Adolf Rudolf Reinhold Diekmann as a Hauptsturmführer

    Adolf Rudolf Reinhold Diekmann (the man who led the attack on Oradour-sur-Glane) as a Hauptsturmführer. I have no date for this photograph, but it must lie between 20th April 1942 when he was promoted to Hauptsturmführer and 20th April 1944 when he became a Sturmbannführer. Given his light uniform dress and his generally smart appearance, my best guess is that this photograph was taken during the summer months, whilst he was acting as an instructor at Bad Tölz. He is wearing the Iron Cross, which he won in both 2nd and 1st class. It was a fashion with members of the Nazi party and the SS, to shave the sides of the head, so as to accentuate their Nordic appearance. Contrary to what many people have thought, he does not look 'mad' or 'bad', just a normal pleasant man with a nice smile. Take away the uniform and you would not think him anything extraordinary.

Adolf Ranier Reinhold Diekmann
Photo by Herbert Escher, shown courtesy of John P Moore

       When I think about Adolf Diekmann, I am reminded of the November 1971 song by The Who, titled, "Behind Blue Eyes" and I wonder if the sentiments expressed in it, applied to Sturmbannführer Adolf Rudolf Reinhold Diekmann after his actions at Oradour-sur-Glane on 10th June 1944.

 

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

© Universal Music Publishing Group
 

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© Michael Williams: 10 March 2000: this page was last updated on Wednesday, 06 February 2019