Kahn's 4 March 1941 assessment from 'Reich' Division

    Comments below are in italics.

    SS Division "Reich" Ortsunterkunft, the 4 March 1941. (The 2nd SS-Panzer Division Das Reich had several changes of title during its life and at this time was simply called Reich, not Das Reich).

    Feldgendarmerie (Military Police)



    SS Sturmscharführer and Stabsscharführer of the Feldgendarmerietrupps of the SS Division "Reich."

    Otto, Erich Kahn has been with the Felgendarmerietrupp (Military Police) of the SS Division "Reich." since 23 October 1938.

    Kahn is of predominantly Nordic racial appearance and 183 cm tall (again and again in these Assessments, for all SS-men, the racial aspect is commented upon). He is an enthusiastic sportsman and is in full-possession of his health.

    As a Feldgendarmerietrupps leader Kahn has proven himself very well in military service and sport. He is an open personality. His manner is quiet and factual. (Kahn is, "quiet and factual", not the image that one would have of him following the 10th of June).  He is always conscientious. His attitude is civil and satisfactory. He has never given cause for complaint.

    Kahn has been a professional soldier for 12 years. He puts on a soldierly manner throughout the day. On and off duty, he shows himself in every situation worthy of the uniform. He is a popular and respected superior, his commands are obeyed gladly and willingly by his subordinates. He is however also a comrade, who understands, as far as it is in his powers, to ease personal needs of his subordinates and comrades. This capability always guarantees Kahn a good harmony with his superiors, comrades and subordinates (it can be seen that Kahn was something of a Jekyll and Hyde character, nice and kind to his comrades and the devil incarnate to his enemies).

    Kahn enjoyed national education and specialist education. His intellectual disposition would have however also qualified him to attend a higher school with success if the financial circumstances of its parents had allowed it. (Kahn was a victim of the great economic slump which affected so much of German society after the end of W.W.I.).

    Before and during action, Kahn was used by me as a Platoon Leader. His assured manner and his reliability known to me, gave me the assurance to entrust him with important reconnaissance and traffic control tasks.

    Kahn has solved these tasks at any time by the use of his personality, to my fullest satisfaction. Since the reconnaissance quite often had to be executed in direct contact with the enemy and Kahn has solved them with positive results, I have nominated him for the Iron Cross II, which was presented on the 27. 11. 1940.

    Kahn is married and the father of three children. He lives with his wife, a Restaurant owners daughter from Rathenow, in best marriage. His family-circumstances are absolutely respectable (yet again the sober correctness of a good SS-man is stressed, Kahn was a pillar of his community and very respectable).

    Accordingly Kahn is a suitable person to be raised in rank (to an officer). Since he was with the Federal Army, as well as with the Armed Forces altogether for 3 years as Platoon Leader and furthermore I have got to know his military abilities during this employment, from the training aspect he also possesses the prerequisites to be a leader.

    Kahn is politically reliable and keen himself at anytime to trust in the National Socialist Philosophy, to shape his life (interestingly he was not a party member, but this was not held against him, or even mentioned in this assessment).

    Captain of the Feldgendarmerie (Military Police) and Transport Officer of the SS Division Reich.

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© Michael Williams 10th March 2000 ... updated Thursday, 25 August 2022