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 try and determine whether Heinrich Bernhard Lammerding, who had been the commander of the Das Reich Division at the time of the attack on Oradour-sur-Glane, was culpable of the crime and was to be allowed to be extradited by the French to stand trial in France for the attack. The conclusion, reached at the end of the hearings and after evaluating all the statements, was that Lammerding did not have a case to answer and so he never stood trial in France for the events at Oradour.
Most of 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. However, in this case, the interviewer was a Detective Sergeant on his own and not a lawyer with a secretary.
The man previously known as Georges René Boos and now signing himself as Georg René Boos made at least three statements, of which this is the first, concerning the role of Lammerding in the affair of Oradour. The first point to bear in mind is that Boos was not a voluntary witness, he had to be subpoenaed in order to attend the hearing and he was not a willing, or co-operative witness. Boos's lack of co-operation was understandable, he had spent the longest time in prison of all the defendants of the 1953 trial at Bordeaux and he had narrowly escaped execution.
Boos 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. At the time of this statement, he was living just 30 kilometres further north in the German town of Saarbrücken. In his (grudgingly given) statement, he summarised his treatment at the hands of the French justice system as being, held in custody since capture in 1944 and until the trial at Bordeaux in 1953. Then condemned to death on 13. 2. 1953 following that trial. On 7. 7. 1954 the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment with compulsory labour on account of his treason (voluntarily serving in the German army) and in 4. 7. 1955, the life sentence was reduced to 20 years. He was finally released from custody on the 17. 4. 1959. On the 23. 7. 1957 (nearly 2 years before he was actually released) the French State issued a residence prohibition against Boos living in Alsace-Lorrain for a period of 25 years.
At the end of this unwilling 'testimony', Boos made a perfectly valid statement and that was to the effect that the trial records held by the French in Bordeaux, would give a far more complete picture of the involvement of Lammerding than he ever could.
There was absolutely no mention of Boos's own involvement in Oradour (or anyone else's for that matter), other than for him to declare again that he was, "innocent" and that after 14 years in French prison he was very careful about what he said.
Boos finally added that he was unaware of the present day whereabouts of Karl Lenz and that he had last seen him in prison at Bordeaux (this must have been in response to a question put by the interviewer).
Boos statement follows:
KJ I/c Saarbrücken, on 23. 11. 1962
The insurance-employee: Georg René Boos,
Born on the 25. 8. 1923 in Keskastel / Alsace
Resident in Saarbrücken 1, Heuduckstrasse 93
Appeared on subpoena at local department office and stated as follows: p;p;
"As a French citizen, I fear difficulties for myself and my family on the part of the French authorities if I testify to the above matter (not stated as such, but meaning the involvement of Lammerding in the Oradour affair).
I was condemned to death on the 13. 2. 1953 by the French military-court at Bordeaux, because of homicide, (with reference to the crimes of Oradour). The death sentence was changed on the 7. 7. 1954 into a lifelong prison sentence.
On the 4. 7. 1955, the penalty was set for 20 years in prison. In the course of remission, the penalty was reduced by altogether 12 years. Taking account of the pre-trial detention, I was finally released on the 17. 4. 1959.
I would like it to be noted that in the judgment was included 15 years compulsory labour because of treason. The reason was that I performed service voluntarily as a French subject in the German army.
Since because of Oradour and although innocent, I spent 14 years behind prison-walls, I have become very careful, and therefore I don't testify to this matter.
I want to mention that from the Head Office of the French state security service on the 23. 7. 1957 an abidance-prohibition for Alsace-Lorraine was pronounced against me for the duration of 25 years.
This much I can say and that is that there must be sufficient records concerning the total case of Oradour available in Bordeaux to show what role Lammerding played in the events there.
As to questions regarding the present address of the former SS-Oberscharführer Lenz, I cannot give any concrete statements. I saw him last in the prison at Bordeaux".
Insofar as my information goes.
Read, approved and signed.
© Michael Williams: 17 January 2014 ... revised 30 November 2021.