his involvement in any other action, either of his alone, or by units he was attached to. What is striking is that the interview, which was filed in amongst the Oradour case papers in the Archive at Münster, does not mention Oradour at all, either directly, or indirectly. It is basically just a list of names and dates relating to war-time service records which adds nothing at all to the case of Oradour-sur-Glane.
© Michael Williams 10th March 2000 ... updated Wednesday, 19 December 2018